- Lying is part of human nature, and there are three main reasons why people lie – to manipulate and hurt others; to cover up something wrong they’ve done; or to make themselves appear better than their reality. Whatever the reason, lies in a relationship, especially on deal-breakers, brings with it hurt and pain.
- “Little lies” may appear beneficial in a relationship in the short-term, but in the long-run, they are also as harmful to a relationship as “big lies”. Read on to find out what these “little lies” and “big lies” may be, and why the “little lies” are also harmful.
- When you catch your boyfriend in a lie, approach the situation calmly and if it is a deal-breaker for you and he does not improve, it is best to walk away from the relationship. Read on to find out how to catch your boyfriend in a lie and how you can deal with the situation before finally walking away if it doesn’t improve.
“My fiance lies to me!”, “my boyfriend lies to me all the time!”, or “my boyfriend lies about everything!”. These are the sentiments and frustrations of a lot of women who are in relationships where they are deeply and passionately in love and give their all to the relationship. Nothing hurts like giving your all to a relationship only to realize you’ve been taken for a ride and have been lied to the whole time, or most of the time, by the boyfriend you placed so much love and trust in.
Your pain, hurt, and frustration is understandable, and that is why in this article we want to show you what to do when your boyfriend lies to your face. This article will address the burning questions you have about a lying boyfriend.
Is A “Little” Lie Okay In Relationships? The So-Called “Big” And “Little” Lies In Relationships.
It can safely be said with authority that for all women that the best gift every girl wants from her boyfriend in their relationship is honesty, at least on the important things that matter in their relationship. To balance the scales and be fair, it also has to be said that even women lie in relationships.
However, it does seem that the level of honesty or dishonesty in a relationship depends a lot on what the issue(s) at stake is. It would appear that in relationships, lies have been divided into the categories of “big” and “little lies”. Women appear to fare better on the honesty scale when it comes to the so-called “big lies”, compared to their male counterparts. While we couldn’t find any stats in the U.S. to back this up, not too far away in the U.K, stats from the Online Doctor would suggest this to be the case.
Top 10 Lies People Tell Their Partner (U.K. Survey of 2,100 People). Source: Onlinedoctor.Superdrug
Top 5 “Big” Lies People Tell Their Partner By Gender (U.K. Survey of 1,004 People). Source: Onlinedoctor.Superdrug
Frequency With Which Respondents Told “Big” Lies. (U.K, Survey of 1,004 People). Source: Onlinedoctor.Superdrug
It must be said though that a lie is a lie, whether one chooses to call it a “little lie” or a “big lie”. However, when the examples of what is considered “little” and “big” lies from the charts above are looked at critically, one running theme comes out clearly. The so-called “little lies” may in the larger scheme of things not matter so much if you know that your partner’s heart is in the right place and you are in no doubt that they love you very much. We say “may” because depending on the facts and circumstances of your relationship, they may end up becoming a big deal.
The so-called “big lies” on the other hand are definite deal-breakers in any relationship, by any standard. Infidelity, for example, is a big one, and so is getting into debt without your partner’s knowledge and then keeping it from them. It must be said that a partner that constantly lies to their partner about the big things does not respect them or the relationship.
So, is a “little” lie okay in any relationship? It should be accepted first of all that lying is a fact and reality of human nature, much in the same way as the air we breathe. This chart from Pinterest on just how much people of different age groups can lie within a 24-hour period paints the picture quite starkly.
Lying Frequency In a 24-Hour Period By Age. Source: Pinterest
That does not however excuse lies and lying because the reality is that lies, especially the so-called “big lies” bring a lot of hurt and pain in any intimate relationship. Honesty is important in any relationship, and in the particular context of this article, will make any girlfriend always smile and be happy.
When it comes to the “little lies” in relationships, however, there is no straightforward answer or hard and fast rules. There are several reasons people give for telling the “little lies” in their relationships. The biggest justification given sometimes is that the lie is told to protect their partners and not hurt their feelings. So for instance, the lies on how you feel about a gift your partner gave you or your partner’s hobbies and interests. Some would say that if they told their partners the truth, it may crush and hurt them. And this becomes even more difficult if the partner is still dealing with insecurity around that issue or is still very touchy and sensitive about the issue.
In the short term, it may be beneficial to protect your partner from the harshness of the truth, especially if the issue concerns something they are dealing with. But long term, you seriously have to consider if you are helping your partner by keeping the truth from them and having them continue believing and living in a lie.
