…is the ultimate humiliation.
Trust in relationships is based on the belief that the other person has your best interests at heart. The surest way to erode that trust is for the other person to lie to you. If a person lies to you, you can be fairly certain they aren’t protecting you, or looking out for your interests. They are protecting themselves from what you would think of them if the truth was revealed.
A person who lies to protect their own image does so in the hopes of continuing to dupe you. They want you to believe they are the person you trusted in the first place. They are relying on the innate desire (need?) we all have to want to believe that the things we have invested in are real, especially relationships.
When you find out you’ve been lied to, you feel like an absolute fool. You’re filled with a very distinct kind of self-loathing and self-recrimination for having based your trust on falsehoods. You realize you’ve been trusting a person who does not even exist, playing a part in a life that’s not real. The rug of your false reality has been pulled out from under you in the most humiliating way.
I know exactly how this feels. At the bitter end of a 22 year marriage, I was holding on to an illusion, seeing things the way I wanted them to be, and not the way they were. Acknowledging the truth meant facing some very painful things about myself. It meant recognizing that much of my life had been built on sand and shadows. It meant that I’d convinced myself that I was loved, valued, and respected, when in fact, none of those things was true at all.
This gut-wrenching feeling is so difficult for some people to face that they will continue to be taken in by the liar. It is just too painful for some people to admit they’ve been suckered.
That’s going to be very, very hard for 74 million Americans. The shock of looking inward and seeing themselves as the victims of an elaborate con, a hoax, fake news, and a BIG LIE is going to take a while to come to grips with.
If that describes you, when the shock wears off, I hope you’ll remember if a person lies to you; it’s not you they care about.