8 Common Signs Of A Lying Spouse And How To Deal With It

8 Common Signs Of A Lying Spouse And How To Deal With It

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You think you are in a happy marriage until slowly you start to notice your spouse whispering on the phone. They assure you that they were at work last night, but when you see them tagged in Facebook’s “last night” party image, you know they are not completely honest with you.

Lying can destroy trust and relationships. It may make people feel betrayed and hurt. If you feel your spouse lies too often, talk to them because it might just be miscommunication and different perceptions that you both might have. Read this post as we tell you the possible reasons your partner is lying to you, the common signs a liar displays, and how to deal with a lying spouse.

Common Signs To Tell Your Spouse Is Lying

You may know your spouse very well but still find it difficult to discover their lies. Either they are too good at lying, or you are too naïve. Don’t worry. A little observation of their body language can help you discover their lies.

The most common sign of lying is to avoid eye contact. You ask your spouse a question, and if they are lying, they will usually answer you without looking at you. It shows that they do not want to share any information with you and want to avoid conversations altogether.

  1. Avoids eye contact: The most common sign of lying is when your spouse avoids eye contact. If your spouse usually answers you without looking at you when you ask them a question, it is a clear indicator that they are lying. It shows they do not want to share any information with you and want to avoid the conversation altogether.
  1. Evades direct answer: You ask your spouse, “Did you drink with a friend last night?” Their reply will be, “Why would I do that?” or “Why did you ask me this?” They will ask you back to assess your reaction and take some time to come up with answers that bring them the least trouble. They will also do this to check if you really know something, and if you don’t, they will use it against you and take you on a guilt trip for doubting them.
  1. Uses too many word fillers: If caught off guard, your spouse may fumble and buy time to come up with a lie. They will use many fillers, such as “umm” or “err.” They might also appear distracted and fidgety because they are nervous. Sometimes, their tone may become formal, which may indicate the pressure to maintain the lie.
  1. Takes too much time to reply: Suppose you ask your spouse a simple question, such as, “Did you go to the bank?” They will not answer with a straight “yes” or “no,” but try to act busy with something only to buy time and come up with a reasonable answer.
  1. Changes their body language: If a person is lying and feels nervous, it will show frequently in some degree in their awkward body language. They will shrug their shoulders, sweat a little more, play with their hair, and try to hide behind physical objects such as chairs or tables. If you observe keenly, you will notice that their body language is unusual, and they are hiding something.
  1. Changes their tone or speech: When lying, your spouse may suddenly start to stutter or make a slip of the tongue. They may also speak faster than usual, hoping to end the conversation. The tone of their speech may also change, and they may act sweet, using endearments they don’t usually use.
  1. Does not stick to one story: Ask them to describe an incident and ask again in a few days. If their answers vary, they may be lying. This is not foolproof because your spouse may have a poor memory. But if they are lying, every time you ask them about an event or incident, their stories will keep changing.
  1. Keeps their phone locked and away from you: If your spouse hides something, they will make sure that their phone is out of bounds for you. They will lock it with a code and may even keep it on silent mode most of the time. When you are around, they will immediately lock the phone. If they answer calls far away from you, they do not want you to know certain things and may even lie to you.

Probable Reasons Why Your Spouse Lies To You

The reason why someone lies differs for each person and situation. Here are some of the most likely reasons why your spouse lies to you.

  1. To avoid hurting you: You may often seek your partner’s advice on small things such as your clothes, work samples, or any routine incident or event in your life. Sometimes, your spouse may notice that you made a mistake, but to avoid hurting you, they may lie. This lie is usually harmless and often used to give you instant happiness.
  1. To look good in your eyes: Your spouse may have created a certain image of themselves in their mind that they would like to preserve. They may try to live up to the image so that you will continue to love them. They may lie about qualities they do not possess, and by doing so, they may try to get the admiration and respect they want.
  1. To control the amount of information you have: Some people don’t like to provide others with too much information about themselves. It doesn’t matter if you are married to them; they will still hide certain details of their lives. For example, if you ask your spouse what their family or siblings do, they may not respond directly to you. This may be because they are embarrassed about their background or don’t want you to know everything about them.
  1. To derive thrill out of lying: Your spouse may lie to get some thrill. By withholding information, they feel that they can control what you know and understand.
  1. To avoid explanation: It may be that your partner thinks you may endlessly ask them about what they have done or plan to do. To them, this may seem troublesome, and lying is an easy way out. For example, they spend time with friends but lie to you that they are working. It’s not that they want to hide something, but they are worried that you might think they are spending time with friends drinking too much alcohol, or even flirting. Thus, they may lie to avoid explanation.
  1. To avoid confrontation: You may hate your partner doing a certain thing. But if they can’t stop doing it, they will lie to you about it. For example, whenever you are away, they tend to stay outside late at night drinking wantonly. When you ask them, they will deny it to avoid a dispute with you.
  1. To break up with you: This may not always be the case, but it is not impossible. Your partner may not want to continue the relationship with you and sees no reason for telling you everything, so they choose to lie. They may hope that you will eventually get a whiff of it.

How To Deal With A Lying Spouse

Perhaps you are right about your partner lying to you. But what can you do about it? Here are some ways to deal with a lying spouse.

  1. Observe their habit of lying: First, you need to understand when and why your partner lies to you. Are they lying to cover up their bad habit? Do they lie when you ask for their opinion on something? Are they lying to hide something from you? You need to understand if there are certain patterns to it or if they are a habitual liar.
  1. Discuss the issue with them: If your partner is a habitual liar, confront them. Tell them how their habit of lying affects you and undermines the trust factor in the relationship. If they lie to protect your feelings, assure them that they can be honest with you. They can speak to you without being dishonest about their feelings. Try to find a way to resolve the problem.
  1. Change your attitude: In most cases, your partner may be lying because they cannot handle your reaction to it. After discussing with your partner, try to reflect on your reaction to see if you can bring any change that will enable honest communication between you and your partner.
  1. Consult a marriage counselor: Seek help from a marriage counselor if your partner continues to lie despite all your efforts. Your partner may have stopped lying, but you may be judging your partner based on your past experiences. A marriage counselor can help you look at things objectively.

Lying is a common trait among people, and most of us must have experienced it at least once in our lives. However, in interpersonal relationships, there should be no room for dishonesty. Lying can create unnecessary pressure between spouses and destroy trust. If your spouse often lies, you must handle it with a calm mind and try to resolve the problem before it is too late.

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Dr. Carlos Juan Carmona-Goyena

(PhD (Counseling Psychology))
Dr. Carlos Juan Carmona-Goyena is a board licensed therapist in the USA and Puerto Rico with a specialty in couples, families, and relationships. Dr. Carlos possesses a PhD in Counseling Psychology granted at the Interamerican University of Puerto Rico. His two-decade professional experience also includes scientific research in family emotional and relational processes and its effect on psychological functioning. Dr.... more

Ratika Pai

Ratika has experience writing in various fields including finance, education, lifestyle, and entertainment. After her masters degree in Commerce, she acquired a PG Diploma in Communication and Journalism from Mumbai University. She is inquisitive about human relationships and likes to study people and how they manage their relationships, during her freetime. At MomJunction, Ratika writes insightful and informative articles on... more