I will keep this short and to the point. This is meant to be a practical example to fellow new guys as to what internalization really is (I wondered at first too, now I'm seeing it)
Backstory: Wife went to make up store a few months ago (I waited in the car to do some reading). Comes put and tells me how much she spent. Mentioned a card, I asked if she got another credit card. "No, it's just a rewards card." We drive home.
This morning: An open credit card statement from make up store is laying on the table. Caught in a lie.
How I handled it: I thought about ignoring it. She is finacially responsible, no worries that it, along with her other bills will get paid. I did not like the fact she lied, however. I decided to address it, calm but firm. Not butthurt, accusingly, or ramboishly. At first she says she did get it that day and didn't tell me bc she didn't want me to flip out. I responded with nothing more than "I don't want you to lie to me, just tell me the truth next time." Again calm & firm.
Her attitude shifted to defense mode and she gets a little aggitated. Few minutes later "Actually, I got the card when I went back to make a return and new purchase." I knew this was a lie. BUT, you don't have to engage! I called her out on her bullshit ("I was with you when you made the return, I know you didnt spend $statement amount that day."), but went RIGHT back to "I just don't want you lie to me."
Realization: Will she lie to me again, whether big or small? Probably. Can I stop her from doing it? Absolutely not. Is it worth wasting my day to jump into her frame, retort every excuse she gives with facts or more questions and so on....No. Do I have to continue talking about it if she brings it up when she gets home? No. And most importantly, do I even feel the need to talk to her about it anymore? No.
This is what internalization, or at least an early onset, "is". There was no question on how to handle the situation or myself. There was no "am I handling this right" or "remember what you've read" internal dialog. All I can do is tell her I dont want her to lie to me. The rest is on her. No ultimatums. No wasted day fighting. No anger or resentment.
All there is is just a realistic view of what happend, and an understanding that it will probably happen again. And I will be just fine when and if it does.