Honesty is arguably the most important thing in a relationship (especially in a marriage). But for better or for worse, lies and dishonesty will eventually happen, and someone will most likely get hurt.
Sometimes, both parties in the relationship get hurt, and no one wants that. Everyone (friends, siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins, you name it) will jump on the subject, but no one knows what goes on behind closed doors in your home, so how do you deal with a lying spouse?
The most common way of dealing with a lying spouse is by talking to them about why they are lying. Most couples seek help from a couples counselor or therapist to help them overcome their problems.
In this article, we’ll be talking about some of the most effective ways to deal with a lying spouse (or partner) and why they work. So let’s dive right in.
1. Find the Reason Behind the Lying
Although it may not seem like it, there is a reason behind every lie we tell. This is true for your partner as well. You may think you are telling a little white lie, but to your partner, it may not be as insignificant as you or they might think.
Before you confront the lie, first learn the reason why your spouse found the need to lie in the first place. This could change how you approach the situation.
2. Therapy Can Be Helpful
Most couples don’t want to admit that they may just need therapy; it may seem embarrassing to them that they need an outside opinion to solve an issue in their relationship. Depending on what the lie was or why your spouse was lying, therapy may be the best approach to solving the issue long term.
For example, your spouse may suffer from childhood trauma that makes them more likely to lie, as they learned to be afraid of telling the truth because of their parents or someone close to them.
3. Be More Open With Your Spouse
Sometimes your partner may lie to you because you are lying to them, and they know it. This can cause an emotional rift between you and your spouse, and when that happens, you need to fix it as soon as possible.
The saying “Communication is key” is said for a reason. Talking about things and how they make you feel will create an understanding and develop closeness between you and your spouse. You may even understand the reason why they think they should lie to you.
4. Be Compassionate
There may be a time when your partner has lied out of fear, but not towards you. This could be the result of trauma from a previous relationship or from their childhood. If this is the reason behind your spouse’s lying, be compassionate and try to help them overcome their fears.
Listen to why they lied and what the reason was behind the lie. You may not understand the reasoning because you might not have dealt with a similar trauma or emotional incident. Try understanding why, and think how it would have affected you if it had happened to you.
5. Find New Ways of Communication
Sometimes the reason behind constant lying is a communication breakdown between you and your spouse. When this happens, it is best if you find a newer, better way to communicate with your spouse so that the lies don’t continue.
Speak more, and take the time to ask how your partner’s day was. The little effort you put in will make a huge difference.
6. Spend More Time Together
When your spouse starts lying about trivial things, it may be because they feel they aren’t spending enough time with you. If this is why your spouse is lying, try making time for them with things such as date night, movie night, or even a weekend getaway.
7. Try Alleviating Some of Your Partner’s Stress
Constant severe stress can lead to your partner lying and being secretive for no reason. In addition, stress can cause someone to behave the opposite of what they usually would. If your partner is overworked and stressed, try helping them alleviate some of the stress by doing what you can.
8. Understand That the Lie Might Have Been for Good Reason
Although no one likes being lied to, there are times when your spouse may lie to you for a very good reason. One such time is when planning a surprise birthday party for you. Your spouse will be secretive and possibly lie to keep the surprise a surprise and make you happy.
Spouses may tell a lie in order to protect you; while lies are never good, they may have been done out of love even though you may not be able to see it at first.
9. Try Understanding the Lie From Their Perspective
Sometimes a lie is silly and unnecessary, and you may not understand why your spouse found the need to lie. When this happens, it would be best to put yourself in their shoes and try to understand things from their point of view to figure out why they would lie about something so silly.
10. Address Your Own Lies
Your partner may start lying to you because you lied first. If you have a habit of lying, it would be best for you to address your own problems before tackling your spouse’s. Sometimes solving your own issues solves theirs as well.
One lie can so easily cause a spiral of lies to happen. Would you want your partner to lie to you? No! So then, why should you lie to them?
11. Put Everything Out in the Open
Your spouse might feel it’s okay to keep things from you because you keep things from them. However, keeping secrets and hiding things from your spouse never ends the way you think it will.
Address any secrets you have been keeping from your spouse, and they will slowly do the same for you. Never give your spouse (or partner) a reason to doubt you.
12. Seek Help From Family
Sometimes a lie might be too big for you to handle, especially if you and your spouse haven’t been together for too long. If this happens, it might be best for you to ask for help from someone who knows your spouse better than you do and take advice from them.
You could learn a few things about your spouse that you never realized, which will help you better understand why they may have lied to you.
13. Be Honest About How the Lies Affect You
There are times when your spouse may lie to you, not realizing that you know they are lying and that it is hurting you to your core. Sometimes, an effective way to stop a spouse’s lying is to simply be honest about the way it’s making you feel, even if it hurts them to hear.
Your spouse may think something is silly to them, yet not realize how much it affects and hurts you. If you never tell them, how would they ever know and put a stop to that pattern?
14. End the Relationship
There are some lies that cannot be forgiven, especially when in a relationship. These include lies about finances and infidelity.
If your spouse confesses serious lies (or worse, you find out), and you feel therapy may not work, as hard as it may be, it might be time to put yourself first and bring the relationship to an end. By still being together, you are hurting yourself and your spouse if you know that things cant be mended.
There are many reasons why your spouse may be lying to you, both good and bad. How you approach your spouse for lying depends on what the lie was. Sometimes there is hope for reparation, while other lies may see you ending your relationship.