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Anyone suffer from the "too nice" syndrome...
July 17, 2005
1:31 pm
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flutechick
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Wow, I was in the depths of dispair this morning and found this site just by fluke. I'm in the process of divorcing my husband (been together for 23 years...since I was 16) as he is an addictive personality (dope, booze, now God) and I've spent my entire life satteliting around him. He's been using my son to gain entrance into my home to leave flowers, go through things in my bedroom, and took my bike without asking. I am so upset that he invades my boundaries like that and yet I am scared to set them lest my children be upset. I've been told at work that I suffer from the "too nice" syndrome. How does a person stop being "too nice"? I am also in a new relationship where he tells me he loves me forever, but doesn't want to leave his girlfriend. He's done so many nice supportive things for me, but knowing he is with her is devastating. How do I get out of this mess?? All this has gone down last week. And most of my weeks go like this. I just get stepped on all over by every man in my life (including my sons). How do I establish boundries without being a bitch and pushing everyone away from me......Help!

July 17, 2005
1:39 pm
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Randomwomen2
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I am so sorry you are going through this but i am happy that you found this site.I also suffer from the too nice syndrome and i dont know how to get over it. I wish i could. Be sure to take thigs slow with your new relationship. It doesnt sound like you ahve fully recovered from the last one. There are lots of knowlagable people here who can help more than I. Love
Julie

July 17, 2005
1:49 pm
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Anonymous
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Welcome flutechick! You will definitely be glad you found this place. There are some very wise, practical people here that will answer your questions honestly. Sometimes it'll knock good sense into you:)

I agree with Random, it seems you might be moving too fast from one relationship to the other. And you definitely shouldn't be willing to be "the other woman" to the guy who says he loves you but doesn't want to leave another relationship. He's trying to have his cake and eat it too, honey!

I also have the "too nice syndrome". Being too nice isn't a problem in itself, only when we allow people to take advantage of our goodness. I'm preachin' to the choir here! (smile)

How old are your boys? I have three, and have been there done that. Sometimes, had to get really really tough (which is against my nature), but BOUNDARIES with boys is a MUST!!!

July 17, 2005
2:04 pm
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Rasputin
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Hi Flute,

The answer is almost mentioned in your post. It begins by setting up your boundaries and sticking to them.

Start off this process by writing them down in your journal/diary, then state the reasons why you're doing this, such as to have better more healthy life. These reasons should be very motivating and inspiring for your to change.

Then start asserting yourself, what you allow and not allow into your life, and set these boundaries as a rule that will dominate your life from now on.

I used to be a "too nice person." However, ever since I started to work on myself, emotional issues and experienced victory, I noticed that I became a more healthy person. My boundaries came automatically to me. I did not even note them down.

Best of luck, honey!

~Love, Ras~

July 17, 2005
3:18 pm
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flutechick
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Wow, I'm starting to feel like there is hope already. I'm 39 and my sons are 13 and 15 (14 and 16 soon). They've spent their lives watching their dad call me down about my weight and my appearance. I lost 55 pounds and started feeling really good about myself and my h got crazier. He was even getting physically abusive. He didn't like me fat and he didn't like me thin either. He told me that if I thought I was pretty, I wouldn't be nice anymore. That's when I decided I'd had enough. He has spent every day tearing down my self-esteem and then throwing in the odd useless compliment to be "a good guy". I realized the the problem is not with my self-esteem, but his. However, he really hasn't done much to work on himself, so keeping him away from me is totally self-preservation. My kids don't understand this and I am so hurt that they are siding with their dad because I was the one that left. He's been playing the "poor dad" card for so long I want to vomit. I've been taking the high road, but I am so tired. Tonight I will get the boys and I will try to really establish some good boundaries with them and I will not fear their reaction.

The so called boyfriend is history as of..... now. I have asked for the stuff that I've loaned him back immediately (he lives out of town). I have his things ready and if he doesn't bring my stuff today, I'll just drop his stuff of at his girlfriends. Or does that sound like I'm a psycho? I am really hurting over this and I feel bad for her. Shouldn't she know the games he's playing or am I just being vindicitive? I've told him to come clean over and over, he doesn't want to hurt her, she's done nothing wrong. That is true, I think she also suffers from the "too nice syndrome" as well and boy hasn't he found a couple of chumps. I really feel like an idiot and I don't know how to make myself feel better about that.

