and people who believe them.
It is bad enough when what could originally be described as a trivial omission provokes a disagreement, but when one of the parties defends his actions with a lie, it puts a strain on the relationship.
However, when he repeats his lie to others, the strain becomes irreparable damage. When those others believe the lie, the damage spreads.
Honesty could have brought healing and understanding, but to tell a deliberate lie and then, because that lie is believed, to spread that lie further afield is a cruel and callous crime.
My uncle once said if you steal once or a thousand times, you are forever a thief. People do not say "He was a thief because he stole my property." They say "He is a thief, because he stole my property." It is the same with lies. If someone tells one lie or a thousand lies, he will always be a liar.
Of course, redemption might restore the relationship. The thief could admit his crime and return the property. The liar could restore the relationship by admitting the truth to all concerned.
In the case of the incident I have in mind, the liar has repeated his version so often, I think he believes it himself. One of the people to whom he lied considers he has made a magnanimous gesture towards reconciliation, but the one thing he hasn't done yet is told the truth.