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How to get her to stop lying?
January 2, 2010 6:43 PM   Subscribe

How do I get my girlfriend to stop lying to me?

I am a male in my late 20s, and my girlfriend is also in her late 20s. We live together. Both of us have had several serious relationships and have lived with people before.

My girlfriend lies to me. Not all the time, but often enough. I don't think there's a particular pattern to her lying, so I'll just give examples.

This is a minor one: the window. When she opens the window screen, bugs get in. There is absolutely no benefit from opening it. I have asked her not to do this. Yet, as I'm coming home, I can very clearly see that the screen is open, and when my key is in the lock to our door, I can hear her closing it. I come in, and there are bugs all around.

Another minor one. The other day, I walked in the room as she was on the computer and idly asked her what she was was looking at. A video was being reflected in her glasses though the sound was off. She told me she was programming.
I have asked her not to share private details of our sex life with her friends. She has said repeatedly that she won't. Those private details keep getting back to me.

I wanted to take her out one weekend and asked her what she would like to do- she told me to just pick something myself. I said I would, but asked her to tell me if she really wasn't into the idea. She said she would. Later, I found out that she really wasn't into it but only went along with it to make me happy. I couldn't believe it. The point of it was to do something for her.

We have also had similar issues in sex, where I have begged her to tell me what she likes, doesn't like, or whether she doesn't want to have sex at all- I could be happy with anything she said, I just want to know. She has said everything is fine, then later I've found out she was faking orgasms.

I am not an overbearing, bullying person. I am soft spoken and peaceful, and she's also an inch taller than me and probably stronger, so I think it's unlikely she feels intimidated by me.

I am also not bossy. There are things I ask her to do or not do, but there are also things she asks me to do too.

I love her, and our relationship is the best I've ever had. I want to fix this if I can. Ideas?
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (70 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
 
If this is the best relationship you've ever had it's time for several new relationships stat. Dtmfa.
posted by fire&wings at 6:48 PM on January 2, 2010 [24 favorites]


If you had a friend whose girlfriend was repeatedly lying to them, what would you tell them to do? Especially if it seemed that she was not going to stop it. Ever. You can do better.
posted by gaspode at 6:52 PM on January 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


Hmmm. A common thread I'm seeing is that she's being dishonest in areas where what she wants to do and what you want her to do are different. The two of you seem to have issues over control. True, she's dealing with them by telling you what you want to hear, which is a really immature way of dealing with it. But I don't think the lying per se is the big issue here... you need to have conversations about control.
posted by wyzewoman at 6:52 PM on January 2, 2010 [7 favorites]


How do I get my girlfriend to stop lying to me?

Find a girlfriend who actually respects you.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 6:53 PM on January 2, 2010 [9 favorites]


Any single one of these would be dealbreakers. These are pathological lies. She has a deep need for help. You can't give it to her.
posted by Countess Elena at 6:54 PM on January 2, 2010 [3 favorites]


By the way: I'm not saying that you're bossy, although you may be. It does seem, however, that she's treating you as if you are bossy. She may be feeling that you're trying to dictate too much of her life. It may rub her the wrong way if she feels like she's being told to do anything (I know that bothers me!) This can even be true if she's busy telling you what to do -- we rarely are capable of treating others exactly as we'd like to be treated herself.
posted by wyzewoman at 6:56 PM on January 2, 2010 [5 favorites]


If DTMFA is too drastic, tell her you hate all the little lies, that it makes you distrust her in general, and the you will dump her if she keeps telling these little lies to you. Keep your promise!
posted by molecicco at 6:56 PM on January 2, 2010


One of the most important (if not THE most important) foundations of any good relationship is the ability to communicate openly and honestly with each other. That's obviously not happening here. But that's where you begin, if you actually do want to work on things. It seems like maybe you're trying to do that, but she isn't responsive.

In any case, have you told her everything you said here, point blank and straight out? Start there. You seem not bothered so much by the little lies themselves as you are by the lying and vagueries.

Explain how you felt, emphasize how you value the relationship but need good, honest communication if things are to continue. Because you deserve that much.
posted by cmgonzalez at 6:57 PM on January 2, 2010


our relationship is the best I've ever had.

My friend, I certainly hope not.

Would you like to skip a bunch of painful experience and get straight to what a prolonged relationship with a woman like this will eventually teach you? Okay, then here it is: Some people are not honest. There's no figuring it out and there's no solving it and there is certainly no hope of changing them and getting them to stop lying to you all the time.

If what you've told us is true, then she has demonstrated a pattern of dishonesty and disrespect both casual and severe. The thing about the bugs and the window? Not a huge deal. The stuff about her sharing private information with your friends in the face of your requests that she does not? A big deal indeed. And the faking orgasms and refusing to give you any input on how to make a weekend fun for her? Not only is she making this relationship frustrating for you through her dishonesty, she's also actively working against your efforts to make things satisfying for her.

I don't see how this gets fixed. She clearly does not respect you. If she's willing to lie about so many little things, you can bet your ass that she's gonna lie about the big stuff too and the only thing you have to gain from trying to trust her is frustration and heartbreak. For god's sake, save yourself the aggravation and move on. In spite of the last couple lines of your question, it doesn't sound like you're having a good time in this relationship at all and it doesn't sound like she has much interest in seeing it function well either.

I sympathize with your wish to be able to trust the woman you love. What I've learned, however, is that you need to love a woman worthy of that trust. And this gal ain't it.
posted by EatTheWeak at 6:59 PM on January 2, 2010 [13 favorites]


I think you might be able to work this out if you got counseling together. She probably doesn't realize the degree to which her furtive behavior undermines your comfort and your hopes for a future together. If you make it clear that you can't imagine going forward into marriage etc. with someone you can't trust with even inconsequential matters, maybe she will entertain the idea of getting help.

If all you encounter is denial or blithe, ultimately empty promises, then you'll have to flex the only power over her you have -- your willingness to stay together. Be prepared to follow through on whatever you say you will do.
posted by hermitosis at 7:02 PM on January 2, 2010


Lying about a single issue = workable. Lying globally like this = character flaw that will never change, short of some shockingly transformative experience (and tons of effort) on her part.

