When Is It Ok To Lie to Your Partner In A Relationship?
When, if ever, is it ok to lie to your partner?
I think it almost goes without saying that for a happy, healthy relationship to exist between two people, there needs to be a strong element of honesty and trust between the two parties. And we’re talking not only about your intimate relationships here, but with all relationships you have, including your family and friends. Without this honesty, you cannot have a healthy relationship.
And if you have a disagreement with one of these people that you’ve let into your life, hopefully this person is of sound enough mind to be able to be negotiated with. if a reasonable compromise can’t be achieved or an amicable agreement can’t be reached, well then, it’s probably best to go your separate ways.
So yeah, honesty is the backbone to all good relationships.
And lying and sneaking around behind the other persons back is usually never the way to go, in almost all cases.
But to say that there’s never a time where it’s ok to lie to your partner is missing one key aspect. And that is context.
In certain instances, it can be completely justified to tell porky pies.
Now the reason I’m writing this blog, is that recently, maybe out of pure coincidence, I’ve had a number of guys tell me stories about the girls they’re with, threatening them with violence or trying to blackmail them if they didn’t capitulate to their partners demands.
Usually what’s happened is they’ve taken a stand against the girl and it’s resulted in an escalation in theatrics and drama. So, they’ve asked me is there a better way to deal with this situation
And before I go on, I’m not out to just pick on women here. Guys pull this shit too. It’s just my client base happens to be mostly heterosexual males.
But these guys that I’m talking about have been brought up to have a moral code that states that it is never ok to lie under any circumstance. That there’s never a context in which it’s ok to lie, especially to a loved one.
It’s basically what we teach our kids when they’re young and at school, and it’s just not true.
Let’s just say, for example, you’ve got into an argument with a partner and he or she won’t remove herself from your vehicle. Or your house Either way, they’re going to sit in your car or stay in your living room until they’ve received a full confession from you and you’ve admitted guilt about something they’ve accused you of, or they’ve gotten what they want out of you.
You know that if you don’t confess or given them what they want, you’ll be sitting in your car or standing in your living room for hours and they may even start breaking things, or even worse, begin to physically assault you.
In this context, you are completely justified to lie to them and tell them whatever they need to hear, in order to de-escalate the situation, so they will remove themselves from your car or your house and the immediate danger to your wellbeing and your property is reduced.
Once they have removed themselves from your property and no longer hold any immediate power over you, you can contact them to tell them the truth.
You can say to them “Hey, just to let you know, I lied to you in order to get you to leave. But now that you can’t blackmail me, I’m going to be honest with you”.
Yes, in this scenario, they will of course accuse you of being a liar and call you all sorts of names, but morally, your lying is completely justified. Because you don’t owe them anything in that moment. They are trying to use your own sense of morality and ethics against you, to force you under duress to act in a way that is against your wellbeing. And this instantly disqualifies them from being entitled to any sense of morality from you.
You are not under any obligation to honour any agreement you make under duress. You have a right to do what it takes to reduce your level of genuine suffering. It’s written into the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
In this scenario, your right to safety overrules her right to the truth.
IF you are being coerced, or forced into doing something or saying something while you are under duress, like if you are being blackmailed in some way, you have a moral obligation to yourself to do whatever is necessary to remove yourself from that situation.
It’s literally no different to a forced confession. If you don’t agree to admit to something the consequences will be devastating for you. So, you aren’t free to provide accurate, objective information of your own free will. So essentially, it’s in everybody’s best interest that you get yourself back into a situation where you can give honest, truthful information without fear of reprisal.
When someone is exerting control over you and the result is causing you suffering or discomfort, and they are aware of this discomfort you are experiencing and using it to their advantage, you completely have the right to do whatever is necessary, including lying, and in other cases even defending yourself using physical force, to ensure your wellbeing.
Now, I’d like to add that, if you are regularly getting yourself into situations such as the one I’ve just described, I think it probably well overdue to do some deep soul searching as to why you allowed this individual, who is clearly not a high quality person, into your life in the first place.
If you are finding yourself constantly in situations where the people you choose to associate with are using your sense of morality or your kindness against you, then it might be time to make adjustments to the code you live by, and look at removing these people form your life.