What to Do if You are in Love With a Liar

shutterstock_277073900Most people say they can’t stand lying. But some let themselves be swayed by a singsong voice that soothes them into submission. Allow yourself to be wooed too long, and you will only be endangered to further and perhaps more significant mistruths. Remember that trust is the single most important quality to any relationship. If you don’t have that, you really don’t have anything. Still, some people lead with their heart instead of their head. They justify every action, word, and behavior, and end up crying their eyes out, wondering where they went wrong, while all the others around them huff, and silently say to themselves, “Told you so.” Even when things carry on and the liar gets away with it, this behavior slowly boils the relationship away. The deep, hot embers of anger, resentment, confusion, and mistrust will sooner or later cause a conflagration sure to burn everything away. Some people bury their feelings for years. But sooner or later they will resurface again and wreak havoc. Of course, to let go of an out and out liar, you first have to determine whether or not this is true. Weigh the facts against their justifications and see if they measure up. If you do find you are in love with a liar, this is how you proceed.

First determine the extent of the lie. Was it a little white lie to hurt your feelings? If so, they probably just care about you, and you might be a stickler for what is and is not considered a lie. Was it to not inconvenience you? This person may lack self-esteem, and have a hard time establishing themselves. They may be trying too hard to make you happy, and forget to advocate for or even explain what it is that they want. Instead, they think they know what you want, and they advocate for it. If this is the case, sit down with them and have a long talk. Put them at ease. Let them know that you understand their intentions, but that they need to be honest for this to work, and that you want them to also get what they need out of this relationship. Was it something to do with their ex, or someone of the opposite sex texting them? Were they calling or hanging out without you knowing? Chances are they are considering being with this person. They may be a player or they may be subconsciously drawn to this other person, while at the same time fighting their true feelings. The best thing to do is to extricate yourself and wish them all the best. You want to be the center of someone’s attention, not just picking at the scraps after another has finished with them.

Do they shower string of lies upon you? Determine whether this person is a compulsive liar or a pathological one. A compulsive liar does this for perceived, self-preservation. A pathological liar does so in order to continue to leech off of you, or society. Either way, such behavior does not bode well for any relationship. Get out while you still can. Sometimes we can get so caught up in the sweeping romance of a feeling or in being with a person, or love being a part of the story they portray. But if you get enchanted by their siren song they are likely to lead you into murky waters, from the depths which you may never return. Generally speaking, you can be devastated by infidelity, chronically anxious—never knowing what they are doing, who they are with, or where they have been, or cleaned out of house and home, and find no funds in the bank account. If you are with someone who is a liar, consider how they lie. What are their motivations? What are they doing it for? This along with some fact finding and evidence gathering can help you to find the truth. But stick with the reality of the situation, and if it’s right to leave them, do so and never look back. In hindsight, you’ll be so glad you did.

In the aftermath of such an affair be sure to read, When Your Lover Is a Liar: Healing the Wounds of Deception and Betrayal by Susan Forward and Donna Frazier.

When is it Okay to Reveal a Secret to Your New Lover?

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Everyone has a past, though admittedly some are more checkered than others. And sometimes it isn’t something we’ve done but we are. It could be an illness genetic or otherwise, an awkward past experience, a sexual fetish, family secrets, missteps in the past, a bizarre idiosyncrasy, strange tastes, and more. But for those who harbor big secrets, it can be really difficult to tell when the right time is to divulge it to a new love interest is. Most people feel anxious over what consequences such an admission might bring. What if there isn’t anything there? You would have opened up for nothing. Also, there is the potential of scaring this person away. But wait too long and you risk damaging the relationship in its most fragile stage. So at what point should you share your cryptic information? Each relationship develops differently. There is no easy answer. But here are some guidelines that you can use to increase your chance at having a positive outcome.

If you are just hooking up or casually dating, and the thing in question has absolutely no bearing on the other person, you can omit it from your interactions. If it does have bearing say HIV, it is your moral imperative to share this information with them, right in the beginning before anything happens. But otherwise, if it doesn’t touch their lives whatsoever, than see where things are going first. Who knows how long this relationship is going to last. Once things are starting to look serious, sit the person down and have a talk with them. Clinical psychologist Randi Gunther, Ph.D. is a marriage counselor in Southern California. She calls her approach, “The Law of No Negative Surprises.” It works like this, “Any data that could ever hurt a potential partner must be disclosed before it does.” You do not want to harbor a secret after things turn serious. The most important element in any relationship is trust. Failing to disclose could damage or even destroy your bond, driving the person out of your life.

