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Compulsive Lying Based in Anxiety

Alpharius

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Hi all,

Okay, I'm going to try to condense this as much as I possibly can. I have a really bad and somewhat constant history of compulsive lying. I grew up with an emotionally/verbally abusive father, a mother who let a lot more happen than she should have, and a sister who was basically perfect at everything and everyone liked her better than me, the awkward girl. I started lying as a defense mechanism. I felt like if I didn't know something or was wrong, it was an insult to my intelligence or who I was as a person so I'd lie and try to cover myself. Did I remember this little menial task that if it got forgotten about would amount to literally no problems? Of course! Did I know about this tiny bit of trivia on a subject I am completely unfamiliar with? Well I mean, how could anyone NOT know that?!

I guess I've known for a while that I've done it but I... never really thought about it, you know? I guess I was justifying it to myself because they seemed to be of such little importance. The problem is that I've been doing it for so long that it is completely eroding the trust in my marriage. My husband is not happy with me, no matter how badly he still wants our relationship to work. I've lied to him about a lot of things. They are, when looked at on their own, relatively small things but the problem is not what they are but it's about the quantity. I've told him that I would do things to help myself/help us but I would know in the back of my mind that I either couldn't do it or that it would take a long time to get it sorted, but dammit if I didn't jump up and volunteer with no reservations in a heartbeat every time. Things are a lot nearer to the end than I ever thought we'd be and I am very scared right now. I really want to get things back on track for us. If I lose him, I'm gonna be a f***ing mess (sailor mouth here, no idea if that's okay or not lol).

This is really hard. I adore this man, he is really sweet, he supports me, he praises me all the time, and is just a really nice person in general. He's not perfect, he knows that there's things he does that annoy me like any other person, but he didn't deserve all of the non-truths that I've given him. I love him, and I know that I do; he doesn't believe it anymore and I do not blame him for it.

Admitting that I'm wrong or have a problem is a really hard one for me. I haven't been able to be totally honest about it for some time and I "came clean" earlier this week and admitted to myself that this is not okay, that I have a problem, and that I would rather be wrong and work on it than keep my pride and have nobody want to be around me or trust me.

Has anyone else here gone through something similar? Has anyone done this to you?

Thanks for listening. I just want to make myself a better person.
 

triceps

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Hi Alpharius. It sounds like you have a complete grasp about your problem, it's root causes and the consequences that might be upcoming. It reminds me of my own struggles with alcoholism where I was completely aware that I was alcoholic but just couldn't seem to quit the drinking for more than a day. I've been sober for six years but still tell myself every morning that I will not drink today and say thanks when going to bed for not drinking that day. It took at least a year before my wife began to trust me again as I had lied to her so many times to try and hide the amounts I was consuming. I think you're in the same boat. It will take a long time to get your husband's trust back. Just one approach would be the "one day at a time" system that has worked thusfar for me. I wish you the very best but it sounds like it's time to somehow get your lying habit behind you.
 

Alpharius

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Hi Alpharius. It sounds like you have a complete grasp about your problem, it's root causes and the consequences that might be upcoming. It reminds me of my own struggles with alcoholism where I was completely aware that I was alcoholic but just couldn't seem to quit the drinking for more than a day. I've been sober for six years but still tell myself every morning that I will not drink today and say thanks when going to bed for not drinking that day. It took at least a year before my wife began to trust me again as I had lied to her so many times to try and hide the amounts I was consuming. I think you're in the same boat. It will take a long time to get your husband's trust back. Just one approach would be the "one day at a time" system that has worked thusfar for me. I wish you the very best but it sounds like it's time to somehow get your lying habit behind you.
Thank you for this.

I'm not the best when it comes to self-reflection but I've had a lot to think about during this time. A lot of it has come from him telling me his observations as well. I used to brush them away and think "no, there's no way I could be like that. I'm a nice person" and then the more I thought about it, the more I realized that it rang true and came to some of my own conclusions. I think the nail in the coffin for me was reading an article about toxic relationships and realizing that it described me. And then I jumped to several more articles on the same subject, and every one of them described almost perfectly what I do. The impatient side of my anxiety wants this all over right now but the practical side knows that's not possible.
 

Cuchculan

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I was with a person once who would never tell the truth. Everything was everybody else's fault. How did I know she was lying? Computer skills. I read a lot of Emails I was never meant to see from my own house. ( We actually lived in different Countries and I did move over to her for a while ) I sort of copped on early that everything that came from her mouth could not be true. It was like she was trying to paint the perfect picture. All my likes were all her likes. But were she would differ from you is her problems don't stem from anxiety. She was just a compulsive liar. But she would want people to throw pity at her too. Thus she needed a good story to tell people. So I heard about an ex husband who tried to smash her head in with a hammer. One who she defended in court. Rather than let him go to jail. You see her thing here? Here he is doing bad to her. But she won't do bad back. She will only want to help him. Others heard a different version of events. ( I would later hear one or two other accounts were he sold the house without telling her and vanished and she went looking for him, brought him back home, to a new house she had bought ) So she crated the lie of a past were bad was done to her but she was always the good person in the accounts. Now she had about 4 other people in her life that I would find out about once I read her Emails. But once she knew I had read them, it was all my fault. Nothing she ever done was her fault. She believed her own crap so much that it felt like she was telling the truth when talking to others. I got the hell out of there and quickly moved on with my life. But loads of lies would be told about me by her to others. She could never accept a person walking out on her. A person ending things. Even if they were in another Country. Her whole life was just one big lie. Once a person lives this way they seriously wouldn't know fact from fiction any more. In my eyes she needed help. People should not be like she was. Others could be harmed by her lies. Different people take things in different ways. I more or less just laughed the whole thing off. Would tell the story to others in an amusing way. Like my first day to arrive at her door. She told I would have to go back home as her husband knew nothing about me. I kid you not. Husband? What husband? Another lie. Not the husband part. The fact she was not single. He happened to be away when I arrived. ( From another Country ) He then became an ex husband. Why? Because I said I would be heading back home. I did ask what kind of ex husband are we talking about. Like the kind you are still married to or the kind you are divorced from? Got the whole divorce story. ( Another lie ) Simple truth would have been too hard for her to tell.

