Little White Lies. Are They Beneficial to Your Marriage?

It’s Friday and that means my friend Shawn Snyder, from The Odd Couple Blog, and I are teaming up on our weekly marriage blog.  Shawn will share her thoughts (in green) on the topic through the eyes of a woman/wife, and I’ll share mine (in blue) through the eyes of a man/husband.  This week’s topic is Little White Lies.  Enjoy!

White lies in marriage

Have you ever told a “little white lie” to your spouse?  If you have never done so, you are probably one of the few.  With so many principles of marriage being disregarded in society today, the “white lie” is viewed as harmless.  Just check Wikipedia:

“White lies are minor lies which could be considered to be harmless, or even beneficial, in the long term. White lies are also considered to be used for greater good.”

Yes, you read that correctly, white lies are considered good!  I disagree…

Why we lie to our spouses

White lies can come in various forms and for different reasons excuses.  Your wife is no longer 25 and she is not fitting an outfit like she use to.  You say something that you think she wants to hear.  Your reason being, you are making her feel pretty.

Your spouse is trying to relive his glory days in sports, but his performance is not the same (so much so that you are almost amazed they ever played the game).  You tell him he “balled” out there, because a male ego is fragile.  Your reason being, you are building him up.

You are in the middle of something, and your spouse asks you a question (about anything).  You agree with whatever they say, without any thought, just so you can get back to watching the game, talking on the phone, or checking Facebook!  Your reason being, you are preventing an argument by keeping him/her from feeling ignored.

Marriage cannot stand on a weak foundation

Last week we discussed what makes a healthy marriage.  One of the main areas of a healthy marriage that we discussed was trust, and how to build trust.  Both Shawn and I, without even discussing before, determined that trust was part of the foundation of a healthy marriage.  Just like a building or a home needs a solid foundation, so do our marriages.

Lies, no matter the intent, are not foundational.  They are not something to build upon.  The day we get married, our marriages aren’t the complete structure they will eventually become.  It takes time to build a strong, functional, and wonderful marriage.  How long do you think a building, with only part of the foundation, will last?  I’m not sure, but I’m sure it will not last longer than a building with a solid foundation in place.

The truth hurts…in a good way

White lies, and lies in general, are temporary fixes that may feel good at the time, but destroy in the long-run.  The truth can sometimes hurt at first, but there are many benefits to you and your spouse when it is present in your marriage.  The truth is a building block.

We are imperfect people, so don’t beat yourself up if you have told white lies, or even if you’ve made it a habit.  Start by being honest with yourself, then with your spouse, and together begin to repair the foundation of your marriage with “truth bricks.  Don’t take this lightly or believe the lie that white lies are beneficial to your marriage.  Although it may take some time to see, they are not.

I encourage you to go through the process of building or restoring trust in your marriage and reap long-term benefits that result in a lasting marriage.

Do you agree or disagree with what I’ve said?  What are your thoughts?  Please share in the comment section below.

Shawn’s turn:

Little White Lies

How many times have you heard that telling a little white lie is okay because it keeps harmony in the home?  If a husband was to tell his wife the truth about what he thought of that outfit he would be in the doghouse for a week.  But on the other hand, if a couple starts telling each other little white lies how are they ever going to trust each other?  So, that is why we are going to look at the subject of little white lies and if it is ever okay to tell your spouse one.

To lie or not to lie

If we build off last week’s blog you will find that a healthy marriage deals with respect, trust and honor.  I do not see room in a healthy marriage for lies of any kind.  In fact, introducing the little white lie into a marriage only leads to bigger and worse lies that can destroy the fabric and framework of what most marriages stand for.  How can your partner trust you if you are willing to lie to them?  If a question is asked of you and you are afraid your honest answer would hurt their feelings find a way to answer in a positive way that would not be a lie.  If the wife asks if this dress makes her butt look big perhaps a positive answer would be, I like your curves or I prefer the color of the other dress.

Kindness & honesty

Being kind and honest can be used together and keep conflict out of the marriage.  But there are some things that the couple will need to agree on ahead of time.  If you want honesty then you have to not have thin skin and easily anger.  If you want to know if your butt looks big girls then you can not dissolve into tears if he mentions your curves or tells you he likes the color of the other dress.  He is being truthful but in his wisdom is using a tactic so he doesn’t hurt your feelings.  It is now your decision if you will accept this level or honesty or if you will become upset and angry.  Your decision will probably dictate to your spouse if they will be honest with you next time or tell a little white lie.

