Advice from Amy: Husband Lies to Avoid Confrontation
After many years of marriage, the wife is getting fed up
Advice columnist Amy Dickinson responds to a woman whose husband lies to avoid confrontation or get his way. After decades of this, she is finally fed up. What does Amy have to say?
My husband of many years, “Franklin,” has a strategy of lying to me in order to get his way or avoid confrontation.
Three examples, all this week:
We make an annual, very substantial contribution to an arts organization where he’s on the board.
When I reviewed this, he told me that most of the board members give this amount (if not more).
I then discovered that we give 20-times more than most of the other board members.
Franklin was planning a party. I have some social anxiety and asked him about the growing guest list.
He told me that the caterer had a minimum requirement of 20 people. I asked the caterer – no minimum.
One of Franklin’s brothers will be in our area for one night.
Franklin neglected to tell me that not only will his brother and wife be staying with us for a full week, but that other members of his family will also be staying with us for the week.
When I found out about the family invasion, Franklin’s response was he was looking for the right moment to tell me, in order to avoid an argument.
This has been going on for decades, including lies that I found out about 10 years later.
This is really starting to affect me.
It’s obviously a matter of being able to trust him.
On his part, I get the feeling that he sees me as an impediment that he has to figure out ways of manipulating his way around.
Everything else in our relationship is pretty wonderful, but this is gnawing at me more and more. Is there anything I can do?
– Tired of Being Lied to
You are (somewhat kindly) seeing this as manipulation.
Manipulation is persuasion plus pressure.
Outright lying saves “Franklin” the trouble of trying to manipulate you.
And inviting family members to stay for days on end in your home without your consent is a flat-out power grab.
You see this as a trust issue, and I agree. You don’t trust Franklin, but he also doesn’t trust you to react predictably to his various schemes.
Lying or hiding the truth from you until it is too late for you to have a say is cowardly.
Because you two have an otherwise wonderful relationship, I sincerely believe you can work this out, especially with the help of a qualified counselor.
Mediation can show each of you how to communicate differently. You can practice truthful conversations where you resolve challenges, and where you compromise – instead of him lying and you reacting.
In the tradition of the great personal advice columnists, Chicago Tribune’s Amy Dickinson is a plainspoken straight shooter who relates to readers of all ages. She answers personal questions by addressing issues from both her head and her heart – ranging from when a husband lies to avoid confrontation to DNA surprises. A solid reporter, Dickinson researches her topics to provide readers with informed opinions and answers. Ask Amy, P.O. Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068
© 2021 by Amy Dickinson