Friday, July 30, 2010

What is WRONG with people?

I recently found out that a friend of mine broke up with her boyfriend. They had been going through a rough patch for some time, and she had been really upset but still cared about him a great deal. She had been open to the idea of working things out between them.

And then she found out that he had been cheating on her for a solid year. He tried to deny it. And when that didn't work, he blamed everyone but himself and even complained that his other girlfriend was cheating on him.

My friend had lived with the guy; she had thought they were going to the married someday. But he had been leading a complete double life. He would take her car and go visit his girlfriend in another city. Everything he ever said to her was a LIE.

Another friend of mine has a child. And the child's father (her ex) has constant revolving-door relationships and hookups. Recently the child said something in front of the guy's current girlfriend. Something along the lines of "Daddy has LOTS of girlfriends." And, presumably, the current girlfriend had some questions.

The guy called my friend (the child's mom, obvs) in front of his girlfriend and tried to get her to admit that the child has been lying a lot recently. So now the poor kid is being accused of lying, just so the guy can save face and continue to lie to and screw around on his girlfriend.

Seriously. What IS wrong with people?

Six or so months ago an ex of mine (no, not THAT one) was in town and I agreed to grab lunch with him and his friends (and my friend K, who I cajoled into coming with me). No big deal, we ate, we chatted, we made polite conversation. And then I asked how he and his girlfriend were doing.
He shrugged "Eh, things are okay. I dunno."
And then, because I knew him and I knew his track record of shadiness and douchebaggery I asked "Is she okay with you having lunch with me?"
"Sure" he said.
"Does she know you were going to see me when you came into town?"
He smirked "Well, I mean, I didn't KNOW I was going to see you."
I prodded further, "So you didn't tell her?"
"Well she didn't ask," he said, raising his arms into the it's outta my hands gesture.
I can't remember the exact phrasing of what I said here but I know that it was some paragraph long speech about The Importance of Honesty in a Relationship. I believe my main thesis topic was this: Lying to Your Girlfriend is Bad.
He interrupted, "Well I didn't lie. I wouldn't call it lying to her."
I squinted at him and cocked my head inquisitively, "Then what would you call it?"
"Not... revealing the whole truth."




Okay okay okay. Let me back up a little. In case anyone gets up in arms about this I should mention that INTENT is important. Of course. Intent matters. Not revealing the whole truth isn't ALWAYS the exact same thing as lying.
But it can be.
And in this situation it was.
I know, I asked.
"Soooo. Are you going to tell her you hung out with me?"
"Well uh. I uh. She probably wouldn't want to know. I mean, she gets jealous."

She does? YOU DON'T SAY!

So do you see what I mean? In this situation, the intent was to keep the poor girl in the dark. He made the choice to lie to her instead of treating her with the respect she deserves as his girlfriend.
I mean, she has nothing to worry about in terms of me. I would gladly sit her down and tell her how firmly I AM NOT INTERESTED in her boyfriend. But that's not the point: if there's nothing to hide, then don't hide anything. It is eleventybazillion times worse to find out that your boyfriend lied to you "didn't reveal the whole truth" about seeing his ex than to have an uncomfortable conversation about the possibility of him seeing his ex.

My friend's boyfriend lied to her face for a YEAR while he carried on an affair behind her back.
And my other friend's ex lied to her so much when they were together that she broke up with him and now he's moved on to lying to other girls. And accusing a child of lying to cover up his OWN LIES.

The lying, you guys. The LYING. It makes my skin crawl and my throat feel tight to think about all the LYING. And all the lovely, unsuspecting, innocent people who are being deceived and hurt by the LYING LIARS WHO LIE.