Long term consequences of lies/omissions & RJ - Talk About Marriage
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post #1 of 383 (permalink) Old 09-08-2019, 12:45 PM Thread Starter
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Long term consequences of lies/omissions & RJ

On TAM, the popular way of looking at something that was lied about or hidden, and discovered many (decades?) later, is to claim the issue is retroactive jealousy and largely a problem with the person who (finally) discovered it. Beyond whether that is actually the case (retroactive jealousy) and not a revelation of the root of some issues in the marriage, it also implies that it's better to keep the secret if you believe you can keep it a secret.

That gives power to the decision to lie in the first place. And here's the thing about many lies. Once created, that lie becomes an increasingly-bigger problem, over time, if or when the truth is revealed. So much may have been built upon that lie that the risk of an extremely-negative response becomes the overwhelming driving force to keep the lie going.

Initially, that lie or omission might have felt like what someone needed to keep someone interested in them. It might be something that, if revealed, might frighten the other person away, or at least put them in a negative light. I'm not suggesting that everyone should be an open book at every point in a relationship, but there is a HUGE difference between not bringing something up (because it might be none of their business after all) and not telling the truth, or a reason for not answering (such as, it's my right to have some privacy about my past) when directly asked.

Lies and omissions can create retroactive jealousy that otherwise might not have happened. Even 42 years later. Things that, if discussed early on, would have been no big deal. Things that, because they were outright lied about, created a very different narrative, a different story, about the person you fell in love with. You followed that script and behaved accordingly. You may have changed your own views to better accomodate his or hers. And in some of us, that early story imprinted upon our brains and became the foundation for our lives.

Still easy for many to say look, years have past, you've been generally happy, he/she's been there for you, do you really want to risk throwing it all away by bringing up stuff from ages ago? But using the story theme, stories have beginnings, middles and ends. You don't start in the middle. Sometimes an effective way to frame a story is to actually reveal the end and then show what lead up to it. The beginning is always important, at least to those who believe in stories and narratives that describe a journey and not a series of unpredictable events.

My own personal experience leads me to believe that we routinely discredit the damage that can be done by lies and omissions many, many decades past. We crucify mercilessly for those in the present or near present or even 10 years ago. But unless it's adultery, the ramifications of something discovered is supposed to somehow be softened greatly with the passage of time. For many, that's not true, and those lies and omissions may very well be tied to creating a nearly PTSD-like issue for the person holding back, because that person may be wracked by guilt, at least initially, and over time harden themself into believing that lying (about other things) is the right thing to do, because it helps them to rationalize the earlier decision(s). It can poison the relationship in insidious ways.

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post #2 of 383 (permalink) Old 09-08-2019, 01:15 PM
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Re: Long term consequences of lies/omissions & RJ

You know, I've never encountered this IRL and I was involved in ministry for over two decades. I've seen plenty of other ugly relationship issues up close and personal but I've only seen this one online.

I know it happens obviously. We have several men who this has happened to here.
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post #3 of 383 (permalink) Old 09-08-2019, 01:57 PM
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Re: Long term consequences of lies/omissions & RJ

What is your experience with this? This happened with you?
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post #4 of 383 (permalink) Old 09-08-2019, 02:06 PM
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Re: Long term consequences of lies/omissions & RJ

People who are not authentic suck to be married to. Nuff said.
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post #5 of 383 (permalink) Old 09-08-2019, 02:44 PM
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Honesty is preferable. I knew that my W’s partner before me was better endowed and better in bed than I was. (Though if I were her best just learning the ropes 16 years ago, that would be sad.) I know who her TOTGA is, etc. Nothing is off limits.

She did some “white lying” earlier on, but hardly any of that anymore. For example, she came up with excuses why I shouldn’t use Listerine, then I finally learned that the smell reminded her of her ex. When I recently bought Aqua Velva to try it out, she just straight up said that her grandfather wore it so don’t wear it.

I think the less lying and deception the better, with few exceptions.

Her parents lie to each other constantly. They have a sign in their house, “happiness is being married to your best friend”... and we think, WTF? Her FIL told her that if she wanted to go out with her friends, she could just tell me that she’s doing X and it wouldn’t matter. But if my wife wants to out on a GNO or see a friend, she just tells me. When we were recently married, she asked if I was okay with her having lunch with an ex-boyfriend to get closure, I said sure. We just don’t do so much of the jealous stuff.

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post #6 of 383 (permalink) Old 09-08-2019, 03:46 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Long term consequences of lies/omissions & RJ

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What is your experience with this? This happened with you?
More on that later but yes. Out on a bike ride right now. You can look at my diary thread for background.
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post #7 of 383 (permalink) Old 09-08-2019, 06:20 PM
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Re: Long term consequences of lies/omissions & RJ

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More on that later but yes. Out on a bike ride right now. You can look at my diary thread for background.
Took a look and I recall you now though I could use a shortened version of the conclusion.
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post #8 of 383 (permalink) Old 09-08-2019, 06:44 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Long term consequences of lies/omissions & RJ

