So what happens when someone lies for years about something?
Duh. We don’t trust that person again.
In a psychiatrist’s office, a common occurrence is marital infidelity. Often, that leads to divorce. It’s tough to believe someone who has looked you square in the eyes (or even not so square) and lied.
Now Lance wants to compete in triathlons, the wayward spouse wants to keep his home and possessions intact, the manipulative mortgage-loan banker wants to keep his job and not go to prison.
Some actions are deal breakers. How can you trust a person’s words if his actions were blatantly misleading?
So what about Lance Armstrong? What about your husband? What about our nation’s mortgage bankers?
My feeling is that a person who is a good liar continues to have that talent. If he wants to deceive me or you, there’s no reason he can’t succeed. Trust is a combination of what he says and how he acts. Saying “sorry” is fine, but what does it really mean? How does he really make amends? Is there a consistency to the apology?
It can take a lot of time to decide whether a liar has become a reformed liar. Whether you want to go through the process and give a liar another chance is your choice.
Are there any other issues you want to talk about before our session ends?
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Author of Chasing Backwards, a psychological mystery, The Man with a Microphone in his Ear, and Skin Dance, a mystery