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Are some people just full of shit?

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joeboo posted 9/21/2013 08:16 AM

I have spent quite a bit of time trying to figure out so many things since d-day. I know I have brought it up here before, but there is a trait that my fww exhibited long ago. If she doesn’t know the answer to something, she’ll just make something up. It doesn’t matter who she is talking to either. It doesn’t have to be about important things, it could be incredibly trivial too. The other thing she’ll do is when the truth doesn’t sound good enough, she’ll fabricate something that sounds much better.

We have even talked about this since d-day and I thought she was working on it. Now that I have started to put my guard down, she is starting to put her guard down a little and it seems as if it is just her nature to be full of shit.

Here is the twist that bothers me the most. Since d-day, I do not put up with too much bullshit and I am done with the mind games. Recently we were visiting with others and my fww proceeded to blow smoke up someone’s ass about something she knew nothing about. Fww notices the perplexed look on my face and follows with a snotty “what?”. So I said (with a tone of humor), “You have absolutely no idea what you are talking about so quit making things up”. She insisted she was right and then someone else in the conversation called her bluff and she backed down and gave me the cold shoulder until we were at home getting ready to call it a night. Then she gets pissy with me and tells me how much I hurt her feelings and how I was cruel and didn’t care if I hurt her feelings. She was trying to put me on a guilt trip. A few years ago, I would have bit but instead I told her it hurts my feelings when she decides to be a bullshitter. She starts crying telling me how mean I am and how she is not a bullshitter if she believes what she is saying. So I caved a little and said that guessing out loud and trying to pass it off as the truth is bullshitting. She insisted she wasn’t guessing so I asked her when she has ever had an experience with the topic prior to that conversation and she just got more pissed and started to cry telling me how mean I was.

Although I feel that I have healed very well since d-day, I had to detach in order to do it. Now, I cannot reattach when presented with this blatant undesirable behavior. It really undermines any trust, and I cannot move forward no matter how much I want to.

I am not even sure where to begin with this. How do you deal with a bullshitter? How do you deal with a bullshitter that will not admit to being a bullshitter and tries to put you on a guilt trip for calling them out on it? Is it possible to R with a bullshitter?

nomistakeaboutit posted 9/21/2013 08:46 AM


Fascinating. Good for you for calling her on it. I have no answers for you, but I have a couple of thoughts.

You fww has probably been like this her entire adult life. It's part of her. Changing it is probably going to be very hard. "Why" she is this way, I have no idea. I'm sure it could be for a lot of reasons. She had a sibling that was smarter than she, so she developed this pattern in attempt to not feel less knowledgable than her sister? She learned it from one of her parents? Who knows.

The big issue, to me, is that she doesn't accept that it is an issue. It's not her, it's you being mean by pointing it out. Her affair was probably your fault, too.

I'll be interested to see if anyone has any insights on the "BS" factor.

Random thoughts posted 9/21/2013 08:51 AM


Your sign on date is 2011 and 2 yrs later she is still lying or being dishonest.

Claiming you know of something when you don't and blowing smoke up someone ass is not getting everything that makes a way ward a way ward.

She is still in the mind frame that dishonesty about anything is ok and to top it off she shifts the blame onto to you, you big meanie wanting your spouse to be an honest person.

Why are you still with her? Did she work on herself in the past yrs or just sweep everything under the rug?

Time for a sit down and some talk about honesty and what you expect from her.

HardenMyHeart posted 9/21/2013 09:07 AM

So I said (with a tone of humor), “You have absolutely no idea what you are talking about so quit making things up”.

Just let it go and don't embarrass her in front of others. Some people are afraid of looking stupid so they make stuff up to impress others. I think of these people as know-it-alls.

If what she says really bothers you, discuss it privately with her to get a better understanding of why she said what she said. Do not try to fix her. Just be there to listen. If she asks for comment, then be respectfully honest.

Is it possible to R with a bullshitter?

Yes, by not being judgmental and accepting their weaknesses. For a relationship to be successful, you must build on the strengths and learn to love the weaknesses.

