What Lying Does To Your Marriage

by Maria MagleoSeptember 8, 2022

Honesty is key for a happy marriage. But, what if the other person lies? Will the marriage remain the same?

When we enter relationships, we always expect pure honesty from our partners. However, sometimes it can be hard to give pure honesty

Because, let’s face it — we all lie, don’t we? Sometimes, we use “white lies” because we try to protect the other person from feeling bad or being hurt because of the truth.

White lies such as “everybody loved the food you cooked for dinner” or “don’t worry about me, I’m fine” are quite common in relationships, especially in marriages.

Surely, you don’t want your spouse to feel awful and disheartened that some of your guests didn’t like the food they prepared, right?

Or for your spouse to worry about you when you tell the truth that you’re extremely stressed at work lately?

In reality, it’s actually inevitable to say a few white lies or fibs here and there, and sometimes it’s okay as long as you are doing it for good reasons, and you are not hurting anyone.

What’s not okay and unacceptable is telling lies for selfish reasons, including saving one’s reputation, a terrible excuse for bad behavior, or hiding something dangerous and hurtful.

What’s worse is that these “real lies” can lead to irreparable damages in a marriage. 

3 Ways Lies Can Ruin A Marriage

When lies are being done frequently, and the motive behind them is to deceive, the person lying is putting the marriage at risk of being destroyed. 

Here are a few reasons why:

1. Lying is a breach of trust

Trust plays a vital role in keeping a happy and healthy union in any relationship, particularly in marriages. Without it, the marriage almost seems like a dead end.

Both people inside the marriage must remain as honest as possible to maintain trust with one another.

As I’ve said, white lies are sometimes okay, especially if you’re telling them to keep your spouse happy and protect them from being hurt.

However, it’s also important to remember that white lies still are lies and if not used properly, they can still lead to disappointments and broken trust. 

Now, if white lies can lead to a breach of trust, imagine what real lies can do to your partnership and your marriage. 

The trust that you and your spouse built over time will gradually lose its meaning, and as the lies stock up, it may, later on, cause your marriage to reach rock bottom. 

2. Lying hinders heartfelt communication

There is no such thing as a perfect spouse or marriage, and there will always be room for necessary improvements. This is where communication enters the picture. 

Without it, you and your spouse won’t be able to discuss your strengths and weaknesses or find solutions to marital distress and conflicts.

So, when someone lies inside the marriage, there is no more healthy and effective communication because you are now both spending your days hiding from the truth.

Now, what truth am I possibly talking about? 

The truth is that you feel like there is something in your spouse that needs changing, whether it’s a specific behavior or attitude towards you and your marriage.

Or the truth that something about your partnership is no longer making you happy or fulfilled.

It may take longer even when it’s a simple white lie, but the damage will still be the same as telling a more complex lie.

Luckily, If this happens, relationship coaching may be able to help. We have a detailed breakdown of what it consists of that you can read more about here.

3. One simple lie will lead to more lies

Take a moment and look back on the days when you told a simple white lie to your spouse. 

It may be about the money you spent, the number of drinks you had with your colleagues, or a gift from them that you said you liked even though you didn’t.

Now, let me ask you this question: did it stop there, or did the lies continue?

The thing is, the truth will come out once you stop supporting your lies with another lie. And without you knowing, you are already telling lies over and over again.

Even when you start feeling guilty about lying to your spouse, you cannot just stop covering your lies because then, your spouse will know that you lied in the first place. 

And, again, it will not only lead to conflicts but will also result in broken trust. Bear in mind that learning about the lie is even more hurtful than the secret itself.

Before You Tell A Lie…

I know for a fact that telling the truth isn’t always the easiest thing to do, especially if there is the possibility of hurting the other person. That is why, oftentimes, we resort to lying. 

But, we cannot just ignore the fact that lying is detrimental to any relationship, and it can have a negative impact not just on the person being lied to but also on the one lying. 

As much as possible, try to be honest and tell the truth no matter how painful it is. 

However, if you feel like lying would be the best thing to do during the moment, consider these two things first before opting to tell a lie:

What are your intentions? 

If lying is more beneficial than telling the truth, such as protecting your spouse from potential hurt and danger or easing their pain, then perhaps a little white lie is okay.

But if the lie will only benefit you and cause more harm and pain to your spouse, then lying will only damage your marriage.

What will be the long term effect?

If the lies being told will have a possible acceptable effect on the person being lied to, and it won’t lead to even more lies in the long run, then lying may be okay.

But, again, if it’s self-serving, causing more lies, and will have detrimental effects on the person being lied to and in your marriage, lying is definitely wrong in these cases.


Part of being human is our tendency to lie. Sometimes, it’s for the good of others, while sometimes, it’s for our own selfish reasons.

Of course, there are circumstances where lying is acceptable, and these are circumstances where lies are well-meaning and won’t have serious damage to the person being lied to.

However, lies intended to spare ourselves from the consequences of our wrongdoings and keep our ego intact aren’t acceptable reasons to lie.

After all, relationships, especially marriages, should revolve around honesty and openness to keep trust and communication healthy.

Marriages revolving around lies, whether big or small, will harm the people involved and cause irreparable damage to the marriage per see.

Recommended: What Is Relationship Coaching & Is It Right For You?

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