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Wayward Side :
How do I stop lying?


 PleaseBeFixable (original poster member #84306) posted at 3:48 PM on Friday, June 14th, 2024

I have a problem with lying. I commit to stopping and feel like I have and then when I have something else I don't want to talk about or don't want to face about myself I somehow do the mental gymnastics to convince myself it's ok in this case. That if I can convince myself something is true then it can be, even if I know in my gut it isn't. It is so hard to explain to anyone what that feels like in my head. That I know it is delusional and self serving and I commit to stop every time, that I somehow manage to tell myself I have even while knowing something is not the whole picture. I know this makes literally zero sense and still cannot understand how both things feel true in my head. And then when the next thing comes up I choose to ignore the reality that reality exists outside of what I want it to be in my head.

I know the answer and the only answer anyone could possibly give is just stop. I have tried and every time tell myself I can just stop. Then I realized again and again that I have again been telling myself it is ok in THIS case--that my internal world is somehow separate or not real because it's just in my head. I know this sounds absolutely insane. I keep saying I wish there was like a technology where someone could see my experience from the inside and what it feels like inside my brain.

I need help with this and I don't know how to get it if I can't explain that "just stopping" doesn't work for me if I can't get out of this way of seeing when I'm in the thick of each specific situation.

posts: 67   ·   registered: Dec. 31st, 2023   ·   location: California
id 8839704

hikingout ( member #59504) posted at 7:25 PM on Friday, June 14th, 2024

Hi pleasebefixable,

I didn’t do a lot of lying before or after my affair, but I certainly had problems with integrity as evidenced by having an affair.

So, in that way I think I can give you what helped me get more serious about my integrity. First, think about it this way, I didn’t believe I would ever have an affair, but when things got hard in life I did the same sort of exercise you are describing.

It started with secret conversations with a man who was not my husband. I thought okay, just for now. I negotiated it and stepped right over that line to make it so. It happened as each and every boundary was crossed.

What happened during this process? Shame accumulated. I continued to add to my feelings of unworthiness because that’s what happens when you go against what you know is right.

Now in your case you have an added issue. You know that you are failing your husband, and that too accumulates things we don’t feel good about. And why are you doing this? Because you love him and want to preserve your image in his eyes. You fear one more thing to tell him will be the straw.

I think a couple things to do here:

Realize that you are doing the opposite of many of your goals, and it’s sending you further and further from where you want to go.

Trust is destroyed in an affair. You have been a remorseful woman and you already know that. But you need to put yourself more in his shoes. How would you want to see trust rebuilt? Through consistent reliability. Honesty. Vulnerability. (Did you get a chance to read rising strong?Great wisdom in here to help you get in touch with your authentic self, let the shame fall, and show up in vulnerability.) Isn’t that what you would want in his shoes?

So what you have to do here is let go of the outcome. He will divorce you for lying, he still may divorce you for the truth. Which do you feel better about? (I know neither is a great choice, but doesn’t one seem a little better over the other one for you? And even more importantly, a lot better for your husband?

That’s the key, the art of loving someone is giving them what they need when it is all feasible and this falls squarely under feasible.

The art of loving yourself is feeling good about the things you do. This isn’t making you feel good about yourself, is it? No, or you wouldn’t be looking for help.

So the next time the urge strikes, choose love. Keeping up with choosing betrayal is quicksand. It’s going to eat your chances to reconcile, it’s going to eat you up too.

Practice being the person you most want to be even when it’s scary. You will find before long, you will be proud of yourself for that.

