If you have had the ill luck of being in a Massachusetts marriage with one, knowing how to deal with a pathological liar in a relationship is the first step toward taking control of your relationship and getting your life back on track.
This article will show you everything you need to know, including how to deal with a pathological liar, characteristics of a pathological liar, pathological liar traits, and coping with someone who lies pathologically.
Who is a pathological liar?
A pathological liar deals with pathological lying. Pathological lying is a mental disorder in which a person habitually or compulsively lies, even when there are no obvious reasons for them to lie.
Inasmuch as they tend to lie habitually, clinical studies reveal no concrete motives for the actions of pathological liars. However, there seems to be some evidence from a medical study that challenges with an individual’s central nervous system can predispose them to become pathological liars.
Considering these, being in a romantic relationship with a pathological liar can easily prove to be one of the most difficult things you may experience in your lifetime.
5 characteristics of pathological liars
Here are some of the pathological liar signs you may see in your partner.
- They will show no discomfort even if they are caught in the act
This is one of the major signs of a pathological liar. If you were ever caught lying to a parent or teacher, do you remember the feelings of shame and anger you experienced afterward?
One noteworthy characteristic of pathological liars is that they would never feel bad for their actions, even if they are caught with their hands on the cookie jar.
If anything, the pathological liar will be angry with you for trying to investigate their story.
- Pathological liars are observant
Before they begin sending you off on the mental wild goose chase, rest assured that they have taken out some time to understudy you to determine what you would fall for or not. They are skilled at exploiting their victims’ weaknesses.
- Pathological lying usually starts small
As medical experts on MedicalNewsToday report, pathological lying usually starts small and builds momentum as time progresses.
As the individual keeps getting away with their lies, they may feel the urge to become more dramatic about their lying, especially when they have to tell a new lie to cover up for an older lie.
- Sometimes, a little probe into their story will reveal all their lies
As pathological liars keep walking the path of making up grandiose stories to make themselves sound more interesting, one thing they may forget is that the accounts of their events can easily be checked up.
This leaves a little chink in their armor as the people they relate with may eventually uncover them for who they truly are, only if they are willing to perform a little search.
- Their stories are usually inconsistent
Considering that their lies are numerous, unplanned, and undocumented, it isn’t exactly difficult to see the story of a pathological liar evolving with time. This is how to spot a pathological liar. Since they don’t have a perfect memory, you may want to be ready to hear different versions of the same story every time they have to retell such stories.
Causes of pathological lying
Generally speaking, medical reports reveal that pathological lying has little or no known causes. Medical reports also reveal that pathological lying can easily be a symptom of an underlying problem and for which the person must receive professional help.
As a symptom of an underlying condition, pathological lying can be a sign that the individual is battling with Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD), Antisocial Personality Disorder (APD), or Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD).
Considering the severity of these mental conditions, one of the best ways to deal with pathological liars after identifying them is by sending them to receive professional help.
Signs that indicate that your partner is a pathological liar
Do you suspect that your husband is a pathological liar? Does it feel as though the person you are together with seizes every opportunity to tell lies, even when there are no apparent reasons for them to lie?
If you are afraid that your partner is a pathological liar, here are 10 signs that suggest that your partner is a pathological liar.
How to deal with a pathological liar
Even after identifying them for who they are, it is sometimes difficult to get out of a relationship with a pathological liar.
This may be because of the emotional connection you may have with them or because of the investments you have made in the relationship. In any case, knowing how to help a pathological liar is key if you intend to keep that relationship alive.
Here are 15 proven ways to deal with a pathological liar
15 ways to deal with a pathological liar
Know these tips for dealing with a pathological liar:
- Have a conversation with yourself
If you want to keep the relationship alive, you have a lot of work ahead of you. It helps to begin this journey by having a heart-to-heart with yourself.
This is because it is impossible to help them get better when you haven’t yet admitted that there’s a need for them to be better.
- Talk to them
This can be tricky because the knee-jerk reaction of a pathological liar would be to rebuff your submission when you have told them what you’ve noticed.
