We had a session with a therapist this morning. I scheduled it as I wanted to go in myself and clear my head and he asked to join. The therapist is the same person that we’ve been talking to as a couple after that incident with lying about a boys trip. I think we saw her for about 3-4 months afterwards. Back then we did talk about our communication, how the way I was reacting to some things could have pushed him into lying even more etc. I took on some advice on how to “chill” and let things go that prior to that I wouldn’t, he learned some techniques he could put in practice when he needed to tell me something that I wouldn’t like. Overall, we both felt good about the sessions and that we got some useful tools out of it.
Some people say “just trust him”. I did trust him fully, prior to the lie about the boys trip. Since then we’ve been working on building this trust up, we moved on and did fine for a few months, but it’s hard to recover trust once lost when every 2-3 months another lie surfaces, although less significant but it serves to reinforce the idea that he can’t be trusted. Even though a lot of the times other females are involved in these lies, I do not have suspicions of him cheating, and I have been very clear with him on that. Call me crazy, but I think he loves me too much to cheat on me. So that is not an issue. Not manning up and telling me things that I may not necessarily be too fond of, is an issue.
I don’t go around snooping for things. Last time I was tempted to look at his phone was over a year ago. And trust me, I could do it every day if I wanted to. For most of the time we get along just fine, like any other regular couple. I don’t pester him with questions (I think). Yes, I do ask “who is that” occassionally when he receives a text message and laughs, or I ask him “what did you get up to last night” if I am away for a business trip. But those are just normal questions, asked in a normal tone, and any other couple does the same. The blowout fights only happen after a lie has surfaced (and this usually happens accidentally and not as a result of me “digging” for anything), I present him with evidence and he still refuses to come clean or minimizes it based on technicalities or turns it around and blames it on me.
Last night he volunteered to me that he also lied to me about a week ago when I was away on my bachellorette trip. I called to talk to him as I was upset about some issues my little sister was dealing with, and he was being a good fiance and listened. I guess I asked him if he was going out that night, I don’t remember asking this as it was probably just a polite part of conversation (it was Friday night). He said no, he was staying home. The truth is that he was actually going out to have beers with a friend. They had two beers and he was back home. His explanatin was that he lied because he didn’t want to appear insensitive because I was upset about my sister. I realize this is a small lie but I bring it up as an example that really to me makes no sense – I was not upset at him, I was upset about something about my sister, I do not care if he is going to go out for a beer, in fact I was about to start my own bachelorette party, so why in the world would I have a problem with him going out for a beer??? But he makes these assumptions to himself of how something may upset me, or in this case appear insensitive, and l don’t even get a chance to prove his assumptions wrong.
Back to today’s session………………
The therapist does not think that he is a compulsive lier or a pathological lier. She believes that his lying is all related to wanting to make our relationship better – and that means avoiding any possibility of a conflict that may come up. This of course doesn’t mean that it’s any less significant, but she felt it was important that I see the distinction between what he is doing and compulsive lying. She had asked me if I would be able to view things that way when they happen to soften the blow, so instead of reacting as “he is lying again”, first think “ok, he is trying to avoid conflict”. In her view, she has seen the progress since they’ve been having sessions (he went on his own about 8 times couple of months ago). I guess I can see progress when it comes to trips – he travels for work a lot and oftentimes wouldn’t tell me about overseas trips until a day or two before (even though he’d know for weeks), again assuming I wouldn’t be happy to hear it. That did stop, he is now telling me ahead of time when he has trips planned. See, I hadn’t even picked up on that improvement, because to me that just seems natural.
So I guess the message from the therapist is that his lying is a big problem, the underlying reason for why he does is actually good intentions that he has of keeping us happy. She can’t provide reasurance that that behaviour will change, but she thinks it is possible to improve it so that eventually these “relapses” happen less frequently, maybe six months apart, maybe once a year. And then really it’s up to me to decide if it is something I could live with … could I accept it as his imperfection and remind myself when a relapse does happen that it is just a relapse …. and a question for him, is he willing to work on it more and practice when situations like that come up again or the other option would be to be with a girl that won’t be bothered with lying as much as I am. Well he’ll always choose the first option and is willing to go for regular councelling and says he found the 8 sessions very helpful…..
So that’s an update … we left it at that and both went to work. Thank you all for giving such thoughtful responses, I can’t thank everyone individually, but just so you know they are all very appreciated.