Realizing Your Relationship Was a Lie: An Action Plan

Relationship Rules
04 Oct 2023
10 min read
Realizing Your Relationship Was a Lie: 7 Signs and 6 Strategies

Realizing your relationship was a lie, whether with a close friend or a romantic partner, can be a devastating event all on its own. But what can these lies do to you, and how can you heal from this and start finding a true relationship again? Let’s take a look at how you can take a relationship that was supposedly absolutely nothing and learn how to find a way out of it.

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6 Signs Your Relationship Is a Lie

Part of the healing process after getting hurt is realizing how much damage has been caused to you throughout your relationship. Whether it is one big catalyst or several small ones, here are 6 ways you can tell if your relationship has been a lie. Let’s unpack them here.

1. Lying Is Second Nature to Them

It is nearly impossible to find someone who hasn’t lied at least once or twice in their lives. However, if you feel that your partner lies just as much as they breathe, that’s a sign something about your relationship isn’t working as it should.

People may lie for innocent reasons, such as wanting to keep a surprise a secret or attempting to maintain politeness. However, a pathological liar does it almost every chance they get. Mostly, they use lies to gain an ego boost in hopes of making themselves look and feel better about how they function in day-to-day life.

If you are dealing with a pathological liar, you may find that they often paint an entirely different picture from what the reality is. So no surprise your relationship becomes a lie – a pathological liar lies about everything and believes sincerely in his/her own lies, which is the scariest thing of all.

Related reading: Psychology Behind Cheating and Lying

Remember that when dealing with a liar, sometimes they find it completely normal to lie and will often do it without realizing their discrepancies. Once you realize that your entire relationship was a lie, you may find it easier to realize when they are lying or spilling nonsense and when they are trying to make you feel crazy.

Realizing your relationship was a lie starts from them hiding

2. Not Introducing You to Their Inner Circle

Whether you spend just a few weeks or a few years together, a person who does not want to be honest about their relationship may spend the entire time you are together avoiding certain milestones. There is nothing wrong with you wanting that – it’s their choice to keep you at a long distance.

After all, at some juncture in a relationship, it is normal for anyone to want to be introduced to their partner’s family. Or to be included with their good friends during social events.

However, when it seems as if they always have a million reasons not to introduce you to their family or friends, that is a definite red flag that should not be ignored.

Related reading: 14 Red Flags in Your New Male Squeeze
14 Red Flags in Women – Here’s Your Checklist

3. Distinct Lack of Respect From Them

When having a healthy relationship with someone, rather than a toxic relationship, a certain level of consideration should always be expected throughout the course of the relationship. However, when your partner is one to always turn to pathological lying, this lying tends to stem from a lack of basic regard towards you, your time, and your own resources.

If they always seem to make inconvenient plans for you, purposely send you to the wrong place, or tell you the wrong things, these are the signs they ultimately do not hold you in high regard.

4. Tendency to Withhold Information

An honest person may not outright tell you things immediately, but they may let you know what you need to know about future plans. But when in a relationship with a liar, you may find that they tend to hold out important information from you.

You may find out that they didn’t forget your birthday, they just celebrated something else instead and chose to pretend that they forgot rather than explain the information. Or they may tell you the place you are meeting but fail to let you know that there are two locations.

Remember: a big lie about your relationship starts from small lies like these. So don’t close your eyes to such withholding and constant hiding.

5. Suggesting Weird Meeting Times and Places

Does your lover always want to meet late at night, in hotels, or in weird out-of-the-way locations? If so, it’s possible they keep strange hours and don’t have much free time.

This is also a key sign that your relationship isn’t real. They simply see you as someone to call up when they feel lonely and know they can’t incorporate you into their lives. Men who don’t have a complete lack of respect for you don’t need to hide and sneak around.

6. Being Secretive About Money

At first, your partner seems like a good person. Your relationship is young, so you don’t expect them to be forthcoming about money. Then, things get strange. He’s always short on cash despite telling you about his great job. Sometimes, he asks you to float him money until payday. Hope you don’t need that cash because you probably aren’t getting that back in the near future.

Be careful about these financial red flags. Even if they aren’t cheating on you, they could be scamming you for your money. Be aware that these scams can happen in real life and online.

What are the consequences of seeing people lie in a relationship

4 Things Realizing Your Relationship Was a Lie Can Do to You

Being in a relationship with pathological liars causes you severe damage. Whether or not you choose to seek professional help after this experience, here are the main signs that you are damaged when you find out that your partner lied to you throughout your relationship with them.

1. Developing Long-Lasting Trust Issues

“The problem with trust is that if it is broken, then all acts committed by the perpetrator come under the purview of suspicion.”

Ravi Subramanian, an Indian author

When you realize that you have been told way more lies than you should have received, it affects your level of trust in the world. You may find yourself feeling more hypocritical about things and start protecting yourself to the point of self-deception. In future personal relationships, you’ll start trying to figure out if a person is lying to you before developing a decent relationship with them.

Related reading: How to Build Trust in a Relationship: 15 Tips

2. Feeling Pathetic, Like You Need to “Get a Life”

After realizing your relationship was a lie, it takes a long to stop thinking about the relationship and how much it hurt you. When you feel betrayed or lonely, your mind may wander, and you may find yourself obsessing over this fact.

