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post #16 of 32 (permalink) Old 03-15-2017, 06:38 PM
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Re: Stunting your partner's development

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Originally Posted by ThisIsAUserName View Post
Very interesting. I'm interested in this "nice guy" stuff. It's a bit off topic, but I think that whole theory is flawed. It comes down to WHY you're being nice (because it's how you'd like to be treated vs being nice out of fear or childhood trauma) and also how you carry yourself. If you're a stare-at-the-ground-with-hands-in-pockets kind of timid dude, but super polite and kind, yeah I can see why that's not attractive. However if you carry yourself with confidence and have a don't-f***-with-me kind of demeanor, but still are a gentleman, I can't see why that wouldn't be attractive. Anyway, that's wayyyy off topic... I'll find a thread about this and post in there.
Hmm, I don't think it's quite that simple. Have you read the book? This is why I referred to the "nice guy" as defined by the book. There is a strong component of serious psychiatric issues to the "nice guy" beyond the just being too nice mentality that is the average person's (who hasn't been in a relationship with a nice guy) definition of a nice guy. I could never ever ever date a man with this nice guy syndrome again. And I'll be sure to tell my future daughter(s) to stay very far away from them.

We recently had a poster on here who I think was a classic nice guy. Last he was here his name was Mr.StrongMan. Do search his threads so you can get a better idea of what I mean by serious psychiatric issues.

And no, he was not a timid guy at all. On the exterior he was extremely assertive and frank. It was his boldness and persistence that won me over initially.

I agree, I don't want to derail the thread but felt the need to respond.


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post #17 of 32 (permalink) Old 03-15-2017, 07:30 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Stunting your partner's development

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The fact that you wished she would cheat so it would make your decision easier tells me that both of you have some growing up to do.
I said this being somewhat purposefully dramatic, putting across a point. I know better than that. I don't think "growing up" is quite what I need to do here. Of course I don't want her to cheat on me, that would destroy me. It's human nature to feel that anger is easier to deal with than guilt/sorrow.
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post #18 of 32 (permalink) Old 03-15-2017, 07:46 PM
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Re: Stunting your partner's development

So what are the plans moving forward OP? Will you guys get counseling, separate for a while, divorce, figure things out as you go along?
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post #19 of 32 (permalink) Old 03-15-2017, 07:54 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Stunting your partner's development

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So what are the plans moving forward OP? Will you guys get counseling, separate for a while, divorce, figure things out as you go along?
We're going to talk tonight. I think I'm going to suggest we at least postpone the wedding.
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post #20 of 32 (permalink) Old 03-15-2017, 08:00 PM
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Re: Stunting your partner's development

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We're going to talk tonight. I think I'm going to suggest we at least postpone the wedding.
That sounds like a tough but good idea. Good luck with that talk. It sounds like you both care very much for each other so it should be an honest, healthy discussion.
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post #21 of 32 (permalink) Old 03-15-2017, 08:04 PM
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Re: Stunting your partner's development

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Is it partially your fault for acting almost like a parent to this person, that now they can't handle themselves? Never letting them suffer too much from their bad decisions and mistakes, never letting them hit rock bottom, ALWAYS being there for them to the point where they don't instinctively learn and develop because they subconsciously know you will always be there to catch them, support them and guide them to safety? Is it fair to be upset with this person because it's now dragging YOUR life down and holding you back from making strides because they have to play catch-up?
In a word, yes.

She has learned, @ThisIsAUserName. What she learned is that no matter what she does, you will cover up for her and she never, EVER has to experience the consequences of her actions. She has learned this lesson VERY well, and despite the fact that she repeatedly has demonstrated to you that she is not learning by avoiding consequences, you keep covering for her. In effect, YOUR actions tell her "I do not believe you are capable of dealing with your own choices."

So do you want her to mature? This is easy. The most loving thing you can do for her is to ALLOW her to experience the natural consequences of what she chooses. Don't punish her. You aren't her dad. Just have faith in her that she is ABLE to handle whatever comes from what she chooses to do.

