I believe my wife has a habit of lying (over things). It could be small, everyday things. It could be the big things. And it is not just with me, I see her fibbing with her friends, with her relatives. I don’t know what to do. I have broached this topic with her – it hurts her ego, and she never admits to it. Ours is an arranged marriage. I now realise, that she has lied about many things. Once, when confronted, she said, that I would have never agreed to marry her if she had been truthful about certain things. What do I do? I know, marriage involves compromises but her constant fibbing is getting to me.
Compulsive lying is one of the major symptoms of low self-esteem. For whatever reason/s in the past, an individual’s brain develops lying as a coping and defence mechanism, essentially it means that the person is convinced that lying is the only way they can “survive in this punishing and judgmental world.” Truth might have come at a heavy price for them in the past, and thereby making them blind to the fact that lying too has its dire consequences.
Like you said, that when you try to bring it to her attention that she lies a lot, “it hurts her ego.” A fragile ego is another symptom of severely low assessment of one’s self.
I understand that it is really difficult to deal with someone who can’t be trusted for their habit of lying, and one is especially perturbed when it is one’s life partner. I sincerely suggest that you speak to her about your concerns. Raise them as questions if you think that might help. For e.g. instead of saying, ‘Your lying is destroying my peace of mind,’ ask something like, ‘how do you think this compulsive lying would affect our mental health?’
It cannot be denied that the problem needs to be looked at in its historical and personal context (with regards to your wife). Counselling is absolutely required where your wife can unpack her fear of telling the truth about things, as she knows it.