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What do YOU do when someone is lying to you?

Old 05-26-2011, 09:23 AM
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I listened to many lies. They came in all shapes and sizes; big lies, little white lies, saving-face lies, denial lies, on and on and on ... I got to the point that I figured my exAH was lying so much to himself, that anything I said to try to set the record straight would go in one ear and out the other. I just quit calling him out on all his b.s. because it was crazy-making for me and it served no constructive purpose.

I know that deep down inside, I was hoping he would have some sort of ah-ha moment and fess up and admit he was lying, but that never happened. That's when it began to dawn on me that I was as crazy, if not crazier, than the A. I was also getting upset over someone who didn't care enough to be honest with himself. Yes, I hated when he lied to me, but I think he believed his own lies.

Although we've been living apart for quite awhile, he still tries to pull b.s. on me occasionally. Now I have the luxury of not returning his occasional calls or emails. Putting a great deal of distance between us did me a world of good!
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Old 05-26-2011, 12:13 PM
  # 22 (permalink)  
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It's true, lying is part of the disease. Along with projection and blame. My XABF has convinced himself that I am the liar, accused me of it constantly. I could write a book as long as Gone With the Wind full of his lies. The more he drinks, the better they get! I stopped confronting, it is useless. He feels no remorse for lying to me, and no matter what I say to him on the topic, he will just keep lying and projecting that dishonesty onto me.
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Old 05-26-2011, 12:16 PM
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Originally Posted by ErinGoBraugh View Post
I listened to many lies. They came in all shapes and sizes; big lies, little white lies, saving-face lies, denial lies, on and on and on ... I got to the point that I figured my exAH was lying so much to himself, that anything I said to try to set the record straight would go in one ear and out the other. I just quit calling him out on all his b.s. because it was crazy-making for me and it served no constructive purpose.

I know that deep down inside, I was hoping he would have some sort of ah-ha moment and fess up and admit he was lying, but that never happened. That's when it began to dawn on me that I was as crazy, if not crazier, than the A. I was also getting upset over someone who didn't care enough to be honest with himself. Yes, I hated when he lied to me, but I think he believed his own lies.

Although we've been living apart for quite awhile, he still tries to pull b.s. on me occasionally. Now I have the luxury of not returning his occasional calls or emails. Putting a great deal of distance between us did me a world of good!
Yes, yes, yes! I too hoped for that "ah-ha moment" from him. Never happened, probably never will. All of the confrontation does go "in one ear and out the other". Useless.
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Old 05-26-2011, 03:26 PM
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This is a hard topic for me. I have such a big hang-up with lying.... have always been very strict with my kids about it and treated as a very serious offense. Never knew my husband to lie to me BEFORE he started drinking, about 15 years into our marriage. I trusted him so much that he was able to hide his drinking problem from me for a couple years after it started. After 5 years of living with his problem, I know he is a very good liar.
When he's sober, he's a great man and I don't think he lies to me, but, I am unable to trust him. When he is drinking, he is amazingly clever with hiding it and lying. I struggle with not taking it personally. I'm just beginning to see it's part of his disease and that they will do anything to protect the alcohol use.
My AH will deny he is lying no matter what, until I am to the point of screaming at him to just shut up because I know he's lying. (I don't necessarily advise anyone do this; it's just where I usually end up eventually because it is SO offensive to me).
I think what I am relating here shows that I have a long way to go with "detaching".... I'll be honest and say a big part of me doesn't want to detach. I love him very much and I just want him to be well and for this nightmare to finally end.
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Old 05-26-2011, 04:30 PM
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If it's my daughter, I calmly confront her and let her know why I think she's not telling the truth.

If it's anyone else, I shrug, and thank my lucky stars that I have been around the block enough times to understand that generally, people can tell when they're being lied to. I don't think confronting is the wrong tactic, but I'm tired, and personally not willing to be angry over someone else's dishonesty at this point.

If I'm lying, I mentally beat myself up about it.
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Old 05-26-2011, 04:43 PM
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This may be its own thread, but as I look back on my relationship with my A, I wonder how many lies were told because he simply didn't remember the truth? And being faced with evidence...still couldn't remember the truth so easily defensive about it?

I had an interesting experience with him a few months back. Being on anti-depressants at the moment, my memory sucks. It is a side effect, even at the mildest dosage. I said something in a voicemail to him...forgot I even said it (and honestly still have no memory of this voicemail) I denied saying that, he pulled up his Google voice email and forwarded it to me, and then right after sent me the archived voicemail in an audio file.

It was humiliating and demeaning. Now if I catch him in a lie or a half truth, I no longer correct him. That's between him and his God. But I don't trust him.
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Old 05-26-2011, 06:00 PM
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The only people that lie to me our my kids and my AH. The kids I totally confront them so they know they can't get away with it. We also talk about why honesty is important. Normal growing up stuff.

