Tips To Heart To Heart Talk

“Dear Bridestory, my boyfriend and I have been getting into arguments lately due to our difference of opinion about white lies. I do not think we should lie at all, and he thinks white lies are okay. We have been together for quite a while now and almost throughout our relationship I have caught him lying about small things. When I confronted him about his lies, he would just say how they are trivial so he doesn’t find it to be a big deal. For instance, telling me he is at work when he was actually out with his friends. I am starting to wonder if he also lies about the bigger things as well. Is it kind of behavior okay or is it breaching problematic?” – IHateLiars

Dear IHateLiars,

First of all, it is never nice to find out your partner is lying whether that lie is a small lie or a big one. Finding out the truth later on can sometimes feel a bit like a dagger in the heart. It sounds like you are also the type of person that takes lying seriously, meaning no matter how ‘trivial’ it may seem, you simply do not do it because you don’t think it’s right. Whereas on the other hand, your partner looks at lying or white lies as something that depends on the context and the intention behind it. If to him, the context isn’t that big of a deal (like where he was) then it shouldn’t matter as much. The problem with white lies or lying in general is that it can be such a subjective topic. Everyone has different preferences as well as definitions when it comes to white lies and it can be very hard when you disagree on these two things with your partner.

Before you can assume or conclude that because your partner lies about small things therefore he might lie about bigger things – it is important to take into account other aspects. For example, his intention in lying – was it to protect your feelings? Was it to avoid confrontation? Was it to keep things short because otherwise you would get into an argument? It is important to speak to him about the reasons behind his white lies. Take into consideration also what the white lie is about – is it truly something that does not cause any harm or is it actually a trigger for something more sensitive for you. For example, is hanging out with his friends something you do not like? Or is it actually not a big deal for you either? Also consider the kind of person your partner is. Is he generally a man of his words? Can you generally trust him? If you have doubts in this area then there might be bigger problems here than just white lies.

You need to have this conversation with him otherwise assuming the worst will not help you or the relationship. If after talking to him you feel that he is simply a compulsive or chronic liar and cannot see your point of view in the matter then this is something for you to think about. However, if his lying tendencies occur because he is afraid you cannot handle the truth (for whatever reason) then trust is something you both need to work on together. There needs to be a compromise between the two of you – if you really cannot handle him lying no matter how tiny it is, then he must adjust to that. If he needs you to be able to be strong enough to handle the truth, then you need to work on that. Either way, both parties must feel comfortable with the next step – otherwise, this will only get worse as he continues to white lie and you continue to feel disappointed.