It’s men who think being nice to a woman is the way into her pants. Typically, they are only nice to people they want something from. That’s why a lot of people view them as manipulative as well. This is usually due to the “nice guy” not wanting to sexualize the women, often in an effort to try to set themselves apart. Problem is, they forget women are sexual too and don’t necessarily disqualify someone for being insinuative. No sexual tension(I’m using the phrase loosely) means no attraction. They don’t realize this and because they were nice and expected sex in return, they lash out.
I think that’s what I’ve gathered over the years of hearing the term.
Best of luck with your recovery and with becoming a non smoker. Can I offer two suggestions?
I started smoking at 14. I smoked 10-15 cigarettes a day. Sometimes more, sometimes less.
About 5 years ago I get this weird pain. Started in my jaw and moved to my chest. I thought it was a heart attack... but it passed after about 3 minutes. I look it up online, and it said that the pain was most probably 'stress induced', but tobacco was definitely a factor. 6 months later it happens again. Then again. I had heard about Allen Carr. I downloaded the book. It stayed there, unread, until that weird pain happened for the fourth time. I started reading the next day.
I was 'relieved' that the first instruction in the book is keep smoking until you're done. I took a while to read this small book, ironically because I only read it while smoking. Halfway through the book, smoking started to be a chore. Something that I HAD to do, not something that I enjoyed doing. I made it a point to only read while smoking to make that lesson stick.
The last day I smoked I smoked 4 cigarettes. They all tasted like shit. It felt so satisfying to read that last page, smoke that last cigarette (only half of it) and throw it away with my lighter.
I got cravings, sure. But the book teaches you how to deal with them, how to play the mental game of quitting.
BTW, I quit 1,251 days ago. I have not had that weird pain since I quit smoking.
> MIL and FIL share an email address, a cell phone, and even go to the bathroom together.
HURK. That ~~sorta~~ defines enmeshment.
DH needs to read and re-read When I Say No I Feel Guilty by Manuel J. Smith and No More Mr. Nice Guy by Robert A. Glover.
You and LO are more important than DH's mother. Sadly, he doesn't behave like it, even if he pays lip service.
His mother has done a number on him with Fear, Obligation and Guilt. She is a master gaslighter / manipulator. I'll guess that she's been doing it her entire adult life (and likely back into childhood); she's extremely competent - and that's sad.
Will it's not DH's fault, it's his adult responsibility - to himself, you and LO - to overcome the programming she's instilled in him. Reading, pondering and re-reading these two books, doing the exercises they contain and letting them illuminate his circumstances could be helpful.
Not affiliated with this or have anything to do with this - but it is a fucking mind changer. If you can smoke after reading that book, you are inhuman. The book even dares you to keep smoking while you read it.
There is a self help book called "Nice Guys" written by a shrink who was a reformed "Nice Guy" himself.
>... she seems to view DH as a replacement husband she can rely on emotionally and financially, as opposed to her being a mother DH can rely on...
It's not 'seems to.' She does.
He IS NOT HER HUSBAND. He IS yours, and the father of y'all's children.
But he's bought into the lie. Unknowingly. Therapy / counseling is strongly recommended. For him, not you. Joint therapy may be beneficial, but he's the one with the busted normal meter. Sounds like yours has passed an extended stress test with flying colors.
MIL is a somewhat textbook example of dysfunctionality rather than a unicorn. IOW, she's pretty typical of a boundary-stomping Jocasta who has treated her offspring as her spouse. She's almost certainly incapable of sustaining a relationship with a male her own age. Your husband doesn't suffer from the same afflicition, only the programmed misperception that he's responsible for his mother and her happiness. He is not.
If your husband is currently unwilling to consider counseling, he needs to read and re-read these two books: When I Say No I Feel Guilty by Manuel J. Smith and No More Mr. Nice Guy by Robert A. Glover.
I wish both of you the very best and hope that he's able to overcome the parentally-installed buttons of Fear, Obligation and Guilt and become the strong and worthy man he, you and your children deserve.
His mother has attempted to make him her emotional spouse and to usurp his adult life. She's unworthy of his time and attention.
The thing about the "friend zone" is that the women who put you in it were probably never attracted to you from the start, and it's not like it would change because you used some magic technique or pick up line to win them over. I know that might be hard to hear, but the truth is, if women are attracted to a man it doesn't usually change just because they become friends.
Maybe some women can put people in this category in their minds no matter how attracted they are, but personally as a woman, I don't have a sharp distinction between friendship and romance in my head. I don't arbitrarily put people in one category or another when I get to know them. Either I'm attracted or I'm not, basically. I can be attracted to an unavailable platonic friend for years and it's not easy for me to just "get over it".
Having said that, if you really are attracted to a woman, it's probably better to ask them on a date (and make it clear it's a romantic date, not a friendly hangout) sooner rather than later - to avoid the awkward situation where you're close friends and then don't want to ruin the friendship. It also comes across as more honest if you make your romantic intentions clear from the start, otherwise some people might feel you were befriending them with ulterior motives.
I've also heard good things about this book so it might be worth checking out: Models: Attract Women Through Honesty by Mark Manson
Have you heard of Negative Visualization?
Pause now and then to consider the state of your life. Think of the people you love and the things you value. If you love someone, consider how you’d fare without them. If you have a great ride, think how you’d do on a bicycle or bus pass. Think of how bored you’d be if you could no longer do whatever hobbies you enjoy. Ponder the changes that a sudden loss of health would bring. This can help prepare you for an unexpected loss or change, although nothing will ever really prevent grief. More importantly, it should help you appreciate your circumstances and the people around you more, and make you content with the life you already live.
