The Problem with Little White Lies


tell me lies.PNGI once heard the story of a guy whose wife divorced him after he lied to her about putting out the trash. He said he had when he hadn’t – and that was enough to tip the scales.

Over the top? Maybe. I suspect a lot of people would see it that way. But you might feel differently if you’ve been betrayed. Why is that the case?

If you’ve been betrayed then you’ve been deceived. And that betrayal was a serious breach of trust. It’s also very hard to recover from.

If you are the betrayer then you’re likely to think: “I never deceived you about anything else. It was only about sex. And you can understand why. I was afraid to be honest. I was afraid that I would lose you. That’s why I didn’t have the courage to tell you earlier.”

Yes, it makes sense on some level, and perhaps we understand it. But that doesn’t change the effect that lying’s had on us. And if you chose to lie about the really big, important things I don’t feel I can trust you with anything at all.

Rational and reasonable, wouldn’t you agree?

That’s why you must be honest, and absolutely honest. Even when it seems either ludicrous or petty.

The sex therapist, Rob Weiss, puts it this way[1]:

Relationship trust is not automatically rebuilt just because you stopped cheating, nor is it rebuilt because you managed to stay stopped for a certain amount of time. Instead, relationship trust is regained through … being rigorously honest about pretty much everything, all the time, from now on … With rigorous honesty you tell the truth and you tell it sooner. You keep your spouse in the loop about absolutely everything: spending, trips to the gym, gifts for the kinds, issues at work, needing to fertilize the lawn, and, on yeah, interactions she might not approve of. If your spouse would want to know, then you tell her. Period.”

So, after betrayal you can’t peddle in white lies. If you do, then prepare for the relationship to end.

[1] Weiss, R. (2017). Out of the dog house: A step-by-step relationship-saving guide for men caught cheating. Deerfield Beach, FL: Health Communications, Inc.

11 thoughts on “The Problem with Little White Lies

  1. I agree with you completely.But I feel in certain cases the reaction of the person to simplest of the things that dont go according to them is so harsh that to avoid the nagging and debates ,people tend to lie to avoid arguments.
    I guess what I am trying to say is when someone reacts to lying,he /she should also consider his /her role in instigating the person to lie and if they feel they have never unreasonably reacted or have done nothing to bring this, only and only then decide in whichever way they deem necessary

    Liked by 3 people

    • Yes, that is true. I guess this post is dealing more with lies after infidelity – where trust and the relationship are very fragile. However, I think we are often silent in relationships in general (not just with a partner but with family members, friends and even colleagues) because it is difficult to deal with that person’s attitudes, actions or ways of relating in general.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Great post. For partners of sex addicts addressing the integrity disorder aspect of the addiction is fundamental to moving forward in a healthy way. For my husband, getting sexually sober was relatively easy compared to finding his integrity again. He was so accustomed to living the lifestyle of deceit that he did, for so long, that the little lies were just second nature. He lied as easily as he breathed, and very often about such small things you would wonder why he lied at all (like your example of taking out the trash). He has made big strides, but it’s still a work in progress. He has this image of himself as an essentially honest person, so he’s still struggling with the concept of the number and nature of all the lies he told, day after day.


    • It absolutely is! It’s amazing how many unfaithful partners essentially view themselves as honest people. I guess the deception has become so much a part of their lives, and they are so used to living in denial, that it’s hard for them to see things (and themselves) as they really are. Thanks for your comments, and for being willing to share from your personal experience.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Trust is easily broken but it’s so hard to built it up again. I made my mistakes in previous relationships. Now I’ve found the man of my life and I value the relationship very much I decided to be brutally honest. About everything. It’s not easy but it’s easier with time. It’s not about big things but also the small things count. Like admitting you ate …all the chips… in one sitting …


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