Sorry. Trust me on this. Get out before you learn this more painfully first-hand.
posted by availablelight at 7:05 PM on January 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


My ex-husband lied because he wanted to do things his way. He'd tell me what he thought I wanted to hear, to avoid discussing things. When she has openly lied, about the window, say, just ask her. Maybe there's some reason the screen was out. You may make some headway by explaining yourself well, and by really listening to her, or she may be too narcissistic to tell the truth. The fact that she tells other people things that are so private is troubling; it sounds disloyal to me.
posted by theora55 at 7:06 PM on January 2, 2010


I don't know. It doesn't sound that bad to me. Sounds like a pretty normal life. The stuff she is doing isn't that big of a deal. Seems minor. It doesn't even seem like lying. It just seems like the stuff we all do. We all have a tendency to gloss over things to avoid conflict. I wouldn't worry about it.
posted by VC Drake at 7:11 PM on January 2, 2010 [2 favorites]


Some people just aren't that into the truth. It sounds to me like your gf is one of those people. I don't think this is a deal breaker necessarily, but it really depends upon your outlook on things. Chances are she's going to keep on lying to avoid conflict and she's going to keep on lying to prop up her self-image. I bet it's her coping strategy. If she's willing to try to change then maybe there's some hope, but if she's ok with herself as she is, then I think there's only an outside chance of her changing.
posted by forforf at 7:21 PM on January 2, 2010


I think the weirdest one is, "What are you doing?" (which, for the purposes of this question, I will assume was asked in just a state of general curiosity) and the response being so apparently off-kilter and wrong. I mean, I don't know, she could have been watching a video about whatever she was working on, and then going back to programming the thing, but it just seems really like a stupid lie you want to be caught in, or that for some reason she can't say, "nothing important," if she doesn't want to tell you.

If she lies like this again, you could say, "well, it seems like you're watching a video, what's it about?", that is "I see you are actually doing something that is not what you said it was." But that might be a dick move, and not worth it.

It sounds passive aggressive to me; but it could also be that despite your view of yourself (which is all we have to go on here) you come off to her as an overbearing pain in the ass who can't unwind his underwear about the damn window screen. So, for one: really examine your own behavior. Are you actually the nice guy here, are are you being the aforementioned overbearing pain in the ass? No one here can tell you whether that's the case, but I figured I'd make the suggestion. Secondly, have a frank, nonscreamy discussion THE NEXT TIME something ridiculous like this happens. Keep in mind, if you want this to be productive, it's not about who she is, it's about what she did. If you want it to be nonproductive, make it about her ("you're a LYING LIAR!!" &c). You'll have to decide, based on her responses, whether she is doing this to avoid conflict, or because she's self-sabotaging, or because she really is a pathological liar. People on the internerds are not qualified to state whether your girlfriend is a pathological liar.
posted by Medieval Maven at 7:29 PM on January 2, 2010 [3 favorites]


Sadly, you can't make anybody do anything. What you can do is set your own boundaries. If this behavior is unacceptable to you, own it, clearly let her know and be ready to leave if it's a dealbreaker.

I'm sorry this doesn't make it any easier.
posted by Space Kitty at 7:39 PM on January 2, 2010


I will be a dissenting opinion here. I have done the random, little lies, and still do, on occasion. I don't do it maliciously. For me, it comes from insecurity, intense insecurity and a desire to just say whatever I think the other person wants to hear. Because of my insecurity, I assume that my opinion and what I really feel just aren't worth expressing so the lies just sort of pop out before I can really think about it.

My boyfriend has been incredibly understanding about this. I tell him pretty immediately after the lie comes out what I really mean. He's very patient with this. He understands that for me, this is reflex more than anything else. Plus I grew up in a family environment that did not encourage open honesty, so the behavior was sort of ingrained. I say just call her out on it when it happens and see how she reacts. Is she generally an insecure person? If she seems sorry and wanting to be more honest, than it's not necessarily worth breaking up over.
posted by Shesthefastest at 7:39 PM on January 2, 2010 [14 favorites]


I don't know if you should break up or seek counseling, but this relationship doesn't sound healthy.

That said, the bulk of your complaints seem to be about situations in which you communicate clearly what you want or need (naming your preferences regarding the window, requesting that she keep your private life together private, asking her to be honest with you about her preferences) and she responds with passive aggressive actions (continuing to open the window in secret, talking about your private life, refusing to offer opinions or suggestions until after the two have you have done something she doesn't like). I wonder if calling it a matter of communication and preferences might make it easier for the two of you to discuss this (in terms of "I feel like I don't understand what you want or like, and I don't know how to get those answers from you") rather than asking "Why do you keep lying to me?"
posted by Meg_Murry at 7:52 PM on January 2, 2010 [2 favorites]


You can't get her to stop, because it seems like this is how she rolls. None of this stuff is a big deal, but it's a little childish that she lies to you (and a little control-freakish that you keep score of it).

Either it's a deal-breaker for you or it's not.
posted by Sidhedevil at 7:53 PM on January 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


Window: Some people (myself included) REALLY like fresh air. It has to be miserable outside, or raining in the direction of the window by my desk before I won't have the window cracked. It would make me crazy if my partner *told* me to keep the window closed all the time. Our screens are really difficult to get in and out, so I'm not sure if I'm misunderstanding what you're saying, but if you have a screen that doesn't allow for fresh air to circulate easily, then the solution is to get a better screen, if she's got it open to get air.


Programming: I will do all kinds of other things while code is compiling, but I still consider it "programming time". I'm waiting for a compile to finish.

Sex life: I got nothing, because I don't know enough details. If she has a friend that she trusts and that friend is betraying her by running back to you and tattling; then it's the friend that sucks. Women often talk about their relationships with their friends, whereas men usually do not. I know more about the proclivities of my friend's boyfriends than they would ever be comfortable knowing that I know; but they'd never know because I wouldn't dream of telling them. If she's got a tattletale friend who is trying to score points with you by ratting out your girlfriend, then she deserves to know that, so she can cut that person out of her reality. Girls talk about their sex lives. They just do. I've heard 70 year old women talking over the bridge table about about things that would make a pro blush. Trust me baby, unless you've involved donkeys, a mexican tequila bar and the first string of the Cowboys cheerleaders; you're not doing anything so shocking that it won't be discussed over a cosmo and a girls klatch.

On the topic of discussing sex; many women are uncomfortable having that same talk with their partners. I cannot speak to why. I would rather give clear directions to the goal than pretend we met the goals, but, I,like most women, have pretended that partner found the end zone, if only so that they didn't feel bad. Men have so much of their ego wrapped up in their sexual performance; hence the constant questions.

Maybe, just maybe, if you let her drive, instead of asking her to fill out a questionnaire, you'd figure out what she likes.

You may think you're soft spoken and gentle and not a bully and all that; but you come across really controlling, at least to me. And it's the most dreaded sort of controlling; that passive "Won't you let me make you better?" kind of controlling. Or so it seems to me.

These things that you report don't sound like "Lying" with a capital L, they sound like Defense; in the "Gods, get off my ass for fuck's sake" sort of way.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 7:56 PM on January 2, 2010 [26 favorites]


You can't make people change. You can only decide whether their behaviour works for you or not.
posted by heatherann at 8:03 PM on January 2, 2010 [4 favorites]


I'm in the minority here.

