Following are leftover questions from my online chat on “How Lying Affects Relationships” (Sept. 30):
My husband got emotionally involved with a co-worker.
It was obvious because he mentioned something about her every day - something funny she said, how she came up with a new idea that’s important to their work, etc.
When he mentioned something she wore, I put my foot down and said their “friendship” was going too far.
He’s clamped down ever since, hardly mentions work except to say that he now has to work late a couple of times a week.
I also found his phone was locked, when I went to search for a handyman’s contact number.
We’ve always been open with each other before this, over nine years of marriage.
I believe he’s lying about working late and also hiding things from me.
It’s already as painful as knowing for sure if he’s having an affair.
Lying About Cheating
Confront him on the locked phone, since this is a major change in the openness you had before.
Look him straight in the eye and say you need him to be honest, because you love him, but other recent changes –late hours, distancing – have you feeling shut out.
He may not be physically involved with this colleague, but he certainly overreacted emotionally when you raised their friendship.
If he still gets angry, say that you need him to recognize that he was referring to her so much, that it raised your concern because a marriage can only thrive on trust.
So if there’s something more he has to say or think about, to do it very soon, before there’s a bigger problem for you both to face.
Lying about an outside attraction creates a cycle of lies, omissions, heightened suspicion, jealousy, and hurt between partners.
A couple can get past an extra-marital affair, but NOT until the lying stops.
My girlfriend lies about the price of everything – from what she paid for green beans, to the price of a purse she bought herself.
What gets me is that it’s so easy for me to check and catch her out, yet she continues lying.
I’ve told her this and said it’s a stupid habit because I always know it’s a lie. But she just laughed it off like it’s a game.
Not Just Beans
It’s a game to her, not to you. Say so. But also make sure your relationship regarding money is not a factor here.
Does she have her own money and the discretionary right to spend it as she chooses… and if not, why not? Do you keep too tight a hand on the budget? And if so, why?
If your answers are that she pays no attention to the budget, or that you truly can’t afford any excesses, finances is the bigger issue here and lying about it is her reaction.
A third party can help – a bank advisor, accountant, or financial consultant.
But if being told lies is what upsets you more, talk about her feelings around money (maybe, growing up or in a previous relationship, she had to hide costs or risk a big fight).
But this “game” is damaging to your relationship. It disrespects you as a partner, and mocks any sense of openness between you.
Her lies may seem innocuous, but they reveal that she feels lies are acceptable.
It creates a pattern between you two where her lying happens so often and so easily, that you can never be sure of what’s the truth.
My friend of 20 years lies to impress people, get attention, or prove that she’s right about something.
When out with her socially, I can always tell when she’s lying.
She talks louder, spreads her arms to take over the conversation, and closes her eyes when she’s pronouncing a winning “fact.”
I’ve lost respect for her over this. We’re both late 40s and it’s like we’re still competing in school.
I correct her when I know she’s wrong on facts, but do I call her out on the lying?
Unless you can handle the conversation in a helpful manner, it’ll be very unpleasant. She’ll deny lying, and also be devastated.
Her years of attention seeking signals insecurity. Perhaps she had to compete with a favoured sibling when young, later felt she had to prove something to advance.
Either you feel some empathy for her based on longtime friendship, or see her less.
Tip of the day:
Lying ultimately erodes trust and respect.