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What to Do When There’s Lying in a Relationship: Can It Survive?

lying in a relationship

You’ve been catching your partner in some lies, and you’re hurt, you still love them. What do you do when there’s lying in a relationship?

Okay, I’m not going to say my hands are clean when it comes to lying. I’ve lied before to the people I love, and I’m pretty sure you have too. Lying in a relationship happens. They can be huge or little white lies, but we’ve said something that wasn’t entirely true, regardless of the reason why.

So, I’m not here to lecture you about morals. We all know that lying isn’t good. It hurts the people around us, and honestly, having to be aware of what you said to someone to keep up with the lie is exhausting.

Now, there are different lies. If someone asks you how they look and you say they look good when really, they don’t, it’s not horrible. A white lie is sometimes used to protect the person you’re lying to.

[13 dead giveaways that say they’re lying to your face]

12 steps to follow when there’s lying in a relationship

White lies happen in friendships and romantic relationships all the time. But then there are actual lies, and those lies can happen in relationships, whether intimate or not. If you’re seeing someone behind your partner’s back and lying about it, that’s a bad move.

You’re reading this because you feel your partner is lying to you about something. What it is, I don’t know. But they’re keeping something from you. So, what do you do? How do you handle your partner when they’re lying to you? It’s a tough subject, but one we need to talk about.

Honesty is always the best policy.

#1 What did they lie to you about? Listen, if your partner told you their parents like you when really they’re not big fans of you, that’s not necessarily something to end a relationship over. Before anything, identify the lie. What are they lying to you about? Are they seeing someone else? No one lies out of fun unless they’re a psycho. So, identify the lie before making any moves. [Read: How to confront and deal with different types of liars]

#2 If they’re lying to you, call them out on it. So, you know your partner is lying to you about something. Call them out on it. If they’re lying to you, they must know you’re aware of what’s going on and aren’t going to put up with dishonesty. But the trick is to do it calmly. Don’t yell or get physical with them.

#3 Let them talk. Oh, believe me, they have a lot to say. They were just caught in a lie! Of course, they have something to say. Either they want to defend themselves or admit to you. If you want that to happen, be calm and let them speak. I know it’s not easy, especially when you’re hurt, but let them talk if you want an answer. [Read: How to deal with the pain and respond when someone hurts you]

#4 Don’t give low blows. You’re angry. You’re more than angry; you’re feeling betrayed. You trusted this person, and you find out they’re lying to you. But, you need to contain yourself. When they choose to talk about the situation, do not speak over them or mumble low blows under your breath. I know you’re angry, but this won’t help the situation.

#5 Use empathy. Oh, I know you’re pissed, and the last thing you care about is how this person is feeling. Take a step back and breathe. What’s really going on? Why did this person feel the need to lie to you and do things behind your back? People lie for a reason. This doesn’t mean it’s your fault. Use empathy to see things from their perspective.

#6 What is your next move? Well, this is the hard part. What are you going to do now? You heard what they had to say, and now the ball is in your court. Do you want to continue being with them? Do you want to move on? If you choose to be with them, things will need to change for both of you.

#7 Set the boundaries. So, you decided to stay with your partner. Just because you took them back, doesn’t mean things are going to stay the same. You need to create firm boundaries. If they want to rebuild the honesty between you, they need to recognize that lying isn’t a part of your relationship. [Read: Should you forgive and forget? 15 guidelines to follow]

#8 They need to feel safe. If you want to stay together, create a space that allows honesty and truth. They should feel it’s okay for them to be honest with you. For the relationship, the truth is always a better option than a lie, no matter how hard or painful the truth is.

#9 You may not be able to continue the relationship even if you want to. Even though you still love your partner and want to be with them, it may not be possible. Sometimes the lies are so painful that we’re unable to move on from them. If that’s the case, don’t force yourself to be in a relationship that you feel uneasy in. Even if you did everything on this list, sometimes, what happened is too painful to accept. [Read: How to stop lying to yourself and your partner]

#10 Be mindful of your behavior. After your partner admits to lying to you, it’s normal to feel your trust has been broken. This can also mean you enter into harmful behavior like checking their texts or obsessively calling them to see where they are. Monitor your behavior and work on yourself to make sure you don’t go down that path.

#11 Talk, talk, and talk some more. You need to talk with your partner. Go into discussions about the relationship and what drove them to lie to you. Make sure the conversations are open and honest. If you want to make this work, avoid getting angry. Foster a safe space for you to really heal together. [Read: How to forgive someone – Positive ways you can unburden your mind]

#12 If they lie again, it’s a dealbreaker. If your partner told you they wouldn’t lie again and want to change their behavior, that’s great. But, that means they’ll actually need to do it. It’s easy to speak words, but actions are hard to fulfill. If your partner lies to you again, it doesn’t look like they’re ready to change. That’s a dealbreaker.

[Read: How to spot a compulsive liar and know if it’s time to walk away]

Lying in a relationship isn’t a good sign. And unless they decide to change their ways and work on their issues, it’s not going to work.

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Natasha Ivanovic
Natasha Ivanovic
Natasha Ivanovic is an intimacy, dating, and relationship writer best known for her writings on Kiiroo, LovePanky, Post Pravda, and more. She's the creator and ...
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