Do They Lie To Protect Us?

I was reading another blog not long ago and the author was talking about lying and the different types of lying. Apparently, the only bad kind of lying is the kind where you are purposefully trying to harm another person. It’s okay to lie to protect someone’s feelings. It’s okay (although non-productive) to lie to yourself. It’s okay to lie to protect yourself.

I’m not going to quibble about the rightness or wrongness of the different types of lies. What I do take issue with is this idea presented that cheaters lie to protect our feelings.

No, they do not. CF did not lie to me about Harley because he wanted to protect my feelings. He lied to me so that when he sent her money and told me, “Oh, if you see wire transfers I’ve been sending money to my mom for groceries,” I would never question him and say something like, “Really? Are you sure you’re not funneling marital funds to your no good, hooker-whore cousin?” He lied to me so that he could buy his cousin and her kid new iPhones when her own husband tossed them off his plan, and I would be none the wiser. I dutifully got online and paid that bill for the next few months before I realized what was going on. He lied to me so that he could go away for the weekend and not have to explain himself when he got back because I thought he was visiting his mom, or seeing his best friend. He lied to me so that he could get his ducks lined up in order to leave us. He set up a bank account. He interviewed for jobs. His plan was to not say a word and just vanish one day. None of that shit was about protecting my feelings.

Yes, finding out my husband was cheating on me was horrific. It hurt like hell. Finding out I had been duped was much worse. Never once did that man think, “Oh my, if Sam ever found out I was fucking my cousin again it would destroy her. I simply must keep this under wraps and lie to protect her fragile feelings.” No, his thought process was much more along the lines of, “How can I get out of this marriage with the most stuff and the least consequences?”

If he cared so much about my feelings and how hurt I would be a simple solution would have been to NOT have an affair.

This idea that cheaters lie to protect our feelings is absolute bullshit. No, it goes beyond that. It’s infuriating. They don’t lie to protect us. They lie to protect themselves.

10 thoughts on “Do They Lie To Protect Us?

  1. Ever situation is different. Making sweeping generalizations that everyone cheating is lying for the same reasons is bullshit too.

    The research article was about the four motivations for lying:

    1. lying to protect self (reputation, position, pride)
    2. lying to protect others (friends, family, others)
    3. lying to ourselves (cognitive dissonance)
    4. lying to hurt others (gossipping, false witnessing, etc)

    My secret keeping and escalating series of lies was not about getting more cake. The sexual aspects of my betrayal was over for nearly 13 months with K called C. My lies were motivated by #1 and #2. Of course I didn’t want C to ever know. It is humiliating and shameful to know you betrayed your life and Love.

    I was also trying to protect C. I read. I’m aware. I knew what the emotional toll on C might look like. I didn’t want that for her. I would have carried my secret to the grave if I could have. Not simply because I’m a liar but because I see how betrayal devestates families and our loved ones.

    What I did was hurtful and destroyed good people. I take no pride in that. It wasn’t a plan.

    More than one thing can be true at a time. It isn’t all or nothing. One of many things the researchers discovered is everyone lies. Everyone. We do it because of lie #3.

    But at no point did I get up and think, “How can I make this worse?” Or “How can I use this to hurt C or K?” Everything I did after my choice to sleep with K was about lying to keep them apart. I sold my integrity to protect my pride, my shame, my life and C.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I went back and re-read what I wrote. My point was not about the 4 types of lying, and yes, everyone lies although some lie more than others. I myself lied to the mobster last Friday. I told him I was going out with my friend J so I wouldn’t be available to video chat around 9 or 10 like usual. I lied to him twice that day because I also told him my mom and I had gone out to lunch so that’s why I didn’t video chat with him at lunch. Granted, I lied because I was in my car, driving the 10.5 hours to his place so that I could surprise him that night and throw him a surprise party the very next day. I suppose the very literal person could say that’s exactly the same as lying to your spouse about having sex with someone else.

      This was about the idea that people who cheat on you then turn around and lie to you to protect your feelings. I stand by what I wrote. There may be an overlap of reasons, but ultimately they are lying to avoid consequences. I don’t want a divorce. I don’t want to move out of my house. I don’t want to go back to work. I don’t want to see my lifestyle decline. I don’t want to be a single mom or dad. I don’t want to split my retirement. I don’t want to pay child support. I don’t want you to find anyone new; you’re my backup plan.

      You said in one of your posts that C made it very clear from the beginning that cheating was a deal breaker. You knew that when you took that step with K that you were jeopardizing your relationship with C. You did it anyway, for whatever reason, and then you lied. You may very well have wanted to avoid hurting C but ultimately you knew that if she found out it would be the end of your relationship with her. Hence, lying to protect yourself- not her.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Sam, I’m more than a bit touchy on the topic. My comment was really more of a reflection on my hurt than anything you wrote.

        I feel like I’m still trying to defend my life and my life with C. Three years of humiliating failures in my relationship and seven months of C’s silence and trolling has broken me in a lot of subtle and not so subtle ways.

        I know, based on your experience, you hurt. I read you to learn…I’ve been overly chatty all week.

        I feel like I’m dying everyday…my heart breaks for C, me, our families…and yours.


      2. And yes, she and I had a clear understanding…

        I broke the agreement. Ending the relationship is a reasonable decision. And, I have said repeatedly, my secret-keeping and escalating series of lies was about protecting my pride and hiding my shame.

        My choices were selfish, self-centered, and hurtful. Knowing that it would hurt her is a motivator too. It is not all one thing or the other.


      3. Maybe I’m full of shit. I still feel like I am trying to defend my life with C while trying to take responsibility for what I chose to do.

        …it’s been a really bad week. I don’t know where you go from here.


      4. I remember laying in bed feeling — no words can describe the agony – laying there while she was off with her boyfriend. She disappeared around 7 or 8 times before she finally walked. I had been working for 12 years to save the marriage. I remember my daughter saying, “I finally realized How much mom has hurt me. I don’t want her to come back.” She has adjusted very well to having an adult abandon their DUTY, their RESPONSIBILITIES to her. I wonder if my daughter, T, has ever thought, “Where do I go from here?”


  2. And Sam, take it from one inconsiderate and selfish prick, what your H has done to you and your family is Ugly by any measure

    And I know Ugly.

    If my last comment seemed harsh, it wasn’t my intention. Just a long day…


  3. Same bullshit, different day. Cheaters suck, they lie, they hurt children. Word salad is marvelous and makes them happy. Fact is cheaters are wastes of air. Assholes. Losers. Karma is a bitch.
    I feel that most cheaters if given the chance would be Yankees fans, not Red Sox fans.
    Hey cheaters, Fuck you! And have a nice weekend!


  4. Dear Cad-

    I believe some cheaters feel shame. I believe some feel bad and ugly for what they have done. I don’t know you personally but I’m willing to accept what you saw at face value and believe you are one of those people. And, I believe coming to the betrayed to share those feelings and expect validation of them is entitled assholery. It is the same kind of entitled assholery that lets a person cheat in the first place. Understand me please, I am not denying that you have feelings – big, difficult, unpleasant feelings over all this. I can even agree they are probably messy and tangled and not all deriving from one single motivation or point of view. But expecting this audience to validate them? Kind of a dick move, actually only marginally less assholery than expecting your ex to.

    Liked by 1 person

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