“My husband is a great father and a very caring husband, he is responsible. But he just doesn’t stop lying. He lies about the small things and the big things. Sometimes it is because he doesn’t want to hurt me, at other times because his ego wouldn’t let him own up. Even when he knows he is lying, he cannot help himself. He tries to cover up but now I find it difficult to believe anything and have this urge to cross-check and it is affecting our relationship. How do I deal with a lying husband?
“We have had long conversations about it and he has promised that he will stop, but he hasn’t? Why does he feel the need to lie so much? Does he not understand what lying does to a marriage? I am on my last nerve with my husband,” wrote Nancy Gonsalves (name changed) to our expert counselors.
Nancy’s situation is not unique. Many people go through this in their intimate relationships. In fact, all of us lie every now and then, it is a human trait. It can range from little harmless lies to hurtful, manipulative ones. However, lying becomes a force of habit rather than an occasional occurrence, it can leave a relationship riddled with trust issues. For instance, if your husband lies and hides things, it’s only natural that you’d want to cross-check and confirm every little thing he tells you.
Lying in relationships, especially by men, has been sadly normalized with stereotypes like lies are a man’s cheat code to a happy marriage and they use it to keep their spouses pleased. That lies between couples are harmless and that they actually help maintain peace in the otherwise layered relationship. Or that many unnecessary arguments and disagreements can be avoided by lying and ultimately the end (a peaceful and happy coexistence) justifies the means. But do experts agree on it?
Many men feel that lies about small things are okay as long as they are loyal in the marriage. But, lies are lies, and little by little they can erode one of the biggest gifts that two people can give each other – the gift of being trustworthy! Lies can destroy faith in your partner. So how does one deal with a lying husband? We’re here to help you figure out the best way to navigate this situation. Let’s begin by understanding why husbands lie in the first place.
Why Do Husbands Lie About Small Things?
When a husband lies and hides things, it can cause you a lot of hurt and disappointment, and leave you riddled with doubts about the strength of your relationship. However, if you can get to see the reasons he uses to justify lying in the relationship, it can help you figure out how to deal with a lying spouse better. And perhaps, even see where he is coming from and handle the situation with compassion.
Now, we’re not saying that just because he rationalizes lying to himself, his behavior can be condoned. However, an insight into why he chooses lies and deceit over honesty and transparency can tell you a lot about any internal battles, underlying issues or emotional baggage your spouse may be dealing with.
Men can lie over small petty things for various reasons. He may be resorting to white lies in the relationship to spare your feelings, he could be trying to hide a dirty secret, the lies can be a way to dodge conflict or even a tool of manipulation being wielded to turn a situation in his favor. Getting to the bottom of his rationale behind lying can offer you greater clarity on how to deal with a lying spouse.
“You cannot help but become a lying husband if you don’t want to get shouted at the drop of a hat. If I tell my wife I forgot to get the cream cheese on a grocery trip she would sulk, but if I said that all the cream cheese was finished on the rack, it would take care of the situation,” said Joseph Ruskin (name changed).
Related Reading: How To Maintain Your Sanity If Your Partner Is A Compulsive Liar
Lying in relationships has been normalized for men
Many men claim they would lie less if women would react in a less volatile manner and be more chilled out like the men are. In all our research one thing that came out strongly was that husbands lie to avoid conflict or to hide things they are sure will trigger a reaction from their wives.
However, lying and dishonesty aren’t the best conflict resolution techniques and perhaps, the problem lies not with their partner’s reactions but their own limited emotional capabilities in handling such responses. As they say, lie begets lie, and once a husband starts resorting to lies, there is no escape from it. A lying husband gets into the habit of telling the untruth to save himself from a precarious situation.
This can become a nasty habit or a pattern where he may lie for anything, be it big or small. A wife may find it difficult to trust a husband who utters lies all the time. Here is the moment of truth for such men: you cannot lie and expect your wife to trust you. Chances are she may never trust you and question you even when you are speaking the truth.
