What advice would you give?

 

I know this couple locally... A husband who had been lying to his wife about his late nights at “work.” Flabbergasted at how arrogant he was, specifically 'how' he talked to her, I could take it no longer and told her she wasn't crazy. She seemed to need to hear that, but once she had been given permission to have questions about things that didn’t add up, and although not the first to try with her; for whatever reason, what I said to her seemed to compel her to act.

Part of the problem, IMPO, is that too many women, and increasingly men too, don't know how to stand up to lies and half truths anymore. Reason for that is that in time people become complacent, and we live in a society that has mastered the art of creating a new reality when the one you are actually isn't working out like you'd hoped. Together we have a generation or two if very complacent (aka intellectually lazy) young men and women who aren’t accustomed to dealing with reality. Like anything in life, if you don’t exercise it you will begin to atrophy.

So anyhow the wife finally stands up to this creep and presses him for a real answer, having little to lose by curling up and becoming his doormat (again) she asked: 'It's midnight and I have been calling your office phone since dinner time, I know you weren't there. Where were you and what were you doing?' she asked.

Huffy and puffy as ever said scumbag husband raised his voice and proceeded to scold her for questioning him. She had a bad habit of cowering when he got a little loud, but this time was different. Funny how different people will react when corned and the prospect of being hurt or killed in the fight isn't as compelling as the desire to stop the pain. Go ahead and corner a little animal, say a cute little field mouse, and try to grab it and you'll see exactly what I'm talking about. So she, for the first time I am aware of, said to him 'No, I won't apologize for cooking your dinner, waiting for you to come home, eating it cold by myself, you coming home at midnight and telling me something that I know isn't true, is true. I won’t apologize and still I ask, where were you?'

Feeling cornered himself the husband raised his voice even louder, now deeper and with that gravely authority figure air of confidence, but she didn't back down.

'I'm am tired of you lying to me. I'm not an idiot, I know you weren't at work. I have my suspicions about what you might be doing and trust me, whatever you have to tell me won't be any worse than what I have already imaged. So just say it and get it over with, I'm not going to drop it this time.' She barked back at him, becoming loud and aggressive herself.

Reluctantly the husband blurts a one word response, she never told me what that word actually was though, but he then told her she would get a better answer the next day because he was tired. So she grabbed her pillow and a blanket and slept on the couch. In the morning she got up like every other day and put on a pot of coffee. And like every other day he was jolted awake with the smell of that morning brew, so he walked to the kitchen, poured himself a cup and started to remind him of what happened last night.

In the end he offered her reassurances that he loved her and respected her, and where we end this story is where I was left hanging myself...

'This has troubled a number of people who we both know, but I take what you said last night as a challenge to my authority as head of this house,' she said. 'And that's not a small matter' describing his comments as 'fully consistent' with the principles of marriage.

She accepted his words and decided to let it go for now. All of her friends are begging her to stand her ground and refuse to allow him to lie to her anymore. I know one woman who suggested that she start gathering the evidence now because the odds of him telling the truth were, in here not so humble opinion, zero. I am all for saving a marriage if it can be saved, but I am with the lady who politely tried to remove the false hope he was offering her. Trust but verify is applicable here.

What advice would you give?

© 2012 Peter Lounsbury - 4/5/12


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