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Love without truth is hypocrisy

Dealing with men’s penchant for being economical with truth

Mo and Phindi Relationship Thursdays
Most men will continuously lie because of these three reasons: shame, protection, and reputation.
Most men will continuously lie because of these three reasons: shame, protection, and reputation.
Image: 123RF

Why do men lie in marriages? First of all, everyone lies. And we all do it for several reasons depending on the circumstances. Maybe not all the time and your marriage may not quite be characterised by lies. But if we were to go through your marriage with a fine-tooth comb, we could find bits and pieces of white lies here and there at the very least.

And in a perfect world, you and your partner would be super honest with each other about everything. You wouldn’t tell half-truths or even withhold some pertinent information your spouse should know about. But in reality, that’s far from the case.

But having said that, no lie is justifiable even when someone claims to do so because they love you. Because love without the truth is hypocrisy. Lies, when found out, hurt both the recipient, your integrity and the relationship. Depending on the seriousness of it, it can cause emotional turmoil. Good relationships can only happen when there’s trust, and without trust there’s really no need to continue.

And while most people lie, no matter their gender, for some reason, men generally struggle with this behaviour the most in marriages and dating relationships. And because of that, much of what we’ll be saying is directed more at men than women.

Let’s explore some of the reasons.

He’s a people pleaser. Of course you already know this. There are many reasons we tell others what we think they want to hear, especially our partners. One of the most common and precarious habits we observe in couples is the popular behaviour of telling your spouse what they want to hear rather than what you need, want, think and feel.

When he goes along with you rather than engaging on a real and authentic level, it builds a marriage with unsteady stilts that can topple at any time. By telling you what he thinks you want to hear, he avoids chances of disappointing you and hopes to see you happy all the time.

He feels ashamed. Sometimes your spouse does things they wish they could reverse, and that brings utter shame. He feels sorrowful and is overwhelmed by guilt and embarrassment.

Good men desire to protect their wives, emotionally and physically. So when they have broken that because of something they did or a secret they’ve kept, they feel ashamed and don’t want you to know what they have done. So they lie.

They lie because they believe another lie – in their own minds – that it’s better not to hurt you than to be honest about the hurt they have caused you.

He doesn’t want to hurt or disappoint you. A man’s instinct is to protect his wife at all costs, even from himself. If he knows that his actions will harm you emotionally in some way, or affect your trust in him, he will most often lie.

As it’s never your responsibility when your husband chooses to lie to you, understanding this may perhaps allow you to show grace and forgiveness when they are honest with you about something they did that hurt you. This will help them see that you won’t hate them if they do something wrong, and want to be transparent with you. We hope this makes sense!

Let’s say he was honest with you about something he did. Your reaction could pave the way for him to be transparent in the future, even though it’s still his choice to lie. To break this barrier, you also have to do your part in being approachable and not throw your toys out of the cot when you hear the truth.

He’s hiding his insecurities and failures. Most men, when they leave home for work, hope that no-one finds out about failures in some aspects of their lives. When you can understand this struggle of your husband, it might help you understand why he sometimes feels the need to lie.

Lying always has a purpose, and is often resulting from a need to protect something. Most men will continuously lie because of these three reasons: shame, protection, and reputation.

By understanding your spouse’s struggles, you can help him understand that even if he fails you, you will still love and admire him.

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