However, it helps to approach them when they are in a good mood. This way, they may be more open to your words.
- When talking to them, how you present your case is vital
When talking to them, it helps to present your case in a way that isn’t judgemental or makes them feel spooked.
As a rule of thumb, you may want to use mild statements to drive your point home. Then again, if they start feeling defensive, let down a bit and allow some time to pass before bringing up the subject again.
- Mentally prepare yourself against their verbal jabs and lies
Now that you have identified them for who they truly are, take out some time to mentally prepare yourself against their verbal jabs and lies.
Once the pathological liar knows that you are onto them, they would most likely resort to trying manipulative schemes on you. This is also a great time for you to take everything they tell you with a pinch of salt.
- Do away with the blame game
It helps to remember that the person who is telling these lies may not intend to do you any harm with them.
They may just be responding to the inner compulsion they feel and may even have to beat themselves up afterward. This is why you should do your best not to blame them when you have identified their lies, especially if you seek to strengthen the relationship.
- Pay attention and call them out
When you have identified their lies, one of the most effective ways to call them out is by using facts to let them know that some of the details of their stories do not add up.
Calling out a pathological liar is tricky because it alerts them that you are onto them, and they may respond by telling another bunch of lies to cover up their tracks.
But if you are trying to figure out how to stop pathological lying, you would have to let them know that you are paying keen attention.
- Avoid them when it is possible
Constantly interacting with pathological liars is emotionally draining. The best way to avoid the emotional stress that comes to you as a result is by staying away from them as often as possible.
However, it helps to do this in a way that doesn’t give off the fact that you are avoiding them.
- Build a strong case
Knowing that the pathological liar will do all they can to rebuff your submission when you finally confront them, you must spend some time building up a strong case.
Gather facts and figures (who they spoke to, what they said, and the inconsistencies you noticed) before talking to them. This is the only guarantee that you may not end the session feeling like you have lost your mind.
- Consider the underlying causes
We already discussed that pathological lying could be the result of several things, including some underlying health and mental conditions.
To get to the root of all those, you would need to talk to them and figure out if they have other accompanying symptoms that suggest they are dealing with any of these underlying conditions.
- Let them know that you want to team up
Instead of declaring yourself the enemy, it helps to make them understand that you want to team up with them and help them through these trying times.
Considering the nature of the challenge they are going through, they may shrink back and even rebuff you. Give them space but just let them know that you are there for them.
- Ask for explanations
One way to get them talking and analyzing their actions after another bout of telling lies is by allowing them to explain their actions. This helps you eliminate that feeling of being judgmental and also helps you keep an open mind in the relationship.
- Don’t humor them
Leading a pathological liar on (by nodding your head and smiling at them, even after identifying that they are lying) is one way to keep them lying. When you figure that they are in that place again, find expert ways to change the subject of the conversation or to shut down the conversation immediately.
- Give this time
The truth is that someone who has spent their life in a den of pathological lying will not get up one day and simply quit.
They would need time and the dedication to take baby steps until everything is in the past. Patience is a virtue you would need on this journey.
- Point them in the direction of getting professional help
Although there is no known treatment for pathological lying, the person can do well with a lot of help from professionals. Their compulsion to lie could be stemming from past trauma, underlying mental challenges, or even other conditions they would need the help of professional therapists/psychological experts with.
- Know when to walk away
Inasmuch as you are trying to make the most out of that relationship, you must remember that not all relationships are salvageable. If you have done your best and they aren’t making any efforts to be better, you may want to protect yourself by calling the relationship quits.
Do this because of your mental health and safety.
Although there is no known treatment for pathological liars, going through the 15 steps we outlined in the last section of this article will help you find if your partner is a pathological liar.
Again, when all pathological lying treatments fail, you may want to call everything quits and walk away from the relationship with your sanity intact.
Should you be in the midst of a divorce or contemplating divorce, contact the Law Offices of Renee Lazar at 978-844-4095 to schedule a FREE one hour no obligation consultation.