It’s not uncommon for most well-adjusted people to keep both a public and private life.
But one living a double life – that’s a different story.
Like the suburban mom who secretly ran a brothel; the family man who planted a bomb in his wife’s car to continue having an affair; the husband and father who lived with the identity of another person for two decades or the nun who was secretly volunteering as an abortion clinic escort.
Psychologists believe that individuals who develop a double life do so from an “inability to integrate two conflicting, opposite sides of a personality.”
These people separate the different aspects of their personality, and so, lying becomes their way of life.
Just look at these true stories:
Suburban Mom and Brothel Owner
In 2012, news broke that Anna Gristina, a 44-year-old married suburban mom of four from Monroe, New York, was secretly running a brothel out of an apartment on the Upper East Side.
Much to the shock of her neighbors, husband and children, she pleaded guilty to a single count of promoting prostitution.
Sentenced to six months in prison plus five years of probation, she ended up serving four months behind bars before making bail.
Family Man and Would-Be Murderer
Connie Hoagland, a San Diego mother of three would have never imagined that her husband would try to kill her.
On September 23, 2010, Hoagland started her car and a bomb exploded. She suffered injuries but survived.
Police soon discovered that her husband, Larry Hoagland was the culprit.
While in the hospital, Connie received a phone call from Larry. He admitted that he was having an affair (but didn’t admit to attempted murder) and that all those out-of-town trips weren’t really for “work” after all. He was seeing his secret lover and even exchanging up to 100 text messages a day with her.
He was found guilty of premeditated attempted murder and sentenced to life plus 13 years in jail.
Double lives and Social Media
With the advent of social media, the person we are and the person we present to the world are increasingly becoming two different things.
In 1954, social psychologist Leon Festinger came up with the “social comparison theory;” which is the idea that we measure our own worth based on how we compare ourselves to others.
Now that social media exists, the pressures to keep up with the “perfect” lives on Facebook and Instagram has resulted in many people simply portraying perfection – or any version of themselves they want.
On Whisper, a social network without identities or profiles, people share their real thoughts and feelings; and many of these confessions are shocking, to say the least. Many reveal the insane double lives that some people live.
They say you can’t judge a book by its cover. Well, you can’t judge someone by their social media profiles either. Some double lives make headlines, while others are still hiding…