Dear Massi, I have moved to a new area with my husband.

My new neighbours invited me over to a coffee morning to introduce me to other women in the area.

They asked me what my husband does. I told them he is a doctor. They all seemed to respect me so much more after hearing that, and now I am getting invited to all the events and they introduce me as the doctor’s wife.

The truth is my husband does work in the hospital, but he is the catering manager there.

My husband started the lie and I went along with it.

These women will not want to know me if I had told them the truth.

Our community only respects people who are professionals like doctors or if you own your business.

The whole thing is spiralling out of control as I have to keep lying about why he never comes to dinner parties. I wear artificial jewellery and pretend it’s real as they think my husband has a huge salary.

In our last place where we lived, he told all the community people that he was an accountant. When people realised the truth, it was so embarrassing that we had to move.

How do I break this cycle?

Massi says, This is indeed a stressful predicament you are immersed in.

Often when one lie is said, several more need to be told in order to keep up the pretence.

Talk to your husband and tell him how this false information is making you feel.

Tell him you feel the pressure and strain socially.

Ask yourselves, do you really want to have friends on the basis of his alleged job title, or sincere friends who actually like you both for whom you really are.

There is no friendship longevity in sustaining this kind of lie. And true friendship is based on truth, understanding and a genuine interest in each other, not one based on a false premise.

He should not be ashamed of his job and once you both embrace his position with confidence, only then will other people follow suit.