Of course right after such a positive post yesterday I came home last night and discovered my husband has been lying to me again. Not about sex stuff, but about money. It wasn’t just a one-time lie. It has been a continual lie over the last 2 weeks. It took all of the wind out of my sails, and I really couldn’t handle it emotionally. Let’s just say Mr. Mess slept on the couch last night…
I have to thank Judge Judy, though, for giving me some hard lessons about how to tell what is the truth and what isn’t. Here are some of my favorites:
“If it doesn’t make sense, it’s not true.”
“You don’t have to have a good memory if you’re telling the truth.”
“If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it’s a duck. Your story, sir, is not a duck!”
I actually used the second one on my husband last night. As his story changed for the 3rd or 4th time I told him that you don’t have to have a good memory if what you’re telling me is the truth. The truth just is… You need to use your memory when you’re trying to remember a made-up story. When it’s the truth it doesn’t change so all you have to do is say what happened… Plus, what he was saying just didn’t make sense. So it couldn’t be true! Sure enough… after several MORE denials (“I wish I could find that invoice that shows what they charged me for”) he finally fessed up that he had been lying to me. If you can even call it “fessing up” when I busted him and wouldn’t let him squirm his way out of it…
So after what has been a very good few weeks of moving forward, we have once again started taking steps back. I don’t really know what I expected. After all, yesterday I even said, “Sure, there have been a few low points and some disappointments – there are always bound to be some of those.” I just didn’t expect one of those “low points” to be the very same day… There’s irony for you!
It’s like I’m being tested to see if I really meant it when I said, “When we have setbacks, I need to remind myself of everything we have made it past and how much farther along the road we are now.” I still think that’s true. To my credit, I think I handled this a lot better than I would have in the past. There was no yelling, no waving about of the arms, no crying. I just couldn’t brush it off and snuggle up for a nice night’s sleep, though. I read in a book this morning that when someone hurts you and that person doesn’t fully change their behavior every fresh wound brings back all of the pain from each past injury as well. That is really what is happening to me right now. In the grand scheme of things this is not the worse thing he has done, but it hurts pretty bad just the same.
That’s where my quandary lies. I want to be positive. I want to give him the benefit of the doubt. I want our trust to be repaired. I want to let my walls down. But he’s a liar, and liars lie – about everything – small lies, big lies, sex lies, random lies, money lies… you name it. I want to believe him, I want to move forward, but I don’t know how to find the right balance.
My “gut” knew there was something fishy when he his story changed slightly the first time (about a week ago). My head knew there was something off, too. So why did I just let it go? Especially knowing what I know about his history of lying…
Was it because I somehow wanted to fool myself and keep my good feelings?
Because I was afraid to be negative?
Because I just wanted so badly to believe him?
Now I’m also wondering what my reaction should be. That’s one of the main reasons I asked him to spend the night away from me. I needed space to sort through my thoughts because this whole thing has really gotten into my head big time. I’m so turned around and upside down that I’m at the point where I don’t even trust myself. I don’t know how I should feel or sometimes even fully what I feel. Let me just give you a little glimpse of what I mean.
Feelings. I’m feeling pretty betrayed. I’m feeling stupid and naïve for dismissing my initial doubt to take his word. More than anything I’m feeling shut out by him. When he lies to me because he “gets caught up” or “is afraid of my reaction” what he’s really saying is that he doesn’t trust me. What I get from his actions is that he wants to keep stuff from me, exclude me from things (like finances) that I should be included in, and that he doesn’t feel like I’m worthy of the full truth. It doesn’t really matter if he’s thinking all of those things when he lies to me because that is the effect of his lies. He is robbing me of the chance to participate, to really know him, and to have a say in my own life.
What I’m not feeling that I think I should feel is anger. I’m not really that angry at all. I’m mostly just deflated. Disappointed. Resigned to the fact that this is my life. I want to have righteous indignation. I’ve had that before, and it really takes all of this complicated stuff off of the table when you can just rage a little bit. I have found it isn’t productive, though… Once the raging is done you still have to deal with all of this mess in the aftermath. It just makes it harder to connect. That I’m not angry makes me feel like I’m somehow “letting him off the hook,” though. That leads to…
Reaction and Resolution. What is an appropriate response to this? He is waiting for me to come home so we can talk about this, but I still don’t know what I really want to say. I don’t want to blow this up into something huge, but I don’t want it to seem like it’s not important either. What I really want to know is why he keeps lying to me. We’ve had that conversation a thousand times before (at least it seems that way). Actually, I kind of know why – he’s a liar. I don’t mean that in the incredibly negative and judgemental way that it sounds. It’s just the truth. He has a very long pattern of lying as a means of avoiding repercussions, making himself feel better about himself (by hiding the things he does wrong), “protecting” other people’s feelings, and taking the easy way out. It’s something he has done since he was a kid. It’s almost a knee-jerk reaction to lie and cover up “bad news” or a mistake. It’s good that he recognizes the pattern, but that doesn’t really help me feel any better about it.
Scratch what I said before – what I REALLY want to know is why he didn’t catch himself somewhere along the way. That is something we have talked about a lot. It is a promise that he has made to me – if he feels like he is about to lie he will try to catch himself, if he doesn’t catch himself and he lies he will come clean, and if he doesn’t do either one of those things he will at the very least admit the lie when I confront him. He didn’t do any of those things. In fact, he did the exact opposite. He lied to me. Then he lied to me again about the same thing… And again the next time it came up… And when I questioned him as his story kept changing he still kept lying and denying. If I hadn’t had the power of Judge Judy’s logic on my side he would have just kept on gaslighting me forever.
So what’s a girl to do? I’m not really sure (and I’m heading home in less than 5 minutes). I guess I will figure it out as I go. It’s just another Frustrating Friday…
- Only on Judge Judy (thenightlysilence.wordpress.com)
- Much Ado About Nothing. (crimsonrush.wordpress.com)
- “Small” Lies Create Big Problems (beingabeautifulmess.wordpress.com)
- Lying, Self-Deception, Resistance to Truth & Reality, and the Pain of Real Growth (theplacesthatscareyou.wordpress.com)