So, this compulsive lying habit plants doubt in a wife’s mind and proves to be detrimental, especially in an intimate relationship like marriage, which is based on trust and honesty. If a husband lies and hides things quite often, count this as a breach of trust in a marriage. However, from a husband’s perspective, harmless lies protect and preserve the relationship with their spouse. So, he may tell simple lies like:
- “No, baby! You have not put on weight”
- “I was not checking out that hot chick!”
- “I didn’t smoke a cigarette”
- “I didn’t break the vase”
- “Oh, baby! I just forgot about buying the fish from the market. Can you order it from the store?”
- “She is just a friend, you are just overthinking”
- “That meal was fabulous”
To men, it may seem like these lies are a way of expressing love and care in a relationship. And perhaps, certain white lies can be harmless. However, this tendency can spiral out of control and escalate into one of the bad habits that ruin relationships. In the long run, it can cause the relationship to become toxic.
A wife who is lied to constantly will feel manipulated and tricked. She may also feel that her husband does not credit her with enough intelligence. This can cause deep-seated resentment to take hold in the relationship, gradually driving the two partners apart. So, lying in a marriage slyly erodes the quality of marital happiness and satisfaction. But if a wife is careful and observant, she may identify the lying spouse signs before it’s too late.
Related reading: 6 Things Men Can Do To Win Women’s Trust
7 Common Signs Of A Lying Husband To Watch Out For
“My husband is a liar.” Surely, no woman comes to this conclusion lightly. However, when a partner is habituated to lying or concealing information, the other can feel that something is off long before lies and deceit become apparent. That’s because when you live with your husband, you know him inside out. It is not tough to spot the signs of a lying husband.
You know how he reacts to situations, you can tell the kind of mood he is in just by the expression on his face or the tone of his voice, you have seen how he addresses tricky challenges. So, if you can’t shake off the feeling that your spouse isn’t being completely truthful to you, it may be time to start paying closer attention to his behavior and mannerisms to spot the lying husband signs. Lying has a pattern, here are some sure-shot signs of a liar to watch out for”
1. Questions your questions
To know for sure whether your husband lies and hides things, pay attention to how he responds when he feels he has been put in a spot. A seasoned liar avoids answering a direct question. He uses a variety of tactics to deviate the spouse from the topic and redirects the question toward you. Chances are, you will fall for it as well. A classic example:
You: Are you attracted to her?
Him: How could you think I would be attracted to her!
This gives him time to think and come up with a fitting lie to throw you off, besides he has already used guilt-tripping effectively to make you second guess your instincts. If you feel you are being played, be stern and ask to answer in a direct “Yes” or “No”. If he still takes time to answer, chances are that he is hiding things from you.
Another way to check if he is lying is to check for gaslighting. This is when a person tries to make you question your judgment and manipulate you into thinking that you are wrong. In this case, he is trying to gaslight you with his lies.
2. Uses fillers to respond quite often
Lying husbands need a longer time to process a lie and make it sound believable and truthful to their wives. Liars buy time through the use of fillers like “umm”, “ah huh”, etc. to buy time to formulate a believable lie in the middle of a conversation. Taking long pauses, going off on tangents to avoid the topic at hand, stuttering or excessively using words like “you know”, “I mean” could all point to lying husband signs.
Stuttering and using filler words go hand in hand because both are virtually involuntary reactions to trying to speak something that’s not the truth. Remember anxiety and nervousness causes a change in voice pitch, also it can be a distracting tactic!
However, do remember that these could be habit words too, so you need to see if these word fillers are used in every conversation or in only some. Dealing with a lying husband is not easy. Check if he is being fidgety, sweaty, nervous, or tense. Check if your husband is speaking more formally with you than he normally does? This is a sign that he could be stressed about lying.
Related Reading: Dealing With A Cranky Husband – 13 Tips That Work
3. Takes longer response time, even for easy questions
Even for questions that can be easily answered within seconds with a “yes” or a “no”, a lying husband may look for an escape to avoid tricky situations. Because lying takes effort, words don’t flow as smoothly when someone is telling a lie. They have to pause and search for words to fit. Unnecessary pauses or looking for ways to delay a response could be indicators that your husband is lying to you.
