How to Spot a Liar, etc: Jason, Shanna

Long List of Lies

"I'm a habitual liar," Jason says. "I believe that everybody lies. I don't do it to hurt people. Like, I don't lie about important stuff."

"I can't believe anything that comes out of his mouth," says Jason's wife of five years, Shanna. "He lies about everything."

"I may tell them I rode my bike 20 miles. I did ride my bike. I don't know how far " felt like 20 miles," Jason says. "If I jumped off a 30-foot cliff, in my story, it may be 50. Well, I don't even know if it was 30, but it was a large cliff."

"The constant lying drives me insane," Shanna says. "If friends come over, Jason will tell me what he has lied about, so I have to watch what I say. He has lied about opening up a checking account. He has lied about talking to an ex. I asked him to change his number. He said he would and didn't." She worries about the effect his lying has on their daughters. She's caught their 6-year-old lying as well.

"I absolutely feel like my wife forces me to lie to her. If I were to tell the truth to my wife, it would end up in an argument," he says.

"When I catch him, he tries to turn it around like it's my fault," she says.

"If I'm going to a friend's house to hang out for an hour, I might say I'm going to my boss' house to help him with something, because I know she will accept and be OK with me going to my boss' house," Jason says.

[AD]"He lied about girlfriends in the past that he's had," she says.

"Recently, I had my phone in my pocket for example. It dials her by accident. She stays on the phone for 29 minutes to hear me talking about a past relationship of mine," Jason says.

"It hurt because he told me he had only been with one person," she says, wiping her tears away. "He needs to understand that even the simplest little lies hurt. I'd rather you just come right out and tell me the truth. If I have to put up with the lies that Jason tells me for the rest of my life, the relationship cannot work."

Dr. Phil asks Jason, "Are you a chronic liar?"

"Chronic lying to me would be lying to everybody, and I don't feel like I lie to everybody," he says. "I do lie to my wife way too often." He admits he consistently lies to his wife, more than other people.

"You lie to other people to make yourself look better, right?" Dr. Phil asks.

"I feel like I'm a good storyteller. When I tell a story, I may put a little icing on the cake," he says. When Dr. Phil asks for an example, Jason says, "I've lost a lot of weight. I say I lost about 100 pounds. It probably wasn't 100 pounds, but it was about 75." Jason says he wants help so he can make his wife happy.

"Well, that's interesting because you said the reason you lie to her is because you want to make her happy. How's that working for you?" Dr. Phil asks.

"I lie to her to spare her feelings, so I don't make her unhappy," he says.

"Do you not recognize that the lies are hurting?" Dr. Phil asks Jason.

"Oh, I do. That's why I'm here."

Dr. Phil goes back through Jason's list of lies, including talking to an ex-girlfriend, strippers at a bachelor party and a secret bank account.

"I think a lot of it is just not exposing the full truth," Jason explains.

[AD]"Can we agree that lying by omission is a lie?" Dr. Phil asks.

"Yes, but if the part of the truth you gave is the truth, then how is that a lie?"

Dr. Phil looks confused. "Have you ever watched this show before?"

"Yes."

"Trying to run that by me is like trying to get sunrise by a rooster," Dr. Phil says.

See Dr. Phil's demonstration on how Jason's lies damage his marriage.

 

Dr. Phil tells Jason that being honest is a choice. "There is real freedom in choosing to say, ‘You know what? I'm not going to lie,'" he says. He points out that Jason's friends probably see through his stories. "They don't take you seriously, and so they don't appreciate the good qualities of who you are."

Dr. Phil asks about their oldest daughter, who has started lying too.

Shanna says, "Every time she does that, I think of Jason. In the back of my mind, I think, oh, gosh, I don't want to go through this. I don't want her to end up being like that the rest of her life."

Dr. Phil explains that children form their personality around 4 to 6 years old. "The core elements of your personality developmentally are getting in place right now for her. And you not only need to not lie, you need to be a real advocate for truth. If you know that you tell the truth " "

"There's nothing to hide," Jason finishes.

"It's so much easier," he says. "You need to make a choice to stop this now."


Jason still thinks his wife is partially to blame for his dishonesty. "I think she's the reason why I lie so much. I used to be a very honest person," he says.

Dr. Phil is not buying it. "Don't lie to yourself about this. You're not doing her a favor. You're lying because you think it's an easier route," he says. He tells Jason that if he has problem with Shanna, he should have a talk with her about the problem instead of lying. He implores Jason to make a change. "Part of maturity is to say, ‘I've got to man up here.'"

[AD]Dr. Phil makes it clear to Shanna that she does not make her husband lie. He turns back to Jason. "You can't lie to your partner in life and expect her to trust you, expect her to want to be with you, expect her to have peace in her life," he says.

Dr. Phil tells Jason that every time he's about to talk, he should stop and ask himself if this is a complete truth. "Do that for 30 days, and I promise you, you will see this differently," he says.