Advanced search

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.

Compulsive/pathological lying

(15 Posts)
bestguess23 Wed 22-Jul-15 00:08:39

My DH has always been a liar- rarely big lies but often small stupid lies to avoid conflict. I am able to tell before he opens his mouth if he is about to lie as I have become attuned to his body language around it. He has aspergers and has had both CBT and psychotherapy which have both looked at his lying. He had got much better but yesterday the signs returned and sure enough he told a small, stupid lie as he knew I wouldn't like what he really did. I now feel at a loss. He has worked so hard to try to change but it doesn't seem to work long term or he just stops doing it. I am 12w pregnant with dc1 so it's not straightforward. We waited 9 years for this baby as I wanted to be sure he had stopped. I know on face value this looks ridiculous, it was a small lie but it's the trust issue. It's not an option to split up for many reasons, I will really need his support with this child and I do love him so much. Has anyone or their dp beaten lying and could share advice? I don't know where to turn now and he is desperate to not go backwards. I know the old adage liars never change but I saw him come so far and for so long, I just don't want him to regress. He is still having psychotherapy bit anything else we should try?

CalleighDoodle Wed 22-Jul-15 00:12:01

My exh would lie about small to huge things to aVoid confrontation, or even conversation. It is no way to live. i wish id have reahed the line sooner.

muchhappierthesedays Wed 22-Jul-15 01:14:44

I'm sorry you're going through this, it's a hellish way to live. I'm afraid in my case it never got better and we split a year ago and he still lies all the time. I feel so much relief that I no longer live with that gut wrenching nerve shredding feeling that is always there. I know that's not what you want to hear and at least your dh has sought help so there is hope, but that never ending fear is exhausting and I would urge you to think about you and your dc long term security and health.

goddessofsmallthings Wed 22-Jul-15 01:53:15

What does he lie about or, to be more precise, in what way does his lying affect you?

If it's the equivalent of 'yes I did put the trash out' when he clearly didn't, you may be able to reach some accomodation whereby you remove conflict/confrontation over his failure to do what he told you he did.

If it's a case of him lying about his appropriation or use of money that was destined to put food on your table, or about engaging in behaviour which could have negative consquences for both or either of you, you're unlikely to be able to refrain from sounding off and compounding patterns of behaviour which were most probably formed in his childhood and which may have been exascerbated by Asperger's.

All that's needed for a liar to change is for them to tell the truth, but few are able to make the transition from habituated bullshitter to honest and upstanding wo/man.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Wed 22-Jul-15 07:07:49

You are trying to keep this marriage afloat but now you are pregnant the stakes are raised. Don't know what to suggest but this sounds exhausting even if you can read him well enough to spot when he's about to lie. It sounds like an old defence mechanism.

bestguess23 Wed 22-Jul-15 16:13:02

That's the frustrating thing, it very rarely is about big things. In the time we have been together it has been about big things about three times but nothing that directly affected me- surrounding his attitude towards his family for example. The rest of the time they are small and really pointless lies about things exactly like whether he put the trash out or if he paid a bill (will say yes and then do if the next day). Money is not an issue we have joint accounts and I can see exactly what he spends. He doesn't do anything to excess, he's teetotal, not a gambler, not abusive etc but tells these hugely frustrating lies. We spoke together to his psychologist today who is referring him for more specialised help. He is distraught that he has gone backwards and is actively seeking help, it's just the timing is terrible. I don't intend going anywhere at the moment, he's a complex chap who is getting help and who I can't imagine my life without. Aside from the lying he is incredible, he has high functioning aspergers so he has already worked a huge amount to successfully lead a normal and fulfilling life with a strong social network, which is a feat in itself. Has anyone ever tried hypnosis, the psychologist suggested it might help as an additional route?

Offred Wed 22-Jul-15 17:17:28

Why is leaving not an option?