July 17, 2005
3:50 pm
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Anonymous
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There is hope, flutechick, but with 2 teenage sons, and a divorce in the making, you had better "batten down the hatches, sweetie":) This from somebody who has been there! I was also the one who left their verbally and emotionally abusive father, and my ex played the same "poor me" game with them. Even though they had lived in that environment with me and knew their dad was a "mean" guy, when it came down to it, they felt sorry for HIM! I believe it's because all those years I made HIM look good to them! I always went behind him and smoothed over his messes (alot of them they NEVER knew about). I always made excuses of why he behaved the way he did, and made sure my boys knew that he loved them, even though he never said it or acted very loving. I "enabled" all of them to form their own relationship without my involvement in saying things like, "Well what your dad really meant when he said you were stupid is...". Get my drift???

Anyway, it's good to keep the lines of communication open with them. Answer their questions, but don't put down their father. Try to explain to them about relationships and how difficult they are. Take the high road, and in the long run, you will be so glad you did! Good luck, sweetie!

But let me tell you this, once I stepped aside and refused to cover for him anymore, my boys figured out REAL quick who he really was. I NEVER had to say a negative word about him to them. It took a little time, but hang in there! They will come around!

July 17, 2005
3:56 pm
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Anonymous
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Oh, and the "other guy"...

I've seen his kind before! The first 2 guys I dated after my divorce BOTH had girlfriends that they didn't tell me about until I was already "involved" with them. One even had the nerve to tell me he needed to be upfront and honest about the other girl, because he felt sorry for ME! ha

Then he asked if I had a problem with the fact he had a girlfriend, and when could he see me again? lol I said the only problem I have is that she doesn't KNOW you are seeing me, so when you decide to tell her, give me a call! lol

Never heard from him again:)

July 17, 2005
4:21 pm
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flutechick
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Thanks so much for sharing plz.
Yep, I do have my work cut out for me. Since I left my h only went to 2 AA meetings before he decided to become born again (this is about the third incarnation) and "God just took everything away". I've been down this road before, and the boys are too young to remember it. They think he's a Christian now so everything is better. They don't undestand the 'dry drunk' and believe me I'd rather be around him when he's stoned. I have done the same things as you, encouraging the kids with their father, making him take them on a fishing trip, comforting them when he stressed out one so bad (about being stupid) that the poor kid got a nosebleed 1/2 an hour before his piano recital. In fact, I told my oldest that I did a good job of making chaos look normal. I do love my place although the lonliness does get to me. My old home was like living in a bus station with kids an my h's friends running in and out at all hours. I finally have some peace. So, why can't I feel peaceful? I will be battoning down the hatches. Oh ya, I'm not at all against born again Chrisitians, I'm glad for people having God in their lives, I just can't stand when scriptures are used to manipulate others. My son was worried because his dad said that I had lost my salvation because I left him. EGAD!

Oh ya, loverboy is on his way and he knows I'm pissed. You know, I've had two other men that wanted to take me out and both of them have girlfriends too (one was an old school mate, so we are still friends although very tongue in cheek, the other is a co-worker and unbeknownst to me was going out with my best friends sister ewww). So what is up with that? I try not to present myself as a damsel in distress, or do guys just want to bag a flute player because they've seen American Pie? BTW I've never been to band camp. LOL. Loverby is a trombone player, how ironic is that?

July 17, 2005
4:45 pm
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Anonymous
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Flutechick, I am a believer, and I have definitely seen my share of "religous" nut-jobs! Not all who proclaim to be born again actually have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

I have found through the years that "extreme" personalities can trade one addiction for another. And sometimes, that can be "religion". If he's quoting scripture at you to make you straighten up, he's probably just trying to guilt you. Another form of manipulation. If he's truly born again, you will begin to see the fruit of that in his life. It may not happen overnight, but his demeanor should be different. He should begin to be kinder, gentler, more humble. These are the things Christ taught.

As far as what he tells your boys, you can't control that. That's the thing that used to make me spit nails!!! Don't mess with my children! I had to pick my battles though. Some things were worth addressing, others not.

