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.

Is husband a compulsive liar?

(31 Posts)
freakingoutbigtime Mon 15-Aug-16 07:42:50

Ok so I NC for this post.
I am really worried that my husband cannot stop himself from lying to me. I am completely losing my trust in him. They aren't huge life destroying lies they are stupid and relatively small lies. The true version might warrant a little comment or a small tiff even but nothing severe enough to warrant lying all the time to avoid these little arguments.

An example: this morning he got up with our 2 year old at 6 while I stayed upstairs to try and resettle our 5mo. It totally didn't work and I came downstairs at about 7 to find him lying on the couch snoozing (yeah I know I have talked to him about it but let's not go there now) I asked if he wanted breakfast and had DD1 had breakfast. He said she'd had a slice of toast which she has barely touched so he threw in the bin. I went into kitchen to make breakfast for us and saw that the bread wasn't even open and no plate. I asked him if it was a lie about the toast and he said no. I told him the bread wasn't even open so it must be and he just looked at me, didn't reply and we have been in silence ever since. Obvs I have fed the kids. I've previously pulled him on this kind of stuff and said it needs to stop but it's fallen on deaf ears.

Can anyone offer advice on dealing with lying for no apparent reason? Im not planning on LTB so that's not a suggestion I'd like to hear. Thanks ladies. R

anyname123 Mon 15-Aug-16 07:47:54

No advice, seems like an arsehole of a man though. Your child could have gone hungry as a result. This would really piss me off and I'd probably throw the toaster at him. Sure someone will have some helpful advice in a minute

freakingoutbigtime Mon 15-Aug-16 07:53:35

I know I'm not extolling his virtues right now but he's actually almost always a cracking dad and dotes on the girls. But anyway.

I'm really annoyed about the fact that she would've gone without breakfast if it were up to him and about the lies.

I really just would love to hear from anyone who has managed to recover trust in a marriage. Right now I'm suspecting pretty much everything he says is a lie.

Joysmum Mon 15-Aug-16 08:00:26

I'd ask how it makes him feel that his lie this morning would have meant his DD daughter went hungry, then be silent and wait for him to speak.

Then ask him how he thinks it makes you feel that you're continually discovering such trivial lies.

Make it plain that if you can't trust him with the truth on the little things, it's totally undermining your faith in him and you're struggling as a result.

Cabrinha Mon 15-Aug-16 08:08:58

That sounds exhausting.

I would have another go at explaining to him just how much damage it is doing to your feelings for him - and ask him again why he does it.

Then I would pull him up on every single lie.

I would also keep a diary of those, so that if further down the line he hasn't stopped and you end up insisting he gets professional help (or he even decides to himself?) you can show a very clear picture. Because you'll forget, and then in counselling (for his lying, or your relationship) it'll become a vague "well he lies about small things a lot".

You can't ignore it. By lying to you, he is treating you with contempt. Contempt in a marriage is pretty likely to become fatal to it.

bluecashmere Mon 15-Aug-16 08:09:24

Has he always done this? How frequently does he do it? Is it always small stuff or can it be more outlandish?

He might have a genuine problem that can only be resolved with help.

Or he could just be an arsehole.

SaggyNaggy Mon 15-Aug-16 08:11:59

People tend to lie as a way to protect themselves or to avoid conflict. In your example OP I'm curious what wpould have happened if he'd told the truth?
If, and I'm by no means saying that it would, but if he'd have said,
"Not yet, I fell asleep, I'm tired" and you'd have then started to make a little comment or a small tiff then he lies to avoid these.

Shakey15000 Mon 15-Aug-16 08:15:39

Was there toast in the bin? confused

An ex of mine was a compulsive liar and, similarly, about the most inane, ridiculous things. At the beginning of our relationship I kind of let it slide. There was nothing I could "prove" as such (unlike your toast!) and sometimes I doubted myself and felt a bit paranoid. Eventually though, I couldn't believe most of what he said and left.

It's quite disturbing behaviour in my opinion sad

Shakey15000 Mon 15-Aug-16 08:17:13

And yes, I agree with challenging every lie. I'd have gone to the bin and waited for an explanation.

AttilaTheMeerkat Mon 15-Aug-16 08:20:06

Why do you not want to hear anything about leaving this man?. That is of interest to me. Are you thinking that if you were to leave you would have somehow "failed"?. Have you invested so much in this relationship that it seems a shame to walk away from it?.