You seem dismissive of meditation and books, which seems odd for a question like this, but the first I’d recommend would be A Guide to the Good Life.
I wanted to recommend this one... written by a philosophy professor, it's very accessible and made a big difference for me. It's sort of an intro to stoicism.
Secondly--- I own a business with a seasonal slow period. For 3-4 months each year I more or less don't have to work. I have been fighting that strange guilt sensation for so long. I know exactly what you mean.
It's hard to do anything different from what EVERYBODY else is doing. But it doesn't mean we are wrong to do it. Stoicism has helped me accept that it's perfectly natural that I would feel strange given that my lifestyle is so different from pretty much everyone else's.
OP, pls have DH read mellow-drama's post.
He's made a first step and needs to continue. Two books he might find useful: When I Say No I Feel Guilty by Manuel J. Smith and No More Mr. Nice Guy by Robert A. Glover.
For everyone's sake I pray he does.
She trained him to be Her Obedient Son^^tm
But he's not ten years old anymore. He's an adult with a mate, a life partner. Who his carrying HIS CHILD. His mother has cast Fear, Obligation and Doubt (FOG) about him.
You're the lighthouse. He has ALREADY chosen. You gave yourself to him - physically and emotionally. You have entrusted him with being your Partner and the father of your children. You have given him the most precious gift one human can give another: YOURSELF. That doesn't obligate him - it provides him challenge and opportunity. To be a fucking adult.
His mother hasn't and can't - it's profoundly not her role, nor his to divide his loyalty between mom and wife. Yeah, he wants to avoid his mom going off - she's a Pain in the Ass - but an adult doesn't reward that by giving into it. They impose consequences for ~~making demands~~ attempting to interfere in his his adult life.
He's got to man the fuck up or forever pay the price. He doesn't want to be in the middle - STOP BEING THERE. The ice floes are drifting apart - it's a normal part of life! He needs to live on the one he stood up in public and vowed to share the rest of his life on.
Cause HIS MOTHER is trying to make him choose her. He's already chosen you.
He ~~might~~ will benefit from reading and re-reading When I Say No I Feel Guilty by Manuel J. Smith and No More Mr. Nice Guy by Robert A. Glover.
You're welcome to share this post - the perspective on an older man, with adult offspring - with him if you want. Or not. Regardless, know in your heart that it's Reality.
There's a theory of psychology that due to the millenia of generations of survival of the fittest, our brains are hard wired to worry. It's only been for the last few generations that a good portion of the human population could live without having to be on guard constantly against death by wild animals, starvation from crop failures/not finding food to hunt, small wounds becoming infected and killing you, etc.
Those of us alive today are the descendants of the ones who DID worry enough about the dangers in the world to survive through them long enough to have kids and keep them alive too. The ones less inclined to worry would have survived less often. So you could say many of us were bred through natural selection to be peak worriers.
Today our world no longer requires this level of worry, but we're stuck with brains which are built to be anxiously aware. Our brains will create those feelings even when our lives do not require any worry at all.
I read a great book on Stoicism a few years ago I really enjoyed. I think it definitely helps keep these anxious feelings in perspective. Step 1 for me is to accept that those feelings are entirely normal and not something I need to fight agains. u/cagarsalvagemente you might enjoy this book!
Have you read Allen Carr's book yet? It will help you realize that smoking does nothing to help your stress, and actually makes it worse. All of the "stop smoking aids" in the world won't do anything for you as long as you think there is something to be gained by having a cigarette. Once you realize there is nothing to gain from smoking it gets a lot easier.
Set yourself small, achievable goals to extend your current ability incrementally and do that regularly.
The Talent Code by Daniel Coyle
Peak by K. Anders Ericcson
I had the same experience! One book I found from that sub that was super useful was “Adult Children of Emotionally Immature Parents”. I definitely recommend it if you want to feel some compassionate validation and ways to move forward.
Apparently DH didn't say "No you're not. We won't be visiting. You won't be coming to our house for a month. You won't be coming to our house at all unless you show us that you get that WE'RE the parents; you're optional. Right now you're attempting to Take Over; it's not happening."
The opportunity isn't lost. He can call her up and say "I didn't make myself clear recently so I'll do so now. [insert above paragraph]" When she reacts negatively he can say "You prove my point." [Click]
If he needs help shining his spine, these are a good place to start: When I Say No I Feel Guilty by Manuel J. Smith and No More Mr. Nice Guy by Robert A. Glover.
This is the 101 in stoicism. If you want to be happy, you have to learn what you can control and what not. This book is a goog starter: A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy (English Edition) [link]
You/anyone who found this interesting should read "No More Mr. Nice Guy" ([link])
It will give you a very in-depth understanding of the phenomenon discussed here (and various other connected ones). The book also contains actionable suggestions.
MIL means good only on the surface.
Her behavior is that of a very anxious person - which you haven't caused. Misses social cues, talking over, being told to stop (more than once is a pattern), doesn't listen, wanting others: DH, you, anybody to assuage her anxiety and loneliness. She seems fairly dysfunctional.
That you're proud is GOOD. Anything but a superficial relationship is practically impossible. Setting yourself on fire to ~~keep her warm~~ try to make her feel better isn't required by any social convention.
You can't fill a bucket which has the bottom corroded out. Attempts will leave you with little emotional energy for yourself and other people in your life.
