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He lies but does not cheat

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Relationship advice I started seeing this guy a few months ago. We met at a store and just started talking. Exchanged emails for a week or so and then began seeing one another.

He asked to be exclusive after 3 weeks of us knowing one another and I happily agreed.

He was married for a few years and divorced a year ago. I was also married but I have been divorced for about 5 years. My ex and I purchased a house together almost a year ago in the hopes of reconciliation for the sake of our child, but then I found out that my ex did some awful things so there was no chance of reconciliation but I am still living in this house due to my son being in the middle of the school year and me having put most of my money into this house, need to wait until I have enough again to leave (hopefully within 6 months to a year) We live in separate quarters as well. The guy that I am seeing knows all of this and understood my situation. I have never lied about it.

His situation was that his ex (no children between them) was still coming over everyday, sleeping on his couch, etc. I told him that I wasn't comfortable with that after she tried calling me one day and I told him she still wanted him back and he agreed, so it wasn't just still being friends. Her motives were different. Anyhow, he told me that he informed her that she can't sleep over everyday anymore, etc. and they can't hang out the same all the time because he is with someone now. And he informs me that he's taken care of the situation with her.

A week later, he goes to run a marathon, that I knew he was going to since I met him, 3 weeks prior. I asked him if I could come as well to watch and he says sure and that he should have asked. No biggie. But I get sick and am unable to go.

He goes for the weekend and comes back & I have a strange feeling that maybe instead of going with his mother, adult son, etc., that his ex may have also came and he just didn't tell me. So, I ask him over dinner one evening and he says "yes". They drove together the 3 hour ride and stayed in the same hotel room together but on separate beds. She offered for him to share her bed but he declined. I believe him. But I am pretty hurt and upset that he spent the weekend with her and actively lied about it, and yet he denied lying because he states that he told me when I asked. I told him that he was lying by omission the entire time and only told me after he already spent the weekend with her and I asked about it. He said that they were planning to go for months, and she cried about it, etc. when he told her she couldn't come and sleep over or come to the house whenever she wanted anymore so he had to give her at least that one last thing.

I broke it off because I didn't feel comfortable with his situation and the fact that I felt he lied and justified it...also by him stating we have only known one another for 2-3 weeks so it wasn't a big deal.

Moving forward, we got back together, have been doing great for the most part, and I told him with the dog they share, maybe she can take the dog on the weekends or knock to come see the dog, but that she shouldn't still have access to the house and I don't feel comfortable with him still seeing her knowing she wants more and hides it under the guise of friendship. He agreed.

This was a couple of months ago.

I find out that she is still coming to the house through the same password, seeing her dog whenever she wants, and they are still occasionally hanging out and seeing one another (I don't know to what extent)

We were meeting for brunch and a play the other morning and I went to his house to pick him up and confronted him about this and gave him ample opportunity to be truthful but he kept denying that she was coming over until he vaguely said that she was still coming over because it's her dog and it's not like they were having lunch everyday and he stated that she has a boyfriend and she knows that he is with me...although this was the case when they went on the trip together as well.

I asked him why did he continually lie about it and every time I asked him about the dog situation, he would say she is not seeing the dog and he hadn't see her as well. He said because I berate him, etc. but I told him that I haven't, I just told him how I feel about it, and he's never just said well, she needs to come over when she wants and I want her in my life as my friend, etc., but instead he has just lied about it all.

I left his house and we haven't talked since other than a text from him stating he is sorry for lying.

Prior to this, we had been discussing marriage. It was that intense and wonderful in 3 months. We are both mid to late 30's as well so we have been around and know when we have found something. But, I can't deal with the lying. He says he has never cheated on a woman in his life and never will and I believe that's not him, but it's the lying that I can't handle. Am I overreacting to have ended it? I feel that I already gave him another chance after the marathon incidence and explained that being dishonest about it meant more than him actually going with her.

The reason the father of my son and I are exes is because of his dishonesty, deceit, and lies.

This guy is incredible in every way, and I have fallen, but I know that I can't change him in regards to lying, and I have to trust someone to be with them. What to do? Would this situation with his ex still coming by mostly to see the dog considered a white lie as he sees it-or is it a deal breaker knowing what we discussed about it and him actively lying about it?

