Everyone lies. We do it for all kinds of reasons; to make life easier on us, on those we care about, on the behalf of someone else, to be polite, and to outright deceive and defraud on purpose. But what can you do if you catch your partner lying?
You love and trust your partner. Without trust, where is the love? When you catch your partner lying, you feel as though you’ve been stabbed in the back, punched in the gut, or so disrespected or disregarded that you don’t know if you can think straight. What can you do?
Nobody will deny you your right to feel bad about being lied to, that’s a given. We’ve all been in the same boat, for who of us has made it through life without being lied to of deceived. Sometimes people can be harmfully deceitful without saying a word, as is the case of lying by omission.
Yes, even not saying anything is in order to cover something up or avoid being truthfully honest (lying by omission) is a venial sin. It doesn’t mean you have to be rudely open and honest, just to tell the truth, and if you love someone, be honest lovingly. Tell the truth in a way that respects your partner. Be gentle and speak your truth with grace and love, even if it is difficult. Nobody expects you to be perfect.
If you’ve caught your partner lying, don’t sweep it under the carpet or try to gloss it over. Dishonesty in a relationship will cause your trust to rust, and leads to the erosion of your love, especially if you’re harboring the truth about your knowledge of the deceit or dishonesty and not saying anything about it (lying by omission). Even you are a guilty enabler by engaging in the dishonesty.
Get it out in the open. Relationships go through periods of varying levels of comfort and discomfort, it’s the nature of two people sharing one life. It is all part of the growth process. If there is no conflict, there can be no growth, which leaves you with stagnation. Where is the life in that? You might be able to get by, but you can forget thriving in a relationship which is a cesspool.
Grab your grown-up skivvies and get ready for some gentle conversation about your awareness that something’s not adding up. As in all difficult conversations, create a safe space to frame the conversation and avoid being accusatory. This is about creating an environment where its safe to be honest. Avoid jumping-in, interrupting, or otherwise preventing your partner from fully sharing. Take notes on paper, if you have to, but let them speak their truth in peace.
Let them say whatever it is, without interruption, or else he or she will get defensive, and the flow of open communication will stop if your partner feels like he or she needs to take the defensive position.
Once you’ve actively heard what your partner needs to say, and you’ve affirmed that you’ve understood the key points by paraphrasing them back to him or her, now your partner owes you the same respect to hear what you have to say about it.
Check with your heart and center yourself. Take a cleansing breath, then speak your heart in love. Again, be honest, but try to avoid being harsh. If your feelings have been hurt, say so, but try to use words that are not abrupt or frightening. Remember you are expressing how you feel, so start your sentences with “I,” or, “I feel like,” and avoid starting any statement with, “You.”
Trust your intuition. When you feel like something just isn’t right. In most cases, something isn’t right. If your partner gives a perfectly good explanation, and it doesn’t feel right, you probably know by experience that something has most always been amiss when you’ve had feelings, like that, in the past.
Deciding whether you can live with this or not is only something you must decide for yourself. Everybody’s different, and we all can tolerate different degrees of what our partners are allowed to do or not do within the confines of our relationships.
Even though magazines and tabloids will gibe you a list of do’s and don’ts in black and white, there really is no strict guideline for what is and is not acceptable in a successful relationship. Each couple must figure out for themselves what works for them.
Forgiveness in a loving relationship goes a long way. For the repeat offender, you might think about negotiating new paradigms for the expansion of your relationship, or if you are unable to come to a workable compromise, it might be time to look for a better match for your true love to emerge.
It’s your love life. It’s up to you.
Love, love, love. Love like it’s all that matters because it is. And if you dare, think about loving unconditionally.