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Author Topic: Lying right to my face  (Read 327 times)
Old Quaker

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« on: July 09, 2019, 11:03:07 AM »

I'm just so worn out from the constant lying from my pwBPD.

It's been going on forever and it's just wearing me down.  When you're in a relationship with a pwBPD it's like you're caught in their "Reality Distortion Field".  I read the Steve Jobs biography and that's how his behavior was described by those who worked for him.  You start to sort of believe the unbelievable - but only so far.  Not unlike watching a cartoon, and a viewer can't believe the character is capable of doing something.

Like you bought into the idea that a sponge can live in a pineapple under the sea, but you have a hard time believing he's a fry cook :-).  Temporary suspension of reality.

Here's our current situation.  She had an affair years ago, but it's still unresolved because she lied so much about it back then.  Contradictory facts came up several years ago, and not much has been resolved.  That's the background.

Like a lot of people who have been cheated on, there a quite a few dates that are hard on me.  If we can ever get to the truth, they should fade away and not be so hard.

Today is one of those dates, and it's a big one.  I lost an important loved one on this day.  The day before we were away for the weekend, I thought trying to reconnect.  But, she did something really nasty to me that hurts to this day.  When we got home, I got the call about the passing of my loved one.

So, today, and yesterday are pretty painful dates for me.  This is a date she should know by heart.  The passing affected her too.  These past few years, I've put these important dates in an online calendar that she has access to, and I've told her it would mean a lot to me if she were to show me some compassion/empathy on these days.

This year, she has missed virtually every date.  And when I bring them to her attention, her reaction is almost scripted.  She knew about the date, but didn't want to say anything in case I wasn't thinking of it.  Or, she "was just about to say something".  That's a big one she uses often when reminded of something she promised to do.  Really?  You knew, and you were going to say something, but you were waiting until your keys were in your hand and you're walking out the door?  Like, "Hey, I know what today is, gotta run, bye"

She did it to me again this morning.  She gets up a little before me.  It works out better if she has a cup of coffee before I come downstairs.  I guess I looked upset because she asked, "What's wrong?".  I'm taken back by this, because I was expecting something like, "How are you doing, I know what today is".  I just told her nothing was wrong, and got a cup of coffee.  Sat down to my usual routine, and a few minutes later she asked, "Did I do something wrong?".  No, you didn't do anything wrong.  Then, "Are you sure you're ok?"

Finally I told her what the day was.  She said she knew, but just didn't say anything yet.

That's the Reality Distortion Field.  I'm supposed to believe she knew what was bothering me, but that her questions didn't show that she didn't know what the date was.

She clearly forgot what the day was.  That's painful, but forgivable.

Lying about it, because forgetting makes her feel like a terrible person, isn't.

I used to believe this nonsense, even though it didn't make any sense, but after several dozens times, I just can't anymore.

Anyone else go through things like this?  Half believing lies because it makes life easier?
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4peece

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« Reply #1 on: July 09, 2019, 01:11:32 PM »

Yes, I know exactly what you mean.  It has been maddening to me because they seem to be little lies that excuse neglectful or mean behavior, yet they could never be demonstrated as lies.  My wife tells little white lies to make herself look good, or make me look bad, and the only one that can prove them as lies would be her, or sometimes me. 

Pointing them out as they occur makes me appear petty, but the accumulation of hundreds of them starts to have a reality warping effect. 

Example:

My wife's friend who was repainting her house came over to discuss paint colors.  My wife said "You want to use at least eggshell or satin finish, anything less and you will be constantly wiping fingerprints off.  I am continuously going around the house wiping dirty fingerprints off the walls." 

We have been together for 24 years, and I have never seen her wipe anything off the wall...ever.  There were yogurt fingerprints on the refrigerator for 9 months until I wiped them off, and mud smudges on the back door for about 6 months, until I cleaned them off.  There are numerous other fingerprints on the wall that she doesn't seem to be aware of. 

It really doesn't bug me, until she then lies to her friend that she is always doing something that she in fact never does, and then her friend looks at me and says, "You should help her out with that." 

If I say that I am actually the one that does it, not her, that makes me look like the vindictive husband that doesn't appreciate his wife.  I tried it, it doesn't go well, no one is willing to believe that she would lie so easily about something so benign.  It's the little lies that add up to seemingly define her character and mine that really weighs on me and my perception of reality. 

Most of our friends think that I am more or less a dead-beat dad that goes to work to feed my ego, when in reality, I go to work to support my family and then come home and do the majority of the laundry, cleaning, cooking, and helping the kids out with what they need. 

Trying to point out the truth to people, just feeds the story line that she has created that I am a typical ego-maniacal a-hole, that demands his wife wait on him hand and foot.

