maybe no more Mr. Nice Guy  

ambidext 49M
22 posts
8/27/2005 8:12 pm

Last Read:
3/5/2006 9:27 pm

maybe no more Mr. Nice Guy

Somewhere, some scientist is figuring out the formula for what makes people attractive to each other. When he (she?) get's it finished, the world will beat a path to their door.

Now, I now that given my weight, I'm not going to have sexy fun loving women with rediculous incomes begging to bang me nightly. It's a shame that first impressions have so much bearing on relationships, and furthermore that physical appearance plays such an important role therein. But I blame no one but myself for my physique, and while I'm doing my best to rectify (35Lbs and counting), I will live with the consequences.

But what frustrates me more is the personality chemistry.

I'm just out of a disastrous marriage. My ex is a wonderful woman. I still love her dearly (though not romantically) and care for her deeply. I love seeing her in the eyes and hearts of our kids.

But, unfortunately, my wife is also a few other people too. Suicidal, emotionally unstable, mentally dangerous to herself and to others. Institutionalized. I feel for her, I really do. Her illness cost her a good husband, me a good wife, and our kids a family.

So why is it that the first person to be attracted to me after the separation is practically a carbon copy? Suicide attempts, weeks in bed with depression...

I've been told it's because "I'm a nice guy," that I'm supportive, nurturing, non-judgmental... all the things people with severe emotional distress and instability need in a partner to survive, or as I like to see it, to survive off of.

Damn. Here I figured being a nice guy would be an attractive thing for all women. Sure, some may want the fling with the bad dude to piss of daddy or to fulfill their fantasy. But isn't sanity an attractive quality? Isn't emotional sincerity and maturity something that would at least not turn women off? Aren't kindness and compassion condusive to trust - one of the first steps towards sexual attractiveness?

Maybe I should turn over to the dark side. Anyone know how?

AtomicKisss 58M

8/27/2005 9:53 pm

Dear Both Hands,

Normally, I would give you a quick glib comment but in this instance, allow me to be "real" for a second. There are two primary factors that cause the undesirable attraction of this nature:

1) You describe something known as a co-dependent; someone who puts the needs of others first; someone who becomes emotionally enmeshed with the emotions and problems of others; someone who loses his identity only to assume the identity of the other person in the relationship. (Not necessarily all of these, one is enough). Good guys are good, co-dependents go overboard being a "good guy." In the process, co-dependents lose their self-identity, self-esteem, self-respect, freedom, and they have difficulty establishing healthy boundaries.

2)Often, people with a history of abuse (perhaps in childhood) tend to enter into the type of relationships you described. This is due to something called "trauma bonding." Trauma bonding is too complex to adequately explain here.

Anyway, keep in mind that 180 degrees from dysfunctional is still dysfunctional (going overboard as good guy to being the bad boy). Perhaps the solution is to throttle back on the good guy - do less of it on an emotional level. Also, consider going to a meeting of Codependents Anonymous (CoDA) - that might give you some insight.

Good Luck

rm_abebb 59M
56 posts
8/27/2005 9:55 pm

it is ok be nice, but don't confuse being nice with being a caretaker or a sucker. i was in a relationship with a woman that was an alcoholic. we lived together for four years. during that time period she desperately attempted to stay sober, but was unable to. in spite of the fact that i cared for her, after four years i broke it off. she wanted to get married and have children and i could not do such a thing. a few years ago i received a call from a friend of mine who is a police officer in the town where her family lives. my friend told me she had been found deceased in her apartment from an overdose of pills and alcohol. at 40 years old, her addiction killed her. i know i did the right thing by breaking it off with her. had i married her and had children with her, i would be a widower right now and my children would not have a mother and, or might even be alcoholics themselves. if i meet a woman and even get a hint of substance abuse or any kind of mental illness, i am gone. these people are clinically sick and we can't make them better no matter how hard we try. you might have developed some kind of co dependency on you ex wife and since she is no longer in the picture, you could be subconsciously seeking out another person of the same ilk to rescue or for some other purpose. you might want to seek out some therapy or read some self help books on co dependency. about the weight, you can lose it if you want to. lift weights and cut out all junk food, pizza and fast food. Instead eat lean protein such as, chicken, turkey and fish. you can eat steak but no more than 1 x per week and eat vegetables. Cut out soda and other soft drinks including juice and beer. drink spring water instead and tea or coffee in moderation. you will lose the weight. Once you get the weight off, you can start bringing the other food and drink back into your diet in moderation, as long as you continue to exercise. but you got to mentally fit too. it is just as important. i hope this has helped you somewhat.

ambidext 49M

8/28/2005 8:48 pm

Well, thanks to all three for the responses. I'm amused by the fact that codependence was so obvious.

