I think wayward spouses have lying down to a science. The crazy feeling of knowing in your gut you're being deceived, but not having any tangible proof. Lying by omission is part of this crazy making process - it's lying by either omitting certain facts or by failing to correct a misconception. I also like to call this "playing dumb". If this has been a long term pattern in the relationship, the receiving spouse has been somewhat conditioned to except rational explanations and ignore their "gut instincts" for fear of appearing irrational, controlling, or crazy. Being unsure of your status in the relationship makes you feel insecure and uncertain. It appears as though there are two sets of rules in the relationship, one set for you and one set for your spouse.
You can't prove that the withholding of information was intentional or malicious. If your spouse says it wasn't, what choice do you have other than to accept what they are telling you? You begin to feel guilty for assuming that your spouse had destructive intentions. As the pattern repeats over and over again, it erodes relationship trust. You feel that no matter what you do you can't win, because somehow it will always be your feelings that are at fault. This psychological invalidation (to reject, ignore, mock, tease, judge, or diminish someone's feelings) is an attempt to control how the spouse feels about the situation. It seems there is never any resolution on your end to the constant lying by omission. Your partner seems fine with that, but you are left with this sneaking suspicion that asking the right question is your only means to get the truth, shifting the responsibility of truth to you. Lies of omission make you feel as though it is your fault for not asking the specific question that would get you the truth. Invalidation goes beyond mere rejection, by implying not only that our feelings are disapproved of, but that we are fundamentally abnormal When the explanations just don't add up, and pressure is applied to the spouse, their intent to to be less than honest, becomes a side-effect of either, a defect in you, your inability to handle the truth, or, a display of your spouses concern for your feelings. Often, whichever angle is chosen, is dependent upon the betrayed spouses emotional approach to the situation. If you approach them with indignation at being deceived, their omissions become a reaction to your inability to handle the truth, or their uncomfortableness with your inappropriate reactions: If you didn't get your feelings hurt so easily, I wouldn't have to withhold the truth. If you weren't so controlling I'd feel comfortable being honest. I can't handle your anger when I'm doing something you don't like, so I lied because your so angry. This approach of course implies that the defect is in you and your inability to handle the truth, not in their inability to be honest. Or, if approached with immense hurt, the omissions become a result of their love for you. I knew it would upset you, so I lied to spare your feelings I didn't want you to worry, so I thought it best you didn't know I thought you'd be sad, and I can't stand to see you like that! I thought I was protecting you. This approach implies that their lying is justified, and in your best interest. Excusing the lying as done out of love.
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