Have you ever heard of mythomania? It is a pathological disorder whose main symptom is the tendency to fable, to transform reality or, ultimately, to lie compulsively.
In relationships, this disorder, suffered by one of the two members of the relationship, can have very negative consequences, which involve suffering and discomfort (especially for the partner of the mythomaniac).
In this article, in addition to explaining in more detail what this disorder is, we will know the effects of June of mythomania on couple relationships.
What is mythomania?
Before we delve into the effects of mythomania on couple relationships, let’s define what mythomania is. Mitomania (also called pathological lying or fantastic pseudology) consists of behavior characterized by recurrent and compulsive lies.
Usually, these types of lies (which are quite unlikely, although they can be believed, as we will see later), bring some sort of advantage or benefit to the person telling them (e.g., beware, money. , company, etc.).
The term mythomania was first described in the medical literature by the German psychiatrist Anton Delbrueck in 1989, and then used by the French psychiatrist Ernest Dupré.
Although this is a controversial (and very complex) concept, the truth is that many experts in the field consider that in mythomania the invention of stories is done unconsciously, and in addition, these stories are often improbable and therefore easy to refute. however, there are mythomaniacs who can intentionally lie.
According to studies, in terms of prevalence, mythomania affects both men and women.
Characteristics of mythomania
As we have seen, in mythomania, the made-up events are usually unbelievable, that is, unlikely events. This is so because these are often stories which, although not true, have real and true details.
On the other hand, they are very well formulated lies, which suggests that the mythomaniac thinks a lot about all the probabilities of the event when he explains it, as well as its circumstances, contextual characteristics, etc.
It should be clear that the mythomaniac’s lies are not illusions or another possible symptom of psychosis. On the other hand, mythomaniacs can even speak the truth under heavy pressure.
Why is this happening?
Why do mythomaniacs lie? To begin with, it should be noted that their tendency to lie is generally chronic or at least very long-lasting.
Also, lying is not caused by social pressure or an immediate trigger, but rather by a type of personality disorder (e.g. histrionic personality disorder), coupled with a lot of insecurity, low self-esteem. self-esteem and / or a need for attention. .
By lies, mythomaniacs often tell stories that leave them in a good position, Or that they get people around you to pay them a lot more attention (because they say they are seriously ill, for example).
Now yes, as we delve into the realm of love, we will see what the effects of mythomania can be on relationships.
The effects of mythomania on romantic relationships
What happens when one of the two members of the couple is a mythomaniac? The effects of mythomania on couple relationships can be very diverse, although it is clear that the relationship can (and only) be greatly altered. Here are some of those effects:
1. Conflicts and misunderstandings
The first effect of mythomania, whether or not it is in a relationship, is the emergence of conflict. This happens for several reasons; first of all, that lies are usually discovered sooner or later (As the saying goes “you catch a liar rather than a cripple”), which ends up generating mistrust in the couple.
On the other hand, telling stories that are not true can cause some misunderstandings or confusion in the relationship, because in the end they are improbable stories, which can make the person listening to them think that your partner is not really doing well. , you are confused or you might not even understand why you are doing this.
Another effect of mythomania on relationships is, of course, the mistrust already mentioned.
When you know someone, and especially at the beginning, trust is essential; if they lie to us from the start and we find out, the relationship will start to grow out of mistrust, which can be fatal, creating insecurities in one of the members of the couple, making them suffer, not believing in the relationship, etc. .
3. Legal issues
If the myth addict’s problem is serious, legal issues may even arise that directly affect the couple. This can result from multiple situations where the lie is the protagonist.
Such problems can arise, for example, with a lie that has gradually grown larger.
4. Dissatisfaction and discomfort
Mythomania also often triggers a strong feeling of dissatisfaction and discomfort in the couple (that is, in both members of the same).
This comes from the fact that in the end, depending on the severity and frequency of the lies, the relationship (and the life of the mythomaniac) is built on the lieSo, it is not an honest and sincere relationship. So, people who have a relationship with a myth addict can suffer a lot.
The next of the effects of mythomania on relationships is guilt in the mythomaniac’s partner. As the mythomaniac often tells stories where he appears as a victim, this can end up triggering a feeling of guilt in the couple, logically linked to the type of stories he hears from his partner.
Outraged, it is common for stories to become more and more elaborate and serious, Its direct effects may therefore also be aggravated.
Finally, the last of the possible effects of mythomania on the relationships to stand out is the rupture (derived, in turn, from other points already mentioned).
The breakup can appear for several reasons: because the couple discovers the pathological lies of their partner, because they do not understand their behavior, because they feel betrayed, etc.
- Cas, R. & Zamarro, A. (2011). Mythomania in the current clinic. About a case. AEN Magazine.
- De la Serna, JM (2017). Mythomania: Discovering the compulsive liar. Tektime.
- Dike, CC and Baranosky, M. (2005). Pathological lie revisited. Journal Acad Psychiatry Law, 33 (3): 342-9