Have you ever noticed how your powers of discernment have noticeably sharpened during this entire journey of being partnered with a sex addict/compulsive? Part of that comes from frequently having to figure out if you're being given the truth, weighing out what you're told against what you perceive.
While we are having to rely on our intuition over and over again while in relationship to a SAC (sex addict/compulsive), it might be worthwhile to learn some basic skills that can help us along the way.
In the TED Talk video below, fraud specialist Pamela Mayer encourages us to educate ourselves on how to detect a lie but then we're also admonished to "....go the extra mile from lie-spotting to truth-seeking....and ultimately to trust-building". I don't know a single POSA who wouldn't desire that exact trajectory. Cautiously, of course.
You might think Pamela Mayer works in the field of sexual compulsions where lying is part of the territory, but she doesn't. Instead, she has an MBA from Harvard, an MA in Public Policy and she's a Certified Fraud Examiner. Who knew one could get certified in Fraud Examination?
Mayer is the author of the book called Lie-Spotting: Proven Techniques to Detect Deception on which the TED Talk embedded in the article is based (link below).
Here are some other thought-provoking questions she asks about our ability to spot a lie, all highly relevant to life as a POSA:
"Can you tell what's happening in a conversation? Can you find the discrepancies between someone's words and someone's actions?
It seems obvious, but when you're having a conversation with someone you suspect of deception, attitude is by far the most overlooked but telling indicator.
An honest person will be cooperative, they're going to show they're on your side, they're going to be enthusiastic, they're going to be willing and helpful in getting you to the truth."
Once we learn some basics of lie-spotting, Mayer suggests we: "Look, listen, probe—Ask some hard questions. Get out of that very comfortable mode of knowing, walk into curiosity mode, ask more questions." Well, I don't know too many of us POSAs who can stay stuck in any comfortable mode of knowing unless our best friend is a polygraph examiner, but her advice to ask hard questions is sound. Especially when your SAC pushes back or deflects your efforts at learning what you need to know to get an accurate picture so you can make decisions.
And I might add, we need to ask ourselves the hard questions, too, to ensure we're not deceiving ourselves in order to stay connected to our partners if they've proven themselves consistently untrustworthy. One good question is: If this is as much change as my partner is capable of, can I stay in the relationship the way it is right now?
Enjoy the videos below and be sure to let us know what in particular helped you discern the truth?
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