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TherapistMarryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5838
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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My husband of 8 years has been deceiving me constantly for

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My husband of 8 years has been deceiving me constantly for our entire relationship. Unfortunately, it took me a couple of years after I was married to connect all of the dots and to realize that his lies were not "isolated events" but a chronic problem. He has had at least 2 emotional affairs that I only found out about due to my sleuthing (would not admit when asked)... I finally told him that I would be making an appointment for a polygraph before he finally admitted. Mostly, he lies to me all the time to cover up his lack of integrity. He isn't capable of taking responsibility for his bad decisions. We have gotten counseling and he always fools the counselor. He will admit a "few" things from his bucket of lies (or even lie when he's 'admitting' things) so that it *looks like he's working on his issues. He wants to keep his lack of integrity (for example, I caught him cheating on his college test), so he lies to cover it up. He knows how much his lying hurts me. I can't trust him at all. He has a severe lust problem, too. But the emotional affair has by far hurt me the most. I have 3 small children and my husband is a 'Christian'... so he doesn't believe in divorce... yet he treats me this way. I want to divorce, but for the kids sake, should I stay? If I do try to stay, what could be done to re-build trust? So far, nothing has worked. He is very good at making it *appear that he's trustworthy... while behind my back, he won't leave his damaging behaviors.
Hello, I'd like to help you with your question.
It sounds like your husband might have a personality disorder. People who cheat and lie often do so because they have such poor self esteem that they develop a disorder such as Narcissism in order to cope with how bad they feel. With a disorder such as Narcissism, the person acts out in ways that makes them feel good but hurts others. In a marriage, this can translate into cheating and lying. The cheating spouse won't stop hurting the marriage because they literally feel they cannot stop. Changing their behavior would require them to face the deep fears and insecurity they feel and that frightens them.
In order for your marriage to improve, your husband needs to stop his behavior in order to save your marriage. He needs to regain your trust. If he will not do that because of his issues, then you may need to decide how you want to proceed- either stay with him and try to work it out, or leave him. Either way, consider talking to a therapist on your own. You need the support right now and it can help you decide if you should try saving the marriage.
One of the main considerations is if staying in the marriage for the children is ok or if you are better off moving on. One key question to ask yourself is whether or not your husband's behavior is hurting your children or not. If they are seeing constant arguing, your husband is lying to the kids or to you and they know about it or he is exposing them to these other women, then you may want to consider leaving. Eventually being exposed to his behavior will hurt them and they may learn that marriage is about hurting each other. But before you do, talk to someone to help you feel settled with your decision.
There are also resources that may help you understand more about what is going on in your marriage so you can decide if you want to stay or go:
Should I Stay Or Should I Go? Lundy Bancroft
I hope this has helped you,
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

At this point, since I have described that he will often do actions that *appear that he is trying to build trust, when behind my back he is practicing very little self control... If he wanted to build trust, what could be *done at this point. How would I know if he is just *acting again. Do you have suggestions of what he could do if he wants to build trust?

He doesn't want to lose our marriage. I'm the one who wants out, because I have seen his behavior patterns. I'm not sure if there is anything that he could do to build trust at this point. Suggestions on that? Would a "probationary" time frame be helpful?

Also, is there a cure for narcissm?

Curing Narcissism is difficult unless the person can admit that they have the problem and are willing to submit to therapy for however long it takes. It can be a slow process, but it can be done as long as the person can focus on being aware of their low self esteem and how their behavior affects others.
If your husband wants to rebuild trust, here are some steps to take:
One, is he sorry for what he did? This is important, because if he does not take responsibility recovering the relationship will be difficult.
Two, has he stopped all contact with the other women? He needs to so as a first step to regaining trust.
Three, are the two of you talking about what happened? He needs to be open and honest about what happened and let you ask any questions you need to.
Four, he must be transparent. That means telling you his whereabouts, letting you see his phone, email accounts, etc. He needs to be open with you about his life.
Five, have someone from your church be his "accountable" person. They need to direct him back to his faith and be there for him when he feels he may fail.
If he can do these things, then he has a good chance of overcoming this issue.
This resource may also help:
May I please request that if you find the service I provided helpful at all that you rate me with three or above? Your rating is the only way I am reimbursed for my answer. Thank you so much!
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Hi, again. I will make this my last question.

He says that he stopped having contact with her, because she transfered to a different dept. Of course, being married to someone who lies, I don't really know.

He has told me he is sorry... but when I ask him for details, I catch him in more lies. He tells part-truths, but still tries to lie to me.

We don't have a lot of money. With a personality disorder, should we go to a Dr., a counselor, a therapist, or a psychologist or a psyciatrist? Should we have couples counseling or individual?

Thanks so much. Those are my last questions.

It is best to see a Master's level therapist or a Ph.D. A psychiatrist is a medical doctor trained in psychology. They mostly prescribe mediations, though they can do therapy. Someone with a Master's degree or Ph.D. however just does therapy.
Here is a list of credentials to help you know what you are looking for:
You want to find someone who has either a M.S., M.Ed, M.A., or M.S.W./L.S.W. These are some of the most common degrees for therapists. Other initials are usually extra certifications or licenses.
To find a therapist, talk with your doctor for a referral. You can also search on line at:
You can try low cost service through your local social service agency. Try contacting your local United Way for resources.
You may want to meet with a therapist first and have a session or two before you decide who needs counseling and if you should have it together or apart. It may help your husband to have it on his own though because he needs to work through his issues. Be sure to tell the therapist about your suspicions that he may have Narcissism. That way, he cannot manipulate the therapist.
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