An important element of any relationship is that each partner is a positive influence on the other, and helps them grow and attain their full potential (See our related article on Things A Good Boyfriend Does). Your boyfriend or girlfriend is supposed to be your best friend, and good best friends bring benefits to each other, including the benefit of honesty even when it isn’t convenient. If the issue does not help your partner and may be destructive to them in the long run, it is worth considering discussing the issue with them and showing them how you think it may not be helpful to their growth and development in the long run. And most often, when you have that honest heart-to-heart with them, you get the chance to be honest and tell them what you really think, as loving and gently as possible.
When all is said and done and critically considered, even “little lies” can do harm to a relationship and the partners involved in the long term. It may be harmful to your partner to keep lying to them about something just to “protect” them when you can help them deal with the issue by talking it through.
On the flip side, it may even be harmful to you and how you relate with your partner because without realizing it you may start to secretly resent your partner for those little quirks and things they do that you have to lie to them about. And before long, you may explode and let it out in a way that hurts them more. “Little lies” may give a temporary reprieve in the short term, but long term, they are also as harmful to a relationship as the so-called “big lies”.
Having said that, to address specifically the issue of lying boyfriends, we’ll consider why boyfriends lie, what it means when he lies to you, how to know if he’s lying, how to catch him lying, what to do when you catch him lying, and how to get him to stop lying.
Why Does My Boyfriend Lie To Me And Hide Things From Me?
The question of why boyfriends lie and hide things from their girlfriends boils down to understanding why people lie? This chart from Pinterest gives a good understanding of why people lie.
Select Reasons Why We Lie. Source: Pinterest
The above reasons in this chart boil down to three main reasons for lying:
- To deceive, manipulate and hurt others;
- To cover up a wrong/misdeed they’ve done; and/or
- To portray themselves in a positive light.
Whenever your boyfriend lies or hides things from you, he is doing it for any one or more of these three reasons.
What Does It Mean When He Lies To You? Questions To Ask Yourself And Things To Consider.
While we cannot excuse your boyfriend’s perceived action(s) in lying, it will be important to consider some things and ask yourself these important questions before you can know what next steps to take. These questions and their answer will help you in understanding what it means when he lies to you.
1. Are You Sure He Is Lying?
You need to be certain he is lying before you can conclude that he is lying. In some cases, but not all, you may construe an action or conduct or body language as a lie based on your past relationships and experiences. Sometimes, it happens that your partner may behave in a way that triggers some unhappy experience from your past relationship, and this makes you immediately jump to the conclusion that he is lying.
Where this is the case, you need to be 100% certain that it is not paranoia as a result of a past relationship. Remember that not all men are the same, and you shouldn’t judge your partner on the faults of other men in your past relationships. If this is the case, you will need more than your feeling that he is lying. You will need something more concrete and we will discuss this in the section on How To Catch Your Boyfriend In A Lie.
2. Why Do You Feel He Is Lying?
This goes back to the first question of being certain that he is lying. Do you feel that he is lying based on something tangible that you’ve seen, or based on your gut feeling, or based more on fears from being hurt in the past? You need to be brutally honest to yourself because you must also understand that accusing someone of lying is a grave and serious accusation that should not be lightly made. Consider this – if you were not lying and your boyfriend accused you of lying, would it not deeply hurt and offend you that your boyfriend who should know you better, thought so little of you? That is exactly how your boyfriend would feel if he was not lying and you felt he was lying and accused him of lying.
3. What Is The Issue About And The Context Of The Lie?
This is the biggest one that would answer your nagging concern of what it means when he lies to you. Is the issue about something that concerns you alone, or does it concern him alone, or does it have to do with your relationship and the love and trust that is fundamental in your relationship?
If the issue has to do with you alone, it could mean that he thinks he is trying to protect you from the truth because he does not think you could handle the truth. If it concerns him, it could mean that he was lying because he did not want to disappoint you and make you think less of him and see him differently. If it concerns the fabric of love and trust in your relationship, it could mean that he is trying to cover up something wrong he’s done so that he keeps the relationship going, at great expense to you.
But does any of this excuse the lie and mean you should put up with it? Especially where you are hurt by it? We will address this in the section on What To Do When You Catch Your Boyfriend Lying.
4. In The Larger Scheme Of Things And Your Relationship, Is It A Deal-breaker?
Once you have identified the lie and its context, you will need to ask and answer this question to know how to proceed and what to say to your boyfriend. If after careful consideration you see it as a deal-breaker for you, then consider taking the steps we outline in the section on What To Do When You Catch Your Boyfriend Lying.
