A reputation for being honest: Do I deserve it?

I have only been blogging on this site for a month and a half now, but I have developed a reputation for being honest.

Honesty is an important trait for me because I lived for 20 years in a marriage where lying was the norm. You see, my first wife H was, and still is to this day, a pathological liar. In psychiatry they call it pseudologia fantastica, and it is defined as:

“falsification entirely disproportionate to any discernible end in view, may be extensive and very complicated, and may manifest over a period of years or even a lifetime”

H lied about anything and everything, and was so good at it that people believed she was telling the truth no matter how farfetched the idea was. Even when, time after time, she was caught in her lies, we all still believed everything she had to say.

The first big lie I remember catching her in was before we got married. We had a big fight and I announced my intention to move from New Mexico back to Arizona to be closer to my parents. The reason I was going to leave her and move was I had caught her in a few little lies and I didn’t want to be involved with her anymore. But there was no way she was going to accept my plans, because it was not what she wanted.

So she let me in on a little secret. She was pregnant.

So I was trapped because I am a do-the-right-thing kind of guy. Even though being with her was not what I wanted, there was no way I was going to leave her to raise my child on her own. I wasn’t brought up that way. I was taught to take care of your responsibilities no matter how tough they were.

So I asked her to move with me to Arizona. My dad arranged for us to temporarily live in a house he had access to. But, being a good Jehovah’s Witness, there was no way he would let H and I live there if we weren’t married. So the first day we arrived in Tucson, we got a marriage license and went to the Justice of the Peace and got married.

I was 18 years old.

We didn’t tell my parents that she was pregnant because they would never have helped us. My parents still believed that I had only left my religion on a temporary basis, and I let them believe it so that they had hope for me and would continue to provide shelter for us.

After a few months, I started to realize that something was wrong. Her stomach had not grown an inch and she hadn’t made arrangements with a doctor for prenatal care. But I gave her the benefit of the doubt and pushed away the feeling that something fishy was going on. I waited another month before I couldn’t ignore the situation anymore and asked her when she was going to see a doctor.

She informed me that she had a miscarriage a few weeks before, but just forgot to tell me.

Now, I was naïve, but I wasn’t stupid. I knew for a fact that she was lying, because no one would just forget something like that. But, for reasons I still don’t understand, I never confronted her for it. I knew she had trapped me. She had realized I was a stand-up guy and that I wouldn’t leave her, because I was brought up being taught that you don’t leave a marriage for any reason.

This was the lie that our marriage was based on and it sent the tone for the remaining years I spent with her. She lied about everything because she knew I would take it like a doormat and never confront her about her obvious fabrications. I had as much to do with the tone of our marriage as she did, because I never called her on her lying.

Over the years, lying became so ingrained in our marriage that I would even cover for her if she was ever caught. I went along with her stories, because I was taught that a man stood up for their spouse no matter what. Lying became so easy that I would catch myself doing it on many occasions.

Years later, after she left me, I promised myself that I would not lie again. Putting up with it, even promoting it, had taken its toll on me and I couldn’t stand living a fake life anymore. H continued on living lies with her new man, so I distanced myself as much as I could from the mother of my children.

I must say that I have done rather well with that promise to myself, although I still do catch myself at times lying by omission and have to correct the behavior.  Most of the time it’s simply a case of not being honest with myself and others about how I feel. Sometimes it’s just easier to tell people I am fine than telling them the truth about the pain I am going through.

Now I find the truth to be refreshing. I have been sincere in my marriage and to my kids. I have been straightforward when I blog and have developed a reputation for it. I am happier living life as an open book, never having to hide myself in a lie.

Have you ever lived a lie, even if it was a lie by omission? Please leave a comment and let me know your story.

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The previous post was inspired by the Daily Posts’ prompt for the day and the Zero-to-Hero challenge for day 16. We were asked to write about the following:

Do you have a reputation? What is it, and where did it come from? Is it accurate? What do you think about it?

I hope I did the subject some justice.

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11 thoughts on “A reputation for being honest: Do I deserve it?

    • I tried to leave a comment on your page, but the button on your comment window would not show up. I will try again later.

      Here is what I was going to say:

      Amen sister! I like how you think!

      It’s amazing we both almost wrote about the same thing today.

      Happy blogging!

  1. If you tell the truth and your honest there is nothing to remember. If you lie then soon you forget who you told what lie to, and you get all mixed up and then you self destruct. Honesty is always the best policy. Great post..

    • It was amazing to me that my first wife was able to keep all her lies straight and knew what she told each person. I guess she had a lot of practice.

      Thank you for commenting and reading!

  2. I really enjoyed this post. I’m not much of a liar because it causes more headaches than anything. Then you have to remember your lies and who you told which story to. It is so much easier to just be upfront and tell the truth. Keep up the great work!

  3. I cannot say that I have had to live with a lie. Little lies here and there and some by omission, sure. But I’ve never told a huge lie. A lie that would follow me around like some people have. I’m working on being more honest. I too have found life is better when you’re not stacking lies upon lies.

    Great post.

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