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One common trait that UMPs exhibit is the ability to lie or deceive. If you are involved in a relationship with an UMP, you may be wondering where the truth ends and the lies begin or vice-versa. This is very unsettling and destabilizing to a partner. It erodes trust and breaks down relationships. When the spoken word cannot be trusted, it is like words have no meaning. Internally, precious words such as “I love you” have the meaning of “Blah blah blah”.

Another pernicious effect of catching someone in a web of lies, is the re-evaluation of the past. When it is revealed that you have been lied to, inevitably, it will call everything into question. Not being able to tell fact from fiction is not the best relationship foundation.

What is a lie?

Excellent question!

Webster’s dictionary defines it as “to make an untrue statement with intent to deceive” or “to create a false or misleading impression”. If we take a closer look at the definition, we may achieve some understanding.

If someone makes a statement such as “the sky is blue” , how is it determined to be true or false? Well, it is verified. Both standing there, you each look up at the sky and verify that the color is blue, you make an agreement with each other and it is determined to be true. That was easy.

However, when a statement cannot be verified, or can only be poorly verified, the truth is more fluid. Let’s take another example… “I ate a salad for lunch”, how would the veracity of this statement be established. One could search for eyewitnesses, corroborating statements, look for evidence of purchase etc. You may be thinking, why on earth would anyone care about such an insignificant thing. This is my point entirely, people make statements all day long about various things and these statements go largely unverified. If you think of any given conversation, it is filled with statements, thoughts, sentiments and opinions. When speaking to another person, there is a presumption of truth. It is ridiculous to think that every statement should be verified in order to establish truth. Imagine this conversation:

Someone says “I had a delicious blueberry muffin this morning”

Another “ Did anyone see you eat the muffin? How do I really know that you ate it? You don’t really LOOK like you had a blueberry muffin, you expect me to believe that you ate a blueberry muffin in your house by yourself with no witnesses”

Although I am sure that some of you may have been on the receiving end of these types of statements, I think that we can agree that, in a normal day-to-day conversation, a statement such as “I had a blueberry muffin for breakfast” would be given instant credibility.

My point is this, many things are stated and given instant credibility. There is no need, or really any point, in doubting the nature of all statements. When meeting someone, if they say they work in accounting, it is normal to presume that they work in accounting. Most people would not lie about things of this nature. Many UMPs do. There is no way of knowing where the truth ends and the lies begin

How do you know if someone is lying?

The short answer is : You don’t until you catch them.

This is a fascinating subject. When an UMP lies, he/she may actually convinced themselves that they are not lying and therefore are worthy of academy awards. The only way that you will ever know that someone is lying, is when the truth rears its head.

Short story

I found myself on the same online forum and my UMP. He did not know that I was there, but I recognised him through his handle, profile etc. My eyes were opened. I could not believe that I was being lied to. No affairs or anything of that nature, but rather, my UMP was lying about inviting guys over for a BBQ. How strange, why would anyone need to lie about such a thing, I wondered.

Knowing I was being deceived, I went into full observation mode.

I questioned my UMP about buying so much stuff for dinner, he replied “we will have leftovers for the week”, I asked about other things and was lied to. Dinner happened, BBQ, guests dropped in unexpectedly (except that it was planned by UMP) etc. Everything looked and sounded as normal as could be. Except that I had been deceived into thinking that these guys had just “dropped in”.

To this day nobody can say why my UMP was lying. We entertain a lot, we host all the time and enjoy their social life, why lie??? Because it is who they are and what they do.

This gave me an opportunity to witness first hand a person lying to my face and my inability to detect it. I was looking for clues or signs but did not see any, leaving me with a very unsettling question...Is he lying ALL the time? No way to know.

I say this in order to dispel that nagging assumption by others that if you are in a relationship with a lying and deceiving UMP you are somehow gullible or that you would “deep down” know the truth. That may be the case in certain circumstances, however, in certain circumstances it is impossible to tell. Especially with an UMP.

As unsettling as this may be, it is a cold hard fact, if you are in a relationship with an UMP, you may never know that difference between the truth and a lie. It is a very difficult aspect of these relationships.

Is it still a lie if it is half true?

This is truly a gem and a specialty of certain UMPs. Telling a lie book-ended by truth is still a lie. For example, When asked about their whereabouts an UMP may say “I was playing hockey” and conveniently omit the part when the UMP left early from hockey and hooked up with someone afterwards.

In their twisted world, this scenario may be seen as telling the truth, because there is a portion of truth. Perhaps this is why they can pull it off so easily. Nonetheless, the result is the same for the person on the receiving end. They have been deceived.

What to do when you are involved with a liar?

The best thing to do is to disconnect from them completely. When someone lies, they can not be trusted again. However, if you are reading this, you are likely in a situation that prevents you from disconnecting completely.

Good or bad, my strategy is to be detached from the truth. It may sound a bit confusing at first but it is a coping strategy. Going back to our earlier example “I had a blueberry muffin for breakfast”...instead of registering this person has a blueberry muffin for breakfast, I register, “it does not matter to me what this person has for breakfast”. This way the truth has no importance to me.

