I think we all tell white lies in our marriages.
Small details we gloss over or twist to avoid bigger and unnecessary fights. Maybe I am cynical but that has been my experience, and I know I’ve told plenty of white lies.
Then there are the bigger lies, the ones with the potential to blow up an entire marriage and years of partnership. I avoid those, personally.
I’m not so lucky in terms of my partner and the big, marriage-destroying lies, however. That’s what I’m dealing with now in my fairly fledgling marriage to my husband.
He’s lying because he’s having an affair, as I discovered. However, that is far from the only reason that a husband will lie.
These are the top 19 reasons that your sweet hubby will tell you ugly lies.
Why does my husband lie to me? 14 common reasons men lie
Married men lie for many different reasons. Let’s start with the most hurtful reason, which is what is currently happening in my marriage.
1) He’s cheating
Many men are loyal and don’t cheat. That’s not always the situation, though. Obviously in my case it isn’t.
I caught my husband sexting a woman online and wasn’t too happy about it. Later he admitted they’d slept together “a few times.”
That “few times” later evolved into him admitting it had actually been many dozens of times over the past four months.
It explained a whole host of lies he’d told me about his whereabouts, his work and his social life.
The pieces all fell in place: he’d been lying to give himself space to talk to and have sex with this new woman. He’d even been on a weekend away with her that I had believed was a work trip. Typical, I know.
2) He doesn’t respect you
Second up in the reasons husbands lie is a simple lack of respect.
My man lied to hide his affair and sexual adventures, but plenty of married men simply lie because they don’t respect their wives enough to bother telling the truth. This is frequently over very small things like “what did you buy at the store?” or “are you seeing Steve this weekend?”
He bought cigarettes and whiskey at the store and doesn’t really feel like telling you, so he says “just a pack of gum.”
And he knows you don’t approve of Steve due to his loudmouthed personality and heavy drinking, so he says “nah, not seeing him,” when you ask.
If he respected you, he’d just tell the truth. But he’s acting like a scared schoolkid and forcing you into the role of being his overseer, which is not what any marriage should be.
3) Do you really want to know?
There are many potential reasons why a husband might lie to his wife, including him misreading your relationship and worrying that the truth might hurt you too much to tell you. These kinds of miscommunications can fester and destroy a marriage from the inside, even when they are sometimes nothing more than basic misunderstandings.
While this article explores the main reasons a man lies to his wife, it can be helpful to speak to a relationship coach about your situation.
With a professional relationship coach, you can get advice specific to your life and your experiences…
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They have been extremely helpful to me in navigating through the lies of my husband and helping me decide whether to leave him or not. They have also helped me understand how to begin unpacking his dishonesty from the parts of him that still are willing to be honest and forthright.
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4) He’s accustomed to lying
Another of the big reasons why husbands lie to their wives is that they’ve just got accustomed to it.
Lying can be a nasty habit like smoking or using addictive drugs. You do it a few times and you see how easy and satisfying it can be, then you start doing it more and more.
What type of people lie? All types, of course, but especially those who tend to feel like the world owes them a little bit and those who are rather lazy.
They deserve to say whatever they want, because life owes them one and anyway they can do what they want. Whatever gets the job done, see?
These men are generally big boys in a man’s body. They aren’t really ready for the maturity or moral responsibility of adulthood, but they can look like they are on the outside.
Then as soon as a crisis hits, you find out they’re stuffed full of lies.
“I thought you said the mechanic said the car was perfectly fine,” you might say to your hubby as the engine clanks and refuses to start.
“Oh, that. Yeah. Well, I guess he was..uh, wrong.”
The lies can really become a hassle, especially all those unnecessary, easy lies like telling your wife the car is in good condition to avoid spending money on fixing it.
5) He wants to spare your feelings
Lies all depend on the context in which they’re told. Bedroom lies like “I just don’t know what it is,” when he can’t get hard, for example, should have their own special category.
Usually, when he goes soft before sex, this means he’s lost his desire for you.
I’m not saying always. Sometimes he really does have physical erectile dysfunction. Sometimes he really does have an unrelated porn addiction.