With AH I do not asked questions any longer about his illness which has ended most of the lying. When he lies about drinking I tell him what the truth is. No anger, no emotion, just what the truth is. The most recent example I can think of was when he wanted to talk because he was not happy with how I am emotionally and physically with him. He tried to tell me that it was just a slip a few months back. I corrected him and told him, "no you are actively drinking still". "Just because I no longer confront you about it does not mean I don't know". He agreed and then the conversation evolved from that point. We discussed why I act and feel the way I do. The biggest change for me (now that I am a recovering codie) was I walked away from that conversation with zero expectation that it had any affect on him. Before I would have felt like he got it, he is understanding my point and it was some sort of break through. Before his lying was a huge trigger for me, now I see what it is... his illness talking, but it is still coming out of HIS mouth which he need to make a choice of getting control of.
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Old 05-26-2011, 08:04 PM
  # 28 (permalink)  
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I made a ginormous mistake by taking my exabf after quite a few lies involving his exgf from high school. The trust was totally blown between us.

Once trust is gone, you can't get it back. And no rel'ship can survive w/out trust.

Originally Posted by barb dwyer View Post
I'm known as the queen of confrontation
and it's odd
because I rarely confront anyone LOL.

I know what happens to me on the INSIDE
when I catch someone lying to me.

I close them out.
I never believe a word that comes out of their mouth
ever again.
Whether it's a cheracter defect or not
I could NOT be less concerned
because it's been a survival technique
that's saved me far more often
than it's hurt me.

I may forgive
but I never forget.

When someone in recovery lies to me
I know that the disease is still directing them
and not their courage.

It 'places' them somewhere in my head
or on my list
and I deal with them from that place.

Believe it or not -
I'm not comfortable with confrontation.
If I can stand up for what's right
thats another matter.
I'm a wolverine when it comes to that.
Or a snapping turtle.

When someone tells me a lie
I USUALLY just nod and dismiss them.
And that's it for them.

I'd like to hear how others do it as well.
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Old 05-26-2011, 08:07 PM
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I posted a link to an article about why alcoholics lie. It mainly has to do with shame, guilt and the disease making them have to live in constant denial. I'm feeling lazy but at some point I will try to dig it up again.
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Old 05-27-2011, 03:23 AM
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Depends on the circumstances I suppose. First thing I would ask myself, how important is it?

I can remember once years back, had a friend that I would refer to as a 'bullsh***er'.

This person was/is? a chronic liar, but it was mainly about telling tales that involved himself, don't recall if any of the lies would have been characterized as serious. But it got to the point, don't remember if I confronted him or just gave him a skeptical look after he told me a tale that was slightly implausible, he pleaded that 'it was true' so he must have recognized himself that he was a bullsh***er.

I have a 'friend' now that would be classified as a 'chronic liar'-google it-I take just about everything she says with a grain of salt, no sense in 'confronting' her, that never went well and it's not my problem.

The odd thing is, in her own way she can be very honest about herself but in the most indirect fashion imaginable.

The whole subject brings me back to my particular problem, trusting people that don't merit my trust and not trusting people that do. Good post!
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Old 05-27-2011, 12:42 PM
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UGH, I just did it again with AH. He was explaining what he has been doing, and it didn't make sense, so I kept asking probing questions until it became apparent he was lying. Then, he got defensive. Then, I got mad. I really need to break this cycle, but I can't seem to do it! I can't seem to let go of the need to prove that I know he's lying.
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Old 05-27-2011, 12:58 PM
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When RAH was drinking/using I could tell when he was lying to me and I would usually call him out on it...that would get him to stuttering, blah blah blah. Then I would just sit at my computer and stew. Being lied to obviously sucks and hurts. Kinda odd now I seem to have a liar radar. I can usually tell when someone is lying to me. *shrugs shoulders* If it's an acquaintance I just say..."ohhh really? Wow!" to a lie and they usually shut up haha! If it's someone else, like a family member..I'm usually like "ohhhh come on!" Anyway, I just try to let it roll off my back anymore.
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Old 05-27-2011, 01:07 PM
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I will refer, again, to LaTeeDa's quote in my signature:

Unacceptable behavior is unacceptable.

I can understand people's reasons for lying, be they medical or situational.
Still doesn't make a difference.

I'm not completely hardcore on shutting out someone for lying, though.
My youngest child lies about her father all the time, because she feels she needs to defend him against me. I understand that. I don't condone it, but I also don't confront it, because I know that she's lying and she knows that she's lying and I know that it's what she needs to do right now, and when she's ready, she will stop.

