Should I be upset that my husband may have lied to me again?

I’m trying to make marriage work after a split. Before our split, he lied a lot and broke every promise to me. I don't think he cheated. Last month, I asked what women work with him, so he told me. Yesterday, I found out about a girl that he said he forgot about. Should I be upset?

Vivian D. Echevarria Guzman, MSC, LPC, NCC
Vivian D. Echevarria Guzman, MSC, LPC, NCC
Bilingual Licensed Professional Counselor

Do you want to be upset about a girl that he forgot about?  Think about it for a minute.  Do you want to measure your trust based on knowing how many female co-workers your husband has?  And if so, what does that say about your marriage?  Trust is something that we earn based on our actions and the actions of people we interact with; it’s also based on our ability to communicate and understand what we value and have in common. 

If you are focused on every little detail around your relationship, it may turn into an unhealthy obsession and it may harm your relationship more.   If instead you focus on opening the lines of communication, let him know what you expect from him, and discuss how you could both build trust again, you may become closer and give your relationship the opportunity to grow.

 ¿Debería este molesta porque mi esposo me mintió de nuevo?

Estoy tratando de hacer que mi matrimonio funcione después de una separación.  Antes de separarnos el mentía mucho y rompía todas sus promesas.  No creo que me haya sido infiel.  El mes pasado, le pregunté cuantas mujeres trabajan con él, y él me dijo.  Ayer, me enteré que se olvido de una muchacha.  ¿Debería estar enojada?

¿Quieres estar molesta porque se le olvido con cuantas mujeres trabaja?  Piénsalo por un momento.  ¿Quieres determinar la confianza que le tienes en tu esposo basándote en su capacidad de reportar la cantidad de mujeres que trabajan con él?  Si tu respuesta es sí, ¿qué refleja eso sobre tu matrimonio?  La confianza es algo que se gana basado en nuestras acciones y las de aquellos con quienes interactuamos; también en nuestra habilidad de comunicar y entender los valores que tenemos en común. 

Si practicas estar preocupada por cada pequeño detalle en tu relación, esto se puede convertir en una obsesión que potencialmente dañara tu relación.  Si en cambio te enfocas en abrir las líneas de comunicación, le dejas saber lo que esperas de él y discuten cómo pueden trabajar juntos para recuperar la confianza, pueden volverse más cercanos y darse la oportunidad de que la relación crezca.

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room. La información provista es para propósito general basado en información mínima, no constituye aviso medico. Esta información tampoco constituye una comunicación directa con un consejero o terapista y no crea una relación entre cliente y terapeuta o desarrolla ningún privilegio. Si tiene pensamientos suicidas o está en crisis puede llamar al 911 o visitar su sala de emergencias mas cercana.
Betsy Sansby
Betsy Sansby
When something needs to change

Imagine your best friend just told you that her husband lied to her all the time and that he had broken every promise he ever made to her. What would you tell her? If I were her best friend I'd tell her to run the other way. 

You may love this man. We don't choose who we love. But the evidence is pretty clear, isn't it? 

A healthy relationship cannot be built on a foundation of lies and broken promises. I believe that as adults, we are always treated as well as we insist on being treated by our partners. If you continue to accept unacceptable behavior, you are likely to see lots more of it. 

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.
Samara Perez
Samara Perez
Are you ready for change? Let's make change happen.

Let's look at your question and break it down. It begins with the word should. As a first reflection, it implies that there is a right and a wrong way to feel, in this case, feel upset. I think I would like to ask you the question in a different way: are you feeling upset? If you are feeling upset or if you are feeling another emotion : insert worried, ambivalent, scared, angry, insecure, confused that is likely reasonable if the relationship has undergone some breaks in trust followed by distance (seperation). The first step is to recognize what you are feeling, and accept it for what it is-- an emotion. A feeling. You are entitled to feel a range of emotions as you are in the process of repairing or rebuilding the marriage. It is what you  do with that feeling that matters-- how you act, how you think, what you say,  and the impact the emotion (likely emotions) have on your relationship and in turn your quality of life that matters. If you want to discuss the impact of your feelings on you or on your marriage, I suggest you consult with a mental health professional with expertise in couple therapy/ relationship issues. I hope you find this information helpful. 

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.
Dr. Dinelly Holder
Dr. Dinelly Holder
Licensed Clinical Psychotherapist

In response to your answer. Yes because he broke a boundary of yours that he knew was important to you. The question that should be asked is are you able to go forward with your husband with his behaviors not changing for the better in regards to your feelings and emotions?

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.
I don't know whether you should be upset or not, but it's...  (more)I don't know whether you should be upset or not, but it's certainly a data point I'd pay attention to as I continued to pay attention and gather more data ... if you see more things that suggest he's being dishonest or withholding information, then I'd be more concerned. Hope that helps! -Steve The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.
Lauren Ostrowski, MA, LPC, NCC, DCC, CCTP
Lauren Ostrowski, MA, LPC, NCC, DCC, CCTP
I tailor my therapeutic approach to each client's strengths and goals

Is really difficult to tell whether he honestly forgot about someone or whether he was really lying again.

I don't know whether he would be open to having a discussion with you about your concerns about this and whether you would be actually willing to listen to your thoughts about it.

This might be something to discuss with a local therapist so that you can look at the patterns of lying in the past as well as whether you have a way to discuss this with your husband in the way that you would feel comfortable feeling vulnerable with your own feelings and also listening to what his responses are.

This is difficult because I imagine you have a react very quickly and strongly to things like this because of what has happened in the past between you. All of this make sense. Having said that, there is also a question of whether he is telling the truth in this particular case and your reaction is based on past events.

There's no easy way to know.

If you do decide to have a discussion with your husband about it,  consider these things:

  • Ask if this is a good time to have a conversation about something that is important to you
  • Maybe you will be able to listen and ask questions about what came up for him (emotionally) when he realized that he didn't tell you about this other person
  • Maybe he would be willing to listen to what you are thinking about if you are both able to do so without blaming, pointing fingers, or asking the other person to change. This would just be an exchange of information. Ideally this part of the competition would not be about you saying he did something wrong, but just expressing how you felt when you heard about it
  • It may be helpful to discuss these things with a therapist first so you have some coping skills for being able to listen to him without being overly defensive and also expressing your feelings without blaming, both of which would be very natural in this situation.
The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal, as if you want to hurt or kill yourself or someone else, or are in crisis, call 800-273-8255 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week), call 911, or proceed to your local emergency room.
Sobha Vakhariya
Sobha Vakhariya
Oakland County Psychotherapist

I would ask you first what made you give him another chance after he repeatedly lied and broke every promise to you?  I would imagine if he repeatedly lied to you that it will damage your ability to trust him now.  Is he in therapy? Does he recognize that he has a problem and is he trying to repair it?  Even if he truly forgot to tell you about the woman at work I think the real issue here is TRUST.  I am not saying that he doesn't have a lying problem.  Instead of asking someone else if you should be upset, ask yourself how you truly feel about him and this situation.  

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.
Sherry Katz, LCSW
Sherry Katz, LCSW
Couples and Family Therapist, LCSW

Are you upset, is the more pertinent question.

Everyone has their own tolerance for lies and their unique reasons for being married.  Trust your own answers to the question you ask here.

Also, think over the value of your marriage in your life and whether you are able to live with the unstable sense of trust that you have in your husband.

Remember too, that if you are the only partner who is trying to make the marriage work, then your job is much harder than if your husband actively participated in making the marriage happier for the couple.

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.

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