This is a coaching session for a lying husband. If you would like personalized help with lying and/or another issue, click on the button to find out more. Also read my Coaching Blog for even more free self help tools
My husband and I have been together for almost 20 years. We have 2 children. He recently developed a "friendship" with some woman that he met through a friend at work. Supposedly it started with her needing help with her computer. According to him she lives out of town and they NEVER met in person. But they did engage in phone sex. Great, I have a lying husband.
I was home for a couple of months recently because of surgery and I started to notice some things that just didn't seem right. The first thing was the texting. I had never ever seen him text anyone but me and now all of a sudden he's texting like crazy and would not let his cell phone out of his sight. It stayed in his hand or pocket. He gave me some lying story about some drama at work that his "boys" were texting him about.
I tried to look in his phone and he had it locked and wouldn't show me the messages. He told me he had erased them all but he wouldn't even show me that there was nothing there. So one day I went through his truck and I found a receipt for a prepaid cell phone with an phone number that I know nothing about. He swore up and down lying that he didn't know anything about it and it had to belong to one of his friends. Was my husband lying, I think so.
I tried to accept that lying answer, but I still had this feeling that something was not right. So I started checking his phone and that mystery phone. And there was lots of money being put on both phones in very short periods and he started taking out large sums of money from the bank. One day he refilled this mystery phone but he used our bank account.
So I asked him why was there a charge to our bank account and no refill on his but there was a refill on this mystery phone. He tells me this lying story about some woman that he met online and she was just a friend and he bought the phone for himself and kept it at work so that he could talk to her because her internet was being cut off.
He told me he would break it off with her, that it was no big deal. So that day I texted him but I sent it to both phones because he told me that he had both phones and I wanted to make sure he got it. He tells me that he told her and everything was fine and that he gave the phone to some guy at work. So then I start getting these texts from this woman about meeting after work and then she finally calls and she says that she has been seeing my husband for over a year and that they meet everyday after work and all this other crap.
So now I'm pissed about the lying and I tell him and he swears he doesn't know who she is or what's going on. But she knew stuff about him that you couldn't know. So I knew he was lying. All I wanted him to do was tell me the truth because I didn't know what to believe. But he kept lying and coming up with these weird stories that just didn't make any sense. The final straw was when she texted me that he was still texting her and he wouldn't leave her alone. That confirmed that I have a lying husband.
Anyway when she sent me that last text, I sent it to him. He gave me some lying excuse that I didn't believe and the next day he could tell something was wrong with me and he finally told me what I believe is mostly the truth. He did meet her through a girl at work and she was just a friend, he never met her in person. He said they had some phone sex but he was never emotionally attached to her. He bought the phone for her because her phone was going to be cut off and he wanted to talk to her. She got mad because he tried to cut off the phone and that's when he finally fessed up and told me everything because it was obvious she was not going to let this go and it was possible his lying was going to lose me in the process.
The thing I'm having a hard time with is he had so many opportunities to tell me the truth and he didn't. I asked him direct questions and he looked me in the face and lied. And he says he didn't have any emotional attachment to her but he bought her a phone so that he could continue to talk to her. Now I know some people are just crazy and they may believe a relationship is more than it really is so they convince themselves that it is. But he was lying to me to my face so many times I think I will always have doubt about what really happened.
As far as my feelings, right now I just don't trust him. I've gone through the anger, hurt, disappointment, sadness, frustration. I mostly believe what he told me. His behavior has changed back to what it was before. He acts like he was before all of this. I think he allowed it to go as far as it did because he was feeling insecure about the future of our relationship and she stroked his ego. I had surgery and he would always say to me that I was going to leave him after I got skinny. He started talking to her the month before I had my surgery.
Another thing that really pissed me off is that through out our entire relationship he has been the one all about not lying and being honest and what's on your mind and we can make it through anything if we are honest with each other and talk about everything. And then he looks me in the eye and lies to me over and over and over again. I really just want to be able to let go of the doubts about my husband lying.
I feel like I am going to second guess everything that he tells me from now on. I don't want to have to wonder if he is lying and who he's talking to or texting on the phone or online, or if he's coming straight home. I just want to be able to trust him again and I don't know that I can. I have a very hard time trusting people in the first place and once it is broken it is very hard to get back. Especially for something that hurt me this bad.
I asked for more information to write the most helpful coaching response.
1. If you haven't told him already, tell your husband how hurt you are and how you don't know how you will ever fully trust him again. What is his response? He said that he is sorry and he knows he shouldn't have been lying to me but it intended to tell me but never did and then I asked him about it he didn't know how to respond. So he lied to me. He said that he understands how I feel and that he will never lie to me or keep things away from me again.
2. Ask your husband what it was that attracted him to this other woman and what emotional needs did it fill for him. He still insists that there was no emotional attachment and that she was just a friend. He said he feels like a fool because he really thought she was his friend and would have never thought that she would have reacted the way that she did. Is my husband lying?
3. What do you think you need from him in order to rebuild your trust? I need him to always tell me the truth and stop lying even if he thinks I am going to get mad or not understand. He has to always tell me the truth and he has to understand that even though I have forgiven him it is going to take me a while to fully let this go. I have not forgotten and I probably never will. This is not going to go away easily. I need him also to talk to me about what is going on with him. He always just tells me "I have so much on my mind" but he won't elaborate. But if I were to tell him that, he would not let it go until I told him what was wrong. That's another thing that pisses me off. He has this double standard. I have to tell him everything that is going on in my mind and my life but he can tell me he doesn't want to talk about it and I'm supposed to be OK with that. He says he wants us to be best friends but what he really wants is for me to treat him as if he is my best friend but he doesn't want to do the same for me.
