"Nice Guy" Personality Trait

United States
September 23, 2008 11:19am CST
I've been doing a lot of self improvement lately for the sake of my relationship and family. My husband and I have had quite a few problems over the past few years, and they seem to be getting better due to my self improvement. Well today I came across this discussion while searching for something in particular. Here is the website... http://www.stevepavlina.com/forums/social-relationships/18863-am-i-sabataging-my-relationship.html I began to read the original post, and felt it described my relationship quite well. I go through the exact same emotions as the woman who posted this. Sometimes I am head over heels in love with my husband, and other times I begin thinking about leaving (although even then I know I'd miss him, and will never find someone as good as he is). So I began reading through the responses in hopes to shed some light on my problem and fix one aspect of my marriage, but immediatly became upset at what I found. The responses describe a "nice guy" attitude, which fits my husband's personality. He is a bit of a doormat with no backbone. He's always been this way. While reading the responses I got the impression that I am not compatable with my husband due to his "nice guy" persona. I do believe this has caused quite a few of our problems in our marriage. I have lost some respect for him because he lets me and everyone else walk all over him. I have occasionally viewed him as weak because of this. Sometimes it just drives me nuts and I feel like I can't be attracted to him due to his lack of self worth and self respect. I don't want to lose my husband, I do love him and know I'll never find a man as good as he is. But I'm afraid my new found knowledge will continue to cause problems. Either we will continue down this path we're on, he will continue to have a low sense of self respect and I will continue to view him as weak. Or I fear that if he works on this and fixes the problem that he will become a different person that may cause a whole new set of problems. This really concerns me, and I'm not sure how I should handle this situation. Should I keep this information to myself, now understanding where this problem comes from, and work around it? Should I tell him of my discovery and work with him to fix this problem, while hopefully avoiding future problems? Does your guy fit this personality trait? Please tell me what you think. Read the website, as it will help to make sense of my situation. http://www.stevepavlina.com/forums/social-relationships/18863-am-i-sabataging-my-relationship.html
2 people like this
4 responses
@Barb42 (4216)
• United States
23 Sep 08
I have mixed emotions about your post. I have never been one to go to the internet for ways to improve my marriage or problems we have. There is just too much 'self-help' out there that can be worse than the problem you already have. I like the idea of a nice guy image myself. My husband is definitely a nice guy, but I don't consider him one that lets people run over him. He stands up for himself and his family, for sure! Your husband sounds like he has a problem with self-esteem which causes him to let people run over him. My granddaughter was having this problem and was letting a former boyfriend take advantage of it and she was about to get into a heap of trouble until her mother, brother, and us took a stand toward this guy which wasn't received too good at first. But, she's realized now what was going on and she's started taking up for herself rather than let someone run over her and try to take advantage. When something happens where you recognize someone is taking advantage of his 'nice guy' persona, do you speak up? I'd suggest that you start joining in and letting your thoughts be known when these things happen. You might have to take charge yourself. Help him build up his self-esteem. Looks like you both love one another from your post. Is it a problem for you that he doesn't stand up to others? Or do you just feel sorry for him? Maybe it is not a problem for him and he's accustomed to this. I know lots of people who just 'turn the other cheek' when met with these sort of things and it doesn't bother them at all. Your husband just seems to be an easy-going fellow from your description.
• United States
23 Sep 08
Problem is, in order to explain it all, I'd need a week and a lot of typing space, lol. Yes, he does have low self esteem, he and I have established this. I also have low self esteem, and neither of us are really sure how to fix it without councelling, and right now time and money for councelling is not in the equation, thus I'm stuck trying to find solutions on the internet, although I'm smart enough to know what help is helpful and what help isn't. I take much of it with a grain of salt unless it really hits home, such as this post did. I've found my best councelling has come from the advice of others, who aren't trained professionals, and from within my own heart and mind if I have the right guidance. Anyways, the problem is, yes, he lets everyone walk all over him, including me. I don't always even realize I'm doing it. When someone else does it, I do speak up and try to get him to stand up for himself. He has come a long way, but still has his weak moments, and sometimes there are instances in life when one must just allow themselves to be walked on, such as when it comes to a job that you love and must have in order to survive. The problem I'm having really is that his lack of self respect is causing me to have less respect for him. I want him to keep all his personality traits, but just be a stronger person and respect himself and not accept other's disrespecting him. There've been times when I have disrespected him, yet he still treats me like gold. Like the post said... I feel like he shouldn't. I feel like he should have thrown me out with the garbage after some of the things I've done and said. So this has of course led to more problems, with me questioning why he stays and whether or not he's being completely honest with himself. I don't know if this is a problem for him, but I feel like it should be. He shouldn't allow others to treat him this way. His being treated like that only makes his self esteem worse, it's like a vicsious circle that really needs to find an end.
1 person likes this
@laglen (19782)
• United States
24 Sep 08
I have a quick idea for you. Start treating him like a warrior. Literally. Have him kill bugs, call him your hero. Point out the things that only he can do. Reward when he is being assertive. You will find that he will start acting the part! It is amazing. If we are told day after day that we are worthless, we start to believe it. If we are told we are rock stars day after day, we become one! Give it a try, it may take a little time. But just try to make atleast one comment every day that implies he is your hero.
• United States
24 Sep 08
Having some self esteem issues myself, I realize that nobody else can fix these problems but me. And it's the same for him. I can tell him whatever I want, but unless he believes it himself, his self esteem will not change. I do tell him positive things sometimes, at least I'm getting better, but he says he has a hard time believing what I say, because he doesn't believe it about himself. It's the same thing for me. He treats me like a goddess, and actually calls me that on a regular basis, but I don't believe a word of it, because I don't feel that way towards myself.
@1grnthmb (2063)
• United States
24 Sep 08
Sometime opposites attract and blend together. Your relationship sounds very much like mine and my wife's. I get the critisim of not having a back bone. But you know. Sometimes it takes more backbone to be accepting and understanding then we are given credit for. I was always a pleaser and wanted to satisfy the person I was with. I am also very patient. But when something that comes up that I feel is important I will not back down. It is just that I feel that pleasing the other person is most the time more important. And I think that is the way that your husband is too. He provides for you and supports you. He loves your children and loves you. Even puts up with your faults without a complaint. Why would you even consider leaving one such as this. This is more important then having someone strong who you will always have to fight with.
• United States
24 Sep 08
Oh no... I have no intentions of leaving my husband, although occasionally the thought does pop into my head, but I know I wouldn't be able to leave him. I just worry about his self esteem and lack of self respect, because for him that is an issue. I want him to be strong and stand up for himself.
@bamakelly (5194)
• United States
23 Sep 08
I think that you might be looking for something that isn't there. I am talking about reading too much into things. There are going to be different ideas and studies on personality traits on significant others and the like all of the time. You can take away from it some kind of knowledge and handle the situation the way that you would like to. I don't think you have anything to worry about. Accept your husband the way that he is. There are always going to be differences between your ways of dealing with things. He might be a nice guy and I wouldn't complain too much. If something is bothering you then it is very healthy in a marriage to have communication with each other so as to avoid any conflicts.