Okay. I am a 50 year old separated/divorcing man dating a 52 year old woman. I have one child, she has none. When we met she told me she had never been married, but I found out that she had been married 20 years ago and is currently undergoing a divorce after separating from a guy earlier this year. She told me she had lived with him, but never that she had been married. This lying issue is really creepy. Yesterday a neighbor asked her how the divorce was going and she ignored it and later said she was mistaken and was referring to her separation last year. I never know what is true and what isn't. She is super smart but has been out of work for years for, I believe, her tendency to lie and get into conflicts with people. I care about her a lot and she is very nice to me and my child, who she is very obsessed with and always wants to spend time with. I wonder if I should confront her with the fact that I know about the lies and try to heal this or just to run from a woman who is very beautiful and sweet but very troubled. - Worried
It’s easy to see why you have concerns about the woman you’ve been dating. On the one hand, she’s beautiful, sweet, and smart. I can understand why you are drawn to her. On the other hand, you’ve mentioned several troubling concerns. You’ve heard her change her story about her marital status, and you’ve caught her lying. There are serious warning signs when you mention her “…tendency to lie and get into conflicts with people.” I would also question her motivation to be so obsessed with your child. I found myself wondering if she has some kind of unstated agenda with you and your child—she is unemployed and has no children of her own at the age of 52. Could she be looking for an established, secure family to move into to address her own needs for security? This is only speculative, but what are her motivations for obscuring the truth and wanting to spend so much time with your child?
Regardless of those possibilities, it seems that your biggest concern should be the basic trust issue. Successful relationships are based on two vital ingredients—a safe, trusting foundation and an attuned, responsive connection with your partner. Relationships succeed when we know we can count on our partner—a predictable sense that they’re there for us in a caring manner. Your question about confronting her is very reasonable—I think you should. Let her know about your concerns without judgment or anger, and see how she responds. Since you already know she has been lying, you have a really tough decision to make. Can you continue in a relationship with someone you care for but already know you cannot trust? She won’t have the answer to that—only you can answer that question for yourself. I wish you well as you find your truth in trusting your own feelings and beliefs.