I think the reason that they can lie so easily about large and small things, is that in their mind it's really not a lie if it can't be proven and it pacifies their fears.
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GaGrl
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« Reply #2 on: July 09, 2019, 01:36:17 PM »

My DH's ex is uBPD/NPD. She married DH in order to immigrate to the U.S. (something his sister overheard her way just a few years into the marriage), and her infidelities began about 18 months into the marriage. By year 19, she had moved out and was openly living with a man with no intention of wish to divorce. Years later, they divorced and DH and I married. During that time, she had lived with three other men. To this day, she asserts -- almost bragging -- that she "never lied about anything she did." DH laughs and says she lied about so much, he lost track of it all. I think she has convinced herself she never lied.
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« Reply #3 on: July 09, 2019, 05:11:50 PM »

I learned years ago that the only way I could move forward is to refrain myself from asking questions that might result in her lying.  It has made my life and our relationship so much better.  In your position I would stop adding the dates to her calendar, and don't bring them up.  You are setting yourself up for disappointment, which she will readily give you.

I also remind myself that in most cases shes believes the lie.  One of the peculiarities of BPD is that the brain changes data to fit the emotions.  She would swear on our children's' lives that she is telling the truth, even if there was video proving otherwise... and in her head she believes it.

Recently I asked her:  If you know that BPD causes you to change data, and you tell me that you don't trust your memories, wouldn't it make sense to trust the person who loves you, cares for you, and never lies to you... that maybe they are telling the truth about how things happened?

Her response:  You don't understand BPD at all.  I know when I became emotional, and I don't trust my memories after that point.

My response:  Is it possible that prior to your knowing you've become emotional, you were emotional and that your brain erased that and it was your second emotional episode you remember (which it was on the issue we were discussing).

Her response:  Absolutely not.  I know when I've lost control.

Sometimes, it is almost impossible for me to believe that she thinks she is telling the truth...  but I've yet to get her to admit she wasn't.
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« Reply #4 on: July 10, 2019, 06:35:59 PM »

  I guess I looked upset because she asked, "What's wrong?".  I'm taken back by this, because I was expecting something like, "How are you doing, I know what today is".  I just told her nothing was wrong, and got a cup of coffee.  Sat down to my usual routine, and a few minutes later she asked, "Did I do something wrong?".  No, you didn't do anything wrong.  Then, "Are you sure you're ok?"

Finally I told her what the day was.  She said she knew, but just didn't say anything yet.
 

Hey  Old Quaker.  Trying to get up to speed on your story.

I would appreciate you sharing your thoughts on the answer you gave...what I bolded above.

Now that you have time to reflect..I wondering what you think of your response to her question.

One thing that has helped me is to try to understand how people process emotional things differently.  Especially when "their way" is foreign to me.

Looking forward to chatting more.

Best,

FF
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Perdita
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« Reply #5 on: July 12, 2019, 03:11:08 AM »

Yes, I know exactly what you mean.  It has been maddening to me because they seem to be little lies that excuse neglectful or mean behavior, yet they could never be demonstrated as lies.  My wife tells little white lies to make herself look good, or make me look bad, and the only one that can prove them as lies would be her, or sometimes me.

Pointing them out as they occur makes me appear petty, but the accumulation of hundreds of them starts to have a reality warping effect. 
 
Exactly.  Totally relate to this. It's a constant in my r/s too.  Lots of little lies daily as well as some very disturbing big ones.  Like you said, pointing these out gets one nowhere at all.  It only makes us look more guilty, incredibly.

Example:

My wife's friend who was repainting her house came over to discuss paint colors.  My wife said "You want to use at least eggshell or satin finish, anything less and you will be constantly wiping fingerprints off.  I am continuously going around the house wiping dirty fingerprints off the walls." 

We have been together for 24 years, and I have never seen her wipe anything off the wall...ever.  There were yogurt fingerprints on the refrigerator for 9 months until I wiped them off, and mud smudges on the back door for about 6 months, until I cleaned them off.  There are numerous other fingerprints on the wall that she doesn't seem to be aware of. 

It really doesn't bug me, until she then lies to her friend that she is always doing something that she in fact never does, and then her friend looks at me and says, "You should help her out with that." 

If I say that I am actually the one that does it, not her, that makes me look like the vindictive husband that doesn't appreciate his wife.  I tried it, it doesn't go well, no one is willing to believe that she would lie so easily about something so benign.  It's the little lies that add up to seemingly define her character and mine that really weighs on me and my perception of reality. 
Yup.  My own example would be recently at a family gathering when he announced that I keep buying plants for the garden which is "the easy part" and that I then leave the "hard part" to him which is, to clear out areas and plant them out in the garden.  This is such a lie.  I do the buying, planting and care taking.  I've been doing roughly 90% of the work in the garden.  I asked him the other day why he said that and his response was that everyone knew "I was taking the pi$$".  Well, no, they really didn't.  They believed him because he sounded serious and never told them that he was joking and that I do the work.  It's like you said about your wife, she lies to make herself look good. 
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« Reply #6 on: July 12, 2019, 04:58:55 AM »

This is such a wonderful thread and I have had multiple moments of "Soooooooo yes" thus far.