Relationships where leaving is not an option are rarely if ever happy ones IMO.

bestguess23 Wed 22-Jul-15 17:31:02

I have a chronic illness and without a second parent it will be very difficult to look after a dc. Although the biggest factor is I don't want to leave. This isn't a dealbreaker for me I am looking for help finding help, not judgement. It is a very happy relationship, I think you'd struggle to find any relationship without issues.

pocketsaviour Wed 22-Jul-15 21:09:38

This sounds very much like my BiL, who also has - we suspect - ASD, but won't seek a diagnosis.

He also does the lying to avoid conflict thing. In his case he was brought up by an alcoholic mother and learned as a child that giving the "wrong" i.e. truthful answer would result in a violent attack.

It's hard for a child to learn that it's right to tell the truth when they aren't rewarded for it, and instead are rewarded for lying.

My sister has basically made her peace with it BUT asks for proof of things like bill payments, and she calls him out on any lie she catches him in.

Your DH sounds much more engaged and aware of his behaviour than my BiL and it sounds like he's engaged with treatment and has made changes up til now, which is somewhat encouraging.

I'm wondering if your pregnancy has thrown him into stress mode a bit and he's reverted to previous behaviour patterns?

I would certainly give hypnosis a go if it's been suggested, it can't harm anything and might work really well.

pocketsaviour Wed 22-Jul-15 21:12:28

Also wanted to add - BiL is a lovely bloke, he really is. He is amazingly kind and generous, loves animals, loves to help people and rarely has a bad word to say about anyone. His lies are never malicious or with the purpose to specifically deceive; they are just annoying in a grown man.

So I fully understand why you don't want to leave. I think a lot of people read "compulsive liar" and assume the person must be a complete bastard.

bestguess23 Wed 22-Jul-15 21:37:47

Pocketsaviour, you have described my DH! His behaviour is also rooted in similar fears from childhood, his mother was very violent and unloving and consequently he hates conflict. It is hugely compounded by his ASD as he just doesn't know how to respond in conflict. It is good to hear from someone who has experience of being around someone similar. He is wonderful and is going through a huge crisis at the moment. We have today lined up additional help through his psychologist and my DH got in touch with a specialist who has researched lying as an aspect of ASD. I think he's going to give hypnosis a go if we can find someone who is reputable. I'm sure we'll get there in the end.

cutekoala Wed 22-Jul-15 21:54:01

My dh is a liar about stupid irrelevant stuff to big things.

I just started a thread actually 'can I give hope to anyone"

You just don't know where you are with a liar.

I a not sure why a psychologist recommend hypnosis - I am a clinical hypnotherapist and wondering what could be achieved the hypo route?? Maybe he just wants to refer him on?

It may not be his 'fault' he is a liar I also think my husband is on some sort of spectrum (I think DS is - to be diagnosed) but it is also not my fault either and do I want to continue to deal with a liar??

in my case no!!

cutekoala Wed 22-Jul-15 21:59:15

Sorry didn't see your post about having chronic illness - you might find that is a result of living with a liar?

You should be the one having hypnosis or is that what you meant?

Did you suffer with your illness before you met him?

bestguess23 Wed 22-Jul-15 22:22:38

My illness predates meeting DH, I was diagnosed at 17 and it has progressed in line with expectation. It is a rare condition so I won't name it but the symptoms are as debilitating as MS and not dissimilar. His psychologist isn't passing him on, he still has at least another 6 sessions but he is being given additional support. I am not sure what the rationale behind hypnosis working or not working in this case, he mentioned something about it as a complement to CBT. Surely clinical hypnosis can be useful in getting to the root of many difficulties? To be honest I think he is willing to give it a try. He's under a great team at a leading Central London Hospital so I do trust them to support him through this.

cutekoala Thu 23-Jul-15 09:32:15

yes hypnosis will definitely help to get to any root causes pretty quickly and it is brilliant when used in conjunction with CBT. Good luck!

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: