“An experiment by Tali Sharot, a neuroscientist at University College London, and colleagues showed how the brain becomes inured to the stress or emotional discomfort that happens when we lie, making it easier to tell the next fib…the team found that the amygdala’s response to lies got progressively weaker with each lie…"
- National Geographic, in an article entitled “Why We Lie”
Lies Get Easier
First…we all lie sometimes (even if we think we don’t!) But many with ADHD develop a habit of cover-ups and lies as they move through childhood as a coping strategy for dealing with the embarrassment of not always being pulled together. Covering up and pleasing the authority figure or peer who is depending upon you ‘feels’ better at the time than telling the truth and experiencing the wrath that may ensue.
The problem, however, is that over time this sets up a weakening of the brain that means that it becomes progressively harder to break the habit. In my own household, I found that it has taken a great deal of work on MY part to create an atmosphere in which my husband felt safe to be honest with me and stop lying. Our years of struggle didn’t help, as he was ‘trained’ to be easily triggered.
Why should I be partially responsible for helping my husband learn that honesty is the best policy? In our case, my husband simply got tired of fighting me…it was easier to ‘smooth things over’ and exit the scene than deal with me. That makes me partially responsible for our situation.
Yep, it’s his lying and he’s responsible for fixing the issue. But I (and you) can make it easier by creating a safe place to make mistakes and live with ADHD.
You can find great resources for couples impacted by ADHD at adhdmarriage.com, including free:
- Online treatment overview;
- Downloadable chapters of my books;
- A community forum with other couples facing similar issues;
- A large number of blog posts on various topics;
Is your relationship in trouble? Consider my highly acclaimed couples' course: ADHD Effect In-Depth Couples' Seminar - This 8-session phone seminar has helped many couples thrive in healthier, happier relationships.