None of these lies seem material. They all seem to occur in situations where she's doing something she doesn't want to have to explain to you, because she doesn't want to get into a disagreement, or get a lecture. (No offense, but I can picture you saying: "Honey, what did we talk about with the screen? If you leave it open bugs will get in..." A comment like that, every time I open a window, would drive me crazy).

Who cares if the window is open? Who cares if she was watching a video when she said she was programming? Who cares that she discusses details of her sex life with her close friends? (That, by the way, isn't something you have the right to dictate to her). The lie about the orgasms might border on material, but it seems excusable if she's having issues talking openly with you- and from the sound of it, she is.

Honestly, from the information you have given, and from the way you've written, it seems like you need to afford this girl some more privacy. Privacy is an important issue, even to close relationships, and operates as a trust building exercise that is ultimately healthy. Work on being open, and direct with your feelings. Ask her to do the same.
posted by HabeasCorpus at 8:04 PM on January 2, 2010 [15 favorites]


Whoever said this is about control is right on.

You can't control other people.

If, for some reason, she likes to open the screen and you don't. It seems she does it when you aren't home because she knows it bugs you. Otherwise, she'd do it when you ARE home. Other than a few bugs, what does it matter if she does it when you aren't even there? You can't control it.

You also can't control her relationships with other people. If she wants to have intimate discussions with her friends, you can't control that.

If she doesn't tell you what she's looking at on the computer, maybe it is because it is of no consequence, or perhaps she feels like you are trying to keep tabs on her.

Again, you can't control other people. You can only control your own reactions.

On a more constructive note, if you want to take her somewhere and it is important to you to make it something she will like, maybe a better way to present it is to present a few choices of what to do and have her make the ultimate selection.
posted by Edubya at 8:10 PM on January 2, 2010 [5 favorites]


You may think you're soft spoken and gentle and not a bully and all that; but you come across really controlling, at least to me. And it's the most dreaded sort of controlling; that passive "Won't you let me make you better?" kind of controlling. Or so it seems to me.

Yeah, something sounds off here, and not just her behavior.

I am not an overbearing, bullying person. I am soft spoken and peaceful, and she's also an inch taller than me and probably stronger, so I think it's unlikely she feels intimidated by me.

This is a really weird way to describe yourself, and has flawed premises. I've known "soft spoken and peaceful" people who were immense bullies, and some of them weren't aware of it. Hell, I'm pretty sure I've been one of those people in some stages of my life. You may want to double check your assumptions.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 8:10 PM on January 2, 2010 [5 favorites]


Does she come from a fucked-up family background, where her privacy was never respected? That can give someone a bad tendency to perpetuate the constant, pointless, lies. You can't change her, so my advice is focused on what YOU can do. I am not saying that you are doing anything wrong, but you can change your behavior, hopefully for the better. My advice to you:

1. Respect her privacy more. Even on seemingly minor issues--stop asking unless absolutely necessary. Don't ask what she's doing. Especially don't give her opportunities to lie. If you know she had the screen out, well, why ask? If you can see what's in her glasses, why ask? Pretend not to notice stuff like this unless it's a big deal.

2. Let her have her way whenever possible. Positively reinforce her when she gives even the most minor opinion. The screen/bug thing is a GREAT opportunity for you to do this. Tell her that it's cool if she wants it out. Tell her you've been a bit of a jerk about it, and she can do whatever she wants with it. Give her a hug. Let it go.
posted by kathrineg at 8:26 PM on January 2, 2010 [4 favorites]


VC Drake nailed it. If the window screen issue sticks in your craw enough to write about it on the internet, and its not like one of those charming comedic devices in a RomCom with Lisa Kudrow, you're setting yourself up for a lifetime of disappointment. What's negotiable & non-negotiable in your relationship? If absolute honesty is non-negotiable, and this person isn't absolutely honest, sounds like a pretty binary situation. Honestly, I don't know a lot of absolutely honest people. Anywhere. YMMV.
posted by TuffAustin at 8:37 PM on January 2, 2010


ok, so you show her this thread, and ask her to quit the lying (and possibly go to counselling). She may not realize the gravity of her 'little lies' which are about to cause the end of a relationship. Your setting the boundaries and requesting the change is not unreasonable. If she wants control, she can have it: choose to keep the relationship and make the change. Or else you leave.

If you end up staying together, use this as the basis for developing a relationship based on trust, respect and boundaries on both sides, and be prepared for the possibility that you may need to do some work here too.
posted by kch at 8:37 PM on January 2, 2010


Who cares that she discusses details of her sex life with her close friends? (That, by the way, isn't something you have the right to dictate to her).

Uh, actually he does. He very, very much has the right to state that their private life is private and not to be shared. She can go ahead and share it, but that makes her the douchebag here. Not him.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 8:39 PM on January 2, 2010 [17 favorites]


This is a minor one: the window. When she opens the window screen, bugs get in. There is absolutely no benefit from opening it. I have asked her not to do this. Yet, as I'm coming home, I can very clearly see that the screen is open, and when my key is in the lock to our door, I can hear her closing it. I come in, and there are bugs all around.

Minor? She learns that something she's doing -- something that gives her no benefit whatsoever -- is causing you a small harm. Her response is to continue doing it to her own detriment as well as your own, and to put forth the extra effort to hide her actions from you.

Now, consider: knowing she does this for something that doesn't actually matter, to what lengths might she go to hide something important from you that actually benefits her, such as an affair or a drug problem or theft, and how much will she disregard the impact of her behavior on you?

Of course, she might get a benefit that we can't see; perhaps she's hiding cigarettes or drugs outside the window, and keeping the screen open allows her to access and re-hide them. It doesn't change my advice, though: I would call this a huge red flag, and I would advise you to consider breaking it off. Without trust, there is no long-term relationship, and there's no trust here on your part (nor should there be, given her behavior.)

You're young. There are better people out there for you. Go get one.
posted by davejay at 8:56 PM on January 2, 2010


Who cares if the window is open? Who cares if she was watching a video when she said she was programming? Who cares that she discusses details of her sex life with her close friends?

