She Lied Four Times

Dr. Love,

I will try to make this short and can provide you with many more details if it helps. I have caught my girlfriend in 4 lies but all but one is related to one another and one she said she had forgotten about. The 3 related ones she said she didn't tell me because she didn't want to hurt me. I have a feeling she may be hiding more secrets but wont tell me cause I told if I caught her in another lie I would leave. I've told her numerous times the only thing I ask for is honestyMany people believe that "honesty is the best policy" in intimate relationships. Nothing could be further from the truth. Practicing this philosophy by speaking your mind at all costs may cost you...(Click for full definition.), I told her that on the first date. I said that I don't what you've done in the past, as far judging her, that I just ask for the truth. I have been really trying to believe everything she tells me, but deep down I feel like she's lyingA lie (also called prevarication, falsehood) is a known untruth expressed as truth. A lie is a type of deception in the form of an untruthful statement, especially with the intention to deceive...(Click for full definition.) to me, whether she is or not I don't know. I really do love this girl which is the only reason I have continued to stay with her, but I'm afraid I'll never be able to really trustMutual trust is a shared belief that you can depend on each other to achieve a common purpose. More comprehensively trust defined as "the willingness of a party (trustor) to be vulnerable to the...(Click for full definition.) her. Any suggestions?

Signed by: 
The Only Thing I Ask for is Honesty
Answer: 

As you described your girlfriend, I thought about a young child who lies to avoid getting into troubling. In no time, the pattern becomes a way of functioning that carries into adulthood.

Your girlfriend is not caught in a catch 22 with you. She can’t tell you the truth because you told her that you’d leave her if she admits to having told any other lies.

Where can you go from here?

The only way I can see out of this impasse is to start over. You remove the threat of leaving and in turn she cleans the slate and tells you all of it.

In the future, she needs to work on resolving this very entrenched character defense pattern in which she lies to avoid repercussions (hurting the other or getting herself into trouble).

Tell her that all defense mechanisms end up biting you in the butt; in the end  the very thing that a defense is designed to avoid produces the very same dreaded outcome. Example: I’ll lie to avoid causing hurt, pain and anger. But my lyingA lie (also called prevarication, falsehood) is a known untruth expressed as truth. A lie is a type of deception in the form of an untruthful statement, especially with the intention to deceive...(Click for full definition.) causes just that.

Get her into therapy. And while we’re at you, you would do well to look at why you’ve chosen a partner who you arouses feelings of mistrust in you. How does this fit with your own history and wounds?  What unfinished business are you repeating here?

I’ve given you the blueprint, a way for you and your girl to stop singing the blues.

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