You have to be firm, not mean. She'll usurp your time and energy only if you let her. Other posters have made good suggestions. I'd try a modified broken record technique: "[FirstName], you're not listening - that doesn't work for me." Regardless of what else she says repeat "That doesn't work for me."
Avoid JADE-ing (Justify, Argue, Defend, Explain). You've experienced what happens when you give her a reason: She digs in. ;~/
She may get upset. Remember, you have no control over the emotions of others - only how you respond to them and - to a degree - your own feelings. Even if growing up you were taught to or made to feel responsible for others' emotions, you're not.
MIL needs therapy with a qualified professional. Suggesting that is unlikely to cause her to go; she would likely be pissed off. You'll probably have to accept a superficial relationship.
You might find value in When I Say No I Feel Guilty by Manuel J. Smith. I'm sorry for your MIL's discomfort and attempts to share the burden with you.
As other posters have said, it's a process.
I hope he doesn't (didn't?) roll over & show his belly. He needs to feel the truth in his gut - he's an adult male. He's not a ten-year-old (pre-pubescent) boy. He just graduated from medical school & even with residency & specialization to go, he's DOCTOR Adult.
I recommend two books: When I Say No I Feel Guilty by Manuel J. Smith and No More Mr. Nice Guy by Robert A. Glover.
FDH (Dr. FDH) should do the exercises in the books & follow through. The third, fourth or fifth time he reads them, these two books will still provide ' A-Ha!' moments.
His mother's infantilization is fucking AWFUL for him as a human being. It can be overcome; he can grow into the full adult he deserves to be and that a decent parent would want him to be.
FMIL will find it traumatic. Her entire being is wrapped up in being his mommy even though he stopped needing that long ago. She may have a psychotic break. She certainly will shit bricks and attempt to keep him from breaking away from her. A normal relationship with her is highly unlikely - whatever's going on with her, she wouldn't have done this to him unless there's something very wrong with her.
Be prepared - she's not gonna give up her domination willingly and YOU, of course, are the Instigator (in her eyes). His growing into his full capabilities as an adult human has nothing to do with it. /s
Encourage him toward healthy maleness. A strong adult is gentle, because he or she knows their strength and is sure of it and themselves. Bravado is un-necessary.
I'm so sorry that you're going through this :( it really breaks my heart to hear, but I'm glad you have a partner that loves and supports you.
The comment about attachment theory reminded me of a book about adults of emotionally immature parents, which sounds like what they are from what you have described. I'm currently reading it myself and it's been a great eye-opener and later on it talks about how to heal from this. amazon link for the book
Hopefully this can help you come to terms that it's not your fault and you deserved to be love. It might be a long and hard journey to heal from the trauma but I know you will be able to achieve this and I'm rooting for you to find your happiness and the love you deserve!!! Sending you all the positive energies!
Hey OP, I'd like to gently point you to the book "Adult Children of Emotionally Immature Parents: How to Heal from Distant, Rejecting, or Self-Involved Parents". I just finished it, and it helped me to understand and resolve my feelings around a very similar childhood experience.
Frankly, pretty much the exact situation you're describing in your post is actually discussed in the book (one of the patients of the author went through that with their parent also).
It's here in audiobook format if that's easier.
These are links to AmazonUS. Pls search on your Amazon. DH is a textbook case for both. When I Say No I Feel Guilty by Manuel J. Smith and No More Mr. Nice Guy by Robert A. Glover.
Yep. OP might want to check out this book https://www.amazon.com/Adult-Children-Emotionally-Immature-Parents-ebook/dp/B00TZE87S4
You should start browsing r/seduction. It’s a sub fully dedicated to “picking up” women and basically getting dates and finding a girlfriend.
I’ll summarize what the sub will most likely tell you if you chose to ask the same question over there.
1) Read Models by Mark Manson. It’s sort of a non-bs approach to getting a girlfriend. It basically gets your mind straight and tells you how life really is in hard truth. You can probably find a pdf floating around the internet, if not just get it from amazon.
2) Work on yourself. How’s your mind, bad? Go to a psychiatrist. How’s your body, bad? Go to the gym. How’s your clothes, bad? Go the mall and get modern adult clothes. Work on yourself until you are confident.
3) Approach. Everyone on r/seduction will tell you it’s a numbers game. Approach as many girls as you can and eventually one will say yes and go on a date with you. The hard part is approaching. It’s nerve racking and everyone gets scared of doing it. That’s basically what the sub is for. It’s for you to have a support group to help our approaches improve and hopefully get better enough to land you a date. Go to college campuses, the mall, really anywhere and just start asking girls for their phone number.
Your weight, your athleticism, your age, that doesn’t matter man, you know why? How many men approach women? 5-10% ?
You are going to be in that 5-10%. You are going to be in that small group of confident outgoing men where looks don’t matter, you’ll realize after reading the book and browsing the sub that confidence matters.
I've had a similar tendency, this book has really been instrumental in helping me get past this. I'd suggest giving it a read.
I would recommend that you look at the book Peak: Secrets From The New Science Of Expertise. I’m reading it now and it is so interesting. It basically explains how people become experts using specific principles defined by the author as “deliberate practice.” Even though it is a researched-based book, it is written in an easy to read style; I checked it out of my local library. If you are looking to develop a skill or talent later in life, the steps outlined in this book can get you where you want to be much quicker than if you were just trying to figure it out on your own. Many people realize their dream during middle age and beyond!
You might be able to move out and find a job to pay the rent, but the fact is it's going to be much, much easier if you finish a college degree (or some sort of education) first.
