Do liars ever change?

Discussion in 'Advice (Dear AE...)' started by sweetestsin_xo, Jul 27, 2015.

  1. sweetestsin_xo

    sweetestsin_xo New Member

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    Hey guys. I've been dating this girl for the past 7 months and I truly thought it was going somewhere. I met her online and then shortly after we met in person. The relationship quickly became serious but it has been a constant struggle.

    Since the moment I met her, she had lied to me about various things. About a month into the relationship, the lies started coming out in the open...The biggest lie was about her guy friend who she claimed was always just a friend. After a month of dating, she slowly confessed that they had gone on dates, kissed, and etc. Mind you, that all these confessions came in small doses..she would confess one thing and swear on everything that was it but hours later I dig out more truth. About a month after that, I had a bad feeling and spent hours digging another truth out of her; she had sex with him the night before I met her. Then she also confessed that a few days after me and her met, she spent New Year with him and kissed him. I forgave her because at that time, she was in the closet and pretending to her parents that she was straight. She has never been interested in guys and all her experiences with them stemmed from trying to convince her conservative parents she was with a guy.

    That was the biggest lie. There was many other little ones that she told and all of them were lies about her past. After all of these things were confessed, one by one, we had a few good months without any "lies". Then about 2 months ago, she tells me that the previous day she saw one of her ex's at a work event but all she did was hug. A few minutes later, I of course dig it out of her that she somehow ended up at this girl's photo-shoot where the girl was topless. She didn't "look" but was there to talk to her friends because she was so upset that I had broken up with her the previous night and needed people to talk to.

    And then there was last night. I found her work phone in her car and out of curiosity went through it. I found a strange text message to her friend back from late April basically asking her to cover for her for a lie she told. A stupid lie about one of her ex's where she told me she slept with her once but it was actually twice. I confronted her and she begged and pleaded and said there was nothing else. She followed me around my house making sure I know that all lies were out in the open and there was NOTHING ELSE. I told her to leave and come back when she is ready to tell me the whole truth. So an hour later she comes back and tells me that she also called her ex a long time ago behind my back to make sure that she would cover for her just in case I ever messaged her and asked anything.

    I feel hopeless and don't know what to do anymore. Other than this lying about past stuff, this girl treats me so great, she really does, and I know that she doesn't want anyone else. She's not a cheater and she genuinely doesn't mean to hurt me. It seems like she lies because she hates herself and who she was in her past and doesn't want me to think any less of her. But it's scary to know that this whole time she was covering up a couple of other little lies, this far in the relationship. She says she got so deep in the lies that she didn't know how to tell me. She even considered contacting her ex a few weeks ago to double check that she would never tell me the truth because she's so scared of losing me.

    I have always believed that true love is telling your partner the truth even if you know there's a risk of losing them. I guess I want to know, do you guys have any experience with liars, can they change and should I give her another chance?
     
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    Last edited: Jul 27, 2015
  2. lorienczhiu

    lorienczhiu Well-Known Member

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    The fact that she's telling irrelevant lies - I really slept with her twice; it was kiss, not a hug - and feels the need to engage her friends and exes in the web of invention... that's a pretty huge red flag, and requires some sort of repair beyond apologies. Not to be an armchair psychologist, or anything, but I would actually ask her to go to therapy or some sort of counseling to address what seems like a compulsive need to invent and modify the truth to smooth things over. She is paranoid that you're going to be investigating her - so she creates alibis and cover stories, and invites the very behavior she's trying to avoid from you. She doesn't trust you, and doesn't believe you should trust her, and believes that lies are easier than honesty. Everyone has their own crazy; you just found hers, and it's no joke, and she should get some help in resolving it.

    Without doing that work, I don't think she's able to be in a healthy relationship, no matter how great she treats you (though just putting it out there: "everything but the lies is great!" is not really great), no matter how much you like her. None of the shit she's lying about really matters, nothing truly difficult has gotten in your way yet, and it's clear you're ready to forgive her the lies. But here's the thing: at some point in your relationship, something actually difficult is going to come up - maybe something that she did, maybe something entirely out of her control. If her gut response, motivated by fear of loss and inability to confront the truth, is to continue to make things up, it's going to be hell for both of you, and is going to make an already hard situation so much worse. And knowing that will make it that much harder for you to trust her, commit to her, and for your relationship to become healthy.

    I don't know if she can change; people do, when they are ready to and decide that it's something they want to do. So she's the only person that can make that call, and she can show you that she's ready to change through action, not just words. Now - before anything is actually on the line - is the time for her to address and change this behavior. If she's not willing to do that, to put in the work she needs to do to be an honest, supportive, trustworthy partner, then you can expect the same bullshit all over again.

    (Also: Seven months of drama and difficulty - girl, you do not have to decide to hang around for her to clean up her mess, even if she's willing to, even if she wants to! It's not your job to redeem her, it's her job to figure out how to be honest and kind to her partners, and that work is going to take her some time.)
     
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  3. Bluenote

    Bluenote Well-Known Member

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    Dump her.

    If it's gotten to the point where she is creating elaborate lies and you are snooping in her phone- both no nos, then your relationship has gone into the toxic unhealthy territory.

    Own your part - that you are snooping and grilling her about her past.

    She doesn't seem ready to be in a committed relationship, with all the playing the field and lying and such.

