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Once upon a time I had two good friends who lied - and their wives backed them up.
One lied about who he had been in a war that he could have participated in (but he didn't) in order to make himself look bigger and better than he was. As he aged, the stories about the past lessened until he was finally comfortable in his own skin.
His lies had no impact on anything but himself as his past really had no relevance to anyone but himself. He didn't lie in order to lord it over anyone - it was just in the way he defined himself.
The other lied in order to make himself look good and you inadequate. At a point I was struggling with working full time, staying married, and attending a difficult graduate school, he would remind me that the school you attended mattered and mine wasn't one of the ones that mattered.
My problems were insignificant, his were so much more important. His school was one of those up north that MATTERED - mine was - well, ok, but nothing more. Eventually I realized that if I had good news his was better. If I had bad news his was worse. And I quit visiting.
The first man was always proud of me and gave me a hand when I was down - and when I learned that he had lied it was not a surprise but it didn't matter and it didn't change my love for him. I missed him when he died and miss him still.
The second? I got tired of being put down as part of every conversation and hadn't spoken to him for the 20 years prior to his death. When all the lies came out - his wife had left him ten years before when he finally stole too much from her - it was no surprise and meant nothing to me.
I don't understand why someone would lie about who they are and what they have done. Sometimes I look back and smack myself (ala "I could have had a V8") thinking I should have done this, I could have done that, but I am content with where I am (most of the time and for the things within my control. I want more than I will get from my job and more for my students than they are willing to do - but I recognize that they need to want it.). I didn't end up where I thought I would but where I can see I needed to be.
Why would I want to lie about who I am? Why would anyone?