Role Of Lies And Honesty In Relations And Breakups
Lying is part of our everyday lives. According to surveys, 93 percent of Americans lie on a regular basis. All of us are tempted now and then to use the little white lie, even the lie that conveniently gets us off the hook in a tight situation. Just put someone under duress, offer the proper incentive, and they’ll cave into lies, studies show.
We have already provided ample evidence in previous articles, Gender Differences, that both sexes lie when breaking up with a romantic partner. What we now have to address is whether or not there is room for honesty when severing a relationship. Fortunately there is in-depth research that will help shed light on the issue.
Can honesty and breaking up be compatible partners? Yes and no!
Lies Are Part and Parcel of Relationships
There is a pattern of lying that apparently pops up in most new relationships. A study conducted among college students revealed that 85 percent lied in a romantic relationship about past loves or recent indiscretions.
The so-called big lies we spout are directed toward a partner in an intimate relationship, researchers say. These lies pertain to a violation of deep trust.
In marriage relationships, studies show that husbands and wives lie to each other in approximately 10 percent of their major discussions. And a large sampling of individuals from a nationwide survey revealed that one-third of the spouses who have sex outside of marriage lie about it.
Stop Lying to Yourself
Before anyone is going to lay off lying in their personal relationships, and certainly before anyone can detect the lies being whispered to them, they must stop lying to themselves.
A Man’s Directive. Gentlemen, the act of lying to save someone’s feelings is not the selfless act you think it is. You lie, in part, because you don’t want to face the consequences, it keeps you in control, and circumvents an honest verbal exchange that may put you at a disadvantage. But whether you realize it or not, you are creating more stress and using more energy to cover up than tell the truth. Look toward Washington, D.C. if you need a vivid example.
Researcher Dory Hollander believes that men don’t like admitting uncertainty and have more difficulty dealing with shades of gray than do women. Consequently, they are more apt to lie about their feelings and less apt to say things like I don’t know if I love you. I don’t know what I am feeling.
A Woman’s Directive. Ladies, stop the charade. Stop believing men’s untruths when deep down you know they are lies. You are just fibbing to yourself. There is supposition that your subconscious is pointing you in that direction. Why? Because even though you are a competent, liberated female, you operate under the out-dated notion that your value as a woman is dependent upon being in a relationship.
Who Makes the Most Honest Partner?
Whether or not an individual lies is a reflection of his basic character. However, it is possible for those who are basically honest to wall off a section of their conscience and lie in romantic situations.
Harry has earned the reputation as an honorable young man among his peers and business colleagues. Nonetheless, he admits that although telling lies is out of character, he has used them to wiggle out of relationship hot spots. These were, more or less, pragmatic lies that dealt specifically with the situation at hand.
There are a number of clues to spot the least honest partners:
1. If a man or woman has a pattern of lying, he or she will most likely lie when interacting with a romantic partner.
2. Age may also provide some insight. There are indications that men under 30 are more apt than older men to be cocky game players who brag about lying in order to end a relationship. Middle aged men, however, lie more to prevent themselves from getting trapped into a relationship. They view lying as preemptive stroke of self-defense.
3. It has been documented that individuals who are basically manipulative, concerned with personal impressions, or socially extroverted resort more often to lying.
The guy you have been sleeping with for a month suddenly rolls over and tells you he has a headache. Your fiancé says he forgot to pick up your engagement ring. Your romantic partner doesn’t show up for dinner at your folk’s house. She claims she got lost. How are you supposed to know if these are legitimate excuses or if your relationship is on the downslide and your friend is engineering a split?
Indications that someone may be lying to you include:
Scratching, fidgeting, blinking eyes, or signs of other nervous habits.
Infrequent employment of the word I in discussions.
Failure to use words like hurt, angry, understand, realize, but, and without.
Noticeably long pauses between expression of thoughts.
Does not look you straight in the eyes.
Inconsistencies in the repetition of a story.
Discrepancies between what he/she says and does.
Introduction of evasive lines that redirect an inquiry: It depends on how you look at it. Well, it’s not so simple as yes or no. Where is this coming from? Why would you ask me something like that? What is your point exactly? Where did you hear that? From Never Be Lied to Again, David J. Lieberman, Ph.D. (St. Martin’s Press, 1998).
Keep these tips in the back of your mind. Take them out and apply them to a situation or conversation in which you think someone may be lying.
Frequent Lies Men Tell Women
Test out what you have learned thus far. When you hear a line like those that follow, note the gentleman’s delivery. You’ll have a much better indication if he’s just using one of those frequent lies guys tell gals or if he’s spouting the truth.
I’ll call you.
I love you.
I’ve never felt this way about anyone else.
My wife and I haven’t had sex in years..
We’ll get married as soon as I
No, I don’t think your thighs (stomach, breasts, hips) are too big.
Believe me, my wife and I live very separate lives.
You just have to believe me when I tell you nothing’s wrong.
From 101 Lies Men Tell Women and Why Women Believe Them, Dory Hollander, Ph.D. (HarperPerennial, 1997).
Why are these considered frequent lies that men tell women? Because all too many guys use them and mean something very different than the words alone would indicate.
An Exercise in Lie Detection
Okay, so what do you do with all this info? Why, use it, of course! This exercise in lie detection is one to keep handy. The questions have been designed to reveal a great deal about one’s character and whether or not they are likely to lie in matters of the heart. Do keep in mind that love relationships can push the most honest guy or gal into a lie.
Evaluate His/Her Character
1. Have you caught him/her lying to family members or friends?
2. Is he/she respected by their coworkers?
3. Does he/she fulfill their promises?
4. Does he/she cheat at games they play?
5. Do they make false excuses to a host or hostess about why they have to leave the party early?
6. Is this person a good Samaritan?
7. Does this person exhibit social concern and responsibility?
8. Is this person attentive to older members of their family?
9. Does he/she pay off friendly bets?
10. Does he/she pay back borrowed money in a timely, agreeable fashion?
11. Is he/she concerned with paying bills on time?
12. If he/she runs into another car in a parking lot and causes damage, would he/she notify the other car owner?
60 points = A person of impeccable character who is unlikely to lie.
50 points = A person of high character who normally does not lie but may in a jam, then feel guilty about it.
40 points = A person of moderate character who probably won’t have any problem lying in a love relationship.
30 points = Either you’ve made a mistake, or this person has a defective character and can lie without batting an eye.
Record suspicious behavior you think indicates lying:
Record possible lies:
Look for and list evidence to corroborate possible lies:
Lies with corroborating evidence:
Evaluate the seriousness of any lies listed above.