I want to stop lying to my boyfriend

I have never considered myself to be someone that lies, I’ve often thought of myself as someone who can be too honest. I would never put up with or stay with someone who has lied to me or deceived me. However, I constantly lie to the person that I love and want to spend my life with. I don’t know why I do it. I lie about stupid, little and unimportant things. He has ended it because he doesn’t trust me anymore and he can’t have a relationship with someone he doesn’t trust and he doesn’t know how to get that trust back. I honestly don’t know if I could trust someone again if the situation were reversed.

I don’t know what to do. I made a lot of mistakes in our relationship that greatly shifted the power within the relationship from us being equal to him having more control, and my lying has only made me lose more of his love, trust and respect. When he is angry or upset or hurt, instead of acting out or making decisions based on anger or pain, he is able to put those feelings aside and make choices based on what is best for the relationship whereas I have done the opposite and have acted out in anger (this is very frustrating for me). I wonder if lying is just an extension of this?

Please help me/us. I don’t know what to do. I love him and I know he still loves me. I know we still have a chance if I am able to stop lying to him and show him that I have changed. How do I gain his trust and respect back? How do I stop lying to him? How do I take back all the disrespect and pain that I have caused him by my lying? How do I make him feel like he can trust me and respect me again? He often feels that I don’t take the fact that I lie to him seriously. He feels that I don’t care about how much it hurts him or that I am truly sorry that I lie to him. When actually I am so ashamed and embarrassed by what I have done I often don’t know what to do or say. What can I say when just a few hours/days/weeks before I swore on my life that I would never lie again—only to be doing it again after promising I wouldn’t. How does one come back from that? How does one make up for such deception?

He means the world to me and the things I lie about are so small and stupid. I would never lie to him about something important, there is no doubt in my mind about this and I understand that when I lie, whatever I lie about is "important." I just want to stop. I want him to be able to trust me and to not question everything I tell him. I know this will take time but please tell me how to do it. How to help him gain my trust back.

I’ve read practically everything that I could find on your website about lying and trust and rebuilding, etc. Is there any hope? Can I gain back his trust and how? How do I convince him that it is possible? I’m willing to do anything and everything. I want to stop lying to him. I want him to trust me. I want him to respect me again.

Please help me. Thank you so much.

Response:

When it comes to love and romance people deal with problems differently. Some people are more likely to work out issues in a fairly candid and rational manner (see secure attachment), whereas other people are more likely to use less effective techniques: displaying anger, concealment, lying, etc.

If you think that your lying is tied to larger issues, such as your anxiety or discomfort with intimacy or perhaps a problem with compulsive lying, then it might be worthwhile to talk to someone about this issue (see emotional support).

Taking the effort to address this problem, rather than let it destroy your relationship or repeat itself again in the future, is always in your best interest.

On the other hand, if your lying is more situational in nature (see when people lie), then it might help to focus on the types of situations where you find yourself lying. What do they have in common? Not living up to a partner’s expectations? Fear of dealing with a partner’s reaction? Not feeling like you’re in control of what happens?

Once you’ve identified the situations where you’re the most likely to lie, set realistic goals for change. Don’t promise that you’ll never lie again. That doesn’t work. Setting such unrealistic goals only makes people feel more helpless when they fail, which they always do. And not feeling like your in control of the situation, makes it all the more likely that you’ll repeat the same mistakes in the future.

So, it helps to set small, more specific goals. For example, the next time that you notice that you’re not living up to your boyfriend’s expectations, talk to him about it. By starting with a much smaller goal, you’re more likely to succeed. Take credit for your success, and incrementally set higher goals. This is a more effective way to change one’s behavior.

And as far as regaining your boyfriend’s trust, you’ll earn it back as you consistently demonstrate that you’re acting with his best interest at heart. Talk to him about how you are feeling and what you are trying to do. Trust is easier to rebuild, when partners understand each other (see rebuilding trust).

 control issues | my compulsive lying | save relationship | stop lying | trust issues

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