I lived with a man who told so many lies that I’m sure he grew to believe them. They mainly involved the reasons he would be late home, not home at all or unable to get to events involving his son. Sometimes I believed his lies too because It was easier and felt safer.
Plus, I could repeat the lies to family members and friends. For example: “B (my ex) can’t come to your wedding because he is working away from home, so I’ll go on my own. What kind of man does that to his new wife?
On more than one occassion we met a few streets from my parents house and then arrived together, so they wouldn’t know. It’s a mystery to me why I carried on ths pretense for so long.
I’m essentially a truthful person, I tend to tell the truth even when I know the truth will hurt. Which is why I am puzzled that I got so good at telling lies to others. And why I got so bad at acknowledging that they were lies. However it is a world I will never inhabit again.
But I have lied in my life.
I found it difficult to make friends at school and told some absolute woppers to try to get people to like me. At age 5 I told my teacher my mum had given birth to my brother, I drew a picture of the whole family. My mum was pregnant at the time, but hadn’t had my brother yet. She went to school to tell the teacher I had chicken pox, she was most surprised mum was quite so fat. But no harm done. The next one was terrible – I am embarrassed to admit that in the first year of secondary school I told people I’d had a sister and she had died. This was a definite attempt to get friends. It backfired and I had to admit the terrible lie. But later I did make plenty of school friends, some of whom are still friends today.
I usually blushed when lying so I quickly learned it was a bad thing to do. My husband was on a different planet when it came to telling lies.
Being married to a liar
I’ve mentioned in the introduction above some of the lies B told. It became so much part of our lives that the lies even tripped off my tongue. Where was he? Working. When would he be home? Later tonight.
At the end of our relationship he told me and my son that he was helping the homeless at Christmas. We were forced to tell his family the lie. They didn’t believe it any more than we did. I’ve never asked it it was true, I want to believe it is. But I suspect it was a lie. It’s also the last one I let him tell. The last one that I used as an excuse for his short comings. A few weeks after that I met Master and since then I’ve told the truth, even it it hurt to do so.
I want to see the best in people
So, I tend to believe them even when the evidence says otherwise. It took another man I was friends with to get me to believe my husband was lying about working away from home. It took my brother to photograph B’s car outside his now partner’s house for me to believe he was living with her.
People have told massive lies at work to cover up things they haven’t done. Others have stolen my work and passed it as their own. But until the moment that I can see what has really happened I don’t want to believe it.
Maybe it is because of the lie I told as secondary school that makes me think no one else could tell lies so bad.
White lies and hurtful lies
I try not to lie these days. I might lie by omission from time to time. For example not telling my mum I have been out with my brother because she would want to come too. But in the main I try not to. I hate that if you tell one lie you will often need to tell another and another. But also I hate to be lied to. So hate to do it to others.
As I get older I have begun to see that being truthful is more important. That no matter how bad the truth is, lying is worse. When my son was a teenager he lied to me about taking drugs. The conversation we had after that has stuck with me. I told him I would rather no than be lied to and since then he has always told me the truth. It isn’t always easy to be told things you don’t want to hear. But in the end the truth rarely hurts as much as a lie. And sometimes a lie lives with you forever – why on earth would I tell people I had a sister and that she had died. I regret that lie so much.
I wonder if B regrets the lies he told me. It likely he does.
Great post Julie – lies are a funny thing. I am very good at them but as I have got older – like u say – I tell less and less and I am more likely to keep being truthful if someone is honest with me too. So I suppose for me a lie may beget another lie.
The lie you tole about having a sister who died was just a kid attention seeking. We all have to learn – an usually do when someone tells us a whooper.
My daughter told me she took drugs – but I think this has a lot to do with my man being so open about his younger life and taking drugs. She felt she could open up too and then he was able to advice her. She is a bit older now and sees no pleasure in them any more – but at the time, even thou i was concerned, I felt pleased she was open about them.
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My ex was also the king of lies. 16 years of lying. Like you, I met my Mister and things have never been the same.
This was enlightening Julia, and I found many touchpoints in it – for instance the lying at work that others do, leaving us without the kudos we should have had. The discomfort of lying is something I am very familiar with, so much so that I struggle with anything more than white lies to smooth social niceties. I’m way too honest for my own good, because (like you) I detest being lied to, or being suspected of being untruthful.