[This message edited by HardenMyHeart at 9:12 AM, September 21st (Saturday)] posted 9/21/2013 09:22 AM

I don't think you have to love people's weaknesses. You have to decide if it's bothersome enough to prevent you from bonding with her and staying in the relationship.

I can see that it is on the spectrum of infidelity, but it doesn't sound like it's on the edge of a slippery slope. My FWW tends to lie about stuff, like he'll downplay (lie) about how much something cost, or claim that he'll do something then doesn't. It drives me fucking insane but it's not the same thing as cheating, in my books.

People who have affairs usually aren;t great at self-regulation, nor are they generally people who are emotionally mature. So it shouldn't be a surprise that they have other areas where they aren't very mature...

Gr8Lady posted 9/21/2013 09:46 AM

It appears to me, she needs to feel important. Insecurity shows itself in many forms and this is classic. The bullshitter that is an expert in every topic.
Good for you in creating a boundary, and drawing line in the sand. No BS with you is step one, moving past the fantasy knowledge will give her respect she has never known.
She just wants attention and respect and needs to acknowledge this is fantasy.
And in answer to your question are some people just full of shit? Answer...hell yes. But terribly insecure

WhatsRight posted 9/21/2013 10:30 AM

This is a tough one.

I can see not wanting to embarass anyone, but letting her 'get away with' this repeatedly isn't cruel in my opinion. If done with humor like you said, I think she will get the message that you are calling her out.

I have a son who is a total bullshitter - his problem comes from being born addicted to crack coccaine (ADOPTED). I worry about his adulthood if he does not get this in check.

Have you thought of telling her that you are not being mean, you are doing just the opposite. The people you were with were not buying it, and you are trying to save her from embarrassing herself.

Good luck with this.

Random thoughts posted 9/21/2013 10:35 AM

Sorry but there wouldn't be any embarrassment if she was being truthful, if I have no knowledge of a subject I don't give my opinion on it, simple as that.

Lies are lies period and if your given the gift of reconciliation, lying is not even something that crosses your mind.

What's the difference between lying about something to friends and lying about something to your spouse.

StillGoing posted 9/21/2013 11:11 AM

I am with HMH. She should not have been making shit up but calling her out in front of people is only going to end up in a fight, since she is just going to follow it to the bitter end if that has been her habit for life. If you want to shut her down and slam her go for the throat there, but if an actual discussion is the goal wait until you're alone. She will have less invested in being Right since it's just you two, and also feel less defensive about it. Not to mention it removes the "You hurt my feelings" bullshit.

realitybites posted 9/21/2013 12:10 PM

Your post hit home for me. My H is just like your W. The need to look "right" even when they make up stories or say things about something they know nothing about in front of others. It is their way to "fit in" and it is a dysfunction of theirs.

If you think about it and are honest you have probably protected her previously in the past when this went on, you probably chuckled and rolled your eyes, found a way to make it work, but never mentioned anything as it was all a part of being married and making her feel safe as your spouse.

But unfortunately after an A you see this as a trait of a false person, BIG red flags, someone who makes up things to get people to like her or to feel like she belongs. And for you it does not feel good. Its a sign of one more thing that in your mind leads to loose boundries and then down the slippery slope of leading a false life and possibly another A.

Low self esteem is at issue, probably P/A and conflict avoidence as well. I don't know you. But I would ask what has your wife done to work on her own issues to make you feel safe?

catlover50 posted 9/21/2013 12:54 PM

My H doesn't do this exactly, but he did try to rationalize his own deficiencies. He always had an excuse of some sort. No one every bought it, and it really used to piss me off. I would call him on it at times (but not in front of other people) and he didn't change. Once, when angry, I asked him if he believed his bullshit because nobody else did. Even our teenage daughter said that he lied to himself.

I do think this is part of what let him start the LTA; he rationalized that too; he had gotten to the point that he could convince himself of anything.

He knows now that I don't tolerate this at all. And he has been able to change, for the most part. He had to be honest with himself first. I point it out immediately if he tries, but he rarely does anymore.

