It is a tough call whether to stay or bail when one’s partner emulates Pinocchio. Lies chip away at the foundation of trust and discovering the cause of them can determine how to proceed. Sometimes we women set guys up to lie and don’t realize it. In these cases the men feel trapped – say a white lie to keep status quo or tell the truth and risk hurt or angry feelings. An example of this is “Honey, does this (clothing) make my bum look big?” Of course he is not going to answer “Yes, about the size of the state of Kansas.” Most likely the reply will be along the line of “Not at all, dear.” Save these questions for your girlfriends. Also do not ask if you look old, fat or any other similar ones when you are really seeking reassurance rather than the brutal truth.
Determine if your partner is a habitual liar. One woman found out that her boyfriend was not really in medical school, as he claimed. A family friend was the secretary in the med school and spilled the beans. The fellow said the secretary was incompetent and later admitted that he was just thinking of applying there. She foolishly gave him a few more chances before breaking up permanently. The woman could have cared less if he was enrolled in grad vs medical school and did not like having her friend disrespected to cover up his falsehoods. If you find out that your man lies just to lie, even about trivial matters, then run in the opposite direction.
Some people are shy or feel awkward in social situations. They may exaggerate their job title, golf scores, or exotic vacation destinations in order to make connections with others. There may be a self-worth issue where they do not feel good enough about themselves when meeting others. These types of people may stop lying when their self-esteem is boosted or they realize lying is not necessary. Some sessions with a therapist can clear up faulty thinking – if they are willing to change.
In other cases lying may be part of a personality disorder, such as narcissism or being a sociopath. The narcissist lies to maintain their grandiose image. The sociopath lies to cover up malicious deeds and to manipulate people. These people see themselves as perfect and the rest of the world as inferior. Why would these perceived perfect people need to be fixed with therapy? It is your fault that there are problems. Exit this type of relationship quickly.
People lie to cover up illegal or immoral acts. Someone may be hiding a drug problem or porn addiction. They have a plausible explanation to cover their tracks and put you off guard. If you do not believe their concocted story then that is your problem, not theirs. Others lie to cover up an affair. Little things do not add up such as chronically going to the office on the weekend. Some have hired a detective to get to the bottom of unexplained discrepancies. Determine if he is a serial philanderer or if this is the first time he strayed and with marital counselling your relationship may be saved.
The bottom line to dating a liar is determining the motivation and frequency of their lies. If you tell him that lying is a deal breaker for you, how does he handle this? When you catch him in an obvious lie, does he say others are wrong or trying to frame him? This goes beyond the lie itself when he tears down another person to protect his dishonesty. Is he truthful about what matters and limiting telling white lies in a few social gatherings? I broke off an engagement to a habitual liar, so think about this situation carefully.