Everybody lies. Those who claim otherwise are...liars! In divorce, however, lies intensify an already-difficult process. As your reality is turned upside down, it can be overwhelming to separate fact from fiction; if your ex is a compulsive liar, you'll unfortunately find more of the latter than the former.
Don't despair; you can make it through this process in one piece. However, you'll need an excellent legal team and a whole lot of patience. Keep the following do's and don'ts in mind as you prepare for the headache of divorce:
Don't: Settle for Mediation
Mediation can save you time and money — if both you and your spouse are honest, calm, and mature. There's no room for lies in mediation, which relies on a mutual basis of trust. If your spouse is a compulsive liar, you deserve the protection of a skilled legal representative
Do: Seek as Much Evidence as Possible
The more documentation you obtain, the better. No bill, photo, or social media post is too small to play a role in your divorce. Hard evidence is your chief defense against an ex gone rogue. Unfortunately, gathering these documents could prove difficult if you're dealing with a habitual liar. Your attorney can help you uncover critical evidence, even if your ex refuses to cooperate.
Don't: Assume It's Personal
Prepare to hear shocking accusations from your spouse. Lying is this person's chief refuge, and you can bet that he or she will rely on this carefully-honed skill in these trying times. Remember: It's not personal. Continue to remind yourself that your spouse is merely relying on a horrible coping skill. It's easier to negotiate when you assume everything that comes from your spouse's mouth is a falsehood — no matter who the target happens to be.
Do: Stick to Your Convictions
The term 'gaslighting' was made famous by a film starring Ingrid Bergman and Charles Boyer. In this groundbreaking movie, Boyer's character (a thief and compulsive liar) convinced the woman played by Bergman that she merely imagined lights dimming in her home. Such manipulation is common among pathological liars. Be prepared for your ex to attempt to plant new details into your head — perhaps in an effort to come away with reduced alimony or a greater share of community property.