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Title: Why Do People Lie? Author: Margaret Paul, Ph.D. E-mail: mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org Copyright: © 2005 by Margaret Paul URL: http://www.innerbonding.com Word Count: 728 Category: Relationships
Why Do People lie? Margaret Paul, Ph.D.
Amanda and Ron had been married for six years and had two small children. I had counseled them during some difficult times in their marriage, but had not heard from them for a while. Then Amanda scheduled an emergency phone session with me. She was very upset.
“I just found out that Ron’s been watching porno on Internet and lying to me about it. I had thought this was going on a couple of weeks ago because of a site I found on computer, but when I asked him about it, he denied it and explained it away. He is not too computer savvy – he doesn’t know how to delete sites - and today I found a number of sites he has visited. I can’t believe this! I’m very upset about porno, but I’m devastated that he lied to me! I feel like trust has gone out of our marriage, and without trust, what do we have? Why did he lie to me?”
“Amanda, how would you have responded if he had told you truth?”
“I would have been really upset and disappointed in him. I probably would have gotten angry. We have a good sex life, so why is he using porno?”
“Well, he lied to you because he knew that this is way you would have reacted. His lying is his way of controlling your reactions, and your anger is your way of controlling his behavior. As long as you get angry when you hear truth, chances are he will lie to you. As your children get older, they, too, will lie to you to avoid your anger and judgment. It takes a very strong person to tell truth and deal with another’s anger and judgment, and Ron is not that strong. He is very afraid of your anger and judgment and will do anything to avoid it, including lying.”