I write about lies and lying every now and again, and I’m constantly surprised at how many people tell me that lying is OK in their relationships.
What they mean is that lying is OK in their relationship FOR THEM.
Because those same people are often the ones who will post in groups about how someone lied to them and how heartbroken they are, or how righteously angry.
But they don’t really get the hypocrisy.
Because humans are THA BOMB-DIGGITY at justification. We can justify damn near anything to ourselves, especially for ourselves. When it comes to others, though, well…not so much.
I know this about me. And I do battle against it in two ways:
- I do my best to not lie, ever.
- I do my best to be compassionate towards people who do lie.
But let’s talk about lying for a mo.
What we are often really saying when we tell our partners lies is that we don’t believe that our partner will be able to handle the truth, or handle it in a way that we are willing to deal with right now, and frankly, our personal comfort is more important than telling the truth.
We don’t trust them or their reactions.
- Do these jeans make my ass look big? (No.)
- Do you find that person attractive? (No.)
- Am I the best kisser you’ve ever known? (Yes.)
- Are you listening to me? (Yes.)
- Was it good for you? (Yes.)
- Did you date them? (No.)
- What’s wrong? (Nothing.)
And so on.
Sometimes our partners may say they want the truth and then punish us for giving it. In a case like this, we are either forced to leave the relationship or to lie to prove our love and loyalty.
Sure. Maybe. Until you realize that one lie pretty much ALWAYS leads to another, and by signing up for one, you’re signing up for a potential lifetime of them.
No, thank you.
So, what is telling the truth?
Confidence. Security. Knowing that we will make it through…whatever it is.
And when it comes to a relationship, honesty is a sign that we love and trust our partner. Telling the truth is a sign of loyalty and love.
That we trust them with our fears.
To react in a way that is not harmful. To accept the truth and grow with it—as an individual and in the relationship. To still be there.
To be able to say:
- Those jeans are unflattering.
- That person is drop-dead gorgeous.
- My best kiss ever was a one-night stand in Morroco…
- I’m sorry, my mind was wandering. What did you say?
- I wasn’t feeling it tonight, but I was glad to participate with you.
- We had a passionate affair years ago…
- I’m having a rough day, and I’m struggling.
And so on.
And it’s the truth.
It’s trust in your partner. It’s also trust in yourself that you chose the right person to share this with (and that if they let you down that you’ll be just fine anyway).
When you have a solid and healthy relationship, honesty shows you care.
What are your thoughts?
Why do you lie in relationships? Where do you draw the line?
What lies are most harmful to you when people lie to you in relationships? Have you ever punished someone for telling you the truth?