Um, he cares. He cares about all of these things. He is entitled to communicate his feelings on the subject and expect her to be open and honest about her own feelings, so that they can work out compromises. Lying to avoid conflict is not the kind of behavior that makes for a healthy relationship.
posted by davejay at 8:59 PM on January 2, 2010 [2 favorites]


davejay, it's either minor or it's not. I don't think demonizing someone because they like a screenless window is really rational. When the screen is out, it lets in more of a breeze. It's really a small thing to start accusing the girlfriend of harming her partner--! And if so, she's harming herself, she lives with the bugs too.
posted by kathrineg at 8:59 PM on January 2, 2010


and as others have mentioned, if you're casually lying about the small stuff, all day long, how could anyone trust you not to lie about the big stuff? Like someone who lies about taking the last soda in the fridge is going to have an affair and admit it -- but never, ever admit the thing about the soda in the fridge.
posted by davejay at 9:00 PM on January 2, 2010


davejay, it's either minor or it's not. I don't think demonizing someone because they like a screenless window is really rational. When the screen is out, it lets in more of a breeze. It's really a small thing to start accusing the girlfriend of harming her partner--! And if so, she's harming herself, she lives with the bugs too.

I'm not "demonizing" her because she likes a screenless window -- I'm pointing out that if someone lies about a behavior that makes her partner unhappy and (as you mention) harms herself too, rather than simply stopping the behavior that harms both of them, that's a huge red flag. You're entitled to disagree, but I respectfully suggest you bring it to memail if you would like to do so -- no sense bickering here.
posted by davejay at 9:02 PM on January 2, 2010


Um, he cares. He cares about all of these things. He is entitled to communicate his feelings on the subject and expect her to be open and honest about her own feelings, so that they can work out compromises. Lying to avoid conflict is not the kind of behavior that makes for a healthy relationship.

Look, one can be idealistic about this or realistic. Realistically, he should stop caring, or at least stop asking her about these things, because nothing good will come of it. Nothing good has come of it. One has relationships with people, not with ideals who never leave the screen out or screw around on youtube when they should be working.
posted by kathrineg at 9:03 PM on January 2, 2010 [2 favorites]


Have you told her how important honesty is to you? You can't really blame her for continuing this behavior until you do. We often go about life assuming that other people hold the same standards that we do and then get surprised when it turns out that they don't. You need to tell her what your standards are and specifically what it is about the little lies that bothers you since she seems to think they are ok.

Don't just say "Lying is wrong and you are a bad person for doing it." Tell her how important trust is to you in a relationship. Explain how awful it makes you feel when she tells a blatant lie when you clearly know the truth (you seeing the screen open, her lying about it immediately afterward). Ask her what she is trying to accomplish by the lie, assure her that she doesn't need to do it. Assure her that you will still love her* even though she makes small mistakes or does things you don't approve of (leaving the screen open). *This is assuming that you can be forgiving of your differences.

You may figure out that your standards are too disparate to make it work between the two of you. Or, you might have a positive breakthrough in your relationship. But you need to discuss this and make your needs clear.
posted by bobobox at 9:08 PM on January 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


Reading your question it felt as though you were overly controlling and she responds to that with evasion. Evasion isn't the best choice, but it's what she's willing to do. Here was my take on the situations you've cited.

The window - She likes it open. I wouldn't put up with someone telling me I wasn't allowed to open the window screen when they weren't even home.

The computer - It's not your right to monitor her computer use. Maybe she'd like a little privacy and not have you snooping in her computer usage. Checking the reflection in her glasses is overbearing. I think you know this. It's why you didn't confront it immediately.

The weekend outing and sex - She doesn't want to communicate with you. Maybe she feels bullied. Maybe she's resentful. Maybe she just doesn't want to bruise your ego. Maybe it's just a PITA. Whatever it is she is unwilling to communicate with you.

There are two people here and they both own part of the problem. You need to discuss why she lies to you and why you need her to stop. My guess is she feels as though the little lies are an effective method at avoiding unpleasant conversations. You also need to be willing to hear what's wrong in the relationship.

(Or she could just be a habitual liar. DTMFA)
posted by 26.2 at 9:42 PM on January 2, 2010 [7 favorites]


Your minor examples sound a bit more like a parent-child dynamic. If i think back to my teenage self, I would have (and did) totally disregard "rules" that I thought were stupid, pretend to follow them, and lie about it. In fact, I did have a window open/closed battle with my parents. Why does she want the screen open? How can you two compromise? Does it bug her to be asked what she's doing? Can you two come to some agreement on balancing her possibly feeling like your idle questions are intrusive/judgmental versus her possibly assuming she's in trouble and making stuff up like a kid?

Focusing on her "lying" may not be a useful way of communicating, if she doesn't see these as "lies" per se, but workarounds to unreasonable rules.

As for the indecision and going along with your plans, and the issues in your sex life with her pleasure, I wouldn't even put that into such a simplistic category as lying. It's very, very common, and to some extent is a totally normal means of compromising. "What you want to do" can have a lot to do with what the other person wants to do. Or maybe she doesn't have any ideas. Or maybe she's just a passive person. Or maybe she's kind of a passive-aggressive person.

But calling her a liar isn't helping, so if you want to fix this relationship, you two are going to need to delve deeper into your dynamic and how you communicate.
posted by desuetude at 10:17 PM on January 2, 2010 [4 favorites]


First of all, the difference in breeze is outrageously different when the screen is open. I often need to feel the wind and air circulating to feel like I'm getting fresh air. Anyway, regarding the screen, I see two scenarios: She either does what you want and keeps it closed always, or tells you the truth, which is that she intends to have it open because of reasons xyz and will keep it closed when you're home. Would either of those scenarios make you equally happy? I'm guessing not.

I'm guessing that her little lies/evasions were a coping mechanism growing up in a household with someone who was controlling/nosy, and that, as you do, she is now in a relationship with someone similar, and she is continuing to lie to cope. What were the conversations like when you talked about the screen? Did she voice opinions about why she wants it open? Maybe, even if you asked, she was afraid to voice those opinions. Maybe she was rightly or wrongly afraid that you would shut her reasons down, or not listen, or overrule her.

As to her giving her opinion about what she wants in bed and over the weekend, again, she is probably not comfortable with voicing her wishes and opinions and having them welcomed. I think you could make this easier for her. Many people don't have "what they want" right at the tip of their tongue. She probably is much more aware of what she doesn't want, so more helpful than "What do you want to do?" would be "Would you rather do this or this?" And I'd rather die than answer some kind of questionnaire about what I like/don't like in bed. First, I'm just shy that way. Second, it's kind of more fun if the guy guesses, like how telling him to buy me flowers makes getting the flowers less pleasing. Third, she might not know, so just keep trying things. And fourth, and probably the biggest issue here, if you are so caught up in "pleasing her," she is feeling huge pressure to show that she's pleased so that you're happy and stop bothering her about what she likes. I'm not saying be selfish and use her as a living sex doll, but just try to be more in tune with her non-verbal or unintentional cues in bed and otherwise let her do what she wants and react how she wants. I'm not a guy so I don't know how it feels when a girl fakes, but my advice would be don't worry about it. She might be trying to tell you that her orgasm is her business and that you should stop being so concerned about it. The more comfortable with you she gets (and this could take a LONG time), and the more real orgasms she has with you, the less she'll need to fake.
posted by thebazilist at 10:30 PM on January 2, 2010 [4 favorites]


None of these lies seem material. They all seem to occur in situations where she's doing something she doesn't want to have to explain to you, because she doesn't want to get into a disagreement, or get a lecture.

