Why do men feel the need to lie, when the truth is much less harmful in the end?
I can say with confidence, that I believe most women will ask themselves this question within their lifetime. Why do men lie? And while ALL of us lie, for some reason men struggle with it the most within relationships. Why?
Why is it men feel the need to lie, when the outcome of the truth would be more beneficial to a relationship, than the damage that comes from lying?
I know I'm not alone when I say that we as women desire to have our husbands tell the truth above anything. Trust and transparency is one of the most essential needs of a woman.
And even though men know this about us, they still struggle with lying.
As I am always confronting marital issues from my faith-based perspective, it's important to note that this information applies to everyone, religious or not.
Before we delve in here, I want to note that this article is not some trash gossip about men. It's an informative message to women who are in relationships that are continuously being affected by the man lying.
Women who are in these relationships need to understand that if the lying is habitual and destructive to you or your relationship, and the man is not actively seeking help to change, then counsel is absolutely needed from a therapist or mentor.
It's very easy to blur the lines of when men are just human, and when men are taking advantage of you and your trust.
Why do men lie?
When the man you love lies to you, it's one of the most hurtful experiences. Since women need and desire safety within a relationship, it only makes sense that a lie can totally dismantle her and her view of her spouse. In essence, a simple lie can bring a good relationship to ruin and open the door to mistrust in a marriage.
But what if I were to tell you that when most good men lie, it's not because they want to, but it's because of their deep-seated need to please you.
When a man lies, it's his choice to lie. And as there are certain things women can do to nurture trust within a relationship, it's still on the man to take responsibility in his lying.
I recently had a conversation with a woman who's husband had been lying to her about an issue he promised to seek help with years prior.
Claiming he had overcome this issue, she continuously believed him until seven years later, it all came out.
I looked at my husband after hearing the news, and angrily said, "Why do men lie? Why can't they just tell the truth? Is it worth it for men to risk their entire relationship on a lie?"
Experiencing the pain of lying and what it did in my own relationship, I could identify with her on a much smaller level. So I asked my husband the hard question. Here's what he said.
Heavy-hearted, he replied,
"I think men lie for three reasons: They feel ashamed, they don't want to hurt or let down their significant other, and they have a general desire to please everyone — the wife being the most significant one to please. They also don't want everyone to know what they believe to be true about themselves — that they are failures."
Wow. That simple answer explained SO much to me about my husband. As there are exceptions, I knew at that moment that when my husband had lied to me in the past, it wasn't some evil vendetta against me. It wasn't because he wanted to hurt me. It was because he wanted to protect our relationship and protect his reputation.
And even though those reason don’t merit lying, it helps us women to better understand why they do what they do.
So let's dive a little deeper into what my husband said.
1. Men lie because they feel ashamed.
After my son lies, I try not to make him feel like he's unlovable or the worst person in the world. I address his lying and give appropriate consequences, but I assure him that he is wholly forgiven by us as his parents AND God.
This type of direction is helping your child understand Godly sorrow vs. shame and guilt.
Godly sorrow leads to change. Shame leads to hiding the lie better next time.
The same goes for adults. And if we have appropriately learned Godly sorry as children, this will come easier.
When we make a mistake, we will arrive at confession, repentance, and freedom from guilt. But when we haven't properly understood this, we will feel ashamed, and perhaps with good intentions of changing and not furthering our dishonesty, we will most likely not succeed.
Good men desire to protect their wives, emotionally and physically. So when they have broken that because of something they did, men feel ashamed and don't want you to know what they have done.
So they lie.
They lie because they believe a lie in their own minds that it's better not to hurt you than to be honest about the hurt they have caused you.
But they will soon realize after the truth is revealed, that it would have been better to be honest in the first place, as lying adds another element of hurt for the receiving person.
BUT for some reason, men don't learn this consequential outcome the first time, or even the second or third time.
Most men will continuously lie because of these three reasons: shame, protection, and reputation.
2. Men lie because they want to protect you
Check out what men need in a relationship. From that article, you will understand that a man desires to protect you at all costs, even from himself.
If he knows that his actions will harm you emotionally in some way, or affect your trust for 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.
Does that make sense?
Let's say they were honest to you about something they did. Your reaction to that could pave the way for them being transparent in the future, even though it's still their choice to lie.
3. Men lie because they don't want you to know that they have failed
We could go deep on the topic of why men feel like failures on a daily basis, but I'm just going to scratch the surface here.
Most men, when they walk out the door to go to work, hope to God that no one finds out what a failure they are. When you can understand this struggle of your husband, it might help you understand why he sometimes feels the need to lie.
Again, this is NOT a justification of when he lies. It's helping you understand that the biggest reason men lie, is because they don't want to let you down, or let you know that they failed.
By understanding your husband’s struggles, you can help him understand that even if he fails you, you will still love and admire him. This will help him be transparent — by knowing you won’t flip a switch those times he decides to be honest with you.
It helps women to understand, forgive, and have grace for their husband's when they lie, when they understand the WHY behind it.