In my case, codependence is exactly what my marriage turned into. My ex became completely dependent on me, and my entire identity was lost in the caretaking. I don't blame her for this. Instead, I'm figuring out (1) why I was so eager to try to convince myself that what I wanted, needed, or felt didn't matter, and (2) what attracted me to such a person in the first place. Therapy has indeed helped. (To all machismos out there... therapy is a damn good thing when you need it, and probably not all that bad if you don't.)

Is there abuse in my past that leads to this? I've figured out that there was, though not the kind of abuse people may automatically assume. I was subjected to alot of things growing up that teens and preteens shouldn't be. No outright abuse, but rather environmental abuse. So the pattern is right out of psych 101.

And to abebb, thanks for the encouragement. The weight is coming off, and I'm tired of it being a part of me. Weight lifting is not the best choice for me - I used to do it, and bulk is what I need to avoid. Perhaps some high rep low weight sets to add tone or to strengthen muscles needed for the more important aerobic excercises, but in general, walking is my main excercise. Soda intake has been cut dramatically - amazing how many calories soda gives. And fortunately for me, beer was never my drug of choice, so it's a non issue. (The last thing I need is a depressant anyway). You made the right choice, by the way, though I can't say for sure the outcome would have been as predictable. Had you been there for her to live off of, her life span would have increased, but the quality of life would not necessarily follow.

My frustration comes primarily not from my own progress (of which I am proud) but instead of those subtle, unconscous signals I must be emitting drawing people like this to me. I will not be codependent again - I've already turned that corner. But whatever vibes I've been giving off my whole life haven't gone away just yet.

rm_songbird5419 62F
305 posts
8/29/2005 9:31 am

ambidext, please understand that all women do NOT stop at the shell, but look inside. I understand about the weight thing...I've fought it my whole life and will likely continue to do so. When your spirit is good, which yours is, that will shine through. You just have to realize that about yourself. That's half the battle. It's very evident when someone doesn't think much of themselves. You have obviously done a great deal of soul-searching and you seem to be finding the best of yourself. Please realize that and revel in it. You have had a difficult, uphill row to hoe and are doing an admirable job of it!!

As to the co-dependency, I understand that as well. I'm in the process of extricating myself from a 15 year marriage to a clinically depressed man. Had he continued with his therapy, perhaps that marriage would still be intact, but he didn't, so it isn't. He was carrying baggage around with him that was there long before I ever knew him and was unable to face it and deal with it. I just hope that one day he's able to do so, but it's no longer my problem. I'm aligning myself with strong, healthy people now, and my life is so much better now. I'm truly happy now, probably for the first time in my life and I'm never going back to a negative relationship like that again, either with myself or anyone else!!!

If you are strong and push through the pain and the fear, you often find that happiness is waiting for you on the other side.

CuriousAries67 49F

10/16/2005 9:19 pm

But isn't sanity an attractive quality? Isn't emotional sincerity and maturity something that would at least not turn women off? Aren't kindness and compassion condusive to trust - one of the first steps towards sexual attractiveness?

Ambidext~ I can tell you for a fact that yes, sanity IS an attractive quality. Emotional security and maturity ARE a turn on. Kindness and compassion are condusive to trust and the building of any kind of relationship. Unfortunately, there are an awful lot of people out there who do not possess these traits and look to others to find them. Honestly, I didn't BEGIN to grow up and realise the beauty of all these characteristics until well into my 30's. I still have my moments of doubt, insecurity and insanity, but I've learned to deal with them directly and honestly with the people I love. Have patience and please don't turn to the dark side. Truly nice guys are definitely a rare and precious commodity in this world.

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