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Why would he do this? Is it me?

(10 Posts)
BBCNewsRave Mon 16-Jan-17 17:25:26

Ok, firstly this is about an ex so in a way I should just forget it, but...
My ex used to seem annoyed whan I remembered stuff, or expected him to remember stuff. In particular, I'd remember things he said abut his childhood or life before I knew him, sort of building up a picture of him in my mind, and this really annoyed him. One thing in particular is sticking out, which is where he'd mentioned that he had an aversion to xyz thing, and recounted a story involving xyz thing as a child, as if in explanation. I tucked this away for future reference/to bear in mind. But then, on another occasion some months later, he seemed happy with xyz thing, and I was like "Huh? I thought you said...." and he was really cross. He said that was the problem with me, I always "read too much into things". It weirdly led to a blazing row.

Now, years ago I had another ex who he (initially inexplicably) reminded me of (which was a large part of why I left). And it was something to do with this thing of things not adding up, as well as them apparently having a poorer memory than me. So with long-ago ex, he was over a decade older than me, and had travelled a lot. But he didn't seem to like me asking questions and couldn't seem to remember even his rough age at the time of different trips. He said it was harder to remember as you got older, fair enough. But now I'm his age and have also travelled a fair bit and I could tell you when and bore you in great detail with tales if you were so inclined. It turned out he had exaggerated a bit (pointlessly), and also daily stuff didn't add up because he was an abusive fuckwit who was cheating on me regularly. But so much of it was pointless lies!

And that seems to be the case with more recent ex. (Who also, interestingly, did the "when you get older you forget" thing - also older but less age gap). It was pointless for him to lie about xyz thing, it didn't appear to be advantageous to him to lie. Also, most stuff that didnt add up with him was vaguer, more like I couldn't get a clear mental picture of who he was.

I suppose I'm wondering how much is them and how much is me. Do I have a freakishly good memory? I think I might do because I can think of a couple of occasions where (nice, non-abusive) people have mentioned this - one in surprise years ago, and one where they were pleased I'd remembered something difficult was going on for them (they knew in advance it would happen). I also wonder if it's weird to want to have a sort of mental picture of someone, where what they do and stuff they say about their past (even if you have to read between the lines) sort of all slots togther coherantly as you get to know them.

I know I am weird on one thing, and that's when something interesting/exciting happens I like to know all the details so I can clearly picture the scene in my head. I dont actually quiz people (although may are happy to go into detail) but I'm wondering if this might imply I have a weird need in general to know rough timelines and stuff that other people just don't care about (with a partner Id love to have a detailed timeline of their life but would never actually ask! But just knowing if they lived in South America for a year when they were 20 or 25 doesn't seem too much? Unless we're in our 80s I guess - but I'm 31!).

Sorry it's weird but I'm trying to learn to distinguish red flags from my own weirdness. blush

Walkacrossthesand Mon 16-Jan-17 17:38:01

I think some people have a better 'chronometer' than others, so can remember better when things happened; I can remember when things happened if there's something else to hang them on, but otherwise I may struggle to place events precisely. That being the case, I don't get arsey if someone remembers better than me - but I'm not making stuff up, so there's no feeling of being 'caught out'. You're not weird, but the people you're talking about, aren't used to having the bollicks they spout, challenged by someone with a good memory. That is all smile

Naicehamshop Mon 16-Jan-17 17:46:14

I don't think you are weird, but I have a couple of friends who also have extremely good memories who are a bit inclined to either remember things that I've done (but now forgotten), or to say things like "Oh, I thought you said you didn't like that?" or similar. To be honest, it's bloody annoying!!

I find myself saying "yes, I did think that 20 years ago, but now I'VE CHANGED MY MIND, OK??!!

Very irritating!

Gooseygoosey12345 Mon 16-Jan-17 18:08:19

I think your exes were weird tbh, they definitely got annoyed getting caught in their lies!
But on the other hand I've travelled a lot but I couldn't tell you which year I went where and I'm only mid twenties. I'm just really useless with timelines.
I don't think it's strange to like to know things about people's lives, it's nice to have friends who know you that deeply and care enough to find out.

understandnothing Mon 16-Jan-17 18:20:31

I have a strong sense of chronology too and that definitely pissed my ex off because I knew he was lying about something straight away (dates were out by years).