Could you transfer to a school upstate or in the midwest? Rent, food, and other expenses would be much cheaper. Most college towns don't require a car. And you could always take a bus back to the city. You'd be able to live away from your parents and your student loan money would go much farther than in the city.
You should also put psychological healing on your radar. If you've been living with abusive parents, it's going to take time and work to retrain your brain. You may get more targeted responses in a sub like /r/raisedbynarcissists but here are some resources to check out:
I found the book Adult Children of Emotionally Immature Parents really helpful in understanding what my parents’ problems were. It has also helped me understand that in addition to the disadvantage of their religious beliefs, they were each not taught to be more emotionally in tune with their children. It doesn’t make the hurt less and it doesn’t excuse the neglect, but it helps me work towards being a better parent to my kids than mine were to me.
I know it feels like you're a terrible daughter, but in reality, you're not terrible for wanting to be treated with kindness, love, and respect. Your mother is an adult who is responsible for her feelings and shouldn't be taking it out on you. You're not responsible for any of her trauma either. You can't fix her, because she's responsible for her healing journey. It's unfair to expect yourself to do all the work to repair the relationship if she's not putting any effort into it. You deserve more than that. A book that I found helpful is Adult Children of Emotionally Immature Parents: How to Heal from Distant, Rejecting, or Self-Involved Parents.
I didn't see it brought up yet in the sea of posts, but I wanted to bring up "No More Mr. Nice Guy" by Robert Glover. It's a self-help book based on being an authentic you instead of a "nice guy". It is definitely worth checking out and really helped me reevaluate myself.
Non-affiliate Amazon Kindle page:
Edit: removed incorrect web link
Neediness comes from "insecurity", a psychology technical term from attachment theory. I'm confident this book will help you. It's a classic in the field, easy to get at a library or on Amazon.
Attached: The New Science of Adult Attachment and How It Can Help You Find—and Keep—Love
by Levine and Heller
This is totally within my wheelhouse. For all intents and purposes, there is no such thing as "talent." It's better to think of talent as a subjective opinion someone gives (I.e. "you're so talented!").
Nearly everything is a skill because humans learn by modeling or trial and error. Skills are built via mental representations. Artistic endeavors are skills because anyone can do them and improve immensely.
I encourage you to read Peak: Secrets from the New Science of Expertise by K.Anders Ericsson.
The moral of the story is that no one is innately born with any skill, hence there is really no such thing as talent in that way. Just subjective opinions.
I think there is a book you should read. " No more Mr. Nice guy"[link] .
Sounds like defining relationship boundaries is causing you some stress. This book has some great advice.
That bit you mentioned about your girl sounds like a problem a lot of us have, "covert contracts". Read that part of the book if nothing else, it will help.
In your verification photo, your skin looks a little flakey. You might want to make sure you get enough water daily and buy some moisturizer.
I recommend clean shaven.
I wonder if you lack for confidence? If you are straight (and I don't want to assume), you might want to pick up the Mark Manson book - Models: Attract Women Through Honesty
I'm with you, I was perplexed too. However, I found it. NMMNG = No More Mr. Nice Guy.
Weird correction, are you trying to say that whoops, I'm secretly a theist because I try to follow Stoicism?
Some philosophers have retooled ancient Stoicism as a modern non-religious life philosophy, and it adapts really well to modern secular values and a material world: https://www.amazon.com/Guide-Good-Life-Ancient-Stoic-ebook/dp/B0040JHNQG. The doctor of philosophy who wrote that book is very emphatic about the nonreligious nature of this notion of life philosophies. My point was that atheism is not a life philosophy, and if you simply reject religion -- which comes with life philosophies preinstalled -- you still need to find a life philosophy.
I highly recommend this book: https://www.amazon.com/Adult-Children-Emotionally-Immature-Parents-ebook/dp/B00TZE87S4
It helped me understand that I didn't need to feel guilty. Setting boundaries is the only way to get out from under it. You can do it. Doesn't mean it won't be painful, but it gets easier. It really does. And you'll be a better person for it.
art has helped me a lot. I'm glad you found something creative, I wished someone had told me that art would help me when I was first diagnosed. here's a book that will help you with your painting journey. It has helped me with my music/math/programming/graphic arts journey.
I found a couple books in the sidebar that are along the lines of what I'm looking for: A Guide to the Good Life and Get a Life: You Don't Need a Million to Retire Well.
Here's a book that can teach you how to make requests of people without being demanding:
Maybe start by reading this and asking yourself a lot of honest questions. Good luck!!
Yup, sounds exactly like my mom. It's been incredibly frustrating. This book helped me with that a lot.
(new account because I'm still not comfortable talking about stuff like this online)
I was reading this book and this book. I also just looked up some stuff about emotional immaturity online, but I really liked her books.
1) ~~Graduate from high school.~~ Done.
2) Don't get addicted to drugs or alcohol.
3) Don't get a woman pregnant who isn't your wife.
4) Don't commit any crimes.
Do these and you're statistically unlikely to ever be in really bad shape.
Like everyone is saying, work hard, form good habits, save your money, but don't forget to have fun! Enjoy your youth.
Be virtuous. But don't be ashamed for having your own needs and wants.
Have beliefs. But keep your identity small.
Have you heard "you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with"? Surround yourself with good people. People you admire and want to be like.
Good luck. Happy birthday!
>I would appreciate your thoughts on how to balance acknowledging where you need to grow, and also practicing some dread and STFU without just acting butthurt or emotional yourself.
You've received some great advice here already, so I only have 2 things to add.
