Doing a little research and thought exercise on whether lying is okay or not. I thought I might write a post to help married couples navigate the nuances of dishonesty in marriage and relationships. Undoubtedly, I believe most people do not like to be lied to, but many people believe that there are times when lying is okay. I am not sure if you are one of those people, but let’s take a look at some information to get some finality to this question.
Asking the question, “Should I stay with a lying spouse?” poses different answers for different people. As I think through this question and read what other’s have wrote about this question, the answer I find is that if we factor in “only lying,” then your marriage is likely salvageable and you should stay with your spouse. However, if we factor in other behaviors, you may have a reason to leave.
After much thought, research, and work with couples over the years, I believe an apology is important, but must be done in the right way. When you apologize to your husband or wife, it is important to be genuine and direct, to validate their feelings of hurt and fear, to understand their needs, and to state a plan of how you will work not to hurt your partner in the future. These 5 different aspects to apologizing will help your husband or wife to know that you are sorry for your actions, you care about their feelings, and you desire to make sure you change, not only, how you act, but how you are going to make it right.
Has your spouse lied to you, left information out, or been dishonest in some other way? Dishonesty hurts relationships. Trust is broken. Feelings are hurt. The damage is done. As a wife or husband who has faced dishonesty in their relationship, you are probably wondering what you can do. In situations like these, especially if your spouse has lies chronically, boundaries are needed.
Is it possible to rebuild trust? You may be asking that question. You feel terrible about the mistake of lying to your spouse, but you are not sure how to reverse it. Your stuck between defending yourself and protecting yourself from their anger. Healing takes time and hopelessness wanes in situations like these. The question you are asking is, “Is it possible to make things better?” As a marriage and family therapist, my answer is, “Yes!”
What is it like to be lied to? And how to you deal with a spouse that lies? To confront a spouse who lies, you first need to have a plan of how to talk to your partner about their dishonesty. You may be struggling with the pain of the most recent lie or the first one ever. Yet, you can’t just stand by and wait for the next time, or let this go by without trying to understand, right?
Do you ever wonder why people lie in relationships? It seems a mystery at times. You would think that love, kindness and a fear of hurting your spouse or partner would deter dishonesty. Culturally, lying seems to be accepted, but when it happens in a relationship, it can be devastating. Broken trust, decreased affection and other possible effects on your marriage or relationship are results of deceptive behavior. Why would anyone do this?
Throughout my years of counseling, I have had many wives and husbands plead to me to give them the answer to how to forgive their spouse. Many times the reason is because they feel betrayed or deeply hurt by dishonesty. As I am sitting here, it occurred to me that it would be helpful to provide this information to others I can’t reach through counseling.
God’s design is perfect. Do you believe that? I do. I don’t believe in a God who is imperfect, so his design for things, essentially how he designed things he created, is perfect. You heard in my last post, “God is a God of order.” God designed things to be in order.
Procreation is when a man and a woman create child together. Duh! Why is that important? Because it can’t be anything other than a man or a woman! Sounds simple, but our culture and society wants to make marriage more than just one man and one woman.
You may not believe it, but I have struggled with many things in life that most people would not see as loving, kind or upright. I have always wanted to be better than I am. When you struggle with thoughts of not being good enough, you wonder how you could ever have anyone accept you.
Do you watch the news all the time? Are you on your phone all day? Do you ignore your kids or spouse because something else is more important?
If you were a fly on the wall in many couples’ houses today you would probably see all 3 of these things going on. Would you want to be married if you saw just these things? NOT ME!!
Did you enjoy the first part of my exploration of a wife’s role in marriage? If you did not get to read it: Go Here (Part 1).
Let’s continue with Part 2 of this discussion by building more understanding about the deeper meaning of the Biblical truth’s of this subject.
I believe I have created a tall task for myself. These next few posts may be short to start with and added to later. I find the topic complicated. It concerns me that I may no do it justice. Yet, I am going to try. So, here we go!
As we talk more about God’s design for marriage, I reiterate I am not a trained pastor. I also am not an expert in God’s exact design for marriage. These posts are only meant to explore and provoke thought and further discussion and research. I am attempting to drill down and examine bits and pieces of a complex system of relationships God put in motion.
Brandon Coussens, LMFT
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Augusta, GA 30909
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