Do Old Lies Matter?

@ZenDove (698)
United States
March 22, 2007 6:00pm CST
I found out recently, after being married for almost 2 years, that my husband told me a lie during our courtship. Technically, not a very big lie but one with a huge impact. We had been dating for about 2 months and I had my doubts - was it too soon after his previous marriage? was there too large of an age difference?,did he really love me too? etc. - I was in love but did that mean that this would be a solid relationship? One evening, we were having drinks when I excused myself to the ladies' room. While I was standing at the sink our waitress came in. She said "Excuse me, is that your boyfriend, you're with?" When I told her yes, she said that she wasn't trying to be nosy but she just wanted to tell me how lucky she thought we were. Lucky? Yes, to be so much in love, she said, I can see it in his eyes when he looks at you. She wished that her boyfriend looked at her that way. She said he looked at me like I was the most beautiful woman in the world. She told me that she had just teased him in passing about falling in love and that he blushed, "like a little kid", and said oh, yeah this was definitely it for him. She and I giggled like high schoolers, I thanked her so very much and left the ladies'. As I walked across the restaurant, my feet didn't touch the floor. OH, yes, this was definitely it for both of us. If I had needed a sign, I surely had it. Yes, yes, he loved me truly, even strangers could see that. Within a month, we were living together. During a recent heart and soul conversation my husband and I were having, which usually follow a fight, I asked him "How much did you pay that waitress who said all those wonderful things to me?" 10 dollars, he chuckled. "Why?" "I could feel you slipping and I needed to get you back on track" Back on track? I had been wanting to ask him that for a little while because one of the things that I've learned about my husband is that he is a smooth operator. There is little sign of this on the surface. Which, of course, is part of his charm. You never see it coming. He is an accomplished salesman - need I say more? I've learned that he is quite the manipulator. I wanted to ask about the waitress because it was a sacred moment for me. I needed to know if it was real. Well, it wasn't. My sister says I should be flattered, it shows how much he wanted me. I find nothing flattering about a lie. It is insulting that he thought so little of my intelligence, that he felt so little respect for my rights as an adult. It is my right to choose based upon what is real - I don't need to believe in Santa Claus in order to be good! Well, I'm not angry with him but I am disappointed - in myself as well as with him. How could I have been so naive, so impressionable? But, hey, what difference should it matter, right? After all, it was a long time ago. The problem is, honesty is always an issue for us. This is not the only time he has lied to me, this one just kind of dents my heart. C'mon, my friends, you tell me. What would it mean to you? What kind of an effect, if any, would this revelation have on your feelings for your spouse? Do old lies matter?
11 people like this
25 responses
@rx4life (1932)
• United States
22 Mar 07
It's a tough question for me...I hate lying..it's never good in my eyes..and when one gets away with it they seem to be sort of encouraged to do it again...like you state sometimes it is innocent in the beginning..but all in all lies are bad for relationships...most I think would think this particular lie was a "good" one..because it was flattering and he wanted you to know how he felt...but I say..it's a bit of manipulation..and that's something that doesn't mesh with me...I believe that no matter how bad something is, telling the truth right on the spot is the best..even if it's painful...for usually the lie will be found out at some point and the damage it does then may be even worse...this one probably doesn't "hurt" the relationship..but you say there are many more...so a pattern of behavior is established...that must diminish your trust and that must have an effect on your relationship...the lie itself seems without malice, therefore could probably be forgotten...and sweetened up by the fact that he does and did love you and wanted you to now it..but the sneakiness of it seems to indicate a personality trait and that would send up flags for me...You know the state of your relationship..that is what matters..but if you can't trust him completely...where does that leave your future...? Just a thought...Hope you work it out...but he needs to learn that even "little innocent lies" can be damaging and hurtful when they are discovered to be mistruths!!!!
@ZenDove (698)
• United States
23 Mar 07
You see the dilemma then? Back and forth about determining what is real and what is not. Is he sweet and trustworthy or sweet and dishonest? How far is he willing to go to manipulate me? Where does manipulation end and sincerity begin? Or does it? I hope he does learn to think twice about lying to me. It's never worth it - no matter how long it takes me to find out the truth.
2 people like this
@dlkuku (1936)
• United States
22 Mar 07
For one thing, for you, it was if it just happened, so it's not really an old lie, at least for you since you just found out. No, it's not a huge lie, but I think it would bother me. I would be of the mindset that if he wanted to 'get me back on track' (which that statement itself is pretty awful) then he should have used other means, like romance, declaring his feelings, not just in thoughts, but in actions. I think he took the easy way out. I would have a hard time with this.