First, it's a matter of priorities. You sound like a very busy guy, so it's simply a matter of rearranging your to-do list (like you already mentioned you did, with some success) to make sure this is taken care of. Not that you're doing it to make her happy, but because it's an important part of your mission, she's reminding you, and it will eliminate conflict in this area which is a win for you. Get a win under your belt here.
Second, have you read WISNIFG yet? Techniques like Fogging and Negative Inquiry would be helpful tools for the verbal sparring you are having to engage in, and can be very useful for defusing these kinds of situations.
Get therapy, stat. With an attitude like this you are one of nature's victims and will most likely end up in a horribly abusive relationship because you just can't bear to hurt anyone's feelings by saying "no."
You mentioned that he might not be ready for the ACA literature, but if he's interested in finding out if he's ready, this might be a good place to start:
Also, I can only speak to my own experience going LC with my borderline mom, but this book helped me figure out how to draw boundaries and recognize recurring patterns, etc. Its not just for borderline parents so might apply to his situation too: Adult Children of Emotionally Immature Parents: How to Heal from Distant, Rejecting, or Self-Involved Parents [link]
Here's on amazon for kindle: [link]
I recommend this book I read recently.you can learn about your parents and understand how to grow and where does your emotions come from.You can also go to therapy if you feel like it.
I’m really, really glad you got out of there and that your dad is standing up for you. Your mom is mad because she had free, live-in care for her children who are her actual responsibility. She has been able to behave Iike a teenager with zero responsibilities. Moving the boyfriend in after a few months is dangerous with children too. In the world of narcissistics, sending your grandma to tell you you’re an AH is called “flying monkeys”, or the way that narcissists twist situations and get other people involved by making themselves the victims. Your mom is upset because she is the AH not you.
Please consider writing down in a factual way some of what you shared here so you kind of have a good record of it, because your mom will try to convince you it “wasn’t that bad”.
Please also consider a few sessions with a therapist to put this in perspective as your mom sounds manipulative. I was raised (I’d say groomed) to grow up too quickly (my mom made me feel I was always such a burden) and always think stuff was my fault and that she was always right. Your mom is wrong and clearly doesn’t want you to realize that. As the mom she should be validating and acting out of concern for your safety, happiness and emotional well being.
This book is really good too: Adult Children of Emotionally Immature Parents: How to Heal from Distant, Rejecting, or Self-Involved Parents [link]
As I get older (31) I learn more and more that my parents are often not as open minded or willing to learn from me than I thought in my 20s. I singlehandedly avoided a family meltdown this year by exercising all of my willpower to not take argument bait, eat crow and accept blame (that they did not reciprocate even though they initiated), and made amends. It was the first time I had done this and was incredibly draining but also satisfying to know that I have a lot of control over my actions in these types of situations, and that can heavily influence the outcomes. It’s really tricky. Great book: “[link].
Good luck op, this healing shit will require an lot of effort and introspection on your part and it requires not expecting it from them too, which is the hardest part IMO.
Instead of sharing my own personal "rules", I'll just add that having self-respect is a big part of it. Specifically, knowing your boundaries, setting your boundaries, and enforcing your boundaries. BTW, I'm one of those guys who evangelizes the book No More Mr. Nice Guy. I know not everyone here likes that book. For me, a skipped a few chapters that did not resonate with me. However, the author's message about boundaries is eye-opening and intensely thought-provoking.
In my marriage, I allowed things to happen that I flatly disagreed with. But I kept my mouth shut most of the time. Even when I "put my foot down" (whatever), I was met with ridicule and contempt.
But now? I live my life how I want to live it. I've had relationships; in fact, I'm kinda in one now. She gets pissed at me all the time when I say 'no'. If she nags, I'll ignore her completely for a few days and let her cool down. No fucking way will I be manipulated again into doing something I don't really want to do. I'd MUCH RATHER be alone.
I'm ready to walk away at any time. That's a rule we should all embrace.
it's not good... you can be angry without humiliating or berating your kids. maybe check out this book?
Hugs to you. I'm so sorry.
>I don’t know if I’m still hurt from childhood trauma or from the trauma of how we found out about the divorce. Or, even, the context of how they started dating and how similar it felt to the affairs.
It sounds like many years of trauma, psychological abuse, keeping secrets, etc. Your feelings are totally understandable. It's normal that you feel the way you do, and it's ok to set boundaries that feel right for you. You do not have to see your mom's boyfriend if you don't want to (it sounds like you're old enough that you don't have to be there, yes?). And you can tell your step-dad what really happened so you're not carrying that secret.
>My mom blames me and says I need to get over my hurt that she caused.
This is not ok for your mom to say to you. It's not your fault and you don't have to just "get over it." She's deflecting so she doesn't have to be responsible and accountable for her actions.
Two books I recommend you read:
Adult Children of Emotionally Immature Parents by Lindsay Gibson
and When Parents Cheat by Dr. Ana Nogales
Look them up on the Libby app, you should be able to read them for free there. They'll both be very helpful for you. 💛
I have my moments... There is another path that forked at another comment of mine you responded to if you want to read a headache of a novel. Let's just say it didn't go as well and I kept coming back to my interactions w/ you to restore some faith in humanity and try to regain my center. I try to take the social-karma path of putting into the world that of which I hope to get out, even if my yield is less than my investment w/ the hope that if more people end up putting in towards the better then maybe the better will prevail. It's a naïve notion based on the belief that there is more good in humans than not, but its my way of trying to contribute while remaining sane, so even if I disagree down to a fundamental level with someone I try to take the "Non-violent Communication" approach. Even I get caught up in poor, underhanded and sarcastic language when I forget to give the person on the other end the benefit of the doubt. It really takes work to try and be the better after a life of learning to be snide, sarcastic, cutting and cunning in our language to gain the upper hand when communicating. I still need lots of work, but after nearly 40 years of learning the wrong way, it's going to take awhile to unlearn all the bad ways we were taught to communicate and I owe it to my infant daughter to be better by the time she can talk. [link]
I did have to build up courage. I've gone NC twice. The first time lasted for 5 years and the second time is current, and I feel much more strongly that I will never have a "normal" or healthy relationship with my parent.
