When two individuals enter a relationship, they tend to trust each other, until one person does something that hurts or deceives the other person. Deception might be the sin that is committed more often than any other sin, besides pride. Deception can permeate a person’s life in so many ways and even lead to chronic paranoia. Lying tears apart friendships and families. Dishonesty may even be one of the many things that creates an atmosphere in businesses where productivity is decreased.
If lying can create this much trouble in regular relationships, then committed marriages can be devastated by just one little white lie. I remember early in my marriage when I told a little white lie. Anyone who knows me, knows I do not have a poker face. Needless to say, it did not go over well. It was the first time my wife realized she didn’t know if she could trust me. It was a huge mistake, because I would give anything to not learn the lesson I learned that day. It not only hurt her, as she was questioning whether or not I was a safe person (more about safety in another blog), but it also hurt me, because I knew that I did not have her faith anymore. One little white lie did all that damage in seconds. That is not to say that a couple can’t repair the marriage, but maybe the best thing to do is to prevent the destruction from happening in the first place. So, let’s talk about how lying destroys marriages so we can be aware of how deception damages relationships.
- Lying destroys trust. This point may seem moot, but trust is pivotal to all relationships. If a marriage does not have trust, it cannot function properly. Trust is the basis of good and positive communication. If there is no trust, an individual may not listen or take heed to anything the other person says. When someone lies, the person being lied to might feel devastated and distant. Also, the person being lied to may start to question everything the deceiver says. If questioning persist, the person who was dishonest may become angry because they cannot express what they want or need because questions become repetitive. The hurt person then may shut down, or may not believe the answers of the deceiver, thus creating a nasty cycle of distrust, defensiveness and blame.
- Lying prevents deeper, empowering conversation. Have you ever found out a loved one was lying to you? What did you do? How did you feel? If you felt angry, disappointed, frustrated or some other intense feeling, then you probably stopped communicating effectively. Married couples need to communicate on deep levels to feel the bond that keeps them together. But, if you can’t even communicate because you are angry, then the deeper levels of communication cannot be reached.
- Lying leads to more lying and deception. Once a lie is formed and emitted, then the person lying usually starts to attempt to cover it up so they don’t get caught. Some people go to great lengths to cover up a lie because telling the truth can have very damaging consequences. For the individual who is dishonest, it becomes important to cover up the lie so they don’t lose their standing, have to deal with an upset spouse, possibly lose their marriage or much more. Deception can become very complex and twisted.
- Learning about lies can be extremely painful which may be hard to heal. One of the consequences of lying to your partner is that they will feel hurt. The depth of the hurt depends on the type of lie, what the lie was about, the length of time the lie has been covered up, and whether or not the lie is dealing with a sensitive subject (ie, sex, finances, family). It has been said that hurt takes time to heal. The amount of time to heal depends on the depth of the hurt, which in turn could be so devastating, that the hurt individual may choose to not attempt to start the healing process.
- Lying portrays selfishness. When a person lies, they are most likely thinking about themselves, although it may seem they are doing it for other reasons. Some other circumstances might make that statement untrue, but only for a few situations. Like we said, lying is usually to cover something up. Why would someone cover something up? To keep it secret. To not get in trouble. To not hurt another person so the relationship does not change. Or, any other number of reasons. But all these reasons point back to selfishness. You can almost hear a resounding, “I…” if the person were asked why they lied. Defensiveness is a good test to determine if a person is thinking about themselves or others.
How do we use this information? Lying can be easy, but being aware of how it effects relationships and can take away what is dear to you is important to help make a correct decision. I always teach people, be aware of yourself (ie, feelings, thoughts and actions). The reason why? Because awareness breads control. Awareness allows for a larger array of choices. Awareness allows for the individual to manage the problem instead of the problem managing the individual. My last post talked about being intentional! Awareness allows an individual to be intentional when working to have a great marriage. Let’s learn to be honest because honesty provides safety and trust in relationships. Would you rather be with someone who messes up, but is honest and genuine about it, or someone who does not want anyone to see them for who they really are?
If you need help with being honest and genuine call me 706-955-0230.
Check out the companion piece to this post: 5 Ways Honesty Improves Marriages
Check out my latest blog series about how to Improve your Marriage While in Quarantine.