Tag Archives: Judge Judy

I’m Getting Tired of Talking About Lying

28 Oct

This time the lie I uncovered was another long-term one. Remember my post about Judge Judy? It turns out that the “truth” I uncovered then was just another lie. I didn’t share the entire story then, and I’m honestly feeling exhausted thinking about telling it now.  You will probably be exhausted, too, after reading it all.  I suppose that I need to for my sanity, though, to clear my head and get everything out there so I can’t delude myself again.

It all started in July of 2011.  My husband was fired from his job.  As far as I know, he was fired for being sloppy (not cleaning up his work truck) and having a bad attitude. There was a little more to it, but it doesn’t really relate to this story. After he lost his job it was important that he have insurance because he also had a surgery the week after he was fired. His previous health insurance was good through the end of the month, but he also had follow-ups and other things health-wise that needed to be taken care of. Plus, I am a huge believer that everyone needs health insurance. You just never know what might happen.

Naturally, we went ahead and added him to my insurance at work. It was a much better deal than anything he could get on his own, and it was convenient to just have it come out of my check. We worked out a budget together to compensate for his lack of a job and the additional money coming out of my paycheck. It was a little tight, but we were actually doing just fine. In October he got a new job, and told me that he would be eligible for health insurance in 3 months.

Things at that job progressed, but not as well as he had hoped. He had just barely 32 hours per week due to his school schedule, which they worked around for him. The building he was working at was also being shut down, so he was going to transfer to another building with a different manager. He said that he made sure to talk to the HR people about the insurance situation so that he would still be eligible. He assured me that he would be.

In January at the end of the 3 month period, I asked about the insurance situation. We were planning to compare the pricing through his work to the pricing through mine to see what the best option would be. He told me that he wouldn’t be eligible until February – eligibility begins on the 1st of the month after 3 full months of employment, and he started in mid-October. That made sense since that’s how we do it at my work.

Then February came, and no insurance… He told me that he dropped the ball. He had forgotten to talk to the HR department to get the paperwork, fill it out, and get it back on time. I was disappointed, but that is my husband. He is horribly lazy about things like that. It was his responsibility to take care of everything, and he didn’t. I wasn’t pleased, but I wasn’t surprised. I asked him to get the pricing and information so that we could compare it together and make a decision. He said he would. Of course he didn’t.

As March approached, I still hadn’t seen anything about the insurance. I didn’t want to nag, so I only mentioned it once. He said he had the information at work, but kept forgetting to bring it home. Then March was here, and there was no extra time. He called me and said that he looked at everything and it was better for him to go through his work. He said that he had to get the paperwork in, so he was going to fax it from his job. I said that is fine with me – he should take care of it.

He told me that the new insurance was going to be the same as the insurance he had through his old company – United Healthcare.  That was doubly fantastic.  You see, his individual therapist was part of the United network, but not Anthem, which is what I have through work.  That meant we would save money twice – cheaper insurance and no more $90 a week out-of-pocket expense for his therapy session.  Yay!  This letting him take care of things seemed to be working out really great.

Around mid-April or early May I started feeling like something was off.  It is something one of my readers dubbed a “knowing” (you can read about that here).   No matter what I did I couldn’t shake that feeling… BUT things seemed to be going so well, so I tried to push that feeling away.

My “knowing” was not to be ignored, though.  Sometime around this point I found charges for several hundred dollars on our joint account from a company I didn’t recognize.  After some research I discovered it was an online health insurance company.  I was completely confused…

Mr. Mess spun some story about looking for health insurance through his school in January when he was uncertain what would happen at work.  He said that he signed up for health insurance through a company, then changed his mind the next day after speaking to someone at work.  He claimed that he called and cancelled, and he had no idea why they would be charging him now, several months later.  He called the company and told me that the woman he dealt with was gone, and someone else had taken over her accounts.  He claimed someone found his application, saw it wasn’t processed, and put it through (without calling or verifying anything with him first).  Once he explained that he had cancelled, they agreed to refund his money.  Sure enough, the money did come back.