[This message edited by hikingout at 7:29 PM, Friday, June 14th]

7 years of hard work - WS and BS - Reconciled

posts: 7319   ·   registered: Jul. 5th, 2017   ·   location: Arizona
id 8839763

ChampionRugsweeper ( new member #84237) posted at 10:52 PM on Sunday, June 16th, 2024

Then I realized again and again that I have again been telling myself it is ok in THIS case

PBF - are you in therapy? This quote above makes it seem to me that you are not very aware of the conversation going on in your head and mindfulness can help a lot with that. The first person we lie to is ourselves. If you can stop it there it can get a lot easier to stop the justification in your head before it comes out of your mouth. You may also want to examine the kinds of things you are choosing to lie about and be brutally honest in anything related to those. If you have no secrets there is very little to lie about

Me WS. Him BS. 5 month PA DD 1 : Aug 2006. Minimized, Deflected, Blame shifted, Gaslit. DD 2: Aug 2023 not new affair just actual disclosure

posts: 45   ·   registered: Dec. 6th, 2023   ·   location: Canada
id 8839960

Bor9455 ( member #72628) posted at 4:48 PM on Monday, June 17th, 2024

Somewhere along the way you gave yourself permission to lie to yourself. Lying to others is hurtful and you are hurting yourself the most by lying to yourself. I know that is not profound or really a surprise, but it is the honest truth of the situation. Listen sister, I’ve been in those shoes and walked that path.

What has worked for me is to commit to radical honesty. Silly example, the other day my wife had gone out to dinner and drinks with friends and when she came home she asked me I has fed the cats lunch, because they were not interested in their evening meal. Well shit, I didn’t remember the timing, but I told my wife the truth that I had gone to the gym, come home showered, eaten lunch and put a load of laundry in, and whilst tossing clothes in I saw the indoor cat napping on the stairs, checked the time and fed them. I told her all that and said, between 3:00 and 4:00, turns out the security camera had me feeding the outdoor cat at 4:12 PM. Did I lie? No. I was honest about what I remembered and I gave her the whole thought process and how I remembered it and I was clear that I didn’t remember looking at the clock.

My point, I didn’t lie to myself that I knew when it happened, it wasn’t critically important to me so I didn’t etch the exact feeding time in my memory and while my was was slightly perturbed that the cat wasn’t interested in dinner three hours later, she would’ve been more angry with me had I tried to tell a provably false lie about what happened. Past me and deep in the affair me wouldn’t have handled it this way.

The point is that you need to get to a point where you pull off all the bullshit excuses you tell yourself about being okay to lie. Deception shouldn’t be a tool in your tool bag any longer. Instead you should be reaching for honesty with yourself. Once you can be honest with yourself on a consistent basis, you can start bringing your new self to your recovery.

Myself - BH & WH - Born 1985 Her - BW & WW - Born 1986

D-Day for WW's EA - October 2017D-Day no it turned PA - February 01, 2020

posts: 669   ·   registered: Jan. 21st, 2020   ·   location: Miami
id 8839997

 PleaseBeFixable (original poster member #84306) posted at 11:01 PM on Tuesday, June 18th, 2024

Thanks everyone. I really appreciate your answers. I am in therapy, CRS, and I know mindfulness is a huge key. I also need to really listen to my gut feeling about things when I first think about them, because that consistently ends up being the real answer after I get through the bullshit.

I haven't read the book yet, hikingout. I got the audiobook but I've been accumulating so many resources (including this forum) that I haven't kept up or really finished any (aside from my DBT program and even that I used more to help myself through this crisis instead of actually being better). It means I haven't been using them effectively at all. I've realized (again, with handholding from my husband) that the hard work I keep feeling like I'm doing has felt that way because I'm working so hard to show I'm changing rather than putting in the right kind of work to actually change, and that by approaching it this way, I'm engaging in just as much cruelty and manipulation as I was before. I'm checkin boxes and doing things that help me. When I come here or ask my therapist questions or whatever, I'm doing it to 1) feel good about myself and 2)have someone just give me the answers. Again, I try to justify this by saying well in this case I was doing it with good intentions--to keep the relationship, but using my intentions to justify behavior is also the same old pattern.

Something I've realized in the past few days about the way my brain works is that I feel like I have reasons for doing something, then I tell myself it isn't actually doing the thing. So like.."It isn't manipulation (or cruelty or lying) because I did it for this reason." I want to try to slow down my thought process here and catch myself in the middle of it.

