I am a Compulsive Liar

Hi everyone. My name is Nick. I'm 20 turning 21 in August. Today I recognized and admitted to myself that I am a compulsive liar. I am going to see my Psychologist on Monday but I don't think I can wait that long to speak about what a terrible person I am. I'm not a violent person. I'm not a drinker or a gambler, nor a smoker. I don't do drugs. I was a mediocre student who excelled in English. I like to have fun. I like to read. I enjoy talking to people. I have a good job at the moment which I love. I am in a relationship with the most beautiful woman on the planet. She's beautiful on the inside and she loves me for me. I'm madly in love with her and I want to spend the rest of my life with her. But that's the problem. I'm not me. My name is Nick and I am a compulsive liar. I started lying I think sometime around the age of 9-10. My father is a pathological liar, but my parents divorced when I was 3 and we moved to a foreign country. I'm not sure if my father has any bearing on my condition, I suspect it may, but please if you have any thought on it, I would love to hear it.

I lied to be cool. I lied to fit in. I lied so that people would like me. I lied to get friends. I lied for favors. I re-invented myself more or less. Every new person I met knew something about me that another one didn't. I suppose if you asked several people to tell you about me, they would all have a different story of who I am. Who they think I am. This is going to be very long and winded, but I am desperately in need of advice and I have nowhere else to go. I need help. Badly. I lie to acquaintances. I lie to real friends. I lie to complete strangers. Big things, little things, doesn't matter. My father is Italian although he was born in the US. His mother was also born in the US though her parents immigrated, I believe. I lie all the time about my father's side being from Sicily, when really they are from Abruzzi. Do you know why I lied? Sicily sounded cooler. Then I started catching mob connotations and I was much happier to run with it, than deny it. That followed me through middle and high school. I got a new job about a week ago. While introducing myself to my new boss, I lied to her and said that I had traveled to Italy, even though I have never been to Europe. Some of these people, I will never see again. But that does not excuse the lie.

In 6 months I plan to be at University, so the job will be gone as I have to move away. I doubt if I will ever see them again. I don't maintain relationships because I feel disgusting inside. I feel poisonous. For thinking it is okay to lie because 'those' people 'don't matter'. It makes me want to not see anyone ever again. I almost cried at work today, upon realizing this. I've lied to my Mother since childhood, to get out of trouble mostly. Once I figured it worked and was much less severe than telling the truth, I kept doing it. Irony. I've told all kinds of lies that I can't keep track of. To people of all walks, who really just wanted to be friends with me. To have genuine relationships with me and still I lied to those people, afraid of them knowing the real me. I assume this lying is a part of my greater insecurities and esteem issues as an individual. Perhaps a personality disorder. I tell lies to even my best friend. The guy who trusts me implicitly and looks to me for advice. A genuine guy, who loves me and I spit in his face by deceiving him.

My girlfriend. I've proposed to her. She accepted. I will continue, but first let me clearly state the lies I have fed her without regard. Surely if I love her I would never have lied to her? I don't know what to do. I do LOVE her, but then why did I lie? I don't know. She is the most wonderful, genuine, honest, dedicated, caring, loving person who has dealt with tragedy her whole life, undeserved. She has a baby with her ex-boyfriend, which she gave for adoption when the baby was born. I am wholly willing to accept her as part of our family (We've spoken extensively about having children). I just found out from her friend when talking earlier that apparently her ex (Let's call him Dan) NEVER LIED. EVER. He was one of the most honest, genuine, sincere, friendly guys you could ever meet. But she said that my girlfriend must love me more, that I must have something truly special as she chose me over him, in the end. Though they were broken up when we met. I feel despicable. That I could ever betray somebody like that.

-I lied about being an amateur boxer with a record of 5-4-1 (I don't even remember the numbers. Could be wrong)

-I lied about my family and my heritage, (Though later managed to rectify this, although I don’t recall to what extent)

-I've lied about my sexual exploits (I've slept with 3 women in my life. Speaking to one of her best friends, I told her when she asked me that I had slept with over 25 women. I told her that I had informed my girlfriend of this, when really I haven't. I may have lied previously to her about the women I've slept with, but the truth is I don't remember what I said)

-The worst lie I told is that when she asked me about one of my ex-girlfriends, I showed her a picture of an acquaintance on Facebook. I told her this woman was my ex-girlfriend but we had broken up after she had an abortion. After my girlfriend had told me (the very first time) about when she had her baby girl. I don't know why I did this. It flew out of my mouth like some kind of toxic vomit. Once it was there I couldn't take it back. I ran with it, it's a sensitive issue for my girlfriend because she's very pro-life. It was very intense and emotionally taut and still I chose to lie. I must be the worst kind of person on the planet to deceive somebody so perfect.. :''(