Still, I was hurt and felt betrayed that he would make a decision like signing up for insurance without talking to me at all.  The other crazy thing is that it was MORE expensive than the health insurance through my work, so it didn’t even make sense.  He rationalized that he was going to tell me, but then he cancelled it before anything happened so he figured it didn’t matter.  Huh…?

I also started noticing that my husband’s story about his copay kept changing.  First he told me the copay for therapy was $30 (the same as mine), then he said it was $35.  Either way, we decided to change our marriage counseling over to my insurance while he was waiting for his new insurance information.

It took us a few weeks to come to that decision and probably another one or two to get it taken care of because we see our therapist on Saturdays when no one is in the office.  That meant there were still a few sessions under his expired insurance that had to be resubmitted to his new insurance.  That created a bit of a problem for me because they kept trying to charge me for those sessions that should be going through his new insurance company.  We finally got things clarified with that so my account and his were separate, and I just had to pay for the sessions moving forward.

Part of the delay in getting the old charges taken care of (according to my husband) is that he hadn’t gotten his new insurance card yet.  He told me when it was supposed to be mailed, and since it hadn’t come he was trying to get with the HR department to have the card resent and get a temporary one in the meantime.  He said he would take care of it, so I trusted that he would.

Then I found more money discrepancies… charges for about $155 or so from his therapist’s office split over several different payment methods.  First he said that he was paying a past due bill plus his copay.  The numbers he gave me just did not add up.  His copay amounts kept changing.  The past due amount kept changing.  It made absolutely no sense to me.  That is when I relied on Judge Judy’s wisdom and told him if it didn’t make sense it wasn’t true.

He kept lying for a bit, then finally admitted that his therapist was NOT covered through his new insurance.  He said that he thought it was United Healthcare, but it was really US Health (or something like that).  When he found out he had been mistaken he was worried that he told me the wrong thing.  He said that he panicked and lied about it.  We talked about it extensively in therapy.

The unpaid back bills from our joint therapy sessions also remained an issue.  He would tell me that he was going to take care of it.  He kept not taking care of it.  At the beginning of July he lied to me about it, then admitted his lie when I pushed a little bit (I talked about that here).  Week after week passed with excuse after excuse until I just stopped asking.  It was his bill.  It was his credit being ruined.  I decided to just let him worry about that bill on his own.

It didn’t come up again for a few more weeks, at the end of July, when our therapist asked about it.  I mean, seriously, these bills were from March or April (I really can’t remember the month, but it was a while back).  He was going to be out to deal with prostate cancer for about 6 weeks.  He asked that my husband make a point of taking care of the bill during that time because he doesn’t get paid if he doesn’t work, so having that money come in would be helpful.  Mr. Mess promised he would take care of it and ensure the office had his new insurance to submit those old charges to.

Again, the matter fell off of my radar.  Then we had the issue with him not taking his meds in August (that story is here).  He got gout in September.  Finally, there was the STD testing fiasco (the very long story of that is here).  That was the last straw for me.  I asked him for a separation.  He has been out of the house now for 2 weeks.

This past week a bill came for an X-Ray he got in September when they were diagnosing his gout (and ruling out other possible causes).  It clearly stated that there was no insurance company to submit the charges to.  Suddenly it all clicked.  MY HUSBAND NEVER GOT HEALTH INSURANCE!!!

Everything for at least the past 7 months has been a lie.  I can’t even count the number of times he has lied to me about this subject.  The above summary is only the beginning.  I don’t even know when the lying started.  In March when he said he submitted the information?  In January or February when he should have been eligible?  As far back as October when he first got the job and told me he would eligible for insurance in 3 months?

I think back on all of the times he lied, and I feel empty inside.  In marriage counseling more than once.  In bed when we talked at night.  When he was telling me the “truth” about his new health insurance company.  All the times he was reassuring me that he cares about me, wants to be 100% honest, and is committed to earning my trust.  It was all a farce.  He even looked a man in the face who was worried about his upcoming cancer operation and lied to him.  Shamelessly.  How low can you go?

I really don’t know.  I’m sure it can and probably would have gotten much worse.  I don’t know if he can ever change.  I do know that I am SO over talking about lies.  I’m tired of being lied to.  I’m tired of wondering what is the truth.  I’m done expending any more emotional energy on this topic.  Either he figures it out and fixes it, or he doesn’t.  I don’t even know how I will ever be able to tell.