4 people like this
@ZenDove (698)
• United States
23 Mar 07
Exactly! He kept saying that it's no big deal, it was so long ago, blah blah blah. For me, it is brand new. To think that he was manipulating me all along, as far back as the beginning, gives me the creeps. He created an image of himself and he sold it to me. Now, yes, a lot of it is genuine but some of it is not. How am I supposed to figure out which is which? Do I really have to sort through the traits of this man who I thought I knew so well to find out the real person? Ugh, it is so not good to lie to me. As you can see, a hard time is exactly what I am having. Thanks for understanding.
2 people like this
• United States
22 Mar 07
Lies of anykind matter. When you are tampering with a persons feelings lies are as good as bullets. How many bullets does it take to kill a relationship? That of course is relative between the couple, but for me it only takes one and the rest of the wall comes tumbling down. If you have one lie how many others are there that you don't even know about. He may be lying about many things....and having an affair he can cover up. Lies errode trust and without trust you have nothing to work with.
@ZenDove (698)
• United States
23 Mar 07
Ha, good one about lies being bullets. That's just what they feel like to me. After all, he only told me the truth because I thought to ask him. If I hadn't asked, he never would have told me. How many other lies are there that I just don't know to ask about? Do I have to start interrogating him about every little thing? It's not in my nature to "sniff out" the truth. Some women are good at that, checking wallets and cellphones, I'm not going to live like that. I absolutely have to have trust. Thanks for responding.
1 person likes this
• United States
22 Mar 07
A lie weither it is a old lie or a freshly new one is bad. An old lie from the past can still come back to haunt someone and "Bite them on the butt" figuritively speaking. I believe honestly is very important in a relationship. It doesn't take many lies before it becomes hard to believe someone. This also applies to people you love, no doubt about it. Lies will always have an effect to a certain extention on the life of the one lying and in the case of a relationship it could really hurt the other person as well. I wouldn't take a lie lightly. I also agree with you, I wouldn't have even considered that flattery.
4 people like this
@ZenDove (698)
• United States
23 Mar 07
You're right, I do worry about the effect lying will have on our relationship. I don't want to overreact, but I don't think he sees the seriousness of this particular lie. He thinks that I should be flattered. I, most definitely, am not. Thanks for responding.
2 people like this
• United States
22 Mar 07
If that were me, I'd be vastly pissed off at my husband. It is important in that it was a pivotal moment for you. He lured you back under false pretenses. I find what he did manipulative, NOT flattering. As to how much it matters, I think that is something only you can decide. It sounds like it isn't just this one lie, but that he has a problem with telling the truth in general. You might want to consider marriage counseling, or counseling on your own if he won't go.
@ZenDove (698)
• United States
23 Mar 07
I know that he doesn't feel the weight of this like I do. He doesn't get what the big deal is about. That, in itself, is a little scary. I don't want to watch my husband for signs of lying, I want to be able to trust without question whatever comes out of his mouth. Maybe a counselor would be able to get us back to that place. Maybe this time, he really will go. Yeah, right. Thanks, anyway.
1 person likes this
@Pigglies (9339)
• United States
23 Mar 07
Wow! I must say that I would be super pissed if I were manipulated like that. It's not so much the lie that would bother me, but that they felt the need to manipulate. Sometimes I'll find out things about my girlfriend's exs that I didn't know before, and that doesn't bother me. Even if something might have been purposely left out or something (which so far, I can't think anything has). But manipulation is something I wouldn't stand for.
2 people like this
@ZenDove (698)
• United States
23 Mar 07
It is truly the manipulation that creeps me out. Did I seem stupid to him or just desperate to believe in romance? Did he calculate and figure out the best angle for the best response? Whatever happened to real people with real interactions and feelings? Or am I just old fashinoned like that? It's like he packaged an image and I bought it. Two years later, I'm still unwrapping it, trying to find the real man underneath the glitter! Yeah, I think you're right. I think that I am SUPER pissed. Thanks for the clarity. :0)
1 person likes this
@lucy02 (5017)
• United States
23 Mar 07
I am the same way about lies. My husband told me one before we got married and I still have trouble trusting him. He still won't admit that he lied but I know he did. We had broken up and I sent him an email of apology. He kept telling me he never got it but he had told a mutual friend about it so I know he did. I love him but that sure put a damper on the trust issue. I think your husband obviously loves you very much, but yes I can understand why the lie bothers you.
