My girlfriend lies and manipulates

-- Question for John --

My girlfriend lies and manipulates. She is good at manipulating me into making me feel sorry for her. Her excuse of lying is so that she will “fit in.” She makes me feel bad when there is no need. I would do anything for her. She means the world to me. She doesn’t ask much of me, and she always keeps in touch when we are not together. She makes me feel really good, but bad at times. I don’t want to give up on her.

I’m still with her after discovering that she lied to me about her age and a deadly illness (and many little ridiculous lies there is no need to lie about). I knew something was wrong. I could see the fear in her eyes as she lies, but I just couldn’t say anything to her.

-- Answer from John --

You describe a relationship where the person you love lies to you, makes excuses, and manipulates you. And you seem to understand that this is not healthy. Then you tell me you love her and she makes you feel great. Is it possible to love something that is unhealthy for you?

Think about drugs, for example. The kind where people end up doing things that really hurt themselves. But they say, “I cannot live without this drug. I want it all the time.”

How is what you are asking me different? I would really encourage you to know this one thing: there is healthy love and there is unhealthy love, and it is up to you to know which kind you want in your life, and then live accordingly so that you get it.

If you wanted, for example, to turn this unhealthy love into a more healthy love, that can be done under the following circumstances: both you and she went to therapy for at least a year and you both were really clear and committed that you wanted to change the way you did things and were willing to face those really uncomfortable things in yourselves that led you and her to be in this unhealthy relationship.

Now is this a realistic thing for a couple of teenagers to want to do? I doubt it. Usually, people are in their 30’s before they are willing to face and change these kinds of things.

So as far as giving you some quick advice for how to make this a more healthy relationship: tell her that if she lies to you one more time it is over.

Start with that one and back it up. Put what you really want on the line.

Without honesty, you got nothing.