He lies but does not cheat

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Hello Hoping. To be honest I would have gone ballistic by now knowing she was coming round etc and being lied to because of it. Maybe it's because he just doesn't want all this drama from you every time she comes over so doesn't say anything which in turn makes it worse. No way would I put up with this rubbish as I would always feel 2nd and wouldn't be able to trust him as he can so easily (a) lie & (b) lie by omission and then expect you to accept it and then carry on anyway. I don't think so! And OMG spending a weekend with her because you couldn't go? What else is happening that you my dear are being very blind to? He was the one who asked to be exclusive! Anyway, what to do now. Marrying would be a huge mistake at this juncture as he isn't fully committed to you if he's still having his ex around. He knows it makes you unhappy but still continues? Come on he's hardly thinking of your happiness and appears to put her happiness before yours because of a dog? (Which is an absolute excuse for her to see him - don't be fooled). So really armed with these opinions you need to decide whether you find his behaviour acceptable or not... I personally think he's bang out of order! You keep getting back together but absolutely NOTHING changes he just carries on as he sees it as you accepting things the way they are despite the fact he knows your unhappy. So in my opinion unless and until he changes and gets her out of his life for good then there is no future for you as a lie can be also described as a trust issue. How can you possibly trust someone who lies? Think about it... Good luck.

He lies but does not cheat

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Hoping, if you don't have trust, you don't have a relationship...you know and understand this.

You stated the reason your marriage failed was because of dishonesty, deceit, and lies.

If your new man can't be honest and open with you in the early stages of your relationship, then he never will be.

There's too many things about him that you question, and you know he's not going to be upfront with you regarding his 'ex', because his actions tell you that.

His lying about it only confirms what you're instinct is telling you.

He lies but does not cheat

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I appreciate both of your thoughtful responses. I agree with you in that men in general may lie to not deal with the drama, yet all I have told him is that I wasn't comfortable with the situation with her. He could have responded at the time that she's his friend and that's just the way it has to be right now, or responded truthfully in any way, as I have when he asks me about stuff, but instead, he would agree with me, that the situation is not right, and then continue to carry on with the same situation and just lie to me about it if I ask him, and also not mention it at all.

Btw, you could be a professional therapist, as I asked and paid for one today and this is the chat session (it's public) from asking the same question posted here:

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Hello, I am Rafael. Thanks for asking your question - I'm here to support you.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

I am very sorry to know about this very frustrating and concerning situation.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

You're welcome. Thank you.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Give me an extra minute to reread your question for me not to miss any detail from it.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

You are totally right, no matter how you approach this whole reality, there is a clear pattern here of consistent dishonesty, manipulation and lack of real accountability.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

It is obvious to me that you felt very strong for him, but you were only for a few weeks at that time, and now it's only been three months and all these serious issues have been going on, so it is very serious and concerning and does not show a very nice chance for a long term healthy and fulfilling relationship the way it has been so far at all.

Customer:

Is there a way for me to salvage this relationship? I know that I can't change him. I also know that I could have very well brought him to this point of preferring to lie instead of deal with my interrogation of the situation.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

I do not believe anybody has the power to make necessary changes around these core issues but him, and all his behaviors show that he is unwilling to do that. Thus no matter how hard you may try to play a healthy and good role in the relationship, I do not see how it could work well, since you were doing that, and he willingly chose to lie and perpetuate the same behavior over and over again

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

In such a short period of time you have been planning a future together, but while you have been honest and consistent with your actions and feelings, he has been doing the opposite, he has been showing you that he is not honest, nor trust worthy, so to plan and expect happiness and real fulfillment in a long term relationship, does not seem realistic nor a good idea at all.

Customer:

What if he comes to me and states that he will be forthcoming from now on and not lie about things....should I give him another chance? Or should I know better?

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Well that is something that you need to carefully decide after assessing the pros and cons of each option, based on your own experience for the past 3 months, being very realistic and truthful with yourself about what you can and are willing to afford. Some people have more resilience than others, and the same situation could be more destructive and painful because of different vulnerabilities.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

You know what concerns me the most?

Customer:

But do you think that he might change, would be willing to change. I have seen him stop something before. He used to, in these 3 months, on two separate occasions, give me the silent treatment, when he didn\'t like something I wrote or said. He would stop communication with me for 1-3 days or more if I let it. I never tried contacting him during that time, but when we would talk again, I explained how when he does that, I consider the relationship over. He said that for 2014, he is a changed man, and will no longer do that and he hasn't. Even when I can tell, he feels insulted or doesn't understand what I mean, he will communicate with me....and so the silent treatment has ended. Can the lying end as well?

Customer:

What concerns you the most about this?

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

The fact that he could so easily lie and then deny it, and when there is no way to keep things that way, he justifies what he did doing everything to manipulate you, to the point of telling you that it was OK for him to do this when you started dating because you were only a few weeks together. that says a lot about this person's integrity and maturity, nothing good for sure.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

it'd not be impossible, but based on your concrete experience about his dishonesty and manipulation I would tell you what I always say: do not believe in nice words, but only on consistent actions, that way nobody would use, abuse, neglect or manipulate you. Words are easily use to manipulate people, that's why you should only believe them when his concrete actions in time show you that he deserves your trust.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Trust is something that needs to be gradually built, deserved through consistent experiences, which require time, experiences in different settings, scenarios, and specially when facing challenges and difficulties, there you see how real, honest, mature and caring a person truly happens to be.

