Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.
ZOMBIE THREAD ALERT: This thread hasn't been posted on for a while.
DH lies, any advice?(29 Posts)
It's usually just about 1 thing and I don't know if I'm overreacting. We have a regular cycle where I catch him smoking, he apologises for lying about it and says he'll stop, soon after he'll give it up then, without fail, I catch him smoking again within a few weeks/months.
I don't care that he smokes (though money's tight and I resent him spending on cigarettes). I care that he's lying and sneaking about. I feel he's playing the role of a rebellious teenager and cast me as his overbearing mother that he can't talk to. Every time I catch him I lose respect for him and think so much less of the man I married. It makes me think what else is he up to, and I find myself being suspicious of everything he does for weeks. It takes me weeks to start getting back to normal, then I catch him at it again.
We have a toddler and I'm pregnant, if we didn't, I think I'd have asked him to leave this time.
Our relationship is fine otherwise. He's a great father. In the past he has lied about other stuff. A few years ago he ran up a lot of debt gambling but we dealt with that and I have control of the money now so it's not been an issue again. But every time he lies about bloody smoking it brings back all the paranoia about that incident.
Any advice? Should I just let it go and stop caring about the smoking? He seems incapable of growing up and being honest with me so I don't know what else I can do.
He won't give up because you tell you want him to, he must want to give up.
I've smoked on and off for 20 years, I can give up tomorrow if my motivation is high enough my kids showing me pictures of smokers lungs and dead cancer patients isn't even enough until I want to.
Gambling would worry me far more, he's got an addictive personality and that WILL be a problem
You sound very controlling TBH. You need to deal with your own paranoia and stop treating him like a child.
Smoking is an addiction. He cant give up because you want him to - he has to want to give up for his own reasons.
If this is the biggest issue in your relationship, you lead a charmed life Or indeed it's the focus of everything else that is wrong.
I know I can't force him to stop but I do feel like the smoking isn't the main problem- it's the lying about it I can't cope with. He stops of his own free will but after a while he'll start again without telling me, even though I repeatedly say I just want him to be honest about it.
I know the gambling is a big worry too but I honestly don't think he would do that again now we have a family, and I'm on top of the finances so he doesn't have the opportunity.
Oh dear, yeah I thought that too, keep him so busy with four kids he'll have no spare cash and no spare time. I was wrong, they find it when they need to.
You will have holes in your knickers and the kids birthday can be around the corner but his needs will come first.
Maybe I am too controlling. I didn't used to be this way. Every time he lies it seems to have an accumulative effect and I worry more. I just always imaged a good relationship would be an honest one?
I don't think you're being too controlling, aren't you just trying to keep a roof over your child's head and food on the table? His lies have cast you as the parent in your marriage and it's no longer an equal partnership.
Is it time for an ultimatum? Personally, I'd have ended things before now.
If you can't trust your partner there is no relationship.
I would have ended things over the gambling tbh.
I don't think you sound controlling.
I could right your post, although it wasn't gambling, just managed a lot of debt with payday loans, and I he hasn't admitted to the smoking but I know he is doing it.
No advice I'm afraid I just wanted to say people have said your lucky thats the only problem ect. I know how it feels to loose respect and be plunged back to the money days. And it's horrible. Especially when the realtionship is good and they are good fathers.
I understand how you feel 100% and you are emphatically not controlling. He chooses to smoke despite promising not to and, when going back on his own promise, chooses to blame you even though you've said all you want is honesty. Yes, you are being cast in the role of 'Killjoy Authority Figure' and I think that is really problematic in a relationship.... you're the obstacle to be got around and, you're quite right, that's really immature behaviour from a grown man. Secrecy is another really big red flag e.g. the gambling. Without trust, you've got nothing.
I've experienced exactly this situation in my twenties and the 'let's pretend to Cog that we've stopped smoking' cycle eventually became the tip of the iceberg. Debts, drinking behaviour and, eventually, an affair. Looking back, I wish I'd jacked him in at the secret smoking stage... would have saved myself a huge amount of misery.
It's the lying that's the killer. It could be about anything, feeling like the parent to a fibbing school boy is soul-destroying eventually.
You are not controlling, You want an equal relationship where you aren't mummy to your partner and you aren't lied to. Fair enough to me.
