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Lies again???(40 Posts)
I'm new to mumsnet having only posted once before on behalf of a friend of mine worrying about her newborn. This time though I have a worry of my own and wondered if you wise lot could offer me some advice or even just a bit of perspective.
I've been with my new partner just over a year. We live together with my son and his son comes to us every other weekend. He is a wonderful man in many ways and absolutely adores me. My ex had lied and cheated and I had put up with it for years before finally plucking up the courage to make the break. My new partner knows how the lies killed me and how important it is for us to be open with each other and totally honest.
On Wednesday his ex wife called me to discuss some issues we have been having with my partner's boy when he comes to stay with us. We're really lucky in that we are both on amicable terms with our exes and deal with the children together. Something came up in the conversation though which made me suspicious. She seemed to be skirting around some issues to do with the son which I couldn't understand.
The following morning I spoke to my partner about it and he was equally cagey. I can't be too specific for various reasons but I could basically tell he was lying to me. Thanks to my ex I can spot lies a mile off and just knew. I asked him outright and he just lied to my face, denying anything. All day we were in touch whilst at work and he continued to lie, insisting I was being paranoid, called me stupid, how dare I question his integrity, how dare I believe he could be deceitful, texting me things like 'I AM NOT TELLING LIES'.
In the end it transpires he HAD lied. Over and over and over. Despite so many chances he had refused to admit it and actually turned it around to me and was really quite angry with him for dating to disbelieve him. It turns out he had asked his wife not to tell me something regarding their son and when I grew suspicious, asked her to continue lying for him. They were texting all day yesterday discussing how they could cover it up and then he deleted all the offending messages before he came home.
I am absolutely devastated as I believed he would never lie to me. As it happens I totally understand why he didn't want me to know this issue regarding his son-there is a tremendous amount of guilt and shame there, but what I don't understand is all the lies, anger, deflection onto me and the deleting of messages to cover himself further. I saw patterns of what happened with my ex. He denied things just like he did, right up to the point of having no choice but to admit, but even then only admitting the tiny bit that he had to, and still denying the rest.
I don't know where to go from here. Can I trust this man? He sees it as him getting into a mess by lying the first time and seeing no way out. He was so upset last night and has been begging me all day for forgiveness.
Am I right to be devastated or am I overreacting and allowing my issues with my ex husband to cloud my judgement?
Sorry it's long, but any thoughts would be appreciated.
This is very difficult, because although you now say that you understand why he didn't want you to know, would you have accepted it if he had said 'it's about my DS, and I'm sorry but its private and I don't want to share it with you'. What would your reaction have been?
I also think if this is the ONLY lie so far, and you understand why he didn't want you to know this, then I would be more forgiving. This wasn't a lie that would affect you in any negative way. It wasn't a lie that prevented you from knowing something that you had a right to know .
To be honest now it's more how he reacted AFTER the initial lie-asking his ex to continue to cover for him, his real anger with me for daring to disbelieve him, calling me paranoid etc while all along he knew he was lying and it was him in the wrong.
Just so so disappointed. I thought we were so open and honest with each other...
Oh and yes it is the only lie.
One thing's for sure. He's not a 'partner'. You're not part of the family. He's colluded with his ex to hide something from you. He didn't trust you with this information and his reaction to being caught out was, frankly, appalling.
You cannot trust this man. True colours are shining through very brightly....
The strange thing is though that his ex has said to me before he is lots of things (bit of a grouch, bit obsessive about things having their place etc) but that she has never known him to lie.
I'm just heartbroken. Could this really just be a one-off? A case of him being stuck in a lie he couldn't get out of? (I genuinely do see why he wanted to keep this info from me-he was cowardly and stupidly scared of my reaction and petrified it would change my feelings towards him), or do you really think this is who he is?
I think its an insight on who he can be in difficult times, not necessarily an indication of who he is day to day.
Sadly, though, who you are in the difficult times is actually more important than who you are day to day.
You type his real anger with me for daring to disbelieve him, calling me paranoid etc while all along he knew he was lying and it was him in the wrong
He knows your past. He knows what lying means to you. He decided that getting angry with you and calling you paranoid etc was his best option.
Being open and honest with you was not his best option in his opinion.
I would be tempted to sit down and make it clear that was his one and only chance, next time it is over, if you are feeling like you can eventually trust him.
If that is gone (and I don't blame you if it is) then your relationship is done.
Is the lie about something big and important, or is it about something less important?
I think if it wasn't that big of a deal, i would forgive and move on but stress the importance of it never happening again.
I think this is who he is. Defending a kid's reputation is fair enough but you are meant to be his 'partner' of one year, not some casual girlfriend. He didn't trust you to handle this information sensitively and 'scared of my reaction' is a pathetic excuse, I'm sorry. Are you some dreadful ogre that he goes around all cowed and meek?
He blew up at you and called you paranoid, stupid... 'how dare you question my integrity'. That's a big, fat, well-lit window into his real self i.e he'd prefer to accuse you of being mentally incompetent than allow you to challenge his natural superiority. The man is an arse
He ganged up with his ex against you. Cooked up between them how to keep you in the dark. What does that say?
Aren't people entitled to some privacy, especially related to their children? When the ex-wife alluded to something maybe the best thing to do would have been to keep quiet about it and let it unfold naturally over time. Confronting your partner with it trapped him in a corner and he attacked. You put him on the spot. Did he really owe you that information?
He should not be calling you names though.
Do you keep information about your children private from their other parent? They live together, the OP is in the position of de facto stepmother.... what possible reason could there be for her not to know something about the child?
It's so hard to explain without telling you what it is but it is really a very sensitive issue and I truly do understand why he chose not to tell me and actually to keep it from me. What I am struggling with is his behaviour once caught out. Just devastated.
