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Dr. L
Dr. L, Psychologist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 1166
Experience:  Licensed as a Psychologist and Marriage & Family Therapist.
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Hi. I have a difficult situation, I found a pair of womens

Resolved Question:

Hi. I have a difficult situation, I found a pair of women's thong panties while doing laundry. they were not mine....Well my spouse swears he doesn't know anything. Also my teen stepdaughter, claims she doesn't know anything either. Of course I realize that someone is lying....What should I do?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Dr. L replied 1 year ago.

Dr. L :

Hello,

Dr. L :

I would like to help you with your question.

Dr. L :

I can understand why you want to know who these panties belong to and how they ended up in your laundry. And - yes - someone is not telling the truth here.

Dr. L :

I am assuming that the load of laundry you put in the washer was a mix of yours clothes, his clothes and her clothes...so that you cannot readily tell where the panties came fro.

Dr. L :

*from.

Customer:

well kind of yes it was a mix of mine and his. She had been there for a few days prior. I was just thinking

Customer:

maby they got mixed by accident. that's how I approached her, but she said no she hadn't been missing anything.

Dr. L :

Do you know if she does wear thong panties?

Dr. L :

Would she be embarrassed if you knew that she did?

Dr. L :

Has she had a history of not telling the truth? Or of being ashamed?

Customer:

no I don't know what she wears and I don't think she would be embarrassed

Dr. L :

Sometimes, our knee jerk reaction is to not tell the truth because we are worried we will be i trouble.

Dr. L :

*in

Customer:

and again no no past trouble

Dr. L :

ok

Dr. L :

what about your husband...

Dr. L :

do you have any prior suspicion that he might be unfaithful?

Customer:

?

Customer:

yes

Dr. L :

So...what is your gut telling you?

Customer:

but he swears that he doesn't know. my gut is telling me he lied but I don't want to accuse....(I have been wrong before)

Dr. L :

Yes...and that is the tricky part...that you might unjustly accuse him of something and then there is a breakdown of communication.

Dr. L :

How upsetting is this situation to you? If 10 is the worst possible thing that could happen in your marriage..

Dr. L :

Knowing that the panties are not yours..not your stepdaughter's...does he have any explanation of how the panties got into your washer?

Customer:

this situation is a 10 if hes lying, but a 7-8 if its his daughter.

Customer:

no he gets very defensive. says that I planted them!!

Dr. L :

Would the panties fit your step-daughter?

Customer:

yes

Dr. L :

Would she "plant" them so as to upset you?

Customer:

maby. I would hope not. but I really don't know

Dr. L :

Okay.

Dr. L :

So..obviously they are NOT yours.

Dr. L :

That leaves the other two people as possibilities.

Dr. L :

And..it seems possible that either of them could be lying.

Dr. L :

Did your step-daughter have a friend over while she was visiting and the panties could belong to that person?

Customer:

no she did not

Dr. L :

So ... you have exhausted all rational possibilities...not yours, not a friend who left them accidentally...

Dr. L :

That would mean either husband or daughter-in-law is responsible, but unwilling to tell the truth.

Customer:

yes I have...that's why I have resorted to seeking advice online....

Dr. L :

Then it would appear that you have several options:

Dr. L :

1. Confront husband again with the facts: not mine, no other females in the house but your step-daughter, who claims they are not hers.

Dr. L :

2. Confront step-daughter again with the facts: not mine, no other female in the house but you.

Dr. L :

3. Drop the issue and chalk it up to a mystery

Dr. L :

4. Put husband and step-daughter in the same room with you and ask for the truth

Dr. L :

Would stepdaughter lie to protect dad?

Dr. L :

That is, would she say they are hers in front of him so as to cover up if he is having an affair?

Dr. L :

Or...she suspects he is having an affair?

Customer:

yes I think she would lie.

Customer:

but she states they are NOT hers

Dr. L :

So that means that you might never get the truth from her.

Customer:

right

Dr. L :

Would she be so clever as to say: not mine; when they belong to a friend and she borrowed them?

Dr. L :

And she is covering up because she is concerned about how you or dad would feel about her wearing thongs?

Customer:

no I believe that if she had misplaced them on accident , she would be comfortable enough to say so.

Dr. L :

Okay. So she would be truthful if they were hers. But she would lie if it meant protecting dad.

Dr. L :

That means they are unlikely to be hers.

Dr. L :

And that your husband is the primary suspect here.

Customer:

But if she placed them to sabotage, she would lie, I don't think dad has had time to ask her to lie

Dr. L :

Do you feel that she and you have the kind of relationship that would cause her to sabotage?

Dr. L :

Has she done anything similar in the past?

Customer:

no. I dont

Dr. L :

Still...it would mean that she would have had to think this through and go out and secure a pair of panties and then put them in your laundry. Do you think she could carry out all those steps?

Customer:

and no she hasn't. but her mother just broke up with her boyfriend, and I think maybe she would do this to break

Customer:

her dad and I up

Customer:

but I don't know

Dr. L :

Hmmm...

