I Lied About Having a Terminal Illness

By Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

I told my ex about the lie after months of carrying on the lie. He was with me through false pretenses of me being “sick” and has now cut off all contact with me. His family has informed me that they will file restraining orders if I contact him. I need help for myself. But I also don’t think any amount of therapy will help without him in my life to help me through it. What can I do to get him to understand that I have problems and I need help and support?

A. At this point, you have no choice but to move forward with your life, without your ex, because he has ended the relationship. You want to be with him but you don’t have that option. Even if you tried to make contact with him, he or his family might call the authorities.

Perhaps, as time passes, he will forgive you and the relationship can be rebuilt but for now, you have to live with the reality that there is no relationship.

Use this opportunity to address the issues that led to the demise of the relationship. Don’t make the same mistake twice and let lying negatively affect important relationships.

It’s a mistake to think that you cannot be helped with therapy. Of course you can. If you have a desire to change and are open to mental health treatment, then the likelihood of overcoming your psychological issues is exceedingly high.

The key to success in psychotherapy primarily includes having a sincere desire to change. It’s also important to have a competent therapist with whom you are comfortable and compatible.

Therapy can uncover the motivation underlying your lying behavior. In my experience, many people lie to make themselves appear better than they are. Their reasons for lying typically involve having a poor self-image.

You may or may not have the opportunity to repair the relationship with your ex but you should try to address what led to the lying. Even if you are never afforded the opportunity to resume the relationship with your ex, therapy can ensure that lying never damages another important relationship.

You made a mistake and now you are paying the price. Seize this opportunity to make a responsible choice. You can choose not to seek help or you can decide to take responsibility for your actions and try to overcome this problem. It is human nature to makes mistakes but you should try to learn how to prevent them in the future. With therapy you have an opportunity to make those necessary adjustments.

The most responsible course of action, and all that anyone can ask of you, is to take the necessary steps to try to ensure that you never repeat this mistake again. Please take care.

Dr. Kristina Randle

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 16 Dec 2013

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2013). I Lied About Having a Terminal Illness. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 23, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2013/12/16/i-lied-about-having-a-terminal-illness/