I appreciate it. I am doing well considering, it just took me until 27 years of age to realize that what I want and need matters, and that only I can fulfill my needs. I also realized that my mom was never going to change, and was always going to be a net negative in my life - so I had no other option than to cut her out. There was no way I could handle the negativity even in 30 minute increments.
I think I will always struggle with self image and the desire to be a people pleaser, but I am making a shit ton of progress and am headed in the right direction.
This book changed my fricken life
Also finding this website as well which enabled me to understand what exactly is wrong with my mom http://www.narcissisticmother.com/ . To have a proper label/diagnosis/whatever you want to call it helps tremendously because I now understand what is wrong with her, and I can articulate it to others. She's just not some crazy irrational person, she's a narcissist!
How much vitriol and venom you are spitting out on the internet doesn't exactly fit into your description of being a "nice guy". Sounds like you're really pissed off and have a grudge against all women, which I don't know you personally, but I'm willing to bet you show signs of this or act so desperate when you meet women you push them away.
Do yourself a big time favor and order this book . It's only $10 and it will open your eyes big time and help you be more secure in yourself. Your problem isn't women, your problem is you. Which I hope makes you feel relieved, because you can change yourself. You can't change every woman on the planet.
I hope you're sitting down, because this is going to be heavy.
> I saw messages between her female friend about the troubles we were having and that she had never been really sexually attracted to me.. Even mentioned being embarrassed of me at one point..
So, a lot of women do this - they can recognize you as a great life partner, who will be a wonderful husband and father and give her the life she wants, but she's not sexually attracted to you. Many women will try to force it, or fake it until they make it, but it never really clicks. Once she's comfortable enough that you're not going anywhere she'll shut down the sex with you, and either not care, fantasize about others, or actively cheat with men she is attracted to. Don't pat yourself on the back for your ability to make her orgasm, that's almost an entirely separate thing.
What you need from her now, is honest unabashed truth, and a game plan moving forward. Is she attracted to you? You need a real, honest answer. Not something that will make you feel better, or make her look not as bad. If the answer is no, you need to hear that. And if the answer is no (it probably is), then you need to figure out if this is something that can change. Physical features do sometimes matter...is there something you could do in terms of hitting the gym, or changing up your wardrobe? Attitude and demeanor? (the book No More Mr. Nice Guy may be relevant for you...).
If she isn't attracted to you and doesn't think she can ever become attracted to you...then you've got some hard decisions to make regarding how to move forward with this marriage. But you definitely need to know the truth about everything/where you stand before you can start thinking about the way to move forward.
This is the exact book you need that will answer all your questions and give you practical advice: No more Mr Nice Guy. It changed my life.
I’m happy to talk about it after you have read it.
This is the best thing he can read:
I wish I had more of a solution other than saying see a counselor. Counseling can take a while and get expensive, and actually does take a fair bit of effort if you are looking for results, as I have found I have to spend a few hours per week between sessions reflecting on things.
Besides counseling, I have found some books to be most helpful in creating the right framework for a (hopefully) successful relationship in the future. Check out Way of the Superior Man and No More Mr. Nice Guy . From these books I have learned how to set healthy boundaries and maintain an independent life of my own before getting into another relationship.
But you seem to know most of that already.
You can actually use your natural altruism to justify a more realistic and self-concerned approach when you realise that boldness, confidence and assertiveness are gifts you give others not just yourself.
He might ~~want to~~ benefit from reading When I say No I feel Guilty by Manuel Smith and No More Mr. Nice Guy by Robert Glover.
Tell him this.
"SIL gets loud, weepy and dramatic and MIL does the guilt tripping thing and you just want to avoid it completely. But while you're avoiding it, I'm resenting them more and more, to the point where I prefer not to attend family gatherings much anymore or visit their home."
He can't avoid dealing with this. That is, unless he's willing to forgo a genuine relationship with a mate. This isn't him, it's fact. He could do this indefinitely as a single guy, even though it's damaging to his own mental health.
In a committed relationship with you (or any reasonable, grounded adult female), he can't. Doing so breaks your relationship cause it denies the giant, weeping open sore of his dysfunctional (and frankly abusive) parent & sibling. It denies your feelings, which are reality-based.
He can't do this (deny your feelings) & tell you to cope via denial & avoidance without causing fundamental damage to your union.
This is what so many D(amaged)Husbands fail to grasp. His coping mechanism damages him, damages you & allows the sore to fester.
He's no longer a boy. Chronologically, he's an adult. To be a Man, not just a post-teen guy, he has to find his center & stand on his own feet, independent of his toxic mommy & sister.
Counseling / therapy will almost certainly accelerate healing. Until he's ready, see if he'll read When I say No I feel Guilty by Manuel Smith and No More Mr. Nice Guy by Robert Glover.
And /u/madpiratebippy recommends (comments are hers):
Drama of the Gifted Child by Alice Miller.
This was THE BOOK that started to set me free. It's a must read book for people with narc/abusive parents and their partners, in my opinion.
Toxic Parents by Dr. Susan Buck
is a classic about how to see the manipulative patterns from abusive parents and get free of them.
Wolf in Sheep's Clothing by Dr. George Simon.
Man has a PhD in manipulation, and breaks down what the manipulators DO and how to shut it down. He's studied this for 20 years and it's AMAZING.
All five of these recommendations probably cost less than an hour of counseling; certainly less than two. Should he read (and re-read) them all, he WILL be changed (for the better) by a new-to-him understanding of both his toxic family & how to deal with them.
> I am the doormat
Fixing the dead bedroom can be tricky.
But fixing the 'doormat' problem is relatively straightforward. You set boundaries, you enforce them and stop putting up with being treated like a doormat. Read the book .
> she shames me and goes straight on the attack on something else, diverting the attention from her or us to me and my faults
These kinds of tactics only work because you let them work.
She probably uses them exactly because they always worked so well in the past.
> Even pleading for just 10 minutes of intimate time every few days
Don't plead. It's unattractive.
> she just laughed it off
You could learn a thing or two from her. Laugh her off when she tries to shame or blame you. Turn it into a joke. You can get very good with enough practice.
> I have always been there for her financially, emotionally and physically as best I can no matter the cost to me
Mr. Nice Guy alert. Sounds like you put her needs ahead of yours and expect a prize for this.
This is a very unhealthy mindset.
> I am trying to be the best person I can for her
Again, the martyr mentality.
> and sending pics and stuff to and from other guys when she was saying she wasn't also didn't help
This is a red flag. Not because of the possibility of cheating, that's almost secondary. But because it's a clear indication that she has zero respect for you.
Without respect she'll have a very hard time being sexually attracted to you.
> I feel is where our big issues lie - that we don't communicate
She communicates pretty clearly with her actions.
She's not sexually attracted to you and doesn't respect you. She's not afraid of losing you one bit.
Either because she thinks you're too big of a chicken to walk or because she doesn't consider you very valuable.
If she pulled this kind of disrespectful behavior around your second date, would there have been a third date?
> I want each of us to be ourselves, respect each other
You can't beg someone to respect you.
First, you need to respect yourself. And you don't. Not yet.
You need to grow a spine and not let her walk over you. You bend over backwards to please her and avoid conflict at all cost, but that doesn't earn her respect. It does the opposite.
> I expect there will be many many responses like GTFO NOW IDIOT!
I almost always say that. But in your case I'm afraid that with your martyr attitude you'd just replicate your issues in your next relationship.
Fix yourself first.
> I just don't know how so anything a bit more constructive is much appreciated.
Step one: read No More Mr. Nice Guy .
See if you recognize any of the patterns in yourself.