But more often than not, he’s lying and saying he doesn’t know why he doesn’t want to make love when he knows perfectly well.
And he wants to spare your feelings and avoid the issue himself, so he claims confusion.
These kinds of lies are very common, and they always hurt more in the long run anyway.
That said, I can sympathize in a way: how can a married man tell his wife he no longer finds her sexually appealing? It’s a pretty hard pill to swallow for anyone.
The good news is that sometimes he’s just started to find the sex humdrum or is going through a low libido stage. You can often spice things up again and turn the heat back up in the bedroom.
But it has to start with him being honest.
6) He’s given up on your marriage
Sometimes your husband is lying to you because he’s given up on the marriage and just hasn’t had the courage to say it yet.
He lies about whatever comes to mind for no real reason at all other than despair.
He’s no longer putting any effort into the marriage.
If this is the case, you’re probably feeling about as bad as I am.
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If you’re reading this article on how to save your marriage alone, then chances are your marriage isn’t what it used to be… and maybe it’s so bad, that you feel like your world is falling apart.
You feel like all the passion, love, and romance have completely faded.
You feel like you and your partner can’t stop yelling at each other.
And maybe you feel that there’s almost nothing you can do to save your marriage, no matter how hard you try.
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7) He’s an overly ‘nice guy’
Why would a nice guy lie? That question is easily answered. Nice guys live their lives to seek approval and validation from the outside.
This is part of why “nice guys” tend to have such a hard time in romantic relationships.
Because most women sense that they’re trying so hard to be liked and people please that they fear this person will be unreliable and less than honest.
Frankly, it’s often true.
Being nice gets you nowhere in life, and can often cause you to become a dishonest and slippery person who presents a perfect facade to the outer world and even your own wife while secretly being full of turmoil.
If your husband is this kind of fellow, then this can be part of why he lies.
He wants to make you happy and be your perfect guy, so he just trims away whatever doesn’t fit the picture and tells you whatever he thinks you want to hear.
8) He’s ashamed or feels guilty
There are many things guy may feel shame about and lie over other than cheating.
A brief list:
- Undiagnosed or untreated mental illness
- An accident or trauma in the past that he’s ashamed of
- A subtle disability that he hasn’t told you about such as a speech impediment or mild autism
- Dirt and baggage in the past of his family or friends which he thinks would shock or offend you
- Feelings of guilt about the divorce or relationship problems between his parents
- Past abuse or wrongdoing which he still has embedded shame about
This is only a partial list.
There are so many things in life which can make us feel shame, often very illogically.
But once a man has that feeling that he is to blame, he may lie and not tell you about these things in an effort not to shock or hurt you.
9) He no longer trusts you
Another reason why some men lie to their wives is when they no longer trust her.
My husband told me that he believed I was actually having an affair and that’s part of why he felt it was more justified for him to play around.
I wasn’t, for the record, although I did send naughty messages to a coworker a few times.
I admitted that to him, too. I think that he used that against me in justifying his affair, but I truly believe in my moral code that message flirting is not anywhere near the same as physically cheating.
Either way, when a man’s trust has been broken he can do some pretty wild things.
You can earn back your husband’s trust by showing him that you can change and making it very clear that you can, in fact, be trusted.
If you want some help with what to say, check out this quick video now.
Relationship expert Brad Browning reveals what you can do in this situation, and the steps you can do (starting today) to save your marriage.
10) He’s testing you
Women aren’t the only ones who spring a test on their significant other.
Men sometimes do this as well and they can use a lie as a useful instrument here.
For example, he may lie about what he was doing in order to make you think he couldn’t have been home and seen where you were.
He saw you weren’t home the whole time, but by lying and saying he was out with friends he’s seeing if you’ll be honest that you were out, too, or whether you’ll say you were home.
If you lie, he’ll likely begin to become a bit suspicious and wonder why you aren’t being upfront with him.
Other common “testing lies” include pretending to be oblivious about large purchases, for example, and seeing if you come clean.
“I see an extra $3,200 off the credit card this month, hun. It might have been me but I don’t remember. You know what that was,” your husband may ask.
