The 5 Worst Things to Lie About in a Relationship

We all know lying is wrong, yet somehow even with the best of intentions lies happen — and probably more often than you’d like to admit. You may say you’d love to meet your co-worker for dinner, when there is nothing further from the truth. You may omit certain information when telling your parents the details of your weekend or tell your partner a little white lie to avoid conflict. However, there’s a fine line between a harmless lie and one that has the power to destroy the trust you’ve worked to establish with another person.

Romantic relationships are even more complicated because past romantic experiences, insecurities, fears, and jealousy all come into play. When a lie penetrates the level of trust you’ve built in your relationship, it can lead to deep hurt, crushed expectations, and may even mark the end of your relationship. If you want to keep your partnership open and honest, there are certain things you should never lie about. Here are five situations where truth reigns:

1. What you need from your partner

Same sex male couple sitting on the floor

You have to communicate to your partner what you need. | iStock.com/DGLimages

In a relationship, it’s your job to tell the other person what you need out of the relationship. You’re going to get hurt unless you communicate your expectations and needs in a clear, honest manner. If you need your partner to prioritize you more, tell them. If you need more space and alone time, just let them know. No matter how much your partner loves you, they probably aren’t a mind reader, so by being honest you’ll save yourself some hurt and disappointment down the road. In return, your partner should share his or her own requirements and together you both can build a healthy relationship that gives you both what you need. 

2. Any form of infidelity

someone on their cell phone

Don’t keep infidelity away from your partner, they deserve to know. | Thinkstock.com

This happens to the best of us. Whether it’s full on cheating or some overly flirty texts or behavior, cheating can be extremely hurtful. You may have cheated out of stupidity and all you want is to be with your partner, or you may have been motivated to cheat because you’re unsatisfied or unhappy in your current relationship. Regardless of your situation or your relationship’s future, the truth needs to come out.

Take full ownership of your actions and don’t downplay what happened or gloss over your true feelings. It can be easy to cover infidelity with half truths, but over time you can be almost guaranteed that those details you tried to hide will come to the surface, which will only hurt your partner more. Believe it or not, many relationships survive a slip up and your total honesty will preserve your relationship’s integrity and provide a chance for a happy future down the road.

3. Your real feelings

smiling couple with tablet computer on sofa

Always remain true to yourself. | iStock.com/warrengoldswain

Ever been tempted to tell your partner everything is okay to avoid a big fight? Withholding the truth is just as dangerous as a flat out lie. If your partner hurt your feelings, you need to let them know. If you don’t think you’re in love with your partner anymore, the truth needs to come out. By not being open and honest with your feelings, you’ll only build resentment towards your partner, which leads to major problems down the road. When you block off or hide your true feelings, the level of intimacy you’ve established with your partner will suffer. Lying about your feelings only shows your partner that you don’t trust them enough to show your true self.

4. That you still talk to your ex

a man putting money in his jacket pocket

Still having casual conversations with your ex could make your partner uncomfortable. | iStock.com

Relationships are rarely black and white. More often than not situations and relationships fall into that ambiguous grey space, which is why many people stay in touch with their exes after the relationship has fizzled out. Maintaining a platonic relationship with an ex is fine, but things can get messy if you don’t fully disclose the details of your friendship to your current partner. You need to be honest with your partner about the amount of time you spend talking or texting with an ex and what role your ex plays in relation to your current relationship. It may make your partner a little jealous at first, but if your relationship with your ex is guilt free, there is nothing to hide.

5. Your financial situation

Couples dancing and drinking

Not being true about your financial situation will come out sooner rather than later. | iStock.com/monkeybusinessimages

When it comes to marriage or even a serious, long term relationship, lying about the state of your finances can actually be more harmful than lying about an affair. Financial infidelity is the root cause of many breakups and divorces. Withholding information on finances can breach and break the trust you’ve established in your relationship. If you have a giant inheritance, you should let your partner or spouse know. If you’ve racked up hundreds of thousands in debt, love to gamble, or don’t want to share finances, you should tell your partner upfront.