Most women want to know why men lie. There are two big issues men lie about personal matters and relationship issues. Plus, there are six reasons men lie. In this article, we will cover those six and unpack how it affects relationships.
Why do men lie? It’s a question that has been asked since the beginning of time, and one that still doesn’t have a clear answer. There are a million theories out there, but the truth is, we may never really know why men lie.
It could be argued that men lie because they want to avoid conflict or hurt feelings. Maybe they lie because they’re afraid of the truth. Or, it could be that men simply don’t know how to communicate their feelings honestly.
Whatever the reason, it’s clear that men lie more than women. In fact, studies have shown that men lie about twice as much as women. And, while there are always exceptions to the rule, men tend to lie more about trivial things, while women are more likely to lie about important matters.
So, why do men lie? It’s important to remember that not all men are liars. And, even when they do lie, it doesn’t always mean that they’re bad people (although the truth is always best).
Honesty is more than not lying. It is truth-telling, truth speaking, truth living, and truth loving.James E. Faust
Let’s start by looking at the most common reasons men lie.
In This Article
- What Men Lie About
- Why Men Lie
- How Lying Impacts Marriage
- Final Thoughts On Why Men Lie
What Men Lie About
I break this down into two categories. I’m sure this is over-simplifying the matter, but it helps organize my thoughts and gives you insight into the lies men tell.
Lies About Personal Issues
Readers Digest recently did a story on the top 10 lies men tell. Here is their list:
- Their height & weight
- Their feelings
- Their sexual performance
- Their mistakes
- Their fantasies
- Their mental state
- Their past relationships
- Their anger
- Their needs (especially for intimacy)
- Their income
Most of these fall into the first category of personal issues.
In my opinion (after working with hundreds of men), most men struggle with being honest about their feelings and emotional needs.
While men and women experience emotions differently, both sexes have emotions.
Knowing how to relate to their spouse on an emotional level (learning how to express emotions) can be challenging. For many men, it’s easier to bury it and keep it a secret.
Lies About Relationship Issues
This second category is more complex. Mainly because the lies associated with this list have a greater impact on other people in your life.
It’s one thing to lie about your height. No one is ‘damaged’ by that lie. Unless you are applying for a job as a jockey. Then height and weight matter.
Lying about relationship issues, however, can have a negative impact on those relationships.
The three biggest areas of relationship lies are:
These are related to the three most common problems for which couples seek counseling: sex, money, and communication.
Men lie about work
There could be a number of reasons why men lie about work. It could be because they are embarrassed about their job or don’t want to admit that they are struggling. It could also be a way to make themselves feel more important or to impress others.
In some cases, it could be simply because they don’t want to tell the truth because it’s easier to lie. Whatever the reason, it’s important to be honest about work and not try to cover up the truth.
Men lie about money
There are a few reasons why men might lie about money. They may be trying to impress someone, or they may be trying to hide their financial situation from others. Additionally, some people may lie about money because they are trying to avoid paying taxes or because they are trying to hide their assets from a divorce settlement.
Additionally, money represents power. And people who have power may be more likely to lie in order to maintain it. This can cause them to exaggerate their financial situation or even make up stories about their wealth in order to appear more successful than they actually are.
Men lie about sex
Perhaps they are not getting enough sex and so they want to appear more sexually experienced or desirable than they actually are. Maybe they are cheating on their partner and they want to cover up their infidelity. It could also be that they are embarrassed about their sexual performance or lack thereof and so they lie to avoid being ridiculed.
Whatever the reason, men who lie about sex are likely doing so because they feel that it will make them look better in some way.
Many men fear they will be judged because of their desires, wants, and needs in the bedroom. They believe that if they admit to having certain fantasies or enjoying certain sexual acts, they will be seen as deviant or perverted. As a result, they lie about their sexual interests and preferences in order to avoid being judged.
This is not to say that all men lie about sex; there are certainly many men who are honest about their sexual desires and needs. However, there are also many men who feel the need to lie in order to avoid judgment or to appear more sexually desirable.
