Dear Martyr Man,
You will always be the victim, in every situation where someone tries to get close to you. You cannot relate to women as equals. You look for a strong-willed woman, latch on to her, but envy her strength and ability to express herself openly, so you attack her in vicious little ways. Ways so subtle that you can easily and convincingly deny any wrongdoing and make HER look like the crazy one for even suspecting that you are a passive-aggressive game player.
You played similar games with women before, and this was a chief motivator for their anger and "abuse" towards you. If they struck you physically, that was not right,
but when you paint yourself as a martyr, you *always* fail to mention the emotional and psychological abuse you were inflicting on THEM.That's right, Martyr. You are an abuser. You. Poor little cringing, eternally victimized you.
"But abusers scream, yell and hit, and I never do that!" you protest. "I'm not that way at all. I don't have the anger gene. I am completely incapable of anger."
What you are incapable of is the truth. But I am capable of the truth and here it is.
You ARE capable of anger. In fact, you are a very angry person, as your father before you must have also been - he is clearly the one upon whom you have modeled your behavior. Like him, you were too intimidated by other people to express your anger openly, so you nursed your rage in secret and struck out instead in subtle little ways. If you were asked to do something, you made sure you "forgot" repeatedly or did a poor job. You no doubt carry this behavior on in your work and it is the reason most of the other employees don't like you. People tend not to like someone who does not do his share of the work and is sullen and resistant to new ideas. They are probably tired of your constant subterfuge and backstabbing. No doubt you also play the divide-and-conquer game, playing people off against one another.
You haven't said much about your mother, but I'll make a few educated guesses. She was a strong-willed woman who dominated you and your father, and you both resented it, but neither of you ever told her so directly. Neither of you had the courage to assert yourselves openly. So you both "got even" with her by lying, false promises, "forgetting" or otherwise sabotaging things she asked you to do, and/or withholding your attention and love.
Your mother was a model for how you view women today. As I have previously said, you go after women with strong, assertive personalities, because they fit your mother's model and because you admire them for the qualities that you yourself lack. However, you also hate them because they are strong and you are weak. Because you cannot assert yourself openly, you play psychological games designed to break them down, subvert their will, and subtly - invisibly - assert YOUR control.
That's right, Martyr Man. You want control. You are not able to control yourself and so you are controlled by others - but you resent it. So you get a feeling of control by manipulating situations with a deft, invisible hand. You "forget" that a woman asked you to do something. You "forget" NOT to do something she finds hurtful or disrespectful.
You remember to do the things YOU enjoy and want to do, and your friends think you're a great guy - the kind of guy who would do anything for his friends! (Of course you would - your reputation depends on maintaining an appearance of kindness and willingness, and anyone who doesn't know you WELL would say what a nice guy you are - you would do anything to maintain that image).... If she does something you REALLY don't like, such as attempt to leave you, you hint around at suicide and disappear, leaving her to agonize for days over your fate. Really, you're off hanging out with your buddies and drinking and having fun, but she doesn't need to know that, does she?
No doubt she has noticed the fact that after your initial, highly romantic and complimentary approach, you do a complete about-face once she's "hooked" - like Jerkily and Hyde. Once she's in a relationship with you, the kind and gentle and loving courtship behavior ceases, and the passive-aggressive battle begins. First, you begin by slowly and subtly creating distance between you - by spending less time with her every day (always her fault, because of something SHE did...) withholding your attention and affection, making sure she gets the message that your friends, your other interests, EVERYTHING else are more important to you than the person you called the love of your life. When she challenges you about this behavior, you deny it, and make her out to be irrational and crazy for even suspecting it. After all, the success of a passive-aggressive campaign depends on secrecy and camouflage.
You lie easily, leaving out little details like a wife you haven't yet legally severed ties to, and children that you almost never see. You haven't got a divorce, and you won't, because even though you hate your wife, you feel chained to her. You are dependent on her. It's a parasitic relationship.... I haven't the faintest doubt you have cheated on her many times and lied to her many times, and that was the real cause of the attack that so wounded you emotionally. You brought it on yourself, but you won't admit that part.
... Yet, you still cling to this desperate delusion that you are incapable of anger.
That's a lie, Mr. Martyr. One of many.
Lies undermine the trust that is vital to all relationships. But you don't care about that as long as you can feel in control. Even when control comes at the expense of love, and that is sad.
Nobody can get close to you, Martyr Man. You'll let them within a certain distance, but then you are frightened by intimacy and of your will being sublimated to another's because deep down inside you know you are not strong enough to assert your own will openly and directly.... You wither under direct confrontation, but when you are able to operate undetected, you are a cruel and effective bully.
Games You Play:
1. The forgetting game:
You are asked to do something you don't want to do. Instead of saying no, you either "forget" about it or sabotage it so badly that the results are useless. You enjoy the frustration this causes others - this is your sneaky way of asserting yourself and controlling the situation from behind the scenes.