How long has this new bloke been living with you?
He needs to move back out. You shouldn't have moved a stranger in to your home. Now his mask's beginning to slip, he's showing you who he is.
You don't need the hassle.
What's he going to lie about next?
Cos you know he will, AND he'll get nasty with you for spotting it.
This relationship is toast, you have no future together.
I want us to get through this. Am I deluding myself he'll see how hurt I am and never do it again?
Look at it this way. He had some sensitive information about his son that he didn't want to share for (let's assume) valid reasons. He could have handled this in any number of ways that would have maintained the confidence but still treated you with respect. He could have said, for example, 'something has happened involving DS that I can't share with you yet but please trust me to deal with it for now'.... but he didn't. Instead he went straight for plots, secrecy, lies and.... worst of all... aggression when challenged. That's not love or respect.
I think that's what you tell him and, if he gets aggressive about it again, call it a day.
It would be a deal breaker for me (and yes I have a lying ex-H). Not so much the keeping something sensitive about his DS secret (although I totally agree with DIYapprentice that he should have said something like it's about my son, it is a sensitive and private issue and I don't want to discuss it") but I could not ever live with a man who lied repeatedly and abused me calling me paranoid and stupid.
That is not the behaviour of a good man. It was not necessary. It shows how he will behave on issues he deems important enough to lie about in the future (and indeed how he feels entitled to behave to you full stop). You would not see me for dust.
He has shown you what he is really like. Heed the warning.
So was it - for arguments sake comparable to a situation where his son had been diagnosed with some hereditary illness, not life limiting but 'there' iyswim. And may impact his future, but not anyone's immediate present.
You had guessed something was up, asked what was the matter with the son
If your dh had said ' please don't ask about this, it's mine and my sons private matter'
Then that would be fine and you could accept it
It was the fact that he lied, made you out to be unhinged when he could have quite reasonably just said myob.
Yeah, that's bad.
Well kind of, Doc. I could just tell they were both covering for each other. I brought up the subject with him that she'd been cagey about, guessed what it was (correctly), but because he's embarrassed/guilty, he said no, I was wrong. I could tell he was lying so pushed it and then he dug his heels in, saying why didn't I just believe him, how could I think he'd lie etc etc. Then I put two and two together with the things his ex had said and realised he must've asked her not to mention it either and so asked him that too. He said no. Then he just dug his heels in further and when I said 'I know you're lying, I'm not stupid', he said 'well you clearly are because I'm not lying' and then said things like 'your paranoia is ruining us'. Then of course it all came out-he had lied, he had asked her to lie.
But yes, it's what came after the original lie about his son that bothers me. Yuck.
He called you stupid, and said you were paranoid.
Irrespective of the reason, are those acceptable ways to deflect you from something you could see was being concealed?
His behaviour after the lie is so awful and totally overrides the lie, that's a given. It's not okay to lie, but it's worse to try and make you feel stupid and like you're going crazy. Even worse was him bringing what you went through with your ex into it and also shows he knows how to push your buttons and has no qualms about using it against you to get himself out of trouble... that's a huge issue.
The other issue I would have is him thinking its okay to keep something from you. I know you said you understood why he wouldn't want to tell you, but you're a family now. You live together. What happens with the kids, or issues with the kids, can affect you and your child as well. Obviously we don't know what it is and you do, but it's hardly setting the tone that you're all a "team" if he keeps you out of it.
I don't know if I'd LTB as it's the first time (that you know about), but I would certainly tell him there will be no other chances. I suppose it depends how attached you are to him now, and whether you're willing to take a chance or leave now before you get more attached.
"I'd prefer not to say" was a valid answer to your questions but he chose aggressive name calling as a defence strategy and used your understandable anxiety about lying as a weapon to attack you. He also actively asked his Ex to lie to you, thus damaging the relationship with her. Has he sincerely apologised or is he still brazening it out? He has just shown you who he is, listen.
It will be difficult to isolate the incident as this type of behaviour is corrosive, you start questioning yourself even though he is the one who behaved appallingly.
Self doubt is not a strong position, especially in a relatively new relationship phase. It appears that him moving in has more significance to you with regards to the status and depth of your relationship.
This is very serious and the pressure 'to get back on track"
sweep it under the carpet will be immense but the onus is on him to make this right (if that's possible). You're in a relatively new relationship phase and the way you handle this could set the tone for the future of this relationship.
Thank you everyone.
Well there have been lots of tears tonight (on both sides) and lots of anger (on mine). I am just SO cross with him for doing this. Isetan hit the nail on the head talking about the 'corrosive' nature of finding someone had lied. It's in my head now-he is capable of lying to me. Two days ago he was (to me) someone who would simply not do that. Now that's all gone.
He is extremely sorry, is just sitting and taking my anger because he understands totally why I'm angry, and is just begging me to give him another chance to prove he is who I think he is. He's fast asleep while I'm awake and worrying. I'm just really sad.
Thank you all again-you've been great.
Look, this is a new relationship, you haven't got anything concrete that ties you, you owe it to yourself and your ds to have a better man than this in your life.
I don't know exactly how long it took him to move into your home, but with hindsight it was way too soon. You didn't know him.
This is him showing you who he is. A starter too, cos it will happen again, and he will be nasty about it.
How dare he call you 'stupid' and 'paranoid' when you managed to spot something was up. his actions there were the unforgivable bit here, shows a gaping hole in his morals and a nastiness towards you/women.
He needs to move out while you re-evaluate what you want to happen.
If you don't go in this hard now, it'll seem to him that all he has to do is cry a bit, say he didn't mean it (he flipping did) and he'll bamboozle you into STFU and getting on with stuff.
You are the only one who gets to decide what happens next.
He's a liar, and a nasty one. If you give him enough of a shock, he might learn never to lie to you again.
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