The Damaging Effects Lying Has on a Marriage

Written by kate bradley
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The Damaging Effects Lying Has on a Marriage
Lying can put emotional and physical distance between you and your spouse. (Pixland/Pixland/Getty Images)

Trust is crucial in any relationship, especially marriage. If you give your spouse a reason to distrust you, your marriage can be irreparably damaged and changed forever. When you lie to your spouse, the effects can be various, devastating and possibly marriage-ending.

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Forming a Bad Habit

If you lie to your spouse once and get away with it, you may feel tempted to do it again to spare her feelings or keep yourself out of trouble. Once you begin lying to your spouse, in many cases you may have to continue lying in order to keep up your original story and avoid being found out. You can get into the habit of lying as a matter of course and begin to rationalise every lie as a way to keep the peace until you regularly keep the truth from your spouse.

Damaged Trust

If you lie to your spouse and he finds out, his trust in you will be damaged forever. It may never again be completely whole. He may begin to question the truth of what you say even long after you've made amends. After all, if you lied once, you would probably lie again. If you lied regarding infidelity, he may become extremely uncomfortable when you take business trips or go out in the evenings without him.

Communication Breakdown

If someone lies to you, you understandably have a difficult time believing any of what they say thenceforth. In a marriage in which one spouse has been untruthful, communication can break down when the innocent spouse starts every verbal interaction on the assumption that she cannot trust her partner. She may hear what he says and want to believe it but be unable to attribute any real meaning to it. For example, if he lied about his personal debt before marriage and she finds out, she may not be able to have a meaningful conversation about his spending habits or credit history.

Guilt and Fear

If you've lied to your spouse, you may experience significant guilt and fear that he will find out the truth. Your negative feelings can affect your ability to communicate and behave normally; you may even find yourself unreasonably accusing him of dishonesty. Guilt can keep you from being physically intimate -- which can drive a devastating emotional wedge between you and your spouse -- and make you paranoid about him discovering the truth. The fear can eat away at your peace of mind and keep you from sleeping at night. When one partner in a marriage is under so much stress, the marriage itself will inevitably suffer.

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