What do you feel about him as a husband. Women also write stuff like "he is a good dad" comments when they can themselves think of nothing positive to write about their man. How can he be a good dad to his children if he lies to you incessantly as their mother. You want to do your bit here to show them that yes, this is how people treat others in relationships?.

If there is no trust there is really no relationship. Once trust is broken it is not possible to get that back.

What do you think your children are learning about relationships here; is this really what you want to be teaching them. We after all learn about relationships first and foremost from our parents.

If he can lie about feeding your child, what else can and has he lied about?. You have also talked to him about this before to unsurprisingly no effect either. This is learnt behaviour and deeply rooted within his own psyche; this has been going on with him for many years and probably started in childhood. It will take more than a chat to get to the bottom of this, more like years of therapy.

This link may be useful to you:-

toptoe Mon 15-Aug-16 08:20:42

I don't know, you could ask him at a time when you are not having a disagreement what he thinks it achieves. But how do you know whether his response is the truth?

I think the answer must be that it benefits him somehow. So you asked him about the toast, he thought 'oops, forgot to make toast (up early and tired, caught out snoozing already)....I'll just say I made it, she didn't eat it, she'll get some more toast, I won't look so bad'

Lies come very easily to some people. They don't really consider that it makes the other person feel belittled or made a fool out of. It's not necessarily about oneupmanship (although that would be part of it). It's probably his way of maintaining his persona of being right and fearing being wrong in some way. So he isn't thinking any further ahead than just making himself look better. He isn't thinking about making a fool out of you or that your dd may have gone without breakfast. Sort of a knee jerk reaction with little thought process involved.

From experience people who do this have done it since childhood, so it has become a learnt behaviour that they find hard to control.

So maybe, when you talk to him, just say the lies have a wider consequence that actually mean they don't benefit him. Explain how they make you feel (foolish, or that he thinks you are stupid) and that actually it makes you feel that he lacks insight if he thinks you are going to fall for them. Also, explain they aren't necessary anymore (for whatever reason he used them when he's younger). You'd much prefer a 'I forgot to make it as I'm so tired' reason. It happens.

See what happens. If he doesn't think about changing and just continues then I would worry because he can't sort it out unless he wants to / sees it benefits him somehow.

freakingoutbigtime Mon 15-Aug-16 08:20:42

Yeah if he had said no I haven't given her any breakfast yet I'd have in all honestly probably rolled my eyes and said something like "come on man DH" and then gone and got her breakfast. He does seem to do it to avoid a conflict but the "conflict" we're talking about would be bloody tiny.
Another example last week he went out with a friend to the pub. Friend loves the fruit machine things. I asked DH about his night the next day and as part of the conversation said "did you have a go on the fruit machines?" No judgement jut a question. And he said no but then when he got his wallet out to pay for something he had about £100 in it (very rare!) and I said woah why all the cash?! He admitted he had been playing fruit machine with friend and won some money. Now I don't like gambling as such but wouldn't have had a problem with this really.

I feel like if I tell him he needs help and how much damage it's causing I sound a bit melodramatic although it's true. Also I'm honest to a fault, so much so that my own mother says its ridiculous how honest I am. Have I just married my square opposite?

freakingoutbigtime Mon 15-Aug-16 08:25:29

And to the earlier question the reasons divorce is not an option is because of my religious beliefs. It would be a complete last resort for me, an escape from an abusive situation. I feel like to leave him would be to scrap my moral beliefs. But I sincerely don't want anyone to feel like I have an agenda about that here or that I have an opinion about their situation so I didn't really want it to be discussed.

Also as a husband he is usually lovely with the exception of this. I got a lovely bunch of flowers last week, he's affectionate, chilled out, funny, and says he's devoted to us which I totally believed before but the tiny lies are chipping away at that at the mo.

toptoe Mon 15-Aug-16 08:32:49

It's not that you're judging him. He's judging himself and then lying to make himself look better.

It's interesting that you are very honest. It makes you more susceptible to lies in the beginning because you wouldn't have realised someone could be like that.

But now he knows you know. You could go over it all with a fine toothed comb and dig out all the lies, but that would be very hard for you. Or you could make up a name for what he does and tell him every time you think he's done it.

