Is it normal that my default setting is to think everyone is a liar?
I recently started casually dating someone and they pointed out that I make them feel as if I think everything they say is a lie. At first I was a little offended and my initial defensive response was, “as if, if I make you feel that way, you must be a liar or feeling guilty about something” However, when I paused for a moment to reflect on his comment I thought to myself, damn it, he is totally right. So then I told him not to take it personally it wasn’t just him, I assume everyone is a liar. I mean I mostly thought this even before discovery I think that’s because of some childhood abandonment issues and repeatedly being let down or disappointed by the people in life who are support to protect, nurture and love you the most but anyway, somehow despite my best efforts I manages to meet, open up to, trust inevitably fall in love with someone who I thought was different, someone who knew where I was coming from, someone who I thought understood and who would never in a million years let me down in the same way. I know that part at least is not a unique story. Whether you are a straight spouse or someone who has experienced the breakup of a heterosexual partnership, heartbreak is heartbreak is heartbreak. In fact even though the circumstances, stories and details may be different I think it is this heartbreak that unites us all, but where it gets a little different for the straight spouse I think is with the sheer level of betrayal. As straight spouse there are just more layers to this betrayal. Finding out that you’ve spent 5, 10 or for some 20, 30 or 50+ years with, someone you gave 100 percent of yourself to, someone you bared your soul to, someone you crapped your pants in front of for crying out loud!!! HAHAHA , finding out that that someone was lying to someone was lying to you the whole time, and not just about their actions like the fact that they were cheating or spending money or had an addiction but more than that, they were lying about who they were at their very core, their identity. They didn’t trust you or your love for them enough to share their deepest truth with you. That’s it, that’s the crux of it right there folks; that’s the level of betrayal that cuts so deep it shakes the very core of your being. It makes you question everything, your sanity, your judgement, your sense of self, your esteem, your beliefs, your values, everything. So I guess that’s why my default setting is to assume that everyone is a liar at least until time and their actions prove otherwise. Don’t get me wrong, I know there are good people out there. Actually, I’m not even naive enough to think that lying means someone is a bad person; in fact I find most people lie because of fear. They are afraid to let others see the truth, or afraid to get hurt or I think what often rings most true is that people are most afraid to face their own truth, as is often the case with the spouse of a straight partner, (often for so many valid reasons that I won’t go into this time)
A lot of people in my life, even ones I never thought would have betrayed me with lies, some small, some big and some inutterably life changing.
So now I just assume everyone is a liar until time proves otherwise. I don’t hold it against them or blame them, in fact I realize most of them have a lot of healing to do, (and If I can I try to help them) hurt people hurt people is how the saying goes and now I totally see it. I suppose it could be that most people don’t walk through life with the assumption that everyone is a liar in which case this likely means that I myself still have a long way to go on my own healing journey to change this default setting.