Ask an expert
Question

12 Sep 2007

The serial liar father and partner
I've had an on/off relationship with the father of my child for over 6 years now. He's been unfaithful, lied about business trips overseas (that turned out to be everything but), and the list is never-ending. He's come and gone from my life every 3 - 6 months since I've known him. Every time I move on, meet someone nice he pleads with me to have him back and promises to treat me the way I deserve to be treated and make a good family home for us blah blah blah. I think I've no fallen for these promises for the very last time. I took him back end May (after he lost his marbles over a new man in my life). The promises of marriage, family home, even paying MY debts... were great. None materialised of course. A couple of months on and it's all just too lukewarm again for my liking. He enjoys the chase but calms down soon after the kill. Due to MAJOR trust issues on my side given his VERY sordid past during our years, I sometimes check up on him. Just in recent weeks I've found conversations between him and a female friend of his that are not suitable for people who are relationships with someone else. He was unable to give me any decent explanation for the conversations they have. He also had dinner with a less than desirable, sexually agressive youngster in Jhb (he knows I have a problem with her and the questions around their "business dealings"). I found out by accident. Then I found a message sent to her telling her in advance that he was going to be in Jhb and asking if she wanted to meet up. I still don't know if they spent the night together or not. I don't know much of anything anymore. He asked last Monday that we attend couples therapy and I agreed. We started yesterday. He contradicted himself 4 times in the space of one session and I just don't know if it's worth putting my heart on the line any longer.
We previously survived one session of therapy but he walked. The shrink became my personal psychologist and said from the bit he saw, this man is so out of touch with his feelings and reality and he reckoned 3 - 5 years of therapy may just get him right. How heart-warming. I'm an ACOA and clearly a co-dependent too considering I put up with this crap.
We were asked by the counsellor (a psychologist) to commit to at least 6 weeks of therapy and asked not to bail on one another during this time. I just do not know if this leopard can ever change his spots.
I've opted for a man with a bent world view who is seemingly unable to hold relationships together, run a smooth business and avoid failing as a partner and father. I had to stop breast feeding our child due to an aids scare he had whilst screwing around when she was 11 months old. :-(
There's a lot of bitterness and anger and I TRY to work through this and trust again but he makes it a near impossible task.
Am I harming myself and our daughter more by trying to get this right? I'd hate for her to grow up believing that THIS is what relationships should be like and this is how men get to treat you as a woman.
I would love to attach a NAME to whatever the heck is wrong with this man. Shall I just give up the therapy and get on with my life?

Answer 409 views
Expert
CyberShrink
cybershrink

01 Jan 0001

You know, beyond any doubt, that he is a liar and chater and that his promises are worthless. Don't forget that, and don't allow your hope to get mistaken for likely outcomes. His promiscuity is probably significantly risking your health and even life.
How many spotless leopards do you know ? Don't expect him to change his spots, either.
There may be some point in working in therapy towards being able to trust the right person, wisely, but not to try to trust him, the untrustworthy, again. YOU ABSOLUTELY CANNOT POSSIBLY "get this right" --- it's not up to you. It's him who cannot and will not change, so it cannot be gotten right. If you have any therapist trying to help you adapt to this awful man and this doomed relationship, quit therapy and move on, maybe with the help of some CBT to speed that moving on
The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical examination, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.
Voting Booth
Have you entered our Health of the Nation survey?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Yes
33% - 9362 votes
No
67% - 19332 votes
Vote