My W lies constantly about anything and everything which might result in guilt or shame...... anything and everything. It's maddening hence "reality management" for the Non is IMPERATIVE. I keep a diary on a excel spreadsheet at work.

"I never go out" - My wife has so far been out 49.02% of the evenings this year and the number was comparable for last year.

Confronting her with this data is futile.

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PeteWitsend
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« Reply #7 on: July 12, 2019, 10:55:20 AM »


...
Most of our friends think that I am more or less a dead-beat dad that goes to work to feed my ego, when in reality, I go to work to support my family and then come home and do the majority of the laundry, cleaning, cooking, and helping the kids out with what they need. 

....

I think the reason that they can lie so easily about large and small things, is that in their mind it's really not a lie if it can't be proven and it pacifies their fears.

AMEN to this. I was in the same situation, although after my divorce  I heard from a few mutual friends  that they knew my BPDXW's characterizations of me didn't align with what they saw and observed. 

pwBPD don't fool as many people as they think.  and they hurt their own credibility more than they realize.

my XW loved to tell people about how when we met, I only had beer, and condiments in my fridge, even though:

1) that was a gross exaggeration, and not close to being true, and
2) she was hardly the more stable party between us!

when we met, she was living rent-free with some creepy old guy, denying he had any sexual interest in her, borrowing money from all her friends, and extending her student VISA with dubious community college classes so she could stay in the US (going further into debt each month). 

My $0.02 in regards to the reason they lie so easily:
1) I gather from my XW's history that she had a rough childhood, and was largely abandoned by her parents for long stretches of time during her most vulnerable years.

It sounds like she grew up with a worldview that the world is a nasty place, and everybody lies and cheats and steals...  if you don't, you must be insane yourself.

2) She once told me her mom taught her to always lie, and told her never to admit anything to your boyfriend/ husband/etc, even if he catches you in the act.

Now... I don't know if this is true... It's kind of a catch-22 when someone tells you that they always lie!!!

I realized over time that all her childhood stories have the same underlying theme: it's always someone else's fault.  so I don't know how much of this is self-serving, and how much to take seriously.

But I do know when things came to a head, she definitely had no problem lying to my face, even about things I knew to be true, and no concern whatsoever for the effect that telling compulsive lies would have on our relationship.

If her childhood environment was that awful for her, and taught her that the world is a cruel place, justifying cruelty and deceit for self-preservation, it would explain a lot.  still doesn't justify her behavior... but it is who she is.
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« Reply #8 on: July 12, 2019, 10:59:01 AM »

Someone posted an article here on chronic PTSD that seemed to align with this justification for pwBPD compulsive lying. 

They are "wired for" a world full of deceit and treachery, and can't comprehend anything else. 

there was a whole thread about it you all might want to check out.
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« Reply #9 on: July 12, 2019, 11:07:58 AM »



"I never go out" - My wife has so far been out 49.02% of the evenings this year and the number was comparable for last year.
 


ESTJs rule!!!  I'm so proud of you!!!!   Doing the right thing (click to insert in post) Doing the right thing (click to insert in post)

FF
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« Reply #10 on: July 12, 2019, 12:28:35 PM »

I haven’t caught my husband in any big lies yet.  Laugh out loud (click to insert in post)  But I have noticed that he lies about insignificant things to enhance his reputation.

Other than mowing the lawn, he does zero yard work. It used to really annoy me when I had extra produce from my garden to share with friends and he’d say, “Here’s some tomatoes that we grew.”

I’d think, “You’ve done absolutely nothing related to the tomatoes, other than hand the bag to our friend and you’re claiming you grew them?”

Or he’d talk about the horses and people would ask him about riding and he’d tell a story about the ONE time I got him on one of the horses. He got dumped, managed to pull the horse down too, but everyone was OK. After that he never wanted to ride again and I didn’t want him to either, as I didn’t trust that he’d be calm enough to be safe. But to hear him talk about it, he’s a cowboy in his spare time.  Laugh out loud (click to insert in post)
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« Reply #11 on: July 12, 2019, 12:30:30 PM »

some people have difficulty with the pain of others, for a variety of reasons. sometimes its because they dont know what to say. sometimes its because they feel like they should say something, or be able to fix it, but they cant.

do you think thats a possibility here?

if you could have her support you, what would that ideally look like?
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« Reply #12 on: July 12, 2019, 02:10:15 PM »

Oh, the lies...  There's a lovely tangled web, now.