Yeah, this is what leapt out at me as well.

For example, a series of hypotheticals:

If she feels like she's not getting enough space from you -- if she feels as though you are controlling, as if you're always, constantly, asking her to accommodate you -- then this behavior makes perfect sense.

I mean, for all I know, you're one of those people who says, "Let's do something you'll enjoy," but doesn't really mean it, insofar as you're a judgmental person, and she knows it. And perhaps you've already made very clear your negative opinion about particular of her hobbies (watching rom com films for instance, or going to rollerskating rinks, or attending Britney Spears/Tori Amos/whoever concerts). Perhaps she doesn't feel ABLE to suggest what she really wants to do, because she knows you'll roll your eyes about it.

I have no idea if this IS you or not. But if she occasionally tells you that she feels like you don't listen to her/expect her to accommodate you but fail to accommodate her, then this is probably where she's coming from. She's lying because she has no hope of an open, easy conversation with you in which a compromise is reached that accurately reflects both of your needs and desires.
posted by artemisia at 10:35 PM on January 2, 2010 [6 favorites]


A long time ago I dated a guy who told weird little lies all the time. It took me years to find out about all the huge serious lies that he was telling me all along. It can be a really bad sign, do be careful.
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 10:50 PM on January 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


It sounds like she's really insecure and could use some therapy time. If you've told her how this bothers you, I think you need to cut and run until she gets herself together.
posted by youcancallmeal at 11:04 PM on January 2, 2010


I'm going to say that the computer thing was no big deal. It hurt your feelings that she didn't want to share what she was doing with you. That, to me, though, isn't a big deal lie. I would have said something like "oh, nothing." instead of making up something, but whatever.

The other things, all of them, I'd be concerned enough to consider if she was for me. It's not that she likes the screen out, it's that she agrees to not take the screen out, but does anyway and then tries to hide it. Why can't she just say "well, I like to take the screen out, even though bugs get in, so I'm going to keep doing that."

Also, DNAB for the win on discussing private details. I don't think it's out of the question to discuss intimate things with good friends by default, but I do think it's dealbreakingly disrespectful to do it after being requested not to. Disclaimer: depending on what you consider "details". I'd find it unreasonable to ask her to never say to a girlfriend "guess who got laid last night!?" But I'd expect that to not turn into a blow-by-blow screenplay, or to include details of the "what he said he likes/doesn't like/fantasizes about" kind of personal data about me.
posted by ctmf at 11:42 PM on January 2, 2010


I have asked her not to share private details of our sex life with her friends. She has said repeatedly that she won't. Those private details keep getting back to me.

I don't think it's reasonable for her to have no-one in which to confide about her sex life. In fact, I don't think it's a reasonable or realistic request to ask your partner to not discuss any private details with anyone. (And to do so is sooo asking for lying about this.) But there is a big problem here in her telling the wrong people or sharing details in inappropriate situations. That these details are getting back to him is utterly inappropriate and yes, demonstrating that she's being disrespectful.
posted by desuetude at 12:13 AM on January 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


Who cares that she discusses details of her sex life with her close friends? (That, by the way, isn't something you have the right to dictate to her).

Uh, actually he does. He very, very much has the right to state that their private life is private and not to be shared. She can go ahead and share it, but that makes her the douchebag here. Not him.


Desuetude pretty much hit this on the head, but I want to make clear my previous comment, since I set off the reaction to it. As des. just mentioned, I really do think such a request for absolute privacy is unreasonable. Human beings, most of them, need to share the intimate details and the deepest part of their lives with others that they trust. It's a defining aspect of humanity. It's not fair to say "Don't talk about this, even with your trusted friends."

Now, the fact that the gossip is getting back to OP is totally inappropriate. But that doesn't necessarily make it the GF's fault for sharing it with a friend: we don't have the necessary information to speculate on who breached the other's trust. (Perhaps the GF inappropriately mentioned it at lunch to a bunch of friends; or perhaps she discussed it in confidence, but was let down by her friend. We simply don't know). Anyway, this was my thought process when bringing up the issue of "private/public" knowledge.

And just to add to the uncertainty, ctmf rightly points out we don't know what, exactly, was said, so we can't determine if it rises to the level of "innapropriate to tell" and/or "fine to mention"
posted by HabeasCorpus at 12:53 AM on January 3, 2010


being a contrarian here: I wonder if in some of these situations you just won't take "no" for an answer or you keep bothering her about stuff she doesn't want to talk about? I mean, give her a break. If she says she's programming but is at that instant watching a video, maybe that means she doesn't feel like talking at that moment about what she's doing (which is probably procrastinating on programming by watching a video).

In general, could there be a thing going where you feel like you need to know what she is thinking, but she would rather not talk about it with you, or doesn't feel comfortable talking about it with you. If she is talking to her girlfriends about some personal stuff because.. they're women, and so they understand how she's feeling, it seems to me that is kind of normal.

There's only one POV here - are you really sure things are the way you think they are? For instance, the story about taking her out begins with "I wanted to take her out," and then you're upset because the point of it was to do something for her, but the whole thing started because.. actually you wanted to go out, but proposed the idea as if it was for her. And so she felt she ought to go because, really, it was what you wanted?
posted by citron at 1:36 AM on January 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


Ultimately, it does not matter much whether you're a bully or not - or whether or not she lies to you because earlier in her life she used to lie in the same fashion to her parents/siblings/teachers, or what not else. It is that she clearly perceives you as being in the position of someone who should be lied to - she gave you that role. Even if you deny your part: she has already given it to you.
Further down the lane, as I've found out, one will be asked to pay. "You have bullied me all the time, and..." Reason and good intentions, even proof of all sorts, are not the things that will be considered at that stage.

However, while you're pondering this, you may as well reconsider your self image: there is always also something in one's own behavior that triggers what one's partner does. Perhaps you're more of an influence than you think you are. Perhaps she merely reads your style of communication wrong. Maybe you talk exactly like your girlfriend's mom (or something), who perhaps said similar things in just your fashion, but with reversed psychology, in order to morally press your girlfriend into doing stuff her way. In such a case, your girlfriend can't possibly read your intentions correctly.