Here is an example of a natural consequence. Let's say she is responsible to pay her own cell phone bill. Let's say she overspends and the cell bill comes due and she does not pay it. She ignores it so that it is shut off. She comes to you, crying and saying she has no phone. NATURAL CONSEQUENCE would be "If you do not pay your bill, you lose the service. You are a responsible adult and I believe that you are able to take care of your responsibilities. Please handle this yourself." The end. See? You aren't punishing her more. You are allowing her to learn that every decision has a benefit and a cost. The benefit of overspending is the fun of getting the extra stuff!! The cost of overspending is no cell phone. So .... hmmm.... a couple times of this happening and you not jumping in to save her will result in her figuring out on her own that she'll lose her phone!!

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post #22 of 32 (permalink) Old 03-15-2017, 10:40 PM
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Re: Stunting your partner's development

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Very interesting. I'm interested in this "nice guy" stuff. It's a bit off topic, but I think that whole theory is flawed. It comes down to WHY you're being nice (because it's how you'd like to be treated vs being nice out of fear or childhood trauma) and also how you carry yourself. If you're a stare-at-the-ground-with-hands-in-pockets kind of timid dude, but super polite and kind, yeah I can see why that's not attractive. However if you carry yourself with confidence and have a don't-f***-with-me kind of demeanor, but still are a gentleman, I can't see why that wouldn't be attractive. Anyway, that's wayyyy off topic... I'll find a thread about this and post in there.
"Nice guy" is about the difference between someone who is genuinely kind and generous, and someone who only behaves nicely because they expect something in return.

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Originally Posted by ThisIsAUserName View Post
An entire life. We have all the same friends, we share a car and a home, we are completely involved in each other in every way, which I guess is part of the problem. There is no her or me, it's US. We met when we both just moved to a new area where we knew no one. I was actually completely alone and 20 years old, she filled my world with warmth. We spent every waking minute together for years, and to this day, we spend 90% of our time outside of work together. It simply has worked out that way, and yes, this thread is a CLEAR reason why we should spend a whole lot less time together, but regardless, when you spend that much time with a person, you build a life together. We have so many experiences behind us, so many things we've learned and gone through together, it simply would not make sense for the two of us to marry anyone else in the world.....but, there's this caveat of her development. I've always been motivated and never satisfied, so it doesn't matter how much time I spend with her, I'm always bettering myself. She doesn't work that way. She's more of the complacent type that achieves "good enough" and then gives up, which she is working on.

God I love her.....
So you got together when she was 17 and you were 20? That's not much of an age difference, especially when you factor that boys mature more slowly than girls. I doubt you have 'stunted' her. She may simply be that sort of complacent person, who has reached her own personal peak maturity. I'm sure that is acceptable to many men, but it sounds like you expect her to be more of an ambitious partner rather than a housewife you look after to a certain extent.

Is she getting counselling? I think having a neutral party help her out would be far better than having you guide her. Postpone the wedding until you can figure out if she can develop enough ambition and motivation for you to live with. You're wise to worry about this sort of stuff - having a perpetually immature partner can be recipe for disaster in a marriage. However, it's unwise to take the blame for it; some people are just like that, and it has far more to do with how they were parented.
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post #23 of 32 (permalink) Old 03-16-2017, 08:37 AM
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Re: Stunting your partner's development

If sounds like you've been rescuing her for many years now. Was that aspect of the relationship - you as the older, more capable, man riding to the rescue of the younger, more helpless, little woman - validating or appealing in some way for at least a portion of the relationship? If it wasn't, why did you continue to do it? If it was, what has changed recently that you now find that dynamic objectionable?

I'm just trying to figure out why you would have tolerated, helped to create and foster in fact, a parent-child dynamic if it was something that always bothered you. Or, alternately, if there's someone you are now comparing her to. Someone that has perhaps has left you with a more recent "realization" that the dynamic that once made you feel manly and secure is now a huge problem that she needs to solve.

You'll find that many of the truths we cling to depend greatly upon our own point of view. - Obi Wan Kenobi
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post #24 of 32 (permalink) Old 03-16-2017, 01:22 PM
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Re: Stunting your partner's development

My sister is 40 and like this. Her exH left her 6 years ago. She lived with our parents for a year (with a masters degree but no job.) And then moved out and into a roommate situation. They basically take care of her. I love her, but she will never change. A wise person once told me that "A tiger doesn't change it's stripes." I should remember that statement way more often than I do.

