Monday, July 21, 2014

Liars Remorse


Buyers remorse is a term that has come to mean the feeling of regret  after making a purchase.  A feeling that the cost was too high, or that the risk was too great, can come after we make a financial decision. Sometimes we wish we would have told ourselves to remember our budget. Or to remember an item we were saving for. We wish we wouldn't have spent the way we did, but we have to pay the consequences.

Liars remorse can describe the emotion of remorse after telling or living a lie.  The realization that the loss is large and the repercussions many, can come after we deceive or lead others to believe things that are not true.

Children of divorce, at younger ages, don't always know , or can't distinguish the factors that led to their parents divorce.  Adult children often can smell the rat, or have gathered evidence , from an adult perspective that reveals one or both parents as liars.

Just as our parents lied to us, they probably lied to themselves. They fooled themselves that nothing would change. They overlooked how a small fib could turn into a big one. They underestimated that a betrayal causes great mistrust and that trust is not easily restored.

In his book The ( Honest) Truth about Dishonesty ,  Dan Ariely explains how lies happen and who tells them.   He makes a case that a dishonest or unhealthy desire is best walked away from "before we are close enough to be snagged by it".   Avoiding misbehavior or lying is the best choice and easier than overcoming a poor decision that involves consequences.  Our lying can become easier the more we do it, so make it a goal to not even begin fooling others, lest we fool ourselves in the process.

I am convinced that some of our parents who have led us down the road of being adult children of divorce, have little liars remorse.  I hear that as I listen to other adult children of divorce whose parents are quite happy and content with the new life they have created for themselves, while leaving a hurting family in their wake.  We have liars remorse and sadness for the lies they told.  Other parents do regret their decisions, but have to live with the loss of trust and closeness to family members .

Sometimes adult children of divorce benefit in a round-about way from our experience. We weigh each of our decisions in our marriage and families on a very sensitive scale. We don't want regret or pain for our children.  So then, we must always remind ourselves to consider each desire carefully and weigh the cost.

Dan Ariely shares a story in his book, about a curious element to a victory march among Roman generals.  Victorious generals, wearing robes , sitting on a throne, being celebrated, and marched through crowds in the city streets , were accompanied by a unique companion.  Always by the General's side, was a slave, whose job was to whisper constantly into the General's ear the phrase  " Memento mori", which meant "Remember your morality."  ( p. 247 The Honest Truth About Dishonesty book) . 

I don't know about you, but I don't always like to be reminded of my propensity to goof up.  I want to think that I am capable of making good decisions and that I don't need reminders to stay on the safe side of the street.  But maybe words of my family, friends, scripture and the words of my conscience are needed to whisper or shout to me to remember my morality.   The slave may have been more free than the general he advised, if he followed his own advice. 

As adult children of divorce, allow yourself to listen to words of caution and warning in your own pursuit of desires in life.  Determine to be a person of truth so you do not find yourself a victim of liars remorse.




1 comment:

  1. What an insightful post! It's so true that lying becomes easier as time goes on. I know both of my parents lied to me at many times throughout the breakup of their marriage and it was very painful. I find I am still left with trust issues and never really know who is telling the truth. Although I tend to think the truth is somewhere in the middle. Glad you're back to blogging!

    ReplyDelete

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