What To Do When Your Man Lies to You
Not every lie is created equal when it comes to honesty in a relationship. There are some white lies that we as women expect: “Baby, that dress looks amazing on you.” However, there are other lies that are simply unacceptable; “Sorry, I had to work late,” when you drove by his office and didn’t see his car is a game changer. Lying creates an atmosphere where suspicion, mistrust, and insecurity breed. So what is a girl to do when the man she loves looks her in the face and lies directly to her?
To Salvage or Scrap
You first have to decide what and how much you are willing to tolerate, and what you are willing to give up in order to get the respect you deserve. In a marriage, I would almost always advise you try to salvage the relationship unless the lies are covering up for infidelity. However, for those in a dating relationship, know that the patterns you allow before marriage will carry over into your married life. The bottom line is knowing your value and communicating your expectations with your partner. It may seem like common sense to expect honesty and respect from your partner, but these things need to be clearly communicated. Use specific language to tell your partner what honesty means to you.
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For example, “I expect to be given full access to our financial records so I can see where our money is going.” This expectation then becomes a boundary, and you need to have a plan for what to do if that boundary is broken. In many cases you may need to be willing to walk away from the relationship – maybe only temporarily – in order to show the seriousness of your words.
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The best way to become a doormat is to communicate your expectations and then do nothing when these boundaries are violated. Know your worth and walk away if necessary. There is power in standing up for yourself.
It’s easy to become heated when you find you are being lied to by someone you love, but the key to a healthy confrontation is to have a clear head before starting the conversation. Contrary to what you might have experienced in past confrontations, the goal is not to accuse or blame or even to be “right”; the goal of a confrontation is to gain understanding. Most people who lie to others are using it as a form of defense or self-protection, and their main goal in lying is to avoid confrontation. Because of this, you should be very careful in your approach so as not to intimidate or corner your partner. Use “I” statements in your conversation instead of “you” statements. Instead of saying, “You are ruining our relationship every time you tell me you are at work when you are really at the bar,” try communicating your emotions with an “I” statement such as, “I feel betrayed” or “I feel uncared for when you say you are at one place when you’re actually at another.” A man’s natural makeup is to protect and pursue his woman; when you let yourself become vulnerable with how his actions are affecting your heart, you are giving him an opportunity to protect you by making a different choice.
Defensiveness in communication is a barrier that is so hard to overcome, and it stops true connection from happening. Questions open up a conversation that can reveal what is going on in your partner’s heart and mind. Be careful to evaluate your motives before you ask questions or the conversation will turn into an interrogation, which will produce defensiveness. Get yourself to a point of truly wanting to understand why your man is lying to you as opposed to just wanting him to be punished or trapped. Your tone will reveal your motives. Instead of asking him pointed questions, turn the questions toward yourself and be open to hearing his responses. For example: “How can I help you feel safe in telling me the truth?” or “Do my reactions to the truth make you feel like you have to lie?” It is not your fault that he is lying to you, but you can only control yourself, so the best way to see a change in a relationship is to change something on your end.
Communication works best when we are able to restrain our emotions and respond rather than react. Our words can either divide relationships or create safety to build a strong foundation. Only you can decide the best approach for your individual situation. Don’t allow yourself to be deceived or walked on, however, know when to fight for your connection and extend forgiveness and grace.