5. Do You Have Evidence Of This Beyond Mere Speculation?
This also ties in with the first question of being certain that he is lying. Mere speculation will not suffice. And if it is your gut feeling, it is most likely true. But even with your gut feeling, without concrete evidence, he will still deny it and continue lying. This is why you will need something tangible if you are to confront and deal with the issue head-on. And we will give some tips on how to do so in the section on How To Catch Your Boyfriend In A Lie.
How Do I Know When He’s Lying? How To Know If Your Boyfriend Is Lying.
There are certain tell-tale signs that are indicators that a person is lying, and you can also apply them to know if and when your boyfriend may be lying to you. These tell-tale signs are:
1. The ‘Pinocchio Effect’.
According to a 2012 research by some scientists at the University of Granada, reported in Science Daily, this ‘Pinocchio effect’ coined from the animation Pinocchio is a real thing and happens when we lie. According to this study, the temperature around the noise rises and this could cause a visible redness around the nose area and could lead to one rubbing their nose because of the redness and itchiness. It also causes the voice to change ever so slightly above its normal pitch. While this may be controversial, it is worth paying attention to your boyfriend’s voice pitch and how he rubs his nose and the redness of his nose in a normal conversation and in conversations where you suspect he may be lying. If there is no discernible effect, then this ‘Pinocchio effect’ may not apply to him. But in other cases, it may apply.
2. Avoiding Eye Contact.
When a person lies, they usually avoid eye contact. Their gaze is very shifty and they look at everything else except to look you in the eyes. And this is all the more pronounced in intimate relationships, especially where the partners are deeply in love. When two people are in love and profess their true love to each other, they do so looking deeply into the other’s eye and this is why when they have to lie they cannot look into the eye with the same intensity. If your boyfriend finds it hard to maintain eye contact when discussing or explaining something you suspect he’s lying about, chances are that he is lying.
3. Turning Their Head Or Body Away From You While Speaking.
Just as with avoiding eye contact, when a person lies they also tend to turn their head and body away from you while lying because they are afraid that you may pick up from their body language and face that they are lying. Where your boyfriend does this on a subject you suspect he is lying about, chances are he is lying. And if he isn’t then you should still call him out on the rudeness of turning his body away from you while speaking to you because even that is not acceptable, and is a tad rude and disrespectful.
4. Rubbing The Hands Over Eyes, Nose Or Ears.
Telling lies can be flustering and exhausting and this is why even for the person lying they tend to rub their hands over their eyes, nose, or ears either because they are flustered or they are trying to deflect attention from the lies they are telling. If your boyfriend displays this sign when talking on an issue you suspect he may be lying about, chances are that he is lying.
5. Choice Of Words.
People tend to use lots of words when lying to try and distract you from their lie. The line from the Shakespearean play Hamlet, that “The lady doth protest too much, methinks” immediately comes to mind. Where your boyfriend suddenly has so much to say that you can’t even seem to follow the conversation anymore, that’s a sure sign that he is lying about something and trying to distract you from the truth.
When one is lying, they also tend to change the subject quickly to get you to move along quickly from the subject matter of the lies before picking up on their lies. If you are trying to draw attention to an issue you feel he’s lying about, and he wants to change the subject quickly, watch out, chances are that he is lying.
It has to be said though that these signs generally apply to a great majority of people. There are exceptional people who would not even display any of these signs and yet are lying and even if you catch them out on an inconsistency they always have a ready and plausible answer. These kinds of people are also known as pathological liars, and if your boyfriend falls in that category, you will drive yourself insane trying to know when he’s lying. In such a case, concrete evidence becomes all the more important.
And even where these signs are present, to make whatever steps you will take more effective, you still need concrete evidence, and we address how to get that evidence in the next section.
Is It Possible To Catch Him In A Lie? How To Catch Your Boyfriend In A Lie.
It is possible to catch your boyfriend in a lie if you suspect that he is lying. It will however require patience from you because it could take some time.
It would also require you to be measured in your responses and how you treat your boyfriend until you have all the concrete proof that you need. You cannot afford to change how you interact with him or he may suspect that something is up and that you are on to him. This would defeat your mission because he will then work extra hard to cover his tracks. As hard as it would be sometimes, especially when he carries on lying to your face, you still need to keep up the loving and understanding girlfriend front so that his guard remains down.
Once you have conditioned your mind about these two, here are some concrete steps and measures to take to catch your lying boyfriend in the act:
1. Identify What The Issue You Believe He Is Lying About Is.
This is very important. There should be no doubt or confusion about what exactly it is you say he’s lying about. This will also help you in terms of knowing what exactly it is you are trying to catch him at. It will also help you when you eventually confront him and he tries to deflect from the issue.