That's it NaNa, I don't want to end our relationship over something that seems a small issue when everything else is fine. It's just that I seem able to forgive but not forget and each small issue brings back every other problem we've ever had- especially the financial stuff as that's the main thing I worry about.
I just wish I could get him to understand how destructive any lie is to our relationship (in my opinion anyway). I think he just sees is as a small thing that doesn't really do any harm.
You will only get him to understand when you make the consequences of continuing to lie serious enough to make an impression. When he gambled the money you took over the finances so he hasn't really had to take any responsibility... just pass it all on to you. (Does he accuse you of keeping him short now? Resent you? Wouldn't surprise me.) When he goes back on the smoking promises you're in two minds how serious a problem it really is. You are not prepared to say 'leave' because you are pregnant and you have a toddler.... so there is no downside to any of this.
I think you need to be less forgiving and rather more demanding. A very serious talk, a line in the sand, and a clear statement of how his life will change for the worse if it gets crossed... Then follow through.
Cogito, I think you're right. I think he'd be really shocked if I made him leave over this even though I've said in the past that i won't put up with lies. Maybe I'll show him this thread tonight as I can't seem to get him to take in how I feel when we just talk about it. I feel like it isn't asking too much to have an honest relationship. If he can't be honest he's choosing to break up our family.
Oh, and he's not resentful over the money, he knows he's crap with money and it's for the best. Though it does reinforce my feelings that I'm the responsible partner and he's the carefree, rebellious one which I get irritated by. So fingers crossed there's a chance he'll reform with the lying.
Agree lying is killing, as you can't believe anything, as is being cast as Mummy. I'm not sexually attracted to children personally, so treating me a 'the authority figure whom I my resent' is a guarantee of no respect, no sex.
That's 'may resent', equally 'may treat as Mummy not partner' in any way.
I agree lottie, it does take me weeks to build up trust again and feel in any sort of a mood for intimacy after one of these episodes. Don't think he's noticed any connection though- he probably thinks it's just tiredness from looking after a toddler. Maybe if I explain that he'll have more incentive to change.
RTD - I know where you are coming from. My dh has his problems with alcohol. I became obsessed and controlling with how much he was drinking, even if it was just a glass or two a week I would have the jitters worrying that it was going to creep up again. I know that I can't do anything about his problems, but what I can do is let him know how it makes me feel. I have told him that because of his previous problems (drinking in secret and drinking too much), I am very anxious about his consumption. I also let him know that if he cared about me he will listen to my worries about it and take them into consideration. Luckily for me this approach seems to have worked (combined with therapy for him). I still find myself getting anxious about alcohol, but I try to tell him that I am feeling anxious rather than become obsessive about the amount he is consuming. Perhaps if you tried this approach you might feel better?
It also knocks any desire for him out of me when I feel anxious or let down by him re. alcohol- I've told him this too.
Smoking is an addiction, and when you are stressed it pulls you back. He's not starting again to spite you, he's starting as he feels compelled, or probably tells himself it will just be the one, and then the addiction starts again. Nicotine is a very powerful substance.
I think you need to be supportive of his quit attempts, but unless you are prepared to leave him for being a smoker, checking up on him and berating him for his failure is the wrong way to go. It takes many people 10-15 attempts to quit but they do get there. But it's a bit like if your partner over-eats- constantly checking their weight and controlling the foods they eat is not ok, but encouragement and support is the way to go.
And I would have no hesitation in setting boundaries- no smoking in house/garden, around children or me, so you are not adversely affected by his smoking. But it's not as easy to quit and he's not being deliberately defiant of you like a naughty child, that is your projection of his continuing to be addicted.
Mumsyblouse, I agree it's an addiction and hard to quit, but why lie and sneak about behind my back? I repeatedly tell him the problem is the lies, not the smoking. I'd rather he just continued to smoke than make a show of quitting and then start again and try to keep it a secret from me. I'm not his mum, I'm his partner and he should be honest with me. I can't imagine lying to him about anything on this way. I just find it incredibly frustrating and disrespectful.
Maybe he feels I make too big an issue of the smoking and he wants to avoid the stress. I just see the small lies as a possible indicator of something worse. Maybe he sees my upset over the lies as upset about smoking and I need to get across that I don't care if he smokes (other than the expense)? I have tried to communicate this before but I don't think I'm getting my point across.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.