Trust is the foundation of any relationship. So it’s understandable to feel slapped in the face when your partner casually reveals that his first name is actually his middle name. How could he lie like this to you? Do you even know him at all? Follow these steps and see if this relationship can rebound from such a shocking scandal.
Be totally straightforward with him.
The most important thing you can do with this abuse of trust is be completely transparent with your partner. Tell him exactly how you felt when he told you his name is actually “Mark”, but he goes by his middle name “Tyler” because he doesn’t like the name “Mark”. Tell him you feel like Luke Skywalker learning of his true parentage and that it’s going to take a while to get to know “Mark” and that you’ll need space.
Try to put things in perspective for him.
Once you’ve made yourself very clear, try to make him understand how important honesty is to you. Ask him to put himself in your shoes. How would he feel if you suddenly revealed that “Liz” was short for “Elizabeth”. It may be hard for him to imagine that scenario, because you would never commit such a severe violation of trust. But try and make him understand.
Ask him what else he might be lying about.
It’s going to be hard to go back to how things were. If he was dishonest about being “Tyler” what else has he been dishonest about? Is he claiming to have “grown up” in the town where he merely went to elementary school? Was his last name changed at Ellis Island? Pray that he’s been honest, but be prepared to catch him in another lie.
Try to accept this new reality.
It can be hard, but to truly learn to trust again, you’re going to have to accept this new world you live in. Take a few minutes every day to look at the name on his driver’s license. Go with him to the doctor to hear the nurse call out “Mark” in the lobby. Mouth the name “Mark” to yourself in the mirror until the word doesn’t leave the bitter taste of deceit on your tongue.
Rebuilding a bedrock of trust is going to be difficult after an explosive revelation like “oh yeah I use my middle name because my first name is my dad’s name.” But with enough time and patience, you should be able to believe him again. And if you can’t, that’s okay, too. You deserve to know the truth!