In both cases, it helped that I had support. Many people weren't supportive but my mom (who is fortunately not narcissist) and my boyfriend were. My suggestion is to lean on any social support you have who is understanding or to find that online if you don't have any offline.
It has also helped me to read about abusive dynamics and narcissism specifically. One I found really helpful was Adult Children of Emotionally Immature Parents. Another was Why Does He Do That?: Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men.
The first one is more directly relevant to being raised by narcissists. The second is aimed at women dating abusive men but I think it more broadly applies to abuse in general. I only read chapters that seemed relevant to my parent -- including one on parenting. They are both good at helping understand abusive mindsets without excusing it.
Language is polymorphic. What that means is English is highly context sensitive. People say X, but mean Y. It's easy to misunderstand what people mean and misunderstanding from this causes wars, arguments, relationship problems, and most other negative things under the sun.
If you don't know what their needs were when they said that, you're only guessing at what they meant, and you may have misheard what they said too.
I recommend checking out the book Nonviolent Communication. It's a quick read that explains in detail how easy it is to misunderstand others and how to better understand what people are actually mean when they say something. It could massively help you out, and it's a quick read.
I agree, and going one step further, here's a book/audiobook on the subject that might help you as it did to me:
It was assault whether you were drinking or not. I can imagine having a conversation with your foster folks is similar to talking to a child. The church stunts their mental and emotional growth, so you may never get what you need and deserve from them. 🤬😳😢 I’m so sorry. It’s infuriating, I know, to try and raise your parents. Regardless, get some help. There is a free assault-victim group and individual therapy in my town, maybe there is something where you live? Maybe this book might add some light: Adult Children of Emotionally Immature Parents: How to Heal from Distant, Rejecting, or Self-Involved Parents [link]
Hi there - based on what you’ve said about your parents you might find this book helpful: [link]
I grew up in a difficult household with emotionally withdrawn and selfish parents and this book was tremendously helpful to me. My therapist recommended it to me.
Also, a good book to read on the side is Peak which is about maximizing performance in general, but the authors are physical mental agnostic. First though, you need to do the basic shit of learning to sit down and learn something before reading books on optimizing. Grit was fine as well, but I liked it much less.
>im wondering how the hell did i get here? how did i dig myself into this fucked up hole. not even a hole, a radioactive pit.
You didn't. No one ever wakes up one day and thinks, "Oh, it's a good idea if I end up with a complex mental illness."
>my mom & dad always downplayed it, misunderstood me. but no, ive decided to stand up for myself and have realized im actually really really damaged, and there are reasons for it. it's bad. it's severe. i haven't allowed myself to believe that because i feel like i havent been traumatized enough to really have these bad of problems.
>i havent witnessed physical domestic abuse, ive never been physically abused, ive never experienced sexual assault, ive never lived in poverty, ive never been in a war. but i have definitely gone through some bad things. and everyone handles life differently. it starts to wear on you after a while... the psychological stuff. the neglect.
I can relate really well to this. And I have a book that gave me answers and so much validation that I was able to manifest radical acceptance.
Adult Children of Emotionally Immature Parents: How to Heal from Distant, Rejecting, or Self-Involved Parents [link]
Emotional neglect is abuse.
Your mom sounds like a nightmare. I would definitely recommend reading 'Adult Children of Emotionally Immature Parents.'
Thanks for this, the post before about Mann was good too.
I've always liked this book on Stoicism - https://www.amazon.com/Guide-Good-Life-Ancient-Stoic-ebook/dp/B0040JHNQG
There is also Roy Scranton who writes about philosophy and the end of civilization.
May I recommend you get him a copy of this?
It is not one of those awful 'dating tricks' books that treats women so badly, it's the express opposite of that and as someone on the spectrum, I found it hugely useful.
Of course as someone else commented, Meditations by Marcus Aurelius is good.
This book was the one that got me into Stoicism. Irivine does a god job - nice overview and easy read.
I've been reading this book lately, Adult Children of Emotionally Immature Parents, and it has been really eye opening for me
I'm sorry to hear that. This book helped me move on from some of my own childhood trauma: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00TZE87S4/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1
Good luck to you.
its not a art book but its a book on mastering anything. I have an art book recommendation but ive only read through a couple of chapters and ill wait to link that till im done.
If you're a guy, Models: Attract Women Through Honesty by Mark Mason has a very detailed chapter on a porn/masturbation diet. I'm a woman who's never been into porn (weird, I know) so it was an awkward read for me, but useful info nonetheless.
Here's a link to that: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B005EOTH24/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1
I used to go to BDSM clubs because I could get dopamine and human connection without drinking myself into a stupor. The plague made me a bit more sexually conventional, but now I'm double vaxxed, so time for an orgy lol
Hey man, I'm 28. In the last year I've gotten a lot of time to reflect, read and grow. I highly recommend two books that have helped me out a lot with your exact problem:
Models: Attract Women Through Honesty by Mark Manson
No More Mr Nice Guy by Robert Glover
Seriously, I have an otherwise awesome life (career, money, family, friends, etc) but my mental model of the world made me miserable and it prevented me from escalating with women - at all - these books really helped me after reading them slowly and integrating them into my life.