What I do know is that I will not accept lies as a regular part of my relationship anymore.  I’m done believing in his “higher potential.”  I am not going to let my optimism cripple me anymore.  My eyes are wide open.

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Paying Attention to My Gut

13 Aug

Since the last major discovery that fateful day in March of 2011 I have vowed to trust my instincts.  I have done well, for the most part, by using common sense and reason.  Judge Judy taught me a few lessons that served me well.  Still, I ended up in this most recent situation because I didn’t trust my gut.  My head has gotten so muddled with trying not to be codependent that I’m not sure whether to trust my initial reaction to situations for fear that it is coming from an unhealthy place.  I don’t want to be controlling, I want to let go, and I don’t want to live my life being emotionally tied to his decisions.  At the same time, I need to protect myself from further hurt.  I am living with a sex addict.  So where is the balance?

I’m obviously still trying to find it.  Where I am now is a perfect example.  Mr. Mess said he was going to take control of his recovery.  He had already been making his own therapy appointments and coordinating with me on our marriage counseling sessions.  In May things were progressing, slowly but surely.  We had one major fight, but were able to work through it in counseling and each learn a few things.  So when he said he was going to leave his medication in his car to take every morning on the way to work and keep up with the refills, I stepped back completely.  I decided that was his thing to take care of.  I felt a tad bit more healthy, and reassured that he wanted to handled one more part of his recovery on his own.

In mid-June and through July when I started noticing little changes in his behavior I attributed it to work or stress or minor annoyances… you know pretty day-to-day stuff.  He had also increased his prescription dose because he noticed it wasn’t having the same effect as before.  I figured some natural fluctuations in mood and temperament were fairly normal with changing medication dosage.  I wanted to ask if he was still taking his medication, if he had refilled it like he said he would.  But I stopped myself.  I told myself that was codependent thinking.  That he said he was going to take care of it, and I needed to let it go.  Refilling a prescription, picking it up, and taking the medication once per day is not difficult.  I have been doing it for years and years.  He is 47 years old.  He can do it.  He doesn’t need me to do it, he doesn’t need me to remind him.  Treat him like the adult he is.

So I did.  And every time I got that nagging feelings, I pushed it away.  On the weekend when I didn’t see him take anything, I told myself I wasn’t watching him every minute so how could I know?  When he had those “backward thinking” moments that were so common-place before his medication, I told myself not to worry about it.  I pointed my finger at the fact that he had finally started regularly attending SA meetings to reassure myself.  We went to Retrouvaille (which I know I never finished writing about – bad me), and were communicating pretty well in marriage counseling.  There was a big lying incident around money and he definitely didn’t handle his emotions well there, but for some reason the medication thing never popped into my head.  When he would react badly or blow up or have mood swings, the nagging feeling would pop back into my head.  But I kept telling myself not to be codependent.  Not to nag him.  To try to trust… that’s what I have been working on in this marriage, after all.

Of course, that all crashed and burned around me.  He stopped taking his medication right around the time he told me he was going to take care of it (within about 3 weeks).  So I dismissed my gut instincts as fear and trouble letting go of codependent behavior.  When they were really red flags that I should have paid attention to.  Lesson learned – trust yourself.  Don’t dismiss true gut insticts.

Telling the difference between the codependent thoughts and those flashes of concern over real issues is something I am still tweaking.  I think I will have to go with Judge Judy and Buddha on this one…  If it makes sense and agrees with reason and past history, then I will trust it.  If, instead, it is based on irrational fear or isn’t in line with common sense I will wait it out.  If it’s still there in a few days, I will take action and try to confirm or disprove it.  One way or another, I will determine what to believe.  I will not let anything cling to my mind unresolved for months ever again.

Lies, Lies, Go Away… Come again NEVER!

6 Jul

I love House. Just look at those eyes! Unfortunately, he is right about the prevalence of lies. I just can’t take it anymore.