"Always man needs woman for his friend. He needs her clearer vision, her subtler insight, her softer thought, her winged soul, her pure and tender heart. Always woman needs man to be her friend. She needs the vigor of his purpose, the ardor of his will, his calmer judgment, his braver force of action, his reverence and his devotion." ~Mary C. Adams
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post #25 of 32 (permalink) Old 03-16-2017, 06:20 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Stunting your partner's development

Some really great replies here, thank you all.

We had our talk last night, and she was extremely receptive. She's got that deer in the headlights, humbled kind of demeanor to her as of the past week. Everything has come to a head and I can tell she's sort of in a state of shock, especially last night when I said very confidently "I think we should postpone the wedding". She responded with an "OMG NO!" kind of response, and acknowledged that if we postpone it, we aren't rescheduling it. She acknowledged that I was, in so many words, saying that I no longer wanted to marry her. I have to say, I have never seen a jolt of mental clarity pour over her as it did in that moment where we finally hit the absolute peak of this entire struggle. Her marriage was now in blatant jeopardy, it wasn't this far-fetched seemingly impossible outcome anymore, it was real, it was now, and it was in her lap. She now fully acknowledges that she has driven me to the point where I am outwardly ready and willing to leave her ass. She didn't cry, she didn't pout, I'm very proud of her for the way she has been handling this realization, but I still think she's in a sort of shock. I don't want her to feel like she needs to walk on egg shells, but at the same time, I'm glad she's finally seeming to understand the importance of why she needs to grow the hell up, and do it NOW. She told me that the other night in a slightly heated, emotional out-pouring of frustrations, she said I "broke down her ego and showed it to her in a way she's never seen it", and I believe it. She seems humbled in a way, but positively. I never thought standing there and borderline yelling at a person telling them each and every thing that's messed up about them, everything they're doing wrong, how they can be hard to deal with, how they've been making me feel awful for years, and how at this point life would be better without them in it, I never thought the person would come out on the other end of that feeling motivated, positive, and ready to make the changes. Not that it's news to me, but man, this woman must really, really respect me. And I made her say it 1000 times that she needs to make these changes FOR HER before anyone else, I will simply reap the benefits of it.

I can confidently say we're on a good track. I won't count my chickens just yet, but she came up with an idea. I don't know how I feel about it yet, but she said she is willing to go through with the WEDDING, but not sign the papers until I can feel confident in her. That way, if she just can't do it, then guess what, we never got married. I'm on the fence about this, but at least she's working with me. She has also acknowledged there's nothing else she can say to convince me of anything, and that her words hold little value due to her track record, and that only action will speak for her at this point. I mean, come on, I don't think I could have asked for her to take all of this any better. I feel good about it, would you?


To answer some questions:

Quote:
I'm just trying to figure out why you would have tolerated, helped to create and foster in fact, a parent-child dynamic if it was something that always bothered you. Or, alternately, if there's someone you are now comparing her to. Someone that has perhaps has left you with a more recent "realization" that the dynamic that once made you feel manly and secure is now a huge problem that she needs to solve.
Now that I think about it, my father was always (and still is) the kind of man to desire full control and support of his kin, including my mother. She didn't work, so he paid for 100%, he built both of our houses basically from the ground up with his own hands, he will fix your car before you know there was a problem with it, he will buy you anything you need before you know you need it, etc.. I'm thankful that I learned from him on how to be super self-sufficient and how to take care of those dependent on me, because my brother and sister had the other outcome. They don't know how to tie their own shoes and will probably never take the initiative to learn. I never liked, wanted or accepted the handouts, and still don't. Now, when I met her, I already felt like I had the advantage because I already had a career, money, a place, a car, some life experience, some relationship experience, and a general willpower and belief in my own intelligence and abilities. So, needless to say, when I met this sweet 17 year old girl, new in town, was home schooled, no real experience, etc., I felt compelled to take care of her with the assumption that she would eventually learn to fly on her own, because that's how I was brought up, and that's exactly what I did when the time came. This is partially why I refused to move in with her until about 5 or 6 years into the relationship. So no, it wasn't because it made me feel manly, it was simply what I felt I should do, and I guess I didn't fully evaluate how I should throttle my coddling. Check yer Coddle Throttle (tm), you heard it here first. Let me be crystal clear though, I never would have done any of this for her if I didn't feel like she was bringing something huge to my life. She was and still is my best friend in the entire world. She loves me enough to try and understand me, and I'll admit that I'm not your average cat, I confuse A LOT of people. I don't look how I act, I don't act how I think, and I don't think how I look. The fact that she understands me better than anyone in the world and not only gets it, but synergizes with it (mostly..) is worth its weight in gold to me. It's part of why I'm so frustrated because I know that if I give up on her, I'm going to have a hell of a time finding someone who is as good of a fit or better personality wise.