Definitely work on your self-esteem. Girl's don't usually find low self-esteem an attractive trait in a guy. Just keep telling yourself that you are a very handsome guy worthy of a relationship with a fantastic girl.
Please don't get any kind of surgery to improve your appearance. You don't need it and could mess up what you are lucky to have.
Consider reading the book by Mark Manson Models: Attract Women Through Honesty. It could help you. However, ignore the last chapter of the book as it was written before verbal sexual consent became practically required.
Don't beat yourself up because you don't these know these things, your parents have been employing these narcissistic practices all their lives and you are just a kid, you won't know unless someone tells you or you educate yourself.
Maybe try reading this book:
That's actually a great book! My personal suggestion also includes "No more Mr Nice guy "
Lot of overlap between the two.
I really like "A Guide to Good Life", by far the most practical book I've ready about stoicism.
This happens to me when I take a break from writing music. I have to write a couple of short practice songs to get back into it. breaks are a good thing. when Im burnt out from writing music I break for a a couple of weeks to a month; usually I turn my focus to another hobby and when I'm burnt out on that, I switch back to music. Here's a book that will help you get better at drawing or learning a new skill. You can probably find the audio version on amazon too. https://www.amazon.com/Peak-Secrets-New-Science-Expertise-ebook/dp/B011H56MKS/ref=sr_1_2?dchild=1&keywords=peak+in+books&qid=1617925365&sr=8-2
I've gone through this before and it sucks. I ended it and believe it was the right decision, but that's not the case for everyone. There's a really great book (and audiobook) called Attached that talks about the ways our attachment styles influence our relationships. I'm wondering if something like that is happening here. If so, your experience isn't as uncommon as you might think and while it's a sad situation, it's not because of anything you've done wrong. There's also r/attachment_theory, which is probably a solid way to get a basic idea. See if it resonates with you! Best of luck.
Dr. Glover is not the one who uploaded it there. If you feel his book has helped you a lot, show your appreciation by buying a copy and compensating him for his work. The Kindle version is $9.99
You're essentially doing the opposite of what Stoics like Seneca and Aurelius advocate. You're engaging in a form of positive visualization. You're creating an image in your mind of what your life would be like if you weren't engaging in being strong (which, by your definition, seems like a strenuous activity.)
Negatively visualize. Imagine what your life would be like if you weren't even capable of being strong. Imagine if you weren't capable of feeling alone because you had never had the pleasure of company. Imagine if you didn't have the use of your legs to carry you to where you wanted to go at all. Imagine what it would be like breathing through a respiratory because you fucked up your lungs. The more creative you can get, the better.
Imagine if you didn't live well. Imagine if you didn't have the things you did. Negatively. Visualize. It's arguably the most important tenant of the stoic creed. When I don't want to go running in the morning, I imagine what life will be like at the end, when I can't run, and I imagine how much sooner it will come if I don't get up and enjoy the use of my legs.
You don't need stoic advice. You need a stoic philosophy of life. Check out this book if you're interested.
seriously man, you can do it and tbh it's a lot easier than it seems. I smoked for decades before switching to vaping for a few years.
I know it sounds goofy but for real this book really helped me a lot: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01EVMK0H0/ref=dp_kinw_strp_1/145-3944493-9622346
it encourages you to smoke as much as you like as you are reading it so there's no pressure, the idea is you will no longer want to smoke - or want what smoking does to you. It's about cigarettes but vape or any nicotine is the same idea. It isn't doing for you what you think it is.
Also, you look like a fucking tool when you vape, sorry to say it.
You are obsessed with sex, which is "normal" in the sense of it's societal ubiquity -- our societies are sex-obsessed, so kids become sex-obsessed and then huge numbers turn into very frustrated adults.
Honestly, you're not missing out on much. And I can virtually guarantee that in your situation having sex would cause you a lot more suffering. You are not ready. Not even close. And that's PERFECTLY OKAY. You don't need to have sex, you don't even need to masturbate.
But you do need to learn to take care of yourself. That's one of the core duties of your existence. Work on developing yourself and feeling well. Make that your focus. And realize that focusing on sex has been, and will continue to be for the foreseeable future, a massive barrier to your personal development. Don't feed that demon; starve it.
I don't know what a good first step might be, but this is a book that has helped a lot of people, including myself:
Also, check out Dan Savage's work. And maybe reach out to him.
really wishing you well. Take care, and good luck! :)
No problems re the links etc.
I'm in my late 30s now and have worked in many different roles. I am reasonably successful and overall very content.
On a side note, if you want to learn about a good 'life philosophy' (i.e. a good way to live your life to help with overall happiness), I strongly recommend the ancient Greek philosophy of Stoicism. Probably the best introduction to this is "A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy" by William B Irvine. It might sound heady and deep by the title, but it is actually quite an easy read and the principles can be applied to your daily life. :)
With respect to your studies, it is always harder to study something you are not really interested in, and this is where it's important to look at the long-term, not just the next year or two. As I said, these things you learn in school form much of the foundation upon which you will build for the rest of your life.
I know I'm just throwing book recommendations out, but I've found a lot of useful information this way.
A final recommendation (which will help with your view of 'failure') is The 5 Elements of Effective Thinking by Michael Starbird PhD and Edward B. Burger PhD. It's very easy to read and understand, and helps you to think better, all of which will make studying easier. I have the audiobook and I'm on my 3rd listen, as there is so much great content in there!
