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What happens when we are lied to?

(25 Posts)
Fourandcounting Mon 10-Feb-14 21:04:54

My dh has a pattern of lying. Nothing that would be a deal breaker, but now I have got so used to it I'm insure what is acceptable.
Does being lied to effect your self esteem. I'm starting to doubt my own feelings. Apart from the lies dh is kind and loving. I find it so difficult to distinguish between the loving thoughtful dh and the dh who lies to me. He lies about money, chatting to girls and anything he thinks will cause any upset or confrontation. The effect of the lies are starting to make me lose my mind. I'm unsure of what the truth is anymore.
Can you learn to accept a liar so that my family are not split up? Dh accepts he lies, but says that he tries to stop and is a good dh in other areas and that should count for something. I feel lost and I think my esteem is going. Why?

HowAboutNo Mon 10-Feb-14 21:07:34

Lying is damaging; it makes you second guess constantly

If he's lying to avoid confrontation, perhaps you can talk through this and make him understand why he needs to be honest

I'm guessing you've already done this though. You shouldn't accept lies, it's no way to live.

He needs to grow up.

Onesleeptillwembley Mon 10-Feb-14 21:14:03

A pattern of lying would absolutely be a deal breaker. No I couldn't accept it. Why on earth should I? I'm worth more than that.

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 10-Feb-14 21:18:49

My view is that liars have no respect for others.

By being deceptive and evasive your DH doesn't respect you. If he lies to avoid confrontation, that makes him immature and cowardly. No matter how kind and loving he appears to be, living with someone you can't trust is deeply stressful because you're always waiting for the next lie. You can't rely on them for anything. That's why you feel like you're losing your mind. It's because you're constantly having to question 'is this real?'

Your DH is even lying when he says he's trying to stop lying.... hmm He doesn't even respect you enough to be honest about it. I don't think any amount of being good in other areas compensates for that at all.

scornedwoman67 Mon 10-Feb-14 21:23:04

I was married for years to a man I used to describe as a person who told 'silly' lies. For example if we were short of money at the end of the month & he was owed expenses, he'd tell me he'd claimed them. Then I'd find all the receipts hidden & realise he'd lied. That's one example of many. I always thought it was harmless if frustrating. Eventually however he committed adultery and I can't begin to describe the web of lies he wove. I finally realised that the lying was a sign that he had no respect for anyone. He routinely lied to everyone if he could get away with it. Eventually I told him I couldn't be bothered to talk to him about anything. I just can't trust a word he says. He's the OW's problem now. And still lies to this day. So never never put up with it.

MeganBacon Mon 10-Feb-14 21:27:13

It will make you doubt your sanity, as you say. It's mind games, no matter how "kindly" he thinks he means it. It steals from you all the clear information you need to make your own decisions and judgements in life. It's a form of disempowerment by stealth, and not kind at all.

Jux Mon 10-Feb-14 21:35:47

He needs to see a counsellor about his fear of confrontation and the way that he deals with it. There will come a time where you no longer believe a word he says, you will be second guessing all the time and double checking. All this is so horribly damaging, and if he continues your relationship will die.

He has to deal with it.

Fourandcounting Mon 10-Feb-14 21:37:09

He is always so upset when he is found out that because I love him I feel sad for him. Things settle down and I am ultimately left with feelings of doubt, suspicion and upset. Not all the time but these feelings creep back off and on until the next lie.
A recent lie is he deleted emails between himself and a younger junior colleague at work from a different dept in case I came across them (he had given open access to his phone in an attempt to be more transparent). The emails were friendly and familiar (not directly inappropriate or overtly flirty but merely they had no reason to email and the tone was quite cringey. By deleting them just makes me feel paranoid. So trivial but these things happen over and over. I'm starting to feel stressed, confused and not have faith in my own feelings.

Jux Mon 10-Feb-14 22:31:46

This is the long term effect, and it is very bad. You are already doubting yourself. Sadly, only he can decide to change it; all you can do is change your own circumstances.

I think you need to tell him that he has to sort this out and if he is not willing to do that then you will know that he doesn't care enough about you and your family to put himself out.

