Heart, Spirit & Mind

The Destructive Power of Lies

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Trust is the foundation of close relationships. If trust becomes compromised it can lead to serious problems in the relationship. Without trust, it is hard to maintain the level of closeness most people require in a relationship. Speaking a lie is betraying trust and therefore a lie always hurts.

Big or small, you should never lie to someone you love. The bigger the lie, the more it will hurt your relationship. Honesty is as important to your relationship as love. Lying contradicts everything that love stands for. Love is meant to be a mechanism of openness and honesty enabling us to grow together. When we lie to each other, we only grow apart.

A lie isn’t a lie

There are two categories of lies, lies of commission and the lies of omission. All lies have the same effect, deception. Some of those lies hurt more than others, but they are all based on dishonesty, and therefore, cause harm to others and ourselves.

Most people are familiar with lies of commission.  Lies of commission are blatant misstatements of fact about life, behavior, and history.  Simply stated, it is when you tell someone something that isn’t true.

What you don’t know can’t hurt you.  Lies of omission

People often deceive themselves in believing that lies of omission are not really lies.  A lie of omission is defined as:

A method of deception and duplicity that uses the technique of simply remaining silent when speaking the truth which would significantly alter the other person’s capacity to make an informed decision.

Lying by omission also includes failures to correct false ideas and misconceptions.

Lying by omission makes a difference in the way the victim understands the truth of whatever the liar is lying about.  When lies are revealed, it puts doubt into everything that the relationship with the liar was built on.  It breaks trust at its very foundation and is extremely damaging.

Sometimes we lie to save another person pain. More often we want to hide something or not “get caught”. Finally, people lie to manipulate someone into something. Whatever the reasons people lie have the same end result, a breach of trust.

Sparing people from pain doesn’t mean lying. It means telling the truth and doing it with tact and kindness.  If it means that the other party will be hurt, it means putting yourself in their shoes and understanding how they will feel, and then telling the truth with that in mind. In any relationship, it is better to be honest then to be untrustworthy.  When you lie to your partner, she/he will lose trust in you. If you lose trust in your relationship, you lose the relationship, sometimes forever.

Lying to someone that you love is unfair because it is manipulative, selfish and self-serving. Telling a lie to a person you love is akin to telling them you don’t love them. Love depends on total trust. Without it, there isn’t love because deceit is not a loving act. When a lover  lies to his partner, not only does it break trust, but it also breaks hearts.  Liars lie because they believe it will preserve their relationship. It assumes the recipient of deceit cannot handle the truth, hence the truth is distorted or withheld from them. Lies not only destroy love between of a couple, but also the person who was deceived.

11 Comments

  1. I’ve read several articles written by hsm which I find extremely accurate.

  2. The only reason this article fails is because it is biased toward the assumption that men lie more than women. In my experience, everybody lies. Period. Some way more than others, and with worst of intentions. But no, neither men nor women lie more than the other.

    • It is true that women and men are capable of lying equally. I’m not sure where you find bias in the article since no gender is mentioned in the text.

    • Um, what? There is literally no reference whatsoever to gender in this article. Go read it again please. As a literate person, I take offense at your blind psychological projection onto this very well written piece of mental floss. Bravo to the author. You have my compliments! I could not have written about truth, trust and the need for it between two people who wish to share intimacy better myself. The consequences of lying to your partner are invariably unecessary and tragic. May we all find greater happiness in our relationships in the future by owning our sh*t!

      • There was at least one reference but I rewrote the text. It is extremely hard to write gender neutral in the English language. It becomes overly wordy or worse, obfuscates meaning to the reader. I would like, and hope people would understand the greater meaning of the communication without taking offense on gender language. Everything here can be written in either gender, and is still valid.

  3. If I may say that Onels concerns are not out of line, maybe instead of using a gender specific statement, maybe the use of “they, or parties ,partners” will not make it seem Gender biased. There is a reference to “he in the negative, the one who lies, and “she” as the receiver or the one effected by the “lying”.
    I did and can unfortunately relate to being the receiver of too many lying women, I am of the opinion that both sexes are absolutely capable of lying, deception.

  4. “In any relationship, it is better to be honest then to be untrustworthy. When you lie to your partner, she will lose trust in you.” – if you are going to write an article for the general public – you should assume a neutral position in gender for your audience. Men and women alike read these articles because both have experienced the pain of having a partner that lies. Playing one side or the other can make the opposite gender feel alienated as they seek answers for what they are going through. Just a tip.

    • Corrected. It’s very difficult to write in a gender neutral manner in the English language resulting in awkward “they”s. Sometimes you have to rewrite entire paragraphs.

  5. Sorry folks, women are more virtuous than men. Men don’t like to hear it, but it’s true. I would say this is particularly true in a “relationship with God” type of way. This was something expressed by the one who many people know as Jesus Christ. Yeshua stated that because of this fact, women are capable of doing things that men will never be capable of (collectively and psychically speaking). As a man, I can accept this. Why can’t all men. Most complain due to their ability to consistently attract to themselves evidence to the contrary (dishonest women).

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