Every human tells lies and they lie to save themselves. Unless you are being tortured or threatened that someone will take your life or someone’s life you love, lies are a way to help us feel less guilty, less embarrassed, less responsible for what we did, or vindicated for what we failed to do. When someone is lying to you there is only one person who should be defensive or worried, and that’s the liar. If you are receiving the lie then stepping back, being curious, and detaching are important so you don’t become the person who is out of control. The worst thing about being lied to is the voice you hear loudly inside telling you that you are being lied to, and the person lying to you thinks you don’t know. It’s humiliating, confusing, and because of the feelings you feel, you may go along with the lie just to avoid the upheaval of dissecting and resolving the lie.
Going along with the lie the liar told is much different than believing the lie. In fact, many couples that come to see me have relationship issues that are the result of having a “lie” shared between the two of them. These lies can be the manifestation of many different issues the liar tried to cover up, but most of the time the lie is about a previous relationship of one of the partners that wasn’t ever truly resolved. What is most fascinating is that the liar may still be lying with his or her mouth, but their body is telling both their spouse and me the truth. In my own professional opinion, I believe the partner knows their partner is lying to them, but they want me to say it because they cannot bear confronting the lie again.
A typical lie may look like this…in fact, this is a real question I received from a viewer who asked me what I thought. I could not answer it without seeing the couple, but what do you think?
Dear Mary Jo, I found out that my husband is still talking to his ex girlfriend online. I confronted him about it and he told me he never replied to her. I was reading all of his messages, and it shows that he does reply back to her. What can I do? Stephanie.
It is obvious this guy is lying to his wife, but many lies are not this blatant. In fact, people go to great lengths to hide their lies, and often it is very difficult to ascertain the truth. In fact, for many couples there is a point where the truth is so distorted and nebulous that they give up on ever hearing the real truth. When the non-lying partner reaches this point they have taken control of the situation. It is here where they can make their wisest decisions going forward. They no longer need the exact truth, because they see their partner for whom and what they are. It is at this point that they can usually tell their partner, “I know you have lied to me, and I forgive you. I cannot forget what you did, but I do recognize that you lied due to a weakness within yourself, and I won’t take responsibility for your weakness.”
For more information go to: www.maryjorapini.com
Talk to me on my fan page: http://www.facebook.com/maryjorapini
Tweet me: @MaryJoRapini
Read my Love and Relationships Blog on Chron.com
Ask me questions on Fox26 in Houston, TX and watch every Thursday Morning at 9am for “Mind, Body, Soul with Mary Jo” and Friday Morning's at 8am for “Healthy Happy Hour with Mary Jo”
Have a dating or relationship question?
Visit Ask YourTango and let our experts and community answer.