Tell me how you are working to keep little white lies out of your marriage.  Please share in the comment section below.



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8 thoughts on “Little White Lies. Are They Beneficial to Your Marriage?

  1. Lies are lies. True, some are better and some are worse but they’re never a good. Good is incontrovertible and constant, not something that changes with the times. Of course, there can be mitigating factors which can lessen the degree of an offense against good but the fact remains that at whatever degree, it is still an offense against the good. I know this plays out differently with different people. For example, if I ask a question I have already likely considered that the answer might not be one I like and I have chosen to ask the question anyway. For example, if I ask my roommate, “Does this make me look fat?”, I get honest answers like, “I don’t think your hips are as big as that dress makes them look,” or, “Those pants emphasize your stomach”, or, “You don’t look fat but I don’t think that shirt suits you,” or, “I think it’s fine. You only look fat in your head.” There is a sense of reassurance knowing that I can always get an honeset answer. Why would I trade that for false reassurance that I cannot trust? Spouses pledge everything to each other. I think that includes their honesty. It’s a gift to have someone that sees you for who you are, faults and all, and still commits his or her love to you.
    I’m not in a relationship but I have been and I have answered questions directly and honestly and then had to deal with hurt feelings and anger. But if I had lied instead, I know it would have eaten me up on the inside. Even those little white lies affect me greatly. I can remember the burning sense of shame that accompanied the first white lie I ever told. It’s strange that when talking about lies, people talk about relationships but often miss the crucial aspect of self. When we tell lies of any sort, we are disconnecting from ourselves. We are creating another dimension of ourselves that is someone other than who we are. Without an internal unity, how can we be expected to forge a unity with another person?
    You’re right, Jackie. One lie leads to another. We might be trying to spare someone else’s feelings but we are also trying to spare ourselves the hassle of dealing with any aftermath if we say what we are thinking. If I am told things to keep smiling as Ms Adams mentions, I would rather they be true. For example, a woman can be told she is the most beautiful woman in the world and depending on who says it to her, it can be absolutely true. That is the beauty of a spouse. He/she looks at you and sees your marvellousness magnified. (And your faults, as well but that’s the price, hehe). There is such a wealth of things spouses CAN say to each other to build each other up that I don’t see why those LWL need be dragged in.
    I am sure I can continue to express myself in greater detail but I think I’ve conveyed my thoughts adequately enough to truncate this post.

  2. I don’t think there is anything wrong with it. You know your spouse. Sometimes your spouse needs to hear LWL to keep smiling. As long as its nothing major. I say it’s harmless! Great post!

    • Thanks for commenting Sheree!

      Many people feel the same way (just like the Wiki quote). However, I feel they are damaging, because the potential to become habitual.
      Just like drinking coffee every morning to “wake up” is not major, but overtime you may not be able to stop, and that may lead to drinking it throughout the day. You depend on coffee to get thru, and it is known that the caffeine (in coffee) is not good for our bodies. Over time damage is done, albeit slowly.
      I don’t want my relationship to depend on white lies to get thru (like the coffee reference). I believe there are better ways to handle and address those situations.

  3. I think many people don’t know how to say what they really want to say without hurting their spouses feelings, so they resort to “little white lies”. It’s not really WHAT you say but HOW you say it. Example: “Do I look like I’ve gained weight/fat?” Response: “Depending on what you’re wearing, some of your clothes seem to fit a little more snug than they used to. How do you feel/what do the scales say? Baby you know I really love YOU, which means ALL of you…whether it’s more or less of you to love. But if YOU will feel better losing a few pounds, then I’ll be supportive of your efforts. If YOU decide that YOU like what YOU see, then I support that too! I love YOU….which isn’t determined by how much you weigh!” May seem like a long-winded response, but IMO…this question, from many women, is really an attempt to find out if the man they love is still attracted to them. Once she feels that he still loves her, then she’ll do what she needs to do to make herself feel better about herself. Nagging/making disparaging comments about her weight….which happens to ALL of us as Father Time passes by will only make things worse. I’ve been there….. Hope this helps someone else! : )