An accountability log/journal meant to help stop the lies.

stop the lies

By Doug

Over the years, I’ve spoken with hundreds of people through our mentoring program.  Most of them have been betrayed spouses.  Virtually all of them have mentioned just how destructive their spouse’s continued lies are to their relationship and recovery efforts. Many have indicated that the continued lies are even worse than the betrayal of the affair itself. 

It’s  very apparent that betrayed spouses require/demand honesty and transparency on a consistent basis from the unfaithful spouse (among many other things).  And until the unfaithful person delivers on that, the couple will remain stuck.  Rebuilding trust will be next to impossible. 

Sometimes it seems that people who have always been honest, moral and ethical suddenly start telling lies.  This often happens when someone is
having an affair.  Their spouse wonders, “Who are you and what have you done with my husband/wife?” And there’s always the question of when/whether they are no longer lying.

Cold Turkey Can Be Tough

As with any major change in a behavior, it’s often hard to quit “cold turkey” – even when there’s a genuine desire to do so. Part of the reason for this is that a person who has lied to others has usually first lied to themselves. They have rationalized their behavior and told themselves whatever was required in order to deal with the gap between who they were and who they pretended to be.

So it may be that in order to stop the lies, there involves a process of becoming comfortable with a new, unfamiliar way of being “honest.”  (BTW, honesty is much more than just not lying;  it’s “not withholding” relevant information as well.)

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Often, when a person is having affairs, it usually feels “safer” (and much easier) to lie than to tell the truth.  But once they get to a point when they choose to commit to rebuilding the trust that has been broken, they need to see that it’s now both safer and smarter to tell the truth.

No More Lies, Please!

One Man’s Answer to Help Him Stop the Lies

And that leads me to a discussion I had with a mentoring client regarding his lying.  It was to the point where he admittedly told so many outlandish lies that he had lost all credibility with his wife.  Whenever a discussion between he and his wife got the least bit challenging, his selfish pride and ego would kick in and he would immediately either get defensive, deny or lie.  

So, he came up with a tool of sorts to help keep him on track with his healing efforts and to stop the lies. He calls it his Personal Accountability Log.  It’s basically a list of statements or reminders of what he should be doing on a daily/regular basis.   

He was more than happy to share it with us and the rest of the community.  Perhaps some of you will find it to be helpful.  You may want to “borrow” some of his points, but also personalize it to fit your own situation and circumstances. For him, he calls this a “Log” – but you could also do your own in a journal format



Stop the Lies – A Personal Accountability Log


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• My ultimate goal is to hear my wife say she is feeling better, healing and improving.

• I must sacrifice my own fears and hardships for the betterment of my family. Being a coward and liar is no longer a choice or I will continue to bring my family down and eventually lose them all.

Accountability Questions:


• What decisions, lies or actions did I make today that was the “easy path” for MY own benefit vs. something challenging I avoided or did not address that could’ve benefited my wife and kids?

• Stop and intentionally focus on the exact moment I made that choice and why.

• What could I have done differently?

• Keep a log or share them immediately. If possible, write them down as soon as I recognize when I’ve done it.

• It’s decisions like these that I consistently make which are extremely hurtful to my wife and do not give her a chance to heal.

• I WILL bring these conscious decisions I’ve made my wife daily/regularly and make her aware of them.

• I must be entirely TRANSPARENT & VULNERABLE in order to actually help her. This is going to cause me to sacrifice myself for her and make me extremely uncomfortable.

• Initially, this is going to be tough, but stick it out.  My wife and our kids are ABSOLUTELY WORTH it!!



• Avoidance of tough conversations –  Instead of choosing to do something else or be somewhere else (avoid): work, play with the kids, clean something, not be in the same room as my wife (all excuses).

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• Thinking of something shameful, guilty or embarrassing that I choose not to share with my wife in the moment.

• Making a choice that helps me, or is easier for me,  instead of helping my wife or our kids.

• STOP GIVING MY WIFE THE SAME BLANKET APOLOGIES – They hurt more than saying nothing at all.

Perhaps you or your spouse have gotten to the point where you realize how destructive your lying has been.  And you want to try and change that.  Maybe an Accountability Log/Journal might be a good tool to help keep you on track so that you can eventually stop the lies.

Please feel free to share your thoughts in the comment section.

    3 replies to "Stop the Lies – A Personal Accountability Log"

    • Exercisegrace

      I will admit when I read this, my knee-jerk reaction was OMG, is it really that HARD to just be a decent human being? But when I read it a second time and reflected, I realized this just might be the first time a cheater has actually been HONEST in the aftermath of an affair. I think this man actually “gets it”. Cheating is always a “ME” problem. It’s not a “WE” problem, it’s not a marriage problem.

      First here is my disclaimer: nobody is perfect, therefore no marriage is perfect. Marriage is and should always be a relationship where both parties are continually learning, growing and communicating. Now the harder part: I also believe that cheaters are by nature, selfish. They have gone through life putting themselves first. Their default worldview is to make choices that serve their own needs and wants first before anyone else’s. They tend to be partnered to people who are the opposite, and tend to see things from the perspective of what serves their loved ones first. Often (like my husband and his abusive family of origin) cheaters have a history that largely shaped this. In the aftermath of an affair however, they want to immediately run down the path of “I cheated but I said I’m sorry. Now let’s talk about how your faults and our marriage are to blame for MY affair”. So kudos to Doug’s client for grasping the truth: he needs to work on his choices and where they have led him and his marriage.

    • Ei

      I agree with you. It is hard to believe. I wish I have done that a long time ago. I have been married for 15 years, but in April 2022 I found out that my husband who is 56 years old was having an affair with the new neighbor Amanda for one year. Can you imagine she is over 30 years younger that him. She doesn’t work and has a kid. They spent over 3200 text messages per month. What kind of good woman steps into my house on my bday and gives me flowers knowing that she is fucking my husband. We have a daughter and thanks to Amanda my daughters relations with her father is broken. I just hope and pray that my over neighbor don’t fall for her when she knocks their doors and pretent to be a nice neighbor.

    • Jennet

      I just think for whatever reason the Cheater thinks by lying it makes it easier for the betrayed. Where they get that from I don’t know but what I do know is that my husband still lies about contact with the AP and when I confront him with the lies he says’its nothing ‘ don’t worry about it. Well to be honest I’ve got to the stage in recovery where I don’t give a s. … About it I’m here because it suits me!! Maybe that’s wrong but I just can’t be bothered with any of it anymore.
      If anything this has made me stronger more independent and I enjoy my life and to me she is insignificant.
      Not what you want to hear but after 3.5 years if trying to get my head around all this crap.ive come to the conclusion that they will do what they want regardless of the consequences and I’m too tired to even try to understand any of it.
      Sorry having a really bad day.

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