For an interesting study on the lies men tell about sex, visit Why He Lies: What Men Want You To Know But Will Never Tell You.
Why Men Lie
The most common lie is that which one lies to himself; lying to others is relatively an exception.Friedrich Nietzsche
Men lie for many reasons. In this section, let’s address the six biggest reasons men tell lies.
While I agree that there are levels of lying (and not all lies are evil), it is not good to keep things from your spouse. Lying also damages your relationship because it affects your trustworthiness
I’m sure we can agree there is a difference in withholding your opinion on a new dress or a new hairstyle is different than withholding information about having dinner with an old girlfriend. Neither lie is optimal for the relationship, but one is certainly more damaging than the other. I hope that’s obvious.
Here are six reasons men lie.
1) Men Lie To Protect Their Ego
Let’s be honest, most men have egos better sensitive. We care about what other people think about us.
When I hear someone say “I don’t care what people think about me” I usually assume that’s their ego talking and they really do care. They are simply putting forth a persona that says I don’t care .
Lying to protect our ego is probably the number one reason men tell lies. It comes from the desire to be thought of in a certain way.
We don’t want people to feel less of us. And we want them to feel positive about us. So to protect the persona we put forth, we lie.
For example, a man wants his peers to view him as successful, so he exaggerates his income or his position. This protects his ego.
It’s dangerous to categorize lies, yet, for the sake of clarity, we’ll put these in the list of white lies. Perhaps because they are so common that we just accept them as normal.
Because we want to be seen as good people, we hide the flaws in our life. We protect our egos. And it often leads to little lies that make us appear to be better than we are.
2) Men Lie Because Of Guilt and Shame
Most people have things in their past that they’re ashamed of. Events and situations they’re embarrassed about. It’s safe to say that we’ve all done things we regret.
Sometimes or tempted to lie about those things because we don’t want to have to relive them by sharing the details.
In other words, many men lie because they’re simply too embarrassed to tell the truth.
These lies can take the form of withholding details or out-and-out misinformation. In either case, it’s a matter of hiding our shame and covering our guilt.
A Better Solution
Rather than keeping secrets or lying about your past, I think there’s a better way when it comes to marriage.
A quick example may help:
My wife and I both come from previous marriages. There is pain involved in a divorce. That’s one reason we are so passionate about helping people create a healthy marriage. We’ve both been in unhealthy relationships.
When we first started dating, we talked a lot about our past, previous marriages, and how we were raised. As we explored the details of our past wounds, hurts, and failures, we realize some things were painful to share.
We made a decision to allow one another to leave the past in the past. This required us to trust one another to discuss issues that could impact our relationship in a negative way. But he gave one another the freedom to not have to relive the past.
If those past events creep into our present, we talk about them. But we give grace and realize where the past should stay.
This keeps us from reliving shame and guilt and allows us to live the truth with one another.
3) Men Lie So They Don’t Worry Their Spouse
I know of one man who didn’t tell his wife about an illness because he didn’t want her to worry. It’s obvious from hindsight that this was not a good decision, but his motive was to protect his wife.
Many men don’t ‘fess up‘ on some things, not to hurt their spouse, but to keep them from undue stress.
Sure, the man who kept his medical condition from his wife only prolonged the stress; but in many situations, men feel it is best to deal with things in private instead of causing their spouse to worry.
Men, in general, are more private in expressing their emotions. The times, this leads us to believe we’re protecting when in reality we’re withholding.
It’s easier to put on a good front and pretend like business is booming when in reality you’ve had a bad month at work. To keep our wife from worrying, we project that everything is okay.
In reality, many times we’re missing the blessing of partnership. Our spouse can actually support us and love us through the tough times if we’re open and transparent. This is one of the fundamental ways trust is built.
But many men lie because they think they’re doing their spouse a favor and protecting them.
4) Men Lie Because Of Fear Of Rejection
My wife has a ministry to women. One of the biggest issues she addresses with women is rejection. But rejection has no gender. Men feel the sting of it just like women.