Bottom line: counseling about communication patterns wouldn't be a bad idea, and the effort of a good, straightforward name-the-core-of-the-problem type conversation is essential. Give yourselves a couple months to work this out. If you feel like you're not heading anywhere with this, seriously, run. Ultimatums (as in: 'don't lie or I'll run'), on the other hand, don't work. You can't, as others said, change her. Your only chance is to do this together: to, in a mutual effort, find bits of behavior that seem a hindrance to one or the other, that can be clarified and analyzed, after which new patterns emerge as a result from some new insight. Anything else can't be correct.

And I disagree with those who think that small lies apropos nothing are okay. And yes, some people love fresh air and don't mind bugs, and find people who don't really weird. Definitely reconsider this example.
posted by Namlit at 1:59 AM on January 3, 2010


I agree with others above who suggest that it sounds like you're trying to control her behaviour, and she's responding with evasiveness.

When she opens the window screen, bugs get in. There is absolutely no benefit from opening it. I have asked her not to do this. Yet, as I'm coming home, I can very clearly see that the screen is open, and when my key is in the lock to our door, I can hear her closing it.

You say, with finality, that there is "absolutely no benefit" to opening the window, yet this is obviously not true: she is opening it because she finds some benefit. You don't need to agree with her reason to agree that she finds it to be of benefit - in fact, you don't even need to know what the reason is; perhaps she just prefers it open. You prefer it closed, and your reason ("bugs get in") is perhaps easier to articulate than her reason. That does not automatically make your desire more important than hers - personally, it would drive me nuts if my husband tried to regulate which windows I opened in our home when he's not there.

I have asked her not to do this.

Would it have been okay with you if she'd declined your request? If not, maybe it wasn't really a request.
posted by hot soup girl at 2:14 AM on January 3, 2010 [10 favorites]


This is a minor one: the window. When she opens the window screen, bugs get in. There is absolutely no benefit from opening it. I have asked her not to do this. Yet, as I'm coming home, I can very clearly see that the screen is open, and when my key is in the lock to our door, I can hear her closing it. I come in, and there are bugs all around.

I think it's interesting that there's no lie in your story, but rather disobedience. Did you ask her about it after you came in, and she said she didn't do it? (Similarly with the story of her talking about your sex life?) I don't know what to assume.

I am not getting that this is about lies. Instead, it seems more like she doesn't trust talking with you as a way to resolve things. Did you have a fight recently where you were pretty sure you won via inexorable logic yet somehow she did not appreciate the proof of her unreasonableness? It sounds kinda like it. Also, she sounds a little bored and bored people don't like other people hovering around them reflecting their boredom back at them.

It sounds like you do need to change up or things will not go well. Give her some space. Don't actively task her with telling you how to please her so much. Etc.
posted by fleacircus at 4:34 AM on January 3, 2010 [9 favorites]


Lying is never cool. If she doesn't like how he is treating her, she has a responsibility to say so. Doesn't matter if this guy is a jerk or not.
posted by gjc at 5:43 AM on January 3, 2010


If you treat someone like a child, don't be surprised when they act like one.
posted by cottonswab at 7:29 AM on January 3, 2010 [6 favorites]


I wanted to take her out one weekend and asked her what she would like to do- she told me to just pick something myself. I said I would, but asked her to tell me if she really wasn't into the idea. She said she would. Later, I found out that she really wasn't into it but only went along with it to make me happy. I couldn't believe it. The point of it was to do something for her.

We have also had similar issues in sex, where I have begged her to tell me what she likes, doesn't like, or whether she doesn't want to have sex at all- I could be happy with anything she said, I just want to know. She has said everything is fine, then later I've found out she was faking orgasms.


(Note: a lot of what I'll say is probably me projecting. Only you and her can really say how much of this is applicable to your situation.)

1. When someone gives me the option of being the decider, and I say "Ohhhh, we can do whatever you want", it's because I know that whatever I pick will be scrutinized/belittled/naysayed by the person.

2. Liars know that a person's words aren't necessarily true just because he claims they are, so they rely on other things when deciding to believe someone. You may have said "We can do whatever you want", but that doesn't mean you weren't doing other things that gave the impression that you were being insincere. As alluded to in #1, this could be a history of not valuing her opinion (like with regards to the window screen), it could be an insincere tone, it could be the ease at which you were ready to be the one who decided things. You may be doing things that make her not trust you when you are being honest.

3. Juxtapose the conflict with the screen window and the conflict with her not talking about what gets her off. You've decided that there is no benefit to taking the screen off, when there is one that people keep mentioning in this thread (screens prevent breezes) and there is another blatantly obvious one: it makes your wife happy (I'm guessing, but you get the point). Now either she told you why she wants the screen off and you're ignoring what she told you, or you were so peeved (remember, not just in words, but in tone of voice, in mannerisms, etcetcetc) when she did this that she doesn't feel like she can say "Hey, I have damn good reasons for wanting the screen off." Now, if there's this kind of hoo-haw over something as simple as a screen, what makes you think it will be EASIER to discuss your sex-life, especially if she already knows things that she wants to tell you, but feels there is a pattern of you pre-dismissing anything she might want.
posted by 23skidoo at 10:06 AM on January 3, 2010 [2 favorites]


Like 23skidoo, I'm probably projecting here, but here goes...

I was once in a relationship in which my partner always needed to be right. Every discussion was a debate, and he was determined to "win" every debate, and used his exceptional debating skills to do so.

To avoid these horribly draining debates, I would lie....tell him what he wanted to hear, or not tell him what I was really thinking/wanting/feeling, because I did not want these things to be up for debate.

It started small, as these things do. As my self-esteem got more and more mangled from having every thought, feeling and action dissected & criticized, the lies and omissions got more and more frequent. It was a self-defense mechanism....the only way for me to preserve what little bit of "me" there was left.

I would do the things I wanted to do, but hide them from him, so that I didn't have to endure an hours long discussion about how what I was doing or how I was feeling was wrong or a waste of time. The debates would only end if I gave in and told him he was right, I was wrong, and yes dear I'll do it your way (another lie).

If you're behaving like this, she's likely lying to you even more than you think, but probably not because she's a pathological liar at heart. She's just trying to avoid the pain of having every desire and feeling held up for examination and deemed incorrect.
posted by burntflowers at 10:33 AM on January 3, 2010 [5 favorites]


It reminds me of my relationship with my ex. I lied liked that often because when I did something, even minor, she wouldn't like, I would be lectured about my "wrongness". And I hate that, especially on some very minor things which doesn't bug me at all in other people.

Ask yourself how would you react if your girlfriend would tell you the truth and you might be able to find and answer to your question.