I don't know if he would be able to change a lifetime of telling little lies. It probably started in childhood to stop his parents/teachers thinking badly of him. Maybe they bought it easily, but now he lives with someone they are more obvious and he is now in the position where he knee jerk lies and then gets caught out. Whereas before he wouldn't and he could give others the perception he was some kind of perfect individual.

AttilaTheMeerkat Mon 15-Aug-16 08:33:43


re your comment:-
"Also as a husband he is usually lovely with the exception of this".

But this is a huge problem and his lying is eroding your marriage as well as your own trust in him.

Why did he buy you flowers?. Were these apology flowers?. His flowers etc are not going to cut it ultimately because your marriage is solely but surely being eroded by his lying. He thinks he can buy you off. People lie for all sorts of reasons; he may be doing that to avoid conflict.

toptoe Mon 15-Aug-16 08:35:00

When I say make up a name I mean give his lying a little pet name and make a joke out of it. Although it's not really funny, it's worrying so this might be totally the wrong advice. I don't know - it might just make it all a bit easier for him to then backtrack and tell the truth.

What really matters is why he's doing it - is it because he is insecure or is it because he lacks empathy?

HermioneJeanGranger Mon 15-Aug-16 08:38:06

Are your comments really just throwaway remarks or they little digs?

I wonder whether what you see as small, low-level comments are actually a big issue for him.

VeryFoolishFay Mon 15-Aug-16 08:42:01

Toptoe - finding your comments very insightful and helpful in understanding a similar situation - thank you.

SaggyNaggy Mon 15-Aug-16 08:44:08

I dont want to offend op but I'm probablt going too... grin

Are you a bit of a nag? Like if he washes up is it not done properly? If he hoovers is it not quite right? If he chucks a £10 in a fruit machine would you really have nothing to say? If your DD goes without toast for 1 hour do you get uptight? Etc

You don't say how long you've been together but I'd say that if he feels like he's always wrong anyway and has been receiving little passive aggressive comments and tiffs for several years then he's got nothing to lose in lying to try to lessen your judgement.

freakingoutbigtime Mon 15-Aug-16 08:46:29

I get your point hermione about the comments. Perhaps they are a bigger deal than I think and I need to be less forthcoming when I'm irritated or annoyed. I'll talk to him about that.

I really don't feel like me walking on eggshells to be extra nice is a good solution to the problem though.

It's just so frustrating because most of these lies are about things that are totally irrelevant to me but the fact that he lies about them and I see through them so easily is really hurtful. When we were engaged he kissed someone else and he lied to me about it before it all came out and I told him at that point that I could forgive the cheating but the lies were a real issue and he swore blind that he would always be honest with me from now on. Perhaps I'm just gullible and it's become a habit that he knows he gets away with and I'm a bit of a prat.

freakingoutbigtime Mon 15-Aug-16 08:48:41

Maybe I am a naggy cow, I don't know. Sometimes I feel like I do nag.

To be honest though if I didn't nothing would get done.

AttilaTheMeerkat Mon 15-Aug-16 08:50:25

You are not a nag; stop putting yourself down like that. He is making you think you act like one precisely because of his behaviours.

TheCrumpettyTree Mon 15-Aug-16 08:51:26

I don't see what's wrong with having a doze on the sofa whilst your 2 year old plays or watches tv. Does she have to have breakfast before 7?

My youngest wakes up at 5 and we often sit and watch CBeebies whilst whoever got up has a doze. Obviously if he asks for breakfast he gets it. I wonder if you make things into an issue.

HermioneJeanGranger Mon 15-Aug-16 08:54:22

I'm not saying to walk on eggshells and be nice all the time, but is it really necessary to make comments about everything?

He knows you wouldn't be happy he hadn't fed DD or used the fruit machines, so he lied to avoid upsetting you, right? I just think by commenting on the things he's doing wrong all the time, you might be making him feel like he needs to lie to avoid the confrontation that follows. I am not saying that's okay, though.

Just another perspective smile

Cabrinha Mon 15-Aug-16 08:55:09

Surprise surprise - go a bit further back and he cheated on you hmm

I'd have a low tolerance for a lying arsehole who have previously kissed someone else too.

That's the problem with cheating: a few years and two kids later doesn't mean it never happened.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

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

Register now