He will continue lieing to you, you know that. You know it will have - is already having - a serious negative effect on you. It will kill your trust in him and in your marriage. It will end your marriage eventually. Is he really willing to sacrifice that for the sake of avoiding short term discomfort?

Counselling is what he needs, and he needs to get it started now.

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 11-Feb-14 05:34:03

"By deleting them just makes me feel paranoid."

Paranoia is the irrational fear of things. Inappropriate e-mails are inappropriate e-mails. You'd be quite right to distrust someone sending them and deleting them. Please stop feeling sad and sorry for him. As the saying goes..... Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me

Lweji Tue 11-Feb-14 06:51:08

The problem is that if he lies that much, is he also lying when he's kind and loving?
Is he putting on an act and will give up at some point?

Clearly the consequences of lying for him haven't been worse than not lying. Why is that?

pregnantpause Tue 11-Feb-14 07:35:55

I think everyone is right re the lies- it betrays a lack of respect and leaves you second.guessing. I also think the example you gave is not trivial. I think that cringey unnecessary emails sent and then purposefully hidden reflects the intent of those emails- if they were completely innocent, if he thought nothing of it, he wouldn't have tried to hide it. Starting as he means to go on IMOsad

sanityawol Tue 11-Feb-14 08:02:14

I was married to a compulsive liar who told little lies about silly things. I have to go to work, so can't post in full but am happy to share details later if anyone wants.

In short, £50k hidden debt, at least two suspected affairs, pretending to go to work when he had been sacked, he was 'seriously ill', his father died (he is still very much alive), I apparently had an affair and left him when he had cancer (only the leaving him bit is true), and he has had at least three testicles removed since we've split. He would also be 'working late' and if I caught him in a lie he would turn it back on me. Plus the age old favourite, if I didn't take him back he would kill himself... he is still in this world 10 years later.

The lies and manipulation are a form of abuse. They make you question your own sanity and doubt everything you think you know. They also escalate in my experience. They are not little white lies along the lines of 'no, your bum doesn't look big in that'. They are designed to deliberately deceive you.

And yes, exH would turn on the waterworks when caught out. This was because he had been caught rather than being sorry for what he had done.

It will gradually drive you mad, and in my case the best thing I ever did for DD and me was to make him leave.

Meerka Tue 11-Feb-14 08:15:22

The relationship is not working for you, no matter how kind and loving he is at other times. Making you doubt your own sanity is a serious matter. Being good in other areas does not wipe out what he is doing.

I would at the least give him an ultimatum that he has to either stop outright or see a counsellor / therapist about this (if that will help), or else the relationship is over. Sorry, that is harsh, but a liar will have you doubting yourself more and more and .. what happens if children come along and he lies to them, as he will? teaching them that adults can't be trusted? As you have learned that he can't be trusted, so they will learn that it's normal behaviour to lie and other people put up with it.

It's a bit concerning that he doesnt even seem to regret his lies and want to change. i've heard of a permanent liar who actually did want to change and very slowly managed it through therapy, but he -wanted- to change. If you husband does, you have a chance. if not, then im afraid you are on a hiding to nothing.

TeenyW123 Tue 11-Feb-14 08:21:13

Also called gaslighting?

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 11-Feb-14 08:35:03

I don't think it's gaslighting here because he's not denying the lies when he gets caught out or accusing the OP of imagining things. He says he's 'sorry', cries a bit, but seems to wait for the dust to settle, shrug his shoulders and carry on in the same vein. It's frustrating and it's disrespectful but it's not gaslighting.

wyrdyBird Tue 11-Feb-14 10:39:32

Casual, serial lying is a much more serious fault than it appears. It can be the tip of the iceberg, concealing other behaviours that threaten relationships, jobs, and finances - as previous posters have said.

If it goes hand in hand with tearful regrets (the pity play), but no serious attempt to tackle the problem, I'd be very wary.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Tue 11-Feb-14 10:58:39

I'm starting to feel stressed, confused and not have faith in my own feelings

At which point, self-preservation should kick in. This is no way to live.

