My Lover Lies To Me

At this time of political uncertainty, most people would like to meet the ‘honest person.’ This is particularly true in our love-lives as well. True love doesn’t have a snowball’s chance in hell without honesty.

Before we launch into a discussion of lying and your love-life, let’s take a little ‘Dishonesty 101’ course in preparation. Dishonesty, deception, lying, fabricating, falsifying, misrepresenting, bending the truth, or as indicated in the image I selected for this post, being ‘two-faced,’ is a state of mind wherein a person believes he or she can gain an advantage (getting something, hiding something, etc) by manipulating information.

You see, it wasn’t like this when we came into this world. We all started life off with the truth, raw and simple. And fortunately for us, no matter what you’ve learned and how you’ve lived, you’ll never really forget it. That’s why the truth is ultimately the cure for repeat liars.

My critics would say right away, what is the truth? How do we know the truth when we hear it? This is where you have to have a certain faith in the inherent integrity of human beings. All human beings, even liars have a capacity for integrity, although they’re not using it for some reason or another.

So we start off with the truth. Most people recognize the truth when it shows up. They sympathetically feel it. It’s not something you have to think about, or figure out. It’s very automatic, we’re born with this. In fact, the truth as a fundamental basis of reality is healing even though painful in some instances. The pain, by the way, tends to show up when people are so used to misrepresenting themselves, that it can feel like withdrawing from a drug when they are compelled to be truthful.

Now we go from the truth to the various forms of dishonesty. Remember, this detour away from the truth comes as a result of a learning experience. A person learns how to lie, it’s not natural. Left to appreciate the experience of truth in life and its relationship to health and happiness, most people would remain truthful (full of truth).

The easiest way to divide up the various types of dishonesty is to think of them as lies of ‘commission’ or ‘omission.’ When a person lies by commission, he or she is modifying the truth. Changing the facts to suit whatever motivation and objectives the person has. So to lie by commission I would deliberately misrepresent the facts to fit in with whatever I am trying to do, usually to other people.

To lie by omission, you are leaving out information required to determine the truth. Let’s say the truth is a certain set of facts. If I leave out or delete those facts that I don’t want you to know about and just give you the one’s I want you to know about, in effect, I am lying to you again. This time by omission. Some people think that lying by omission is not as bad as lying by commission. Sorry, they are both lying, and equally misrepresenting and damaging.

Now what kind of ‘damage’ occurs when people lie? Your love-life, by the way, is the area in your life where the most damage takes place because of lying. Trust and vulnerability are required for love to remain healthy and grow. A person in love opens his or her heart to another. Otherwise there is only defensiveness and distance.

If you’re in love, open your heart to another, and the love you’re sharing leaves, you will be hurt. But the hurt you’ll feel is part of the natural unpredictable and uncontrollable nature of love. Of course this is only true if two people who were in love are ‘honest’ with each other when their love leaves. Their hearts have an easier time healing. In other words, it’s easier to regain the trust and willingness to be vulnerable under these love-life circumstances.

When your lover lies to you and you find out, your trust and willingness to be vulnerable are damaged by deception. Lying in love is a form of emotional abuse. The trust and vulnerability you are experiencing is being taken advantage of. You are a victim of your lover’s intention to control your thoughts, feelings, and actions in the love relationship. This hurt is harder to heal. Your response is influenced by the shocking awareness that who you loved is not who you were loving.

Another way to say this is, the ‘face’ you were given to love is only one of your lover’s faces. There is at least one other you didn’t (until now) know about. Or maybe you had an inkling but did’t want to know. To add insult to injury, you found out, not because your lover’ s conscience kicked in and he or she sat you down to tell you the relationship is over. No, that’s not how it went. Instead you had to find out through a third party or some bit of evidence left unattended. Plus, you are getting the nasty little feeling that this deception was going to go on unchanged for some time into the future.

And even if you get over the initial shock of being lied to and figure out a way to continue being in the love relationship, there will be a wondering little thought in the back of your mind whether or not it’s happening again? This is one of the after-effects of being lied to in love. The trauma that the heart will endure when you trust being vulnerable in love and you’re lied to by your lover.

If you want to stay in the relationship after you’ve been lied to, the goal is to forgive and forget you’ve been hurt by the lies of your lover. I can hear you now, “Dr. Jordan have you lost your mind!” No, not in this instance. In this instance I know that forgiving is not complete without forgetting.

My recommendation would be, if you can’t forgive and forget, get out. In fact that would probably be your best bit of evidence in favor of leaving the relationship. Otherwise you’ll be forever in a suspicious and defensive state of mind. Wondering if your lying lover has learned a lesson powerful enough to make personal changes. Who wants to live like that?

Unfortunately, some people learned how to lie in a life context where everyone they knew lied. Very easy to follow suit. Now it’s a dubious lifestyle skill. A way to get your misguided way. The disrespect involved and the hurt it creates are ignored. When a person has developed this kind immunity to being a repeat liar, the ability to love and be loved deeply is the first and most significant casualty.

Comments? Welcome. Dr. Tom Jordan















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Dr. Jordan

Dr. Thomas Jordan is a clinical psychologist, certified interpersonal psychoanalyst, author, professor, and love life researcher.

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