Quote:
"Nice guy" is about the difference between someone who is genuinely kind and generous, and someone who only behaves nicely because they expect something in return.
Great analogy. Good to know I'm not a "nice guy", although I can tell some people assume I have an agenda. The fact is that my confidence stems from solid will power and knowledge that I don't need anything from anyone, so having an agenda or being nice to get something in return would be a disservice to myself and just a plain waste of time.

Quote:
Here is an example of a natural consequence. Let's say she is responsible to pay her own cell phone bill. Let's say she overspends and the cell bill comes due and she does not pay it. She ignores it so that it is shut off. She comes to you, crying and saying she has no phone. NATURAL CONSEQUENCE would be "If you do not pay your bill, you lose the service. You are a responsible adult and I believe that you are able to take care of your responsibilities. Please handle this yourself." The end. See? You aren't punishing her more. You are allowing her to learn that every decision has a benefit and a cost. The benefit of overspending is the fun of getting the extra stuff!! The cost of overspending is no cell phone. So .... hmmm.... a couple times of this happening and you not jumping in to save her will result in her figuring out on her own that she'll lose her phone!!
This actually used to be the case, until I eventually got frustrated with the fact that her phone was constantly turned off and I would have a hellish time trying to coordinate with her, and the fact that if we combined cell phone plans it would cost the both of us significantly less money AND it would be affordable enough for her to keep her phone on AND we'd get new phones out of it (we had horrible POS flip phones at the time), AND I found an absolute killer deal with a new company, so going forward with that was a no-brainer. I don't think I ever had to pay her bill after that, but I'm not sure the lesson was learned.



I need to stop typing for now. Thank you all again for your replies.


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post #26 of 32 (permalink) Old 03-16-2017, 06:33 PM
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Re: Stunting your partner's development

This isn't partially your fault it's all on you. You set this dynamic up and this is the relationship she agreed to. I don't know that this can ever be changed between the two of you
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post #27 of 32 (permalink) Old 03-16-2017, 06:38 PM
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Re: Stunting your partner's development

Also this is a terrible plan to have the wedding but not sign. Depending on the jurisdiction that could still make you common law married and still have to go to civil court to get it desolved. Check your local area before agreeing to that
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post #28 of 32 (permalink) Old 03-16-2017, 08:12 PM
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Re: Stunting your partner's development

Why are you telling a 30-year-old to wash her hands? I can't imagine telling anyone much past the age of 6 or 7 to wash their hands.

Honestly, you sound a bit controlling and perhaps OCD. This is a very unhealthy dynamic of your own making.

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post #29 of 32 (permalink) Old 03-17-2017, 10:44 AM
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Re: Stunting your partner's development

This is a very interesting thread.

The young man that started the thread seems open and invloved. I think he needs a lot of introspection.

In the past it was the rule rather than the exception for people to get married at a much earlier age than seems to be the case today. A young woman lived under her
parents care, in their house until the day she married. The young marrieds made a life together. Ignorance of what it takes to make a life was a part of that entire
concept.

Growing up is not a doorway you walk through, it is more like a hallway you walk down. At 75 years old parts of me are still not grown up. The young man seems in
a hurry to grow up and the young lady is described as taking her time growing up. I find nothing wrong with either position.

I'm glad the young man described his father a bit. It was going to be something that I brought up. As a father of 3 sons all of whom are married I was wondering to myself what advice I might give my sons had they come to me with such a dilemma. Of course I would have met their prospective choices by then and using my intuition I would know something of the character of the girl. BTW: I remember meeting each of their wives the first time and immediately was able to understand their attraction to them, beautiful young women with shinning good spirits kind of standout.

