When you are dealing with a spouse who constantly lies to you, you start to doubt everything. If he can lie about the little things, then he could lie about the big things as well. At the very least, it is a sign that your relationship is not based on the trust and respect that you thought it was. There are many reasons why your husband might lie, and your solution will depend on the reason behind the lies.
Spouses may lie for many reasons. People often equate lying with cheating, but there are actually many, many more reasons why a spouse may lie. If your husband has disappointed you in the past, he may lie because he is afraid of letting you down or your reaction. He may lie because you want him to change a certain pattern, and he hasn’t actually done it. He may also lie about doing something that he meant to do, but ran out of time to do.
While most people think that lying only happens to deceive someone else, many people also lie to protect their ego. He may be ashamed of what he did or didn’t do. In addition to fearing the consequences, he wants to lie so that you still think that he is a wonderful, amazing spouse. He is afraid of your disappointment, so he convinces himself that it isn’t really a lie.
Other people try to lie because they are afraid of how you will react. He might be doing something that could destruct the relationship, so he lies to maintain your relationship. He might be committing an infidelity, or he may just be drinking with buddies that you disapprove of. Whatever the case, he justifies his lying by thinking that it will make it easier for your relationship to stay strong.
Confronting a Lying Husband
When you are dealing with a lying husband, one of the things that you can do is to confront him about his lies. If your goal is to bring honesty back into the relationship, this confrontation is a good idea. At the same time, you have to be careful about how you do it. You want him to feel comfortable enough to talk and admit his lies. If you seem too angry or confrontational, he may dig deeper into the lie out of fear or shame.
Explain that you realize that he is not being quite truthful, and that it hurts you. Tell him that your biggest goal is to just be honest with each other. You can forgive him for the lie, but he has to come clean and promise not to do it again. Your primary goal is to get him to be honest with you, so don’t accuse him or lash out. If you said that you will forgive his lies, then make sure that you follow through on that promise. Make sure that you emphasize that you do not want this to happen again.
Ways to Prevent Lying
Obviously, there are scenarios where you want to expose the lie and then break up with your husband. If he has cheated on you multiple times or had a long-term affair, then prevention is probably not your main goal. In this situation, you might want to end the marriage. When your husband is lying about things unrelated to infidelity, then there are things that you can do to make him less likely to lie in the future.
1. Give Him His Privacy
Some couples think that they have to share absolutely everything with each other. There can be no alone time or privacy for some newlyweds. While honesty and trust are good, you also have to realize that both partners are entirely human. You need some alone time to unwind. Perhaps you like singing loudly in the shower or enjoy writing in your journal. It is entirely understandable if you want to do these things alone, right?
Your husband is the same way. Sometimes, spouses just need their own space. If he keeps a journal, you don’t have to read it. A journal is a place where he can vent openly to work through feelings. Once he vents, those feelings have a weakened hold on him. Even if he is venting about you, you do not want to read his journal. It is a way for him to constructively work through his feelings in privacy.
The same thing goes for other things. Some husbands like to watch porn or hang out with their guy friends on the weekends. As long as these activities don’t hurt your relationship or anyone else, then there is no reason to stop him. Give him some privacy to be himself, or you will end up suffocating him.
Whatever you do, do not make him give you his passwords to everything. He is an individual and needs his own privacy. Even if he has cheated before, you have to just trust that he won’t again. If you are pretty certain that he will cheat again, then why stay with him? On the other hand, if he openly gives you his password, then don’t worry about it too much. Don’t read through all of his messages or do anything that you shouldn’t though.
2. Give Him Autonomy
You hate that your husband drinks with his friends on the weekend or won’t stop smoking. Unfortunately, you might have to just put up with this for a while. After all, you married him while he did these behaviors, so you knew what you were getting into. Quitting smoking, drinking or something else are decisions that he has to make on his own. If he is lying about a weed smoking habit, it is only because he knows how much you disapprove. Quitting never really sticks for long if you are only doing it for someone else. You have to do it for yourself if you want it to last. In general, you should give your husband autonomy over his personal choices like who he talks to or what he does.
3. Emotional Safety
To make the truth easier, create an environment where he feels comfortable telling the truth. If he feels ashamed or afraid of your reaction, he is more likely to lie. When a husband feels like he will be rejected or criticized, then he is not going to come clean.