2. Once You’ve Identified The Issue, Subtly And Indirectly Bring Up The Issue(s) In Your Normal Conversations.
Make them as casual and matter-of-factly as possible. Try to avoid framing them as accusatory questions, but rather raise them as suggestions that you want his opinion(s) on.
While you do this, actively monitor how he responds. If you think you will forget, get a journal and write all your observations down. Given the importance of this mission, sharp attention to detail is needed. Remember that accusing someone of lying should not be made lightly.
Monitor the sound of his voice, his eye contact level, his body language, and his choice of words. Compare these to how they normally are in usual conversations.
3. Follow The Issue Up Again At A Later Stage In Another Conversation.
Again, this should come up as a normal conversation and be as matter-of-factly as possible. Give some lapse of time between each conversation so that there is no suspicion on his part.
Make your observations and compare them to your earlier ones. Importantly, try to see if there are any contradictions between what he said before and what he says later. Usually, liars tend to get lost in their web of lies, and with a little patience you can pick out the contradictions in their story.
This step will usually tell you whether he’s lying or not. Everything he says or does is important, and you need to ensure that you are making notes of it all. This is why we strongly recommend a journal to help you keep accurate track of everything.
4. Depending On What The Issue Is About, You May Need To Track Some Of His Movement.
This is especially important if he is lying about some of the big issues identified as “big lies”. So, for example, if he is cheating, you may need a private investigator to get proof of him having an affair and who he’s having it with. Be sure to do a thorough search and hire a reputable private investigator if this becomes necessary.
5. Once You’ve Identified The Issue And Made Your Observations, And Gathered Evidence From Any Private Investigator, You Have One Of Two Options.
You can either confront him about the issue(s) or sweep it under the proverbial rug. If you decide you don’t want to deal with a confrontation, the issue will continue and you will be unhappy. You will then need to decide if this is the kind of life and relationship you want.
If you decide that confrontation is the best way forward, then read the next section on how to go about it.
He Lied To Me, What Should I Do? What To Do When You Catch Your Boyfriend Lying and Dealing With A Liar Boyfriend.
Once you are sure your boyfriend is lying having followed the earlier steps listed, and you’ve made the decision to confront him about his lies, you can do the following depending on if the lie has to deal with you, with him, or with your relationship.
1. Where The Lie Is About You.
So say the issue your boyfriend is lying to you about has to do squarely with you, and you are not happy that he’s lying about it,
First, consider that he may be lying because he does not want to hurt your feelings.
And where this is the case, you need to take this into account in broaching the subject with him. If he’s lying because he does not want to hurt your feelings, it means he loves and cares about you and how you feel and that’s never a bad thing.
Are you ready to handle the truth?
You then need to ask yourself if you can handle the brutal truth if he told it to you exactly as it should be. For instance, if the issue has to do with your sexual performance and you suspect he is lying about how satisfied he is and your suspicions are confirmed, are you ready to be told that you’re not as great in bed as you thought you were.
It is also an awakening that perhaps you need to work on being able to receive and take criticism. It could be that he feels the need to not tell you because you probably don’t take criticisms too well.
If you can’t handle the truth or are not ready to handle the truth, then it’s best to let issues be, or let sleeping dogs lie especially if you are satisfied in the relationship, the lie notwithstanding. But you would need to eventually be able to handle the truth because the issue could subsequently become a thorny part in your relationship and they may eventually start resenting you for it.
Talk to him about it without criticism.
If you have decided that you can handle the truth, then it’s time to have an honest discussion with him about it. Sit with him and present your findings and observations and why you believe he may be keeping back the truth.
Be careful not to use the words that he is lying. Rather use the words “that you feel he is holding back on being free with you on the issue”. The choice of word is important because the wrong choice of words could make him feel attacked and he, therefore, becomes defensive especially if he feels he was protecting you, to begin with.
Commend him for looking out for you and trying to protect your feelings, but that you would appreciate his honesty as it would make you a better person. You can tell him to be honest but to be nice about it as you are also still trying to get used to it. You will find that the whole process will help both of you grow stronger.
2. Where The Lie Is About Him.
Where the lie concerns him and something peculiar to him,
Is it a deal-breaker?
You need to identify if the issue about him is something that bothers you and is a deal-breaker. Does it affect how you see him and the continuation of the relationship? If it is, then the next step becomes important.
Discuss the issue with him.
