The house of a solid relationship is built on degrees of trust

M. Brown

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**This is a work of nonfiction based on actual events that I have experienced firsthand; used with permission.

How many stories have we all heard about partners and lovers betraying one another with lies and deceit?

Whether it’s movies, TV, books, or the internet, we are constantly inundated with tales of lying lovers and mendacious spouses. In fact, the act of lying to a partner within a relationship is so commonplace these days that we tend to be stunned at those seemingly rare relationships and marriages that don’t have betrayal as the main, running theme.

Without dishonesty, perhaps we would not recognize the value of telling the truth — the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

Alas, in love and relationships we often lie to one another — and sometimes quite easily.

The reasons for lying to one’s partner can vary, ranging from a ‘white lie’ about something seemingly inconsequential to a torrentially scarring lie having to do with more serious issues such as infidelity.

In matters of love, how do we determine when a lie is an absolute dealbreaker? To what degree does a lie need to gravitate to until it tips the core of relationship trust?

Moreover, what kind of lies are forgivable and which aren’t? Is it acceptable to lie to your partner about places you’ve been or the people you’ve spoken to if you feel they have no real significance to your partner? Are you really in a position to determine that significance?

Perhaps your partner would disagree about their ‘need to know’ status which you have decided on your own. Perhaps finding out you lied about something you thought was insignificant would be hurtful to them.

And that’s the thing about relationships. Choices and actions have consequences.

Why would you choose to lie to your partner about your activities or conversations in the first place if you’re not doing anything inherently terrible like cheating on them?

Predominately, people lie to cover something up, for fear of confrontation, or simply for plain old convenience. Sometimes we aren’t necessarily hiding some heinous act as much as we are trying to evade inconvenient interactions.

We often just don’t feel like dealing with the reactions or opinions of other people so we lie to avoid those situations. It’s not so much intentionally evil as it is just straight dodgy.

I may think it’s not necessary for my partner to know about certain things that I discuss with other people or where I’ve been, but it’s possible that those things might be meaningful to my partner and if they found out that I lied about my movements or about someone I spoke to — even if I didn’t think it was important — they might feel somewhat blind-sighted and confused.

The average person can lie about two hundred times in just one day, according to research by Jerry Jellison, a psychologist at the University of Southern California. We’re capable of being deceptive almost constantly throughout any given day.

According to this research, most of the time the lies we tell are not ‘big lies’. They’re lies that make us appear better, save someone’s feelings, or help us escape uncomfortable social situations.

However, in relationships, ‘white lies’ can lead to more dangerous lies that can ultimately jeopardize the trust between two people.

Lying to your partner about who you had coffee with because you didn’t feel like mentioning the conversation that took place for whatever reason may seem inconsequential to you but on the grander scale of a relationship this avoidance of being upfront could be a sign of larger betrayals to come.

A white lie to your partner every once in a while is relatively normal. We all do it. Whether it’s a compliment we don’t really mean to boost an ego or an excuse we use to not talk about our true feelings — lies happen.

The critical thing to remember is that just as there are degrees of lying in a relationship, there are also degrees of trust.

The house of a solid relationship is built on degrees of trust and if there are more lies — white or otherwise — used as the foundation for that house than there are truths, don’t be shocked when leaks and cracks start to arise.

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