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Why does he lie?
Apr 14, 1998

I am a 38 y.o. heterosexual female. I started dating a 33 y.o. man who "was bisexual" in the past but is now "straight." A month after we were dating and talking about making the "relationship permanent" he told me he was HIV+ & just wanted a friendship. THat was over 7 months ago and I do consider him a friend but the biggest problem that I have with him is his lying. He has constantly told me that he would do things for me but either "he forgets" about them or he is "too sick" to do what he has promised. The clincher came last week when he said that he would take me out for my birthday but ended up having to get another friend who was drunk and take him home. He called me later that evening and said he would take me out this weekend but then he was sick with "bronchitis" and was going to stay home. But as usual, he always make a miraculous (sp?) recovery and could go out Sunday and stay out till midnight with his friends.

My biggest whatever it would be alot better if he would tell me that he was gay and get it done and over with but he insits that he is straight. All of his roommates have been gay. His whole apartment is decorated with naked men and other "gay stuff." It would not bother me if he is gay because I care for him for who he is not what he is. I just want to know why he insists on lying to me.

Response from Mr. Shernoff

There is no one reason why he is lying to you. The more important question is why do you still hold on to a friendship with someone who does not treat you with respect, honesty and integrity? This says that you more than likely have a problem with your self esteem. He sounds like not a very nice or concerned person. When you were dating, I hope that you were having safe sex with this man. The fact that he did not tell you immediately that he was HIV positive within the context of knowing that you had a serious enough interest in him to even consider an engagement says that he does not treat you and your feelings with respect. Please take some time to examine your motives for continuing to put up with all the disappointments and crap that have become an acceptable and standard part of your friendship. Are there really so few other people in your life that the way he treats you is acceptable? HIV positive or not, this guy sounds like a loser in terms of his inter-personal human relationship skills...at least in terms of his very shabby treatment of you. You can do better than him, perhaps this is what you need to tell him. Rather than focusing in on why does he lie to you, accept this as a fact, and consider moving on. One non-clinical definition of "crazy" is to continue to do the same thing and expect that the results will be different. You have enough information and confirmation of the fact that this guy will not change how he treats you. You do not have to put up with that kind of behavior from any body.

Michael Shernoff, MSW



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