Compulsive liar damages relationship, in childrens home, in foster care, in careQ My soon-to-be-ex partner keeps making false promises and telling me lies. Then he never explains himself to me when he’s been found out. He just laughs it off, blames someone else – including me – or he disappears for a few days.

He’d promise that we’d do something or go somewhere… and then make sure that we didn’t go – for one reason or another. It took me a few months to cotton on to what he kept doing because he’s so believable.

I don’t understand why he bothered to offer me things like holidays and shopping trips and then never follow through with anything.

He lies about what he’s said and done – even when I know the truth. He will argue that black is white that he’s in the right and other people are wrong. He even has me confused and believing him – although I know the truth!

He used to be in a children’s home as a child, and had several foster homes, so maybe this has something to do with it.

I’ve decided to break up with him and I’ve stopped believing any of his pie-in-the-sky offers, false promises, and frequent lies. But I’m still curious about why he keeps doing this and setting me up for disappointment – and making himself look bad too.

A I do sympathise and empathise with you. It is impossible to build a solid relationship on shifting sand. Without trust and safety there’s nothing for you (and your inner child) to attach to. That lack of attachment is also significant in another way … for him.

When he’s making his offers and promises he probably feels that he’s being seen by you as generous and kind – and he’s liked for that.

Then he can’t, or won’t, deliver on his promises and so he then gets the familiar pay off of being seen as a disappointment – and disliked (and ultimately rejected) because of that.

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toxic family's smear campaign to damage a start up businessQ I had a big fall out with my family a few years ago and don’t have anything to do with them now, even though I still live in the same town. I’ve recently started up my own business and have a salon in the town centre.

I’ve been told by a few friends that members of my family have been bad mouthing me and trying to put customers off from coming to see me. ‘Someone’ has also sprayed personal graffiti across my shop front window, and put rubbish through the letter box. They’ve always been nasty and that’s one of the main reasons I needed to distance myself from them…but I don’t get why they are trying to ruin my business. I have a child of my own and they’re affecting our income and livelihood.

A My first guess is envy…followed closely by ‘smearing’.

Envy that you are the one trying to make a better life for yourself and setting up your business (which takes strength of character).

Smearing refers to their attempt to destroy your credibility… whilst trying to appear that they’re telling people these lies for their own good – as if doing them a favour.

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