Dr. L :

So she still has thoughts of her parents getting back together?

Dr. L :

How old is this girl?

Customer:

17.

Dr. L :

How long have you been married.

Dr. L :

17 year olds can be quite clever...

Dr. L :

and good at manipulation

Dr. L :

Would you say that is true about her?

Customer:

we are not married yet. we have been together though for about 7 years

Customer:

and yes

Dr. L :

Okay...so she could still be holding on to dreams of her parents getting back together...

Dr. L :

When you look at the list of options I gave you....do you feel comfortable with any of them?

Customer:

no. I have already done most of them with no success.

Dr. L :

Yes...it does seem that you are making no headway with either of them.Both are denying any responsibility and that leaves you empty-handed.

Dr. L :

I am imagining that he will not support you if you asked him to talk to her to get to the bottom of this?

Customer:

I did ask him that and he spoke to her, but she denied they were hers

Dr. L :

Okay.

Dr. L :

Does she have a pattern of lying to him?

Dr. L :

Or would you say that they had a genuine, truthful conversation about this?

Dr. L :

Everything you have done just seems to lead to a dead end.

Customer:

he asked her she said no that's about it...

Dr. L :

He's denying it. She's denying it.

Dr. L :

Whether they are lying to protect the other person is an unknown.

Dr. L :

On the one hand, it doesn't seem like you have any real way to get a truthful answer here.

Dr. L :

Someone is not being truthful and unless one of them talks..you are not making any headway.

Dr. L :

I understand that this hurts. Trust has been broken here.

Dr. L :

Whether he is lying to cover up his behavior, or she is lying to sabotage you, there does not appear to be any way for you to hear the truth without one of them co-operating. And...as of today...you are not getting that kind of co-operation.

Dr. L :

I do not want to say...let this go...but, at this moment, there does not seem any way to get to the truth.

Dr. L :

You have run through the other options...and they have not worked.

Customer:

so you don't have any advice.

Dr. L :

You and I have run through a number of options. You have said you tried these and they didn't work.

Dr. L :

There is no way for you to force your partner and his daughter to give you the information you seek.

Dr. L :

One of them knows who the panties belong to...but they are NOT telling you.

Dr. L :

You could threaten him that you will leave if he doesn't tell you...but I'm not sure that will work or even if you want to go down that street.

Dr. L :

You probably have no way to threaten her..so that's a non-issue.

Dr. L :

You are going to have to decide for yourself what you can live with and what you can't. If this incident means that you can't trust him, then you will have to make the choice to leave him. If this incident means that you can't trust her, then you will have to talk to him about some boundaries with her.

Customer:

I did tell him I would leave he said go then! "I'll help you pack if you're going to be like that"

Dr. L :

And how did you feel when he said that to you?

Customer:

surprised , disappointed, hurt

Dr. L :

And...did you see this as him defending the truth? or as him defending a lie?

Customer:

both???

Dr. L :

okay...

Dr. L :

So your gut thinks he may be lying...

Dr. L :

And that the panties belong to someone he knows..

Dr. L :

Are you serious about leaving?

Dr. L :

Or was that statement a defensive move on your part?

Customer:

I don't know what I feel anymore, this whole thing has me sick

Customer:

yes I'm serious about leaving.

Dr. L :

Yes...I can understand how confusing this is. And...how easy it is to question your own truth here.

Dr. L :

Have there been other similar situations in the past where you could not trust him?

Dr. L :

Or has he given you doubt before about his ability to tell the 100% truth?

Customer:

there have been situations but not like this one, yes he has given me doubts.

Customer:

but he has also given me reasons to believe

Customer:

I guess I love him so much that I am willing to believe almost anything

Customer:

but "I don't know" isn't good enough

Dr. L :

It seems to me that you are facing a real dilemma here. Loving someone deeply allows you to be compassionate and forgiving and to give them the benefit of the doubt.

Dr. L :

However, what you don't want is to be taken advantage of, to be treated in a less than honest way, and to give away your love without benefit of a return.

Customer:

exactly

Dr. L :

It would seem to me that you have some hard thinking to do here. You are at a crossroads. Do you continue to love and trust? Or do you say to yourself that the risk of getting hurt is far greater than the risk that he loves you in an honest, true, and complete way.

Dr. L :

I am sorry. There is no quick answer here. No real right or wrong. This is all about YOU...and what you want for YOUR life.

Dr. L :

I cannot tell you what choice to make. All I can do is point out the crossroads and support you in doing the work that provides you with the right path for YOUR life.

Dr. L :

Does this make sense?

Customer:

yes thank you for your time anyway

Dr. L :

You are very welcome.

Dr. L :

If you should like to chat at another time, just ask for me by name.

Dr. L :

I truly am sorry that this has happened to you. It is unpleasant and hurtful. You deserve the truth..and to be in a fulfilling relationship.

Dr. L :

I wish you the best as you go forward.

Dr. L, Psychologist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 1166
Experience: Licensed as a Psychologist and Marriage & Family Therapist.
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