In certain situations, it may feel as if your husband is trying to filibuster his way out of a conversation. If you witness such behavior, then there are chances that he is trying to hide things or keeping a secret from you. You could ask follow-up questions, they should be even more discerning. His response to those will be vague. That could be a clue that you’re dealing with a lying spouse.
What to do when your husband lies to you all the time? Just check if he is thinking a lot before answering your simple question. For instance, if you ask him, “Were you at golf?”, and instead of promptly responding with “yes” or “no”, he pretends to be too caught up in taking off his coat and shoes, arranging those in the closet before responding, this could mean he is biding time and thinking of the “right answer”.
4. His speech patterns keep changing
The answer to whether your husband has been lying to you about things big and small may also lie in his body language or mannerisms. For instance, when someone lies, they may use a higher pitch more often to cover up the wrongdoing in a relationship. Or you may notice that they are fumbling a lot, and their speech is marked with slips of the tongue and grammatical errors.
So, to identify the lying husband signs, pay attention to easy-to-miss details. For instance, he may talk faster than usual; just to get over with the uncomfortable conversation. Such discrepancies in the tone of voice and speech patterns reveal that he may be lying to you. Dealing with lying in a relationship is not easy but you have to keep a watch on this.
5. Decode hand-to-face gestures
Lies, when uttered, don’t support the natural body language, easily betraying the signs of dishonesty in a relationship. Even when a compulsive liar frames a convincing reply, his body may exhibit extreme signs of physical stress. You can observe and take cues from these body language signs to find out whether your husband is lying or not.
Keep an eye on his eye movements. If the husband avoids making eye contact in a conversation, then this may reveal his reluctance in sharing the truth with you. Even if he is able to maintain eye contact, he may feel uncomfortable. Additionally, if he dramatically blinks his eyes or squints more often, then do watch out for a lie.
His facial expressions keep changing during the course of the lie. He may support his fabricated words with a fake smile that does not reach the eyes. Or he may cover the face, rub his eyes or nose more often to evade confrontation. Biting the lip or sweating, slight blushing might indicate a lie being uttered
Standing with crossed arms or sitting with legs crossed means he is being defensive. Hiding his hands in his pocket may signify that he is not coming clean in the conversation. Check if he is trying to end the conversation and flee the room. Where is his body pointed, toward you or away from you?
6. The versions of his lies keep changing
A lie lacks the elements of consistency; since it is a made-up story spun from the figments of the liar’s imagination, it keeps on changing every time someone probes about it. The inconsistencies in recalling accounts, even in minor details, are solid proof that the spouse is lying. You could ask them to tell the story backwards.
If you suspect your husband of lying, ask him to recall events backward rather than forward in time. He will probably goof up in the little details. For example, start at the end of a story and ask them to explain what happened right before that point. And then, before that… and so on. This could sound a bit like you are trying to interrogate him but it may help you determine whether your husband lies and hides things.
If this sounds too rigorous or you want to be more subtle in uncovering your husband’s dishonest ways, a better approach would be to suddenly ask him a question related to some incident he told you a few days back. If he was lying he would not know where to pick up from suddenly. If he wasn’t lying, he would be able to repeat things word by word without a thought.
7. Guards phone with his life
A man may lie for several reasons, sadly infidelity is among the frontrunners in this list of reasons. If the reason behind your husband’s lies and coverups is another woman, you will see certain tell-tale cheating husband signs in this behavior. For instance, a cheating husband, in order to keep his extramarital affair a secret, will keep his phone guarded at all costs. He comes home late, hides things or plans secret getaways with the other woman.
To protect his lies and avoid any consequences, he may keep his phone with himself all the time. If he spots you anywhere near his phone and he blurts out in bafflement or snatches it from you, then there are 100% chances that he is lying or protecting a secret. Likewise, if you find that he has suddenly password-protected his phone, then you have reason to believe he has been lying to you about all his late-night work pressure.
If he stiffens when you come near him when he is messaging and takes his call only on the balcony when you are not around, then it is a strong indicator you are dealing with a lying husband who may be cheating on you. The next step is to confront him for the lies and deal with the severity of the situation.