She too has family and you can learn a lot about who she is by even the most cursory observations of family. Good families tend to be supportive and helpful. The
"safety net" as was talked about preferably should be the job of the family. As time passes each individual will by nature develop a role in their marriage.

There insufficient information presented to make definitive conclusions about this couple. The information presented is from one party. The questions are many.

Using only what is presented the only thing I can sense is the the young man wants to end the relationship and is looking for a justification. He wants to be considered a "good guy" who did his best but could not raise his intended to a level that he was comfortable with. He must feel the relationship is inequitable. There is nothing wrong with that. In fact it is a kindness to come to that conclusion now rather than later.

Personal experience: I have a son that meet his wife of 27 years when they were in high school. They never dated anyone else. At one point early in their dating they chose to be apart and date others. That lasted a week. Conclusion: If it is meant to be nothing will stop it, if it is not meant to be anything will.
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post #30 of 32 (permalink) Old 03-17-2017, 12:46 PM
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Re: Stunting your partner's development

This,
Your intro - below - was a dead giveaway. Because your threads - in sum - paint a clear picture.

First, I think it's important to acknowledge that no one else can help you determine how much of your partners dysfunction is solely driven by her internal makeup, and how much of it is caused by the dynamic between you two. We simply won't be able to answer that question for you.

Where we might be useful, is in helping you see yourself more clearly.

You self describe (and it comes across as entirely credible) as being disciplined, mature, rational and ambitious. And that seems an accurate self assessment EXCEPT where this relationship is concerned.

You claim to deeply love your partner and yet consistently describe her with thinly veiled contempt. She has no career or fitness goals. In fact, she's headed in a downward trajectory where work and weight are concerned. Despite claiming to be very upset and angry about her behavior, you are in the process of marrying her.

Your toxic contribution is simultaneously telling her you deeply love her - via marriage talk etc. - while in parallel telling her that you don't respect her and that a guy (like you) who has his act together - deserves better.

And that profound conflict - simultaneously feeling love and contempt - is why you are chronically unhappy.

And the way you oscillate between love and contempt - confuses and hurts her.


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Originally Posted by ThisIsAUserName View Post
Ok, I'm purposefully not going to be long-winded. I've posted here before, so go ahead and get some back story if you must, but it shouldn't be necessary. I'm more curious of the answers from people who don't know any further details.

Say you met a partner when they weren't even a legal adult yet (you weren't much older, but an adult). The person has a million qualities you love. At the same time, as a 17 year old, there are things about them that are under-developed due to lack of life experience, but you figure it's safe to assume they'll grow, learn, and figure adult life out, just as any other reasonable growing young adult would...just as you did yourself, and continue to do. As their devoted partner, you do everything you can to help them, guide them, support them, be a safety net for them, be understanding when they fail, help them onto their feet, all the things a person who loves another person would and should do. As the slightly older and more experienced one, as the one with the good job, savings, a good outlook on life and good track record so far, you understand that majority of the helping that goes on between the two of you is going to be you helping them, and you're mostly OK with that.

Fast forward 10 years. Now this person you fell in love with is almost 30 and you've had a glowing relationship with one and other, you're madly in love, more than you ever dreamed possible. However, over the years they have failed time and time and time again, constantly looking to you for the bail out, constantly depending on your safety net, and worst of all, not learning from their own mistakes and experiences, no matter what the specifics are. What's even worse, is that you observe them making obvious mistakes and watching them suffer as a result (not to mention having to deal with the consequences of their mistakes yourself because you share a life together), and when you offer advice, they agree, but then don't act on the advice, and low and behold, they make the same mistakes again, suffer again, lather rinse repeat.


Is it partially your fault for acting almost like a parent to this person, that now they can't handle themselves? Never letting them suffer too much from their bad decisions and mistakes, never letting them hit rock bottom, ALWAYS being there for them to the point where they don't instinctively learn and develop because they subconsciously know you will always be there to catch them, support them and guide them to safety? Is it fair to be upset with this person because it's now dragging YOUR life down and holding you back from making strides because they have to play catch-up?

Thank you.
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