My husband has ADHD and he lies constantly about big things and little things. The really, really big lies (affairs, spending huge amounts of money, etc.) ended a few years ago, which is a good thing. However, the other lies have continued.
For example, we have set up a budget to pay off debt. There is enough money in the budget for us to eat well, live a decent life, give the kids the experiences they need (soccer, baseball, swimming lessons, etc.). There is not enough money in the budget for extravagant things (going out to lunch every day, buying a new smart phone or computer, buying excessive amounts of alcohol, soda, junk food, etc.). I stick to this budget like glue. He does not. And he lies about it. I see all of our accounts. I watch for transactions on them. I know what he spends and what he does with his money. He thinks he is fooling me by pulling cash out at weird times, claiming it was for something that it wasn't, and then spends it on whatever he wants. And sometimes he uses a credit card, hoping I'll somehow miss the transaction.
So, I know he is over-spending on the budget by around 200 a month. For the first year or so, I confronted him, gently, with these things. These conversations would go like this: 1) Deny everything, 2) Get confronted (gently as possible!) with the evidence and 3) get extremely angry and have a temper tantrum about being controlled, 4) Be reminded that this budget was OUR budget that we both want to get out of debt and that he had all the input in the world into it and FURTHER, we ALWAYS have the opportunity to amend the budget together, 5) Go over the budget again, 6) Come to the conclusion that the budget is sound, 7) Promise to stick to the budget, 8) Walk off in an angry huff muttering about being controlled.
Repeat this pattern about lots of other things in life--where he is at night, what things he did and did not do around the house, etc.
So obviously this is a bad pattern. Talking to him about the lies doesn't work--it just upsets both of us. Also, the lies at this point are pretty contained--small enough things that I should really just let it go.
Anyway, my long-winded question is, how the heck do I let this go? Lies are such a hot-button issue for me. They make me insanely angry inside. When I catch someone in a lie, I literally see red and have to go sit somewhere and calm down by breathing and meditating. I try to put the lie into perspective, see it for what it is--his defense mechanism to avoid embarrassment that he can't/won't control himself. I try to remind myself that I have bigger fish to fry and that, ultimately, this lie is doing little to harm to the family as a whole. But it still winds me up for at least 20 to 30 minutes after finding out about one. Multiply that by several lies a day, and I have a severe management problem inside my brain.
I am sure I'm not the only one dealing with this. I just want to stop feeling angry. The logical part of my mind knows the lies will happen every day. They will keep happening. They will never stop happening and I will have to deal with them as long as I have dealings with him, and since we have children together, that's going to be a long time, regardless of how our marriage turns out. Logically, this all works inside my head and logically, I see no reason to get upset. My emotions are not listening to my logic. I would really love to connect them up.
Thanks for listening.