Once you have identified the issue and certified that he lied about the issue and it is a deal-breaker for you, sit with him and discuss the issue. Tell him what the issue is and hear what he has to say. Patiently listen to what he has to say and don’t be quick to brush him off or it may only make him feel right in keeping it away from you.
Be understanding but make it clear where you stand on the issue.
If it is a deal-breaker for you, make it clear that as much as you understand the reasons he may have had, it is not acceptable that he lied to you about it and tell him where you stand on the issue. If you take the view that it may affect your relationship, you should also let him know.
3. Where The Lie Affects Love and Trust In Your Relationship.
If he lied about something he should have been honest about upfront, there can hardly be any justification for it except trying to cover up a misdeed. For instance, infidelity, being in debt, and having a drinking problem.
Confront him with your evidence.
Where big issues like infidelity and debt are concerned, for example, you need your concrete evidence. Bring the evidence and confront him about it.
Make it clear that you don’t appreciate being lied to.
You have to make it clear in unequivocal terms that you do not appreciate being lied to and taken for a fool.
Be prepared that he may not be remorseful.
He may deny it all and in fact, make you look like a fool. He may even refuse to apologize for it because he doesn’t take the view that he’s wrong. He may even get angry and begin to raise your voice. Or he may be remorseful or at least give the impression of being remorseful. He may promise to put a stop to what the issue is.
Depending on how he reacts, you need to take concrete action once you’ve brought the issue out in the open. If he denies it outright and does not take responsibility or show any remorse, that is the clearest indication that it is time to give up on the relationship and walk away. You are deserving of more respect.
If he shows remorse and promises to change, make it clear to him that the lies will not be tolerated and that any more of it and you are done with the relationship. And if he does repeat the same actions again, be true to your word and leave.
Or maybe you are afraid to take action?
If after you’ve taken the above steps and he’s not changing and you still can’t seem to bring yourself to leave or take concrete action, it could very well be that the problem now lies with you.
Ask yourself why you can’t seem to take the needed action. And if you’re happy with continually getting hurt by him then you could stay on. But understand that once he sees that you can take his lies and stay on, he will continue in his lies and you will have only yourself to blame for staying on.
Fear of being single and alone is never enough reason to stay in a dishonest relationship and continue getting hurt.
Can I Make Him To Stop Lying? How To Get Your Boyfriend To Stop Lying.
Lying is a choice and a conscious decision that we make. The reality and truth are that no one can stop your boyfriend from lying, except your boyfriend. You are not responsible for his lying, that’s on him. He is responsible for his conscious choice to be a liar. And until he comes to the realization that he needs to stop lying, and takes active steps in that direction by making the conscious decision and actually putting a stop to lying, there is nothing you can do for him.
While you cannot do anything for him, you can do something for you. It is up to you to decide what his lying means for you and importantly whether you want to stay on in the relationship and keep getting hurt over and over again by his lies. You can either choose to stay and put up with his lies or leave and save yourself the heartache, especially if he’s shown no signs of changing for the better.
And if you decide to break up with him, do not despair or become sad. Keep a positive and high spirit because you are better off without a liar boyfriend who brings you pain. You are deserving of an honest loving relationship and a man that will give you that will come along. In the meantime, take care of yourself and keep yourself actively engaged. Our article on What to do after a breakup with boyfriend can help you with ideas on what you can do.
Frequently Asked Questions.
How do you get over your boyfriend lying to you?
You don’t. He has lied to you, especially where it involves something serious that boils down to the trust in a relationship. Until you address the lies you would always feel hurt and in pain. The only way you can get closure is by addressing it following all the steps and pointers in this article.
My boyfriend gets angry when caught lying, what do I do?
His getting angry even when it is clear he is lying and has been caught lying, is an indication that he has no remorse for lying to you. The best thing to do is to walk away from the relationship with your dignity still intact and your head held high because he is not deserving of you
What do I do when my fiance lies to me?
When your fiance lies to you, it could be for one or more of the reasons set out in this article. Identify where the issue he is lying about falls – whether it has to do with you, with him, or with your relationship, and then follow the steps for each outlined in this article.
My boyfriend lies about little things, should I be worried?
If you feel that in the larger scheme of your relationship it could become a problem then you can be worried about it. And more than being worried, take the steps outlined in this article of dealing with the issue with him.
My boyfriend lies a lot, what should I do?
Follow the steps outlined in this article in confronting and dealing with the lie.
Lying may be human nature, but it does not justify lying to one another, especially in a relationship. Even the so-called “little lies” can become a big issue in a relationship in the long run.
Following the steps outlined in this article can help you come to terms with, and deal with a boyfriend who lies to your face.
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