If there is any information that is readily available about you, you should disclose it as soon as possible. You don’t want them finding out on the internet what you could have told them upfront. Any STDS, illegal activity you are or have been associated with, if you are already in a relationship and looking elsewhere and whether or not your partner knows, if you have children, a serious allergy, or have dated someone whom he or she knows, tell this person as soon as you can, face-to-face. When the time comes and you are entering into a committed relationship reveal any genetic diseases, serious financial obligations, any significant relationship problems from the past, family issues, any therapy you’ve had and medications you take, and anything else that might be pertinent. Make sure this is a person you trust before entering into a relationship and sharing your deepest, darkest secrets with them. Memories that are just too painful can be kept to one’s self. If it is pertinent just give them the gist. The best rule of thumb is whether or not the thing you are harboring will hurt this relationship. Any person worthwhile will accept you for who you are, faults and all, just as they wish to be accepted. Remember that everyone has a past. We all learn from it. But it does not define us. Anyone who cannot accept the real you does not deserve to have you. But the flip side is that you have to extend them the same sort of kindness, open-mindedness, and understanding.

For more on building a better love life read, Relationship Saboteurs: Overcoming the Ten Behaviors that Undermine Love

Advice for Working Out Difficult Issues

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When we first get into a relationship, we fall into a kind of surreal world where we mistakenly believe there will never be any problems in our love life ever again. Our boo is perfect. Then as time goes on issues we never dreamed of crop up one after another. Some we take of. Others begin inhabiting our relationships, and threaten to bring it down. But if your present self could jump into a time machine and warn your past self about the problems and misunderstandings, the slipups and snafus, would you believe them? Probably not. Even if your past self did believe, where would they go from there? Any relationship is always in flux. You are either growing together or apart. Though we may pine for the days when everything looked perfect, that was nothing more than a bio-chemically induced delusion, though undoubtedly the most pleasant kind. How can you make sure you are growing together instead of apart? One way is to sort through the difficult issues together. Communication, patience, caring, open-mindedness, and negotiation skills are vital. Lots of couples get tired and give up when things get too tough. But if you try some novel strategies and keep in mind that it takes time to overcome the big stuff, you two can find a way to coexist peacefully, and even reignite the spark that brought you together to begin with. This advice isn’t guaranteed to keep you out of divorce court. But they can help turn around a relationship that is drowning but just needs something to grab onto to be saved.

If either of you are angry, do not discuss the issue. Hurtful words are said in anger, which are likely to increase rather than decrease the gap. When one is mad, logical reasoning is no longer in charge. Instead of moving forward, we try to win, get even, or even going for the jugular. This is pure instinct. Many do this without realizing that any amount of damage you do to the relationship is only going to take you deeper down into the hole. You will only have to work longer and harder to climb back out again. Instead, step back from a fight, or even goading. Tell them that you do not want to move forward now. You do not think it will be productive accounting for the mood you are in, or perhaps your partner is in. Instead, couch the issue and schedule a time to come back to it at a later date. Ruminate and look at it from your partner’s point of view. Sometimes we hold so hard to our own perspective we fail to take theirs into account. But in this we may be missing something. Do not focus on who is right or who is wrong. It is not about that. Really emotions lie at the core of any fight. These aren’t good or bad. They just are. How we deal with them makes them good or bad. If you can get to the root of the issue, you can overcome it.

Agree to disagree on small issues. Learn to let things go. Do not be too judgmental. We all have certain idiosyncrasies. If we are to be accepted and loved, we must also accept our partners. But harsh judgment gets in the way of love and causes derision. Trust in the fact that you will find a solution that works for both people. Have serious conversations in private. Nothing can be more embarrassing than airing your grievances in front of an audience. Lastly, always be supportive of one another. Watch out for childish behavior like one-upmanship. Sometimes we like to rub our partner’s nose in missteps. But we end up building an intolerant atmosphere where each person is waiting for the other to make a mistake, and both partners are keeping score. You should both be on the same side, not adversaries. Cheer each other on, instead of tearing each other down. If you cannot find a way to be on the same team, you are not meant to be together. Spend time discussing what is important. Too many times partners let squabbles get out of hand, and ruin what is really a good thing overall. If you both love one another and desire to work things out, have faith that you will. It may just take some patience, hard work, and of course time.

For more advice on getting the most of couple hood read, Emotional Fitness for Couples: 10 Minutes a Day to a Better Relationship

Year Two Can be Hard on a Relationship

That sheer rush when you fall for someone can be so exhilarating. Every insight they share fills you with awe, their jokes are hilarious, and every idiosyncrasy tickles you pink. But some two years later some find their partner’s insights stale, their jokes lame, and the little habits you used to find so cute are now positively irritating. What happened? The biochemical that kept you high on this person this entire time has leveled off. This is what some people call limerence and others the “honeymoon phase.” After about six months it begins to wear off. The two year point is heavy for most people. Some never want to settle down. They just want to jump from person to the next, chasing the feeling of newfound love. But many people want a life partner to share things with. So in this case to keep those feelings alive takes a lot of work. It takes a considerable investment in time, effort, thinking and planning for any relationship to run smoothly. Once those feelings end you have to evaluate it for what it really is, and consider whether you indeed have a deeper connection with this person or if it was all just infatuation.

