Monday, November 25, 2013

An Ounce of Prevention: 'Lying About Who You Really Are Is Highly (HIGHLY) Deceptive'


I happen upon all kinds of information that I bypass as far as posting it onto the site but *this thing right here* (sigh). It was featured on Slate's website and honestly, there are enough counseling sessions that I sit in where one (or both) of the partners are like "Whaaaa? Since when?" about certain things that the person they married straight up lied about that this bears mentioning (and warning about):

Q. Bait and Switch: I dated my wife for three years before we married. We were both in our 30s and had had all of the important discussions before we decided to marry (kids, religion, etc.). At the time, she told me she was agnostic, and not really into "the whole religion thing." Now, less than six months into our marriage, she tells me she's joined a church and expects me to join her for Sunday services. It's only now that I learn that she has extremely right-wing, religious views. After talking with some of her friends, they couldn't believe I didn't know this about her. I asked them why they wouldn't have mentioned this when they found out we weren't having a church wedding and they told me that was probably done for my benefit. Now, instead of our not wanting any kids, she wants at least five and maybe more. Instead of no religion, she wants strict adherence to her religion. I feel I've been duped and that she's lied to me about herself. Is there any way out of this short of divorce?

A: This sounds like the idea for a follow-up to Gillian Flynn's Gone Girl, because you've got a wife who rivals Flynn's in the unreliable narrator department. In your case either your wife is completely crazy or you've decided to concoct a crazy letter. I hate to think I'm being duped, but if this is an accurate rendering of the first months of your marriage, I don't understand why you're writing to me on how to avoid divorce. Your question should be something along the lines of whether you should go directly to a lawyer or trying a stab at therapy first. I get a lot of letters about couples with differing religious views. Almost always if there is deception, it's on the part of the person who is having doubts about their faith but who doesn't want to upset the believers around them. I haven't heard of the devout who want to keep that under wraps in hopes of snagging an atheist to convert. Marriages can be annulled when entered into fraudulently—I think you've got better grounds for this than did Henry VIII.

Now here's the thing. It's both dangerous and unrealistic (Ecclesiastes 7:18-Message) to marry someone and expect them to never change. HOWEVER, based on the information provided, I agree with the advice columnist. It sounds like a woman who wanted a man *so badly* that she lied about who she *really was* so that she could get him.

And look at where it got her. Him thinking about leaving her. And with just cause.

It might sound "crazy" but I know women who have lied about if they are a virgin...or not, lied about if they have an untreated STD, lied about their credit score, yes lied about if they want more children...oh the list goes on and on. I also know women who have *lied to themselves* and decided that *they* should "missionary date" in order to convert a man. It's not a woman's job to win a man to Christ. It's a man's choice to receive the Lord. She can *influence* him but there's a fine line between that and *manipulation*. Motives usually reveal the truth (Proverbs 21:2&8-Message).

So let this woman, someone who may have thought what she did was "harmless" but straight up deceived her husband, be a wake-up call to us all: If you can't be *authentically you* in a relationship, then you don't need to be in one at all.

(Poor guy. Really.)



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