On the other hand, when there is a situation when the truth does actually matter, for example, if you have joined finances with an UMP, if you are sharing kids with an UMP, if you are in a legal dispute with an UMP etc.

Here are some suggestions

1. Document everything. Keep a journal of conversations, meetings, who was present, what was said etc. Tedious I know, but effective. This work several ways; firstly it substantiates your claims, secondly it may remind the UMP of actual events, thirdly, and perhaps most importantly t help keep your own head straight. Dealing with a pathological liar is enough to make you question your own recollection and your sanity.

2.Have conversations in the presence of a witness. This is particularly helpful in any situation where you will be called to give an account of what happened to a third party. Especially when this third party has no independent experience with the UMP. For example, children issues such as dealing with CAS, custody etc , workplace issues such as dealing with reprimands, complaints etc, business issues such as dealings or negotiations, labour disputes etc. Basically, any situation where there would be a possible he said/she said debate.

3. Record conversations. If you can anticipate a discussion, it is very simple and easy to record the conversation. This is very effective and indisputable. The downside is that an UMP sho knows that they are being recorded would rarely allow it to be recorded.

These steps can be exhausting. Dealing with a lying UMP can be exhausting. When you are in a relationship with an UMP, any and all statements must be presumed untrustworthy. This is not to say that they lie all the time, but they may lie at ANY time.

What is the effect to the partner?

1. Calling everything into question: The effects of lying are so far reaching and devastating it is unfathomable. Imagine calling into question everything in your life. Once you have figured out that the person you thought you were involved with is actually a misrepresentation of themselves, everything in relation to this person will lose meaning.

If, for example a police officer is found to be untrustworthy, lying, deceitful, everything that he or she has touched will be questioned. Every case, every arrest, every interaction.

If a coworker is found to be a liar, everything that this person processes in their work must be reviewed in order to establish legitimacy or if proper protocols were followed etc.

When it is a personal relationship, the very same thing happens, every “I love you” every “I will be home late” every “I have a business trip” etc. everything in your life is sent into a violent spin. The trouble is that many of these things may actually have been true and legitimate but there is no way of knowing so it is all tainted. At some point it must be presumed that when the foundation of the relationship is untrustworthy, the entire relationship is untrustworthy.

How sad!

2. Self doubt: Another effect being in a relationship with a lying UMP is the self doubt. If you have been in this relationship for any length of time, the obvious question is ...How did I miss it?

At times, the partner really did miss all the clues and signs that were obvious, In this case, it is quite easy to go back into your memory bank and pin-point the clues or signs etc. Forgive yourself please! You are not the liar, at most you are not observant.

At times, there is just no way of knowing. For example, if your UMP goes away for work, how are you supposed to magically know which trips are legitimate and which trips are not? You would have no way of knowing until one fateful day something slips, something catches your ear or your eye and Wham!

In my story stated above, I am 100% convinced that there was no way of knowing. I knew my UMP was lying and looked for signs and could not tell.

Other self doubting questions may include, Am I a bad judge of character? Who else in my life have I misread? How long has the UMP been lying and about what? Can I trust my instincts anymore?Did anyone around me know the truth and withhold it?

At times, there is just no way of knowing. For example, if your UMP goes away for work, how are you supposed to magically know which trips are legitimate and which trips are not? You would have no way of knowing until one fateful day something slips, something catches your ear or your eye and Wham!

It is torture!

Learning to trust again.

How can this be done? The short answer: with great difficulty.

Unfortunately I know many people personally who have been deceived, by UMPs. This leaves a life long scar, the scars are both emotional and mental.

Perhaps your emotional side will never get over the sensation of panic, fear, anxiety in a new relationship. At some point in any relationship there will be a time when you will question someone. A normal person would investigate before jumping to conclusions, however, when you are the victim of deceit, your emotions may take over. Automatically your stress response kicks in and you may experience anything from anxiety to fear to anger, or all of the above. When this surge of emotion comes, your entire prior experience may flash at you.

You have to engage your head and talk yourself down. Your head can be taught to overrule your emotions.

Take deep breaths. Taking deep breaths will immediately work to calm down your emotions. You must consciously remember to do it.

Remove yourself: If at all possible remove yourself from the situation as quickly as possible. When distance is provided, clarity is easier.

Go for a walk: This will start utilizing all that pent up energy from the surge of emotion.

Don’t jump to conclusions: Get all the facts before making a determination. This may be a minor misunderstanding.

Make a cool headed determination: This is a personal thing. There is a certain tolerance that each person has towards other people’s behaviour. Set your limit and stick by it. For example, if you abide by the “3 strikes and you are out” rule, then stick by it. If you abide by the “one and done” rule then stick by it. This is a personal determination, do not let anyone tell you what is right for you

Positive affirmations: Know in your soul that you are a person worthy of respect and honesty in relationships. Along with this you must accept that the lying UMP is the person without the moral compass, and that being the victim of an UMP’s treatment in no way makes you deficient in any way.

There may not be any way to truly determine when someone is telling the truth. People, since the beginning of time have lied and literally gotten away with murder and other crimes. If you are in a relationship with a lying UMP. Share your story. I would love to hear it.

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