An accountability log/journal meant to help stop the lies.
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.)
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.
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
• LYING IS A CHOICE AND NOT ONE LIE IS ACCEPTABLE, NO MATTER HOW SMALL OR BIG.
• 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.
• 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!!
• CHOOSING TO LIE.
• 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).
• 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.