How do you recognize a compulsive liar

Morbid lying : Master of the staging

They met at the corner table where Silke Schulz * is now sitting. In a pub in Kreuzberg, not a particularly trendy shop, dark green leather benches, 0.33 liters of beer for 2.40 euros, Toast Hawaii for 3.00 euros. Frank was sitting at the other end of the room, says Silke Schulz. There is a lot of affection in her voice. At some point he took a flower out of a vase and came over to her. “May I give you this gerbera?” “You must be familiar with flowers,” she replies. “My parents have a nursery,” he says.

This is how it all starts: with a lie.

Three times a day, that's how often Germans lie on average. According to scientific studies, men a little more often than women. Almost every other time to avoid anger, occasionally to gain advantage, every tenth time out of sheer convenience, and sometimes to be loved. And then there are people who cannot help themselves.

The man, whom Silke Schulz married on April 2nd, 2008, is an administrative specialist and comes from Greifswald. His parents run a small nursery. His brother was killed in a car accident during the GDR era. The sister emigrated to New Zealand. Every Tuesday he plays skat with his colleagues, otherwise he has no fixed habits. As a young adult, he was very successful in guarding the hockey goal for a third division team.

The man that Silke Schulz now wants to leave is unemployed and comes from Essen. He is an only child and has never been to a sports club. He doesn't even know the rules of the game of Skat. His father is a pharmacist, his mother was a teacher. It's the same man she went to the registry office with almost five years ago. But he lies all the time. They now have a son together, Mäxchen.

“I love Frank,” says Silke Schulz, strong stature, straight, chin-length hair, round face with a pointy nose. "I love Frank." The blond, curly haired boy is sitting on her lap. Love and Max, those are the two reasons why she hasn't left, even though she has wanted to do it hundreds of times.

The first time she found out that her husband already has a child from a previous relationship. “Mäxchen was two months old.” Then she found a letter under a pile of magazines about maintenance payments. “He always said that it never felt right with any woman, that he longed for a family.” He had three years of family life behind him when he met Silke: he saw his six-year-old daughter every Tuesday - always when he pretends to be playing skat.

It is disappointments like these that are now making Silke Schulz speak. That's why she responded to an Internet advertisement. Did she think she knew this man when she said yes? “Knowing someone, what does that mean,” she says. They were a couple for a year when he proposed to her. "We had a good time". Frank was funny, attentive, loving. Her friends said: Silke, you made a good catch. When they meet, she is 37, has more ideas for her life than her work for a health insurance company and weekly evenings with her girls. Her parents also like the "brisk Ossi" and experience him as reliable and helpful. "And then he was finally a civil servant."

Now new: We give you 4 weeks of Tagesspiegel Plus! To home page