A while back, I had a client come into my office feeling pretty bummed out, and she was in need of relationship help. She had been in a pretty serious relationship with a guy for a little more than two years and they recently moved in together. However, as you can imagine the honeymoon stage was starting to wear off. With her blinders off she started to realize that the guy she had fallen for was telling lies…and lots of them for no apparent reason.
She didn’t know whether she should bring it to his attention or not. After all, he seemed like a “good guy” when he was with her, she just worried about what was going on behind her back.
He’d lie about going to hang with his friends, his whereabouts, things he liked, and even how he feels at times.
Sure, she knew that “little white lies” were to be expected (like whether or not she looked fat in a particular outfit or if he liked her cooking), but she wasn’t expecting it to be so regular and she didn’t know what to do about it.
She wondered if it was her fault?
Had she in some way discouraged open and honest communication in the relationship?
Did she act in a way that stopped him from feeling like he could be real with her?
Was his lying a compulsive act that could ultimately be a deal breaker?
In order to assess the matter I wanted to take a deeper look into why men lie in the first place. You might be surprised at what I found (of course women can lie for the very same reasons).
Here are the top 5 reasons why men lie:
1. To Avoid the Drama
The truth hurts and it’s not always what we want to hear. As we all very well know, women are thought to be emotional thinkers and communicators, while men are thought to be more logical and straightforward…
How many times has your guy told you the truth about something and you got so bent out of shape that it caused a week long argument?
The crying, yelling, nagging, and even the long silent treatment is something that they simply don’t want to deal with. In turn, they give us just enough of the truth to keep us from digging deeper but not so much that we want to jump off the deep end and take them with us.
While in a healthy relationship, we shouldn’t react this way to the truth… it happens. Men realize this and try by any means necessary to avoid it.
2. To Get Out of Doing Something
If it is something that your guy does not want to do but you expect him to, he may very well tell you a lie to get out of it.
You know the home improvement projects, taking the kids to their extracurricular activities, or going with you to visit your parents on Sundays?
If there is any way that they can get out of doing those things – they will. Even if that means telling you they forgot or had to work later than expected.
3. They’ve Been Conditioned to Do So
Oh you’re going to love this one…
Another reason that men are known to lie is because they’ve been conditioned to do so from a past relationship. If they weren’t in a healthy relationship in the past, certain events can trigger negative memories which ultimately cause them to lie.
For example, if their ex girlfriend got upset every time they wanted to hang out with their friends, he might have learned lying as a method for getting out of those huge arguments.
4. He’s Insecure
If there’s one thing all men have in common, it’s a strong sense of pride. They want to be your superman and when they fall short of what they believe your expectations are, they might lie so that they don’t let you down.
This can happen in the beginning of a relationship where a guy might lie about his career, income, or living situation.
It can also happen at other points in your relationship.
I’m sure you’ve seen it on sitcoms before where the wife might ask the husband to make a repair (that he’s really not qualified to make), but since he feels like he’s the man of the house he’d rather tell you he can take care of it than contact a professional.
5. He Doesn’t Want to Get Caught
Last but not least is not wanting to get caught (but let’s be honest, who’d want to get caught). Like a kid who has stolen a cookie from the cookie jar, you tell a lie so that you don’t end up on punishment. Of course this is a sign of immaturity, but it is a reason that not only men use to lie, but women as well.
3 Tips to Encourage a More Open and Honest Relationship
Once I was able to convey to my client the very reasons why her guy could be lying to her, it was time to give her relationship help on how to approach the matter and correct it. This matter must be handled with care as when dealing with trust issues, things like emotions, pride, and ego can really heat a conversation up.
1. Take a Look in the Mirror
As you can see from the “excuses” listed above, men lie ultimately because they feel that women cannot handle the truth. They assume this because of how we react when the truth is told.
You need to first assess yourself and see how you deal with “not so nice” information. Are you known to yell, get emotional, interrogate him, or stop talking to him for weeks at a time? If so you may want to change that.
2. Time Your Talks
In order to encourage open and honest communication with your partner, you need to consider the time you’re having your talks. The time is NOT when you’re feeling angry and triggered. The best time to have a chat is when you’re calm and clear about how you’re feeling. Also, don’t put the heavy on him when he’s stressed or in a rush to do something – approach the situation when you’re both feeling relatively relaxed with some free “talk” time on your side.
3. Create a Safe Haven
No guy is going to feel safe talking to you if every time he tells you something you turn into an emotional wreck or become the private investigator with a million questions for why he did something. Take a step back, communicate when you’re not stressed or overwhelmed by other things in your life and create a safe haven that he feels secure with.
In no way am I making excuses for guys and their many lies (a lie is a lie and there’s no other way to slice that), but what I am saying is that they more likely than not utilize lying as a mechanism for getting out of communicating with the women in their lives.
I’ll advise you as I advised my client. First try as best you can to check your feelings at the door. Though you want him to know you’re hurt, too much of any feelings can send a guy packing.
Once you’ve checked your emotions, talk to him in a manner in which he feels safe to have open and honest communication. Rather than making him wrong for lying, seek to understand why he feels he can’t be straight with you.
If the problems persist, then you might consider moving on as this guy is probably wrestling with his own inner demons that will stop a safe relationship from developing. If he wants a healthy connection with you he will stop the lies. Period.
So irrespective of whether men lie more than women, there is always a solution to every problem. It’s up to you to decide what you will and will not accept.
Be true to you and create the safe loving haven you deserve.