BTW, my boys were 16,14, and 5 when I went thru this. They are 22,20, and 12 now, and are VERY well-adjusted if I say so myself. I am quite proud! Must be doing something right:)

July 17, 2005
5:16 pm
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starkist1956
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Hi, I can relate to being to nice syndrome....we all go there when it comes to ex.s we all put up and allow someone walk on us myself mosty becacuse I have the fear that if I dont put up with him at that time for what ever it only gets worse ..the lies..the disrespect...and to the point even all the money I get from him for childsupport I end up giving it back to him each day he hounds me over it ...If I dont give him the child support money back that he says is his money he makes my life unbaerable...wont see the kids wont buy food ..the list goes on and on ...I am in councling now trying to change myself to stop and gain controll over my life ....

July 17, 2005
7:42 pm
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jack122064
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Sometimes you just have to tell people off... and don't worry about the consequences...

July 17, 2005
7:56 pm
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22haha
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Hi flutie,
I have been told by my recently ex boyfriend that I was too nice. He walked ll over me - and I let him. Thats the problem. I believe when people have to put others down it is to hide their own insecurity. They don;t like themselves yet they will make it out like they are wonderful and there is something wrong with you - NOT the case. You are beautiful from the inside not the outside.
As far as being the "other woman" DON'T put up with this. So he is wonderful to you - then he runs off to her. Tell him where to stick it :o) You deserve better and he needs to know that - and that you mean it. Come on pal, who does he think he is?
Good luck and know you are not alone. FYI: being strong, assertive and standing up for yourself does not make you a bitch!!!

July 17, 2005
8:37 pm
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flutechick
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Well, loverboy drove 45 minutes to bring my stuff to him. I made him drop off the box beside me and pick up the bag of stuff that I had of his (incidentally he left a toothbrush for unkown reasons that I "accidentally" used to clean around my toilet). All the while I just looked out the window and didn't look at him. I told him to get lost, that he has the problem not me, and off he went for a 45 minute drive back in the rain. I feel cleansed. Now to set my son to rights about not letting dad in when I'm not home. I cannot thank you guys enough for giving me strength in this trying day. I hope you do not think I'm being too needy. I really honestly have taken your supportive words to heart.

The last time my h and I spoke he used every scripture in the book to manipulate me back. I've been reading the book "The Pressure's Off" by Larry Crabb and I highly recommend it for anyone that has been bound by legalism. It is a whole new way of enjoying Christ in your life. The pastor I have been haveing counselling with has suggested a 2 year break from relationships so that I don't fall into the same patterns. At first I thought he was nuts, but now I see the wisdom in this.

July 18, 2005
2:02 am
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TucsonAZ
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I suffer terribly from the Too nice syndrome. I need help myself. I finally admitted I am codependent. At one point several years ago, about 4 I was fine and started doing and taking care of myself, then somehow I fell back into a horrible codependency rut. Appreciate advice, words of wisdom and help. I married 10 months ago to a verbally abusive, physically abusive person. I have been with for 2 years. I cannot say no to him or his family fear of rejection or abandonment. I will be 36 Sunday and had a wake up call today. I don't know how to set boundaries. Where do I begin? How to you set boundaries, stop worrying about what others think? I am a caretaker and tired of taking care. I want to take care of me. He doesn't drink or do drugs. He is verbally abusive like my alcoholic mother was, and boy can I pick them I really want someone in my life that will treat me with respect and love me. I don't want this anymore. I am tired of always being at his beck and call. HELP! Don't know where to start. I need to learn how to say no.without fear of consequences.

July 18, 2005
1:04 pm
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22haha
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Tuscon - you have to be able to stand up for youself wiht out fear of abandonment. If this is an abusive relationship - you shouldn't fear abandonment. Being alone is scary but the abusive is scarier. You deserve better and I hope you can find it within to realize that if he leaves you for standing up for yourself then you should let him go. We are all worth more than the &^%$ we are/ were getting from these abusive people. Good luck. You can do it!

July 18, 2005
4:45 pm
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amberly
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Welcome Flute:
I am also too nice but I am working on being Not so nice.It is a hard lesson to learn but taking care of you is important and that is the first priority.
Blessings,
Amberly

July 18, 2005
6:20 pm
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bonita1
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Yes! Yes!! I suffer from that "too nice" syndrome. Is it curable???? Can I ever be that bitch I aspire to??? LOL

Is there hope??