Again, I wish you all the best. :)
Must feel shitty. Strongly recommend this. It can really help. Take care.
So sorry to hear about this man. I know from experience that a mentally ill family member attempting or committing suicide is dreadful.
I'm currently reading this book [link]
which is really helping me break away from my parents and their insanity. I'd recommend it and also just to echo what others have said. You are not responsible for your parents. You never have been and never will. I'm still working through my lack of parenting and being expected to parent my parents. It isn't fun.
I was recommended this book and am reading it now in hopes it can help. Good luck. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B004C438CW/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1
I haven't used headspace but I assume it's similar. I can only say that this one, the guy's voice is just so good and the way he goes about describing everything really works for me. It feels like one part guided meditation and one part sort of life lessons or something. I guess because he relates whatever that lesson is trying to teach about meditation back to how it's practical in your daily life.
I just got an email that they launched a series on stoicism concepts along with meditation. I'm only halfway through the intro of course still but I think I'll do that stoic one afterwards. I really like stoic concepts.
This book is a very accessible introduction to using stoic concepts in your daily life, written by a philosophy professor. it's a great book, easy read, quite a few laughs in it actually. In case any of that interests you, there's a link to the book.
A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy [link]
I literally went down this train of thought yesterday...upvoted! 🤣 The sequel to the book below is about how to recover from emotionally immature parents. According to the book, intelligence also stalls for emotionally immature people. It's interesting stuff....empowering to understand how this happens.
Yes. Here's the link on Amazon. IMO, most of what's posted here are insights and advice that people can discover for themselves if they read this book and followed the action plan.
watch your inflammation:
Inflammation Predicts Decision-Making Characterized by Impulsivity, Present Focus, and an Inability to Delay Gratification
A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy is a good place to start
Learn to fight. Grappling and striking. Gives your ass the ability to cash checks your mouth writes
Assuming you're a man, No More Mr Nice Guy (Amazon Link) is quite good as well. It has a cheesy tag line but it caters to married men who feel they're doing everything they can to please their partners and nothing seems to be working and they're at their wits end. It's a good book for any guy to read though as much of the advice will apply in the future. It talks a lot about how being selfless is not the best move in a relationship and how this behaviour of trying to fix your marriage by being 'nice' essentially is actually dishonest and destructive to it.
I read this book which pretty much talks about learning new skills. There is definitely something to be said about learning certain skills at a young age. However, the book pretty much says if you put in the effort, learn properly, you can do it. Especially for something like typing.
Been there, done that. Keep logging even when depressed, self-honesty needs to be practiced all the time until it becomes a part of you.
I'm currently experiencing the second week of anxiety so bad I can't sleep more than 2 hours at a time, cry and rage and ruminate on my life wasted to obesity - but I still keep logging, because if I don't, I'm stealing my own future from myself.
Get this and read it, it helps: [link]
Finish reading it even though to a depressed person it might sound like bullshit.
Read this book, it changed my life:
Non-Violent Communication by Marshall Rosenberg
This is a book which I think can help you, No More Mr. Nice Guy
Don't judge this book by it's title. At least read first few chapters to get an idea of what this book is about. (you can pirate it before buying it, DM me if you need a pdf)
This book is not about being a jerk but to become a complete man in yourself.
You don't have to read the entire book, but the following is crucial
If it resonates, then read the rest of the book (which is also very good).
> I looked it up because I was just ghosted by a guy I like, and I started obsessing over it to the point that it just took me over! I reflected like, what in the hell is wrong with me? Why can’t I just let it go?
Yeah, it's a mindfuck. You thought about this person so much that now that they're gone, you're concerned that they walked away with your chance for happiness in life. Your brain has panicked! You put them on a pedestal...etc. The book has coping mechanisms and a framework to objectively describe your situation.
> Honestly, I’ve never considered myself an anxious person, because I don’t get anxious about anything else. But dear god am I anxious attachment in relationships.
Yep. So, the book has things to look for in potential partners. In turn, how do you communicate with them ("I'm anxious. I need intimacy and responsiveness in communication. Can we find a workable solution where everyday, we reserve a time to connect?") and how do you shift (if desired) to a more secure base in dating.
>I feel like now that its clicked for me, I’d like to work on being mindful. Noticing when I’m doing it and reminding myself to relax.
Yes, for anxious types, "skipping a beat", doubting absolutes, etc. are the antidote.
Question: do you have much experience dating? Another resolution is to go on more dates and help realize that the probability that the one you were obsessed with isn't the only one out there with those positive attributes that you liked.
She is afraid you're going to leave her. Get healthy, decide you don't want the super fat girl anymore, and move out. I know you'd think that would inspire her to try it, but clearly she is not ready. Sometimes this is just because people don't think they can. But you know, if you just keep on keeping on, I think that is the best example, and often people suddenly decide to try it after mocking it (have seen this myself).
On the other hand, dude, do not let her disrespect you. Let me tell you as an older woman who has been watching women all my life -- and of course, I am one as well -- most women need a strong man. Let her diss you and she will do it more. Suffer it stoically and before you know it she will despise you and be destroying your life and just horrible to you. If you ever want her to try something to get healthier, let alone if you don't want your marriage to end horribly (and in today's legal climate, that's just a bad scene for men, totally aside from the personal elements), you gotta not put up with that shit.
If you feel like you don't have the right to make that space of respect a hard requirement, please read the book 'No More Mr. Nice Guy' which most men in today's world desperately need, and reconsider, for both your sakes.