“Be bad, just don’t be a liar, a deceiver!”
(Tolstoy, Anna Karenina)
My best friend had just passed away. I think this is why I remember this particular lie so vividly. Cause I was grieving and really needed my partner’s support. What I got instead was a big lie. Not just a small white lie of the sort “Honey, I didn’t have time to buy milk cause I got stuck at work” (when you really just didn’t have the energy to swing by the store). No, this first outright lie that I discovered was rather huge, at least in my book.
Hero said that he had talked to his best friend, and that the two of them were going fishing in the countryside, over the weekend. Although I wasn’t too pleased, considering my own circumstances at the time, I figured some people are just not equipped to deal with grief. And I didn’t wanna hinder him if he wanted to see his friend, of course.
The weekend passed, and I didn’t hear much from Hero, I think it was only one text during the whole weekend. I thought this was kind of odd. At first I thought maybe he had bad reception on his cell phone. Then it occurred to me that they were supposed to be near a town, so that couldn’t be it.
I got this knot in my stomach. This was shortly after the events in the post “Sledge Hammer“, so naturally, my guard was up. I had already seen that he was capable of going behind my back. But I hadn’t discovered him lying me straight in the face. Yet.
The knot in my stomach didn’t go away the following week. (Listen to that, it is your intuition and it’s bound to be right, 99 times out of a hundred!) Yes, you guessed right. I snooped.
What I found made me speechless. Hero had left his phone open by mistake. I read some messages from the week before. Nothing of what he’d said, had been anywhere near the truth.
He’d been with another male friend, they had been in a location that is known for partying. They had invited some women to come party with them. Not only that, since it’s a kind of resort, most people who go there, spend the night in shared accommodation, since it’s far from the city. Afterwards, his friend wrote something along the lines of “Wow, those women were drooling over you! One of them asked for your number”.
It didn’t stop there. Hero had sent a message to another woman, asking her to come out and join their party.
In my book this was a major lie. Lying about where you are, who you’re with, what you’re doing, and on top of that, doing a very dubious activity, partying with people who are apparently “drooling” over you. When confronted, Hero started to lie some more and manipulate me, so that I would feel guilty for this whole mess.
He claimed that the woman who he had urged to join them, that was a joke made by his friend, who used Hero’s phone to text her. Just to mess with Hero. And the other women, nah, they weren’t even his type. And why he had lied to me, was he’d figured that I would’ve had a reaction like this. That I would’ve “made him” not go on this party trip. So, I was apparently the reason that he had no “choice” but to lie! This is horse shit, friends, and don’t ever buy into a statement that someone “has to” lie.
When I see this in written text, I can clearly see what he was doing. But in the situation, I couldn’t. Everything he said sounded reasonable, his voice was soothing, like he really wanted me to understand that I had nothing to worry about and I was really just blowing this out of proportion.
But I still couldn’t let go of a thousand burning questions in my head; Why hadn’t he told me, if it truly was so innocent? What if I was really in trouble some time, or if we ever had children, and I needed to reach him? If I could never be sure that he would be where he claimed?
This is what narcissists do. Lie and manipulate. This is one of their most important tools, designed to keep you living in an illusion. When they keep lying to you, they do not let you make your own decisions.
If I had known about Hero’s party trip, I wouldn’t have “made” him do anything. But it would have been important information for me to have about his lifestyle, level of maturity, etc. It would have enabled me to make a choice whether such a person was a person that I would want to invest in. A person that makes a party trip with single women a priority, while his partner is at home grieving the death of a loved one, might not be someone I’d want to invest more time in.
Hero understood this, and that’s why he lied. For his own gain and to be able to keep me under his control.
If you catch your partner in a lie, especially a major one, take it as a serious red flag. And watch their behavior; are they truly remorseful, working to rebuild your trust in every way? If not, it could damage you in a very real way to keep this person around!