I've recently joined a 12 step program and added lying to my list of bottom line behaviors.

Thank you, as always, for the thoughtful answers and advice. I will try to use them as jumping off points instead of platitudes or whatever. Hope you all are well. I feel bad that I just come here in a panic and then leave.

posts: 67   ·   registered: Dec. 31st, 2023   ·   location: California
id 8840098

hikingout ( member #59504) posted at 3:19 AM on Wednesday, June 19th, 2024

We are here for when you need us.

I think I did a little of what you are saying at first, trying to prove myself.

Here is whag I have learned - I needed to change for me, not him. I needed to become the type of person I wanted to be. And in the process hope that person is still who he wanted.

This shit is hard, because I know the underlying reason is because you don’t want to lose your marriage. But try and reframe it, that you want to change because this isn’t who you want to be. You will find that most change that is lasting is this way.

Think about it this way- have you ever lost weight or done something drastic like that for someone else? What happens when you do that? It’s temporary right? You can’t change to keep the marriage because when you do that you will focus on a whole different set of things rather than become truly curious about becoming self aware.

I give anyone who at least keeps showing up here some credit. But I will say this site is what helped me the most. The BS here especially opened my eyes and helped me see myself and him. It’s it as active here as it once was but here is still enough that it’s helpful.

7 years of hard work - WS and BS - Reconciled

posts: 7319   ·   registered: Jul. 5th, 2017   ·   location: Arizona
id 8840114

BraveSirRobin ( member #69242) posted at 12:30 PM on Wednesday, June 19th, 2024

I know this sounds absolutely insane. I keep saying I wish there was like a technology where someone could see my experience from the inside and what it feels like inside my brain.

I've been inside the same brain, and I absolutely recognize what you're describing. My capacity for self-deception is frightening. I say "is" rather than "was," not because I'm still doing it, but because I'm pretty sure the ability is still there. I've rewired my thought patterns to be more aware of the potential, and to stop myself from heading down the path, but I think it's managed rather than cured.

TBH, it's still a little scary to claim I've got a handle on it, because I wasn't always aware I was doing it. It's not a literal multiple personality disorder, where an alter is taking over and I blank out or can't control my actions, but it feels sort of adjacent to that. There are memories that come back and shock me, and my brain is like, "Yeah, you knew that," and I'm like, "The hell you say! That changes everything!!" And my brain responds, "Exactly. That's exactly why you chose not to remember."

The only thing that has helped is radical honesty. There is a huge difference between telling almost all of the truth and telling all the truth. If I'm lying with full awareness, at all, it's much easier for that subconscious process to hide what it's up to. It's obvious advice and yet still the best and only place to start. If there is anything you know you're hiding, no matter what the reason, write it all down and hand it over to your BH. Even the minor shit, because turning major into "minor" is how folks like you and me sabotage ourselves on the daily.


posts: 3636   ·   registered: Dec. 27th, 2018
id 8840118

 PleaseBeFixable (original poster member #84306) posted at 5:22 PM on Thursday, June 20th, 2024

Thank you BraveSirRobin. I remember reading a post here where the person talked about telling a therapist it felt like someone else had done it and the therapist leaned forward and said, "no you did it." The post stuck with me because even though what you're saying is how it felt, I know I am 100% accountable for it. It was totally me. It is hard to both take full responsibilty and at the same time acknowledge what that felt like because that feeling makes it hard to really internalize that accountability. And then I think it probably doesn't matter. The fact is it was me. I was conscious of what I was doing even if I wasn't processing it in the same way that I am looking back. I chose actions that let me get into that state of mind and then I chose to stay there. My goal is to keep myself in this current state of mind when it comes to affairs, and to get myself out of that old headspace when it comes to lying--like others were suggesting, I think mindfulness is really the key.

[This message edited by PleaseBeFixable at 5:26 PM, Thursday, June 20th]

posts: 67   ·   registered: Dec. 31st, 2023   ·   location: California
id 8840208
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