Is It Ok to Lie in a Relationship?

Is It Ok to Lie in a Relationship?

You wake up in the morning and look across to the person you say you care for more than any one in the world. What do you really think about this person? Does he/she immediately fill you with love and adoration or are you thinking terrible or maybe even contemptuous thoughts about that person.

You get up and go to the shower in preparation for the work day. You weigh yourself and realize that you have put on a few kilos. You say to yourself “Oh, that’s just because of the extras I had at dinner last night. It will be ok”.

You sit down to breakfast and find yourself wishing your partner were different somehow. If only they’d dress differently, act differently, weren’t so selfish, paid better attention to you or whatever it is. You don’t say anything.

You go to the office and find yourself seeking out that one special person who is always so nice to you. You flirt with them and find yourself requesting or agreeing to meet after work for drinks. Over time this leads to more regular meetings until one day this becomes more serious. You convince yourself this is not an affair but just a “bit of fun” that you can control and that no-one is being hurt by it.

And then one day you lose the control and the innocent flirting becomes a one-night-stand, the one-night-stand becomes a fling and the fling becomes a full-blown affair that now seems to have a mind of its own.

You have reached the point of no return and you realize you are now in really deep trouble.

How many lies were told in this story?

The truth is we all lie sometime and most of us lie most of the time.

We lie to ourselves about what is going on in our life and we lie to ourselves about what is going on in our relationships. And we lie to each other about what is going on in our relationships as well.

The lies are expressed in one of two ways; either by what we actually do say but most often the lies are expressed by what we don’t say.

So what should you do when you find yourself lying or catch someone out in a lie?

I often get asked questions about lying. When is it ok? When is it not? What to do when you find someone has lied to you? Should you forgive a lie?

The answer is not as simple as it might appear. You might be thinking that you simply should never lie. But as Allan Pease, in his book “Body Language”, says; to be socialised is to lie.

In other words every day we are confronted with situations, such as the first utterance we make when greeting someone, when we say: “how are you?” (As if we really care). The inevitable reply is: “fine thanks, how are you?”

We say this when what we’d really like to say is something like: “I feel terrible; the kids are mucking up, my husband does nothing to help me, and I’m fed up.” Or for the man who might really want to say; “I’m so over it. I work hard to provide for my family and there’s no thanks when I get home; just nagging to do more around the house and for the kids.”

This response would be heard as complaining and, while it might be the truth, is most often not aired in public.

So what about the lies that should never be told?

This is how I advise my clients. If you have done something wrong for which you think you should tell the truth about ask yourself these questions first.

  1. If I tell the truth about this for whom am I doing it? If it’s just about my own feelings of guilt – then think carefully about the good of that for the other person. If it’s because they really deserve to know then you must tell the truth.
  2. If I tell the truth what good will it do? If it means an opportunity to start afresh then you must tell the truth and deal with the consequences as they come.
  3. If I tell the truth what do I want as the outcome of doing that? Keep that outcome in mind to give each of you a chance to get to that rather than having the truth lead you to a place of regret.

And here are a couple of things you can do to help you both get to the best outcome.

  1. Create a good place and time for the conversation to happen.
  2. Alert the person to what it is you want to talk about prior to the meeting so they can prepare themselves for it.
  3. Before saying what you want to say in truth, let the other know how you would prefer for them to respond eg “There is something I need to let you know, and I hope that once you’ve heard it you will be able to find forgiveness for me so that we can continue our relationship”.
  4. Be willing to forgive yourself and the other person for any part they had to play in the situation that led to creating the lie in the first place.

So until next time – Relate with Love

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