Tell if Your Wife Is Lying

Edited by Kathy McGraw, Maria Quinney

According to the work of a psychologist out of the University of Portsmouth in the UK, lying is harder to do than telling the truth. Indeed, lying increases the cognitive load on our brains. Yet, lying is very common among all humans; we learn to lie as we are learning to walk. But, if it's so hard, why do so many people do it? It has to do with our evolution as social primates: lying is a defense mechanism to protect our psyche from damage. Furthermore, while it is generally a good idea, to be honest with your spouse, some lying is inevitable.

Lying in a Relationship

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A recent study conducted by relationship expert Pepper Schwartz revealed that 75 percent of people regularly lie to their spouses. In fact, some lying is necessary to get along with someone when you are in a long-term relationship. If everyone were always brutally honest with each other, we would find ourselves at odds with each other constantly because not one person on this earth could handle hearing the truth 100 percent of the time. This is not to say that your wife's lies are totally okay; it is still better, to tell the truth in most situations; however, not all lies are created equal.

The Best Intentions Sometimes Go Awry

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Make sure that you are not equating misunderstandings and faulty time estimations with lying. If your wife tells you she will be home at 7:00 because she has to finish a project at work but doesn't get home until much later, she may intend to get home at the time she told you. However, she may have poorly estimated how long it would take her to finish her work. In other words, unless her late arrivals are accompanied by other signs of cheating, give her the benefit of the doubt.

How Lies Destroy a Relationship

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Beyond the fact that lies destroy trust, an essential building block in a healthy marriage, they also destroy relationships in the following ways.

  1. 1
    Lies take away your agency
    .
    When your wife lies to you about something that affects you, for instance, your household finances, she is taking away your ability to have a say In how the money is spent. If she does this often enough, you will naturally begin to resent her for it.
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  2. 2
    Lies lessen intimacy
    .
    Loving relationships require that the two people involved know each other well. If your wife lies, she is placing a barrier between herself and you. How can you know her true self if she doesn't let you get close enough to see the truth?
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  3. 3
    Lies cause pain
    .
    No one likes being lied to; when you find out that your wife has been lying to you, you feel betrayal at a fundamental level. Not only do you feel betrayed, but you also feel like she couldn't trust you with the truth, and that hurts.
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  4. 4
    Frequent lying makes the liar distrustful
    .
    A person who lies regularly is less likely to trust other people, probably because they assume that everyone else is lying, too., On top of the strain of the lies they tell, their distrust damages the fabric that holds a relationship together.
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Reasons Why Your Wife Might Lie

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At bottom, people tell lies out of fear of what might happen to them should they be found out. Common reasons your wife may lie to you include

  1. 1
    She has spent too much money on an item she wanted
    .
    She knows that you will be angry at her, so rather than having to deal with you getting upset at her, she'll fail to mention her purchase, or lie about how much it cost.
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  2. 2
    She is having lunch with a friend you don't approve of
    .
    She wants to see this friend, and she has the time to do it while you are at work, so has lunch with them and doesn't tell you about it or says she was doing something else.
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  3. 3
    She tells you she doesn't want anything for her birthday/anniversary/Valentines Day
    .
    She does, okay? She's just testing you to see if you'll be a sweet husband and get her something anyway.
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  4. 4
    She tells you how handsome you look
    .
    Well, she may actually think you're handsome, or she may be lying to you the same way you do when you tell her she doesn't look fat in that dress.
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  5. 5
    She's having an affair
    .
    Of course, if she's cheating on you, she isn't going to volunteer this information.
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How to Get To the Truth

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Once you understand that at the heart of every lie your wife tells is a fear about how you will react if you knew the truth, you can start applying some simple strategies to not only help you to detect the serious lies but also to help reduce the incidence of lying overall in your relationship.

  1. 1
    Control your reactions
    .
    If you are the last person in your family or group of friends to hear about some bad news, then your wife is likely shielding you from learning unpleasant truths because she thinks you can't handle it. The next time you learn some news that you don't want to hear, try and remain calm. Soon, your wife will feel comfortable enough to confide anything to you.
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  2. 2
    Be open to hearing your wife out
    .
    Along with controlling your reactions, learn to listen to what your wife has to say without scolding her or becoming angry and frustrated. Yes, it is hard to do, but she needs to know that she can, in fact, tell you the truth without fearing how you will react.
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  3. 3
    Volunteer information
    .
    Rather than interrogate your wife with twenty questions about what she has been doing, try telling her something similar about your day. She's much more likely to respond with the truth than if you quiz her endlessly.
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  4. 4
    Practice empathy
    .
    Put yourself in your wife's shoes and imagine how she sees the world. Try to understand her and her motivations. Empathy allows you to open up and seem more welcoming, which will make your wife more comfortable about sharing the truth with you.
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  5. 5
    Accept that there are some facts about your wife that you don't need to know
    .
    While there is a lot of information about her that you deserve to know, for instance, whether she has been faithful, and whether she splurged over $100 on makeup, you don't need to know how many lovers she has had in the past. Neither do you really need to know who she went to lunch with, unless you suspect that she is cheating. Accordingly, if she lies about things you don't need to know, either because she doesn't want to tell you, or because she thinks it will hurt you, forget about it and move on.
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  6. 6
    Ask her to recount her story backward
    .
    In studies, liars were more likely to slip up and tell the truth when they were asked to tell their stories backward. The reason why this works is that forcing someone to tell their story out of order introduces additional cognitive strain which increases the likelihood that the liar will make a mistake and reveal their lies.
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  7. 7
    Have her look you in the eye when she is recounting her story
    .
    Looking you in the eye while talking is distracting and adds cognitive strain, which again makes it easier to let the truth come out.
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20 Lies Wives Tell Their Husbands

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Even if you think your wife never lies to you, she's probably told you a variation of at least three of the following fibs:

  1. 1
    I love you just the way you are.
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  2. 2
    I couldn't eat another bite.
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  3. 3
    You look handsome in blue.
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  4. 4
    I love all your friends.
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  5. 5
    No, I don't mind if you go to the ballgame with your buddies instead of taking me out to dinner.
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  6. 6
    It's nothing.
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  7. 7
    Of course, you can go to poker night instead of taking me to the movies.
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  8. 8
    No, I don't need any more jewelry
    .
    Put that credit card away!
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  9. 9
    I don't mind your thinning hair.
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  10. 10
    Your paunch is so cute!
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  11. 11
    I just love that look on you!
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  12. 12
    I'm fine.
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  13. 13
    It was on sale, I swear!
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  14. 14
    I love your mother.
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  15. 15
    Sure, the guys can come over to watch the game
    .
    I don't mind.
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  16. 16
    It's no problem to make extra hot wings and slaw, and I don't mind the extra dishes!
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  17. 17
    I only slept with one other guy before you.
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  18. 18
    You're the best I've ever had.
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  19. 19
    I had no debt before I married you other than student loans.
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  20. 20
    I love watching sports.
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If you have problems with any of the steps in this article, please ask a question for more help, or post in the comments section below.

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Categories : Relationships

Recent edits by: Kathy McGraw

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