I second fleacircus: it seems more like she doesn't trust talking with you as a way to resolve things.
posted by przepla at 10:51 AM on January 3, 2010


SecretAgentSockPuppet nailed it. Agree with every word.

Also, that was a good find by Fleacircus: "I think it's interesting that there's no lie in your story, but rather disobedience." I think that's a perfect description.

One final thought OP, some suggested reading: "Don't Sweat the Small Stuff" by Richard Carlson.

That's all. Good luck.
posted by GeniPalm at 11:44 AM on January 3, 2010


Thirding Fleacircus's find: "I think it's interesting that there's no lie in your story, but rather disobedience."

More projection from an older woman here:

When I was younger, I had an unhealthy relationship where "rules" were laid out by the man, and I was "encouraged" to follow them. And when I didn't, there was passive aggressive hell to deal with. Fuck that for a lark. You're not her parent, you don't get to set rules and demand that she follow them.

There are perfectly good reasons for having the window open/screen off. But *You* have made up your mind that there are not, so she must be a liar who only lets the bugs in to annoy you.

You have forbidden her to talk about your sex life, despite the fact that that "rule" flies in the face of all female communications. But, rather than blaming the person who runs to tell you about it, she must be a liar because she wants to talk to someone...unfortunately someone who is as judgmental as you are. And someone untrustworthy as well.

Poor girl, no wonder she hides behind her computer and doesn't tell you she's looking at icanhazcheezburger videos while her C-code compiles. You've probably forbidden cats in hats.

You've gotten a lot of comments from guys in this thread bolstering up your "Yeah, that lying bitch, you should dump her!", but I tell you now, if the dynamic I believe is happening *is* happening, then you will keep finding yourself with women who will disseminate constantly to get you off their back.

You are making unreasonable demands, you are doing it in an incredibly passive aggressive method, and you are reaping what you sow. I would bet even money that you are seriously controlling, unbelievably cloying and obtrusively intrusive. If you keep that up, she will eventually leave you. And so will all the other weak-willed women who temporarily fall into your "I'm such a nice guy, no really!" trap...until they realize how suffocating it is.

Real Nice Guys don't expect obedience. They don't expect total control. They expect an equal partner with needs of their own.
posted by dejah420 at 2:02 PM on January 3, 2010 [16 favorites]


So, the two main threads of theory in this AskMe are A) She a lying liar or B) you are an overbearing control freak that has a partner who is trying to cope with you through rather a lot of dishonesty. In either case, you two just don't sound like a good match. Either you're not compatible or things have gone so sour that you're not compatible anymore. You've only included just enough info for respondents to do a lottabuncha projection, unfortunately, but I think the net result of either theory is the same. My advice remains DTMFA, though I'm not certain who has more of a claim to the MF part.

Next time around, try and dial down your own tension. Your request for some personal privacy really isn't unreasonable, your rules about the window really are. There's a lot of passive aggression and expectation of clairvoyance here and I'd warrant it's better to start over clean than to try and unravel it with this partner. You probably need to loosen up and be easier to share things with directly. She probably needs to stop being so cagey all the time and state her needs more directly. I don't see either of you making this sort of growth while locked into this detente of a romance.

In my first answer, I said you gotta find a woman you can trust. I neglected to mention that an element of this is being a man who can handle the truth.
posted by EatTheWeak at 3:16 PM on January 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


No matter what he has done, lying is wrong and shows contempt for one's partner.
posted by Ironmouth at 3:26 PM on January 3, 2010


Dejah420 beat me to it. As an older woman who has learned not to take guff from a man telling her what to do, I would tell the OP's girlfriend to get the hell out. She hasn't learned how to just come out and say, "No, you're wrong, I like the window open, and I'm dumping your annoying, controlling ass."

If a BF told me, 'Don't discuss our sex life with anybody,' my first reaction would be to laugh in his face.

But that's just me.
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 4:23 PM on January 3, 2010 [5 favorites]


Thanks dejah420 for saying it so much better than I could. I recognised an ex-boyfriend too.

Trying to change her is a fool's errand. You will get further by changing your behaviour that is triggering her. Calling her "disobedient" behaviour lying is escalating the situation so you can claim some moral high ground - not productive behaviour if you want to actually solve the problem.
posted by saucysault at 5:52 PM on January 3, 2010


From the original poster:
The window thing was not something I demanded that she do and expected her to obey me. It was something that we talked about for a long time. All issues were aired. All issues were heard. We came to a compromise. It was even a compromise that she suggested! She just secretly decided not to do the compromise when I'm not around. And yes, although I didn't type it, when I came in and saw the bugs, I asked her if she'd had the window open and she said no. I also don't believe, although it is a minor issue, that my not wanting to live with roaches is petty.

I have been asked if I am a controlling person. I do not think I am. The number of things she asks me to do or not do, compared to the number of things I ask of her, is at least 5 to one. I can live with this, I'd just like to be able to ask for some things in return. Some people seem to be saying she should dump me for ever asking her to do anything at all. How can two people live like that? We're not always going to agree, we have to work something out.

I also do not berate her, wear her down with logic, argue her to death, and demean the things she likes. For one thing, she's a programmer and I'm an artist. We are both pretty logical, she probably slightly more so than I am. Also, I like her, so if there's something she likes, no matter what it is, I'm going to be for it. If she had told me, for her special weekend, that she wanted us to wear prince and princess costumes and go to Disney on Ice, I would have been game.

When it comes to her privacy, I'm happy for her to say to me that she doesn't feel like talking about it, that it's not important, or that it's none of my business. I have told her this many times. I say those things to her at times myself. She knows if she says she doesn't want to talk about it, I will immediately stop asking. She'd rather lie anyway.

I wasn't trying to spy on her and control her when I asked what she was looking at online. I was just idly curious, and just jarred to be lied to over something so inconsequential.

Maybe it would change things if you knew she is the one who actually does keep tabs on me? I've caught her going through my email and phone before. She wants a full background and history on all my female friends. I am understanding of this because I know she's been hurt in the past. But I would never spy in her email in return or anything like that.

I also do not pressure her to have an orgasm, make it all about me, or, for fuck's sake, try to make her fill out a questionnaire. All I've ever asked is for her to communicate to me in whatever form she is comfortable with, what she likes. I think that is just basic.
posted by mathowie at 5:58 PM on January 3, 2010


Maybe it would change things if you knew she is the one who actually does keep tabs on me? I've caught her going through my email and phone before. She wants a full background and history on all my female friends.

