Friday, 22 April 2011

Secrets and Lies

Noel Coward once said "many people are shocked by honesty while much fewer are shocked by deceit". For me it was the opposite. I was totally unprepared for the lengths my husband had gone to avoid telling me the truth. When I discovered how much I had been misled, I suffered an overwhelming sense of bereavement as it dawned on me I had lost the man I thought I knew forever.

Foolishly, I believed he was  incapable of lying to me however, I was rudely awoken to the stark reality he was, in fact, an adept liar. His ability to fool firstly himself, coupled with self given consent to realign all conventional principals and expectations when asked a question produced a shift in reality which allowed him an alternative code of conduct which to live by. Not only did it permit him to omit information if the enquirer's phraseology left room for manoeuvre, but it gave him the opportunity to create an answer he wished was true followed by private explanation to himself why it was . I saw these half truths as unforgivable acts of cowardice; he saw them as perfectly excusable acts of kindness.

These are some of the questions I asked and the answers I was given.

When I asked, "How are we were going to pay the mortgage if our house sale falls through?"

He said, "We won't be able to."

In reality he had not paid the mortgage for months and we were already £27,000 in arrears at this stage.

When I asked, "Why is the builder complaining to me he has not been paid in a very long time?"

His answer was, "I have no idea, I paid him £1,200 only yesterday and here is his signature acknowledging receipt.

In reality the builder was owed a further £40,000 most of which had been outstanding for two years.

When I asked, " Can you guarantee me my mother will receive the £25,000 she has just lent you, within the six months you promised?"

His answer was, "I absolutely can guarantee it."

When I asked at a later date how he was able to make his previous guarantee he told me he had promised himself if all else failed, he would commit suicide and was banking on his life assurance to pay her back.

When asked, “Why is the Indian man you are working with trying to take my trailer and the lawn mower my father has given us?"

His answer was, "He's trying to make it easy for me to keep builders on site by offering to work in exchange for items we no longer need."

In reality he had already signed documents, months before, to say that these items could be taken away if my husband defaulted.

When I asked, "Why is the father of one of our daughters friends so concerned about the progress of our property development that he has suggested he project manage it himself?"

His answer was, "He is keen to do a joint venture but I can't accept yet as we have to find one with enough potential profit for us both.

In reality this man had already given my husband £15,000 two years previously and suspected without his intervention he was unlikely to see it repaid.

When I asked, “Have we declared all our chargeable events for capital gains tax purposes and paid our taxes?"

His answer was," Yes, absolutely paid up to date."

In reality he had not and for this reason we are now facing a full investigation for unpaid capital gains tax stretching bank more than ten years.

When I asked, “Why didn't you tell me all these things before it was too late?

His answer was," You didn't ask the right questions."

When I asked, “How could you possible think I wouldn't want to know?

His answer was, “I did not consider it because it is not how I think."

When I asked,"Why didn't you tell me you thought you were experiencing symptoms of motor neurone disease?"


“Why didn't you tell me your business was crashing down around your ears?"

He said he, “I couldn't find the words."

My husband behaves as if his lies are but a thing of the past. His continued reluctance to share his thoughts are, in his mind, an occasional oversight and nothing to be feared. I believe, however, lies can be told with silence as well as words and now I live in fear his lies will continue to wreak havoc with both our lives and our relationship. Now I see his inclination to be quietly contained as an obstacle preventing him freely engaging with anyone anyone, especially me. His secrets of the past stand firmly between the two of us and I regularly wonder if the truth is still being obscured by secrets. I do not doubt the truth would have hurt me a little had he been courageous enough to share it, it appears, the consequences of his lies are to remain in our lives forever.

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