When I heard it, I was like, “Say what?” I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. But my immediate response was “What the @#$% does that mean?”. I went on to say “What do you mean being too honest”? And he went on to say “well, what if I don’t tell her everything?” As he continued, I just stopped him mid-sentence and said “well, first of all, there’s no such thing as being TOO honest.” But he wasn’t joking. I continued with “…then if you are not telling her everything, then you are just not being forthright and honest with her. It is as simple as that.” I recalled this conversation when I heard someone else say something similar the other day.
Trust is so important in a relationship. That is why it is imperative, if you’re going to lie to them, you must do it correctly. These are the things your Partner will be looking out for, so beware, no matter how big or how small the lie is, if you are intent on perpetuating it, here’s how to go about doing it:
- If your Partner confronts you with an uncomfortable topic you just don’t want her to know about, make certain you don’t change the rate at which you blink your eyes. Your Partner notices and picks up on these things and notices that it is different than normal. Focus on keeping your eyes blinking at the same rate.
- Don’t engage in abnormal eye contact. If you normally look someone in the eye, then make sure you look them in the eye when you lie to them. Conversely, if you normally don’t look someone in the eye, then don’t look them in the eye when you lie to them. Either way, don’t overcompensate by establishing eye contact for too long of a period of time.
- Don’t scratch (your head, your arms, your butt, your ba…never mind) as it tends to indicate a heightened state of nervousness on your part, and an awareness on theirs.
- Don’t fidget. If you don’t normally move your leg while sitting still, then don’t do so while you are lying to your Partner. Don’t be shifting your position, fondling jewelry, looking incessantly at your watch, or tapping your foot on the floor.
- Don’t be any more eerily still than you normally are. This is a human reaction to uncomfortable attempts to focus on creating an answer. Your Partner picks on these very small details.
- Don’t change your swallowing habits consciously or subconsciously. Don’t swallow in gulps or drink excessively while you are lying because changes in your saliva production occur when you lie and clues your Partner into your lying behavior.
- Any combination thereof is a bigger indication of dishonesty. The more there are, the more your Partner is inclined to believe you are lying, so all of these things you want to avoid doing.
- Make sure your actions support what you are telling them. For example. If you went to see your acting out partner on the way home from work, and it took you an hour and a half to make a 30 minute trip, make sure you have an alibi to account for that time and a reason for going there. The key here is the words and actions must be in alignment and support one another.
- Be careful of “gotcha” questions for which it is highly likely they already know what the answer is. For example, “Did you buy the plane tickets for our weekend getaway”, you better make certain that the flight is indeed sold out before your Partner is able to respond with “Well I checked on it myself and there were 93 seats available.”
- Beware of unexpected questions. These questions are those that come out of the blue, out of left field, and you better have an answer for them. For example, “Let’s go out for a simple cheap dinner date and a movie tonight” and you say “I don’t have any cash”. Make sure you have an accountability for that $100 you got out of the ATM last night and where that money went to. You don’t want them tripping you up.
- If you are responsible for the family budget, keep one set of books for yourself and another set of books for your Partner. Criminals do it all the time. That way, whatever you show your Partner will align with whatever their expectations are.
- If you are going to utilize the excuse of “I was stuck in traffic”, you better be prepared to answer to it unequivocally with details as to when and where the traffic jam occurred and that you are very much certain that there was no reason for your Partner to have been there. It would be rather awkward if they said “funny, I just drove down that same stretch of highway, and I didn’t see a thing.”
- Be deliberate and consistently normal with your story to your Partner. You do not want to tip them off with any hesitation in your voice, show any signs of anxiety, excessive pauses in your speech, etc. Maintain a level of consistency to that of your normal conversation with them. If you are accustomed to raising your voice, then raise your voice. The key here is don’t act differently than you otherwise would.
- Have a witness on standby willing to lie to your Partner on your behalf about your whereabouts. Make certain they have specific details such that whatever they tell your Partner, it will corroborate your story. More than one witness is better. The more the merrier.
By now, you’re probably wondering “why in the world would he be telling me how to lie and get away with it?”, “has he lost his mind?”, or “is he crazy?” Well, the jury is still out on “crazy”, but the reality is, I’m not. I actually enjoyed writing this segment because it was a very cynical view and opportunity for me to write a rhetorical exercise in literary composition. The reality is, while the addict may see this as a ways and means to get away with it, the Partner sees it as a way to identify the signs and symptoms of what to look for in a Partner that is a “liar”. I hate to be the bearer of bad news for you, but I’m just not interested in helping you, or on your side on this one, if you are intent on lying to your Partner. Any time that I can give your Betrayed Partner a competitive edge to fight against this, for themselves, for their relationship, that’s where my heart is. I’m on their side.
I have said this on so many other occasions before, and I will forever repeat it:
“Any time we make a decision, and that decision has the propensity to impact or influence another person, we have a duty, obligation, and responsibility to share and include them in that decision“
Aside from blatantly lying, when it comes to rationalizing withholding of information, the addict will go to any length to convince everyone else around them, having already convinced themselves, that the decision to do so is the right one. But it isn’t. The excuses are as vast as they are ridiculous.
- “What she doesn’t know won’t hurt her.”
- “If she learns this about me, she will leave me.”
- “She is so fragile, she can’t handle the truth.”
- “I only did it once while I was on a business trip.”
- “We didn’t do anything but kiss and foreplay type stuff.”
- “I can’t destroy her friendship with her best friend.”
- “I can’t tell her that I objectified and lusted after her sister.”
- “She wouldn’t understand.”
- “She is too emotionally unstable and will do something stupid.”
- “I have my family to think about, and I cannot lose them.”
Much of these parallel Denials, Excuses, & Consequences; something I have on my radar screen to address and write about later. It prohibits your Partner from having the ability to make good sound rational decisions based on truths about themselves, about their relationship with you, and about their own destiny, thus forcing them to make decisions in a vacuum because you withheld pertinent and vital information from them. It is self-righteous, self-centered, and self-serving. In short, it’s downright dishonest.
The addict, while laying claim to protecting their Partner, is only protecting themselves. Realistically, it has nothing to do with their Partner at all. It is out of fear for their own natural repercussions, their own consequences, as opposed to protecting them as they would lead, and like for, their Partner to believe. It is a very cowardly approach to justifying the lack of transparency that exists in the relationship.
“If you just tell the truth, you never have to be worried about being caught in a lie” ~ Kathy Lee Gifford
Besides, and this is the part the addict never realizes until someone shows up and enlightens their Partner as I’ve just done. It’s when their Partner is told “you know all of those weird things that have been happening in your relationship, all of those subtle things that you knew something just wasn’t right, yet you couldn’t put your finger on it? Those are all the RED FLAGS we have been preaching about.” I wrote about these in My Partner Betrayed Me: “Am I Enough?” (Part I).
So, not only is it imperative to be honest with your Partner, but it is also a good idea and self-imposed policy of honesty, integrity, and confidentiality to everyone you interact with. Withholding information is tantamount to lying by omission. As it pertains to lying, honesty is always the best policy.
“Always make the right decisions and do the right thing no matter what it cost you.”
Always tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. Then you’ll never have to worry about what you told who, when, where, and how.*
*There are three exceptions which you will find at How Can I Recover Her(His) Trust Back?