Lies.  They destroy relationships.  They destroy lives.  They pile up on top of each other until they feel like they might bury me alive.  Small lies, big lies, white lies, half-truths, gaslighting – they are all the same.  They all cause pain.  I’ve reached the point now where my tolerance for lies of any sort is basically nonexistent.  I will not accept them, but more than that I feel like I can’t accept them.  I think one more lie might actually cause my brain to crack.

So I continue to keep my distance from my husband.  It doesn’t matter why he still lies.  It just matters that he does.  He can’t promise me that he won’t lie again because that’s how ingrained in him it is.  As far as I know he has not been to individual counseling this week.  He knows the steps to take, but he isn’t taking them.  So I’m in this weird limbo.  We coexist.  I don’t have animosity towards him (or he towards me).  Yet we cannot be as close as I would like us to be.  I can’t fully rely on or trust him.  I can’t put my raw heart back into his hands.  He just isn’t doing what it takes for me to feel comfortable and safe.

That means this weekend may be a bit strange.  I have already started planning some things that I can do on my own.  I am going to check out J.C. Penney for some items that I know are on sale this month.  I may or may not be getting another tattoo (depending on what the sketch looks like when I go see it today).  Maybe I’ll even drive down to the outlet mall in Williamsburg, although I doubt it considering the blistering heat we are supposed to be experiencing.

I’m not sad.  I’m not happy.  I’m just kinda blah.  I have noticed that my recent posts tend a bit toward the melancholy.  I’m not sure completely why that is – and to be honest I don’t know if they really do have a melancholy feel or not.  I just don’t know what my emotions are.  That’s possibly because they are conflicted and changing from moment to moment.  I see others in pain on the message boards or experiencing a lot of triggers or joy or triumph in their marriages.  I read about progress, steps backward, and frustrations.  And I feel like I’m just hanging here.

It actually reminds me of a time that I paid a little extra for a bungee jumping/ hang gliding thing at a local theme park.  They call it the Xtreme Skyflyer.  They have you cocooned up in this body harness that is attached to a long bungee cable.  The cable is connected to what looks like half of the McDonald’s arch.  They raise you up about 17 stories and let gravity do the rest.  There is a moment when you are high above everything, anticipating what is to come.  Then you’re dropped.  There is a long free fall to about 6 feet above the ground – so low that you are convinced you will slam into the spectators below.  The initial speed is somewhere around 60 mph, then you swing back and forth for a while until everything slows down and you are just hanging.  They slowly lower you down to the ground, and the ride is over.

This journey has been like that.  At first I thought our life together would be an adventure.  I looked at the ride from the ground and thought it would be fun – exciting even.  I trusted that I would be safe with him.  That we would be in this together.  That no matter how scary it got we would always have each other.  I got harnessed in (a.k.a. married) and enjoyed the view as we climbed higher and higher together.  I wasn’t really anticipating a drop – maybe I closed my eyes and didn’t watch how the ride played out before, maybe I didn’t want to know, maybe I let myself overlook what was coming or convinced myself that we could just keep going up forever.  That’s not how the ride worked, though…

Those clues from before that I had overlooked?  The small lies, the hiding of pornography, the sexting and affair, all of the things he said he has “stopped,” that were “fixed.”  They weren’t.  They were just waiting at the top to pull the cord that would drop us.  During and immediately following D-Day I discovered so many lies – they were coming fast and hard.  It felt like my stomach was dropping out of my body.  All I could manage was to hold on for dear life.  The adrenaline must have been the only thing keeping my body running.  Our marriage was holding us together while our entire relationship was dangling by a thin cable.  He was taking me on this ride right along with him, and there wasn’t anything I could do to keep from being affected.

As we settled into recovery, therapy, and counseling things started slowing down.  We were still on this giant swing, though.  Some days we were up, some days we felt very close to crashing.  Each new lie still caused my stomach to drop a bit, but nothing like that initial free-fall.  I started to think that I could handle this.  That I could deal with the back and forth, up and down as long as there were no more big drops.

Now the pendulum is slowing.  We are nearly on solid ground.  And I realize now how much I want that solid ground.  How much I need it.  I want to get off of this ride and feel the Earth under my feet.  Know that my world has stopped swinging out of control.  Each lie he tells makes it seem like I will never get there…  I will be stuck on this ride forever.  I can’t do that.

