"Am I crazy?": How
to Tell if Your Suspicions that Your Partner is Lying are
By Susie and Otto Collins
Janet is having a difficult time trusting herself lately.
She keeps sensing that something is going on with her
To Janet, Erik does not seem to be himself. He's acting
strangely and even secretively around her.
She keeps asking him if anything is wrong and he keeps
telling her that she's the one acting strangely.
Erik argues that there is no distance between them and that
nothing in their relationship has changed.
But, to Janet, everything is different. At the same time,
she can't help but wonder if she's making all of this up.
"Am I crazy?"
You might be wondering if you have completely gone off the
deep end with your worrying and fears that something is awry
in your relationship.
When you ask your partner to communicate with you about the
disconnection or differences that you notice in your
relationship and he or she protests that this is only in
your experience, you may feel like you don't know what (or
whom) to trust.
When you feel suspicious of your mate and begin to ask
yourself if he or she might lying to you and even having an
affair, it can be unsettling.
Of course, you don't want to make an accusation that is
unfounded and end up causing more disconnection in your
At the same time, you don't want to continue living this way
potentially being lied to or taken advantage of.
Calm down and take a new perspective of your situation.
In order to test your suspicions, you will require more
information which will possibly verify or discount the
theories that might be forming in your mind about your
partner and your relationship.
You need to become as much of an observer as you can.
We know, this is nearly impossible when this concerns the
person whom you love and probably depend on in various ways.
While you can't become completely unbiased when assessing
this situation, you can deliberately take a new perspective.
First of all, however, we suggest that you find ways to calm
down and ground yourself. Use deep breathing to help with
In the moment that your worries and fears are intense, you
are less able to make clear decisions or take actions that
you will feel satisfied with tomorrow.
Rather than acting from your suspicions and concerns, we
advise you to take your time.
It you have a friend or family member whom you can trust to
talk about how you are feeling and what you are suspecting,
Be sure to choose a confidante who will maintain your
privacy and also a person who can offer you supportive, yet
For example, you probably don't want to rely on someone who
has just been through a breakup or divorce.
When you feel clearer and less upset, ask yourself what
other possibilities there might be for your partner's odd
This can help you to broaden your focus and acknowledge
other things that might be going on in his or her life.
As Janet takes a different perspective of Erik, she realizes
that he's been going through some personal crises that might
be playing a part in his strange behavior.
Erik's father, whom he was very close with, passed away a
few months ago and Erik was also passed up for a promotion
Both of these events occurred relatively close to one
another and both of these events were understandably
upsetting for Erik.
It is helpful for Janet to recognize that Erik may be
grappling with some internal emotions and struggles that
have nothing to do with her.
At the same time, she can't understand his secretiveness.
Rely on evidence, not assumptions.
Even if, like Janet, you realized that there have been
significant events that may have shaken up your mate and led
to these changes, you might still have questions that you'd
like to have answered.
You can always ask your partner what you are wanting to
If there is weak trust between you, however, his or her
responses may not feel satisfactory to you.
Above all else, we encourage you to base your final
assessment of whether or not your partner is lying on
evidence and not assumptions.
That cold, anxious feeling in the pit of your stomach might,
indeed, be accurately telling you that something is going
But you need more than just guesses-- even if they are gut
instincts-- upon which you can rely.
We advise people in situations like this to develop a
"baseline" of observations about your partner.
What is his or her usual schedule? What is communication
between the two of you usually like? What are his or her
habitual appearance and
On a piece of paper that you keep in a place that your
partner will not look, write down your baseline
You might need to think back a few months if there have been
After writing down this baseline, you can now begin to
observe any changes or differences.
When your partner adopts a new clothing style or starts to
come home later than before from work, it doesn't
necessarily mean that he or she is lying to you and having
But it might.
We suggest that you use this observational method to collect
any evidence that surfaces about what might be going on for
Once you have compiled a certain amount of information upon
which you can truly rely, then you can look at what you've
noticed and come to a decision about what it all means.
If you would like a more in-depth and systematic guide to
help you figure out whether or not your partner is lying and
cheating, you can check out our new book:
Where There's Smoke
There's Fire: How To Tell If Your Man's a Cheating Liar