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musiclovingmom posted 11/19/2013 22:56 PM

My H is a seasoned liar. He's working very hard to fix this. However, we have different ideas of what a lie is. He very often exaggerates details. I think that is lying. He doesn't. He also leaves out key phrases, which makes his statements untrue (in my opinion). Like tonight. He is working out of town and has to stay overnight (unexpectedly - which happens often), in a town where lots of people are living in hotels due to lack of affordable housing. When he told me where they were staying, he told me it was 'the only hotel in town with a room'. Later, he was talking about a different hotel quoting him a price twice as high as the room he got. When I pointed this out, he said 'it's the only hotel with a room with two beds'. To him, the statements were the same since one bed for two people was unacceptable. To me, the first was a lie. What say you? Am I nit picking? What do you consider to be a lie?

Jrazz posted 11/19/2013 23:15 PM

I call that creating an alternate reality, and it drives me bonkers.

There should be NO fabricating. No stretching.

Crazz does it innately and while he's working on it, it's like he is sooooo programmed to cover his behind that just about everything has been tweaked.

He will say he will be home in 10 minutes when he knows it will be at least 30. He wants to "make me happy" in the moment, and has no concept of how the fib will play out later.

He never answers with "no." Ever. It's always "not yet", because he is then "out of trouble" for whatever he forgot.(In his own mind.) Countless times he has come home from the store, and when we unload and I say, "did you get the detergent" he will say, "not yet" as if it were his intention to hop back into the car for another run for the fun of it.

His counselor is working on helping him take a breath before speaking.

For the life of me I don't know how someone is conditioned to lie with every syllable, but we have found two people with the affliction.

Hugs and solidarity.

[This message edited by Jrazz at 11:16 PM, November 19th (Tuesday)]

PinkJeepLady posted 11/19/2013 23:32 PM

Let's do talk about it, thanks for bringing it up. I am with you, it's a lie. Why couldn't he just tell you about the other quote?
Is this what is called a "half truth"? Some may even say it's in a grey area. To me it's a lie and I don't think you are nit picking.
Being truthful is a huge deal for me. I don't tolerate it with my kids and certainly am disappointed that my WH was the biggest liar of them all. Maybe still is.
Let me ask you what you think about this. A couple of weeks ago WH was working out of town. I tried calling him one morning on his cell, no answer. I think I had been frustrated with him the night before (what's new?!) and I felt like he was purposely avoiding me. He works alone and can usually talk at anytime so his not answering really was bugging me. He calls back later in the day and instead of saying he was avoiding me he says he got a call from someone he needed to go do a job for. I said oh ok so when you come home in 2 days you can show me on your phone the record of him calling you. Silence. Busted. Of course there was no call.
What do you call that? I say a flat out lie but he sees it as nothing really, more like an excuse to not talk to me at that moment.
I think "little" things like that matter a lot actually. I don't understand lying, it never works to the benefit of anyone.
I really don't get why your H just didn't say it just like it happened, the subject wasn't a big deal.
Honesty really is the best policy.

ItsaClimb posted 11/20/2013 06:41 AM

It's a lie.

My husband has almost been bred to twist and turn the truth to always paint himself in the best light and to ease himself out of sticky situations. His entire family do it. It drives me insane and I can see I am going to be dealing with it for a very long time as it is so deeply ingrained in him, he doesn't even notice himself doing it!

ILINIA posted 11/20/2013 07:37 AM

My WH is a "generalizer" and it drove me nuts even when we were dating but when we had kids, it would become our arguments. A light bulb turned on when I read your post. I feel it is more insight to his character.

For example, "When are you coming home?" Responses would include "Soon." or something like "After I respond to emails." I ask how many emails, "a few". How long is it is going to take, "I don't know, not very long." We would fight, because I would have to say "30 minutes?" No. "45?" "Just tell me what time you will be home!"


[This message edited by ILINIA at 7:38 AM, November 20th (Wednesday)]

musiclovingmom posted 11/20/2013 07:45 AM

Thanks guys. Nice to know I'm not alone in this. Lying was definitely nurtured into my husband. His mother is the queen of it. If she gets caught, she will try to argue and reason her way out of it. It's funny, he hates those actions in her and then fails to see them in himself. I point them out to him when I can without making a scene. If we're with a group, I point it out later. But yeah, it drives me crazy.

realitybites posted 11/20/2013 07:48 AM

Little lies within everyday life become a pattern. It is a weird character flaw with some people. They just cannot tell the truth, or just say "I don't know that answer" or just say they cannot do something when they can't.