I know my AXH lies every time he opens his mouth. But there's no reason for me to confront him. He has created his own reality and he's drinking to maintain it and he's lying about the drinking but the rest of it? He really believes. He lives in a fantasyland of his own creation where he's the guy with the white hat and drinking is OK. I think I left partly because I knew he'd never move out of that fantasyland.
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Old 07-11-2011, 09:46 PM
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To me, being lied to makes me feel like you think that I'm stupid.
To me, being lied to makes me feel like I'm not worth the truth to begin with
To me, being lied to makes me realize that you are not worth my time.
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Old 07-11-2011, 10:50 PM
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Why do anything at all?

Liars lie. It's what they do. Like grandpa's snore. they just can't seem to stop and it doesn't seem to bother them the least.

Sometimes I laugh. Sometimes I walk away. Sometimes I just demand my fracking sweater back.

In the end, they still lie. And I still can't find that darn sweater.
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Old 07-11-2011, 11:31 PM
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Lying was a big part of my growing up. It wasn't just the A's who lied but those all around the A's, the enablers, the codies, the friends & family of A's --about big things, little things. I lied too. I feel sad and shameful about that--that as a child, I learned to lie. The truth was scary.

I guess I would ask why do people lie? Is it a defense mechanism? Does the lie seem so much better than the "truth?" Is the "truth" so painful or shameful that deception seems better? I wonder if people sometimes lie because they don't feel safe to tell the truth. There's a need to cover-up. I live in a culture (U.S.) that doesn't encourage truth-telling as a whole. Yet when people are "caught lying, " it is often thought of as wrong (morally) or that it reflects some kind of character flaw. Certainly, for the A's, it's part of addiction.

I work really hard and consciously to be truthful because there was so much lying growing up. I work at it because it makes me feel authentic and free. I do feel better about myself too. If I want to bail out of a lunch with someone, I can assure you that an elaborate lie pops into my head very quickly to back out of it. I struggle to keep it honest and just say something like, "I am not available" or "I changed my mind." No other explanations or story-telling necessary.

Of course, I don't want to be lied to. I don't like it. It feels like a major violation. As one who grew up with a lot of lies, I can say, I rather not lie myself (to myself and to others) than to be lied to. The "lie" may represent something different to those who are doing the lying than to those who are actually being lied to. Being honest is a healing gift to myself.
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Old 07-12-2011, 01:40 AM
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Funny....the only person in my life who lies to me is the alcoholic.

Weird!!

And when he does and he's drunk I try to get him to explain. Sometimes it's good for a laugh (like the time he told me that the liquor store reciept for $47 was for the purchase of 3 burritos...and a salad.) Other times I walk away or else it's going to be a LONG night for me! Usually he's so drunk when he does lie to me that by the time he realizes I've walked away he can't walk well enough to follow, gives up, and goes back to whatever he was trying to do before the converstation.
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Old 07-12-2011, 09:13 AM
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Here's a question to go along with this.

If you choose NOT to confront the lying alcoholic - Do they just think they're getting away with all the lies they tell?

I ask because I'm constantly confronting my lying husband about his lies. He gets caught more often than not. You'd think they'd (he'd) learn his lesson about lying to me............Wouldn'tYa?
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Old 07-12-2011, 09:22 AM
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I guess I would ask myself, why I'd keep confronting my lying AH when I *know* he is lying. You would think I'd learn my lesson, wouldn't I? What does it say about me that I tolerate these lies? I know they are lies. They aren't fooling me. Why do I have a need to confront and get an admission (or apology, statement of regret) from the lying alcoholic about his lies? Why am I, the sober one, (with my mind free from mind-altering substances like alcohol) engaging and expecting *the truth* from a person who is ill with mind-altering substances impairing & damaging his ability to think, to reason, to function?

It says as much about me as it does about him. (I guess that's where I'm at right now).

Last edited by yorkiegirl; 07-12-2011 at 09:23 AM. Reason: grammatical error (pronoun-antecedent)
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Old 07-12-2011, 09:32 AM
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I've been a bit obsessed with lies and lying at different points over the past years. One thing that I found is that there is a big difference between confronting someone who is lying when i desperately needed them to confess and tell me the truth and speaking honestly to person about lying without needing anything from them. And, actually, a few times, when I've confronted a person in the second way ("I know") without requiring him to acknowledge it, on a few occasions people have come around and told me what was going on.

But the most important thing about it to me is this: am I needing a person to agree with me, to confirm what I know? How paralyzed am I by someone else's lie and how much does it mess with my own perceptions? I am a self-critical person, with a tendency to second-guess myself, but I am learning when to trust my gut without asking for input.
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