There are big ones and small ones. My h's craziest one was telling his congregation in a public meeting a couple of weeks after their senior pastor was fired that he was resigning to work on our marriage. He told me earlier that he was going to be moving out and filing for divorce that week. He was also having a mental health crisis - and one of his friends was going to help him with the divorce.

Those poor people who heard what he said publicly were so happy and excited that he was going to actually work on the issues. Until they talked to me...  People don't seem to understand that moving out was working on the issues for him - he feels better or more "normal".
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« Reply #13 on: July 15, 2019, 01:30:42 PM »

There was a post above that asked what if would look like if I had her support.  I've been thinking about this, and I think the thing that would change my entire world is if she gave me some sort of indication, verbally or body language, or something that my thoughts and emotions may possibly have a tiny bit of validity.  I don't want to be supremely right, or the only opinion, I just want the opportunity for my thoughts to be right for me. 

You ask "your thoughts are right for you, so what does it matter if she says otherwise?"

I answer that insisting that my thoughts are valid, even if only in my mind and my world brings relentless emotional attacks.

Acknowledging that her truth is the one and only truth results in the cease of emotional abuse, and praises of glory.

It's hard not to choose the no-pain option after many years of slow conditioning.
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« Reply #14 on: July 15, 2019, 04:08:25 PM »


Acknowledging that her truth is the one and only truth results in the cease of emotional abuse, and praises of glory.

It's hard not to choose the no-pain option after many years of slow conditioning.

Yep...hard to do.

There is sort of a third option where you get them to explain exactly what they want...that they are COMPLETELY right and you are COMPLETELY wrong....

Then let them know that's a lot to process, you will think about it and get back to them.

Then..disengage...let them stew in it (or enjoy it)...the key is you climb out of the pot and live your life.

Best,

FF
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« Reply #15 on: July 16, 2019, 10:00:33 AM »

My own approach is to realize that I can not change how another person thinks or interprets the world. I have posted about the pink elephant analogy and - if someone thinks I'm a pink elephant, then JADEing over this only validates and gives energy to an illogical thought. This person can think it, say it, accuse me of it, but in no way can any of this turn me into a pink elephant. I don't have to go along with this.

I realize it is much harder with the less absurd statements, accusations, painting people black that can go on in a relationship with a pwBPD. But still, I don't have to argue my point- which makes them "wrong" and can be provoking, nor do I have to agree with them to keep the peace or get into their good graces. That probably adds to strife as well.

I choose my "battles"- if the distorted thinking has significant consequences, that is something to consider taking a stand on. Something like " you are mean to me" maybe I'll say " I am sorry you feel that way, I didn't mean to hurt your feelings" ( rather than say " I hurt your feelings " if it wasn't intended )and then let it drop rather than argue about it.

From my own observation, I think this revolves around a need to be perceived as a victim. The payoff of being a victim is that a victim is not responsible or accountable for their behavior. This helps take away shame, which I think it a difficult feeling for them. It can potentially bring sympathy from others, rather than blame. When you try to fix this, or deny this ,it takes this away from them and causes distress. Also, if someone's perception is influenced by feelings, then how they feel is reality to them. A lie may be an extension of this. It feels "true" in the moment and they don't see it as a lie. Or they may also deliberately lie to avoid blame and shame, as that is so difficult for them.

This doesn't mean I don't try to be kind or do nice things, but that I don't expect them to be perceived this way. My behavior ( and my reality- what is true and what isn't- about myself) has to stay internally grounded. I will do something because it is the right thing to do according to my own ethics. In this case, how it is perceived doesn't change that. It's hard and having a support system like counseling helps.

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« Reply #16 on: July 16, 2019, 07:49:12 PM »

Excerpt
Also, if someone's perception is influenced by feelings, then how they feel is reality to them. A lie may be an extension of this. It feels "true" in the moment and they don't see it as a lie.

I think that is one of the best explanations I have seen.  When I look at what I see as truth it is a combination of current circumstances and past experiences that are similar. 

If I felt something was true in the past then I proceed with the thought that it is still true unless something concrete presents itself to the contrary. 

My truth may be different than someone else's but it is based upon my internal perceptions of external events. 

In BPD it seems to be based upon internal perceptions of internal emotions, and external events are only marginally considered. 

Just my 2 cents from my experience trying to understand baffling communications.


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« Reply #17 on: July 17, 2019, 07:21:59 AM »



In BPD it seems to be based upon internal perceptions of internal emotions, and external events are only marginally considered. 

 

Well said!!!!

I often think of it as letting the "subjective" overrule the "objective". 

Best,

FF
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