For my WS it is a "people pleasing" flaw. He tries to find out whatever they need or whatever they want him to say and he will fib or fabricate to feel like he is a part of whatever someone is talking about. Or remake stories from the past that have him more involved or he "knew" them and thats why they did such and such job for us.....or just weird things like that.

I don't even know if that just made sense, but thats how crazy it can sound sometimes. To the point where I just look at him and think "what the heck?" and then I feel crazy.

And as the stories change I truly think he believes them when he tells them enough. Just about everyday life. Its weird.

RippedSoul posted 11/20/2013 09:25 AM

BS here. And a people pleaser. So maybe I can give a different perspective? Lying is not okay. My SAWH looking at me and DELIBERATELY lying to me kills me. I do not trust anything he says right now. And I used to think he was honest to a fault. I, on the other hand, am more like your WH. I still don't think I lie, but I DO leave out parts of stories or can't answer truthfully (because I'm time-challenged) when I will be home or done with some project.

For me, the difference is intent. I remember, when my children were younger, trying to have a conversation in a group and being corrected by my children. They'd keep adding in parts of the story that I edited out. I deleted them NOT to make myself look better, NOT to hide a secret, NOT to mislead anyone, but simply to keep it simple. If I listed every detail of every interaction, I'd never get to the end. I'm already aware that verbally, I tend to ramble, so I DO try to minimize. If the person listening doesn't need the whole story, then they don't need the whole story. The only reason I need the whole story now, with my WH, is because I don't trust the parts he's choosing to leave out. KWIM?

As for timing, wow! That is a struggle for me. I FIGHT to be on time. Most people I know would consider me prompt. But if I get into a project, watch out. I've NO IDEA how much time is passing. It drives my husband and kids crazy, but it IS something I work on and it IS something they can all see improvement in. Plus, they've been given permission to bring me back to earth--so to speak.

I also exaggerate. But I think it's obvious when I do, so it's not lying. My son inhaled his food in 3 seconds. My daughter talked non-stop for 72 hours. I lost a hundred thousand hairs a day after having each of my babies.

Maybe those are wrong. And in a liar, in my WH, they'd really bother me. I don't get the idea--now that my time-challenged self is more manageable--that it bothers anyone in my family. And I don't do it to get out of trouble or to hide anything. Is there a difference? I obviously think so.

Edith posted 11/20/2013 09:37 AM

My H also is a lifelong liar. Big lies, little lies, all kinds. Lies of omission, exaggerations, semantics, you name it. Almost 4 years past his A, and I am struggling with whether he is actually capable of stopping the lying.

In my mind, it is paramount to sit down with him and outline the concept of absolute truth. His hotel lie, though seemingly innocuous in his mind, undermines trust building and saving the M.

Hugs and solidarity.


rachelc posted 11/20/2013 09:40 AM

I think its ingrained in some people too.

for instance if my husband is late getting home he blames it on traffic. I would say that I didn't leave early enough to allow for traffic issues.

his mother did/does this. She's an obsessive compulsive hoarder. My children (and see how old they are in my signature) have NEVER been to her house. I've heard all kinds of excuses, "the dog might bite," "we'll be out of town" etc. Just call a spade a spade - "this house is a mess and I'm too ashamed to have anyone see we live like this."

this is why I know he NEVER would have told me the truth had I not found out. He CANNOT be that person who admits a failing. Why?

womaninflux posted 11/20/2013 09:49 AM

My SAWH has an issue with lying as well. I know exactly what you are describing.

In therapy when we talk about it he has said that he started doing this in childhood to cover up little mischievous behaviors. He saw it as a way of keeping the authorities (i.e. adults) at bay/happy.

In adult relationships, it became a habit of "telling people what they want to hear." This is multi dimensional. It keeps people happy but it also breeds resentment. For example, if I choose a color for the dining room and ask him if he likes it, he says yes. Then, only after it's painted and all other furnishings and fabric have been selected around this color choice, he tells me that he doesn't really like it and turns it into a point of contention any time I find some sort of fault with him.It becomes his default argument so to speak. So in the end, he should have told the truth that he did not like the color - then he would not be resentful and I would not be resentful about his resentment and reaction and deception.

He also told his AP things she wanted to hear, such as moving in with her, etc. but never followed through on them.

I was worried for a long time that my husband was a pathological liar and pure evil and would not know how to communicate the truth ever. He's definitely a chronic liar. I think his default is how to manipulate a situation to his advantage, whatever the situation might be. But I do think that now that he is in therapy, he is recognizing how his behavior affects others and how lying in the long run hurts himself and does not build trust.