As a result, you may frequently catch yourself making a big deal out of nothing and keep feeling hurt.

3. Having Memory Issues

When you’ve been misled about an entire relationship, the impacts can go deeper than you ever imagined. Yes, this person has played with your emotions, but there’s another side to this. You may find that you experience memory issues.

There are a few reasons for this. Once you’ve realized you have been fooled, you may begin to doubt all your memories and perceptions. There may even be moments in which you remember something good about this person and your experiences with them that cause relationship amnesia. This can lead you to temporarily forget the lying and narcissism and hang on to hope that things aren’t as bad as they really are.

Related reading: Recognizing and Dealing With Narcissists in Relationships

4. Questioning Your Self-Esteem

When you begin to suspect your relationship is a lie and learn the truth about your partner, the process is extraordinarily painful. You thought this was your best friend, the love of your life – now you realize it was all a lie. Among other factors, it can have life-shaking effects on your self-esteem.

The harder you’ve fallen, the worse the pain of falling out of love becomes. You may feel like the biggest fool in the world for not realizing the truth. Even worse, you may still have feelings for them, which will eat you from within. That also starts a cycle of feeling foolish, missing them, and then feeling foolish for missing them again. If you’re caught in this for too long, your low self-esteem will become a norm.

Top ways to heal after realizing your relationship was a lie

6 Ways to Heal When Realizing Your Relationship Was a Lie

If you decide that you want to break free after realizing your relationship is a lie, it will be tough. The pain can be so harsh that it will seem you will never get over your deceitful partner.

But, you really can heal. Eventually, this relationship will be a part of your past, and you will be ready to build a happier future. Here are some tips for dealing with your feelings of pain and putting this in the past. Trust us – you’ve got this.

1. Immerse Yourself in Positive Distractions

“Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it.”

Helen Keller, American author and disability rights advocate

Right now, it’s hard to imagine ever getting over this – and you shouldn’t try to. Give yourself time to feel your emotions; it should feel like mourning. It’s still a loss, even if you didn’t think this would be a long-term relationship.

At the same time, it isn’t healthy to do nothing but dwell on this or wallow in your negative emotions. Sometimes, having a distraction can make all the difference. So, pamper yourself: have a gal’s night out or pick up a neglected hobby.

You need at least one single thing to look forward to. This is what will help you come out the other side a stronger person.

Related reading: How to Focus on Yourself in a Relationship

2. Try Talking to a Professional

The moment you find out your relationship is a lie is emotionally devastating. People who experience relationships like this may even struggle with PTSD.

Seek advice from a qualified professional. If nothing else, talking to an objective third party will validate your feelings about your ex-partner. This includes providing you with assurance that this isn’t your fault. They may also be able to guide you towards a support group for people who have been lied to or scammed in their relationships.

3. Work to Discover the Whole Truth

You already know they’ve told lie after lie. Why would you want to pick apart your relationship to uncover even more untruths and hurtful information? The reason to do that can be summed up in a single word – closure.

Once you know the entirety of the truth and can expose every lie, you will know you have done the right thing. You won’t second-guess yourself or fall for attempts at gaslighting. You’ll also know what to be aware of in future relationships.

Related reading: Exploring the Concept of Beige Flags in Relationships

4. Rely on a Good friend

You need a touchstone. Find the friend you know will never lie to you, even if it hurts. That’s the person you need to be your rock, give you a shoulder to cry on, and call you out when you get the idea in your head that you should contact him one last time.

In this painful process, there’s no shame in needing that kind of accountability and support.

5. Don’t Try to Be Friends

People who manipulate and tell lies will often try to maintain attachments when their relationships end. Don’t do that, make a clean break instead. There is no reason in the world you need to be pals or even on speaking terms.

Remember that you are dealing with a person who is willing to fake entire relationships for their own purposes. You don’t need to give them space for a redemption arc in your life. They told multiple lies out of pure selfishness. Cut them off. It’s too late for coming clean now.

They have already told you lies. Don’t compound that by lying to yourself.

Related reading: Situationship vs Friends with Benefits: Which Is Better for You?

6. Take Your Time But Make an Effort to Move On

Your fulfillment and emotional well-being matter. Of course, you are on guard right now, especially if they lied while cheating on you. Don’t rush back into things, but be open to the idea of finding love and friendship. After all, you deserve so much better.

Get your feet wet and try the biggest dating app where you know that your peace of mind and genuine compatibility matter. Then, start something special with a conversation.

You deserve a better relationship!
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You Didn’t Deserve to Have This Happen to You

This isn’t your fault for believing in someone else. The responsibility for this lies with the person who chose to tell lies and be manipulative. Know that you are not to blame, then move forward without fear or regret. You are worth the effort you will have to put in to put all of this behind you.

Relationships Author
Geoffrey Williams
After taking a required Intro to Psychology course as an undergrad, I have never looked back. Since my doctoral program, I have specialized in adult relationship therapy. Through my studies and clinicals, I wrote several articles for professional journals and currently in the midst of writing a book.
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