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Took a look and I recall you now though I could use a shortened version of the conclusion.
The conclusion is a work in progress; this is part of that conclusion. :-) Shortened version is that we both went to individual counseling for a while, then managed to get referred out to marriage counseling (a tough trick with our health plan). The first visit was encouraging; the second visit confirmed my feeling that things would likely get worse before they got better. Each person is looking for something the MC says to prove that they are right and the other wrong. It's ironic that, in this battle, the most-defensive person wins. Working on leveling the playing field and getting a winning relationship instead of a winning person out of this.
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post #9 of 383 (permalink) Old 09-09-2019, 12:45 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Long term consequences of lies/omissions & RJ

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Took a look and I recall you now though I could use a shortened version of the conclusion.
New info-

We had an hour long talk this afternoon (my wife and I) during which, for the first time ever, she said she had a traumatic sexual event with the guy prior to me. She is mad about having to discuss this with me, thinks it would have been better if she'd never ever had to bring it up. She also said she was very much enjoying sexual activities back then (not sex itself) and felt really guilty about it. Choosing me was an attempt to do a 180. She still has no clue as to why I've suffered for 42 years over her issues along those lines, why it's something that she never told a therapist about this prior to this.

She's basically mad at me. She also said "The only thing she looks forward to are our vacations." That's been a big issue since the beginning. The complete lack of anticipation of something pleasurable. I explained to her that the most painful thing I read in her diary was the remark to that immediately-prior boyfriend "Not tonight but I'll make it up to you tomorrow!" not because it might have been about sex but because prior to me, she really looked forward to what she was going to be doing the next day or whatever. That hasn't been the case pretty much the entire time we've been married.

So she's got an appointment with the MC alone, hoping that, maybe without me there, she can come to understand what's gone on in her past and what might be done to help her get past something she has repressed and not wanted help with.
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post #10 of 383 (permalink) Old 09-09-2019, 01:12 AM
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Re: Long term consequences of lies/omissions & RJ

Dude you know sometimes people just have to come to grips with the fact that you guys don't fit.

Why are you reading her diaries to figure her out after years of marriage? You shouldn't be doing that or be having to do that.

She has no clue why you suffered because she doesn't care that you suffered, at least not enough to try to find out.

You wife has absolutely no empathy for you at all, you are like her couch.

The whole relationship seems dysfunctional.


Last edited by sokillme; 09-09-2019 at 01:26 AM.
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post #11 of 383 (permalink) Old 09-09-2019, 02:43 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Long term consequences of lies/omissions & RJ

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Dude you know sometimes people just have to come to grips with the fact that you guys don't fit.

Why are you reading her diaries to figure her out after years of marriage? You shouldn't be doing that or be having to do that.

She has no clue why you suffered because she doesn't care that you suffered, at least not enough to try to find out.

You wife has absolutely no empathy for you at all, you are like her couch.

The whole relationship seems dysfunctional.
The diary stuff is from a while back. Not sure what you mean by me being her couch? Although also not sure I want to know. :-)

Weve got something going for us to have lasted 40 years so far. Dont think were as dysfunctional as Ive made it sound. You are correct about the lack of empathy but thats one of the reasons were in MC. Things are better now than before because at least were having the conversation and addressing one of the sources of her depression.

We both feel great love for each other but were it not for the crisis brought on by the diary reading, wed be in an even-worse place now. Never waste a good crisis and this one is not being wasted.
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post #12 of 383 (permalink) Old 09-09-2019, 02:46 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Long term consequences of lies/omissions & RJ

Im getting the feeling I should just comment in other threads; the few Ive started generally seem to put me in a bad light. I dont think Im that bad a guy, but maybe my purpose truly is to serve as a warning to others. :-)
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post #13 of 383 (permalink) Old 09-09-2019, 05:10 AM
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Re: Long term consequences of lies/omissions & RJ

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The diary stuff is from a while back. Not sure what you mean by me being her couch? Although also not sure I want to know. :-)

We’ve got something going for us to have lasted 40 years so far. Don’t think we’re as dysfunctional as I’ve made it sound. You are correct about the lack of empathy but that’s one of the reasons we’re in MC. Things are better now than before because at least we’re having the conversation and addressing one of the sources of her depression.

We both feel great love for each other but we’re it not for the crisis brought on by the diary reading, we’d be in an even-worse place now. Never waste a good crisis and this one is not being wasted.
I wish you all the luck in the world... my wife has - apart from pure obsessional OCD - many childhood issues she is not able to resolve. She tried IC recently and abandoned it after 2 sessions. I thought we might be on the path to recovery, but no. Not possible. She never lied to me about the issues, but she never explained the severity to me. I wish she did. Needless to say, we have lost all hopes now and we will go separate ways after 33 years together. I think it's a positive thing you are trying to solve the issues together.
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post #14 of 383 (permalink) Old 09-09-2019, 07:24 AM
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Re: Long term consequences of lies/omissions & RJ

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Im getting the feeling I should just comment in other threads; the few Ive started generally seem to put me in a bad light. I dont think Im that bad a guy, but maybe my purpose truly is to serve as a warning to others. :-)
I find your situation helpful to learn about and I'm interested in the process you two are going through.
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post #15 of 383 (permalink) Old 09-09-2019, 07:35 AM
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Re: Long term consequences of lies/omissions & RJ

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I find your situation helpful to learn about and I'm interested in the process you two are going through.
Me too! I hope it really works for you!
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