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oh making himself a martyr - has anyone come across this?

(31 Posts)
livingonthedge Sun 25-Sep-11 12:24:30

We cospept with all our children - joint decision - if anything more ohs idea than mine. We still often have 5 yr old ds arriving at some point each night.

We argued this morning during which oh shouted that I had "made him sleep on the floor for a year when we had ds". I didn't. He ended up sleeping on the floor because he said that ds kicked too much nd that he would prefer sleeping on the floor to either separate beds or ds in own room. He never had any problem with this though at the time, suggested it himself, refused all my suggestions that me and ds or he slept in bed in dss room (I was bfing and ds fed most of the night). He just kept saying that he was happy on floor as better for back etc (he was working away a lot at the time and slept on the floor then as usually said that the bed was too soft). Now he is claiming that I made him do it.

He has done this with other things - ie insists on eating horrid stale crusts (which I try to throw out for the birds but am told not to so that he can eat them) and then he makes a thing of the fact that I get "nice food whilst he has to eat stale crusts" - often jokingly but pretty constantly and sometimes crossly (but if I threw them out then he'd shout that i was throwing out food that he wanted). When I suggests that he doesn't make these comments then he either says that I'm over reacting or loses it.

Any suggestions?

buzzskillington Sun 25-Sep-11 12:34:54

Sounds a bit like gaslighting.

DontGoCurly Sun 25-Sep-11 12:35:18

Tell him to get off his cross!!!

Call him out on it. Seriously, if he sees you recognise his behaviour he might be embarassed into stopping it. Explain to him what you've said above and don't let him interrupt/change the subject while you're doing it.

He is trying to guilt manipulate you with self pity. Don't buy it, explicity state to him that you can see right through his behaviour. Challenge him and ask him what he expects the outcome to be? Pity? Then explain that far from pity or sympathy all he will get from you is no attention reward.

Grumpla Sun 25-Sep-11 12:35:48

Sounds a lot like being an annoying twat.

buzzskillington Sun 25-Sep-11 12:37:38

grin grumpla

SheCutOffTheirTails Sun 25-Sep-11 12:37:42

+1 Grumpla

Casmama Sun 25-Sep-11 14:15:25

I would just take the piss. Every time he starts I would say, "here comes the martyr" and if he tries to persist "you don't half talk a lot of nonsense sometimes" and then walk off or change the subject. I would guess he persists because you engage with it. It must be bloody annoying though - people who rewrite history always are.

Onemorning Sun 25-Sep-11 17:36:50

My ex was a massive martyr, I used to ask him if his stigmata were hurting.

What you need to do is to question him as soon as he says it.

So, for example - "you made me sleep on the floor for a year."

Really? I made you sleep on the floor? Is that what you are saying? Why do you say that? When did I tell you to sleep on the floor? My recollection is <insert what actually happened>. Is that not what you remember? what do you remember?

And carry on like that. In what way did I make you sleep on the floor.

The crusts.
Same again
You say that I get nice food and make you eat crusts. I'd like you to explain that. When have I said that you must eat crusts? Give me an example.

You need to throw it all back at him, make him justify what he is saying. Make him back it up with evidence. When he can't, then he will learn to stop doing it.


carernotasaint Sun 25-Sep-11 17:50:03

Oh my God my mum does this to my poor dad. He tries to arrange trips away or days out for her birthday and anniversaries etc. She says she doesnt want to go. Then later on she will moan that he never takes her out anywhere and that she doesnt want to be stuck at home all the time. Poor bloke cant win.

eicosapentaenoic Sun 25-Sep-11 17:56:37

Does he like stale crusts? or is this a £ issue that he's martyring himself about?

My DH is similar, needs to grow a pair. I'd prefer him to be a man rather than another child, especially when there's a bit of testosterone needed (no wonder I have a moustache now).

This is fixable as Hecate outlines, reflect back what he's actually saying at once, make him look like a prat in his own eyes, stamp it out now otherwise he may make excuses for himself when bollocks are needed in future, IME, and you'll end up having to do it. Good luck.