2 people like this
• Philippines
23 Mar 07
Well he lied to you once he will lie to you again. It doesnt matter how big or small it is but the fact still reamians the he lied. Its a betrayal of trust. What is he hiding anyway?? Better tell the truth always to avoid complications later on.
2 people like this
@Kasssy (107)
• United States
23 Mar 07
Old lies are just the same as new lies. They are sefinitely new to the person who finds them out. End of discussion!
2 people like this
@Shaun72 (15968)
• Palatka, Florida
23 Mar 07
I would be happy he did this but mad at the same time. Not knowing if he is lieing or telling the truth to me.
@stephcjh (32327)
• United States
22 Mar 07
Old lies do matter. He should have told you the truth from the start. It sounds like he play on your infidelity in the relationship. I have been through that so many times, it isn't funny at all any more and I have no tolerance for it. He should apologise to you for that. No woman or man should have to go through the games that one or the other plays. Either you love each other and want the best for each other or you don't. I would be very digusted with him for doing that to me. Men need to treat a good woman with respect and there is no excuse for some of the things they do and put us through.
@winterose (39918)
• Canada
23 Mar 07
the past is the past leave it there, why do you want to bring something like that in your relationship now unless you do not want to be with him and then lady that is a good excuse. You said you have a right to choose, you did, and if you were influenced by what some stranger said to you and not your feelings for this man then it is you who has been lying to him about your real feelings. I know I am playing hard ball here, but I am a therapist and hon, I happen to agree with your sister, you should be flattered, it is down right just like in the movies, where the man will do anything to get his girl, if that doesn't show true commitment then girl I don't know what else does.
1 person likes this
@ZenDove (698)
• United States
23 Mar 07
Well, first of all, I thought honesty and trust were supposed to strengthen a relationship. So, I certainly don't consider finding out that my husband lied to me, at any point in time, "bringing up the past". I didn't 'bring it into our relationship', he delivered the lie, he bought the problem. And there are consequences. Have you ever had the feeling that you were in the right place, at the right time? That's the feeling that I had talking to that waitress. She didn't influence my love or level of commitment. I was at an impasse and her words felt like a little divine intervention. He knew how I felt because I told him that same night. How smug he must have felt. The time to tell me,was right then, when he saw that I had taken the encounter to heart. I'll tell you like I told my sister, there is nothing flattering about a lie. I am not so insecure that I need someone to tell me "no, those pants don't make you look fat" and I don't need a man leading me down a primrose path in search of romance. Who knows? Our relationship might have taken the exact same path without the manipulation. But then I would have the confidence that comes with trust and sincerity. He may be willing to "do anything to get his girl", even compromise his character but I only ever asked him to do one thing - respect me. If I am willing to take accountability for my life and my decisions, as a thinking adult, I deserve the right to make those choices based upon what is true, not merely what someone thought I needed to believe. He didn't show due respect. I pray he doesn't make that mistake again because I most assuredly do not need excuses to follow through on whatever I decide. This is my life, not a movie. Romeo and Juliet were willing to do anything to be together - all that intrique and deception worked out real well for them, hunh? Thanks, winterose, I always enjoy reading your responses and respect your insights.
@winterose (39918)
• Canada
25 Mar 07
then hon if you feel that way you have made your decision and you don't need any of us to give you any comments about it.
@ZenDove (698)
• United States
26 Mar 07
I don't understand why you say that I don't need any comments on the situation. I thought that was what mylot was about- discussion, insight, the sharing of opinions. Whenever I ask the forum "what do you think", "what would you do?", I'm not implying that I don't know what I think or feel. It's fascinating to hear from so many people from so many walks of life. I'm enriched by their comments, whether I agree with them or not. I'm enheartened by their support and advice, whether I follow it or not. Just because I know my own mind on some matters, doesn't mean I don't keep an open mind and need to share with others. When I say "Thanks for responding. Thanks for your insight" - I mean that. Thank you, again, winterose.