Related Reading: 7 Agonizing Signs Your Husband Doesn’t Love You Anymore
How To Cope And Deal With A Lying Husband?
Lies – be it about small things like smoking a cigarette or keeping big secrets like an extramarital affair – have no place in a committed relationship like marriage. Even if his lying isn’t tied to something as sinister as cheating, it is still a cause for concern because it points to bad communication in the relationship.
So, if you have been able to relate to most of the lying husband signs we listed out for you, it is time to seriously think about what you can do to manage this situation effectively. Now is the time to act on a lying husband and try things to make sure he changes that. For that, you need a solid plan to figure out how to deal with a lying spouse.
This plan can feature different techniques, right from learning how to ignore a lying husband to working on improving communication so that he feels safe confiding in you to downright confrontation. At the very least you’d want to let him know that you know that he is lying and you can spot it. To that end, here are a few tips on how to deal with a lying spouse:
1. Review his lying pattern
The first step of dealing with a lying husband begins with reviewing the types of lies he has been telling you. Does he lie to paint himself in a promising light? Or is it an attempt to avoid any shame or embarrassment because he cannot figure out how to talk to a partner about his dysfunctional family? Has been lying to keep the details of his past relationships under wraps?
Is he trying to conceal career challenges and financial status with lies? Is he trying to keep an affair a secret and lies constantly because he wants to have both women around him? Or is he lying out of compulsion – that lying is a part of his personality and life and he is a pathological liar?
Identifying the underlying reason can give you a better sense of how to deal with a lying spouse. For instance, the approach to dealing with a husband who lies owing to his insecurities is markedly different from dealing with a pathological liar who creates an illusion around him through lies. Such a man may use false information about everything, including the past, accomplishments, and family
If you review his lying pattern then you will know why he is lying. Is it just white lies that he is in a habit of uttering or it’s more dangerous and he is trying to gaslight you? Understanding the degrees of lies will help you identify the next step in the spousal lie coping mechanism.
Related reading: 12 Warning Signs Of Gaslighting And 5 Ways To Deal With It
2. Reflect on how you will react if he tells you the truth
The second step is to contemplate your reactions after witnessing the reality of spousal lies. The premise is simple – unwanted situations and arguments may force him to lie. So, imagine the scenarios around the lies of your husband. For instance, if he has been lying to you to spend time with his friends, assess how you’d react if he was honest about it. Would you get angry or retaliate? Or would you make an effort to give him space in the relationship that he clearly needs?
Or if he forgot to buy groceries one day, would you yell at him and blow things out of proportion? Or would you remind yourself that not sweating the small stuff strengthens a relationship and let it slide? If your response to his honesty and truth is not positive, then you too have a part to play in the toxic lying pattern that has taken hold in your relationship. So, while dealing with the lying husband, understand that he needs a safe and trusted environment that values honesty and encourages him to speak the truth.
3. Focus on improving communication in the relationship
When his lies and dishonesty get too overbearing, it can be tempting to explore how to ignore a lying husband and sweep the issue under the carpet. However, this is only going to cause unresolved issues in your relationship to pile up, rendering it hollow from within. So, an important aspect of how to deal with a lying spouse is addressing the elephant in the room.
Deal with the negative lying pattern by improving communication in your relationship so that your spouse feels comfortable opening up to you. Tell him that you are hurt that he doesn’t trust you and keeps on lying to keep things comfortable in the marriage. Accept your flaws of impulsive and irrational reactions as well.
Have a heart-to-heart chat and work together to beat the toxic influences in your marriage by curbing lies and being more honest with each other. Dealing with lying in a relationship is not easy. You might already have serious issues in the relationship that is leading to this whole lying syndrome. First, straighten out those issues, and the problem of your husband lying to you may resolve itself.
4. Confront him about lying and dishonesty
“My husband is a liar. How can I be in a marriage where the foundation of trust is so shaky?” “How do I deal with a husband who is lying in a marriage without losing him forever?” Concerns like these are bound to weigh on your mind when you’re figuring out how to deal with a lying spouse. A simple and straightforward solution is to confront him about his lies and the reason behind them.
