Psychiatry & Psychology--General/loving a pathological liar

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Hi,

I know you can't diagnose someone for me. But this is my guess.

My partner or maybe ex-partner lies. At any point he says the thing that will benefit him the most. On any subject.

But last night I experienced something disquieting. I had discovered him in an affair. Putting all other issues aside, in any case I confronted him. When I  confronted him about the fact that I knew he had not been home during the month I was gone since the food had not been touched. He made up excuses. As always, when I pointed out one lie didn't work, he told another one. His method is basically throw it at the wall and see what sticks.

So I continued the confrontation  Her first name supposedly meant nothing. Her last name meant she was his headhunter. The fact that her name was on a hotel reservation that his credit card paid for--- still he had no idea how that had happened and he had never been to her town.

It wasn't until I picked up the phone and said OK let's call her and see if she knows, he broke down and told the truth. I had an eerie feeling of not having heard him do so before.

Well the next day (this morning) he checked my phone, saw I had her number, and begged me not to call her. Since he had said it was over, and was in this case pretty convincing, I believed him not only that it is over but that she dumped him when she learned of my existence. So I.no longer felt the need to call her. Ironically, because I know when I am beat. I was not going to be a bitch to her; I was going to say a few things about his strengths and weaknesses including the lying. Just being realistic-- with my head injury and mental disability I do not compete with a career woman.

So this morning he checked my phone, saw her number, and begged me not to call her. Then I next do believe him when he said she had threatened to call the cops on him. But suddenly I realized. He wasn't going to admit the affair even with all of my extremely complete knowledge, until he was afraid to go to jail.

And suddenly I thought to myself, there is something wrong here. That is not logical. Well maybe it is in the sense that it is pretty hard for me to take the next step in most cases where I never get him to admit, and he did not know that in this case I had already called the locksmith for Monday. So maybe, maybe there was still logic.

But... It seems so crazy. With her name on the receipt and his on the credit card statement, it was illogical to insist he did not know how that happened. After all. It seems the next step for most philanderers would be either justification or anger. But... It seems like maybe he COULD NOT take the step of admitting-- until it was in his best interest to do so.

It almost seems... That his behavior was no longer a part of reality. That it is a pathology. And suddenly with those words in mind I recalled the term pathological liar.

To me that term had simply suggested someone who lied about everything, probably even when the lie was not beneficial. I had made that definition I suppose from common usage. But that someone could not form the words to admit a lie. Maybe he simply couldn't. Maybe he even wanted to, because he wanted to say he was sorry for hurting me, which he is. He feels sorry for me, yay my condition.

I guess my questions are:

1. If a person were diagnosed as a pathological liar, would this story make perfect sense?

2. Would it ever be posdible for a path
liar to get a pathological liar to admit it and get help?

3. Can therapy ever alleviate such a condition to a large extent?

4. With or without therapy, is it possible to live with an love a pathological liar in a productive, logical, non codependent, mentally healthy way?

5. What techniques would a person use to cope with a loved one who is a pathological liar?

Thank you so much. I chose you because the other guy who was asked a similar question simply gave the questioner 50 links about various related topics, without even explaining why he chose them. I find that rude!

As a side note. I have worked at allexperts for about 8 years... I guess I should not identify my field on a public question!And if I set to private, others will not learn the answers to these questions.

Thanks a billion,

Natasha

Answer
1. If a person were diagnosed as a pathological liar, would this story make perfect sense?
Yes

2. Would it ever be posdible for a path
liar to get a pathological liar to admit it and get help?
Yes

3. Can therapy ever alleviate such a condition to a large extent?
Yes

4. With or without therapy, is it possible to live with an love a pathological liar in a productive, logical, non codependent, mentally healthy way?
No

5. What techniques would a person use to cope with a loved one who is a pathological liar?
You must get the person to therapy.  There are no other "techniques."

Psychiatry & Psychology--General

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Daniel S. Harrop, M.D.

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Dr. Daniel S. Harrop received his B.A. and his M.D., both from Brown, and his M.B.A. from the Edinburgh Business School, Scotland. Board-certified in adult and geriatric psychiatry, he is a past president of the R.I. Psychiatric Society and a member of the Committee on Medical Quality of the American Psychiatric Association and the Committee on Continuing Medical Education of the R.I Medical Society. He serves as a consultant to four of the top five major medical management companies, including OptumHealth/United Healthcare, Magellan Behavioral Health Services, ValueOptions and APS Healthcare, and maintains a private practice in Providence, R.I. He also serves as chief psychiatric consultant on the Medical Advisory Board at the R.I. Workers Compensation Court. He was formerly on the faculty at the medical schools at both Brown University and Harvard University.

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