@shmeedia (1045)
• Canada
23 Mar 07
oh man, that must have hurt a lot :( i guess it really depends on the type of lie. for me, THAT kind of lie is really horrible :( if your sister was right in that he was willing to go that far to keep you, maybe his time AND MONEY could have been better spent TELLING you or showing you himself that he really wanted you. to pay off a waitress is really low :( to me, it's like going out with a girl on a dare from your no-brain jock friends. sorry if this adds salt to the wound, but yeah, i would be so offended!!! even if it's ancient history. that it also took this long to come out isn't cool. i would not have been angry, but instead, disappointed, like you. this reminds me of a conversation my sister had with her boyfriend....she used to have bad acne in high school, and he admitted that if he had met her looking like that he would have NEVER asked her out. this is how people are, but it doesn't make it cool. espeically if you say that to your girl. similarly, but a bit less offensively, my bf said that if i was bald that he would dump me!!!! he said it in jest, but it made me think of what he would do if i got cancer and lost my hair! it's not something cool to think about, and knowing your bf (now hubby) made you feel like the most loved and beautiful girl in the world all those years and it was all bull? sniff....:(
@ZenDove (698)
• United States
23 Mar 07
Erg, can you imagine the chuckles that little waitress got that night? She made 15 bucks off a 20 dollar tab because, of course, I coyly suggested that he should tip our waitress well! I don't doubt that the man loves me but he just can't seem to help himself when he comes to being "smooth" or maybe he likes to feel like he's smarter than everyone else. Marrying him has been like marrying The Wizard of Oz, you get to see how all the tricks are done! Oh, well, as his wife I guess I have to roll up my sleeves and dig through the BS in order to keep the good part. Wives have to be like the little optimist when locked in a room full of horsesh*t, he just kept digging away looking for the pony! Thanks for being outraged with me, it helped me to 'breathe it out', like cat suggested.
1 person likes this
@shmeedia (1045)
• Canada
23 Mar 07
venting helps :) i like your horse analogies! you are strong! many people would just give up. i used to have a scummy boyfriend, who in my opinion was just confused, immature and lost, so i gave him a chance....many chances, hoping to find the diamond in the rough. unfortunatly the longer we stayed together, the more unpolished he became. and i'm convinced THIS was the true him, not the nice guy i first met. when a person is so deceptive or sly/sneaky/always playing a game, it's hard to sift thru the good and bad parts, trying to figure out which is the real person. my conclusion with my ex was that the 'nice guy' was the pretense and that he was really a bad guy. sometimes it's the other way around. my current bf does and says some naughty things, but he is just lacking in elegance...he's a good guy, who has trouble expressing himself. he pretends to be rough and tough but is in fact a pussycat. slightly digressing there ;) anyways, if you're able to get to the real guy and it is a good person, props to you for sticking it out and believing in him. i just hope that's how things turn out (hugz)
1 person likes this
@Flissy (1)
23 Mar 07
Hi I am new here so I hope I am doing the right thing - be gentle with me. I think you can look at this lie in two ways - yes he lied to you and it is so hurtful that much is obvious from your words but there is a also another way of looking at it. He felt you were maybe going to leave him - and maybe he didnt feel that if he had said those things that they would have come out right. In a way asking someone else to tell you that he is feeling that this is the one etc is kind of a cop out but also a little sense of "he didnt have to" - he could have just let you walk away. Instead rightly or wrongly he tried to get you to see he was in love and did want to be with you. Hope it all works out. Fliss xx
1 person likes this
@ZenDove (698)
• United States
23 Mar 07
Hi and welcome to mylot! Yep, you're doing the mylot thing, just jump in with both feet. I can see how some people would think that it was a romantic gesture. For ne, it was more a case of he wanted a particular result, so he pushed a particular button. As though I was some mindless puppet designed for his amusement. If we were both in love and destined to be together it would not have taken this or any other "courtship lie" to keep us together. You shouldn't need razzle-dazzle to fall in love with someone, just their own true selves. It's disturbing to have to revise the picture you have of someone you love. I won't go overboard with this, but I do not suffer liars kindly. Thanks for responding and I hope to see around the 'lot!
@chertsy (3804)
• United States
23 Mar 07
I think it's cute how he did it though. I would have then said hum, you think all I'm worth is 10 bucks. I agree with your sister. That he did everything to woe you. You didn't notice the change in his mood when you came back to the table. But since this really got you under the skin, I wouldn't let him down about it. Any time you see something that cost 10 bucks, I would be like look dear this is the same price as your love for me. Make him feel bad but at the same time not over doing it. While your at it, find out what did he mean by getting you back on track. From what I read your a woman, not a train. For being a salesman and a so called smooth talker. That wasn't smooth at all by saying he had to get you back on track. I still think the waitress bit was cute, how he told you wasn't.
@ZenDove (698)
• United States
24 Mar 07
Maybe it could have been considered charming if he hadn't kept the secret for so long and if he hadn't referred to getting me "on track." I like your idea of a long, slow torture that could be mistaken for teasing, lol! He's sensitive enough where that would really bug him. I'll let you know how it goes. I've also realized that the only way he gives up being smooth is when he is cocky about his position. He would have never told me the truth if he weren't sure he could get away with it with barely a ripple.