For instance, if he is lying because he is unfaithful to you, then confronting him is a powerful way to express your hurt and resentment. Talk to him about how betrayed you feel on account of his disloyalty and dishonesty in marriage. However, if your husband has a habit of lying, getting him to come clean about any transgression will not be easy. That’s why you must gather adequate evidence about the affair that he won’t be able to refute before you sit down to talk to him.
Invest in a spy cam to monitor his activities in case you suspect he’s using your home for clandestine meetings with his lover in your absence. Get good spyware to clone his phone and computer and track his activities virtually. The evidence you gather through these means may or may not hold up in a court of law, should you decide to take that route. But it will definitely help in getting him to admit to cheating and open channels for communication.
5. Work together as a team
This can seem like an idealistic solution to handling a lying husband; however, it can work well if the reasons behind his lies and dishonesty are not too chronic or sinister and he is willing to break this unhealthy pattern and make a change for the better. If that is the case, you must find a way to not let the hurt and pain overwhelm you and find a way to extend an olive branch.
Perhaps, the next time you catch him in a lie or see lying husband signs in his demeanor, try not to last out or get into a fight. Instead, talk to him calmly and tell him that you know he is lying to you and you’d like to understand why. A display of empathy can go a long way in helping you break down the wall of lies and deceit that is driving you apart from your husband, and help you both find common ground for conflict resolution.
6. Seek therapy to deal with a lying husband
Lies can tie you and your spouse in a cobweb of toxicity. Your husband’s constant lies can become an emotional trigger for you, taking a toll on your mental health and making you lash out at him or constantly suspect him even when he is telling the truth. This, in turn, can embolden your husband’s tendency to lie, pushing him to resort to more cover-ups and dishonesty to avoid conflict in the marriage.
Often, couples get sucked so deep into this vicious cycle that they find it impossible to break free from it. That’s when the intervention of a professional can be immensely helpful. A trained therapist can help you get to the root of your individual issues and learn how to manage them effectively so that they don’t get in the way of you forging a healthy bond with one another.
They can also help you work through any unresolved relationship issues that may have caused lies and dishonesty to seep into your bond. If you’d like to explore the option of going into therapy, skilled and experienced counselors on Bonobology’s panel are here for you.
Related Reading: Relationship Counseling – Everything You Need To Know
7. Consider moving on
When you’re in a marriage and there is so much at stake, figuring out how to ignore a lying husband and continue putting on a facade of a happy couple for the world can seem like a reasonable, less daunting choice than walking out. However, if lying is tied to serious issues like infidelity or is a sign of a manipulative husband who will do whatever it takes to keep you under his thumb, putting up with his behavior can have serious consequences for your mental health.
Besides, it indicates that your husband neither cares for you nor respects you. You can be sure that such a partner has nothing to offer you. In such circumstances, walking out may be a far better choice than staying on and letting him chip away at your personality, self-esteem, and self-worth. If despite all your efforts to make things right, your husband lies and hides things, consider ending the marriage and starting afresh.
Many couples who have been struck by the vice of lies and deceit agree that this toxic pattern can crack or break the very foundations of trust. The best way to save your marriages from this torment is to catch the lying bug in time and crush it. We have shared with you some of the most trusted ways of dealing with a lying husband and saving your marriage from the ill effects of secrecy and dishonesty. Give these an honest try, but if the lying and secrets don’t stop, don’t hesitate to put yourself ahead of the shame of a marriage you find yourself in.
Compulsive lying habit plants doubt in a wife’s mind and proves to be detrimental, especially in an intimate relationship like marriage, which is based on trust and honesty. While the husband might think they are using white lies to protect the marriage, the opposite can happen.
Your husband lies to you about everything maybe because it’s a habit, he is a compulsive liar. He could also be cheating so he is constantly lying to cover your tracks.
You need to understand why he is lying. Do you get argumentative or yell at him if he makes small mistakes? Chances are he lies to you to avoid such a situation. He could be lying to you because he is cheating or there could be deeper issues in the relationship. You can confront him or look for counseling too.
There is no reason not to stay with your lying husband. But if you feel that his lies are taking a toll on your mental health and you see no sign of him changing, then you can think of walking out.