As a Houston relationship therapist, I know that no one likes to be lied to – especially by their significant other. In fact, many of my clients decided to seek me out because they discovered that their spouse was lying to them.

Perhaps they uncovered a lie about an affair, or discovered money that their spouse had hidden from them. Maybe the lies were about smaller things like having a beer with coworkers instead of working, or saying they cleaned the house when they didn’t.

Not surprisingly, these kinds of lies and deceptions can cause big marriage issues, especially if they are repeated. But there is also another kind of lie, one that it’s important for people to know about.

Houston Relationship Therapist: The Lie They Want To Be True

Once in a while a client will come to me complaining about a different kind of lie that is causing marriage issues. Here’s an example: Mary’s husband keeps telling neighbors about how hard it was when your baby first arrived. How he was always up feeding the baby, soothing the baby, playing with the baby. It was exhausting work, but together they got through it.

Unfortunately, Mary knows this is completely false. She was always the one up with the baby while her husband slept in so that he would be rested for work. He’s lying about everything! Why would he do that?! But when she confronts him about it, he pretends that she’s the one who’s lying. It drives Mary crazy.

What Mary is experiencing is a desire by her husband for what he’s saying to be true. He wishes that he had been the kind of husband and father that he tells people about, and may have even started to believe his own lies. It’s not so much an attempt to deceive her as it is a way for him to rewrite history so that he can feel better about himself.

Houston Relationship Therapist: They’re Not Lying to You, They’re Lying to Themselves

When Mary confronts her husband about his “lies,” she only succeeds in making him defensive. Rather than doing this, I advise her to remember that it’s not her he’s trying to lie to, but himself.  He sees himself as a bad father for not doing more, so he’s made up a story where he’s a great father. By denying this story, she’s confirming his fears – he really is a bad father.

Instead, when one of these lies surfaces, she should remind him of real times when he displayed good fatherhood traits and reinforce to him that he’s a good dad. Want more tips? Contact the Houston relationship therapist today.