How to Tell When Your Partner Is Lying to You

You live them, talk to them every day, and reveal your honest hopes and dreams with them. Yes, the trust we put in our partners is no laughing matter — but if you feel as if your other half may not be telling you the truth, you’re not alone. And when it comes to lying, there are plenty of indicators that let you know what you’re hearing may not be totally sincere.

Here are signs you need to know that could mean your partner is lying to you.

Watch for changes in behavior

Couple in a fight

Couple in a fight | iStock.com

It’s true that everyone tells little white lies from time to time — but if there’s something more to suspect here, watch your partner’s body language. Relationship expert Rachel Sussman tells Insider that you should look for changes in behavior first and foremost. Are they more cuddly than usual? Do you notice they’re on their phone more often? Are they posting information to social media that seem different than what they’d typically add? They could be hiding something from you.

You can also ask close friends if they notice a change in behavior in your partner. And if someone close to both of you tries to tell you something’s amiss, don’t ignore their claims. They have important information, and you should hear them out.

Look at your partner’s body language

Terri Orbuch, Ph.D., tells Psychology Today that when people are lying, it’s very common for their bodies to become out of sync with what they’re saying. They may find themselves unable to look you in the eyes while they’re talking, or they may lean away from you. Verywell says a lying partner may also be more likely to rub their eyebrows, touch their chin, play with their hair, sit with crossed arms, or remain very rigid in posture.

Before assessing your partner’s body language, take note of how they are when they’re relaxed. If they don’t normally look you in the eyes when they’re talking, then don’t think of their eye contact avoidance as a sign they’re lying, for example. The biggest indicators of dishonesty come from atypical behaviors.

Listen to how they’re responding to you

Couple having relationship problems

Couple having relationship problems | Astarot/iStock/Getty Images Plus

It’s not just their body you should be paying attention to. Is your partner using odd word choice and sentence structure when answering your questions? Are they stalling the conversation? Or, are they accusing you of lying to cover their own tracks? These may all indicate a lying partner.

As Dr. Orbuch says, “When people are lying, they often speak hesitantly or in a higher pitch, and they make more grammatical errors and slips of the tongue than when they are telling the truth.” You may also notice their facial expressions don’t match what they’re saying.

Should you tell your partner if you think they’re lying?

Maybe you have good reason to think your partner is lying, but you have no idea how to approach the situation. You’re not alone here — and experts have varying advice when it comes to approaching a potentially dishonest person. Verywell says in some cases, you may be better off waiting to start a conversation. It could be beneficial to get all the facts and information you possibly can regarding the situation at hand before you approach your partner.

On the other hand, you may find it difficult to hold yourself back, especially if you and your partner are open and honest with each other to a fault. If this is more your personality, some experts believe it’s best to lay it all out on the table. If you choose this route, make sure to enter the conversation without any shame or judgment. This will create a safe environment where your partner may feel more open to the idea of telling you any hidden truths.

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