Is your husband willing to examine his patterns/history in a therapeutic setting? I think there is hope for him to revise the way he communicates if he is willing to do the work.

Edith posted 11/20/2013 09:50 AM

He CANNOT be that person who admits a failing. Why?

I know that his habit of lying enabled the A. I also realize that this problem is not mine to fix. It's his.

The concept that a lie makes "everybody happy" is just so unacceptable.


musiclovingmom posted 11/20/2013 10:48 AM

In my mind, it is paramount to sit down with him and outline the concept of absolute truth.

We have this talk often. I see him starting to change it, but old habits did hard. We talked about it last night and he apologized and realized he should have told me about the other hotel in the first place. He really is trying, I'm just impatient.

Is your husband willing to examine his patterns/history in a therapeutic setting

We've talked about counseling on several occasions. Though he is willing, it isn't really a practical possibility for us right now. There are a very limited number of therapists in our area and they all require an in office visit scheduled at least a month in advance. My H works 24/7 on call. His company pays a guaranteed 40 hours/week when there is no work, but only if the employee hasn't taken any time off. So, if his scheduled counseling appointment fell in a week where there was no work, we would lose an entire weeks pay. Since we have 3 little ones that I stay home with (because child care costs would just eat up any money I was able to make), we cannot afford to miss an entire week worth of pay on the regular basis that effective therapy would require.

realitybites posted 11/20/2013 11:02 AM

The concept that a lie makes "everybody happy" is just so unacceptable

I think it is just like TT which in essance is a lie, they say they don't want to "hurt" you but in reality they did not want to take the chance that if you know everything you would kick them making themselves happy and safe by not tellin the truth.

Lying to keep people "happy" is only making the person who lies look silly, and many times people know it and are too polite to say anything. Once again doing something that they think makes people happy but really not truthful.

bionicgal posted 11/20/2013 11:03 AM

I am still smiling about the detergent.

That must be infuriating, but it also seems to show a deep need to not let someone down, I think.

Jrazz posted 11/20/2013 11:46 AM

That must be infuriating, but it also seems to show a deep need to not let someone down, I think.

It absolutely is. When I'm able to step outside my irritation I feel sad that he is always on high alert that someone is going to be "mad" at him. The cruel irony of our relationship is that I don't CARE if someone makes mistakes - I just want to know what my reality is so that's why I ask. Didn't see detergent - started to plan to head back myself, and for heaven's SAKE I forget stuff at the store every time. I just had laundry to do. Enter "not yet" and suddenly we have an ordeal on our hands.


realitybites posted 11/20/2013 11:53 AM

he is always on high alert that someone is going to be "mad" at him.

Sorry to be posting alot on this one but obviously a sticking point with me...but I think the above statement is so true. My WS will use that phrase all the time that he is worried I will be mad at him or someone else will be mad at him.

plainpain posted 11/20/2013 12:38 PM

By the end of the A, my husband had become such a compulsive liar he would lie when there was absolutely no reason to. It became a habit - some kind of alternate reality where he controlled what was true and what was not. After he confessed his A, he started to become aware of how often and easily he did. He lied to people on the phone, people in stores, everywhere. He lied for one of two reasons - to protect himself, or to manipulate a situation for his benefit. Once he became aware of it, he became absolutely religious about not telling lies of any kind - it was never the truth that caused us trouble in our marriage, it was the omission of truth, and fabrications of truth.

I think that when people tell lies, they are stealing from another person. They are impacting the other person's ability to make informed choices for themselves, to protect themselves, to improve themselves. Truth telling is about respect for other people, and personal responsibility. I refuse to be married to a liar. That is a deal-breaker for me now.

Really, people so often say this, but it is true for me: it isn't the SEX that bothers me about the A half as much as it is the lies and the deceptions.

painfulpast posted 11/20/2013 13:20 PM

Count my husband in this group. Constant little tweaks to everything. A left out item here, an exaggeration there - what's the harm, right? WRONG. When lying, or intentionally misleading someone, is the normal operating procedure for a person, telling bigger, more important lies is not a problem. When an A starts, it's just another step up. And forget about 'healing' unless the person is sick with what they've done. Otherwise the lies will be unbearable and what's worse is the liar will defend these lies to the death unless you can prove they are lying. It's a bad place to be mentally.

BTW, my H and I call this 'Clintonese' for the grand poohbah of lying, Mr. Bill "it depends on what the meaning of the word is is" Clinton.

Edith posted 11/20/2013 13:28 PM

he controlled what was true and what was not.

Lying is manipulation. Always.

We also talk about it often. The saddest part is that when he reassures me that he is being 100% truthful, I often do not believe it. It is destroying me.


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