I want him to get off the ride with me.  I’m not sure if he can, though.  He is either too scared, too confused, too caught up, or too…  I don’t know.  So right now we are still bundled together, just hanging there.  A few feet away from the ground.  Almost where we want to be.  And those 6 feet seem like an immense canyon.  I’m not sure how long I can keep hanging here before I cut myself loose and go those last few feet on my own.  I guess only time will tell.

In the meantime, here I am.  Hi everyone!  I’m up here just watching you go about your lives.  I laugh with you over your joys.  I feel empathy for you if you are down.  I offer advice (what little I have) if I think it might be helpful.  Some of you are on your own rides.  Some of you are already on the ground walking around where I want to be.  I will get there some day.  I’m very close!  I will not let anything stop me.  Those lies are going away one way or another because I won’t let them in the next time they come knocking!

I want to feel my feet back on solid ground. My toenails are painted this color right now, in fact.

Setting Boundaries

2 Jul

This is a topic that has been on my mind a lot lately.  Last week we were supposed to have marriage counseling together, but Mr. Mess got sick and couldn’t make it.  I decided to still go on my own because I really like our therapist and enjoy getting the chance to bounce things off of him.  He was running late because of a new appointment that entered “crisis mode” as he put it, so we only had about 30-40 minutes.  He asked me what I wanted to talk about, and boundaries was the first thing on my mind.  I have written about boundaries here a few times (Letting Go… Easier Said Than Done and Finishing up the Checklist among others), but hadn’t really delved into it much in therapy.

One of my first questions was how to go about setting boundaries when it comes to things like lying.  I know that I don’t want to accept dishonesty in my relationship.  However, I don’t know what a healthy response to my husband crossing that boundary would be.  I don’t want to blow things out of proportion, but at the same time I don’t want to hold my feelings back or make it such a non-issue that it seems like I’m okay with it.  He agreed that it can be difficult sometimes to determine what the proper response is to another person crossing our boundaries.  In this case he definitely agreed that I don’t want to make my husband feel like it isn’t a big deal to lie to me.

He reminded me of when we first came to him and how he felt our biggest issue – then and now – was the loss of trust.  Lying is an almost hard-coded response that my husband has been doing since childhood.  That contributed to his affairs, and it also made our recovery much harder than it would have been otherwise.  Because lying has been a constant part of our relationship it is very important that I be able to express my feelings.  My husband really needs to understand what his lying does to me, us, and the marital repairs we are trying to make.  Keeping those things in the forefront of his mind will hopefully help condition his mind that lying is NOT the easiest or best resolution to discomfort.

We have definitely come a long way since the first day we walked into his office, but the continual small lies keep breaking my new-found confidence in my husband.  We have talked through several such lying incidents in marriage counseling.  He said that he can see progress in my husband.  I agree.  For example, I explained a lying incident that happened before our last counseling session.  Mr. Mess initially lied to me about something, then when I questioned him again he admitted the truth.  This was progress for us, believe it or not, because it only took me asking “is that really the truth?” for him to be honest with me.  We also were able to talk about why he would lie and how disappointed and hurt it made me feel.

The MC told me that was a good way to handle things.  He said that in future instances I should be sure to let him know how I am feeling.  He said to try to avoid overarching “always” or “never” and “you” statements and stick to “I” statements that refer to a specific action – like “I feel shut out and hurt when you do xyz” versus “You always shut me out.”  We also talked about strategies for redirecting the conversation if it turns into a defensive, sarcastic, or unproductive argument.  He told me ways that I can refocus us – like saying “That isn’t what we are talking about here” or “Let’s get back to the main topic.”  He told me not to temper my feelings or hold back for fear of how he might respond.  My husband has to manage his own response and learn to control his anger, defensiveness, and lashing out.  If I feel uncomfortable or like we will not make any progress if things continue in a negative way, then I am free to disengage, tell him I won’t speak to him when he is behaving that way, and stop responding.

The moral of the story – if you will – was that I should be responsible for conveying my feelings in a healthy way.  That includes setting boundaries and responding with consequences (whatever they may be) if those are broken.  I should control my own response just like my husband should control his.  If something he does hurts me, I should express that.  If he responds badly, I shouldn’t reinforce that by reacting and being drawn into the drama.  If he crosses a boundary, then I need to be responsible for protecting myself and taking myself out of the line of fire.  I can only control me – what I ask for, what I accept, how I approach the situation, and how far I let him go.  What a ground-breaking concept!

