Do you sometimes wonder if your partner is lying to you? You might suspect he’s lying about something small. Maybe you’re worried she’s keeping something more important from you. Wives tend to keep secrets from their husbands and lie to protect their secrets. Husbands lie because they see no benefit to telling their wives the truth. Neither gender is more habitually a liar than the other; both men and women lie equally, even if for different reasons. The first step to repairing your relationship is to be open and honest. Here are three ways to tell if your partner is lying to you:

Sudden changes in speech or behavior

You know your partner best–how he speaks, the way she normally reacts to things. So when he’s suddenly stammering or speaking with a lot of long pauses when he’s usually a pretty eloquent speaker, something might be up. If your wife is usually pretty even-keel and has sudden flare-ups of emotion or random outbursts of defensiveness around certain questions or topics, she may be hiding something from you.

Redirecting your questions back to you

This happens when you ask what may be a simple question (“So, who did you go out with tonight?”). Your spouse ignores your question or gives a vague response such as “Oh, just a few of the guys.” Then he quickly turns the question on to you, as in “What did you do tonight?” If you ask your spouse a question and he changes the subject by turning your question around on you, he might be doing so because he doesn’t want you to know who he was really with. He might also be afraid to answer directly because it will invite further questions he doesn’t want to divulge the answers to.

Providing too many qualifiers and details

Verbal overcompensation is a red flag. If your wife denies an allegation with an overabundance of qualifiers such as “seriously,” “really,” or “honestly,” you should probably ask yourself who she’s trying to convince. Likewise, if he goes into finely tuned detail about where he was, what he was doing, and who he was with, he may be avoiding telling you the true story. Nobody wants to lie outright. A vague or partial truth is easier to remember. It is also easier to defend. Therefore, your spouse may talk around the answer in order to avoid having to lie.

What should you do if you suspect your partner is lying to you?

If you’re noticing signs that your partner or spouse may be lying to you, you’ll want to confront him. However, try to avoid calling her out on the lie. Chances are, your partner is lying because he’s afraid you’re going to be mad at the true story. Try giving your spouse the option to come clean in a non-confrontational way. You might say, “I feel like there’s something you’re not telling me. Are you worried about how I’ll react to something? Let’s get it out into the open so that we can figure out a solution together.”

If you feel like confronting your partner might only prompt more lies, or you don’t know how to address your suspicions without causing problems, a therapist can help. Call Lisa Ryan at Advocacy Circle in Westport. I can help you clear the air with your partner, no matter what he or she is keeping from you. Call me to schedule your appointment today at 203-226-8800.

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