Your Marriage: 3 Big Lies Married Couples Tell Each Other
Do you remember the first lie you told as a child? The first one where you knew you were lying and what lying meant?
I do. I was probably 4 or 5. I’d done something my parents told me explicitly not to do. And of course I got hurt. When asked how I’d hurt myself, I lied. I couldn’t even look them in the eye as I headed to bed. I lay there, the weight of heavy conviction making me feel as if I couldn’t breathe. I started crying. Jumped out of bed and confessed.
I didn’t want to ever feel that way again.
Do you remember the first lie you told your mate? I’ve never lied to my mate, you say. I hope you’re right.
Still, there are three big lies married couples tend to tell each other. Chances are you’ve told them, too, even if you didn’t realize it. They are:
Recognize any of these? Sure, given the right situation, any of these can be true. However, so often they’re not.
Your husband hurts your feelings. What’s wrong? he asks. Nothing, you answer.
Your wife senses you’re upset when you arrive home from work and asks you about it. I’m fine, you say.
I’m okay. We throw that one around, don’t we? An effective way to avoid answering a pointed question, to dodge the real issue or hide our true feelings.
I’m not suggesting we whine and complain, vying for sympathy from our mate over every little hangnail or everyday struggle.
Yet, if the problem is a simple hangnail, why don’t you want to say so?
See, the lie is only part of the problem. The real problem is why we don’t want to tell the truth, and how we rationalize telling lies instead of truth.
I didn’t really lie, you say. I just, didn’t tell the whole truth.
I’ve got a verse for that. Years ago, God smacked me upside the head with it. Unlike a lot of other verses in scripture, various translations of this one are strikingly similar.
Matthew 5:37 (ESV) says this:
Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything more than this comes from evil.
Say what you mean, mean what you say, and be clear about it.
This verse doesn’t leave room for blatant lies, lies by omission, or partial truths.
Should we be careful when sharing a truth that can cause conflict? Yes. Should we be sure we’re in God’s timing and have a godly attitude? Yes.
Honesty and trust are dependent co-workers. You can’t have one without the other.
A spouse who uses these three lies gives his mate false information. If she believes him, she thinks he’s fine when he’s not, she’ll offer no counsel, no prayer, no comfort. If she doesn’t believe him, then she knows he’s lied and may or may not know why. Both scenarios undermine trust and her bond with him. Can she believe him next time? Can she believe him about anything? Why does he feel the need to lie? How can he lie to her at all?
Again, the problem isn’t the words themselves, but why they’re used to cover or hide.
I’ve seen these lies ruin marriages. Christian marriages that were once strong, marriages that started out with each mate telling others what a gift from God their spouse was.
But the lies seeped in and undermined the foundation of the marriage.
The next time you’re about to use one or more of these responses, try to catch yourself. Ask yourself why you want to use them. Are they appropriate and truthful, or are you really lying?
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Key words: Shellie Arnold, your marriage, communication in marriage, lying, honesty, Matthew 5:37, nothing’s wrong, everything’s fine, I’m okay, lies by omission, relationship advice