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

OK, the guy got upset with people who disagreed with him about “questioning” detained inmates and said they didn’t know what they were talking about because they hadn’t served in the military. The wife is now being told by at least one person that she’s being silly for being worried by this.

She’s not and I don’t think this marriage can be saved without professional counseling and I’m not sure it should be saved. Keep in mind, too, I’m not a fan of divorce, especially when there are kids involved. It’s not just that he’s told a huge, easily falsifiable lie. It’s that he’s also used that lie to define himself, defend his positions, and tell other people they don’t know what they’re talking about. As featherlou pointed out, what else might he lie about? Losing his job? An affair? Just how much money they lost in the stock market? If she asks him about something which doesn’t seem right, will she be told she’s just being silly again? (I admit I don’t know if he’s told her that.)

She’s not being silly at all and she really does need to sit down with him, let him know she knows about the lie and they need to decide what to do next.

Another vote for it being a big fucking deal, as well as confirming that it seems like typically the more the soldier has been in, the less they talk about it. My father said pretty much all his father said about his WWI service was that he went to take a drink and found that his canteen was empty due to a bullet hole in it.

Another vote for BFD, BUT not quite for “Dealbreaker”, only because they have a child. It is a cause for some PDQ marriage counseling & a “come to Jesus” conversation between Wife & Hubby, maybe involving his parent.

If it weren’t for the child, then I’d say “Dealbreaker” also.

Wife might want to Google “pahological lying” to find out what kind of behavior she might be dealing with. Information never hurts.

Fess up, you’re talking about George W Bush, aren’t you?

The question for me is whether or not this guy is a pathological liar, or if he simply made something up early in the relationship, and has had to follow through on it, making up larger and more detailed stories about his service experience.

Before I throw a happy and well functioning family into the shredder called Divorce, I’d want to know this was more than just one colossal screw up that he’s too scared to come clean about.

Ah, so my ex-husband is married again? :slight_smile:

While I can see how some of you are saying that maybe it’s jut one big lie that snowballed and he can’t stop and he screwed up and counseling is preferable to divorce - I understand that mentality and think that yes, it is good to explore options before divorce. In my experience, however, someone that will lie about something and use that lie to attempt to argue other people down or make his wife think she’s crazy for being upset over it, well that person is not going to just move on and learn from his one big lie.

I don’t know if she has confronted him yet but I would be willing to bet on one of two things here - 1) he confesses everything to her but makes her a co-conspiritor of some sort, as in “honey I really screwed up but if you love me you’ll help me out here I’ve been so scared of telling you the truth and I am so happy to have that off my chest but please don’t tell anyone because I am so embarrassed” and feed on her desire to protect him and be a partner - the whole “it’s us against the world, baby” mentality or 2) make her feel incredibly stupid for even bringing it up and somehow turn it on her or make it her fault until she is either apologizing for bringing it up or for doubting him or just a crying mess.

Of course, I may just be projecting. The lies my ex told grew and grew and became a source of entertainment for me (the hand delivered tickets to the mardi gras ball given by Harry Connick Jr was a nice touch. Even better was when he invited me - after the divorce - and told me I’d need a formal gown. Most recently it has been a heart attack - he’s 28 years old with no cardiac problems - but they let him out of the hospital after 24 hours of observation and he went right back to trucking).

But it’s not a source of entertainment I can let my son be a part of - it’s damaging to him.

As for what I did - well I made screen shots of his myspace page where he claimed to have been to Iraq three times, told them that his “shot in the neck” story was actually where he got burned when a spent shell popped out and hit him above the collar, and sent it all to the American Legion that he was a member of. I hear nothing ever happened to him.

HUGE deal. How Wife wants to handle the marriage is her business, but lying about something like that is terrible. The Buddy is full of crap.

And you think that “one colossal screwup” that he’s “too scared” to fess up to his wife isn’t an enormous breach of trust? If he was just bullshittin’ way back when they met, shortly thereafter was the time to laugh and say “just kiddin, ok?” - not after getting married and making a kid.