Customer:

Yes, I agree, sadly. It's so hard for me, for the simple fact, that I felt he was heaven sent after what I had just been through with the father of my son. I found out that he had been sleeping with prostitutes and lying to me about it, and as we were purchasing this house and talking about reconciliation, he was still looking for the next woman he would pay to sleep with, while he was sleeping with me. So, for me, meeting this guy months later, after I felt hopeless and worthless, and doing my best, but thinking I wouldn't meet anyone again, and he is very different from my ex and has so many positives that I wish would outweigh this negative of lying...but lying to me, after what I have been through with my ex is such a big deal, but he states these are just white lies and that everyone does it. And, that it doesn't matter if his ex comes to see the dog and that he is doing nothing wrong to be treated like this. I do understand his point of view and the way he sees things, but all I have asked is ok, let her come over, ok, hang out, let me even meet with her, but just be honest with me about it all. I won't break it off because of those things but I will because of the lies, and I thought he knew that already from the situation with my ex, and also from when he went on the overnight trip with her, I had said the same exact thing....I was more hurt by the dishonesty of the whole thing then him actually going.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Absolutely right!

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

That's why I believe you attached so much and intensely to this person, but it happened to soon and to fast, those are not good conditions in circumstances like yours. He knew very well from the beginning your deepest wounds and traumas, so your vulnerabilities, and he systematically chose to disregard them and do exactly the worst anybody in his shoes could about it, then used denial, justification and even said it should have not been a big deal because of the short period of time you were together.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

If this person has shown inability and unwillingness to be even respectful and sensitive at that level knowing what he knew, how could you expect him to deserve your love and trust and to be able to offer you a truly healthy and fulfilling long term commitment? I think it could be very traumatizing for you, and not help you heal wounds from your marriage, and grow healthier, wiser and stronger.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Does it make sense?

Customer:

Yes, it makes complete sense.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Good.

Customer:

I just think he felt that he wants to appease two people. He wants to make his ex happy because he was with her for 10 years and they are good friends and he wanted to make me happy knowing I didn't like the ex situation and in his mind, because he wasn't cheating on me, he felt he was doing nothing wrong, by just not telling me these things, and lying to me, for her sake, and thus thinking that he is pleasing the both of us.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

But his behaviors could never be taken as acceptable not healthy for somebody in your shoes, but very painful and wounding.

Customer:

Yes, in my shoes, but does that mean I am overreacting due to my past experiences?

Customer:

Would it be ok for someone else without having had their ex be someone who lies and manipulates?

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

No, I do not believe you are overreacting at all, but that he is showing extra lack of sensitivity, respect and caring because of doing what he has been doing, while very well aware of your painful situation.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

I do not see how a person doing that could become a healthy and good long term partner at all.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

It is never OK to lie and manipulate, even more if it becomes a pattern like this.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

When a person truly cares about you, first he would respect you, be honest and real, take into account your feelings, and never do anything to hurt you nor to deepen your wounds from the past , since that would show lack of empathy and lack of sensitivity, the exact opposite of real and healthy affection-caring.

Customer:

I understand and I do agree 100% that dishonesty is the last thing I want in a relationship. Even if it's something I don't want to hear, I would rather discuss it with a partner, because that's what it is, a partnership. There is no room for make pretend, or hiding, or sugar coating serious matters, or then, we wouldn't be able to grow. As much as I understand everything you are stating as truth, it hurts, beyond belief. It's amazing how in such a short time, a human can have the capacity to feel this amount of love and hope towards another.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

He would make sure nobody hurts you, and without doubt he would not be a source of pain and wounding in your life, but of protection, for you to rely trust, and feel protected and loved, not used, neglected or manipulated.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Right...

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

This is why I use to invite people to be careful when they use the word "love", and if they want to use it, to be assertive being clear when it is "unhealthy or destructive love", codependent love, or any other form of attachment, passion or feelings being experienced in intense ways, but not being truly healthy and constructive.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Most times , most people do use relationships as ways not to feel alone, fearful, depressed, abandoned, inadequate, empty, non-fulfilled, and more, and that's why they could so easily attach to the expectations and hopes build around people. even more when they show behaviors leading us to believe and trust that they really care and love us. But only life itself through time and concrete actions shows us what is real, and what is superficial, unhealthy, without substance.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Then without working on resolving serious personal issues first, a person would not be able to play a good role in relationships, but would shape it based on those problems. In his case he obviously has a serious problem around dishonesty and accountability, and unless he truly works on maturing at those levels, he would perpetuate those patterns.

