The foundation of every relationship is trust. Without trust, there is no relationship. Lying about one’s marital status is one of the most severe breaches of trust. Here is some advice to help you if you find out that the person you are dating is actually married to someone else.
Finding out that your partner isn’t single (when he/she indicated otherwise) is a relationship deal breaker. When a person lies, you can’t trust that person to not lie in the future about other important matters. The lie is a breach of a basic relationship clause that is sufficient grounds for you to give the relationship a permanent pause!
When we find out that we’ve been lied to in an intimate relationship, it’s important to conduct a relationship post mortem to study the ways in which we lied to ourselves by ignoring our red flags and brushing our own suspicions under the rug. Doing this will help you avoid the situation happening next time.
It is very common for us to choose partners who we know deep-down will damage us the way our parents did, and to overlook their flagrant flaws. I call this Setting the Stage. Once the stage is set, the unconscious goal is to play out the worst, most painful aspects of our childhood in the hope that this time around we will achieve what I call a Happy Ending, which is the resolution and healing of our Old Scar.
So, for example, if we had a parent who was a liar, we will be drawn to a lying partner - secretly hoping that we will somehow manage to “fix” our partner and get him/her to be honest with us the way our parent wasn’t. If we can manage to get our partner to give us the treatment that we always craved from our parent, we will feel as though we are correcting what went wrong with our parent, and the Old Scar will be healed. This looks good on paper, but rarely works out the way we hope, precisely because the partners we choose are limited and damaged in the exact way our parents were, hence our partners can’t give us any more or any better treatment than our parents did!
When we are caught in the unconscious dance of trying to “fix” our defective parent through a partner who acts as a parental stand-in, we are blind to our partner’s flaws. Our blindness springs from a desperate need to heal. This desperation to heal makes us not see the flaws because we are too busy hoping against hope that this time around we will finally succeed in changing/fixing our parent. In fact, we don’t want to see the truth. The truth would drive us give up on the partner. Doing so would feel like abandoning all hope of healing our Old Scar.
Realize that you can’t make a leopard change its spots, meaning you can’t fix somebody else. The next time you begin a relationship, keep your eyes wide open and beware of the tendency to choose players who are likely to run the same numbers on you that your parents did. In the future, keep your eyes peeled for those red flags!
Because the hope to heal is strong, it is easy for liars to play upon our hope and try to convince us to accept their apology and/or promises that they will never lie to you again. Your hope of healing your Old Scar will make you vulnerable to being seduced into giving the liar yet another chance. Beware. Once a liar, always a liar.
Liars are very good at selling “oceanfront property in Nebraska.” They will give you all kinds of excuses and explanations that shift the blame away from them and back onto outside circumstances. Don’t let yourself be snowed.
Often a liar will turn the tables on you and blame shift. When liars pull this stunt, you will hear statements that are accusatory, like, “I told you. You weren’t listening.” Or, “I never said I wasn’t married.” Don’t buy into the guilt that these statements are intended to bring. Stay strong in your commitment to yourself and your own emotional wellbeing.
Liars will often twist the facts so convincingly that you will begin to doubt yourself and perhaps even feel like you’re losing it. Stay strong. You know the truth. When your head starts to spin, know that you are being played.
As kids, it’s natural to protect our parents and put the blame on ourselves. Liars are often excellent con artists who are skilled at playing into your psychological fault lines. If they succeed in convincing you that you are all wrong, and that you’ve totally misunderstood or falsely accused them, you are in danger of stepping back into the fire with this person. When you do, you will relive your Old Scar, rather than heal it. You can’t afford to allow yourself to be re-injured. The bottom line: Run for your life.
When you find out that the person you are dating is actually married to someone else, the emotional turmoil can be devastating. The most important thing you can do is to not buy into the lies that are often used to justify the liar’s actions. You are not at fault and you deserve someone who won’t lie to you.
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