You Lied - You Didn't Want to Hurt Me - What It Really Means
How young were you when you heard these words? It typically happens when we have 'caught' someone we cared about and trusted... lying. And so the words, "I didn't want to hurt you." What is this really about? Like most mysteries in life, the truth lies at the beginning; you have to unravel the story behind the words.
1) From your parents; this one is painful and can actually be the roots to a severely dysfunctional childhood. You hear these words went they have hidden something important from you, when they knew, and usually a lot of other people knew, but they didn't want you to know. This cuts to the heart. Why? Because the beginning of this story occurs when they decided to pledge their allegiance to the person they were hiding the information for. The interpretation; 'I was covering for them - therefore, they matter more than you.' The proper response was honesty. It may have hurt you, but at least you did not have to deal with the other feelings of inadequacy their lies caused. You won't forget this, ever. You may 'forgive it' but you won't forget it. The people you trusted most in your life chose someone over you.
That is how our psyche interprets this once we get over the initial of pain.
2) From your trusted friends; typically one of two scenarios creates this situation. Either they have been involved in something that was hurtful and in opposition to your best interests with others, (rumors r even lying about their involvement with people who are openly opposed to your best interests) or they learned that your boyfriend/girlfriend or spouse is cheating and kept the secret. The first one is openly deceitful and good cause to leave that friendship. You have been given a preview of who they really are and how they will act when opportunity comes knocking. The second one is equally deceitful and far more painful. However, historically, when this occurs, the friend who has been the bearer of the bad news, even if truthful, typically ends up on the outside of the friendship. And so they hesitate. The reality is that it is very rare for this to occur with no signs in the relationship that something has happened. The person being cheated on has elected to invite denial in to keep them company. The only winning way to handle this is to let the cheater know they need to come clean because you will confront them in front of the spouse otherwise. It's risky, and you better have some proof, but at least if you lose the friendship you did it honestly.
3) From co-workers; this is pretty common. They don't have a real emotional bond with you. Even friendships formed at work carry the hidden clause that both parties know it may never last beyond the duration of the job. This happens from rumor mills, on the job sexual relationships and efforts to get promotions. The relationship comes with a warning label that accompanies the position; be aware and prepared for anything. It is a betrayal and it hurts, but it was also predictable. There is no solid commitment in these relationships.
4) Siblings and Adult Children; these are painful and probably will not be forgotten either. With siblings, it happens frequently when you are the one 'left out.' They plan things, go places and invite each other and leave you out. Unimaginable though it maybe, this is usually attributed to one of two things; either your emotions are out of control and including you makes it all too difficult due to anger or other emotional issues, or... they perceive you to have integrity and many times that is a damper to groups. It holds them to higher standards and is frequently misread.
5) Spouses and partners; here's the biggie. It is a variety pack.
a) You learn that they have been slowly leaving the relationship and are engaged in setting p a new living situation; when you confront them they tell you they were getting things in order and planned to tell you, but they didn't want to hurt you. Translation; I needed to use your income and home until I managed to get what I was looking for in order.
b) They got caught cheating for the first or the hundredth time; they couldn't tell you, they didn't want to hurt you. Translation; I don't want to deal with being responsible for my actions; you be the bad guy and cause the break up. 'You knew I was no good.'
c) You learn they have been making derogatory statements about you to friends and family; they didn't say them to you because they didn't want to hurt you. Translation; I am getting ready to leave this relationship and I don't want it to appear to be my fault, so I am telling them all the problems you cause in my life. This is a passive/aggressive response that comes from having a partner with no self esteem and no backbone.
d) You think you have a good relationship only to learn that your partner is gay; they didn't want to tell you because they didn't want to hurt you. Translation; I am not out of the closet and telling you is like advertising. I needed you so I can appear 'normal.' They are not comfortable with being gay yet.
e) You discover your spouse/partner has been hiding money and pretending to be broke. They lied; they didn't want to hurt you. Translation; I am a control freak and money is more important to me than my relationship with you. These people have trust issues and are usually incapable of really loving anyone beyond them.
f) One partner is needy makes the other feel guilty if they broach the truth; this is difficult. The partner who is lying really wants to be truthful, but the other cannot handle the truth, so they stop the discussion and force their partner to go along to get along. They buy a little time and go along until they find a way to say goodbye.
They become co-conspirators in maintaining the lie. Translation; they won't let me tell them the truth and I don't have the courage to bite the bullet.
All of these situations are painful; the root cause is a lack of integrity and basic dishonesty. It is stressful to all and demeaning to the victim of the lies. It is also a real indicator that the person lying has no real respect for the one they are lying to or themselves. This behavior is unacceptable and should be halted at the first appearance. Look around you; you will see that people who live a life of integrity rarely experience this kind of betrayal.
Why; two reasons.
They look for the same traits in their friendships and partners, removing the possibility of it occurring.
Or, the people in their lives respect their integrity and just level with them, telling them the truth and hope they can deal with it. It is easier than the lack of forgiveness that will surely occur with this kind of person. They hold your feet to the fire.
When this happens to us, we need to delve down into ourselves to see what part we played in allowing the situation to victimize us; and, to build a level of integrity within ourselves that is the barrier to this kind of behavior. And by all means, refuse to allow denial or delusion into your relationship with anyone.