Dear Rhonda & Dr. Cheri: Liar, Liar
Dear Rhonda and Dr. Cheri,
My husband was on the phone to a woman he said is new at work. She’s not an employee at his job. He just lied again. Then he said they were just friends and challenged me to call her. He knew I wouldn’t … if he’s having another affair, he’s probably improved his lying about it.
My husband cheated on me twice in our ten years of marriage. I forgave him after we went through therapy.
Every time I forgive him, he lies again. He can’t keep his lies straight. He lies about stupid stuff like saying something wasn’t at the store — when he just didn’t want to go to the store.
I keep trying to trust him, but he’s just a liar.
Great liars can deceive others easily. It’s not about you.
A lie is when someone presents falsities with the purpose of deceiving another.
Self-interest ignites most lies, except when “tact” is used as a “white lie.”
Types of liars:
1) Pathological — Someone who lies habitually, obsessively, and sometimes irrationally, without empathy for others. Some have a mental condition such as “anti-social personality disorder” (or sociopathy) or “borderline personality disorder,” but it’s no excuse for people who know right from wrong. Pathological liars also tend to be eloquent and engaging when they’re speaking. They often don’t show common traits of lying, like long pauses and avoiding eye contact.
2) Compulsive Liars — Compulsive liars may be habitual or narcissistic liars, and they usually try to make themselves appear heroic or they humble-brag or play the victim. They’ll forget the over-detailed stories they already told.
3) “White-lie” Liars — Americans call this an acceptable lie that stretches truth’s boundaries. It’s considered a good lie when trying to be sensitive by telling someone they look good in a certain outfit, for instance, when they may not. However, it’s been stretched beyond discretion, like calling in sick when you’re not.
Stats on lying from recent studies:
• Eight in 10 Americans say it’s not okay to lie on your taxes or lie to your spouse about an affair.
• 60 percent lie to stay out of trouble.
• More women and religious people believe we should always be honest.
• 60 percent of us lie once in 10 minutes.
Try coping by:
1) Being the example — honesty is a virtue on which all others are built.
2) Calling your husband out on his lies and choosing not to stay a victim.
3) Understanding trust in healthy relationships is imperative and lying is unacceptable — consequences always follow lies.
You may have to make difficult decisions, because you can’t change him.
Rhonda and Dr. Cheri
Rhonda Orr is the president and founder of the Prescott-based Rhonda’s STOP BULLYING Foundation. Dr. Cheri L. McDonald, PhD, LMFT, is a crime-victim specialist. Send questions to rhonda@BullyingLifeAndStuff.com — Listen to Rhonda’s podcast at BullyingLifeAndStuff.com.