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Lessons From the End of a Marriage

A “How to Thrive” Guide After Divorce

My Side, His Side and … the Truth?

narcissist lie

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One of the more infuriating responses I’ve received when others have heard my synopsis of my ex-husband’s actions that led to the divorce is, “Well, you know how it is. There’s your side, his side and then, somewhere in between them, there’s the truth.”

After I swallow my scream, I try to respond with a well-meaning and polite-sounding, “That’s so awesome that you haven’t met anybody like him. I hope you never do.”

In general, I am a huge fan of the concept that there are facts and then there is the way we perceive the facts. And those perceptions can be very different. Give two people the same fictional book and they will not only interpret the characters’ actions in different ways, they will likely build mismatched views of the protagonist’s appearance.

Yet the text is the same.

And that’s where I have a problem with this phrase being applied to the circumstances surrounding my divorce.

Of course my ex-husband is entitled to his own opinion. But he is NOT entitled to his own facts.

Which is exactly what he was doing.

When he told the police that we had been divorced for years, I highly doubt that he was simply expressing some metaphorical feeling that he was keeping under wraps. As he recorded my salary on the financial disclosure as a third more than it was, I don’t think it was because he’d viewed the numbers in a different way. And when he described how his “workday” was going while he was on his honeymoon, I struggle to believe that he was really under the impression that he was working long days on the trade show floor.

Those are facts. And there are thousands more where those came from.

And those facts don’t care about feelings – his or mine.

Now, when it comes to the particular climate of the marriage that acted as fertile soil for those deceptions to grow, I’m sure we have our own opinions and perspectives. I would have loved to have been given the opportunity to hear his side. To try to understand where the unhappiness resided and to learn more about his interpretations and outlook.

But I was never given that chance.

So all I have is my side, my best guesses at his side and the facts.

And as for the truth? I’ll never know.

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10 thoughts on “My Side, His Side and … the Truth?

  1. Ah yes. This one’s ringing a lot of bells for me! Most people are fortunate not to have experienced a sociopath and don’t realise that he can literally be lying about everything, the truth is not necessarily somewhere in the middle. The lies can be devastating, ultimately destroying what you once considered to be happier memories of the relationship until you’re left questioning whether any of it was real.

  2. A scary thing is, if he’s anything like my ex I suspect he’s actually convinced himself of the truth of the claims he makes.

    My ex has said and done some completely crazy things. And I really think she believes them. She seems oblivious to the inconsistencies in the things she says and does. And when confronted with “facts”, will simply ignore them or deny their existence.

    I find it really scary.

    1. It is scary.

      Mine had what seemed like a lucid moment where he stated that he had “started to believe his own bullshit.” Of course, I don’t know if that statement was bullshit too. I’m not sure what’s scarier – thinking that it’s okay to lie like that or that level of deniability.

  3. Oh my gosh, I could have written this… I get told this all the time by people who don’t know anything. I have written proof of so many things, yet his lies are so convincing because he actually believes them himself. It is sad. But the truth always comes out. Karma does exist. Even my teenager is figuring it out and I haven’t said a bad word since we divorced 3 years ago. The thing I hold close to my heart is that he tried to convince the judge of his lies and she saw through them and limited his time with the kids. It was awful. His new wife has figured things out and asked me questions that I won’t answer because it isn’t my place to drag him through the mud. But it will all come out one day.

  4. The truth will always stands out no matter how much lies they tell. You don’t even have to anything, the truth will manifest itself because lies can never come true.

  5. Like I said to my ex mother-in-law when she told me it takes two to tango and I should own my part in the demise of the relationship.
    “I refuse to take blame for the demise of a relationship based on lies”.
    People simply do not know what its like to live with a lie. Love a lie. Other people like to think they would know, it wouldn’t happen to them, they are smarter. The victim must be flawed in some way or just crazy, vindictive, a bitch set on revenge.
    I have found many people don’t even mean to insult you but hold the belief the victim is stupid. In an attempt to make me feel better and prove she understood what I had been through my mother told me about her friend who had been through much the same experience, ending with, “And I always thought she was a smart lady.”
    My reply was, “She still IS a smart lady.”

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