Decoding Your Dude: Why Do Men Lie, and What Can You Do?

You’ve caught your man in a lie… now what? Is it just an isolated incident, or does it have more sinister implications? Read on to find out why men lie.


Most men are pretty predictable creatures. If a man is lying to you, there are usually only a handful of reasons that could explain his dishonesty. But in a relationship, a lie is like a nail in the coffin of not only the trust you share, but also the potential for a future.

The key to getting past a lie, once realized, is to understand why a man might have lied. To do that, you have to understand the process that led to the lie in the first place, and what purpose it served not to be truthful. You may think you want a guy to be honest with you, but you have to ask yourself if that’s really true deep down. If you make it nearly impossible for him to tell the truth without severe consequences, you are setting your relationship up as a no-win situation for the both of you.

So why do men lie?

While every specific situation certainly comes along with its own set of stipulations and reasons for dishonesty, there are a few very common reasons why men might decide to lie. Oftentimes, there is an underlying problem beneath the lie, and if you can dig deep enough to get to it, you may be able to understand your man’s reasoning a little better. Here are some of those hidden reasons why your man might be lying.

#1 He is afraid to be honest. If he wants to go out with the guys and you get upset or angry, then he is going to lie about it. This can be one of those times when you are setting up conditions that will ensure your man has to lie to be happy.

Men need some time to unwind and relax with their buddies, and if they aren’t ever able to do that without backlash, then you are creating a scenario in which he’ll feel trapped. If he wants to go out once in a while, let him. If you give him the opportunity to be honest without reprise, he almost always will be. [Read: 20 glaring signs you have a control freak in you]

#2 He is doing something you don’t approve of. No woman wants to hear that a guy is going to a bachelor party and probably looking at a naked stripper, but some guys do occasionally do that. If you’re in a committed, long-term relationship, there are bound to be things that he does that you don’t necessarily approve of.

This isn’t to say that you can’t address the issue calmly and reasonably with him, but what you shouldn’t do is make him feel the need to lie just to avoid another huge argument. If what he’s doing is harmless and innocent, try to see it from his perspective before making him feel badly about it. [Read: A guide on effective communication in a relationship]

#3 He is embarrassed. Most of the time when you catch a man who loves you in a lie, they are not honest because they want you to think the best of them. My husband used to tell me that he made a certain amount of money when we first started dating, but when I looked at his paycheck later on down the road, I found out that he’d largely exaggerated about his earnings.

It dawned on me that he was lying to me because he wanted me to see him as being more successful than he saw himself. A guy who is not secure in who he is or what he has accomplished will lie to make himself feel more powerful and to ensure that you see him as he wants you to see him. [Read: How to manage money in a marriage]

#4 He is doing something shameful. Most guys watch porn. I don’t care what they say or what you want to believe. Just like most guys will also occasionally step into the shower and masturbate, no matter how great or frequent your sex is. But if you ask him if he had a couple of minutes extra in the shower to please himself, if he watches porn, or if he’s doing something else that he’s not quite proud of, chances are that he’s not going to tell you the truth.

In this situation, it can help to let him know that he doesn’t have to be ashamed of these things, and that they don’t make you look at him any differently. Or, if conversations about these things still make him squirm, don’t force him to share every little detail of his “private” time with you *as long as it’s as innocent as a little porn or sexy shower time*. [Read: Why men watch porn instead of their woman in bed]

#5 He doesn’t want to hurt your feelings. “Babe do I look fat in these jeans?” “No honey.” Sound familiar? Think about it: do you really want to hear the truth, even if you already know the answer yourself? These little white lies really aren’t anything to worry about, unless they begin to happen all the time. If your man is lying to protect you, take it as a gesture of love. [Read: 8 scenarios when white lies can be your saviors in love]

#7 He is no good. Of course, there is always the possibility that he is lying to protect himself because he really has done something wrong that would have negative consequences if you ever found out. If he is lying to benefit himself, to cheat, to steal from you, or to do something that is otherwise bad for you, then he should be held accountable for his actions.

If he is hurting you and is putting his own needs before the needs of your relationship, then it’s time to kick him to the curb. If you don’t trust him and think he is lying for a malicious reason, don’t be too quick to succumb to his countless excuses. [Read: 7 secret signs that reveal a bad relationship]

What to do when you think your guy is lying

The most important thing to do when you think your guy is lying to you is not to make rash assumptions or accusations. If you question him in a confrontational way, then you aren’t likely to get the truth. When caught, a guy is going to be embarrassed, feel bad, worry that you are going to see him in a different light, or is going to say goodbye.

Before you go at him with guns blazing, take a moment to stop and consider the entire situation, including how open you are to hearing the truth, whatever it may be, and how much you are willing to put up with. Drawing boundaries before you confront him is critical to staying a couple, forgiving, and understanding what the issues are in your relationship.

Ideally, you want to create an environment where your man can be honest without fear of reprise, retaliation, or a night filled with anger and backlash.

[Read: 10 big problems in a relationship and how to fix them]

Pick your battles and understand when you are boxing him in and making him feel as if the only way out is to be dishonest. Lying is wrong, but so is holding on so tightly that you deny someone what they need for fulfillment in a relationship.

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Julie Keating

A writer isn’t born, but created out of experiences. No lack of subject matter, my life reads more like fiction than anything that could have been imagined...

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