Take a good look. Is there good communication? What about affection and tenderness? Do you treat each other with respect? Can you work through problems constructively? If the thrill is gone and you can’t for the life of you figure out what you saw in this person, be happy that the fog of love has lifted and cut your losses. Don’t keep trying to breathe life back into the corpse or you will waste a lot of time and effort, and frustrate yourself to no end. If you have been through a series of these relationships and are always let down in the second year or thereabouts, take a look at your standards. Are they perhaps too high? Some dating experts say apps and websites have made it seem like we can find someone perfect, when it’s really in our foibles and our acceptance of one another’s that we find acceptance and through it, love. Another aspect may be a fear of intimacy. Those who fear commitment often find their fears bubble up to the surface once the feel good chemicals of love wear off. Take it slow, communicate and seek help so as not to sabotage a good relationship if you are indeed in one.

As things develop, that frantic intensity might be gone. But there are other advantages not available before. Sometimes we forget how those dizzying first days, weeks, and months give us tremendous anxiety. But relationships in later stages are more comfortable. Partners who know each other better are closer. Though the instant need to gobble one another may be gone, many married couples say sex is better once you get to know each other’s likes and dislikes, and perhaps what kinks you share in common. You have your technique down too. Sometimes relationships and sex can get dull and need some sprucing up. Having a date night, plan a vacation, consider tantra, learn a hobby together like cooking, rock climbing, yoga, or salsa dancing. These are novel experiences which will invigorate your relationship. Talk about what you want to explore together. Also, partners who spend too much time together can get on each other’s nerves. Spend a little time apart to explore different hobbies or spend time with friends. You can talk about something new over the breakfast table. Consider your relationship carefully. But if you have all the right things to make it great, try and infuse a few changes and you’ll be able to reignite the spark. For more readHow to Keep Your Relationship Exciting: 85 Tips to Keep the Romance in Your Life! by Kate Anderson.

Get Over the Stigma of Singledom

Single people get a bad rap. In the media, they are depicted as sad and lonely. Rarely do we see someone strong, well-adjusted and independent without a love interest lurking in the background. Then there is the butting in of certain well-meaning friends and relatives. They may come under some kind of delusion from time to time, and talk to you as if there is something wrong with you. “Why haven’t you found someone?” they ask. Or give you not so good advice like, “Maybe you should just lower your standards a little.” Just relax and remind yourself that you are in good company. The biggest growing demographic in the country today is single women. Sometimes we let what others say get to us. Don’t let them stigmatize you for loving yourself and leading your own life. Get over the stigma of singledom and enjoy flying solo. And in fact, while you are at it, help those other people get over their prejudice against unattached Americans as well.  Here are some reasons why you should feel lucky to be without a plus one. 

Ever see folks who don’t quite belong together try and make it work? It’s just sad. Why would you put yourself through that? Instead, why not wait for someone you can relate to, who flips your switch. Getting turned on is not just a sexual thing. It’s probably more emotional. It’s when you flow with someone. You have that instant rapport. There are different reasons why we are attracted to a person. When you meet that special someone who makes your heart skip a beat it dawns on you that this is someone worth pursuing. But just having a warm body next to you at the movies or on the couch isn’t worth it to those who have a brilliant mind, a full agenda and an independent spirit. There are people who jump from one relationship to another like frogs across Lili pads. These people are generally scared of being alone. But they don’t get a chance to really dig down deep and learn some personal truths about who they themselves are. A pause between serious relationships can give you time to breathe, slow down and focus on your own issues, where you are going and what you want in life. The person you have to love first and best in life is really yourself.

When you aren’t attached you can date around and see what you really like. Why not have some adventures? You can open up your social calendar and allow yourself some time to be a free spirit, sprint off without having to check in with anyone, or babysit someone who can’t keep up. Singledom is not a dilemma, it’s a rare opportunity that most people don’t have and some are downright jealous of. Now is the time to do the things you’ve always wanted to do. Go teach English in Asia. Volunteer in Africa. Explore your passions. Learn a new language. Start a business. Discover your family history or completely transform yourself into the person you’ve always wanted to be. Being single can feel lonesome at times. But at least you won’t ever feel trapped by or disgusted with your lover. You won’t feel smothered or neglected, rejected or treated unfairly. Jean Paul Sartre said, “Hell is other people.” Anyone who has ever been in a bad relationship knows what he is talking about. Instead, reconnect with yourself and find your own inner light. Once you are glowing like a beacon, someone worthwhile is sure to notice you. If you’re still not convinced or are just giving up the single game read,“Best Dating Advice I Ever Got”: 3000 Women Pick Their Favorite Love Tips by Ali Binazir MD.