Sadly, I had to put that new knowledge to use far sooner than I ever expected.  That’s because my husband lied to me again yesterday.  About something stupid that there was no need to hide from me.  Again.  Just like in my post Lessons from Judge Judy, all I needed was common sense to break through his flimsy lies.  Unlike the last time when he confessed pretty quickly, this time he reverted all the way back to the days of covering up and lying even as he was admitting part of the lie.  There were several times he lied to me yesterday, all about the same subject.

During the process I told him clearly that finding out he was keeping something insignificant from me (that he shouldn’t have any fear about telling me), makes me feel very afraid that when it matters (i.e. if he is tempted to cheat, or otherwise has something he would have fear about) he won’t tell me the truth.  I think I did a pretty good job of sticking to how I feel and not using “always” statements, although I will admit that I brought up past instances of lying as well.  I’m not sure if that’s a bad thing or not since I did stick to specifics.  I just felt like he didn’t understand why I would be hurt about the lies and omissions that he considered “not a big deal.”

I thought that we had things worked out, and I ended up deciding to accept his last explanation of the situation.  Until I heard his phone vibrating in the other room.  He picked it up and said he had a voice mail.  He told me what it said – in the loose way that he does  (“oh, it was xyz who said blah”).  Then he quickly said that his phone was on vibrate because he must have forgotten to turn the ringer on after work on Friday.  Okay.  Except, wait…  We lost power on Saturday and couldn’t find his phone.  He had me call it from mine, and his phone rang.  Not vibrated – rang.  Hmmm…..  That got my Spidey senses tingling.  Why the lie?  I checked his phone and once again, I had facts in my hand that directly contradicted what he told me.  Still he tried to gaslight me into thinking I was crazy and should believe him instead of my eyes.

That was it.  As I mentioned earlier, I had already decided that one of my firm boundaries is that honesty is required in my relationship (honesty is one of the most important things to me and has been my entire life – see Being Honest).  That means openness, sharing, no topic is off-limits, and no lies.  Until that moment I didn’t really know what I needed to do to enforce that boundary.  If this was a new relationship that would be it – see you later, sayonara, have a good life, but this won’t work for me.  It isn’t a new relationship, though, and we have been working on this underlying issue of his for a while.   That doesn’t mean I have to accept lies, though.  I told him he needed to sleep somewhere else.  He collected some clothes from the bedroom for work, and headed to the couch.

As I sat there in bed alone I started thinking (big shock, right?).  The more I thought about it, the more I liked my response.  At first I started to ask him why.  Then I asked how he could do that – lie to me, then “come clean” with more lies, reconcile knowing it was based on a lie, and then gaslight me when I found ultimate proof.  I felt myself starting to get worked up.  I tried to stop him from walking away from me.  Then instead I stopped myself.  I told him he wasn’t sleeping in our marital bed that night or any night until he talked to someone about this, really committed to working on it, and got back to weekly IC (his pattern is to go for a few weeks then stop).  Then I ended it.  Because it doesn’t really matter why he lied to me right now.  What matters is he did.  He needs to figure out his why.  I need to protect myself from further hurt.

Truthfully, it felt good.  It was nice to just worry about me.  I couldn’t engage further, get angry, and start a screaming match that would keep me up all night, get my emotions running crazy, and not resolve anything.  I couldn’t jump into therapist mode, and try to help him figure out his issues.  I also couldn’t sleep in the same bed with him.  I couldn’t allow our feet to brush together, feel the rhythm of his sides as he inhaled and exhaled, hear his snoring, and be woken by him rolling out of bed in the morning.  It is all too intimate.  That’s a vulnerability and closeness I can’t share with someone who has just lied to me.  So here I am – a woman who just set and enforced a boundary.  It has left me feeling peaceful.

Lessons from Judge Judy

18 May

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:Judge Judy

“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.

I feel like the kid at the top who is just waiting for the other person to drop him.
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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…

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