This really isn't an unreasonable thing to be upset with an SO about? Is it?

I know a couple I will call Husband and Wife.
Husband is very vocal and proud of his brief military service, which ended when he busted his knee during a training exercise in Ranger training. All told, he says, he was in the service six months. We have all been regaled with multiple long detailed stories about his service. When I mentioned that I was against this administration’s policy regarding “questioning” of detained inmates, he got very upset with me. He kept insisting I “didn’t understand” what the soldiers go through and that I should enter the military and experience it before I had a moral right to an opinion. In short, his military service is a big big deal.

Through a conversation I accidentally initiated with an old high school buddy of his I met recently, it’s come up that he may have never been in the service at all. Buddy insists that they were joined at the hip until around the time he married Wife and Husband was never gone for six months, never even gone a week without an explanation. I shrugged my shoulders and forgot about it, thinking it was possible there was just something Buddy wasn’t aware of. Besides, it makes no difference to me one way or the other if he was in the service or not. Wife was made aware of the conversation (not by me) and went to his parents to ask them. Parents looked at her like she was crazy. They also insist it never happened.

Now Wife feels as though she married someone she didn’t really know, and that wasn’t fair to her. I think this is a perfectly reasonable feeling and recommended counseling. Buddy’s girlfriend thinks Wife is being silly, that it’s nothing to get all worked up over. She thinks there is no point in potentially causing problems in their marriage over this, especially since they have a child. I think that if he needed to make up these stories, then there are already problems there. No sense in blaming Wife for them now. So now I am curious, who do you think is right?

Would I be upset if I found out my husband was some kind of pathological liar?

Uh, yeah. Hell, yeah.

I’d be furious and hurt if I found out my fiance had been lying to me about something like that. I would think:
Why make up a story like that in the first place?
Why continue with the lie?

and the biggest question - What else would he lie about?

Whoa. That’s pretty big lying there. Yeah, what else did he lie about? And what will he lie about in the future? That’s, like, dealbreaking lying going on there.

That’s a really big lie (especially as he’s making a big deal about it) and yeah, she is right to be upset about it. I imagine it started when they’d just met, he mentioned that he’d served and then felt he had to keep it up.

How strange. Yeah, I’d be upset. I dated a guy for a while who told big stupid lies like that, and he turned out to be a pathological liar–I couldn’t trust a word he said. She should definately get counsiling or something. The guy sounds nuts to me.

There’s not really any coming back from this kind of a lie. How the hell can she take anything he says seriously any more? How can she stop laughing every time she looks at him. This is going to be a tough one to get through.

The only way I can see it is if he’s notorious for Big Fish style tall tales and mythmaking. That just comes with the turf.

Otherwise, roast the prick.

Yup, that’s a big deal. Got any marriages you forgot to mention? Kids? Jail time? Loan sharks?

Another vote for “it’s a big deal.” As featherlou points out, what else has he forgotten to mention?

That’s some world class BS. People who spin tales like this aren’t necessarily evil but they can’t be trusted. It’s like finding out your wife has a secret bank account. If trust is gone the relationship is over.

Have the wife ask in all seriousness whether she would be covered by GI benefits if he were to die. Or perhaps he could get help with housing or education under the GI bill? Something to look into.


As a side note that’s a monster lie. How the hell would he think he wouldn’t be caught out if his mother and wife talked about even briefly about his “miiltary service”.

Having spent some time working in a Veterans Service Office, I can say that my experience is that those who were in the worst of the fighting (and who have medals & decorations to prove it) do the least amount of talking about it.

Those that talk the most & the loudest were either:[ul][li]never actually in the service at all (like your guy).[/li][li]were in the service only for a few weeks of basic, then got let out for various reasons.[/li][li]spent all their service time far behind the lines, in safe, state-side billets.[/li][/ul]

Yeah, my father tells me the same thing (he was a Vietnam War vet) that nobody who was there would talk about it like that. Now, I think everybody’s a little different, and there can be some who truly experienced the horrors of war and tell stories, but my experience with it confirms what you say above. I have only once in my life heard my dad tell me about an actual combat situation in Nam, and that was a couple of years ago and came completely out of the blue and shocked me, as he had never ever talked about Nam other than humorous anecdotes and non-combat stories. With other relatives and friends who were in 'Nam, same thing.

At any rate, yeah, as to the OP, I’m surprised there’s even a question of reasonableness. That’s really fucked up to be lying about stuff like that and, for me, that would be a complete relationship ender. There’s no possible way I could trust or believe anything a person like that said ever again.

As someone that just got out of a three year relationship with a compulsive liar I say it is a very big deal.

I caught him in many lies, there are many I am pretty sure of but can’t prove and there are most likey many more I just don’t know about. Being lied to by someone you love and trust feels just like they cheated on you. I have felt both in relationships and it is right up there at the top of the pain list.

Your trust is shattered. You feel betrayed. His wife not only feels it now but will start to doubt just about everything he told her in the past and from this day forward.

Maybe it is just this one lie but by the way he seems to defend it so strongly tells me it is not the first and it will not be the last.

The first time I went to a message board about compulsive liars I saw a lot of posters say to get out and get out now. I thought that was sort of harsh. I mean you don’t just give up on people you love. You want to help and support them but now I know it was sound advice and I should have taken it.

Yes, it is a Big Deal. A complete deal breaking, whothefuckisthis? run away as fast as possible deal breaker.

This is the kind of guy who is going to end up going to prison for fraudulently presenting himself as a war hero someday, or for buying medals and trying to pass them off as his own.

IIRC, it’s even a possible reason for an annulment by those dudes from the Roman Catholic Church. He’s been making a lie, not exactly the center of his life, but a big chunk of his public and private persona.

I wouldn’t just be pissed, I’d be heading for the Rota with a request for my non-husband’s head on a platter. I’d be willing to provide the platter myself, even.

Two earlier relevant threads:

Of course Buddy will make light of the situation. He doesn’t want to feel responsible for “betraying the trust” of his Buddy and ending his marriage.
And Wife also won’t want to see this as the dealbreaker it is. Her marriage depends on it.