But I tell the story above to show you that you are not all that bad. There are much worse people than yourself out there. You see your wrongs. You know what they can do to others. You might think you are in very deep. But you know the difference been what is fact and what is fiction. Now you simply have to try and put it all right. First thing I would work on is this thing about always wanting to please people. Thus you are saying ' Yes ' to everything. Accepting the doing of things you can't get done. Work on been honest about that. By telling people that you have not got the time right now. Or at the moment you have other things to do. We can't please everybody all the time. It may make a person look good to be seen to be pleasing everybody. Always willing to help. But when no outcome comes from it, it can make the person look bad. So unless you can actually do something, don't offer to take on things.

I always talk about therapy. Why? It is good to talk. But not just for you alone. Your husband too. Same therapist. Talks to you alone. Then talks to you both as a couple. It is all about been honest with the therapist. Who will get both sides of the story. Then might make you both talk to each other in their company. As they know the truth as told by both of you. So they will know if either of you are not been honest. From there you can be more open at home too. But first and understanding has to happen. That you both need to talk to somebody. That what is happening right now can't be sorted out by the two of you alone. It won't be easy. It will be very hard at times. But that is the whole idea of having the third party there. Someone who can help you with your problems and help you both with what you are both going through right now.

Feel like I am writing a book here. So I will leave it at this for now. Hope you manage to get form of help. It is out there. Plus you are not the worst person out there. Just remember that. There are far worse people than you in this World.
 

Alpharius

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Plus you are not the worst person out there. Just remember that. There are far worse people than you in this World.
That right there helps a lot lol. Thank you for your novel of a post, and I am sorry to hear that you went through something like that. I'm not going to say that I haven't acted like an ass, things do go a little deeper in some spots than what I described, but I am still unpacking things (and truthfully, some of it I plain don't wanna share).

I can understand her portraying others as the villains while making herself look innocent. I ended up discovering a pattern where if I could get people's sympathy and make myself look pathetic, they wouldn't want to say "mean" things to me or ask me to do anything. For me, I thought that if I made it so people couldn't rely on me, then I wouldn't have the chance to disappoint anyone. That feels really sad/kinda pathetic to say, but it's the truth. I felt like a disappointment with my family therefore, I had a sensitivity to it.

Right now, couple's therapy isn't much of an option due to some pretty bad traumas that my husband went through when he was a kid revolving around therapy and I respect that. As for therapy for me, I'm not opposed to it but I've become somewhat cynical towards it. I went to some on campus counselors when I was in college and they were really nice people, but they were also only temps. I moved on to an actual therapist because I was going through essentially a couple-month long breakdown. She kept trying to push medications on me and I finally realized that my symptoms at the time only showed up when I started taking birth control (which holy sh*t, the things you'll feel when you're being pumped with the wrong hormones). I brought that up to her and suggested that they might be the reason and her only real reply was just like "oh yeah, maybe". I know not everyone is like that but it still left a really bad taste in my mouth. Besides, I kind of prefer talking to actual people as of right now. Will I pursue a real-life counselor? Yeah, probably. At this time, it's not for me just yet.

Again, thank you for your reply!
 

Cuchculan

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No need to feel sorry for me. I made a holiday out of my trip to her Country. Told the folks I would be back home soon. That she was a crackpot. It became an amusing tale and we crack our holes laughing when we talk about it.

I would say there are good and bad therapists. Have been to both. Loved the one who asked me if I kept a journal. Which I always have done. She asked could she borrow it. She read and didn't need me to bore her with my life story. Fast track way to moving on with the next stage of therapy. Had been to many before her and told her I always found it annoying to have to start at the start all over again. Hence the journal idea. I loved that. Saved me a lot a mouthing and we hit it off instantly. That is what can happen. You know if you like them or if you don't nearly straight away. Maybe begin journaling. I mean just for your own reading. Get your own thoughts down in words. Been doing that for a long time now. Does help. Great to even read back further down the line.

Even set yourself small challenges. Goals you want to aim for. Nothing too big. Aim towards them. Just to try and put some form of order to your life. Says me who lives in one fecked up messy World. I am sure you know what I mean. If we have something to aim for in life, we can try that little bit harder. ( I normally aim for my Ex with a gun but tend to miss due to shaky hands )
 

Alpharius

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I actually did start a journal last year, and am continuing it. I try to do 3 entries every day but it's been really hard to be motivated and I'm lucky if I get one in. Sometimes I go a few days without writing in it, which is not good. It's often helped me but it can only do so much when I feel like I don't know what I'm doing/why I'm doing it.

Goal setting is super important to what I'm trying to do, yeah. I actually set one for this week that I was able to meet as of this morning. He and I play tabletop games and I'm the one who takes care of the painting side. There were two for me and two for him and my goal was to get them finished off this week, and I was able to do just that. :happy:
 

Cuchculan

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Well done to you. Doing anything is much better than doing nothing at all. To others it may seem small. But to us it can be bigger than that. Based around the various problems we have.
 
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