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Question
Posted by: Sandy | 2011/07/19

Pathological liar?

Dear CS.
I recently broke up with my boyfriend, who has desperately wanted us to get married and/or have a child, for his inability to manage his finances. He wants a second chance and says he can fix that, but that wasn''t the only reason I broke it off. He''s a liar, at least that''s what I think. There are usually inconsistencies when he tells me something a few times. For instance, he''s given me 3 reasons on 3 different occasions as to why he broke up with the mother of his children. And initially he said he only has 1 child (I''m a lot of things, but forgetful is one thing I''m NOT), then later said there are 2 children, he asked me what reason would he have to lie to me?!? So now all of a sudden it was my responsibility to prove why he WOULD lie to me. Anyway, I know nothing about him except what he tells me (more than half of which I can''t believe because of his lying nature) and he''s from another country so I have zero ways of verifying anything about him.
My question is, I can point out every single thing that I believe he has lied about, but chances are zero that he''ll admit to lying at all and I''m ashamed of him thinking I''m too untrusting, paranoid and suspicious of him (he seems so sincere and convincing but when I''m alone I''m usually able to put everything together and pick up the inconsistencies). Should I confront him about the lies? How do I even go about it? Do I ask him for proof proving all these things? I think I''ve been so sucked into his lying ways that now I''m even doubting my own judgement that he''s a liar. What do I do?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Everybody lies, under specific circumstances. A Pathological liar lies even when he doesn't need to, when there's no possible benefit, and even when he's bound to be found out and lose by it.
If he already has children, why is he so desperate to have more children, with you ?
You wisely identify some of the reasons to worry about him - you know nothing except what he has told you, and as he is from another country, you can't check up on this.
Don't expect a liar to admit it. Don't waste your energy argiung about his lies.
Frequent liars can be extremely skilful and convincing - sometimes they start by believing their own lies, so they can signal "truth" to you even when lying.
Why get into these arguments and worries ? He is surely not the only man you will ever meet - why not just calmly leave him and move on, to someone who seems more truthful, and is easier to check on ?

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Our users say:
Posted by: Sandy | 2011/07/20

Anon#, I think it really depends on what you believe he''s lying about. For instance, if it''s marital status, you can easily check that on the dept of home affairs. If it''s his credentials, you can enquire from the institution that he says he studied at or previous employers, etc.
All the best!

Reply to Sandy
Posted by: Sandy | 2011/07/20

Thanks everyone, your comments and advice are truly appreciated. Caro, yes I''m going to be using the advice. I think I''ve lied to myself for sometime that he is who he says he is, which entirely depends on what he feels like lying about at any given point. It''s a burden to be in a relationship where you know that whatever you choose to believe is at your own risk. &  I don''t want to come out the fool (with the responsibility of a marriage to a liability AND children) who had the signs staring right into her face but CHOSE to ignore them. Thank you.

Reply to Sandy
Posted by: Anon # | 2011/07/20

I''m more or less in a similar situation except that my BF is from S.A. How can one go about to get infomation about people in S.A. thats not gonna cost me a arm and leg.

Reply to Anon #
Posted by: Caro | 2011/07/19

He wants to have ethe security of a home and food in South Africa and only a stupid, desperate woman would give this to him. He thinks that you are that woman. If you ask him he will deny it. You are his mealticket and you have to show him that you are of no value to him. Don''t be asking for advice if you are not willing to take it.
How does he propose to fix his finances? Has he found a job yet?
Perhaps you and he are both lying to yourself which would be a sorry state of affairs for a child. He wants a baby or get married? Why? Trust your instincts, clever woman, they are trying to warn you of something.

Reply to Caro
Posted by: Commentator | 2011/07/19

I think it would be an excellent decision to marry this guy and have his child.
Do not worry that he is confused about how many children he has as the maintenance court will remind him constantly.
As for doubting yourself because of his constant lying, this will not be a problem as you will be too busy bringing up your child without financial or emotional support you will not have energy left to address this problem.
You state you know nothing about him, well how much info do you need to decide to marry him and bear his child. After all its not such a big decision is it! I think you may be over thinking this after all you can always get divorced.

Reply to Commentator
Posted by: Liza | 2011/07/19

Unfortunately pathological liars will always deny their lies - even when there''s physical proof that they''ve lied. They will also ALWAYS try to turn it around on you and try and make out that you don''t know what you''re talking about.

There is absolutely NO WAY to get them to change their ways!! Once a liar - always a liar. Trust your own judgement on this. Don''t take this liar back and rather move on to someone who deserves your trust! You really don''t need this kind of person in your life and you can choose to have nothing more to do with him. So make the right choice.

Good Luck
Liza

Reply to Liza
Posted by: cybershrink | 2011/07/19

Everybody lies, under specific circumstances. A Pathological liar lies even when he doesn't need to, when there's no possible benefit, and even when he's bound to be found out and lose by it.
If he already has children, why is he so desperate to have more children, with you ?
You wisely identify some of the reasons to worry about him - you know nothing except what he has told you, and as he is from another country, you can't check up on this.
Don't expect a liar to admit it. Don't waste your energy argiung about his lies.
Frequent liars can be extremely skilful and convincing - sometimes they start by believing their own lies, so they can signal "truth" to you even when lying.
Why get into these arguments and worries ? He is surely not the only man you will ever meet - why not just calmly leave him and move on, to someone who seems more truthful, and is easier to check on ?

Reply to cybershrink

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