martyr to distraction by so many women

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Pavel Pin

Senior Member
Oblonsky said to Levin:

You marry for love. You're a good husband. Children arrive, years depart. And all of a sudden, your wife grows old and tired. And you yourself, you still have
your vigour! And then you find yourself a martyr to distraction by so many women.

What is the meaning of "martyr to distraction"?

Does it mean "martyr who distraction by so many women"

Source: Anna Karenina 2012
  • se16teddy

    Senior Member
    English - England
    It is not translated very clearly. I suppose it means that lots of different women distract your amorous attentions from your wife; and this causes you to suffer (be a martyr).

    I haven't read Anna Karenina for 30 years. Isn't Oblonsky the guy who has multiple affairs with the domestic staff, and who is always in the dog-house because his wife finds out? Tolstoy seems to think that this is somehow preferable to leaving your partner for another member of the aristocratic class, which is what Anna does.
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