Relationship Lies. Why Do Couples Lie? Why do people lie in general? Did you ever lie when you were a kid? Do you lie to your partner? Does your partner lie to you? As a young girl I lied to be able to get what I wanted. They were never bad lies but, nevertheless, was meant to manipulate something my way. As a teenager I lied so I could stay out past my curfew. We all lie to some degree to avoid punishment. Lying allows a person to establish perceived control over a situation by manipulating it. They may be white lies or fibs but, nevertheless, they are lies. Then there are bad lies that tend to hurt oneself and others. Lying can become a character flaw if there is a pattern with no regret.
Sadly, we live in a world where lying has become a fairly common occurrence. Thank goodness there are now organizations specializing in fact checking political statements and business releases to uncover the fabrications often presented. Of course, it’s not just politicians or business leaders with a monopoly on fibbing to us. Lies happen in most homes, whether it’s the little boy standing over the smashed vase he says he didn’t break, or the teenager offering a story for why she was an hour past her curfew.
For many lies, the reasons are complicated. Sometimes it’s to protect the liar from being punished, or to protect someone else from punishment. The lie might be to avoid being embarrassed, to hide an awkward situation, or to simply have others think better of the person telling the fib. Such lying isn’t admirable, but not hard to understand why it occurs.
Reasons people lie in general:
- trying to control a situation
- to avoid disappointing someone.
- It’s not a lie to them
- Lies snowball
- they want it to be true
- avoid a consequence
to present a good image
- to keep a secret
woman lying to keep secret
- to be liked
- to manipulate
- may have a personality disorder which includes Compulsive and Pathological Lying
Why do couples lie? People lie in relationships to save face, avoid conflict, protect their egos, protect their image, and just to avoid hurting their partner’s feelings. When I was a young married woman I would lie to my husband about what a piece of clothing or personal article cost to avoid judgement or criticism. Due to a low level of self-esteem in those days I didn’t think I deserved to spend money the way I wanted. Lying was my inner child doing what I learned growing up so I got what I wanted. In developing my sense of self I became a more grounded person to be able to ask for what I need and want. I don’t need to lie to get what I want.
Lying in relationships can be detrimental for long term harmony. For some it can end it as honesty is an integral part of moving forward. Being able to initiate conversation, share thoughts and feeling, and ask for what you need and want makes it so you don’t have to lie to get what is desired.
- You say you’re available, but you’re not…legally
- You say you’re available, but you’re not…emotionally
- You’re not fessing up about your past
- Money matters
- You really want (or don’t want) kids
- You cheated
- You’re not ill, and pretending to be
- You’re ill, and pretending not to be
- You’re pretending it’s OK with you, but it’s not—especially in bed
- You say “yes” when you really mean”no”
Discovering one partner has been lying is not always a deal breaker. Just like any other couples issue working through this one can be a silver lining in making your relationship stronger than ever, if it leads to newfound openness and better communication.
For more information on relationship lies and trust please contact me at (858) 735-1139 or visit my website CouplesCounselorSanDiego.com