What To Do When Your Partner Lies To You About Little Things

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You’ve noticed that your partner tells little lies. White lies. And you’re not sure why, or what to do about it.

They lie to you about inconsequential things that, in the grand scheme of things, don’t really matter at all.

But they matter to you.

After all, trust is the bedrock of any healthy relationship, and you’d be within your rights to struggle to trust them about the big stuff in life when they can’t be straight with you about tiny things.

It’s easy to start losing your trust in someone when they consistently tell you what seem like senseless, pointless lies, and you can’t understand why they’re doing it.

It’s important to understand why they might behave like this. What’s the psychology behind it? What’s the logic?

Once we’ve considered that, we’ll think about how you can approach this behavior, so that it doesn’t come between you.

6 Reasons Why Your Partner Might Lie All The Time

There are all kinds of reasons why someone might lie about little, seemingly insignificant things.

Your partner might only be motivated by one of these reasons, but it might be a whole mix of them.

It might be that this is a behavior they’ve adopted just toward you, but it might also be that they spend their whole life, professional and personal, telling small lies to everyone around them for much the same reasons.

1. To avoid hurting your feelings.

Sometimes, people tell white lies for what they think is the other person’s benefit.

If your partner knows that the whole truth would upset you, and they don’t think that it would be a problem for you not to know about whatever it is, they might just tell a lie to cover it up, thinking they’re doing you a favor by sparing you the truth.

Although honesty is always the best policy, they might worry about the truth hurting you, and decide to lie to “protect you.”

2. To make their life easier.

If they know that the truth would lead to an argument, a long discussion, or cause trouble in any way, they might tell small lies to avoid it.

For example, they might have spent money on something they know you wouldn’t support, so they’ve decided to fabricate the truth so that you won’t find out.

Or they might have forgotten to do a chore around the house, and make up an excuse for why they didn’t have time to get it done.

They know that lying will be easier than telling the truth, so they take the easy option.

3. To get a reward.

Maybe your partner tells little lies that they know will make you happy, so that they end up getting extra affection or special treatment from you as a result of it.

4. To put on a brave face.

Sometimes, we lie because we don’t want our partner to know that something they’ve done has hurt us or bothered us.

It’s a way of not appearing too vulnerable, of keeping our guard up so that we aren’t made to look foolish.

Your partner might be lying to you about the way that things you do make them feel.

5. Because they don’t really consider it to be lying.

Anything that isn’t entirely true is a lie.

But some people just don’t see it that way.

They don’t equate lies about big things with just slightly bending the truth or lying by omission.

They tell you lies for all of the reasons above, without realizing that they’re almost lying to you about everything.

6. Because it’s become a habit.

We all know that one lie generally leads to another, and another.

Once you tell one lie, you often find yourself having to tell another one to cover up for the first lie.

It’s a slippery slope.

And it’s easy to get caught out, because once you start telling a chain of lies, you have to remember all the lies that have gone before.

But as well as lying more to cover the tracks of the first lie, it might be that once you tell one lie and get away with it, or benefit from it, you subconsciously realize that lying can sometimes be beneficial, so you start doing more of it.

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3 Ways To Deal With A Partner Who Lies About Little Things

If you’re honest with yourself, you’re probably guilty of this behavior at times too.

You probably tell small lies without even realizing it, in all aspects of your life, not just in your relationship.

But if it’s gotten to a stage at which you’re starting to notice this behavior in your partner on a regular basis and it’s starting to come between the two of you, you need to take action.

This is, at the end of the day, their problem to solve, not yours, but you might be able to do a few things which will help them kick the habit.

1. Have an ‘honest’ talk with them.

Accusing them of being a liar definitely isn’t going to get you anywhere.

You need to be more subtle than that.

You need to pick a good time to sit down with them for a calm chat, to explain that sometimes, when they don’t tell you the whole truth, they hurt your feelings or harm your trust in them.

It’s always good to explain that you know we all lie sometimes; it’s just part of human nature.

But that the bedrock of your relationship is trust, so you shouldn’t be telling each other throwaway lies, as they could start eating away at that foundation.

You might be able to move on to a discussion about why you think you both lie, and how you can avoid it in future.

2. Make a point of being more honest yourself.

Your partner might lie about lots of little things, but I wouldn’t mind betting that you tell your fair share of little fibs too.

If you want them to be more honest with you, you’ll need to lead by example, and consciously make an effort to be more straight with them, even when it’s uncomfortable.

You can’t expect something from them that you’re not willing to do yourself.

If you run into an ex, and you normally wouldn’t mention it because you don’t want to negotiate a potentially tricky situation, tell them about it.

If you totally forgot about their mum’s birthday, be honest.

Behave toward them exactly as you would like them to behave toward you.

Suggesting that they not tell any lies for a week might be going a bit far, as this is a problem that they have to solve alone, but you could challenge yourself not to tell any lies for a week, and see how you get on.

3. Give them a confidence boost.

Sometimes, lying can come from a place of insecurity or fear.

Simply telling them that you love them and doing small things to prove it to them can make a massive difference to this behavior. 

Let them know that you love them for exactly who they are, and that they can completely let their guard down with you.

It might take a while for them to truly trust in you and your relationship to the extent to which they can be totally honest about their feelings at all times, but it’s something that’s well worth working on.

Encouraging them to do things outside your relationship that you know will grow their confidence levels in general is also important, because someone who is more secure in themselves will nearly always be more secure in their relationship.

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Take some time to consider where this behavior might be coming from, look to your own honesty, and then have a sincere discussion with them about it.

Let them know that you’re only saying these things because you’re concerned about what lying might mean for the future of your relationship, and, fingers crossed, they should be willing to put the work in to make this behavior a thing of the past.

Still not sure what to do about the little lies your partner tells you? Chat online to a relationship expert from Relationship Hero who can help you figure things out. Simply click here to chat.

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About Author

Katie splits her time between writing and translation. She writes about travel and self-care and never stays in one place for too long. She’s currently based in beautiful Cornwall, England, after long stints in Brazil and Mexico. She spends her free time trail running, exploring and devouring vegan food.