Dr Phil: A Husband Who Can’t Tell the Truth
Melisa came to Dr Phil for help in confronting her estranged husband Chris, who she says is a pathological liar. She said that he lies constantly, about things big and small. For example, he pretended to be a pilot so he could tour an expensive home that was for sale. He also lost his job and kept that a secret from her.
Chris does not deny that he has a history of telling lies. But he pointed to her temper as the reason he does not always come clean right away. Dr Phil had some questions about this situation. He wanted to know what Chris’s strategy was when he agreed to come on the show. Chris said all the right things about wanting to get help and repair his relationship.
Dr Phil: Will Getting Married Fix Everything?
But Dr Phil pressed further, looking for a strategy instead of a goal. Chris admitted that he thought it was best not to try to play Dr Phil. Either way, Dr Phil said he wanted to spend the bulk of his time asking Melisa questions about the thousand lies that he has told her since the moment they met. She thought that getting married would fix all their problems.
Melisa is pregnant with the couple’s second child, and as she talked about the circumstances surrounding the conception, she concluded that she thinks he intentionally did not use protection with the intent of getting her pregnant. Dr Phil wondered why he would spend time at the grocery store to fuel his lies about his employment.
Dr Phil: Fake Therapist Email Exposes Lies
Then there was the time Chris said he was tasered by the police. Chris seemed to think that his web of lies was amusing, or maybe the sheepish grin was meant to convey contrition. Chris admitted to Dr Phil that he made up the story about being tasered; what’s one more lie?
What about the email Chris forged, in which he claimed to be a therapist? Dr Phil used it as evidence of the fact that Chris does know some of the things he is doing are wrong. In the letter, Chris wrote about goals such as becoming a better husband, controlling his lying, and avoiding hurting other people. Chris claimed that what he said in the letter was the truth (except, apparently, for the name of the person who allegedly wrote and sent this to Melisa).
Dr Phil: Getting To The Root of Pathological Lies
One of the things that may have done Chris in was his spelling and grammar mistakes. “The truth is you’re just not a very good liar,” Dr Phil said. Chris admitted that he has gotten away with many of the lies he has tried to pull off. Melisa blamed herself for being naive and giving him chance after chance. “He knows what to say to me,” she said.
Then it became a family affair when Dr Phil invited Chris’s father, Steve, to join the conversation. Steve said that Chris has had problems with lying since he was a kid. Steve has also given Chris money, even though his wife Karen has always disapproved of Steve’s lying behavior.
Dr Phil: Definition of Enabling
Steve admitted that he has always enabled his son Chris. Dr Phil said that Enabling boils down to rewarding bad behavior. That could be by helping someone escape the consequences or receive a reward for misbehaving. Chris said that he does not feel guilty about his past of lies.
Dr Phil suggested that Chris might have Narcissistic Personality Disorder. The characteristics include a sense of entitlement, the need to feel special, and the capacity to take advantage of everyone, among many other traits. Chris mostly made faces as Dr Phil rattled off the list.
Dr Phil: Why People Lie
When you are the victim of a pathological liar, you may start to wonder why someone would take advantage of you. Dr Phil shared a list of some of the most common reasons why people lie.
- Take what is not rightfully theirs
- Escape accountability
- Create a false self-esteem to escape their mundane life
- Avoid punishment
- Inflict pain
- Feel better in the moment or “steal” admiration
- Gain advantage to exploit others
Does this list sound familiar to you? Share your thoughts on social media with the hashtag #TruthVersusLies.
Dr Phil: Wake-Up Call for a Liar’s Relationship
Dr Phil wondered why Melisa let him back into her life after he endangered her standing for custody. During a trip to visit family, Chris turned her for kidnapping to the Department of Child and Family Services. His justification was that he wanted to see his son.
“I want my kids to have a normal life with a normal father,” Melisa said. Dr Phil pointed out that Chris’s campaign of bad behavior is not only taking its toll on her, but also potentially exposing her children to criminal neglect. “You are failing to protect those children by subjecting them to someone that you know to be unstable,” Dr Phil said.
Especially since Chris has made no sincere efforts to change his life situation, Dr Phil said that Melisa’s greatest loyalty should be to her children. Whether or not Chris followed through on making changes in his life, it would be up to Melisa to ensure that the children remain in safe hands. Have you ever had to navigate a relationship with a pathological liar? What did you do in that situation?