He knows it wasn’t him, but he’s lying to try to bait you.
He’s seeing if you’ll admit to going on a reckless jewelry spending spree midway through the month or not.
11) He has a bad habit
Another common reason men lie to their wife can be when they’re covering up a bad habit that they have yet to break.
This is especially common if it’s a habit he’s sworn he’s already left behind.
- Drug use
- Heavy drinking
These sorts of vices are fairly common to men at one point or another. But if they become an addiction that can cause low feelings of self-worth and make him want to cover them up.
How many addicts have said “I swear it’s the last time,” only to relapse again the next day or the next year?
Even if it’s a year later, most addicts struggle their whole lives to truly overcome the rush they get from indulging in their addictions.
That easy access to a dopamine rush is simply too comforting and enthralling for their mind to give it up without extremely strong discipline, accountability and radical honesty.
If he’s ashamed of being so weak that his bad habit is back, he may lie to you about it and about what he’s been up.
This is so that he can pretend everything is hunky-dory and doesn’t incur the drama once again of admitting he’s back in trouble with addiction.
12) He’s afraid the truth will end the marriage
This one is a catch-22. My husband was afraid that knowing about the affair would end our marriage.
However, he also used that excuse to keep having the affair.
This is a really convoluted kind of cheater logic, if you ask me.
Anyways I found out, and him not telling me and coming clean about it earlier just hurt me and made me feel all the more betrayed.
There are men who can cheat and hide something for years and still hang onto a marriage.
I’ve never been inside their heart and soul so I can’t really comment, but I will say that I can’t imagine holding that kind of burden and never telling the person you should love about it.
You either have to no longer love them, which is sad…
Or you have to be a sociopath who just doesn’t care about basic honesty, which is scary…
13) It turns him on
Lying can be a fetish for some guys. If your marriage has become very settled and humdrum, lying to you can be a way to get kicks.
Maybe he’s not even doing anything wrong.
But he craves that dishonesty as a way of living on the edge.
Lying is a way of raising the stakes and introducing an element of risk into the marriage that night otherwise not have been there.
There are definitely men who find the turn on of cheating an extra special thrill as well.
If this is the case I’m going to go ahead and be judgmental and say that your guy has something seriously wrong in the head.
14) He wants you to be proud of him
Along with all the lies of what a man claims he didn’t do, are all the positive lies where he tells untruths about what he did do.
“Yeah I stuck to the diet today!”
“I totally am knocking it out of the park at work, hun, no worries.”
“The family problems with my dad are really fine now. I think we as a family have really resolved the stress he was feeling at his retirement home. I did everything I could to help.”
Your husband lies to you and tells you everything is fine and he’s on track because he wants you to be proud of him and craves that validation.
Saying he’s achieved his objectives and overcome challenges is the shortest path to gaining your approval and appreciation so he simply lies.
In reality the other day he ate a large extra-greasy pizza.
In reality he’s close to being fired at work and is hated by his colleagues.
In reality his dad had a nervous breakdown and has now been kicked out of the retirement home and has nowhere to go except back to live with his over-stressed sister, who blames your husband for being left in the lurch.
But he’s going to tell you that everything’s peachy, because he wants to get that pat on the back.
Bringing a marriage back to life
My husband’s lies have hurt me deeply, but I’m not ready to give up on our marriage.
Saving the relationship when you’re the only one trying is tough but it doesn’t always mean your relationship should be scrapped.
Because if you still love your spouse, what you really need is a plan of attack to mend your marriage.
Many things can slowly infect a marriage—distance, lack of communication, and sexual issues. If not dealt with correctly, these problems can metamorphosize into infidelity and disconnectedness.
When someone asks me for advice to help save failing marriages, I always recommend relationship expert and divorce coach Brad Browning.
Like I’ve been saying, Brad’s course on fixing your marriage has hands-on and really practical advice about working to improve what’s gone wrong.
Brad is the real deal when it comes to saving marriages. He is a best-selling author and dispenses valuable advice on his extremely popular YouTube channel.
The strategies Brad reveals in it are extremely powerful and might be the difference between a “happy marriage” and an “unhappy divorce”.