Thursday, May 5, 2011

Does Anyone Tell the Truth Any More?

I'm an honest person. Sure I tell the occasional white lie (No really, that haircut looks great on you; Ya know, Sweetie, you're as talented as Picasso!) but I just can't – won't! – lie about things of consequence. It's tempting sometimes. To lie to save face. (Sorry, I'm late. The traffic was brutal.) To lie to get out of a commitment. (Turns out I can't find childcare.) To lie to ourselves. (My clothes must be shrinking. I haven't been eating much lately.)
But ever since I learned that the man I thought couldn't possibly lie had created a life of lies...well, let's just say I make it a matter of personal honor to tell the truth, even when it makes me look bad, incompetent, lazy or stupid. I'm convinced it's a matter of degree from bending the truth to doing origami with it.
However, I'm not sure society agrees with me.
Consider this example: I'm organizing an event in the city and had hoped a mutual friend could help me. I outlined what I was doing and asked for her assistance. She agreed that it was a wonderful idea and that she was so excited I'd contacted her. Then she said, "Now, I'd like to ask YOU a favor." Fair enough, I thought. And so I agreed to take on a task for free that I generally charge between $250 and $500 for (it falls under my freelance work).
Well, tomorrow I fulfill my part of the agreement. Her? Well...turns out that she's not available the day I needed her. She had booked a trip to New York. New York! Who the hell forgets that they've booked a trip to New York!
Can you tell I'm a bit steamed??
And this is where I start to wonder.
Am I making a big deal about this because of the lie upon lie I dealt with during my husband's infidelity? Or am I making a big deal about this because it's inherently wrong to deceive someone...whether they're your spouse or an acquaintance?
I think the latter. Sure I might be a bit more sensitive to the bending of truth than someone without my history...but I just can't stand lying.
Who's with me on this?


  1. I pisses me off not end. Anyone lying to me even about little things now really gets me.

  2. Completely with you on that one!!

  3. I'm in. Since D-day I flip the f*@k out if my kid tells me she brushed her teeth when she didn't.

  4. Being lied to repeatedly by my husband has made me a more bitter, suspicious person. When you find out that the ONE person you thought had your back was stabbing you in the back your life changes. It has to. I find I have PTSD, certain phrases, events and situations bring all those hurt feelings back. And I have no one to discuss them with. My husband will tell me to leave the past behind, forgive and forget, don't discuss his lies/deeds. Adultery is a very lonely experience, especially when you choose to stay.

  5. Well of course he wants you to "forgive and forget"!! He wants to forget! My husband is the same. He wants to pretend it never happened but it did. I need to talk about it.

    Go to your doctor and talk to them , maybe they can suggest a support group. Talking it out is important. I don't know what I would have done without my best friend to share all my sometimes irrational ravings with.

    If not there are message boards. I went to one at ivillage.

    Sometimes I think the lying was the worst part. It takes a long while before you can just relax and accept instead of being constantly on guard, checking and verifying what he says.

  6. This is why I love this site, I feel so understood here. I am completely having the same feelings with regards to being lied to. I know that it is because of what has happened to me that I am so much more sensitive to it and have absolutely NO tolerance for it. I know it's important to not let my intolerance turn into bitterness, and that is an everyday challenge for me lately.

  7. Anonymous 1,
    Your husband doesn't get to ask you to 'forgive and forget', nor should you expect that of yourself. It's the old story of "those who don't learn from their mistakes are destined to repeat them."
    Besides, you've been wounded. No matter that your injuries aren't necessarily visible. If you'd been run over by a car, would he be suggesting you just hop out of bed and get on with life? Or would he be helping you secure a lawyer...
    He no longer gets to set the ground rules for YOUR healing. If you need to talk about it, he needs to listen. If you need him to check in to reassure you, then he needs to do that. YOU get to set the rules...
    I think his fear, like many unfaithful husbands, is that they're going to be raked over the coals for this for the rest of their lives.
    Ironically, it's by NOT letting you deal with this head on (by talking about it, crying about it...), you're far more likely to still be dealing with the wounds years or decades down the road.
    I remember my husband, furious with me one night, telling me that if I'm still asking him for details a year later, he was done with the marriage. To which I responded that if I felt the need to still be asking him for details a year down the road then I was done with the marriage. You will both know when the time comes to put this somewhat behind you. But sweeping anything under the rug just leads to a stupid-looking lumpy rug (okay...brutal metaphor. Sorry).

    Kathy -- there's also a good message board at I got a lot of good advice (and some've got to learn to recognize the two) there.

    Anonymous 2 -- Thank-you. I'm glad you're here...and you are understood. So much of what we go through is eerily similar -- like there's a cheating playbook or something that these men use. As you note, like any painful experience, the challenge is to ensure that we're not changed into people we don't to be. As long as we're aware of that, I think we're safe.

  8. Pippi,

    I, too, have gone completely off on my 12-year-old for lying about whether she picked up her clothes or whatever. "Don' t you ever, EVER lie to me," I said. "I can tolerate a lot of things but I will not tolerate lying..." Etc. Etc. She just gave me that typical 12-year-old shake of the head and suggested I "chill"...



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