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In a relationship with a habitual liar
I have been in a relationship for 8 years with a habitual liar. He is aware that I know about his condition and he says he is "working on it". He still continues to lie. I am at the point of not knowing whether he is telling the truth or lying...so I just assume that most of what he says are lies. We do not have a physical relationship any more. It has definitely negatively impacted on our relationship. We have been to see a counsellor about his lying and how it is impacting on our relationship. After our first and only counselling session, the counsellor recommend that we should see someone else, as she thought she was not in a position to help with our particular issue. I am willing to see another counsellor, but not so my partner. He said he would prefer to work on it himself. I know he has deep-rooted emotional scars from childhood...scars that I believe need to be address professional first. He is a good person, but his lying is destroying my faith in him.
Allow me to welcome you to the forums. We are glad to have you here.
8 years is pretty good. You must love each other and trust each other. But I reckon this lying thing could be ebbing away at the trust side of things. How can you trust someone who lies, even when you know that they can't help it? It is also, as you said, affecting your physical relationship. Does he even hug you anymore?
i think that seeing a specialist was a good first move, although on his part it's not a good idea not to see someone else. I think you should encourage him to go to someone else. You go as well.
It might also benefit you to see someone on your own. Maybe to talk about ways to deal with looking after and being in a relationship with someone like him. It won't hurt to have a few strategies up your sleeve, and someone to talk to face to face who is a professional.
If he has 'scars' as you say from his childhood, maybe you need to encourage him to talk to a specialist on his own,as well, to deal with those scars first, before you address the lying issue.
I'm sure he's a good person. As are you. Hold onto your faith in him. You never know when you may need it.
best of luck, hope you are feeling okay.
Thanks for your email, I really appreciate your advice.
Yes he still hugs me, but that is pretty much the extent of our physical contact.
I have been thinking about seeing a psychologist on my own first, because as you say, it would be good to have strategies in place to deal with the situation. He is quite a socially awkward person and so seeking help from a stranger would be very daunting for him. (He was extremely uncomfortable at our couple's counselling session). He said after that one that he would never go back to another one. So I think it will be up to me to seek professional help just for myself at this stage.
The thing is this: we have fun together, we love going on road trips, movies, out to dinner and concerts etc. I guess you could say our relationship borders on platonic. It saddens me very much when I think of my life without him in it. We live together and I always look forward to him coming home in the afternoon after work.
He has many fine qualities...it's just the continuous lying that I am having a hard time coping with.
Thanks again for your email Chloe.
Hi Wendy. I’m glad you’ve reaching out on the forum for some support.
Sorry to hear about the challenges your facing in your relationship at the moment.
The counselling session that you both went to, I know the counsellor suggested you see someone else but did she give you any advice or excercises to work on together in the mean time? I think it’d be really helpful for you to see someone alone to come up with some strategies on how to address (and handle) the lying... perhaps with time your partner may be open to coming along to a session.
With the intimacy... may I ask when that stopped? It hard losing that part of a relationship as we all need to feel wanted and loved. Have you told him that you feel your relationship is platonic at the moment. You mentioned you like road trips - could you perhaps organise a little romantic overnight stay somewhere to reignite the magic. Then perhaps set up a once a week “date night” where you each take turns organising something romantic. Picnic down at the beach. Candlelit dinner at home.
8 years is a long time to have been together and can understand you wanting to work on saving the relationship I just hope that he puts in the effort that you deserve too. It needs to work both ways, yeah.
Hope you’re having a nice weekend. Emmy xx
Thanks for your reply to my problem. It's really good to get support from a forum such as this one.
The intimacy has never been that good if I am being honest. All serious intimacy has slowly been waning. The first time I discovered his dishonesty and deception (about 5 years ago), my interest in him certainly diminished. In the last year we have not had sexual intercourse. He never shows that kind of interest in me any more. I discovered about a year ago that he had been searching brothels sites on his computer. I confronted him and he denied it of course. Once he knew he could not deny it any more (I had tangible evidence) he said he was just searching random "stuff" and that he would never betray me in that way. He said that he has never cheated on me and that we never would. I guess what I am saying is a small part of me that doesn't believe him and that he is seeking physical intimacy elsewhere.
I have just discover today that he has gone and lied again to me. At this stage I have not confronted him with it. He gets so defensive and angry when I bring up instances of his lying.
I really don't have anyone to confide in. My family and friends really like him and I don't want to paint him in a bad light to them.
