It happened again. You caught your partner telling another lie, and you ask, “Why would my partner lie to me?” Basically, your partner will only lie to you for one of two reasons: (1) To deceive you (2) Because your partner loves you.
As in any crime in criminal court, intent plays a huge part in sentence determination. It doesn’t erase the crime but may mitigate the damages by considering a lesser sentence or exonerate the offender.
If your partner is lying to you with the intent to deceive or defraud, then you may have an unhealthy partner who may be a psychopath, sociopath, narcissist, or at the very least a toxic person who may be a pathological liar (which means they could not tell the truth if they tried or even if their life depended on it).
But if your partner lied to you because he or she loves you so much, then that is a completely different deal. Right? It doesn’t excuse the fact that your partner lied, but there should be some credit offered for intention or motivation.
In its simplest form, your partner might ask you how this new hairdo looks? Because you love your partner loves you, knows you’ve invested a lot of time and money on this new hairstyle, he or she is compassionate, cares about you, and wants to be supportive, might respond, “Oh, it looks so good!” but you really didn’t like it. You know you lied, but you did so with the best intentions.
Beyond that, it gets much more complicated.
What if you’re at an event with your partner and you run into someone your partner knew and you were introduced to this person who you’ve never met and your partner introduces him or her as an old friend, classmate, or coworker. Then you later discover that this was actually an old boyfriend or girlfriend.
Your lie radar sounds, a huge red flag pops up, and you start to panic, and you start to recoil from the idea that your partner has lied to you.
If you follow the linear path of your emotions, you might come to the conclusion that your partner cannot be trusted at all, because if he or she lied about this, what else is your partner lying about?
This can send you on a downward never-ending spiral that could be unhealthy and subject you to wild imaginations which will affect not only your relationship but your emotional and physical health as well.
Your best course of action is to talk about the lie as soon as possible, not to accuse, but to determine the intent or motive.
When you are talking (not confronting) to your partner about the lie, try not to accuse and remember the purpose of this conversation is to determine the motive.
In the case of your being lied to about the nature of the previous relationship with the person you were introduced to, you may find that the “lie” was told out of love. The introduction and the time spent in what could have been a tremendously awkward situation was side-stepped by telling what your partner determined was a “little white lie.” (I know, it doesn’t feel as insignificant as your partner thought it was.)
You could determine that your partner was looking out for your best interests and did not want to induce undue suspicion. Also, he or she may have thought that the relationship was so insignificant that it was almost as if there was nothing to tell (nothing good anyway).
Still the breach of trust happened, you will have talked it out, and you can deal with the outcome in the best way that is appropriate for you.
If it turns out it was deliberate deceit and an effort to cover up character flaws that could affect you and your relationship, then this partner may not be as well-suited for you as you might have thought. I’m not saying to throw the baby out with the bathwater.
What I’m saying is, talk it out, and be more attentive and aware. You could accumulate enough data to find out that this person is toxic to your life and not a good match for you. You might be the next person who is introduced as an old friend, classmate, or coworker.
Repeated deception to exploit you is better cut off sooner rather than later.