Why did you lie?

Enlightenment-  Sharon Cummings

Truth is a deep kindness that teaches us to be content in our everyday life and share with the people the same happiness. ~ Khalil Gibran

Has somebody lied to you? Was it something you could forgive and forget? Or were you wanting to put the issue behind you, but left wondering ‘Why?’

Not all lies are the same. There is a huge difference between not being completely honest in order not to offend someone compared to a complete fabrication of the truth. Likewise there is a distinction between failing to keep a promise because something has genuinely prevented a person from following through and failing to keep a promise because that someone had no intention of keeping their word in the first place.

For me a bare-faced lie means that the person has no regard for your feelings, whereas a promise made to be broken means that person is deliberately setting out to manipulate your feelings. Both though are deceptions that can leave you feeling let down and lost.

Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth. ~ Buddha

It’s not just the extent of the deceit that will determine the depth of the pain. Being lied to by a stranger is manageable because there’s no emotional investment. On the other hand, being lied to by somebody you care for can be heart-breaking.

When someone I loved betrayed me I was left bewildered and emotionally battered. He had promised faithfully to get help for a problem that was destroying our relationship. For my part I had done everything he asked and given him many chances, but essentially the issue was his and only he could fix it.

You can’t change what you don’t acknowledge, so when he eventually promised to go to counselling I believed it was a sign that he wanted to be accountable for the past and be responsible for his future. Such was the intensity of his declarations that I had no reason not to trust him. He had looked me straight in the eyes and vowed he would do whatever was necessary to change.

After years of swinging from crisis to calm, I envisioned our relationship becoming stable and secure. The combination of relief and excitement kept me positive during the wait for an appointment. But when it arrived he looked me straight in the eyes and declared with the same intensity as before that he wasn’t going.

The truth was out. He had lied.

Looking back I think I knew he had never meant it. If I had been honest with myself I would have remembered how many times he had misled me in the past. Yet somehow when you want something so badly, you can convince yourself that this time will be different. It never is.

We think that forgiveness is weakness, but it’s absolutely not; it takes a very strong person to forgive. ~T. D. Jakes

As a woman of faith I know the importance of forgiveness, not simply because it ultimately sets me free, but because it is the right thing to do. But there is a difference between being compassionate and being spineless; between being forgiving and being used.

In my situation, he had clearly abused my loving nature and assumed that my faith would once again enable him to get away with his deception.  But he had lied for the last time and now it was my turn to makes some promises that I intended to keep.

I promised him that I would no longer accept his toxic behaviour and I promised to take responsibility for my part of the relationship only.

Then I promised myself that I would forgive because I know that forgiveness is infinitely more beneficial to me than the person I am forgiving. I promised to let go of the rage and despair because I know when the negative thoughts disappear, I allow the negative emotions to subside. I promised myself peace of mind.

For every good reason there is to lie, there is a better reason to tell the truth. ~Bo Bennett

Whilst I made the decision to make positive choices, there remained the question yet unanswered, ‘Why did he lie to me?’

I could forgive his apprehension at following through with counselling, but I couldn’t understand how he could deliberately deceive me. He knew the truth would come out in the end, yet he was willing to mess with my mind and break my heart.

I’ll never know the real reason he lied. Perhaps it was arrogance. Perhaps it was denial. Perhaps it was fear.

Abundant Life - Sharon CummingsIn the end I realised there was no point in asking ‘why?’ And if you have been similarly hurt, stop asking ‘why’ too, for it will keep you tied to the past at a time when you should be looking to the future. Having your question answered won’t change a thing and it certainly won’t change the person who deceived you.

It takes courage to be honest enough to face the truth about a relationship, but when I did it set me free. It set me free to let go of someone who was causing me pain, free to heal and free to become the person I was meant to be. 

What about you? Do you need to stop wondering ‘why’ and simply say ‘goodbye’?

©Carolyn Hughes The Hurt Healer. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced in any form without written permission.


Huge thanks to Sharon Cummings for allowing me to use her beautiful artwork – Enlightenment and Abundant Life – Copyright Sharon Cummings 2014. (May not be reproduced in any form without her permission.) Take a look at her other work here: http://fineartamerica.com/profiles/1-sharon-cummings.html

44 thoughts on “Why did you lie?

  1. What a great topic! Thanks for your honesty. You are truly an inspiration. I am going through the motions of letting someone go who has lied to me for so long. I have been in denial for 7 years because I didnt want to be alone. All along I knew deep in my heart that I was the one lying to myself. Well I am finally facing the truth. And the TRUTH will set me free.

    • It will indeed Amy. When you love someone it can be easy to deny the pain they are causing you and that fear of being alone can keep you in a relationship that is only going to drag you down even further. I’m so glad you were able to face the truth and make the decision to move on. You have been part of someone else’s life for too long.
      Now it’s time to celebrate being you! Enjoy the freedom of being single – you can do what you want when you want to; no-one else to consider. You can meet new people and start new friendships without worrying about the feelings of someone else. I know it is heartbreaking to let go of something that has been part of your life for so long, but remember you are letting go of a lie. If there is no truth, there is no trust and that is essential.
      You will love again Amy and next time it will be with someone who loves you too. You deserve that!