    Will she change? No idea. Maybe someday she will be happy playing the field and being honest about it. But you can change by breaking it off with her and not waiting to see if she wants to/ can be something else.
     
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  4. wonderlust

    wonderlust Well-Known Member

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    From what you've said, it feels like if she is going to change, it's not going to be anytime soon.

    Usually when a relationship starts with a web of lies it leads to trust issues that are seldom resolved--- hence, imo, you should cut your losses before it really gets ugly. The thing is, the longer we stay in toxic relationships like these, the harder it is to get out, because you start getting numb and get hopeful that the person will change any day now. Truth is they seldom do and you staying around actually doesn't help to jumpstart any sort of realization on her end because you become an enabler.
     
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  5. sweetestsin_xo

    sweetestsin_xo New Member

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    Thank you everyone for your replies. It gave me a lot to think about. I've literally read them over and over.

    I think the problem is that I have never dated anyone that hasn't lied I mean they've all lied, more or less. Am I seeking something impossible? I mean I feel like I'm the only person in the world that can't hide the tiniest thing because even when I've tried in the past the guilt was too much. I just can't. Why is there no one out there like that? So I guess I've "settled" because deep down I'm convinced that every person comes with dishonesty and this is just my favorite one and the one I've loved the most.

    She said she is contacting a therapist to better herself, even if I don't come back to her. I know she wants to change and not be a lying coward (yea, harsh) but I just don't know how therapy can help or how it works.
     
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  6. wonderlust

    wonderlust Well-Known Member

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    Quoting loosely from the Confessions of a Wallflower, we accept the love we think we deserve.

    I personally don't think it's impossible to find someone who can open up to you as you would to them and try to be honest (at least to the best of their abilities). Realistically, in the beginning, some people would make an effort to put their best foot forward. And by that, not necessarily be upfront with certain things. I think the challenge is being able to set your boundaries and knowing what sort of information is important to you in order to trust someone.

    In my case, if someone omits a detail or so I can give the benefit of the doubt, and it matters a lot to me if a person is able to come clean on their own within a reasonable span of time. If I have to resort to stumbling upon it or snooping then it's a deal breaker for me.
     
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  7. Spygirl

    Spygirl Well-Known Member

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    Whoooo....boy. I feel bad for you. I feel bad because your view of reality is based upon this girl....and the fact that "they've all lied." I beg to differ....I am painfully honest...and it cost me a great many relationships (both with having to deal with the little lies...and then the bigger ones...and then the bigger ones)...until I met my wife. We both come from a view that honesty is the best policy. For God's sake, I have a hard time keeping secrets...like a special trip I have planned...or that awesome Christmas gift I've purchased...I suck at secrets in general.

    But yes, I've told lies...white lies...lies about what I've got planned specially for the wife...but none of them have ever been with the intention to conceal something bad or otherwise hurt her. It's a crying shame that's your view...that everyone comes with the "bad" sort of lies.

    This girl is pathological and not worth your time or effort. If someone will lie so effortlessly about minor things..then reveal worse truths later on...the issue is on her. It's something you can never correct, and to be honest, trust is broken. In fact, it's likely you've never had trust at all. Not to mention..for you to accept someone who is so cavalier about the truth....well, that person isn't really worth acceptance, is she?

    Not to marginalize your "relationship"..but 7 months isn't shit in terms of significant relationships. You're supposed to be still in the honeymoon phase...and if this kind of tumultuous thing is happening...then well, clearly, your view of relationships is skewed. Trust me. I've been where you are.

    Turn the tables on yourself and think about why you accept dishonesty from everyone.....because you don't have to accept it and NO, it is not normal. Take a good look at the type of people with whom you engage...if you are wanting better, then maybe you ought to make some different choices. You can't fix these defective people. Perhaps you need to change your perspective about yourself.
     
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  8. lorienczhiu

    lorienczhiu Well-Known Member

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    So, when someone has an injury to a part of their body, physical therapy teaches them how to strengthen and use it to regain their mobility and avoid reinjury, right?

    That's how therapy works (when it's done well). Your girlfriend has a bad mental habit of using lies to avoid difficult or scary situations: she encounters something that scares her (ie, the prospect of losing you), it hurts to contemplate (and that's an actual physical hurt; the brains of people dealing with traumatic mental situations look a lot like the brains of people dealing with physical pain), and so she avoids that pain with a lie. Cognitive behavior therapy will teach her how to rewire that response so that she reduces her anxiety around scary situations and is able to respond in a more appropriate way. CBT is more effective than medication for people with mild to moderate anxiety and depression, and relies on the idea that the brain's structure allows us to learn new skills through practice by literally creating new neural pathways to replace old ones that aren't serving us well.

    It will take time, and she will have to actually do the work, but she can emerge from this healthier and happier and more able to be a good partner.

    My wife has never lied to me. She has other habits that I don't 100% love, but she has never lied. You do not need to accept this kind of behavior from your partners and normalize it - even if everyone around you does. Assuming that everyone behaves badly is one way we set ourselves up for heartbreak; if everyone you've dated shows this trait, maybe it's time to revisit how you select partners and friends such that dishonesty comes baked in.
     
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  9. sundancer

    sundancer Well-Known Member

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    Run. Red flags everywhere. Run like the wind!
     
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