What To Do When Someone Lies To You In A Relationship (11 Things To Do)

by April Maccario

When someone lies to you in a relationship, it can be a tough pill to swallow. A lie that was about a larger issue, like an affair, can turn your entire world upside down. 

Small lies might seem harmless by comparison, but they are not innocent, either. Those little lies can instantly ruin the trust that you have in another person, cracking the very foundation that your relationship is built upon. If you’ve been lied to, it’s important to take the steps necessary to overcome the betrayal so that you, and possibly your relationship, can move forward. 

Why Do People Lie In Relationships?

The most common reasons that people lie to their partner is because they are afraid of the consequences of their actions, which might be you leaving, or because they do not want to be judged or misunderstood. They may also be trying to avoid the conflict that their honesty will bring. 

Instead, most people prefer a happy relationship without arguments. However, it’s important to note that arguments are a sign of a healthy relationship

Signs That He’s Lying

signs that he's lying

While a partner might be acting suspicious because he’s planning a surprise birthday party, it could be something else. If your birthday or another holiday isn’t around the corner and you notice any of these things, it might be that he’s hiding something. 

1. He changes his head position really fast

Normally, he wouldn’t mind looking at you while talking. Instead, he hears a noise and quickly looks. It’s just a tad faster than you normally would. 

2. He can’t look you in the eye

People that are exceptionally good at lying can easily look you in the eye while lying to you. Those that aren’t will have a hard time maintaining eye contact. They might be able to for a few seconds, and then they will quickly look away. 

3. They give you weird details of stories 

People that are not telling the truth tend to talk a little too much. Instead of simply saying he was at the bar with friends, expect to hear about how he was at the bar with *insert list of the names of his friends here* or what time he left. He’ll give you odd details that you wouldn’t normally say if you were telling your friend the same thing. It can even take a moment to catch on to this. 

4. He can be oddly still while talking

People that lie are well aware that nervous people tend to fidget a lot. They try to avoid this by not fidgeting. Unfortunately for them, most people overcompensate for this and wind up being too still during conversations. 

5. Body language of lying

Before assuming that a person is lying because of their body language, it’s important to note that a person might show these same signs for other reasons. A person might not look you in the eye because they have social anxiety, for example. These are a few things that can indicate a person is lying: 

  • Gesturing after a statement instead of during
  • Most people use two hands to gesture when they’re lying
  • Itching
  • Staring too much, and not looking away at all
  • Pursing their lips tightly together, but this can also mean that they just don’t feel like talking
  • Skin tone gets paler
  • Sweating suddenly
  • Closed body language

While these can mean that you are being lied to, it is not the only way to tell. These body language cues can all mean other things as well. 

What To Do When Your Partner Lies

If you’ve just uncovered a lie from your significant other, it can be devastating. However, it’s important that you deal with this in the proper way instead of lashing out, even if you want to. 

1. Let go of your anger

First, it’s important to let go of your own anger before approaching your partner. It can be tempting to confront them but don’t. You want to make sure that you are not in a heightened emotional state before discussing this so that the two of you can reach a solution to this lying problem. 

2. Determine why they lied to you

One time, a guy lied to me about speaking to his child’s mother. It was a harmless conversation. The two had been separated for over ten years. I went through emails and text messages. There was nothing inappropriate. I was baffled. Why would he lie if there was nothing to hide?

It turns out this same guy had quite a few negative experiences with insecure females. They didn’t want for him to talk to her period, even if it was about the children. Hence why he was hiding to discuss his children. He was so used to it that it was his normal. 

If you’re as baffled as I was as to why your man is lying, try asking him. If you have a quick temper, tell him that you already went for a run to let all that out before the conversation. You want him to feel comfortable opening up to you about his lies. 

3. Tell them how it makes you feel

tell them how it makes you feel

It’s important that your partner understand the way that their lies are affecting you. Tell them if it makes you feel like you can no longer trust them. Inform them of any emotions that it can make you feel, such as sadness, hurt, or lack of trust. 

When a person realizes the negative impact of their decisions, they are more likely to make positive changes. This is because they don’t want to hurt you again. Hence why family members usually have interventions like this with drug addicts

4. Inform them of the long-term consequences

If your partner feels comfortable with lies, that is a problem. They need to know the long-term consequences of their actions, such as you not trusting anything they say if they continue to lie. It could not only hurt your feelings, but it could destroy your relationship. 

During this discussion, tell them how important telling the truth is to you. Point out how important it is that you and your partner share the same values, such as honesty, to have a happy relationship. 

5. Address their motives

It’s important to address whatever motives your loved one had for lying to you. While they don’t make it okay, addressing their motives is key to preventing this behavior in the future. If you want to have a long-term relationship with this person, trust is going to be important. 

If the person lied to you because they were worried about your reaction, take a deep breath and hear what they have to say. Work on your own effective communication skills. Sometimes, your partner lies because they know that they did something wrong. Inform them that if they come clean it’s easier to rebuild trust than if you have to find out their dirty deeds on your own. Whatever their reasoning is for their dishonesty, address it. 

