Last updated on July 19th, 2022 at 11:53 am
Lying in marriage is certain to lead to many problems and issues, including possibly the end of the marriage. Trust is one of the core principles that a healthy marriage needs to be built upon. Once trust is broken, the foundation of the marriage begins to crumble and can be very difficult to repair. It is important to understand what lies do to a marriage and how to overcome lying in marriage.
What Lying Does To A Relationship
When two people start a relationship, they typically trust one other, until one of them does something that deceives or hurts the other one. It’s fair to say that the majority of people would agree that dishonesty or deception are not okay, in particular within a committed, caring, and loving relationship. Sadly, however, lying is probably the most committed sin, other than perhaps pride. If not addressed, dishonesty can pervade a person’s life. As one lie is told, more lies are needed to cover up the first. Eventually, all of the lying tears apart families and friendships. The problem of lying is pervasive in every part of our society and lives.
When you realize how much damage lying can cause in regular relationships, then you shouldn’t be surprised that just one small white lie can devastate a committed marriage. Early in my own marriage, I once told my husband a lie. While some people are convincing liars, I am not. Even when I am joking around, my face gives me away.
It goes without saying that this was a huge mistake. For the first time, my husband felt as if he could not trust me. I felt horrible and had major regret. I learned a valuable lesson that day that I wish I didn’t need to learn. He told me that he was hurt, felt unsafe and that he no longer had faith in me.
It only took a couple of seconds for my little white lie to cause that much damage. To this day I am afraid of how much damage can be done by something that can seem so insignificant. This is what lying does to a relationship.
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What Lies Do To A Marriage
Now let’s talk about what lies do to a marriage so we can fully appreciate how deception can damage relationships.
- Lying ruins the ability to have an enlightening, deeper conversation. What did you do when you discovered that a loved one lied to you? How did it make you feel? Chances are you felt betrayed, disappointed, angry, or some other intense emotion. This likely lead you to stop communicating effectively. This is terrible for a marriage. Married people need to be able to communicate on deeper levels in order to feel and strengthen the bond that holds them together. But, if you are too hurt or angry to communicate, then those deeper levels of communication are impossible to achieve.
- Lying shatters trust. This may seem obvious to most couples, but trust is vital to every type of relationship. A marriage cannot work properly if there is no trust. The foundation of effective and positive communication is trust. When one of the individuals lies, the other one being lied to will likely feel distant and beyond devastated. Chances are they will start to doubt anything and everything the deceiver does and says. The dishonest spouse may start to become angry or aggressive when questioned because the repeated questioning forces them to repeat or tell even more lies. As both people become more hurt, they will each shut down over time. Deception in marriage leads to a bitter cycle of defensiveness, blame, and further distrust.
- Lying gives way to even more lying and deception. Like I said earlier, as soon as a lie is told, the individual telling it usually needs to tell even more lies to cover the first. Because revealing the truth can have negative consequences for them, liars try very hard to cover up their lies. Liars find it important to keep their lies going because they know that exposing them will cause the other person to be upset and will lead to problems. They know that the consequences can be severe, including up to the end of the marriage. The web of their deception can become very complex.
- Lying uncovers selfishness. Some liars think that their lying is a means of protecting others. However, they are typically only thinking about themselves. Only in extremely rare circumstances is this untrue. People lie for any number of reasons including to keep secrets, to attempt to avoid trouble, to cover something up, or avoid a change in a relationship. No matter the reason, however, lying is always an act of selfishness. Most liars become very defensive when questioned. This is a good demonstration that their lying is out of self-interest. Of course, some people will try to argue they were lying in order to protect something or someone. While their reasoning may be sound, rarely is lying the best means to accomplish their self-proclaimed “good” intent. We know that no matter how noble their intent may have been, lying ultimately destroys relationships. Selfish acts always lead to more hurt in the future.
- Learning about and healing from lies is usually quite painful. Naturally, your partner will be very hurt if they discover that you lied to them. Just how hurt they depends on the type of lie, how long you have been deceiving them, and the subject of the lie (ie. money, work, sex). As with all forms of hurt, healing takes time. How long your partner takes to heal depends on how badly your lie wounded them. If the pain is too bad, your spouse may decide to not even attempt to heal. Instead, they may decide that your lie is so bad that they no longer want to be with you. When a spouse trusts their partner with their life and their most intimate vulnerabilities, deception can crush them. Not only will you feel distrust, but you will also feel abused in some way. For some, the only way to overcome this is to move on from the relationship. This is what lies do to a marriage.
How To Overcome Lying In Marriage
Fortunately, there are several things that can help you to learn how to overcome lying in marriage. Let’s take a look at them now.
- Commit to being honest. Honesty promotes trust and safety in marriage and relationships. Would you prefer to be with a person who lies to cover up their mistakes, or someone who is genuine and honest even when they mess up? Committing to being honest is the first step to overcoming lying in marriage.
- Be purposeful. If you approach your life and relationships with purpose, this can lead to more fulfilling relationships. It will allow you to manage the problems of the relationship, rather than the problems managing you. Your purpose will keep you focused and help to steer you to make better decisions.
- Have awareness. Many often find lying to be easy. If you have awareness of the harm that it can cause your marriage and relationships, then you will be less likely to engage in hurtful behaviors. Be aware of your own thoughts, actions, and feelings, and try to understand your purpose.
- Seek help. You don’t need to face this challenge alone. Even the best of relationships go through rough patches and can seem difficult times. Seeking help for lying in marriage is far too often overlooked. There are plenty of expert marriage counselors and therapists out there who can be of tremendous help. Don’t hesitate to reach out to one for assistance. Your marriage is worth it.