The Truth About Lying

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“Lying is done with words and also with silence.” ~ Adrienne Rich

broken heartPeople lie for many reasons. Generally it is because they feel someone would be mad or upset with them if they knew the truth. What this means is that they betray the trust of another to protect themselves from the consequences of their behavior.

The minute one does this the relationship with the other is compromised. The one who lied now has to pretend. They have to pretend that what they said was really true. They have to pretend they have been honest.

The one who lied also has to carry guilt. They must carry the knowledge that they have been dishonest to someone they care about, and who has complete trust in them. If this happens in a love relationship , it can be very dangerous.

Dangerous is a strong word, but I use it because I have seen relationships irreparably damaged when the lie is discovered. Once one has shown he or she is capable of lying, his or her word can never again be trusted as it once was.

Furthermore, the partner agonizes over how many other lies there may have been in the past. The lie has thus contaminated both the past and the future. The entire relationship has tilted on its axis, and while work can be done to regain trust, things will never again be quite as they were.

What is the bottom line? Obviously it would be to not do things you will have to lie about. If you are doing something of which your partner would disapprove, he or she has the right to know, and to make decisions accordingly. You may fear that telling the truth would jeopardize the relationship. However, accountability is about not doing the things that would jeopardize the relationship in the first place.

Copyright © Gwen Randall-Young, All Rights Reserved. Contact us if you would like permission to reprint.
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