6. Establish ground rules for lies

Growing up, I was never allowed to lie, as most of us weren’t. However, hiding something or intentionally not telling someone something was also considered telling lies. In my relationship experiences, most men don’t feel the same way about the latter two. I feel that you should come clean about everything that your partner might not like, and have a discussion about it. 

This might not be your beliefs, as we all have our own, but it’s important to realize what yours and your partner’s are. For example, do you both agree that white lies don’t matter? Or do you feel that any time your partner lies it’s a big deal? If you’re not on the same page with your partner, it will cause more conflict between the two of you. 

If you two do have different beliefs, each of you should be respectful of the other’s. For example, if white lies are a big deal to you, your partner should try to avoid those. 

7. Address their actions that led to lying

When people are dishonest in a relationship, it’s usually because they have something going on that they don’t want you to know. Depending on the action, it needs to be addressed. If your man is having an affair, it’s important to address that as well. 

There is a reason he cheated, and you need to work on that to establish a healthy relationship with each other. Without this step, it leads to the same cycle repeating itself. He will cheat again, and then lie again, and then you will find out again. No one wants to go through that in a relationship. 

8. Stay calm

Throughout this conversation, it’s important to stay calm. Raising your voice, accusing the other person of things, or name-calling will simply result in an argument. This will not only not help the situation, it can make things much worse. 

It’s normal to feel angry or hurt, but, in addition to letting some of that go before having the conversation, it’s also important to keep your cool during the conversation. This will encourage him to be honest. It can also help you both work together to find a solution. 

9. Decide if you want to stay, determine what you need to work on

If you’re both not on the same page, can’t seem to work together, they cheated or you can’t seem to come up with a solution, you’re in for a rough road. Make sure that the good outweighs the bad. 

At this time, you might want to evaluate your relationship as a whole. This might not mean a break-up. Instead, evaluating your relationship can help you determine problems that you have, such as issues communicating. If he’s not comfortable telling you things you need to know, there might be an underlying issue there. 

If you decide to break up, just get it over with. If you decide to stay, figure out what you need to work on to build a solid relationship. If you want a relationship that will last for years, you both have to put in the hard work to make it happen. 

10. Consider professional counseling

A professional therapist that works with couples can help you and your partner work together to learn positive skills that will help you build the relationship that you want. They can work with partners to give them the tools that they need to have a happy life both during this struggle and afterward. 

11. Rebuild trust

rebuild trust

After being lied to in a relationship, it can be hard to trust anything a person says. It might feel like your entire relationship is a lie. It’s important to release those emotions in a healthy manner and work on moving forward. 

First, you must forgive the other person. Then, you can work on rebuilding trust. In order to rebuild trust, it’s important to communicate with one another. Avoid holding on to the past, or this will prevent you from moving forward. 

Don’t give yourself a timeline. There is no set rule that you have to rebuild trust with someone in three weeks or three months. We all heal and rebuild at our own pace. The more it hurts, the longer it usually takes. 

FAQs

What to do if someone lies to you in a relationship?

First, decide if you want to stay or leave. Then, if you choose to stay, work to rebuild trust. Discuss why they lied, and develop a plan together to make sure this doesn’t happen again. Work on communication skills with your partner. Continue to rebuild trust to get your relationship back on track. 

How do you let go of someone who lies to you?

Make sure that you do not place the blame on yourself. Even if you need to work on your communication skills, he’s still the one that chose to lie. Don’t romanticize the relationship with him either. Instead, be grateful that you don’t have to live a life of reading his emails and not trusting him. 

When someone answers a question with a question, are they lying?

Not necessarily. This is a sign that you are being deceived as people that are known for being more deceptive act this way. On the other hand, people that don’t understand the question might need clarification to provide you with an appropriate answer, too. If they aren’t asking for clarification, that’s a red flag.

Should you forgive a liar?

You should if they have pure motives. If they were trying to avoid conflict, work on communication instead of heading for the hills. If they cheated, lied to hide things because they are manipulative, etc. it’s best to walk away. Forgive them to avoid having hate in your heart, but walk away. 

How do you spot a liar in a relationship?

They will hide things, avoid certain topics, and might have a hard time looking you in the eye. He will not leave his phone unlocked, check his email in front of you and make sure to log out of social media accounts if there are things in them he doesn’t want you to see. He’ll act a little off, even if you can’t put your finger on it. 

To Conclude

Finding out that the way your partner chose to deal with things is by dishonesty can be heartbreaking. Have you ever been lied to? What actions did you choose to take?

April Maccario
I'm a huge nerd when it comes to understanding how relationships between men and women work, and what drives a certain behavior. I spend much of my time getting into the nitty-gritty and try to share my findings on this site with the hope of making life a little easier for women that are struggling in their relationships or love life.

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