We’re all familiar with little white lies … and, if we’re honest, we’ve ALL told some. In fact, recent research reveals that, on average, we lie to our spouses (or significant others) three times per week.
Sometimes twisting the truth is necessary in relationships — like when you’re trying to spare your partner’s feelings, avoid embarrassing them, or attempting to prevent a dumb argument over something super (and genuinely) trivial.
But never make the mistake of thinking that all lies are created equal. Even when spilling the truth feels scary as hell, here are some big things you should never lie about —because not keeping it real on these points kills otherwise great relationships:
1. When you’ve cheated
The most common lies couples tell revolve around affairs. (No surprise there.) However, lying on top of cheating just makes everything so much worse. Sure, you feel the need to protect your partner (which we all know means — protecting yourself). Not to mention the worry that spilling the truth could unravel your marriage. But by being dishonest, you’re doing nothing but perpetuating deception. And doesn’t your spouse deserve better?
The good news is that infidelity is not always a marriage deal breaker. In fact, studies show that relationships have a greater chance of surviving when the cheating spouse owns up to it. So, bite the bullet, come clean, and get some counseling to resolve the issues that led you to stray. Then get to work rebuilding trust and intimacy with your significant other.
2. That you’re “fine”
Nice try. Everyone knows that when a woman says, “I’m fine,” it’s a big fat lie. More than likely you’re tired, pissed, stressed, anxious, depressed, or all of the above. But suppressing your feelings isn’t going to help, and lying about your feelings is problematic for your relationship.
Hearing this phrase is particularly frustrating to men because we don’t like playing mind games, and we don’t have a crystal ball stashed in our sock drawer. In other words, when you don’t speak up, we feel like giving up — and that could lead to an unnecessary argument.
Trust me, your man wants to know what’s upsetting you. And he wants to do everything in his power to fix it (that’s how we’re programmed). So, be honest and tell him how you feel — even if you don’t really feel like talking about it and all you crave is a big hug.
3. That the sex is hot, when it’s NOT
According to research, a whopping 70 percent of women fake orgasm during vaginal intercourse. Seriously? I’m not claiming that sex has to always be off-the-hook-amazing all the time, but lying about a lack of fulfillment between the sheets is mind-boggling. Simply because, if you don’t admit that something (or everything) your husband is doing isn’t working, how will he ever figure out what does?
I understand your reluctance to speak up for fear of crushing your man’s ego, but trust me, he derives pleasure from your pleasure.
The best approach here is to find a sexy way to communicate your desires. If he does something that rocks your world, let him know, and that move is sure to become part of his sexual repertoire. And as for sub-par moves, that just don’t turn you on? Try whispering, “Can we try something different?” Or gently guide his hand or mouth elsewhere, and let him know he’s driving you crazy with desire.
4. What you’re spending
Those pricey designer pumps you claimed you snagged for half price … the secret bank account he doesn’t know about … the personal credit card balance you hide from him. According to a recent survey, conducted by the National Endowment for Financial Education, one in three adults who have combined their money in a relationship fib about finances.
Bad idea, since financial infidelity can wreak havoc on your marriage. In one poll, 67 percent of couples said that financial deception led to arguments, while 42 percent said it caused less trust in the relationship. Even worse, a Kansas State University study found that bickering over bucks is the top predictor of divorce — regardless of a couple’s income, debt or net worth.
I agree with Deborah Price, author of The Heart of Money, who insists, “Most money problems aren’t actually about money — they’re symptoms, and the problems are truly about something else.” So, have an open and honest discussion about your finances to figure out what’s at the root of any money “evils” and find solutions you can both work with. Then work as a team — even if it means getting financial counseling — to get back on track. Till debt do you part!