Good luck; it's a tough one. They first have to admit they have a problem.

Rebreather posted 9/21/2013 13:06 PM

I don't think she's a bullshitter. I think she is a chronic liar who has no idea why she does anything she does. Asking her to address these core defects is not "being mean." She is shockingly entitled still.

realitybites posted 9/21/2013 16:07 PM

I think she is a chronic liar who has no idea why she does anything she does.

^^Bottom line huh?^^

jb3199 posted 9/21/2013 19:02 PM

I guess that the biggest problem here is that before the D-days, it was a trait that you accepted---you may not have liked it, but was nonetheless accepted.

Now, there is a level of resentment that you have with her. I have read your posts from the beginning, and I have seen a change from initial shock, to the hopes of getting an ideal remorseful spouse from the aftermath, to a level of acceptance that you are not going to get much more improvement out of her.

Is that enough to stay in the marriage? At the moment, I would think that this is enough. You have stated that you can get along well with your FWW, but that you can't find that emotional reconnect that you have longed for.

So now comes the different levels of resentment. What was once tolerable, can now be quite annoying, if not grinding to you. And being that you are not as emotionally close, and will not be played a fool again, you have to ability to call her out...and not be her KISA.

I don't think that it was wrong to call her out, I just don't think that it will be productive. And you might not even be looking for that, so much as sending her a message that the shit she pulled 4 years ago won't fly with you today.

Just my two cents.

Tripletrouble posted 9/21/2013 21:15 PM

This completely describes my mother, who is past 70. She has been this way as long as I can remember. She talks as if she is an authority on anything and everything and often looks foolish. She becomes very angry and hurt if anyone challenges her. She also is completely incapable of hearing any criticism of any kind, and I have never heard her apologize for anything, ever. I think this collection of behaviors is maddening, and a sign of very low self esteem. I don't know if it makes a person a cheater, though, as my mom was the betrayed. It is DEFINITELY unhealthy.

RockyMtn posted 9/21/2013 21:35 PM

I can be a bit of a bullshitter. I'm not sure I have the same issue as your wife in terms of frequency/extent of the BS but I have occasionally embellished a story or acted more knowledgeable about something than I actually am. WH has done the same. It's about the ego strokes, yo. People admiring your knowledge, your humor, your wicked good stories.

Ego strokes, hmmm, that is dangerous, dangerous territory for a WS, right?

Personally, I don't lie about things that truly and really matter. I'm not saying that to pass off lying as OK behavior. Just stating that some people (like me) seem to understand a line with it.

But, see, that's just the thing. Your WW has crossed that line. She has gone beyond harmless fibbing. And, despite what happened in her A, she still doesn't value honesty enough to figure out how to give it to everyone. It seems she still wants an ego stroke. If my WH, a former BSer, pulled what your WW did, I'd be pissed. I'd know he was out to be "cool" and that makes my skin crawl given what he has done.

How did I deal with it? I didn't. He did/does (still working). I think a big thing for him is getting sober and going to AA - where honesty is pretty much hammered home all the time as a foundation for life. I'm not suggesting she do the 12 steps or anything - but it just goes to show just how much WORK it is to reform habitual BS.

So, no, I don't think R from infidelity is possible with someone who lies. I agree that embellishment is just a bad habit for some people that you can decide to live with - but not with someone whose fibbing has gone so off the rails. And you said this, which sums it up:

It really undermines any trust, and I cannot move forward no matter how much I want to.

