DEAR ABBY: My husband, "Sam," and I have been married for 32 years, and all these years he has lied continually. It has gotten so bad that I cringe every time we're invited to family functions or get-togethers with friends. Sam uses these gatherings to be the star of the show, spilling out the most outrageous whoppers you can imagine.
My family knows when he's lying or exaggerating about something. They roll their eyes and nudge me to let me know they know. Sam fabricates the most outlandish stories and never owns up to anything he has done wrong. Instead he blames me or others for his actions. If I confront or challenge him, he gets defensive and says I'm "always" belittling or challenging him in front of others.
Abby, even though I still care for this man, I don't have the respect I wish I had for him. What can I do? -- DISENCHANTED IN THE LAND OF ENCHANTMENT
DEAR DISENCHANTED: After 32 years, there is nothing you can do about it. Your husband has a personality problem -- probably related to insecurity -- that causes him to lie to get attention. It's pathetic, really. However, to embarrass him by pointing it out in front of others is cruel and unproductive. Until he's ready to admit to himself that he has damaged his credibility so badly that no one believes a word he says, nothing will change.