The one who said ‘honesty is the best policy’ wasn’t obviously married. A couple when married lives their whole life together, sees each other through their worst, but still sticks together. This kind of bond can’t entail complete honesty. Human beings have their limitations of acceptance and who knows it better than your spouse? But it’s not just that.
A wife lies to her husband sometimes to please him, sometimes to protect him: all in the labour of life. Seriously, you don’t want to spoil a romantic dinner by being completely honest about his cooking skills. You don’t want to spoil Valentine’s Day by being completely honest about the gift he bought.
You don’t want to spoil Valentine’s Day by being completely honest about the gift he bought.
You’d rather see the earnest love behind those gestures and tell him exactly what he wants to hear. What’s a bit of discomfort, compared to the smile on his face and the pleasure it gives you?
A lie about having fun
Ria’s husband is in the merchant navy and she herself has a career. Most of the year, Soumen is out on the sea. Occasional emails and video calls is all that Ria gets. She wants to tell him about everything she’s doing here when Soumen is not there, but she has learned to restrain herself. She just can’t see Soumen sulk, though he never complains. It’s illogical to expect one’s wife to not live her life while you are away, but when are human beings ever logical.
“I tell him how I miss him every time I talk. I sure do, but not ALL THE TIME” Ria laughed. “Yesterday I had an office party, I did enjoy myself. Is it wrong? But when he called me at night I didn’t mention the party. I just said, ‘I was waiting for your call’. You should have seen the smile on his face. He even apologised for being late in calling me.”
A lie to keep him away from temptation
Lili and Deep married after a long courtship: they’ve known each other for years. Though they claim to be partners in crime, Lili keeps a few secrets up her sleeve. Deep was always a gym freak, but lately he has put on some weight and increased his insecurities. Lili has her own way of handling this midlife crisis. I went shopping with them and this is what happened.
Deep came out of the trail room looking hideous still trying to fit in an ‘M’ size. And when he asked how he looked, Lili just lied blatantly.
“I think it looks perfect Deep. Why don’t you try it in other colours?”
After Deep walked away, I asked Lili, “Why would you say that?”
To that she smiled and said, “Honestly, I don’t mind a few pounds on him, but he does. I believe he’s having a midlife crisis and I don’t want him to have an affair. I don’t think anybody else will be interested in him if he looks like that.”
Married people are weird.
Related reading: 30 compliments for men that make them happy
A lie to maintain peace with in-laws
Madhu married a Bengali guy. She came here from Hyderabad to study and eventually fell in love with the city and later with Abhro. But there is no love lost between her and her mother-in-law and the rest of the family. Madhu knows Bengali perfectly but uses the language gap to her benefit from time to time. When her in-laws ask her to do something she doesn’t want to, she just pretends that she doesn’t understand. The other day, Abhro asked to take part in some Bengali ritual but Madhu had her own ideas.
“Abhro, I would love to but I don’t know if I can manage. You know how much I love your mom, I don’t want to mess things up for her.”
Eventually she excused herself and everybody believed her lie. But I personally believe Abhro understands her discomfort and swallows her lies.
A lie to remain independent
Lajjo comes from a traditional Punjabi family and was married into one. Pankaj is wealthy and well settled, but Lajjo didn’t want to give up her financial independence. She left her job but she still does work as a freelancer. But she can’t spend her earning openly. That day she was almost caught. So I get a call from her in the middle of the day, sounding desperate.
“If Pankaj asks you anything, just remember: You gave me the pearl set and you paid for the dinner last Saturday. I’m counting on you.”
I assured her that I’ll do that but Pankaj hasn’t asked me anything yet.
Related reading: How to be financially independent as a married woman
A lie to share the calories
Aditi and Vikram are a newly married couple, still in their honeymoon phase. Aditi herself confesses a lie she keeps on repeating with her husband.
“You see, we both love ice cream. While I savour it, Vikram devours it. He finishes his bowl in minutes and looks around uncomfortably. I lie to him and say that I can’t eat anymore and urge him to help me out. He readily obliges: I love seeing him happy and I can do with a few less calories.”
Judge if you must, but I believe these wives have figured a way to balance their lives.