Should I Confront the Woman I Am Dating About Her Lies and Secrecy or Just Break Up?

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
Dear 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.

Kind regards,

Richard Loebl, MSW, LCSW, BCD, is a board-certified psychotherapist, consultant, and educator with over 25 years of experience in the fields of mental health and chemical dependency. Although his primary specialties include men's issues, couples counseling, mood issues, and addictions, Richard has special interests in attachment issues, emotionally focused therapy (EFT), and in the use of mindfulness, meditation, and mind-body approaches.
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  • Sot

    September 28th, 2012 at 8:11 PM

    Communication is essential n sometime there are reason people lies so it will be good to give the person time to reflect n chance for clarification n also prepare yourself to accept the truth n forgive if your love for her is more than loving yourself…

  • Brent Davis

    September 29th, 2012 at 5:05 AM

    Confront her!
    I am the type of man who always needs answers, resolutions.
    Even if I knew that this was not a relationship the I would pursue, I still think that I would want, need, to know what was behind all of the lying and deception.

  • phil

    September 29th, 2012 at 7:34 AM

    Cut your losses and run dude. This is a woman who obviously has some issues and you don’t want to get caught up in all of that and never be able to get out. People have this habit of showing you who they are, even when we don’t necessarily want to see. But it sounds like you might be ready, so I say do it.

  • Renee

    September 29th, 2012 at 2:22 PM

    Her lying to other people should be a warning bell to you.What’s to say she has lied about more things and you just don’t know the truth about those yet?Can you risk finding out she has hidden many other things at a later time?Can you bear something like that?Also,would you be comfortable living your life without trust in your partner?You need to ask yourself this!

  • lida

    September 29th, 2012 at 5:49 PM

    Think of it this way – would you rather go away from her without giving her a chance to speak (or even a chance for yourself to know the truth) or would you want to find out and see if the reason was something totally different all the time and that you are still convinced about her? I really suggest you talk to her and find out. Its not necessary that she is evil because she hid things from you,maybe there is more to it and that’s the reason she hasn’t told you (?)

  • Tasha

    September 29th, 2012 at 11:10 PM

    Its great to find someone you like and admire but its never great to be lied to. Once a liar always one, that’s my philosophy. We all lie but how big a lie it is and about what those are the important aspects. And by the sound of it, this woman has not been honest with the person who has written in. i’d suggest him to confront her about it.

  • kellie e

    September 30th, 2012 at 4:46 AM

    The one thing that I would be the most afraid of is that you say she is obsessed with your child and always wants to spend a lot of time with him.
    Does that sound normal to you, given all of the other deceit that she has shown to you?
    I would be more than a little afriad to allow someone this deceptive to be with my child alone. What if she decides to use this against you and would retaliate against you in some way by using your child as bait?
    I know that we do not like to think things like this but it happens everyday and your child could get hurt as a result.
    For me this would be the time to cut my losses and say goodbye.

  • Brian

    September 30th, 2012 at 8:26 AM

    Is the confrontation worth your time and energy? It takes a whole lot of energy to go through that kind of confrontation. Sometimes it might be for the best to just avoid the argument and break it off quick and easy.

  • salina

    September 30th, 2012 at 9:04 AM

    get out of it while you still can..liars often have enough excuses up their sleeve and if she hasn’t yet come around and told you the truth even after that question from her neighbor then that is enough of an alarm if you ask me!

  • Nancy

    September 30th, 2012 at 3:47 PM

    If you really do care about her as you say you do,then you do not actually need to ask this question. You already know what to do – talk to her about it and express your concerns. Its not right to run away, especially from someone you care so much about!!

  • Cecilia

    October 1st, 2012 at 4:03 AM

    Why not encourage her to get help? It is evident that you think that she has a problem, so if this is someone that you truly wish to remain in your life, then go to her and try to get her some help. If she cares for you too, then maybe with some encouragement from you, she will see that she actually could use some help and would not be so hesitant about seeking it out.

  • gabe hutton

    October 2nd, 2012 at 4:19 AM

    I believe that if this is a relationship worth fighting for and saving then you will seek out counseling for the two of you together.
    It sounds like you have some pretty strong feelings for this woman- are these feelings and a relationship that you are willing to throw away?
    All of us tell lies and have secrets that we keep from one another. Perhaps she acts like this to the extreme.
    But you have to give some serious thought as to whether you think that this is something worth fighting for, and if it is, then don’t let it go.

  • Liam

    October 2nd, 2012 at 4:35 PM

    Have you done anything mate to make your partner feel like she has to lie and hide things?

  • Shaw

    October 3rd, 2012 at 4:15 AM

    With a woman (or a man for that matter) with issues that run as deep as hers apparently do. I suspect that you would have ahrd time just breaking things off without any sort of explanation to her. She will be back again and gaain to find out why you don’t want to be with her, and I think that people like this are only going to make your life a living you know what. In my opinion you need to sit her down and be very honest about your concerns. Not that this will solve the problems but it may can bring both of you the closure that you need to move on.

  • andrea kramer

    October 9th, 2012 at 1:03 PM

    This is my second marriage. I always knew in the 14 years together that there was something that wasn’t quite right in our marriage but never knew what it was. After years of being together, I realized he was a pathological liar. One day he accidently told me the truth about an experience and from that time forward never admitted it again but lied about it.. Lying is a curse in a marriage. You are never sure what is going on .My husband got into 10,000 dollars in debt four different times. Like a fool I paid his debts off. He never did tell me how he got these debts but gladly took the mioney from me. I never saw a dime of it back. The lies were driving me crazy. If I asked what he did during the day he would say I was a nagging wife and never give me a straight answer. To this day I still don’t know what he is hiding but at the first lie I should have run the other way. Liars never change and they will never admit to a lie even if the truth is in front of their face. If you find out your spouse is lying, he will never stop. Give yourself an opportunity to have a peaceful life and leave. My husband wouldn’t leave so I had to lock him out of the house. Our relationship was more like mother and child than woman and man. DON’T Stay with a liar. You can’t change him. You will be miserable and waste precious time you could be with an honest man.

  • Mary

    March 24th, 2018 at 6:31 AM

    Run as fast as you can. This woman is a gold digger and using your kid to make you think she’d be a good wife & mother. #1. Maslow’s heirarchy of needs show that if a woman is unemployed then she cannot attend to the higher needs such as emotions/sex/aesthetics/enjoying an opera etc etc, if their immediate food-shelter-provision needs are not met. #2. No woman really loves to spend time with someone else’s kid. They’d rather be in adult conversation so clearly she’s trying to impress you for a free ride for life. Don’t bite the bait.

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