I did everything I could to make her happy. I tried to solve her problems. I tried to be a good father to her children. I tried to be a better man than the other men in her past. I tried to be the best lover she had ever had. I put her needs ahead of mine.
In spite of everything I did for her, it never seemed enough. I could never seem to make her happy. She was frequently moody and would lash out at me, seemingly without provocation. Our sex life sucked.
My resentment grew, but I kept it all inside. I just kept trying harder to do whatever it would take to make her happy and get her to give me the love, appreciation, and sex I so deeply desired.
When it became apparent that our relationship wasn’t working well for either of us, I decided (actually, she gave me an ultimatum, “Go to counseling or I’m leaving.”) to join a men’s group and get some counseling.
I slowly began to see how my “Nice Guy” behavior was not only not getting me what I wanted in my relationship, it was actually doing great damage. I began to learn about things like boundaries, self-care, self-soothing, and honesty.
I came to realize that the road map I had been using my entire life was extremely flawed and incapable of helping me get what I wanted. It was like I was trying to navigate my away around Seattle with a map of San Francisco. I was sure the map was accurate, but no matter how hard I tried, it never got me to my desired destination.
As my personal awareness increased, an interesting thing happened. I began to notice other men who seemed to be a lot like me.
I could finish their sentences for them.
Then there were the single guys. The guys who either couldn’t get a date or who were deeply entrenched in the friend zone with the women they desired. These guys helped out and listened to women talk about their problems. They patiently waited, hoping the women they desired would quit lamenting over “jerks” and wake up to see what great men they were. Only to hear something like, “You’re such a great guy. You’ll make some lucky woman very happy some day.”
Over time I came to see, that like me, the road map of these passively pleasing men unconsciously influenced every area of their lives.
A Nice Guy’s primary goal is to make other people happy.
Nice Guys are dependent on external validation and avoid conflict like the plague.
Nice Guys are guided by the following three “covert contracts:
If I am a good guy, then everyone will love me and like me (and people I desire will desire me).
If I meet other people’s needs without them having to ask, then they will meet my needs without me having to ask.
If I do everything right, then I will have a smooth, problem-free life.
These covert contracts operate at an unconscious level. They don’t work for a number of reasons, but Nice Guys are convinced they should.
Because most Nice Guys believe they have kept their side of the contract, they often feel helpless and resentful when other people (and the world) don’t keep their side of the contract.
He is the relative who lets his wife run the show.
He is the friend who will do anything for anybody, but whose own life seems to be in shambles.
He is the guy who frustrates his wife because he is so afraid of conflict that nothing ever gets resolved.
He is the boss who tells one person what they want to hear, then reverses himself to please someone else.
He is the man who lets people walk all over him because he doesn't want to rock the boat.
He is the dependable guy at work who will never say “no,” but would never tell anyone if they were imposing on him.
He is the man whose life seems so under control, until BOOM, one day he does something to destroy it all.
Nice guys seek the approval of others.
Nice guys try to hide their perceived flaws and mistakes.
Nice guys put other people's needs and wants before their own.
Nice guys sacrifice their personal power and often play the role of a victim.
Nice guys tend to be disconnected from other men and from their own masculine energy.
Nice guys co-create relationships that are less than satisfying.
Nice guys create situations in which they do not have very much good sex.
Nice guys frequently fail to live up to their full potential.
One of my favorite mantras is “What one man can do, another man can do.” I sincerely believe it. If one man can confront and overcome his Nice Guy issues and get what he wants in love, sex, and life, so can you.
I know the way. Through trial and error, I have found a more accurate road map. I’ve shared it with thousands of recovering Nice Guys, and I’ll share it with you.Since beginning my own recovery from the Nice Guy Syndrome, I have worked with thousands of Nice Guys. I have led up to five No More Mr. Nice Guy groups a week, lead seminars and workshops all over the world, taught online classes, and wrote the book, No More Mr. Nice Guy (Running Press, 2003).
I “get” Nice Guys. I understand what it takes to break free from the Nice Guy Syndrome -- because I am a recovering Nice Guy.
Now, twenty plus years after first beginning my journey of exploration, I can attest that there is hope and recovery from the Nice Guy Syndrome. I have a great life. I love my job. I split my year between Seattle, WA and Puerto Vallarta, MX. I have a great relationship. I have good friends. I am enjoying success as an entrepreneur. I am changing the world.
I have had the privilege of being part of the recovery process with thousands of Nice Guys. I’ve received the thanks of countless wives. I’ve watched single guys find the love they desired. I’ve seen men live up to their potential in their work and careers.
Are you ready to put your intention into action and start getting what you want in love, sex, and life?
If so, let’s get started.
Seven years in the making, No More Mr. Nice Guy is based on my own recovery from the Nice Guy Syndrome as well as my work with countless recovering Nice Guys.
Since its publication, No More Mr. Nice Guy has helped thousands of men and women break free from the Nice Guy syndrome and start getting what they want in love, sex, and life.
Get the support you need to break free from the Nice Guy Syndrome.
Forum threads include: Relationships, Dating, Addiction, Fathers, Men in their 20s, Middle age, Gay issues, Partners of Nice Guys.
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