My Partner Has A Habit Of Lying To Me

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  • Deva
    May 15, 2024 at 12:40 pm #1129106

    I am 3 months into a relationship and everything is going very well. My partner is talented, kind, and understanding. The one problem in our relationship is a big one: communication. You see, my partner struggles with mental health (as do I) and their coping mechanism is repressing their feelings. The problem is, my partner is a people pleaser, and therefore the repression stems from them not wanting to “upset me”. However, they don’t seem to get that lying is what upsets me. When I call my partner out for being clearly upset, they (very poorly) lie directly to my face without skipping a beat, as if lying is better than slightly inconveniencing me. Even though we have talked about this situation dozens of times, and I told them that I could tell when they were upset and that I hated being lied to, they continue to do so or tell me not to worry.
    For example, last night I made them block a previously abusive ex who had been spamming them (they didn’t want to block her and hurt her feelings, again the people pleaser-ness), and suddenly my partner was quieter on the phone and wasn’t responding to me. I therefore asked if they were okay and they said my least favorite words “I’m fine.” They told me to go to bed and hung up without an “I love you.” even though I said it. I got a text from them at 4 am saying that they were in fact, not fine but that they would be and I shouldn’t worry. This situation has even happened during sex where they were extremely rigid and kept saying “I’m fine” as if I didn’t notice obvious signs pointing to otherwise, and when I turned the lights on, I found that they were crying. This of course puts me in a position where I continue on like things are fine while my partner struggles which makes me seem like a bad girlfriend. I don’t want to break up with my partner but they are lying to me and it is putting stress on me and our relationship. Should I give them another chance or give them some ultimatum to start being honest or I walk? I have no clue what I should do.

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    Kate
    May 15, 2024 at 5:45 pm #1129109

    So in both examples you gave, they lied and said they were fine. In the first instance you told them to block an ex and they got mad. Like… to me that seems pretty normal, to be mad that someone you’ve been in a relationship with 3 months is telling you what to do, and not want to get into a big fight about it on the phone late at night. I get it with the sex too, like it’s not going the way you want but it’s early on in the relationship and you don’t know how to communicate.

    Is this person lying to you about other kinds of things? Or is it more that they don’t know how to communicate their feelings?

    I guess overall I think it’s not a great sign that you’re 3 months in and telling them what to do and having multiple conversations about their communication style. It indicates… not a great fit.

    You might want to try looking up techniques for trying to create a safe space where a person feels comfortable sharing with you. See if there’s anything helpful there. But yeah, in the long run this may not work.

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    Kate
    May 15, 2024 at 6:40 pm #1129110

    To put it more succinctly, the big issue here is that you’re seeing this as all your partner’s problem, and not that the two of you together have some serious problems communicating. It might help if you took the approach that you want to help figure out how you can both communicate better.

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    May 15, 2024 at 7:51 pm #1129111

    I kind of feel like this many problems only three months in to a relationship is not really with the effort. It’s not your responsibility to train him into emotional honesty. It’s ok to just move on.

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    Avatar photo
    May 15, 2024 at 10:10 pm #1129112

    So, your SO’s lies aren’t the kind I was expecting (i.e., deceit, manipulation, or betrayal). This is a communication problem, not really an honestly problem. If I had to guess, their difficulty with communicating difficult feelings stems from their family of origin and would take active effort to unlearn. But on the flip side, maybe they need time to process before they can talk about what’s going on but it sounds like you expect an explanation on your timeline and terms. IMO you seem a bit controlling (forcing them to block an another person on social media was out of bounds).

    This sounds like a lot for three months in. I don’t think you should issue an ultimatum. Is your partner in therapy? Are you? If you don’t want to end things I suppose you could work on your communication but I don’t think it bodes well that it’s this hard so early on. I’d walk away.

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    Avatar photo
    May 16, 2024 at 7:13 am #1129122

    I agree with what others are saying. Three months is too early to feel this kind of frustration in a relationship. It’s also too early to “make” a partner do things, like block someone. I have been married for almost 15 years and I don’t “make” my spouse do things. I ask and suggest – sometimes strongly – but I would never enforce my will on my spouse. It’s not a great sign that you are behaving in this controlling manner at all, let alone so early. And it’s not a good sign that your partner feels they can’t or don’t know how to open up to you. This isn’t your partner’s problem as you suggest here. This is an issue between the two of you and you are as much a part of the problem as you need to be in finding a solution. I don’t know that I’d put in much effort for a 3-month relationship that already has such a big problem, but if you aren’t ready to walk away, I think you could apologize for being controlling and ask your partner how they’re feeling and how you can be supportive. and then just listen. Don’t interject with your own thoughts or try to defend yourself. Just listen. And when your partner is done talking, THEN you can share your thoughts. This is just a starting point. If you aren’t able to even accomplish quiet listening to start, then I would advise ending this relationship before there’s more drama.

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    CanadaGoose
    May 17, 2024 at 9:33 pm #1129159

    This sounds like you are a big part of the problem. As Wendy and others said, it’s not normal to “make” a partner do things like cut off contact with someone simply to please you. Are you insecure? Were you forceful about it? Are you intimidating, maybe? Do you have mood or temper problems? Are you generally bossy? You come across this way to me. “Making” them bend to your will and then coming here and accusing them of habitually lying is a bit wild. Sounds to me like they’re trying to appease you, not deceive you. I suggest you examine your own behaviour and the lens with how you view things. Maybe they don’t want to ‘upset’ you because you are unpleasant to be around when you are upset. So, they try and avoid it. I could be wrong, but you’re threatening to ‘walk’ and wondering if you should be the one giving your partner ‘one more chance’ to stop lying to you. Perhaps you should be asking whether you deserve the chance to stop making them feel like you’re going to be upset with them for being upset by your behaviour. They may be a conflict avoider and you may be very strong about getting what you want. This does not sound like it’s a good fit.

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    Daisy
    May 17, 2024 at 10:03 pm #1129160

    Everyone else has already given good advice, but I’ll add one thing. I would not label “not wanting to share their feelings with someone they’ve only dated for 3 months” as “lying.” I get the sense that you want your partner to open up to you far more than they are ready to and it’s making them really uncomfortable and they don’t know how to express that. This is such a young relationship and you do seem to be bulldozing your way into their life.

    I was also bothered by, “When I call my partner out for being very clearly upset…” The way you phrase that makes it sound like being upset is some kind of bad behavior that needs “calling out.” If you treat it that way, it’s no wonder your partner doesn’t want to talk to you about it!

    My (controlling) ex used to like to inform me of what I was feeling, too, and get mad at me when I didn’t agree with him, even though he was usually wrong. It was infuriating to me that he insisted that he knew MY feelings better than I do! It’s infantilizing.

    I recommend you stop trying to mind-read your partner. You can ask them how they are feeling or if they are upset, but then take what they tell you at face value. If they are behaving in a way that upsets you — snapping at you or giving you the silent treatment or whatever — then call them out on THAT. But not on what you believe them to be feeling.

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My Partner Has A Habit Of Lying To Me

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