July 18, 2005
8:09 pm
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TucsonAZ
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I bought the book " the disease to please" today. Looks very good. My name is the title of the book. bonita1, I want to be the bitch I use to be. In 2001 I became uncodependent was making good money, doing my advertising business. then people started walking on me and somehow I slipped into a rut. Hooked up with the abuser I married in August 2003 and I find myself unable to get my advertising business off the ground when he is around. When he isn't around I can work, when he is around its like he is toxic to me. Like this Kharma a bad disease. Thank you all for the encouragement and wisdom. I need it, bring it on. I have felt like it was just me. I didn't realize how many of us there are. My first step is I made a vow not to call him today or tomorrow or the next day. Usually I call everyday when he is overseas. I don't want to subject myself to disappointment and possible abuse. All he will ask for is money. can you send me something? NO !

July 18, 2005
8:18 pm
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sunshine1959
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I have alot of room to post something here as I just found this site today as well and posted something. I guess I think the first thing that we need to do is remember one thing:
We have no control, and we should not worry about things that we can't. It's no use, we will get hurt every single time. Easier said than done as I might be on my fourth mistake now. I believe I'm not changing because I am just so scared of being alone and having no one, but on the other hand, I believe that the only way to get better is to be at that point. Somehow, we need to have to learn to love ourselves, not be a martyr (I'm only speaking for myself here), but we can't love anyone fully and honestly, until we love ourselves.
Take care

July 18, 2005
10:10 pm
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hoping_2_feel_again
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You are right Sunshine. You have to love and accept yourself as you are before you can truly love and accept another person.

I just read "Why Men Love Bitches" It was very eye opening and sometimes funny. It doesn't say that a woman needs to be a REAL bitch, but just a woman who knows what she will and will not accept, how to be her own person and not change for a man. It is a very good book with lots of information. You might want to read it.

Hope

July 18, 2005
10:40 pm
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flutechick
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Hey, I read "Why Men Love Bitches" and I recommend it. I have used some of the tips, for example setting a standard in a relationship...ie. I really like you, but the girlfriend has to go. LOL.

Okay, in another post I was all tough and stuff about giving back his things, even the toothbrush that "accidentally" fell behind the toilet. Well, he called me and was all upset about me "dumping him", and I ended up telling him not to use the toothbrush...how "nice" was that. I couldn't be vengful if I tried. Anyway, he is really broken up about everything and was insulted that I called him a "player". So, there I am appolgizing. You know,I've got to learn to hang up the phone when they say, I just need to talk to you for a minute. Here I am feeling bad that I pushed him to tears. (He told me I'm the only one that's ever done that) I told him he had to get professional help and I meant it sincerely. Today he showed up at my door with "another book of mine he forgot to bring yesterday" looking all sad and sorry. Said thanks for the book and have a nice day. I am worried about getting sucked back in. On the bright side my ex. brought my bike back (after taking it without permission). It just never ends, eh? Stay strong every one. The saga continues.....

July 20, 2005
2:36 am
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joujou
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I called a few friends that I haven't spoken to in awhile. One friend said that when I go to her house, we can go to the stores because her car broke down. The other friend said I could help her with her paper work since she doesn't speak english. I like these people but I am thinking twice about getting together with them. In the past I always did did did for them. I am tired of that. I want to have a friend where there are no strings attached and hanging out without having to do do do for them.
Should I drop them or how should I handle this?

July 20, 2005
2:47 am
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on my way
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Balance is the key.

July 20, 2005
7:49 am
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Flutechick, I think that if a guy knows you are going through a divorce they assume that you are vulnerable and they can take advantage of you. That may be the reason you are attracting guys who already have boyfriends.

Or, it may just be the too nice syndrome. They think that because your so nice that you are also naive.

Anyway, I agree that you need to spend at least a year or two without being in a relationship so that you can rediscover yourself. You've been with the same man for so long that I'm sure you must have lost a huge part of yourself. Find yourself again before you start relationships otherwise it will be easy for you to fall prey to a manipulator again.

I also suffer from the too nice syndrome and no matter how I put it, when I set bounderies they think I'm being a bitch.

My bf always thinks that I've been talking to someone else and they are negitively influencing me.

Anyway, work on you and what's best for you. Your kids will understand as they get older and start to see things for themselves.

July 20, 2005
7:51 am
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SexySadie
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This would be me...always the rescuer. Everyone always tells me that I try to save everyone from themselves...and look at me now. What a mess I have gotten myself into. Thank goodness I have a chance now to pull myself and my life together...

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