Regardless of the fact that nobody enjoys being lied to, it seems that lying within all types of relationships is common, and is thereby often forgiven or overlooked. While it’s true that most of us are guilty of a little white lie now and again, relationships that are plagued with frequent lies can easily become hurtful and destructive.
Women often tell horror stories about how they’ve been lied to in past relationships, but the truth is that women are as guilty of lying as men, although perhaps for different reasons. And sometimes their lies are more personal and hurtful. Chris Rock hit the nail on the head when he declared that “men lie the most, women tell the biggest lies.” In any case, defining a lie and deciding how it should be dealt with often depends on what the basis for the lie is.
While some lies have obvious causes and can therefore be dealt with in a straightforward way, other lies have much more elusive justifications that can make it difficult to know how to respond.
Although there can sometimes seem to be a legitimate reason for lying, it is nonetheless an unhealthy and damaging habit. For this reason, it’s a good idea to reevaluate any relationship in which there’s been dishonesty. Read on for some of the most common reasons women feel the need to lie to you, and what you should do to get around it.
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She wants to spare your feelings
If there’s something about you that she doesn’t like, she may think that it’s preferable to keep you in the dark about it. Although this is a lie spoken with a generous heart, if she never tells you the things that bother her, she might start to resent you, which could spell the end of the relationship.
What you should do: Assess what the intention behind the lie was and how it reflects on her. Is she so insecure that she couldn’t come to you with the problem? Or is she just waiting for the right time to blow you off? If the lie is serious and affects the foundation of your relationship, then it’s time to cut the ties. If, however, it’s a minor problem in an otherwise solid structure, face the situation head-on and make it clear that lying is not an option in the future.
She wants to make herself look good
This type of lie is often told because it makes her seem more glamorous or successful. Although this might seem like a harmless attempt to make people like her, it can be a sign of a more devious personality.
What you should do: If she lied to you to try to impress you, you might feel flattered. On the other hand, this is a deliberate and mischievous lie, the sort that could denote an underhanded person. Be aware that she might tell lies about you to make you seem more glamorous to outsiders. Also, ask yourself what she might do to get ahead, and whether she’d leave you at the drop of a hat for somebody who is higher on the social ladder.
Is she trying to cover up her past?
She’s trying to hide her past
Like the previous type of lie, this one is an attempt to wipe the slate clean, to start fresh with a new man. It could be because she’s ashamed of her past, but it could also be because she wants to forget it. This is often a lie to protect a sexual history that she thinks you’ll judge her for.
What you should do: A lie like this can be dangerous; if she’s lying about whom she’s been with, there’s a reason why, so be sure you know what you’re getting into. If she does come clean about her past, however, make sure that you’re sensitive in your reaction. After all, the fear of a negative reaction is exactly why she lied.
She’s protecting herself
If she’s trying to keep her distance from you, she might be afraid of making herself vulnerable. She probably believes that if you don’t know about the skeletons in her closet, it’ll be easier for her to walk away from you without getting hurt. This is a popular defense mechanism, but it can be very hard to relate to a person who’s caged herself off from you.
What you should do: If you think she’s worth the trouble, do your best to make her feel more comfortable so that she can open up. If she doesn’t crack after a while, however, furthering the relationship will be next to impossible and probably not worth your time.
She doesn’t want you to worry
If you’re concerned about that male coworker she’s been spending so much time with, she might lie about the time they spend together. This doesn’t mean that there’s anything going on; she’s just doing what she wants without having you fret about it. Or if you worry about her when she jogs outside at night, she might do it anyway and just not tell you. These are relatively well-meaning lies, but they are still quite damaging. When you finally find out the truth, you’ll likely have trouble trusting her.
What you should do: Explain to her that lies are not the easy way out of tough situations. If she wants to do something and you’re stewing about it, maybe you need to trust her judgment a little more. On the other hand, if she’s just willing to white-lie her way through life, perhaps you should cut and run.
She doesn’t trust you
She may have information she considers sensitive and isn’t sure whether to tell you about it. If you don’t know each other very well yet, this could be a legitimate lie to protect others’ interests. As such, it should be seen as a relatively loyal gesture toward those she’s protecting. However, if you’re well into your relationship and she’s still hiding all sorts of information from you, she might have major trust issues.
What you should do: Confront her about her lack of trust. Is it founded on past experiences of you blabbing or is she just being paranoid? Be sure she knows that you think lying is out of bounds and that a lack of trust is not a solid basis for a relationship.
She might be manipulating or testing you…
Sometimes a liar justifies herself by saying that she only embellished the truth. Some people can win arguments and influence people just by emphasizing the right points — without really lying. On the other hand, she may lie outright in order to control the way you think or feel. If she tells white lies to win arguments or to twist you around her finger, you should watch out, because manipulation is a powerful tool.
What you should do: Seriously? Run. If you’ve caught her in a manipulative lie, she’s already trying to play you. This can only get worse.
She’s testing you
If she’s unsure of your temperament or intentions, she might try to test the waters. She could tell you a false story about a past relationship to see how you react. She might tell you her best friend thinks you’re cute to see if your eye wanders. This type of testing is meant to catch the bad guys before they get too close.
What you should do: Although it may be a defensive action, it is a sign of trouble ahead, as it is indicative of immature behavior. Telling you lies is not the way to get to know you, and a woman who does this is unlikely to be any more stable once you get closer to her.
She wants to keep the upper hand
She might withhold information to maintain a sense power over you. For instance, if a mutual friend tells her something important, she may keep it from you so that she has the inside scoop. Or she might just keep things from you to keep you at a disadvantage; that way, she can pick and choose what to tell you and when.
What you should do: Unless you have underlying domination fantasies, this is probably a problem you should deal with promptly. She’s found a way to keep you under her thumb, and as long as you allow it, you’ll stay there. Anyone who tries this kind of trick likely has control issues and will continue to dominate you. If this sounds unattractive to you, get out while you can.
liar, liar, pants on fire
What you want to keep in mind about lies is that they are, by definition, dishonest. A woman who is keeping things from you or just making things up has hidden motives. Chances are that anything you try to build with a liar will collapse in the end. If you find out a woman has lied to you, try to get her to ‘fess up, and then you can decide whether it’s something you can get past or if it’s time to throw in the towel.