I must have told her other lies, big and small. But those are the only ones I can recall. I don't remember the other ones but there must be more. I feel it all unraveling from underneath me and it is my own damn fault. I don't want pity or sympathy. I realize I am horrible person. I realize I have a serious problem. I realize I have cultivated a suffering that is yet unknown to the people I love. I just need advice. I just need help. I don't want to lie anymore. I don't want to deceive. I don't want to betray. I don't want to lose the love of my life, but how could I ever look her in the eye. How can I ever have children with her. If I come clean now, everything drowns. She's my universe. Why am I saying that? If she was, would I have ever been so selfish? We have already broken up twice, but she took me back the last time. Not for lying, just for a nasty fight. I said some things in anger that I should not have, yet she still chose to forgive me in her heart. She truly is the most beautiful person on the inside. Her friends, after she explained our breakup, think I am an a******. Though as I spoke to her friend earlier, said all was forgiven and forgotten and that I am a great guy. I wanted to cry. I did cry. But I could not tell my fiances friend what was wrong. Not only have I lied to my girlfriend, but because Melody loves me so much, she constantly talks to her family and friends about me, so in effect I have lied to them as well. How could I ever be a part of their lives when all they know about me are most likely falsehoods.

I don't love her because I need her. I need her because I love her. But I have sowed the seeds for yet another tragic ending in her life. I just don't want to live without her but I could not live with myself if I stayed with her and never came clean. But I know it would be the straw that broke the camel’s back. She would leave. She said this was the last fight we were going to have. If it came to this, she would never come back. I just don't know what to do. Please help me. Please... :''(

I don't deserve forgiveness or pity or sympathy. I deserve everything bad that is going to happen to me. But I want to be better, I don't want to be this person. I just need advice.

Despondent Nick

(I posted this confession earlier, anonymously in the health section, so you might see a double up. It won't let me delete the old one)


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  • You should read Dan Ariely. His research on behavioral economics is all about lying, deceit and immorality. I have a feeling that you may have a heritable predisposition to lie. There are actual morphological differences in the brains of "normal" people and compulsive liars. It's actually quite fascinating.

  • damn dude i dont know what to say. i understand why you do and dont want to tell her but if you tell her it will possibly ruin your relationship but you need to tell her why you lied and tell her how much you love her and tell her everything you say about her. and if you come clean a weight so huge will be lifted off of your shoulders (believe me). but if she does leave this will be a lesson to you and and if you love her as much as you say you will not lie again.

  • Thank you for writing this.
    This was very interesting and eye-opening for me, because part of me could really relate- a part that is a compulsive liar on a miniature scale, a part that could see its full potential in your words. Maybe I'm wrong and maybe I can't understand you, but this really struck a chord with me. I lie when there's absolutely no need to, no reason, no consequences for telling the truth. Very stupid things- I was at X instead of at Y. I lie when people ask me where I live- strangers I might never meet again, people who couldn't care less. There's nothing wrong with where I live. It's just that I'm afraid of the sound of the truth. It's much harder for the truth to come out of my mouth, and anything else is easier. Where do you study, what do you do for a living- I'm afraid, afraid of saying the real thing. I always twist it, even if just a little bit. And I'm always apologetic about it. I lie about my experience to not have to measure up to it- I make it sound smaller. No, this is my first time performing on this instrument. Later we're friends on facebook and I'm terrified of him seeing that picture in that old album and finding out I was lying, so I go and edit my privacy settings for an hour. But wait, what about his friends that might see it too and tell him later? (this is paranoia now, because why on earth would they?) I stay up all night trying to find a solution and in the end I delete all my albums. Why did I lie? She asked me, what kind of school are you going to? College? Without thinking, I said yes. Although I'm going to grad school. Why did I lie? Explaining the truth would be too much. I look too young. I don't deserve grad school yet- I'm not good enough. I felt like she expected me to say yes, so I said yes.

    I don't mean to deceive people. It's just that lies fly out of my mouth before I can think. Literally. It's just that the truth is so heavy on my tongue. It's just that I'm terrified of transparency.

    And sometimes I feel like part of it is that I write so much in my head, and when I'm talking to someone I forget that writing stops here. I continue saying what would sound good instead of what is. Truth is pale. Truth is boring.

    I'm also desperate to be loved, and nothing terrifies me more than being disliked. With the believer I'm a believer. With the atheist I don't believe in God. I don't really "lie"- I just look for a part of me that understands the person and then magnify it until I become it. I am both liberal and conservative, both with and against.

    I'm so sorry I'm using you as a mirror instead of trying to help.
    I just really think you're not a bad person.

  • I said the SAME THING! :D

  • How do we know you not lying now?

  • Exactly what I thought

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