Wednesday, December 03, 2008

When Your Love's Dishonest


This email came from a guy, but I'm pretty sure we can all relate:

Hello, Terry-

If your girlfriend does something dishonest, what's the best way to handle it?

Your friend,
F.


Dear F.-

It depends on what they did. If the person in question snatched a shot glass from a bar, I'd be turned off. But if I really liked him (or, in your case, her) I'd probably say something like, "That's stealing, isn't it?" and listen carefully to his response.

Eh, who am I kidding? I probably wouldn't date him again.

As for people who lie, I don't have much patience for them, either. If a guy told me I looked great even if I knew I didn't, I might chalk up his lack of honesty to kindness, but I'd think twice about asking his opinion again.

Since none of us is perfect, it's possible that a stupid fib will pop out of someone's mouth during a moment of insecurity, and that's probably okay as long as the person takes pains to be honest in the future. We're all capable of little lapses in honesty -- in our words and in our actions -- every now and then. It's how we handle ourselves afterwards that matters. We must strive to do better the next time.

But if I were with a guy who lied to me (or to anyone else) as a means of getting through the day, I'd definitely kiss him goodbye.

Life is complicated enough without having to figure out what's real and what isn't. When you're in a long-term relationship, it contributes greatly to your piece of mind to be able to trust your partner. You can't build happiness on a shaky foundation.

In case you're wondering if I ever lied to my husband, I did. Once. I made up some silly story to get him to a surprise party. While he really enjoyed the party (and the gesture), he did express concern about how well I lied to him about it. It did make him wonder what else I was capable of lying about.

I made it a policy never to lie to him again, and I hold him to the same standard. Years ago, I fell in love with a liar, and it cost me many months of sleep, not to mention my self-esteem.

If you're an honest man, you deserve to date an honest woman. She's out there. Accept nothing less.

-Terry

5 comments:

Michelle said...

Never ever never ever ever EVER get involved with a habitual liar.Ever! And I mean it!(speaking from experience, unfortunately....)

Terry excellent advice. Again where were you in my 20's?

I had been married to guy who was a compulsive liar. Which lead to other bad habits, because he LIED about everything!!!

No one should have patients for lying, it can only lead to things much worse, like in my case stealing and cheating.

Again Terry I applaud you and your wonderful advice.

Iris said...

Thi is good advice. I like how you answered a vague question with so much detail :)

Terry said...

Michelle and Iris-I appreciate your perspectives. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Hi Terry,
Firstly, you look really good in the profile picture. My friend is married to a liar, first he said he had one kid, then three but she still married him and justified his behaviours to me. I think that there is no excuse for lying and a woman who accepts this kind of behaviour is in denial. I agree with you that we should accept nothing less than the truth.

Terry said...

It must be terribly hard for you to watch someone you care about deceive herself.

Thanks very much for the compliment. ;)