affair, divorce, other woman

Is Lying Hereditary?

I am guessing that my ex lied to cover up his affair and activities to support the affair to protect himself. When I asked specifically, “Are you having an affair?” he lied and said, “No.” He also avoided the question when I posed it in an email. Hence, the reason I searched his phone to discover the truth.

When he was caught he spent months downplaying that it was really anything despite me having the text messages between them saying how much they loved each other and the sexual things they were doing and the plans they were making for the future. It was clear that the affair had been going on way longer than he admitted and it was clear he was leading a double life with respect to still being intimate with me and pretending all was normal in our family life.

After finding out about the affair and he was out of the house, another nugget of information showing his relationship with an ex-girlfriend was provided to me. I was shocked by the things he was saying he wanted to do with my girlfriends. I have no idea why he would even think the things he was saying would benefit the ex he was obviously trying to impress. He always told me he could never be interested in any of my closest best friend. Not only was I see the truth about that but now there was a history that was revealed that I was completely unaware of where he was trying to woo back his ex-girlfriend from 23 years period. When I confronted him with exact conversations I was reading between him and his ex-girlfriend, he again denied it and then tried to get rid of the written evidence. There was no way he could have thought I was fishing for information. It was too specific. How could he deny it to me. Did he really believe what he was saying?

Recently, when I had absolute proof that he was denying still being involved with Janice Andrews, the other woman he got caught in the affair with, and saw how he was flirting with someone else in the insurance industry and making dating plans with her, he again denied it and tried to make it out as though my friend (who knows the women he was coming on to and who was returning the affection and flirtation back to my ex) was crazy, had a restraining order against her and then proceeded to call her names like “transvestite”.

He is a master deflector. This I knew from our history together in trying to get him to take accountability for things. But I was blind-sided by the double life I was discovering and the deceitful activities and conversations he had going on behind my back. I had completely trusted him, trusted his love for God and the truth, so never even dreamed to not take him at his word on activities or thoughts he shared with me.

I have, however, caught him in story-telling lies. Ways he tries to make himself seem more interesting than he is or more important than he is. I never embarrassed him or called him out on these lies even in private afterwards. I attributed it to drinking and harmless, building him up to impress, ego-inflated elaborations.

A couple of things of interest. My ex and his brother would discuss their father’s same style of lying and storytelling. They even got their mom involved in the last one that I was aware of–their dad being part of the CIA. He told them that the 50-year secrecy expiration period was up so he was now able to disclose that he actually lost his eye to a bullet and not from an accident. Their mom said she had no reason not to believe him.

The other lie that my ex’s brother told us about was that their dad claimed he used to run the 100 meter in a time that was faster than the Olympic record.

When his dad was last out visiting us he was telling me a story that someone had been telling him that he deemed to be a lie. He told me that he said to this person, “Don’t bullshit a bull shitter.”

They are many other stories that always seemed fabricated to me that my father-in-law would share. He always was claiming that some big firm, even while into his 70’s, wanted to pay him big bucks to work for them but nothing ever materialized. He made what ended up being terrible business investments and even took our money and our friends’ money for these investments and continually claimed that we were so close to a huge payout from our investment. He also claimed he was abused as a child and into his teens. Not sure now if any of this was true.

I found this article written for CNN news by medical health expert Dr. Charles Raison, psychiatrist, Emory University Medical School:

“There is a type of extreme lying that does indeed appear to have a strong genetic component. Officially known as “pseudologia fantastica,” this condition is characterized by a chronic tendency to spin out outrageous lies, even when no clear benefit to the lying is apparent. Often people with this affliction seem unable to even recognize that they are lying, and they seem blind to where truth ends and falsehood starts. Probably the greatest portrayal of this in literature is Willie Loman in the play “Death of a Salesman” by Arthur Miller.

This type of extreme lying does often start at a fairly early age and can be a lifelong tendency and serious problem. And often it doesn’t exist in isolation, but is part of a larger pattern of chronic symptoms that clinicians refer to as “sociopathy.” These symptoms include a tendency toward criminal behavior, an inability to control one’s impulses and/or make future plans, explosive anger and tendency toward physical violence, a reckless disregard for the safety of self or others, a pattern of irresponsible behavior and — probably most important — an inability to understand and/or respect the rights of other people.

