I did not come easily to the conclusion that I needed to define my own truth.
I had spent my whole adult life going to my husband for “truth.”
If he said something good… or bad… I believed it… heart and soul… his words became my truth.
I never looked at the fact that this man had a pattern of lying to me throughout our relationship.
That he had slipped back into addiction, several times, and often hid his disease from me.
It didn’t seem to matter that he had proven time and time again that he struggled with the character defect of lying: I still hung on every word, as if his words defined everything about me.
During our divorce, I could see his dishonesty. I knew it was happening yet… I still caught myself looking for him to validate my reality.
I would call him, expecting him to be honest with me, to comfort me and tell me: You were a good and loving wife.
Or… I’m sorry it didn’t work out, I know how hard you tried.
And on a good day, sometimes I got lucky and… he would say exactly what I felt I needed him to say.
But on a bad day, my worst fears would be confirmed.
You could never make me happy.
You never supported me when I needed you.
He could create my elation or drive my despair with his words.
It didn’t matter what he said, good or bad, I took it as the truth and it ruled my every thought and action and controlled my emotions.
I realized that I needed to work on finding my own truth and not letting another person rock my foundation so easily.
I thought about my own truth:
Was I the type of person that I had wanted to be in our relationship?
Did I feel that I had been a good, supportive wife?
Had I been a committed spouse?
Only I knew the true answers to that and if I knew who I truly was inside, that I had done my best with the tools that I had, then there wasn’t anything anyone could say, good or bad, that would have power over me again.
I had spent years allowing someone else to dictate what was real in my own life.
It was time for me to find what was real inside of myself.
“Dear God, help me to find what is real inside of myself. Help me not to seek confirmation of the person I truly am from another. Their opinions and thoughts have no hold over who I really am.”
Your writing hits right at my “core” of emotional distress- I had a partner and essentially best friend I trusted with everything. Once he was confronted with a major lie he could not counter, our entire relationship changed and the divorce process began. Once he had broken trust, he continued a consistent, predictable course of lying about virtually everything accept what time the contractor was coming over for a home repair when we were selling the house.
Was he trying to avoid hurting me further? Did he think I was a fool and couldn’t see through his comments and actions? It was truly amazing to me.
What had always been truth between us was shattered and for him he seemed to feel he was delivering the “truth” he needed.
Yes, the lying is the issue in my divorce also. He was secretive about money. After 25 years and 2 children he still would say “its non of your concern” when I wanted to know about “his” money. I always put my whole paycheck in our joint checking account. I gave 100% financially and I tried emotionally- 5 years of marriage counseling and he would deny or lie at sessions. I went to Alanon and got the help I needed. He was never going to change. I have been gone a year and he has yet to change. Its been one of the most difficult things I have done but it take 2 open and honest people to create a marriage. There can be no secrets…
I know exactly how you feel… It is so distressing to be doing the “actual footwork” hoping to achieve a sound marriage and then to find out… someone is not working an honest program. I was with my husband for 20 years… nothing changed during that time period and he has repeated the same behaviors in his second marriage… I am so glad that you found the strength to practice “opposite action” and move forward with your own life. You have a fresh start… with yourself… working an honest program and walking your path… 🙂 D.