Honesty with your partner builds trust and intimacy-and we all value honesty in our relationships. We also expect that in trusting relationships, both partners are totally honest and open with each other. When one partner has secrets or withholds information from the other partner, it violates the expectations of a trusting relationship.
But studies show that most people tell at least one lie per day. The lies may be small and harmless or they may be big and serious. But even the harmless ones can destroy a relationship if they're sufficiently frequent.
To start, it's important to know why people lie. Most of the time, people lie to their partner when they don't feel safe telling the truth. They fear disapproval or rejection from a partner so they think it's easier to avoid the truth! They may also lie because of embarrassment or guilt that they did something wrong or an action that they know violated the expectations of trust and commitment in a relationship.
There isn't one sign that always indicates a person isn't telling you the truth, but there are patterns in how they behave. If you discover one or two signs, they are likely meaningless. But if you see enough of them repeatedly, that is when it becomes a significant pattern. Not surprisingly, studies show that women are better at detecting lies than men. Women are more likely to pick-up on the nonverbal messages or signs that their partner isn't telling the truth.
Here are some signs that your partner might be lying to you.
1. Becomes Evasive. At first, your partner may avoid outright lying and just become evasive. If this is not how your partner typically behaves, then it can be a signal that something is up. It may feel like pulling teeth to have a conversation. When asked direct questions, your partner may avoid answering the questions or say "I don't know".
2. Speech Patterns. When people are lying, they often speak hesitantly, in a higher pitch and they make more grammatical errors and slips of the tongue, than when they are telling the truth. Also, when people are lying, there are discrepancies or mismatches between their tone of voice and their facial expressions. Your partner may even cover his or her mouth while talking. It's as if they're subconsciously repressing the untruths they're saying. It may be as blatant as completely concealing the mouth or as subtle as a single finger placed in front of the lips.
3. Body Talk. On many occasions, when your partner is lying, the mouth and the body are not in sync. The words sound convincing, but everything else about the body sends a very different message. Also, if your partner can't look you straight in the eye this may also mean he or she has something to hide. When people are lying, their pupils dilate and they blink more often.
What should you do if you suspect that your partner is lying? First, you want to try to understand the reason behind the lie. Most of the time, this is more important than the content of the secret or deception itself. Then, you need to have a conversation with your partner-a trust chat. Pick a good situation to talk to your partner, without the distractions of children, television or work. Go to your partner without judgment or shame, and talk to him or her about honesty, trust and secrecy. Share your concerns and see how he or she responds. Your partner's reactions to your concerns will say a lot.