Customer:

Yes, I feel that as older adults, we were both at a point in our life, to be happy to have the company of another who cares and is loving. I think for the most part it was a healthy relationship, and even though the lies themselves were not about game changing events, the lies were destructive in and of themselves...

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Correct, the peculiarities of your situation made of these unacceptable behaviors something much more damaging and abusive, and when a person fails this consistently around something, like about lack of honesty, and dishonesty related to sharing with an ex-spouse who openly shows that much interest, and they were closely sharing for long, then many more red flags arise.

Customer:

Do you think I should offer us to have counseling/therapy together to try to work through the accountability and dishonesty and deal with my lack of trust due to what he has shown me, or do you think 1. It was only 3 months and it's not worth it and 2. he has done absolutely nothing since approaching him other than stating via text that he is "sorry for lying" and when I replied "

Customer:

When he texted me sorry, I texted back this "You know what I find sadly amusing? How long were the lies about your ex still coming over going to continue? Maybe when we got married and were living in the same home and she was still coming to the house because, u know, it's her right, I mean exes should be able to come and go and see their exes as they please, right? Maybe I am getting ahead of myself. Maybe the lies would have just continued for another year or two until one day I went to your place and saw you two on the couch watching something together with your dog....but hey, none of it's cheating right? Habitually lying to someone you claimed to love is ok then, right? I couldn't figure out what was more messed up today though-all the lying or you justifying it to my face and never being truthful when I gave you plenty of opportunities to be so...practically begged. I can't be with someone who lies to me like that and today you showed and stated that you do and would continue to do so as you saw in principal that it's wrong but in practicality how it makes sense for you to lie, but you know what, David, regardless of what you said today, I never did deserve you lying to me like that. Ah well, lesson learned."

Customer:

and he never wrote back after that, so now, I feel am I putting in too much effort to even consider offering counseling or therapy for us.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

It depends on what you feel and think you are willing to afford from now on. Obviously if you want to take the risk and give him another chance, couples counseling-psychotherapy should be a must, but it could only be beneficial if he truly chooses to work on his personal issues, and for that he would need individual psychotherapy. Couples counseling cannot support him in that work, but should make evident his need to start such process if he truly wants to change.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

I agree, you were very clear and direct confronting his abusive behaviors, and it would be consistent for you not to expect nor push anything , since it would not work that way, it should only be about both of your taking initiatives, responsibility, actively working on things, and he's not been doing that

Customer:

Ok, so if he says nothing more from here on out, I should just let it go, correct? What if he asks to be friends? I will miss him and want him in my life, but honestly, I don't even want someone who lies like that as a friend...

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

If he truly happened to care about you he would work hard on himself and showing you he takes full responsibility and makes of these changes something real, instead of being this passive.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

I think so. If he asks you that, then you would need to be clear if you really can and want to do that. Some people find it may work for them, others feel it is incompatible with what happened before, because of the core issues involved. Would you feel comfortable wit h that, would it help you taking good care of yourself and life?

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Then you have already answered your own question.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Most people would think the same.

Customer:

It's hard because I truly do feel that he is a good person. He is genuine, kind, and loving, and I feel he would be good in my life, if I could trust him, and I would love to just trust him about everything and anything, but life is easier for him when he lies instead of dealing with confrontation. I wish there was a way for me to make it easier for him to be truthful. Maybe I am the one making it hard for him by "berating" him as he states when he is honest. It's easier for me to doubt myself and place a big portion of blame on myself and make excuses for him, because if I am the one who is wrong, it is easier for me to change, but if it is on him, then it's impossible for me to do anything, and I am left helpless.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

That's what I see, you having a tough time coming to terms with reality, and this is why I strongly suggest you to consider individual psychotherapy to work on yourself, to explore and identify your core conflicts, emotionally process these experiences and effectively cope with the decision you make about this situation.

Customer:

Yes, I agree. I think I doubt my decision to such a degree, because it was made while I was still very upset about finding it all out and I know decisions made in anger are most of the time, very irrational, and also, perhaps due to his manipulation, he was convincing me that I am the reason he was lying about it all to begin with, that it was because of my reactions. So, the reality of the matter becomes difficult if someone is manipulating you to see it in a very different light that shifts the blame from them to you.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Correct.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Do you have any other question that I may assist you with?

And, then my time was up....Hopefully, our posts will help others as well who do not know what to do and are dealing with someone they love who lies but does not necessarily cheat.

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