Gah! Okay, yeah, this changes things from "maybe you're not compatible" to "RUN THE FUCK AWAY."
posted by EatTheWeak at 6:05 PM on January 3, 2010


for fuck's sake

This is just something to consider: what is it about the way that you communicate that gives lots of people in this thread (that you have never met) the impression that you are controlling and insincere? I'm not saying you actually ARE either of those things, but people are picking up on SOMEthing in the way you are communicating. Maybe that's part of the problem in your situation.
posted by 23skidoo at 7:32 PM on January 3, 2010 [3 favorites]


Sounds like she's a control freak. The only person who can change that about her is her. At this point, you have to think about the things that YOU can change about the situation. Let go of the idea that she will become different.

That is vague on purpose!
posted by kathrineg at 7:43 PM on January 3, 2010


I don't want to sound like I am picking on you, because I'm not, but something struck me on your last comment.

You said you did not want the window open and the screen off - you have valid reasons for feeling that. She wants the screenless window open and most likely has valid reasons. Despite discussing it with her you don't know what her reasons are, such a fundamental part of the conversation that I can't understand how you could miss it. So what you both want or diametric opposites and yet you characterised the result (you getting your way exclusively) as a compromise. As a reasonable person you can see there was no compromise but a caving in, one that she clearly did not buy into.

Your dynamic is now loaded with baggage that probably neither of you fully realise its impact. Maybe the next special weekend away could be some kind of couple's communication retreat?
posted by saucysault at 11:37 PM on January 3, 2010


Here is why you are coming across as controlling: "All issues were aired. All issues were heard. We came to a compromise. It was even a compromise that she suggested! She just secretly decided not to do the compromise when I'm not around." You're so supremely confident that all issues were aired. Perhaps all of YOUR issues were aired and she suggested anything to end the conversation.

It's always possible that you come across much differently in real life than you do in person, but your second post reiterates the pattern of power issues and adds in some blaming and shaming. How dare she secretly open the screen? She's such a dirty, sneaky screen opener!

It may be time to let this relationship end. You don't trust her and she doesn't trust you. There's lying and evasion from her and blame and anger from you. Any one of those can end a relationship; you've got them all. You obviously don't want to change any of your behaviors. Very, very rarely do relationships improve unless both people are willing to change their patterns. That doesn't mean that both people have to make equal changes, but both need to flex and change a bit. Otherwise, one is simply outgrowing the other.
posted by 26.2 at 11:56 PM on January 3, 2010


I stick to my earlier comment that the window and bugs example doesn't tell us much. It is too complicated for anyone here to analyze: we didn't hear the "compromise", the tone of voices, the frequency of arguments etc. It could be any which way: the OP a controlling person with a silky way of having things his way or, conversely, the girlfriend as a control freak, or any other thing in between. And one would have to be a little more specific than to equal open windows with bugs with "roaches" indoors. Son of a bug-o-phobic father speaking here. They look pretty silly to others, when they closet themselves in their dusty rooms while the weather is the most gorgeous, and frantically hunt every little fly around the house.

The major problem here, to my mind, is the dynamic of lying (NB. the 'problem of a partner's lying' stated by the OP is quite a different thing):
the liar expects the other person to do just the same, explicitly or by matter of tacit assumption, while the non-lying person seems to ride a high moral horse. This puts the OP in a defensive position in practice but in a superior position 'in theory': he's morally 'better' as he presents himself here. It is not important whether the various patterns of unbalance described here are objectively "real" or a mirror of the OP's subjective mind. This relationship is sneakily turning sour, because of two things: girlfriend lying and OP finding this a major issue in which he has, morally, the upper hand. This is no basis for a long and happy future. They should both run.
posted by Namlit at 12:53 AM on January 4, 2010


The anonymous format makes follow-up difficult and a little awkward, I get that.

But I've also read (and responded to) A LOT of relationship-filter questions, both anonymous and not. And I think it's strange that your followup is wholly a defense of your actions and more evidence of your girlfriend's wrongdoing. Did ANY of the suggestions or questions about your behavior or attitude give you something to consider?

Bottom line is that the answer to "how do I make y-person do x-thing" is "you can't MAKE y do anything." You can change your behavior, you can change your attitude, you can leave her, or you can work on your communication with her.
posted by desuetude at 7:24 AM on January 4, 2010


Edit to my post. Sorry for the nonsensical sentence.

It's always possible that you come across much differently in real life than you do in person written Mefi posts.
posted by 26.2 at 7:49 AM on January 4, 2010


I think everyone else has covered everything pretty well so far, but this stands out to me:

I wanted to take her out one weekend and asked her what she would like to do- she told me to just pick something myself. I said I would, but asked her to tell me if she really wasn't into the idea. She said she would. Later, I found out that she really wasn't into it but only went along with it to make me happy. I couldn't believe it. The point of it was to do something for her.

and

Also, I like her, so if there's something she likes, no matter what it is, I'm going to be for it. If she had told me, for her special weekend, that she wanted us to wear prince and princess costumes and go to Disney on Ice, I would have been game.

. . . sound pretty alike. Just because she isn't really into something doesn't mean that she's not game. I mean, you would only be wearing a princess outfit and going to Disney on Ice because she wants to, right? You would probably not be really into it, but instead you'd go along with it to make her happy, because you like her and enjoy being with her, right?

People do things that they don't love in relationships all the time. It doesn't mean they're lying, and that you'd characterize it that way says to me that you're being a bit overly prickly about the "lying" thing.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 10:28 AM on January 4, 2010


And yes, although I didn't type it, when I came in and saw the bugs, I asked her if she'd had the window open and she said no.

Thank you for the clarification. I wish you'd also told us what happened after that. Did you just silently move on? Did you confront her? Did you try to make a joke of it? Have you already told her you kinda think she lies to you too much? I guess those are rhetorical questions. BTW I don't think either of you is a bad person.

I do think it's fairly shitty that she did lie to your face about something that was a non-trivial contract between you two (it sounds like), and has let it hang out there. That's something bad, but it still sounds like you're more upset about her actually breaking the contract than about the lie. I assume what you really wanted to know is why she opened the window, not her answer to: "If I gave you the chance to tell a little lie that will make this confrontation go away, not knowing that I know the truth, would you?"

Personally, my SO and I lie to each other all the time, but we can joke about it, and we trust each other enough not to lie about important things. "I'm programming," could mean, "I should be programming but I'm doing something stupid/boring/slightly embarrassing that I'll just feel even moreso talking about so please don't take offense if we just not talk about it at all, because I still am actually trying to do some work." However if the other person responded, "Well, I just used my CSI powers and your programming seems very video-watching-y," it would be understood as, "Busted! Hey let's talk and stuff."

So my biased recommendation is to develop some non-judgmental way to call her out on the small lies and keep things rolling, but if she's telling a lie that hurts for some reason, stop and work it out, but don't necessarily think it's all about the lie in itself.
posted by fleacircus at 2:44 AM on January 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


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