People with antisocial personality often start life as hyperactive kids who bully others, who lie, who are constantly in trouble with authorities and get into drugs and alcohol by their teen years, and who often display striking cruelty to animals…Many studies have shown that antisocial behavior is highly genetic. For example, studies have shown that the children of criminals in prison have much higher rates of developing antisocial personality than the average population, even if they are adopted into “good” families and have never met their imprisoned parents.

Having said this, however, it is also clear that the best protection one can give a child who is genetically at risk for antisocial personality disorder is a consistent, firm, but loving family environment growing up. Studies show that genetically at-risk children are much more likely to become sociopaths as adults if they are raised in abusive or neglectful homes, or are subject to severe physical punishment for their wrongdoing.

What about treatment? Unfortunately, no one has ever discovered a medication or type of psychotherapy that consistently works for adults with antisocial personality — a fact that contributes greatly to the tragedy of the disorder, both for the sufferer and — even more unfortunately — for family members and others that are often damaged in one way or another by the person. This fact really highlights how important it is to intervene early in the lives of young people who are clearly heading in this very bad direction.

This disorder is characterized by a longstanding pattern of disregard for other people’s rights, often crossing the line and violating those rights. This pattern of behavior has occurred since age 15 (although only adults 18 years or older can be diagnosed with this disorder) and is marked by the presence of the majority of these symptoms:

• failure to conform to social norms with respect to lawful behaviors, as indicated by repeatedly performing acts that are grounds for arrest;
• deceitfulness, as indicated by repeated lying, use of aliases, or conning others for personal profit or pleasure;
• impulsivity or failure to plan ahead;
• irritability and aggressiveness, as indicated by repeated physical fights or assaults;
• reckless disregard for safety of self or others;
• consistent irresponsibility, as indicated by repeated failure to sustain consistent work behavior or honor financial obligations;
• lack of remorse, as indicated by being indifferent to or rationalizing having hurt, mistreated, or stolen from another.”

Concerning to me is the fact that not only do I recognize these traits and characteristics in my father-in-law and ex but also in my child.

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4 thoughts on “Is Lying Hereditary?

  1. Scorned wife, I read this your post then looked up Anti Social Personality – sounding very similar to psychopathic personality to me. And, WOW, This is soooooo close to my husbands behavior, I guess I should be happy mine only had affairs with women he paid to leave, I would hate to think about having to deal with a girlfriend. I can say as soon as it is over and the divorce is final (hopefully soon) you can truly start mending.
    The CIA comment from your husbands family – Again WOW, my ex-husband always would portray he was in the FBI, someone at work said he looked FBI, and he played it up from that point forward. The best I can explain this is their extreme need to feel important, so they invent this world and maybe even believe it is true.
    I can say without a doubt, you can move on and it feels so incredible to have that freedom from the drama and crazy of the past.
    I hope you keep writing, I have learned so much from the experience and I am going to follow you and said a little prayer for you this morning for your strength thru this time.

    • Thank you so much for your response and I loved the Nehemiah scripture from your comment on another post. The human psyche is fascinating if you can pull yourself out from under the consequences of living with personality disorders and just watch it as a third-party. Knowing as much as I know about the lies I have discovered I still catch myself wondering about everything he says currently as to whether or not he it is true, or does he think it to be try, or is he trying to manipulate, or is he trying to deceive and then it can wander to what might his motive be and then I have to stop myself because there is no way to ever know. I believed everything he said in the past. Never questioned; only trusted. Now that I have proof of widespread deception in several areas of our lives, it is like the boy who cried wolf. Once you have lied and that pattern has been established it doesn’t matter if you speak the truth because no one believes you. Thank you for your encouragement about the future. Especially thank you for your prayers.

      • I too have experienced what you say & found the thoughts maddening until I stopped. Once trust is gone, well you know. I always thought of my ex as the scorpion and I was the fox whom he killed us over & over. But now I am the phoenix so far above he can’t even be seen.

  2. Sally says:

    Do you think your lying to the police of vandalizing your ex’s girlfriends car is OK. Do you think showing up at his work and home repeatedly after being asked not to attend is reasonable and normal? Do you think contacting your ex’s girlfriends employer and trying to get her fired is reasonable and normal behavior or did you conveniently forget to tell this to your friends?

    The host of this site is Robyn Graham Cherrie of Victoria, BC

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