Breaking the Lying Addiction

I am a liar. I have lied all my life. .

For much of my life, my lies had to do with my inner world. That is, what I was thinking or feeling. I tried to paint a picture of a strong, mature, fearless, good – even godly man. I didn’t have insecurities or disappointments or fears. No, I forged ahead in the face of adversity, never doubting my resolve or my God. It wasn’t true, but it’s what I wanted others to believe. And so I lied.

I maintained this facade with my wife as well. It wasn’t that she didn’t know me at all, but there were parts of me that I was relentless to keep from her. I believed that if she knew the real me - she would not respect or love me. And so I lied.

I had been experiencing dissatisfaction in my marriage and I didn’t want to admit it to anyone. Even myself. The truth was not that I had a marriage problem. My problem was not my marriage. My problem was me!

So I chose to have an affair. In the moment I didn’t think of the consequences or the people I would hurt – especially my wife. I was too self-centered and consumed with me. However, there were times I had moments of clarity and wanted to get out of it. But how could I do that and still keep my image intact? How could I tell the truth and still be respected and loved? I didn’t believe it was possible.

But actually, deep within I think I wanted to tell the truth. I was tired of pretending. As horrible as it was to get “caught” – the lie I was living was eating away at my soul. And yet I was fearful that my wife would not love me if she knew the whole truth, if she knew the whole me.

But then I received some great coaching. I was told that the only way I could give my wife the opportunity to love me unconditionally is to tell the truth. Tell the truth about everything and then let her choose. It was as simple as that. As scary as it was to consider it was also very freeing. I no longer had to try to control the outcome. Just tell the truth and allow her to choose.

And so I did. And the amazing thing was that my wife actually respected me for my honesty. She even grew to trust me again – maybe even more. I am not saying I did it perfectly or that it was without any challenges. My wife is an amazing woman. She chose to love me and work to restore our relationship. The end result was healing for both of us as we experienced grace and love.

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A liar who doesn't know why.

My husband has always lied. He grew up in a family that constantly told small lies. They believe if it doesn't hurt anyone than it's ok. When asked why he lies his only answer is "I don't know". What am I suppose to do with that? It makes me angry. If feel like he doesn't care enough to figure it out. He tells me he's tried and truly just doesn't know. I believe it is to hide his low self esteam and low self confidence. He insists he doesn't lie anymore. How or why would I believe his if he doesn't know why he did it in the first place?

Setting standards

I do believe that exploring the "why" of lies can help give a person greater insight into themselves and motivation. Unless we are conscious of what we are doing - we are destined to do what comes naturally, i.e. what we have always done. In my particular situation, I knew that my wife would not tolerate any more lies. And I actually didn't want to lie anymore. But I needed help. What I think she did that helped encourage me was: 1. Said she would NOT tolerate any more lying. If I wanted to be in relationship with her, I needed to tell the truth. 2. I had a learning curve on this, and I felt that she was gracious with me. Still required honestly, but knew that I was going up against years of behavior that I needed to change. She said that she wanted to see progress - not perfection. 3. When I was honest about things that may hurt her (and I did), she tried not to react in a way that made me regret being honest. That is not to say that she wasn't upset, but she showed appreciation for the honesty even as she expressed her upset (our counselor helped her with this). Those are a few thoughts. I really don't see how you can have a loving, growing, authentic relationship with anyone if honesty is not present. I hope this helps. Jack

Trickle Truth

I had a 12 year affair. I had been married 12 years when it started. It was with one of my employees. I never thought I'd be that guy and it makes me sick thinking of all that I did. My wife was the most caring, giving person you'd ever meet. It is a long story which may be told later but for this topic, I lied. I lied when it was going on. I lied after it was over. I had decided many times to end it. Especially in the last year or so, I wanted out. I didn't see how to get out without my wife finding out. I was glad to get the affair out and then fire the employee and get her out of my life. I had been wanting to renew my life with my wife. I wanted that so bad but when confronted, I didn't come totally clean. I feared losing her. Later as something would come out, I'd confess a little more. Even though my wife and counselor both told me she would be better with the total truth but I just couldn't go through with it. Some of the lies I actually started believing myself! After about 16 months, I knew I had to come clean. I'd seen how when something came up, it hurt her and started it over. I tried a few times but as I saw the pain in her face I stopped. Finally I pushed through. It was devastating. I'll never forget the image of her lying on the stairs, sobbing uncontrollably, unable to move. She wants this to be over. I can't blame her. I want more than anything to be able to see her happy and be a part of making her happy. Ironically I was guilty of the trickle truth because I loved her so and wanted to stay married to her and that is probably the final straw that causes me to lose her.

Trickle Truth Devastation

I believed that myself about why I chose to minimize the affair I had. We are 17-months-out and until last night, I continued to justify my lies with the belief that I loved him so much and would never cheat on him again so it didn't really matter what I had done during the affair; he was now safe with me. I have completely joined the human condition with these dark things, like self deception and denial, and have brought into our life, first the affair with lying, now recovery with more lies, it is sickening. And it may be too late for me too. I see it so clearly now, and it is so simple (as my husband said to me after my last lie) that love is acknowledging the other person's wants and needs, and taking care of what they are asking for as individuals, simple. Love, don't lie.

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