LapsedPacifist Sun 25-Sep-11 17:59:18

Mine does this too. I call him on it EVERY TIME. He is now much better than he used to be.

eicosapentaenoic Sun 25-Sep-11 18:04:55

LOL Lapsed wink - see, fixable.

soggy14 Sun 25-Sep-11 18:05:22

I do point it out to him but we then end up rowing or he will not accept it - ie either jokes about how "oh yea you would remember it like that ha ha" and walks off or shouts "how dare you try to say that ..." and then I don't engage/try not to engage so we can't actually discuss it. He will bring it up sometimes in public as well and I can't really try to discuss it then as it is in public.

soggy14 Sun 25-Sep-11 18:06:45

my dh is the same sad

TheProvincialLady Sun 25-Sep-11 18:09:58

Give him something to moan about. Serve up crusts for his dinner. Insist he sleeps on the floor. Tosser.

eslteacher Sun 25-Sep-11 18:11:35

I think I have some martyr tendencies myself (though not to the point of sleeping on the floor or eating stale crusts!), inherited I think from my VERY martyr-like mother . I'm pretty aware of them though, so generally able to keep them in check. I think that I have the urge to play the martyr when I'm unhappy about something but don't know how to express it, or think that I'll sound demanding/selfish if I do. When you do something martyr-like, you KNOW that you can't be accused of being selfish and that you are doing something most people would feel unhappy's sort of like ammunition I guess, for a future confrontation...

So in short, I'd tentatively suggest that maybe your DH is pretty insecure/ a bad communicator? And that maybe the stale crusts etc are a weird reaction to some more fundamental problem he has that he's not addressing?

Also, I think martyrs can become very deluded as to their martyr-like ness and just refuse to see it or acknolwedge it (and I'm basing this on my mother!) It's like...they're doing such concrete martyr-y things in order to try to prove they are not being selfish that when someone suggests its just another form of selfishness it sets of a really fierce reaction of denial or something.

eicosapentaenoic Sun 25-Sep-11 18:12:37

Soggy, could be you are more mature and sensible than him, that can happen.

soggy, are you the OP?

eicosapentaenoic Sun 25-Sep-11 18:16:53

My FIL was good on this. He said 'We'll all be a lot happier on this holiday if we suited ourselves a bit more. What do you actually want to do? Make sure you do it.' And we were.

soggy14 Sun 25-Sep-11 18:21:01

no - am not OP - am multitasking so sent one post (or so I thought smile ) on desktop upstairs and then thought some more and sent second post on laptop diwnstairs - then realised that I'd previewed not posted when I went back upstairs. Do have an identical dh though. Maybe he is two timing me grin


It is bloody annoying when people behave like that. More so when, as you describe, they then turn on you when you ask them to justify their accusations!

You know that he turns it around because he knows he's in the wrong, don't you?

You could always smile and say "I will take your tantrum as your achnowledgement that I am right."

I'm not sure why you can't discuss in public. He doesn't have any problem bringing it up in public (done to put you down? knowing you will take it?) so I don't see any reason why you can't calmly ask him to explain his statement. If he objects to your response then that leads nicely to "but you chose to raise this right now, not me. I am just responding to you."

It really smacks of bullying, tbh. and needs to be challenged.

soggy14 Sun 25-Sep-11 18:36:30

I don't want to discuss it in public as it will make the other party feel awkward. I'm not sure why he does it - he likes to joke around so sometimes I think that it is an easy gag - other times I think that it is more a bullying thing.

Then he's got you, hasn't he? He knows he can stick the boot in - put you down - make you look small - and you'll just take it because you care how it makes others feel whereas he is happy to make you feel small - for the laugh? to make himself look 'big'?

eicosapentaenoic Sun 25-Sep-11 18:57:12

Yeh but... one way or another he looks like a plonker in public doesn't he. People do realise.

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