Sounds like my ex-husband. I tried to warn you, new wife, but you wouldn’t listen!

He lied about everything from his college education to the weather outside. It came to light after we were married. I got the fuck out of there so fast it would make your head spin. That feeling of having been lied to about something that there’s no need to lie about is a scary one and makes you doubt everything they’ve told you. Terrible.

I think that the other thing wife has to be concerned about here IS the child, because if there’s one thing worse than having a pathological liar for a spouse, it’s having a pathological liar for a parent.*

It’s not easy to realise that everything you believed to be true as a child was actually a lie, and one told by one of the few people that you’re supposed to be able to trust completely. I say this from personal experience - as much as the wife is hurt by this lie, it’s going to be so much worse for the kid if she allows this kind of behaviour to continue.

I’m not saying that divorce is the only available solution, but this marriage probably won’t survive unless the husband gets his ass to a therapist so that he can figure out why he had to create this War Hero persona and get his head straight. Otherwise, he’s just going to find new whoppers to tell every time he feels like his real life is inadequate.

  • (yeah yeah, I know… won’t SOMEONE think of the children???)

Of course it’s a breach of trust, it’s just a different type of breach than the guy who lies about anything and everything. It’s the type of breach that can be repaired without requiring that he undergo successful psychiatric treatment for his pathology.

No argument from me here, just saying that it is possible for an otherwise decent person to wind up in this situation.

Agreed. My high school girlfriend used to make stories about attempting suicide* (it was what ended it actually), but the few times I’ve ran into her since she’s come off as relatively normal.

  • Hint to those that might want to try this: Don’t tell someone you cut yourself so bad that you bled for hours but were able to bandage it up and then suggest we should go swimming (and show up in a bikini) the next day.

What is their marriage like otherwise? Is everything good in general, and this is something she could have an honest conversation with him about, or is it already rocky?

I would be very troubled by a discovery like this, and I would immediately want to know the truth. I would tell her to have a non-accusatory, but firm conversation with him and ask him why no one else close to him, including his mother, is apparently aware of his 6 month service. Give him the opportunity to confess, but if he insists that it is true, I would do some digging of my own. There must be public records and this should not be too difficult to prove either way.

Deal breaker.

She should kick his lying ass out on the street now.

She may take him back but only after he gets effective thearpy about his problem and he must come clean to her and to everyone else he has told this lie.

It is a huge insult to her and it’s a huge insult to people who actually served.

The fact that he used the war-hero persona to win a political argument with torie suggests to me that he’s not ashamed of the lie at all, but sees it as a continuing source of advantage in his relationships with other people. I can sort of imagine a mostly honest person telling a lie early in a relationship and then being too embarrassed to admit it, but this guy seems to be embracing his fake identity very enthusiastically.

I was in a long-term realtionship with a pathological liar. He lied about things big and small, and while it wasn’t an issue day-to-day, your partner for life should be someone you can trust completely. Mine lied about things I didn’t care about, but also really important things like getting fired and being on cocaine. You can’t be in a relationship, or raise a child with, someone you don’t trust.

One more vote for huge deal. And that the wife has every right and reason to be upset.

I’m not quite willing to say it’s an automatic marriage ender. That’s not my choice to make. I think that for the marriage to be saved Husband needs to agree to major marriage counseling, and come clean on everything else he’s lied about, too. (No, I don’t believe that this is his only lie. It could be the case, and I could win the lottery the next time I play it. I wouldn’t count on either circumstance.) And if Wife wants out after this, I wouldn’t blame her. I’m just describing the minimum that I think would be needed to be done to save the marriage.

Certainly this should be raising battalions of red flags, not just one.

Nope, no kids.

I read an interesting statistic a couple of weeks back in an article about false military claims. It said that for every person who actually is a former Navy Seal, there are six people who are falsely claiming to be former Navy Seals.