This is really cathartic to confide in you.
You asked about the counsellor we went to. At the end of the session she said that she could not really help us. I got the impression that she thought I was a doormat and probably couldn't work out why I am sticking around with someone that lies incessantly to me. (I told her some of the lies my partner had said). I think our situation was too messy for her. She did say that if we did want to continue with her we could, but that she thought she could not help us any more going forward.
I will definitely seek some professional help myself.
Hope you are having a fun week-end.
Great to hear back from you.
Re the intimacy - some relationships aren’t always hot and heavy (if you get what I mean lol - how old do I sound and I’m not that old hehe). But work on connections else where. Do you feel it’s something you need in a relationship. Sorry this sounds so personal. I hope you know what I’m trying to explain. Are the two of you connect in other areas to sustain the relationship moving forward? I’m sorry that you found him searching brothel sites and that you didn’t get any answers when you addressed it with him. Could you address it in a way to make him see if from your point of view. As in how he’d feel if he’d found you looking up brothels?
Keep talking on here if you don’t feel you can comfortable confiding in your friends and family. Even though you say they like him they’d want to be there to support you. And you may find they’ve seen some signs of his lying. But I understand the difficulty.
Sorry to hear that he’s lied to you again today. It must be really upsetting for you. And so hurtful. Is it something that occurs most days? And does he genuinely believe his lies?? I know you said he has deep rooted scars from his childhood - do you know the extent of that (you don’t have to share). I just wonder if this is perhaps a coping mechanism for him. It doesn’t excuse the pain and anxiety it brings you. Do you know if he’s always lied (eg when he was younger - has his parents or friends ever said anything?) he’s lucky to have you sticking by him and I hope he realise soon that he’s pushing away the best thing he has. I hope what I’m saying is ok.
Hi there again Emmy,
What you are saying is absolutely fine.
My partner's upbringing was not the most supportive one. I don't think he had a very loving or nurturing childhood. His 3 siblings have their own issues originating from childhood. His mother and sister are aware of his lying. I don't know about his 2 brothers though. One of them does not have much to do with the family. The younger brother cannot remember much about his childhood.
The lying began in his adolescence I think (it could have been childhood though). According to his mother, he had to lie to hide his father's infidelity from her. I think this began in his early adolescence.
I am assuming he lies most days...but again he will just deny it. What I don't like about the situation is that I have now become a sleuth of sorts. I have resorted to snooping to uncover his lies. This is how some of his lies are being detected. When he is caught out he says that I am invading his privacy. I reply with: well if I trusted you I would not need to resort to such things. I really hate living like this. I just want to be able to trust what he says...but I just cannot at the moment.
Thanks for listening to me Emmy.
So if he’s been lying since his adolescence that behaviour is going to be so ingrained in him hey. Do you have a good relationship with your partners mother? Is it something you could perhaps discuss with her and you both approach him together about your concerns. I know you mentioned about not wanting to talk about this with friends and family but just a suggestion. Again it has to be something you feel comfortable doing. And how would your partner be with you doing that?
It must be such a hard way for you to live at the moment Wendy, not trusting him and having to check up on things to know if it’s the truth. I think one of the bests things for you would be to see a counsellor on your own to come up with some stratergies on how to handle him and for your own mental health. You said if your first post that your partner says “he is working on it” (his lying). In what way does he think he’s doing that?
I don't have the greatest relationship with his mother. She knows about how I feel about his lying, but I just think she has come to accept it and believes it is part of who he is. She is elderly and is not in the best of health, so I would not burden her with my worries. I have made enquiries to see a counsellor myself, just so I can get some professional help to deal with the lying. I don't really think my partners understands how upset I am with his lying. I get so upset when he says he is trying and that he is working on it. He doesn't elaborate on how he is "working on it". I told him the other day that his constant lying is affecting my health and that there will be a point where I will no longer tolerate it and I will move on. I know I will miss him terribly and I think that is what has kept me in the relationship for so long. Apart from the lying he is a very decent man....its just that the lying is a major player in our relationship.
Hope you are well.
Thanks again for listening. I really appreciate it.
I’m glad you’ve started to make some enquiries into seeing someone. I think it’ll really help. Let us know what that all pans out.
How did your partner react when you told him his lying his affecting your health?
Would you consider having a little break at all? Or would that not be well received.
Hope you’re doing something nice on the beautiful autumn day. I love autumn, say is still shining but the days are cool.