4. What emotional or other needs do you feel aren't being met by your husband? He doesn't talk to me. If he's going through something he will not talk to me. I almost have to get mad at him in order for him to tell me anything. Also I don't feel like I can tell him any or everything. Whenever I tell him something I did that upsets him he always either gets mad at me or uses it against me at a later date and then he wonders why I never want to tell him anything. Ask him what emotional or other needs he feels aren't being met by you. He feels like he can't really be himself around me because he never knows how I'm going to react. I tend to be very moody and he doesn't know if I will over-react or not.
5. What initially attracted you to your husband and what attracted him to you? When we first met we talked on the phone first. He had the sexiest voice that I had heard at that point in my life. He was also very sweet and he made me laugh and he listened to me. He cared about things that were important to me. What attracted him to me: He said he thought I was smart and funny and confident and he was physically attracted to me once we finally did meet. I can't believe he became a lying husband.
Whatever it was that attracted your husband to this woman is something he needs to identify and then see how that quality is not present in his relationship with you. An attraction is always about what we think is missing in a relationship. Yet what is missing is what we are not giving to the relationship or to ourselves. This is why it is so important for your husband to look deeper. If he does not address this, the issue will come up again, whether it is in a similar or different form.
The reality is that the possibility of being attracted to another person exists for everybody. It is what you do with that attraction that makes the difference. If you work backwards with the attraction and identify what you need to work on in yourself or the relationship, that attraction becomes a gift. Have your husband read this and think about this.
Your husband needs to do a reality check. A woman that you have phone sex is not just a friend. What is more important to him: trying to save face after a series of poor decisions, or a deeper level of self honesty that will create a better marriage? Please understand that your husband can only be as truthful with you as he is with himself. A lying husband is deeply insecure.
He is afraid of being rejected so it is easier to act tough than to get vulnerable at this point. Rather than feel anxious about this and demand that your husband be a certain way, understand human nature better and make different choices yourself. If you think about what is wrong or not being able to trust him, that is exactly how you will feel and that is where your focus will be.
Choose instead to focus on your wants and needs and work towards getting those filled, without trying to directly change your husband. If you both easily react to things that you tell each other, does it make sense that it is your individual reactions that need to be worked on first? The issue is not one of feeling uncomfortable talking to each other. The issue is that you are both making assumptions about what the words mean that you hear from one another.
Your resentment at the communication double standard is really not an issue, it is a lack of understanding that causes you to think he is the problem and that he should change. Neither of you are the problem nor have a problem. You are both communicating the same way you saw your parents communicate to each other. You are currently seeing how ineffective that is and now have the opportunity to change. There is no more to the issue and no less.
The most common mistake we make in relationships is to create bigger issues, sometimes ones that don't even exist in our attempts to try and make sense of the hurt and confusion. You lose track of the simplicity of what happened and why, losing the fact that there is no need to blame. I am going to ask you some more questions. These questions equally apply to your husband, but change can start at any point, with either person.
Why do you get defensive? What do his words mean to you when you react? How are you so sure that you know the exact meaning of his words? Are your answers familiar to you? Aren't they the same answers that you hear yourself give over and over? That is your biggest clue that you need to change that aspect of yourself.
Whenever you react in a patterned way to (similar) situations, you are reacting primarily from your own past experiences. When you feel defensive, everything you see and hear is being filtered through a narrow opening. When we do this and go into reaction, we stop being clear and bring forth our own issues into the current moment. We stop hearing what is really being said and stop seeing what is really happening. Yet we go into a defensive mode because we feel we are being attacked. We then stop communicating clearly at that point.
Now lets tie this into the issue of trusting again. It is an illusion to think that you can rebuild trust. The foundation for the trust you had is undermined. You need to go a different route and instead of trying to trust again, see the bigger picture of unfilled needs, miscommunication, growing apart emotionally, misunderstanding yourselves, and of old patterns needing to be identified and released. Make it a priority to become more aware of yourselves.
Yes, your husband made some big mistakes. You are both suffering the consequences. Yet we all make mistakes throughout our relationships, sometimes big ones and plenty of smaller ones. Shift your focus off of him being a 'lying husband' to what it is that you love about each other; that will become your new foundation. See your husbands vulnerability and fear and how it dictates his behavior and use that to lower your feelings of defensiveness and to change the meaning of the words you hear.
Be prepared to be vulnerable with each other by expressing what you fear. Whenever you hide fear, it has the opportunity to grow larger and out of proportion. In the beginning doing so will not feel right and it will feel like that is all you have to say. That is only because both of you have held them back from each other for so long. Both your egos will need to be set aside so that being right about how you see each other no longer is important. You both will begin to see the innocence in each other and clearly see how fear has contributed to your behaviors in the past.
This will take time to get used to, like any other new habit you create, while overwriting your old patterns. Yet over time, it will feel more and more natural and the fears will be there less and less. The end result is that you both will be able to more clearly see the real issues and will find it easier to more deeply understand the other. This is the process that you can use to rebuild trust at a level that you never had before. You will get to a point where you will no longer see or have a lying husband.