Friday, June 08, 2007

Is it OK to lie in a relationship?

Alisha: So, after you've been dating someone for awhile, when is it fine to start fudging the truth -- or is it ever a good idea?
Deirdre: I don't think it's ever OK, but sometimes it's a necessary evil.
Alisha: Totally agree. I know one such instance is the, "Honey, do I look fat in these jeans?" I'm sure some men, OK, maybe most men, lie when responding to their significant other.
Deirdre: Whenever I ask my man a question like that, I ask because I value his opinion and I really want to know. I say if you don't want to know the answer, don't ask the question. It's not fair to force people to lie to make you feel better.
Alisha: So if your man said, "Yes, you look bad" in four different pairs of pants, do you honestly think he's gonna say it a fifth time? My husband refuses to answer the question period, no matter how many times or ways I ask.
Deirdre: That's because society has trained men that it's a question that'll get them into trouble.
Alisha: But that's where a lot of "lying" comes from, these "trouble area" questions. I think some folks would rather just chalk it up to a white lie rather than sleep on the couch for the week. I bet it happens more than we think.
Deirdre: If I had my way, I would never lie in my relationships. But sometimes ... you have to do it to avoid hurt feelings. Those are the little lies we might tell our mates. But BIG lies -- no way. Like, leaving out first husbands, or babies given up for adoption, or sexually transmitted diseases -- you gotta come clean on stuff like that.
Alisha: It depends on the severity of the issue. STDs - um, yeah, no hiding that. I could see where a woman might never tell her husband she gave up a baby for adoption. That's part of her past, not his, and if she sees it having no direct impact on their relationship, then why give up something that private?
Deirdre: I believe the things we do now make us who we are later. That might be part of her past, but it's still part of the person she is now. It's important for her partner to know that about her. We're talking about babies, but let's take one step back and talk sexual partners. I'm sure plenty shave off (or add) the number of people they've slept with. I tell the truth, and I want to know the truth, even if I might not like it. How do you feel about it?
Alisha: You should be as honest as possible. When it's something that directly affects your partner, then there should be nothing but the truth.
Deirdre: What bothers me is I know men and women who lie so much in relationships, they don't even realize they're doing it anymore, y'know? They say everything is fine when it's not. They say they are happy when they're not. They do things they don't want to do, but say they want to. All so they can keep a partner. What they don't realize is that every time they don't tell the truth, they lose a little of themselves.
Alisha: That's because those people don't put themselves first. They allow their partner to define who they are, and that's a shame. Be honest with yourself and with others.

What do you think, readers? Is lying acceptable in your relationship?


Anonymous said...

If you think you need to lie to avoid hurting your significant other's feelings, then you aren't mature enough to talk through the issue and address the hurt feelings head on. White lies are what weak people use to avoid confrontation and resolution in real life. Stop rationalizing your dishonesty--if you are a GROWN MAN OR WOMAN vested in a caring relationship, one would hope you would be secure enough to tell the truth TACTFULLY and deal with the consequences.

Michael said...


Anonymous said...

Can you just imagine: "Yes, you look fat in those jeans, but you are fat, so the jeans don't make you look any less than what you are. I love all of you, even your cellulite, but the honest answer is, they don't make you look any fatter..."
I think it depends on how long your with someone, after they seen you sick in bed with the stomach flu, then it's easy to be honest with each other.

Anonymous said...

of course its okay

Anonymous said...

No, but being in a relationship places a responsibility on a person not to ask questions that they already know the answer to but want to put the person in a position where that person may feel the need to lie. Going with the "do I look ____ in this?" ex., when a person knows already what the answer is but is trying for some pathetic ego boost by asking, that person is in essence giving up the right to be mad over the answer, truthful or not.
Better yet, when you are in a relationship with someone and you have an understanding of sorts (whether its an open relationship or a look-but-don't-touch kind), don't ask the person if they are doing something you have consented to by being in the relationship, then get angry and act as if your trust has been undermined when the answer is a lie.
Basically, don't force your significant other to lie to you.

Anonymous said...

NEVER ok to lie ..

Anonymous said...

I am very fortunate because my boyfriend and I are very honest with each other (we have also been together for 11 years, which makes it a little easier). If I try on something, and it is not flattering, he is the first to let me know. I value his opinion and I know that he is honest. He is also the first to let me know when what I have on looks great.

Anonymous said...

Wake up, people... the question isn't "Is it OK for a man to lie when a woman asks how she looks". It's "Is it OK to lie in relationship?"

It's never justifiable to lie to your loved one. We may understand why people lie in certain situations but that doesn't make it RIGHT.

As for all you women who ask husbands and boyfriends how you look, please get some self-confidence. Don't you have brains enough to decide for your self how you look--and accept the reality? Are you so insecure that you have to fish for compliments and reassurance?

I know when I look good and when I don't--I don't need to ask my husband for his opinion. And in the big picture scheme of things, does it *really* matter if I look like I've gained weight? When I die, will people remember me for my weight, or will they recall that I was a loving daughter, loyal friend, devoted wife, a supportive mother?

Jeez, when are women going to get over the "looks are everything" mentality?

The key to being happy? Stop focusing on yourself and focus on helping and inspiring others.

Anonymous said...

If you lie the turth will eventually come out one way or the other. It is better to be honest with your significant other to discuss differances.

Anonymous said...

Don't lie but try to be tactful about things so as not to hurt the other's feelings.

Anonymous said...

I was dating a lady a few months ago and told her I had a vasectomy. I didn't tell her I had a reversal because I thought it had not been successful. I found out she is pregnant and the timing matches when we were together. She's stumped because she was also seeing another guy who told her he had a vasectomy. I'm embarrassed I didn't tell her the truth about the vasectomy and feel guilty about letting her down. I haven't been able to see her or talk to her. If the child is mine it would be awesome, but I think I have really messed up relationship wise. What should I do?

unicorn1824 said...

You didn't lie, but you didn't tell the whole truth either. Suck it up, tell her the truth and get a DNA test to see if you're the dad. It sounds like you didn't really test to see if the reversal had been successful; if you're going to be dating you need to be sure about your condition.