I also have a strong sense of wanting or being reassured by details. This example is a bit morbid but when my friend died I was told who found her and as that person, by chance knew her, it was a detail I was glad to get. However I got very upset for a long time just by imagining her colleagues waiting for her to arrive at work, which never as she died on the way. I hope that makes sense.

Conversely although I have a very good memory there is lots I don't remember and when I am with people who are reminiscing I get frustrated if I can't remember what they are on about. So selective memory I guess?

BBCNewsRave Mon 16-Jan-17 20:48:34

Walk You're not weird, but the people you're talking about, aren't used to having the bollicks they spout, challenged by someone with a good memory.

Perhaps I should be a spy or interrogate people! <shines light in face>

Naice I totally understand mind changes! Especially over years.
But this was something like eg. if he'd said he was terrified of dogs, wouldn't go near them, recounts a story about being bitten by a dog as a small child... and then one day I find him cosied up on the sofa with a dog. I'd accept "ah but this dog is different, don't know why, haha", but not a total denial of ever claiming to be afraid of dogs and telling the bitten by a dog story.
I mean, why would you do that? What is there to gain? (Ok maybe in the dog example there would be, but not in the real life thing! It was so pointless!)

goosey That's interesting re. forgetting where/when. So I guess it's not standard to remember certain things then.
Although the guy in question said stuff like "I was living in Peru for two years" and I'd want to know why, was he working/doing voluntary work, etc. (being interested in it myself) and it turned out he meant he'd been bumming around smoking weed a lot for 8 months... It was mainly the present day stuff that didn't quite add up that bothered me though.

understand I'm sorry to hear about your friend. I know exactly what you mean though.

ThirdThoughts Mon 16-Jan-17 21:48:23

I'm rubbish with dates and years etc.

Less personally, I think I'd quite like a visual timeline of history so I can better place events and know 'Oh that's when x was happening elsewhere'. My DH has a good memory for this kind of thing and is into history, and I was baffled at his ability to connect events and just know how things fitted together. I think he must have a mental picture/filing system, organised by date and uses the year dates to orientate himself. Whereas to me years/dates (even names etc) just aren't sticky in my head. I'd need some kind of illustrated timeline to visualise how different events connected together.

On a personal level, he can always tell how many years we have lived at an address, or the year we went on a trip.

So yes, I think you do have a good memory for some things that other people don't. However, things like the dog example, are odd, most folk would not forget a fear of something like that, especially if it came with the story of a traumatic event, unless they made it up in the first place (to put you off getting a dog or getting out of doing some dog related chore? like looking after a neighbours pet?) I think your memory and trust in it meant you were better at remembering someone who was lying being inconsistent, which pissed them off!

ThirdThoughts Mon 16-Jan-17 21:56:08

I think my mental picture of people is particularly poor, you know on programmes with a slow elimination like Strictly and the Apprentice, I find it hard to remember details of the remaining individuals week to week until they are down to a handful of contestants. I might notice one character or two and follow their progress a little, but the rest are fairly shadowy until repetition or really low numbers helps me decipher them. I think other people who are better at remembering names would mentally file the interesting bits by the person's name (or maybe by their face), so the next time they are mentioned they remember what they've done.

Gooseygoosey12345 Tue 17-Jan-17 08:43:53

^That's interesting re. forgetting where/when. So I guess it's not standard to remember certain things then.
Although the guy in question said stuff like "I was living in Peru for two years" and I'd want to know why, was he working/doing voluntary work, etc. (being interested in it myself) and it turned out he meant he'd been bumming around smoking weed a lot for 8 months... It was mainly the present day stuff that didn't quite add up that bothered me though.^

Yeah that's definitely weirdconfused I could tell you how long I went for, what I did, who else was there etc. Just get confused with which year it was! I could work it out though if I sat down and thought about it!

Zaphodsotherhead Tue 17-Jan-17 08:54:59

I was with a much younger guy for a few years, and he asked me how much I earned in my first job. I told him I hadn't got a clue (it was nearly 40 years ago, fgs!) and a minor row ensued, where he said that he remembered exactly how much he got paid in his first job (10 years ago for him) and would always remember. I told him he'd probably forget in time but he maintained he wouldn't, ever.

My current OH can remember the numberplate of every car he's ever owned and what songs were in the charts when and who sang them. He can't remember anything he learned at school, doesn't even know what the English Civil War was, etc etc. So people tend to remember things that are important to them. And maybe that importance changes as you go along? But I don't think you are weird, OP, in the slightest.

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