@catcai (1057)
• Philippines
23 Mar 07
I'm very particular with lies so for me, even if I know it was done in the past, I have to admit I might still have some trouble accepting it. Honesty in a relationship is very very very important to me…. Although what he did was kind of sweet because he didn’t want to let go of me, still, lies are lies. A big lie always starts out as a small lie then so on… I do appreciate the gesture- I would just wish that he didn’t have to lie about it to me or more so- KEEP it hidden from me for 2 long years! If he could’ve admitted it to me a little earlier then I think I would be over it by now. But fact is, he was able to keep a lie for 2 long years and frankly…I won’t be comfortable in that situation- what if there were more lies other than that? I'm sorry, I guess I'm too much of a pessimist…well for me… old frozen 2 yr old preserved lies does matter… it will have an effect in my feelings for my spouse, but since we’ve been married for 2 yrs now, I think I will let it slip…and just forget it did happen, but I will definitely need some time to breathe it all out. Just my opinion though….
1 person likes this
@ZenDove (698)
• United States
23 Mar 07
You know what else burns me up, cat? What if I had lied to keep him on track? Lied about the number of men I'd slept with, lied about the number of children I have, about whether I smoked or not - anything just to keep him on track? Would that be considered sweet of me? Would that be romantic? Nope, I'd be a gold-digger, a schemer, a lying, manipulating woman. He wants credit for finally being honest. LOL! Now, I may not condemn him for all time but I'm certainly not giving him credit for hiding a lie for 2 years. "Breathe it all out"- that is a perfect way to explain what I need. Thank you.
@kurtbiewald (2628)
• United States
23 Mar 07
That is a HUGE one !!!!!!!!!!! Pay a pretty friend who he doesn't know $100 to flirt with him. Get it all on tape. Remind of that waitress thing. Play him the tape. Then kick his manipulative selling butt out of your life!
@ZenDove (698)
• United States
23 Mar 07
lol,kinda harsh, kurt! :-) But do you think that he would have learned anything or would he just think I was being an hysterical female? You see, karmically, I am bound to him so, before I kick his butt out, I have to make sure we have loved sincerely and learned our life lessons together. Thanks for the chuckles, though. I need them!
• Canada
24 Mar 07
An ex of mine and I actually broke up over something like that. I found out that he was lying about many things. His moddo was if she doesn't ask I'm not lying. Ok, that may be true but isn't keeping something from someone just as bad? Why should I have to think up a million and one different questions so it's properly phrased and I get an honest answer? I said forget it and dumped his sorry a$$. Then a year or so later I met my now husband! We have known eachother for 6 years and have been married for exactly one year on the 31st!
1 person likes this
@lightningMD (5932)
• United States
23 Mar 07
i hate lies..even little ones...i guess in a way you should feel flattered ...i'd be more concerened about the fact that he still lies to you than about the old one.. its taken a few years to convince my husband that lying is just totally wrong..i cant lie because then i have to remember what lie i told to who and it gets to confusing....if you love him then forgive him and work on having a better more open relationship...
1 person likes this
@pangeacat (619)
• United States
23 Mar 07
Wow, that's a tough one! I understand why this bothers you so much. Besides the fact that it does fall into the category of manipulation (calling it a lie would really depend upon personal definition. To my mother, this is what she would call "a lie by omission.), I can see that this moment meant a lot to you. Finding this out, you now don't have that moment to look back on with longing. I was raised to find lieing an unforgivable offense. As I have matured, however, I have learned that everybody lies to an extent. Even I have felt the necessity, on occassion, to tell what I regard as a harmless lie in order to protect someone I care about. (i.e. tell my father that I'm getting a ride when I'm taking the bus, so that he doesn't worry himself into a stroke. OR, tell a friend that I'm sick when I just simply can't bring myself to have company, so they don't feel slighted or hurt.) For me, it all comes down to intention. Is the intention selfish, or is it to protect? Are you manipulating someone, or are you trying not to hurt them? In this particular case, it's very difficult to determine. On the one hand, he was manipulative. On the other hand, it is obvious that he did want you, need you, and (at least to his understanding) love you beyond measure. Few men would do something so drastic in order to ensure that they get the woman they love. If this isn't the only time he's lied to you though, that presents a further problem. Perhaps, that indicates that this is a habit and a set pattern for him. For me, that would be a problem. One of the reasons I am no longer with my ex-husband is due to his incessant lieing. Ultimately, the decision is yours. If this is something that bothers you ~ that's a problem. That's something you need to make clear is not okay. Again though, wow ~ this is a difficult one! Good luck!