  2. This is a great post. I do have to say however, that being the quirky person I am, I will only forgive someone who is sorry for what they have done, otherwise there is nothing to forgive. I don’t worry about it, I just move on.

  3. I used to get lied to a lot, my whole life was based on lies. Even though I haven’t managed to do it, yet, the only way to free yourself from this is to just let it go. You can choose who you want and dont want in your life. Some people just arent worth it.

  4. My experience shows that sometimes it is really good not to get what you wanted. We are even upset when we find out there is some kind of bad stuff going on and we had so many expectations and dreams. Everything happens for a reason, and we should be grateful that we did not get closer involved with some people. We usually can see how lucky we are after some 20-30 years,

    • I totally agree even though it is hard to see what the reason is at the time we are hurting. But I do believe we learn from our past and live in the present. Great to read your comments. Thank you!

  5. Thank you Carolyn, you have such a way with words and so can express the cry of the human heart. You say: “It takes courage to be honest enough to face the truth about a relationship, but when I did it set me free. It set me free to let go of someone who was causing me pain, free to heal and free to become the person I was meant to be.” I have been looking at my relationships and what I put up with to keep friends…it’s not allowing myself to just be me. If I have to do a lot of “editing” while we are talking back and forth, it just doesn’t work…I end up feeling like a doormat! I have done so much weeding in that area I am scared of finding myself with no friends again. Hurt people hurt others…no way around it.

    • Thank you for your comments Jeanne – you make a very interesting point about how ‘editing’ makes you feel like a doormat. Friendship is about give and take, but we should always feel comfortable with being who we are when we are with someone. Take care x

  6. “I promised him that I would no longer accept his toxic behaviour and I promised to take responsibility for my part of the relationship only.” Well said and refreshing to say the least. I’ve read many posts where the focus is on the x’s dysfunctional behavior without acknowledging or owning our part in it. To truly heal, you’ve got to be responsible for you, and understand why you were attracted to a liar to begin with. When I realized that I lied to myself, about myself, then I understood why I was with a man who deceived me, and lied to me. So thank you, I appreciate your honesty!

    • Thank you for sharing Sally. It’s wonderful that you were able to understand your own part in the deception, because that is truly the only way you can take control of the situation. Glad you are free to know the truth!

  7. “You can’t change what you don’t acknowledge…” what a powerful truth!

    I appreciate how you talk about the power of forgiveness not equating becoming a doormat, and that standing up for your own truth has a place in recovering from a pathological liar. These are important lessons, and I know that you paid a heavy price in learning them. I’m grateful to hear these parts of your stories because they are so rich in truth. You write in a spirit of love, Carolyn… I love your heart 🙂

  8. I think that you should allow others hurt you. You should not stop believing in them though just don’t be in a place where they can hurt you. Cos there are no guarantees that they would ever stop loving you but if you still believe in them, it’s a noble thing to still pray for them.

      • What’s up with my head? My head is blessed.

        This is my comment:
        I think that you should allow others hurt you. You should not stop believing in them though just don’t be in a place where they can hurt you. Cos there are no guarantees that they would ever stop hurting you but if you still believe in them, it’s a noble thing to still pray for them.

  9. I know when I was in active addiction I lied to and hurt many loved ones. Now by the grace of God, I’ve learned to stop that behavior. It all started with Him teaching me how I have been an expert at deceiving myself since childhood. I’m glad you began to look at your part and started making healthier choices for yourself. God bless.

  10. In my head, I kept saying, “It doesn’t MATTER why.” And I was so glad when you finally stated that same thing. I think we often heal almost all of the elements around an event — a deception, for example — and for some reason hang to to thinking we need to understand the other person’s “why.” But we don’t. We’ve learned from the deception itself. We’ve learned about ourselves from our reaction to the deception. The motivation of the other party remains theirs … not ours. It’s so good to read your work again, Carolyn!

    • And so good to read your comments again too Sharon. You are always so wise about life issues so I’m glad you agree that we don’t need to understand why, just learn from the situation and move on.

  11. A very profound and revealing post….

    There can be two sides to this. I found myself in a situation of being accused of lying about a situation. Neither the lie nor the incident actually ever occurred. It was an oddly vicious scenario that challenged me to prove an unprovable, which is clearly impossible. The “wondering why” aspect was in play, but in the context of how easily “loved ones” can turn against those they profess to love. And yes, ultimately, I simply walked away. It was the only course of action the made any sense.

    • So sorry Rob that you were caught up in such a difficult situation. And thank you for sharing the other side of the story – why would someone accuse you of lying? And how that it couldn’t be resolved. As you rightly say, sometimes walking away is the only course of action that makes any sense.

  12. I can feel your pain in this post…and it is pain I understand. I wish there was something I could do to make you feel better. I’ll just send you love and healing energy ❤

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