Some men lie because they feel if they tell the truth they will be rejected. They fear rejection. It keeps them from honesty, openness, and transparency.
In order to have a healthy marriage, we have to make room for love, acceptance, and forgiveness. These are the weapons that fight rejection.Some men lie because they feel if they tell the truth they will be rejected. They fear rejection. It keeps them from honesty, openness, and transparency. Click To Tweet
We encourage couples to keep short accounts with one another and forgive often.
Creating an atmosphere and environment where your spouse is unconditionally loved and accepted will defeat the temptation that’s brought about by fear of rejection.
If you find yourself telling lies, even little ones, because you’re afraid of being rejected, it’s a sign. A sign you do not feel accepted and loved.
If this is the case, it’s time to have a heart-to-heart conversation with your spouse concerning this.
5) Men Lie Out Of Procrastination
Procrastination is most often associated with avoidance and laziness. It is also a source behind some lies.
Some men lie because they are simply putting off difficult conversations.
Back to the example I used previously of a man who doesn’t want to worry his wife about finances; instead of having a difficult conversation. He kicks the can down the road to avoid feeling uncomfortable. He procrastinates hoping things will get better.
There are certainly times when getting bogged down in the details and rehashing issues over and over is counterproductive, if you are lying out of avoidance you could just be prolonging the inevitable.Creating an atmosphere and environment where your spouse is unconditionally loved and accepted will defeat the temptation that's brought about by fear of rejection. Click To Tweet
Many men lie to avoid uncomfortable situations.
6) Men Lie To Cover Indiscretion (They Keep Illicit Secrets)
This is by far the worse reason to lie. It will destroy a relationship. Covering up secrets and indiscretions are signs of infidelity and unfaithfulness.
If you are lying and keeping secrets because of unfaithfulness you are damaging your relationship and hurting your spouse. The covenant of marriage requires trust. That is broken. The very fabric of the relationship comes undone.
A strong marriage cannot be built without the foundation of trust. Infidelity destroys that foundation. It is the worst of lies that men tell.
How Lying Impacts Marriage
Man is not what he thinks he is, he is what he hides.André Malraux
As we’ve seen, not all lies put your marriage in jeopardy. They can chip away at the foundation of trust, but they are not all deadly.
Please do not interpret this as a license to be deceptive with your spouse. That is not at all the point.
Like most things in life, the degree of damage is based upon the degree of the deception.
Lying is one of the most damaging things that can happen to a marriage. Once trust is broken, it is very difficult to rebuild. Honesty is the foundation of a strong and healthy relationship, and without it, a marriage is likely to crumble.
Lying can cause a great deal of pain and mistrust. It can also lead to feelings of insecurity, jealousy, and resentment. If you lie to your spouse, it will eventually catch up with you and can destroy your marriage. It’s simply not worth it.
Even though there may appear to be a difference in a white lie and a more significant one, both types of lies can damage your relationship. If you want to have a happy and healthy marriage, be honest with your spouse. It’s the only way to build a foundation of trust.Lying also takes a toll on your mental and emotional health. It can cause anxiety and stress and can lead to depression. Click To Tweet
Lying also takes a toll on your mental and emotional health. It can cause anxiety and stress and can lead to depression. When you lie, you are not being true to yourself, and that can have a negative impact on your sense of self-worth.
We’ve all heard the old adage, honesty is the best policy; this is especially true in marriage. If you want to have a happy and healthy relationship, be truthful with your spouse. Lying will only lead to pain, mistrust, and eventually, the end of your marriage.
Final Thoughts On Why Men Lie
Men lie for a variety of reasons. They may lie to avoid conflict or to make themselves look better. Sometimes, men lie to protect the feelings of others. Whatever the reason, men are more likely to lie than women, according to recent research.
We discussed the two big areas men are secret about, and six reasons men lie. We concluded with a look at how lies affect your marriage.
- What Men Lie About
- Why Men Lie
- How Lying Impacts Marriage