How to Deal With a Lying Boyfriend

Two Parts:Identifying When He is LyingResponding to His Lies

It can be difficult to recover when you find out your boyfriend has been lying to you. In fact, many relationships suffer from white lies or exaggerated truths early, when both people are trying to impress each other. But if your boyfriend is lying to you a consistent basis, you should identify when he is lying, think about why he may be lying, and respond to his lies in a clear and honest way. If you boyfriend continues to lie to you, even when you confront him, you may want to consider if there are issues in your relationship that are bigger than just a few small lies.[1]

Part 1
Identifying When He is Lying

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    Take note of his body language. According to behavioral specialists, people who are lying tend to exhibit certain body language cues. Look for these body language cues to determine if your boyfriend is telling a lie. For example:[2]
    • He may itch his nose often and his nose may turn red. This is known as the Pinocchio Sign, as a lie causes your cells to release histamine, which can cause your nose to itch and become swollen.
    • He may also exhibit negation cues, like covering or blocking his mouth and rubbing or putting his hand over his eyes, his nose, or his ears. He may also avoid making eye contact with you or turn his body or head away from you as he speaks.
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    Listen to his tone of voice. You may notice that your boyfriend’s regular tone of voice changes or shifts when he is telling a lie. He may also stammer, pause for long periods of time, or have unusual intonations. A sudden change in his speech patterns when he is talking about a certain subject, person, or event may be a sign that he is telling a lie.[3]
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    Notice his word choice and language. Similar to the physical Pinocchio effect, your boyfriend may demonstrate a Pinocchio effect in his word choice as well. Often, people who lie tend to use many more words when lying in an effort to hide the lie or distract you from the lie.[4]
    • According to a study by the Harvard Business School, liars tend to use more swear words when they speak, as they are so focused on the lie they neglect to use proper terms or clean language.[5]
    • Your boyfriend may also use the third person when lying to distance himself from the lie he is telling you and he may try to change the subject quickly after he has told a lie to avoid drawing attention to it.

Part 2
Responding to His Lies

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    Keep in mind the three reasons individuals lie. Though people may lie for many different reasons, in general, people tell lies to hide something from another person, to hurt another person, or to make themselves seem greater or better than they really are. It may be helpful for you to consider which reason may be motivating your boyfriend to lie to you.[6]
    • If your boyfriend is lying to you to keep something from you, it may be useful to approach his lie as a way to reveal a truth he is hiding. If you and your boyfriend are just starting to date seriously, he may lie to you to hype himself up to you and make himself seem more worthy of your attention. However, if you think your boyfriend may be motivated to lie to you to hurt you, you may want to consider if his lies are a red flag that there are other issues in the relationship that need to be addressed.
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    Avoid blaming yourself for your boyfriend's lies. If you have complained about your boyfriend's behavior before, you may feel like you are partly to blame for him covering up his bad habit or behavior. But it's important to remember that you are not to blame for your boyfriend's lies, as only your boyfriend can be responsible for his behavior. Part of being an adult in a mature relationship is being willing to take responsibility for one's own actions. Your boyfriend should be willing to take the blame for his lies and you should not feel you are responsible for his choices.
    • No one can be "made" to lie, it is a choice they make and it is their responsibility to own up to their choice. Keep this in mind as you try to deal with your boyfriend's lies.
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    Consider the context around his lie. If you catch him in a lie, or notice tell tale signs he is lying when he is speaking to you, think about what you were talking about together that triggered the lie or motivated him to lie. You could be discussing an event you were both supposed to attend together, but he backed out at the last minute, or you may be talking about a person he works with.[7]
    • Thinking about the context of the lie may also help you determine why he felt the need to lie to you. This way, when you confront him, you can explain why he think he is lying and be honest and open about your feelings.
    • There are many different reasons why people lie to their partners, and it may be useful to consider common relationship scenarios where someone may lie. For example, maybe you criticized certain bad habits your boyfriend cultivates, such as smoking or spending too much money. He may then lie to avoid disappointing you or to avoid receiving another lecture from you. He may also lie to avoid conflict or to avoid having to stop his bad habit.
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    Confront him with honesty and openness. If you have caught your boyfriend in a lie, you cannot simply demand he stops lying to you. You cannot control your boyfriend’s desire to lie to you, or his ability to lie to you. However, you can control if your boyfriend gets away with the lie. Confronting him calmly and clearly will ensure you control how the conversation goes between you both.[8]
    • Rather than tell him, “I know you’re lying” or “You are a liar”, you should give him the opportunity to be honest with you. Tell him: “I think there is something going on that you’re worried about or that you do not want me to know about. I think it’s time that we bring it out into the open so we can handle it together.”
    • This will indicate to your boyfriend that you want to be honest and open with each other and that you are not trying to accuse him of lying. Instead, you are letting him make amends and come clean on his own about the lies.
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    Discuss reasons why he may have lied. Allow your boyfriend to provide reasons for his lies, but be wary of excuses. He may have felt pressured not to be honest about his behavior because he knew you would not approve or that you would get upset if you found out. He may also be hiding an addiction or a personal problem that he does not want you to know about. Focus on ways that you can work together to try to help him deal with his issue or problem so he no longer feels the need to lie to you.
    • If your boyfriend is lying due to an addiction or a personal issue, you may suggest that he go for help in the form of AA or substance abuse counseling, or that he consider talking to a therapist about his issues. This will give him other ways to work on his personal issues without having to lie to you or to anyone else in his life.
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    Make it clear you do not appreciate being lied to. Once you have given your boyfriend the opportunity to come clean, give him time to consider his response. If he explains that he did lie to you and the reason why he lied to you, you should let him know you do not think it’s appropriate that you are being lied to. This will show you are uncomfortable and unhappy with his behavior and that you expect it will not happen again.[9]
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    Consider how the lies are affecting your relationship. At the end of the conversation with your boyfriend about his lies, it may be useful to take a step back and analyze your relationship. Though your boyfriend may offer good reasons for his lies, if he lies to you regularly, you may want to consider if his lies are signs of deeper issues in your relationship.[10]
    • You may ask yourself some questions, such as: Does your boyfriend lie to you often? Do you have difficulty trusting your boyfriend? Have you confronted him about his lying before, and seen no change in his behavior? If you answer “yes” to all of these questions, your boyfriend’s lies may be part of a destructive pattern in your relationship and you may want to consider if it is worth it to be lied to by your partner on a regular basis.

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Categories: Cheating in Relationships