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Lying in a Relationship: 15 Steps to Confront a Lie & Heal the Love

Lying in a relationship can feel like an act of betrayal and can cause the trust to be lost. But you can always turn things around and rebuild trust.

lying in a relationship

Everyone lies, one way or another. But the thing that makes lying in a relationship harmful is when you lie about something significant. Now, we’re not just talking about lying about how your partner looks that day or if they lost weight or not. We’re talking about the kind of lie that will betray trust in the relationship if you choose to do it.

Lying just 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.

If you’ve told a significant lie in your relationship, that doesn’t automatically mean your relationship is over. However, you do need to bounce back from it pretty hard to turn things around. Especially if you really hurt them or betrayed them in any way, you really need to work on your relationship.

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

Why is lying in a relationship bad?

While lying is normal, you shouldn’t make a habit out of it in a relationship or with anyone really. Trust is the core foundation of any relationship so the moment you break that trust, it’s pretty hard to recover from. Relationships fail these days because of that trust.

So if you can’t help it, don’t hide from or lie to your partner about something that’s important. Be honest with them as far as possible. As the saying goes – it’s better to hurt them with the truth than to comfort them with a lie.

We’re not just talking about a white lie, but something so concrete and essential that their heart will break if they knew you chose to lie about it. After all, just like cheating, lying is a choice.

[Read: How to stop lying to yourself and to your partner]

15 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, we 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.

But let’s start with this. Honesty is always the best policy, especially in love. [Read: Why do people lie in relationships? The biggest reasons why we fib]

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. What you do next all depends on how important the lie was. So if it was something significant, that’s worth fussing over. [Read: The 14 types of liars and how to confront each of them]

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. What better way to confront a lie than by calling them out on that lie? If they deny it, then it must be that important to lie about it TWICE *which isn’t a smart move, if we’re being honest*.

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. [Read: How to calm your nerves in any situation you find yourself in]

3. Let them talk

Communication is a two-way street, so hear their side first before being angry and yelling at them if the lie was that big of a deal. They were just caught in a lie. Either they’d want to defend themselves or admit the truth to you. So, of course, they will have a lot to say!

If you want that to happen, be calm and let them speak. Try your best to control your temper and hear their explanation first before making any assumptions whatsoever. For all you know, their reason could be valid! [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.

We know you’re angry, but this won’t help the situation. Also, don’t be passive-aggressive, and don’t stonewall them, even if you want to. Remember that they’re still your partner and if you’re going to fix things, be mature about it. [Read: How to know if he’s Lying to you without asking or confronting him]

5. Use empathy

We 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 though.

But when you’re seeing red, try to use empathy to see things from their perspective. There will always be two sides to every story, but you need to be willing to see it first. Don’t be closed-minded.

Try to see the bigger picture, if there’s any. We know it’s hard to be logical when you’re upset, but at least try. [Read: All the reasons why empathy is important in a relationship]

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.

The ball is literally in your court and you get to decide what steps to take. Nobody’s going to blame you if you decide to end things, especially if their lie was that unforgivable. [Read: When you realize your relationship is a lie – What’s next?]

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 both, they need to recognize that lying isn’t a part of your relationship.

Both parties take a lot of effort to rebuild trust after there was significant lying in a relationship. So set boundaries and make sure both of you stick to them to rebuild what was lost. [Read: How to set boundaries in a relationship – 15 rules you must follow for healthy love]

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, truth is always a better option than a lie, no matter how hard or painful the truth is.

A relationship will never work if both of you can’t be honest with one another. So after there was lying in a relationship, make sure you both intentionally create an open and safe space to communicate openly and honestly. [Read: How to feel secure in a relationship when you feel insecure inside]

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’re trying everything you can to stay calm, sometimes, what happened may be too painful to accept -that’s entirely okay! You probably tried your best to mend things, but some things are better left undone than hurting yourself trying.

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 calling them constantly to see where they are. Monitor your behavior and work on yourself to make sure you don’t go down that path of obsessiveness.

Also, don’t engage in self-sabotaging behavior to cope with their lying and force yourself to stay with them. You can be hurt by their actions, but remember you have a say in how you choose to live your life after that. [Read: The easiest ways to catch a lying boyfriend]

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.

You really need to communicate with your partner more than anything else. So even if the conversation will feel repetitive, both of you need to understand why they felt the need to lie and what you can do to change that. [Read: How to forgive someone – Positive ways you can unburden your mind]

12. If they lie again, it’s a dealbreaker

Obviously, this shouldn’t even be a question anymore. The fact they lied to you means they can always do it again. So staying with them is a huge leap of faith and you’d obviously hope they won’t repeat the same mistake if they genuinely care about your relationship.

If your partner told you they wouldn’t lie again and wants to change their behavior, that’s great. But that means they’ll actually need to stick to their promise.

It’s easy to spout 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]

13. Don’t dwell on the past

The more you dwell on the past, the more likely you’ll have difficulty overcoming lying in a relationship. So you can’t dwell on the past, no matter how easy to do so. [Read: How to let go of the past and be excited by the future]

No matter what the lie is and no matter how grand it is, dwelling on the past won’t help you tackle the lie with a logical approach. So focus on the present and deal with the issue hand. There’s no need to bring up past issues, especially if you still want to fix your relationship.

14. Learn to forgive

In this entire list of overcoming lying in a relationship, you need to forgive both yourself and them. Forgive yourself for not knowing better early on in your relationship if the lie was big enough to push you both apart. But also forgive them if they are genuinely resentful and have promised to never repeat their mistake again.

The longer you hold on to your grudges, the harder it would be to move past that lie in your relationship. Even if you feel unable to fix your relationship further, you need to learn to forgive. [Read: How to forgive someone – 15 positive ways to unburden your mind]

15. Keep an open perspective

It takes a lot of openness and inner strength to keep an open perspective, but you need to try and see things from their perspective. There are always two sides to every story, and that also goes for lying in a relationship.

Reflect on why you think they had to lie to you, whether it was a small or heartbreaking lie. If you keep a closed mindset, you’ll never be able to move on from the lie they told you, nor will you ever be able to understand their motive behind the lie.

[Read: 12 signs of dishonesty in a relationship that push couples apart]

So, how do you deal with lying in a relationship?

There’s no easy way to deal with lying. But you also need to check first if their lie is worth making a fuss about.

If it’s a white lie, just get over it. Anything more than that, go with your gut instinct.

[Read: Should you forgive and forget? 15 guidelines to follow to make your decision]

Lying in a relationship isn’t a good sign. But if you do choose to repair your relationship and take a big leap of faith, follow these steps and ask yourself if you can ever forgive them or see them the same way again. What happens next will depend on your partner’s explanations and remorse.

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