No matter how fancy a house’s décor or interior is, if its foundation is weak, then everything will end up crumbling and broken sooner than later. The same can be said about relationships. No matter how much you care for and pamper your partner, if your relationship lacks the most basic of foundations, which is trust, then everything that you have built together will eventually come crashing down. For you to strengthen trust, you need to be more honest and lie less, and if possible, not lie at all.
Here are 9 effective ways to prevent lying in a relationship, and in effect, strengthen the overall bond that keeps you and your partner together.
1. Think before committing wrongs.
There are two kinds of mistakes, the one that you do unknowingly and the one you do knowingly. Oftentimes, it’s easier to admit mistakes that we did not intend to make because, at the very least, our mind remains innocent. However, it becomes several times harder to admit something that despite what we know is wrong, we do anyway. It makes both our body and mind guilty, and so because of this, we resort to lying about the intentional wrongs. So, the next time you do something that you know is wrong to your partner, think very hard about it first. Make sure that you have the stomach to see it through and be honest about what you have done.
2. Articulate necessary yet hurtful truths constructively.
Lies are not always coupled with malice and bad faith. Sometimes, we lie because we want to protect our partners or because we don’t want them to feel bad. Nevertheless, there are times when these hurtful truths need to be said. A good way to be honest about these sensitive matters is to say them in a constructive manner.
If your partner keeps on interchanging the words “your” and “you’re” all the time, or if she/he subconsciously tends to undermine other people, you have to be honest with her/him about it. Don’t lie or hide the truth; she/he only stands to benefit from your honesty. Just make sure that you do not say the truth in a condescending or discriminatory manner. Make it clear that you mean no harm and that you only care about her/him. Trust me, she/he will appreciate the honesty.
3. Learn to accept the consequences of your actions.
If you have already done your partner wrong, then there’s no other way to push forward than accept the consequences of your actions. Do not try to delay the inevitable or buy time by lying about what you did. You’ll only find yourself in a worse situation once your partner finally finds out the truth. You’ll have to admit that you’re the one who threw away all her KPop collectibles or that you’re the one who trashed his PS5! Do not lie and put the blame on poor old Gary! Learn to accept the consequences of your actions!
Also read: 10 Effective Ways to Control Anger and Frustration in a Relationship
4. Distance yourself from illicit and immoral temptations.
They say that prevention is better than cure. This concept applies to lying in relationships as well. We usually lie about bad things we did, and so logic dictates that in order to avoid the impulse to lie, we should simply avoid the temptation to doing bad things. Develop a mental stronghold that is resilient enough to cast away the urge to cheat on your partner, invade her/his privacy, or eat her Pringles without her consent. If you resist these illicit and immoral temptations, then you can cross out a great number of things that you might find yourself lying about.
5. Make empathy your strongest weapon.
It is common for people to love themselves, and so if lying to your partner starts to become a real problem, then start thinking about yourself! Specifically, think about how you would feel if you’re the one being lied to— how hurt you would be, how betrayed you would feel, and how difficult it would then be for you to trust your partner again. Eliminate your tendency to lie by making yourself the hypothetical recipient of the lie. Make empathy your strongest weapon!
6. Reflect on and learn from your mistakes.
Nobody is perfect; there will come times when despite how much we try to avoid it, we lie to our partners anyway. In situations like these, what we can do, at the very least, is reflect and learn from our actions so that we do not resort to lying again in the future. We need to reflect on what made us have to lie to begin with— what mistakes did we make, and how grave or reprehensible were they? Then, we need to learn how to avoid committing the same mistakes again or, at minimum, learn how to be man or woman enough to be honest and admit our faults the next time we mess up.
Also read: 16 Wise Ways to be a Better Person in a Relationship
7. Trust and respect your partner.
Sometimes, what keeps us from telling the truth is our lack of trust and/or respect towards our partner. If you really love your partner, then you will trust her/him enough to know that she/he will be able to process the truth properly, and if so warranted, be able to forgive you at the right time. Moreover, you have to respect your partner enough to know that she/he deserves nothing less than the truth and that if the gravity of such truth is too much for her/him to bear, then you likewise have to respect whatever decision she/he will make, no matter how devastating that decision will be for you.
Also read: How to be Respectful in a Relationship: 15 Thoughtful Ways
8. Practice and master truthfulness.
Like every skill, the art of telling the truth requires practice in order to attain mastery. You have to tell your partner the truth over and over again. Of course, you may slip up once in a while, but as I said in the previous item, nobody is perfect. Don’t let these shortcomings get the better of you; just persevere on improving and making yourself as honest and truthful to your partner in as much situations and as often as possible. You have to get so used to doing it that it becomes second nature to you, an extension of your being. Who knows, you might master truthfulness well enough to make it something as natural as breathing.
Also read: How to be Honest in a Relationship: 12 Ways
9. Foster open communication in your relationship.
Sometimes, we lie to our partners due to the lack of available channels where we can relay the truth. If the relationship does not cater to open communication or is hostile to mutual transparency, then lying would be but incentivized. To be comfortable in saying the truth, we and our partners have to open the relationship to all sorts of communication, even if one party does not hold preference or interest in what is being shared. If we foster this kind of openness, then we would be more comfortable to say the truth without any feeling of apprehension or sensation of tension.
Trust is the main foundation that keeps relationships strong and enduring, and lies are the termites that munch on and destroy this foundation. Luckily for us, there are ways to exterminate these pests and keep trust well intact. The next time this problem rears its ugly head, make use of these ways and effectively prevent lying in a relationship.
Also read: 16 Ways to Stop Being Rude in a Relationship