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How can I stop my husband from lying?

Summary: Preeth Jose asks: I would like to verify if there is such a thing as in-built lying. My husband lies all the time, for little things and big things

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... if I ask him what did you have for dinner? He says he made a sandwich at home, but when I get home I will find a hotel receipt for take-away.

He lies about where he goes, about job orders he gets, about his friends and when I find out the truth, he explains that he lied because I would get upset. Sometimes I do, but it never goes for more than a day.

However, the constant lying has taken a toll on our marriage. I am starting to lose faith in him and cannot believe anything he says any more. We are going through some financial difficulties and he is not willing to share it with me. I know this because I check his phone messages and emails. Otherwise, I am in the dark. When I confront him he says he lied because he didn't want to upset me. But I keep telling him that when I find out the truth it is more hurtful and I eventually will find out.

How can I stop him from lying? Is it some genetic disorder? I have tried my level best to change him ... but he seems to be only thinking about the present... not about future consequences.

Dr Saliha Afridi replies : Lying can chip away at trust slowly, but surely. This deterioration of trust has a very damaging effect on relationships since the foundation of relationships is trust. I will speak about lying generally, and I advise that if these issues are persisting that you get a professional consultation about this issue and how it relates to your marriage.

It is important to note that everyone has or will lie at some point, however some people lie with an abnormal frequency and are referred to as pathological liars. Lying is characteristic of mental disorders such as antisocial personality disorder, conduct disorder, narcissitic personality disorder and histrionic personality disorder. Often times people engaging in substance abuse or other addictions can also develop abnormal levels of lying. Extreme cases of pathological lying are referred to as pseudolgia fantastica.

There are bio-psycho-social explanations as to why a person lie. There have been some studies that reveal neurological differences in people who are compulsive liars. Relationally and socially, if the person feels they will be attacked or rejected then they are less likely to tell the truth. That's why safety, acceptance, and lack of judgment is very important in relationships.

If you are in a relationship where your partner is often lying, it is important to figure out what are the contributing underlying factors to the lying. It is often easy to blame the other person and we don't realize that we are contributing to the lying by creating an unsafe and judgemental environment.

Disclaimer : This blog is a conversation and is not an alternative for treatment. The recommendations and suggestions offered by our panel of psychologists and psychiatrists are their own and Gulf News will not take any responsibility for the advice they provide.

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Publication:Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)
Date:Jun 27, 2016
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