Dreamland posted 9/21/2013 22:24 PM

I guess here is the thing. She likes being the center of attention. People like that often blow a little smoke.. My H loves to be the center.. Me too but I let other talk..
So here our dilemma .. We fell in love with our spouses because of these traits. You knew she was a bullshitter but you over looked it before you might have thought it was cute at the beginning. Now post A I get quite bored with his incessant talking and constant attention hogging. It really bugs me and I often walk away. He is aware and I have told him about his habits. I give him a look and sometimes I interrupt and say let someone else get a word it. I am sure I look like a major bitch.
Of course I recognize that the OW was just the perfect listener and founf everything he said fascinating. I would listen but admit i would not really be paying attention. I said please she hasn't heard the same shit for 20 years. But I think it's hard for us. We love and hate their personality. It's because they hurt us so much we cannot stand their arrogance.

womaninflux posted 9/21/2013 22:40 PM

Yes, I know plenty of people that are FOS. One longtime friend from college is FOS and her H is a pathological liar. She's fooled our group of friends for a very long time by sounding authoritative about things ranging from dating frat guys when we were in college to career advice (she's never really had a career of her own) to parenting advice. Underneath, she is a very insecure person living with a pathological, abusive, emotionally nonexistant husband who has some pretty shady dealings (the small circle of friends who know a little about what is going on think he has a gambling addiction). Further our group of friends really wishes she'd wake up and see what is going on before she wastes anymore time on this guy.

My SAWH was like this certainly during the time he was having the A (that was when it was at its peak) and to a degree has always told people what they want to hear vs. what he really thinks. Since entering SA therapy as well as seeing another therapist on top of the CSAT, this is something he is working on.

In your wife's case, it probably has something to do with her Family of Origin. I know this is the case with my SAWH and with my aforementioned friend's H . Telling charming stories, being very articulate about the subject, thinking that people are really buying into what they are saying, hanging on every's part of how they managed some sort of chaos in their childhood. In my SAWH's case, it was concealing his mischievous side from his parents. People thought he was such a good student/kid. Even his parents did not know all of the bad stuff he was doing.

As you know, at some point, that all catches up to them. My hunch is that all of the people she pontificates b.s. to know that she is FOS but they are too polite to call her out.

One thing I learned about dealing with pathological/chronic liars is that they don't like to be called out on their bullshit. Probably not the wisest thing to point it out in a group setting. In order to deal with this concern in my M, I have brought my SAWH's lying history into MC and he is also examining it on his own in his IC sessions with psychiatrist and CSAT. I'm still trying to figure out how far reaching his lying goes and if he is really making changes so that we can stay married. Lying, cheating and any disrespectful behavior is a deal breaker for me.

standinghere posted 9/21/2013 23:20 PM

If she doesn’t know the answer to something, she’ll just make something up. It doesn’t matter who she is talking to either. It doesn’t have to be about important things, it could be incredibly trivial too. The other thing she’ll do is when the truth doesn’t sound good enough, she’ll fabricate something that sounds much better.

Is her father or her mother an alcoholic? Substance Abuser? Mentally ill?

If any of these is true, then more likely than not she learned this behavior as a child as a means of dealing with life, it is extremely dysfunctional, but very common in adults who were raised by impaired parents.

RidingHealingRd posted 9/22/2013 04:09 AM

Low self esteem is certainly part of this issue. My WH did the exact same thing. It drove me nuts, he looked like an ass, and it made no sense.
If someone asked him for directions and he wasn't sure he would make it up. I lived with the constant bullshit and I called him on it for years. He never changed. Not until the fallout of his disgusting A.

My WH hit rock bottom and wanted to change. One thing he wanted to change was to stop the BS. He told me that the reason he made things up was he felt crappy about himself if he had to admit he didn't have the answer. An arrogant know it all. Despite his success in the corporate world he doesn't feel smart so he feels a need to BS, it makes him feel smart. Honestly, I don't get it. I told him that there are many people smarter than me and many people not as smart as me and I'm okay with that. He should be okay with that.
He made the effort to stop the BS. I have witnessed him on conference calls saying, "I don't have that answer but I will get back to you". He no longer talks a story during social engagements...He really is done with that. I know for certain he changed because HE wanted to change. The 20 years of my trying to make him change did nothing!

Is she in IC? Maybe that would help her identify why she does this so that she can stop it.

I agree with the others that say, don't ignore her on it every single time.
Also, I would be concerned about her response to your attempt to stopping the BS. Her behavior is that of a 2 year old.

[This message edited by RidingHealingRd at 4:23 AM, September 22nd (Sunday)]

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