Trust is the hardest thing to keep, and the easiest thing to lose. Once he breaks the unspoken rule of trust, you’ll doubt, to varying degrees, everything that comes from his mouth. Everything he says, you find yourself thinking, “I wonder if he’s bullshitting me?” or “Why is he lying again? How can I be sure he means what he says?” or “Should I set him up to see if he’s lying?” or “Should I investigate everything he says?” You’ll begin to doubt his actions too. If he comes home early from work, you’ll think, “I wonder if he even went to work?” If he comes home late, you think, “Who was he with so late?” If he carries his phone in the bathroom you’ll think, “Who the hell is texting him when he’s in the bathroom?”
Once he loses your trust, it’s normal to have these questions running through your head. It’s absolutely, perfectly normal. But it’s absolutely, perfectly destructive. The best thing for him is to never lose your trust in the first place, or you his. But, I don’t think that’s normal either. For many reasons, to tell a lie is considerably easier than dealing with the ramifications of being honest. He thinks that if he tells the truth, he’ll need to explain himself, or rationalize his behavior, or listen to you bitch, so he’ll choose the easy way, lie. It’s sad but true. My point in telling you that is to give you hope. If relationships in general deal with lies and trust, you know it’s a part of the human condition, and it’s not because you’re an idiot or a failure or not good enough. Neither is he. We’ve learned to lie to escape life. And sometimes we need to escape life.
Still as normal as it is, trust (that’s intact) remains the foundation of a healthy relationship, but if you’ve lost it, you can get it back. It’ll take time and commitment but it can be done. If he’s lost your trust, you can forgive him, and he’s willing to work to gain it back, you can do this. Here’s something to try. Write down all the things that would make you want to lie. Say for example you spent $200 when you actually should have only spent $100, and you know if he asks you, you’re going to want to lie to avoid his response. Write them all down. Write down the reasons you would lie. Look for patterns in what you lie about and why you lie. Have him do the same thing. When you have your lists, compare them and share them and help each other by being supportive and creating conditions in your marriage or relationship that help the other person to be honest when their every fear or worry will make them want to lie. Engage the help of a professional. Commit to fixing the problem. And just like in my other blog, about How do I forgive someone who has hurt me deeply? Commit to engaging in the right behaviors. When we impulsively make poor choices, it really is a sign of emotional immaturity. This isn’t something to be ashamed of, just aware of. You aren’t alone. Remember, I write about things I know!