2. The withholding game:
Once in a relationship with someone, you begin to selectively withhold your time and affection. The other person senses this pulling away and asks about it. You deny it. But you let them know, indirectly, that many other things are more important to you than they are - your friends, your work, your opera DVDs. You let them know this by leaving their company to pursue these interests without telling them you are doing so. You enjoy the feeling of being in control, knowing you have falsely promised someone your attention later in the evening and knowing you have no intention of fulfilling that promise. You will "forget" to come back, and enjoy your evening alone knowing you are ruining someone else's. When the person confronts you about this treatment, you will act put out at the suggestion that your actions should live up to your words. You just can't remember to keep your promises!
.... You know full well that thist the way you like your partner to feel - that way she will be more dependent on you, desperate for your attention, and under your control.
3. The lying game:
Lies roll smoothly off your tongue whenever you are confronted about your behavior and/or something you failed to mention about your past, such as being currently married and the father of two children (now that is a big thing to "forget", even if you alienated them so badly that they don't want to spend any time with you any more). Lying by omission is lying, pure and simple. But you didn't lie on purpose, you claim. No, you just forgot, or your emotional pain was so great that you just couldn't bear to tell the truth!
4. The deflecting game:
Partner becoming suspicious of your lies? No matter, just deflect the attention! Change the subject, wander off, or start ruthlessly (and falsely) putting yourself down so that she won't have the heart to be "mean" enough to pursue the matter any further. If she persists, then you play:
5. The martyr game:
This is your favorite game of all. This game allows you to escape responsibility for anything and everything by invoking your status as the most misunderstood, mistreated, helpless and victimized martyr who ever walked the earth. Nobody understands you or your pain! Don't they see that being a victim completely justifies the way you turn around and become a victimizer at will? Nobody could ever suspect poor little abused, tormented you of torpedoing relationships.
Nobody could expect such an innocent little lamb of deliberately causing emotional and psychological damage to others. Why, look at the way he cries and curls up into a helpless little ball when confronted (and when the lying and deflecting games don't work)! He could never harm ANYONE.
.... The Martyr has no pity or compassion for anyone else, since he saves it all for himself.
6. The superior game:
Unlike all the other people on Earth, you're incapable of anger. You're a regular Gandhi, full of kindness and respect for all, and it's such a tragedy that other people feel the need to get angry at you. You'd never push someone's buttons until they responded in anger and then deny any wrongdoing, setting them up to look like the emotional, crazy one. You'd never get satisfaction out of a nasty little game like that, because you're too superior. You're also superior to the rest of the world culturally - nobody is as sensitive and artistic as you, and nobody appreciates your kind of music, or appreciates it at such a lofty level. You especially love to pull this routine after you've seriously pissed somebody off. You respond with calm politeness - calm of course, since you have got the angry/upset reaction you were aiming for - and double-whammy the person by showing them how YOU never get angry because you are too superior a person to be capable of anger. ...
No wonder you're so angry at being unmasked publicly. Your games depend on your victim not knowing what's going on.
You are not interested in confronting your problems or getting any help for them. You'd rather just float through life like a spineless jellyfish, stinging anyone who ventures too near. Your behavior patterns are firmly entrenched and you are too old to change.
I have no doubt you will continue this behavior pattern with the next woman you meet, and you will continue it until you drive her away, too. You like to drive women away - like to get them so fed up that they leave. That feeds your sickness in a number of ways:
it takes the burden of decision-making off of YOU;
* it enables you to play the martyr over being left by this cruel, horrible woman;
* it gets you sympathy from your next prospect.
You like hurting other people and you have no intention of changing.
And don't bother with the "I'm a wonderful sensitive human being who would never cause anyone harm; you've misunderstood me". Oh no. I have not. I have understood you at last.
I understand now how you messed with my mind and made me even fear for my own sanity, how you exploited me emotionally, how you hurt me to the point where I actually felt suicidal. (Dorsky, Campbell, Jacoby, Thomas and YidwithLid's targets all mentioned this, readers!)
..... It's called PROJECTION. It's what YOU would do in such a situation, so you project your own screwed up motives onto others.
For someone who is so wounded, so sensitive, so compassionate, so victimized, so gentle - your letters bristle with anger, threats, and nastiness. I thought you were incapable of such things, Gandhi. And you sure are lacking in any compassion at all for the women you've tormented - you have none for your wife and you have none for me. And no doubt you'll have none for your next victim.
You chose your life, and you choose to be this way. You choose it every day. You could change, and learn to be a person of truth, strength and integrity, but you choose not to. It's easier to sit in your shit and cry about how you are victimized while you are busy victimizing others. This is the life you've chosen. You have chosen to be unhappy, and to inflict unhappiness on others.