He is always so upset when he is found out that because I love him I feel sad for him

Why not just have done and tell him: do what you like, when you like, with whomever you like, be brazen about it - because you evidently aren't content with just me and all I have to offer, so I'm leaving you to it.

Then if you value yourself you'll get out of this, because every time you say aww, poor DH, he'll just read that as an invitation to carry on.

Fourandcounting Tue 11-Feb-14 12:28:48

We have 4dc. I can't just walk away. He is a good father and is kind and loving to me.
But the lies have destroyed me. He tries to stop and then I discover something he has hidden. I put my faith back in him and then ultimately he will lie again. I don't seem to be recovering from the lies anymore. I used to be so confident and felt do safe with him. Now I feel I am waiting for the next kick in the teeth via a lie. Feel in turmoil.
Think I need to build myself up again.

Fourandcounting Tue 11-Feb-14 12:35:13

He does repeatedly say I'm the only one he wants. Yet seems to get drawn into or look for opportunities for attention from other girls. He says because emails and internet chats are not overtly inappropriate, it is only after he understands how it can be interpreted then panics and lies/covers up.
I then lose faith in anything he tells me and feel as if I'm going mad and double guessing. Ultimately I lose confidence and start to feel really low.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Tue 11-Feb-14 12:39:21

Quite often our Dcs, little ones and for that matter, teens, go through a phase of lying to get themselves out of trouble. It is usually something they grow out of but if caught in a lie they have to know that you still love them but it is unacceptable. It actually complicates matters, The Boy Who Cried Wolf etc.

Now if their DF is using this technique to deflect trouble, to indulge himself, how is that helping them know right from wrong? You may say oh but this is always grown up stuff between me and him, it won't impact on the DCs. Yes it will. The lies start off small as fibs but gradually they become easy currency. How do you know for sure when a traffic jam delays him or 'something comes up at work' and when he's skiving off? It is very confusing when a DC starts noticing what Dad says and what Dad did are different.

Trust between two people in a relationship is so fundamentally important I don't see that being good in other areas really compensates for this aspect.

Have you told him what you told us here?

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 11-Feb-14 12:41:25

Behaving in a way you describe does not make someone kind and loving in the slightest. It makes them sly, untrustworthy and unreliable. 'LTB' is not a response you're ready to consider, clearly, but there have to be consequences to his actions and currently there are none at all. You're the one going out of your wits trying absorb all the hurt while he carries on as normal. Quite unfair.

I think nothing's going to change here until you're prepared to say to him that, if the lies don't stop, he has to step out of the family. The only thing that may shake him out of his lying complacency is the prospect of losing something important. .... then it becomes his choice whether to stop trying to tell the truth and start being honest instead. No consequences, no change.

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 11-Feb-14 12:43:34

" He says because emails and internet chats are not overtly inappropriate, it is only after he understands how it can be interpreted then panics and lies/covers up."

And you believe this pile of horseshit? hmm

AttilaTheMeerkat Tue 11-Feb-14 12:45:27

He is patently not a good father to them if he treats you as their mother this way. He is not kind and loving to you either; that also shows that your own boundaries on what is acceptable now are well awry. He is the root cause of all this and he likes having you around because he knows that you take it and will not as yet leave. He acts like this because he can!.

Infact women in such abusive situations often write the "good father" comment when they themselves can think of NOTHING positive to write about their man.

What do you want to teach your children about relationships, this awful model of one or even perhaps all of them to emulate?. How would you feel if one or perhaps even all of your children ended up in your situation. They learnt that from the two of you after all, you are showing them that on some level this is currently acceptable to you.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Tue 11-Feb-14 12:47:19

That is spot on, this is another 'But he's a wonderful father' scenario.

Put it another way, for all his protestations, why is he is the victim, misunderstood, duped. He will use as his defence, I had no idea where this was leading, I thought it was harmless banter, etc.

He is a grown man, he likes having his head turned, he thinks whatever helps pass the time, he deserves a laugh, etc. And when you call him on it, he looks sheepish, he will tell you he was embarrassed and oh yes, the clincher: he was trying to protect you, save your feelings. BS.

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