What To Do When Someone Lies To You In A Relationship

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Upset couple
Heartbreak

That feeling you get when you find out your partner has been lying to you is so awful it makes you feel sick, and it can be hard to figure out what to do when someone lies to you in a relationship with so many emotions running through you.

You’re angry. You’re hurt. You’re sad. You’re disappointed.

Thoughts like "This is it" may be going through your head. You are fearing this is the end of your relationship because it’s supposed to be built on trust, yet here is your partner openly lying to you. The relationship has become damaged. 

Trust in a relationship is essential. If you don't have that then what do you have?

You want to scream. You want to shout. You may want to beat up a pillow to get all of that aggression out of you.

We feel you. But that's not going to change what happened and it won’t make you feel any better.

Knowing exactly what to do when someone lies to you in a relationship will differ from person to person and relationship to relationship, but here are some general tips.

RELATED: How To Tell If Someone Is Lying To You

1. Determine if the lie is important.

There’s a spectrum of lies. You've heard the phrase "little white lies," yes? Well, a lie about being late is different than a lie about where your partner has been.

Some lies hold more weight than others. You wouldn’t want to blow up on your partner when they lied in order to keep a secret surprise party from you, now would you? 

You need to distinguish if this lie was hurtful or deceitful with mal intentions.

As Ronnie Ann Ryan, Love and Cosmic Coach says, “If the lie hits deep core values and destroys trust and a feeling of safety, then it needs to be addressed immediately.”

2. Don’t run to other people first.

You may want to run to other people like a family member for advice, but you shouldn’t do this immediately. You should keep this between you and your partner in the beginning.

You need to know the facts. After you have spoken with your partner about it, then you can ask other people for advice if you feel that is what you need/want to do.

Relationship coaches often suggest that relationship problems should usually be kept between you and your partner for you both to figure out what is best for the relationship. Others may have their opinions, but they aren’t in the relationship, so they only have one perspective of it and can often be biased.

However, it can be beneficial to get an outside perspective from a licensed professional like a clinical psychologist, therapist, or counselor who specializes in relationships.

3. Call them out calmly.

When your partner is lying to you then call them out on it. Many relationship experts will agree that you need to confront in a calm matter though.

I know you may be angry or feel hurt, but letting your emotions run wild when you haven’t heard their side of the story isn’t the best for your relationship. Your partner isn't going to open up when you're screaming at them. You need to be calm when addressing the problem so that your partner feels comfortable enough to share the truth with you.

So point out that they are lying, and then take a beat. Wait for their response and take it from there.

RELATED: 10 Lies Your Guy Is Telling You — And What He's Hiding

4. Ask them why they lied.

People lie for so many reasons. Whether it’s to hide something or just because they want to. There is always a reason behind it, so ask them why they lied to you.

We’re all curious beings and you will want to know why your partner has been lying to you, but in order to do that, you need to listen to them.

Ryan says, “be quiet and let the person talk. Really listen so you can decide how to react.”

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Waiting for their response also puts them in the hot seat, it makes them have to answer you. Who knows? Maybe their answer will help uncover the root of the problem that you can both work together to fix in the relationship. 

5. Decide if it’s worth it to stay.

When you have caught your partner lying, it can cause you to question if you can truly trust them again. Trust is one of the main foundations of a relationship and without it, the relationship will crumble.

You need to make the decision after gathering all the facts about what you want to do and ask yourself, "Can you trust your partner at the end of the day?"

With a little white lie, you may be able to move past and dismiss it with a slap on the wrist. But if the lie was significant you may need to really think about possibly leaving the relationship, even if you guys have been together for a long time. 

Ryan says, “Keep in mind liars tend to continue to lie because it’s how they operate. So it’s hard to be in a healthy loving relationship with mutual respect when one person lies often.” Cheaters cheat, and liars lie.

So if you have found your partner is lying, it may not be the end of the world and you might be able to fix things. Trust is incredibly hard to rebuild, but it’s not impossible, especially in long-term relationships. 

However, if your partner lies to you continually and the behavior becomes a pattern… well, there are only so many chances you can give a person. So take a deep breath and cut the cord. Go find someone who appreciates you enough to tell you the whole truth.

RELATED: 8 Sneaky Ways To Catch A Liar

Deauna Nunes is an assistant editor who covers pop culture and news & entertainment for YourTango. She's been published by Emerson College's literary magazine Generic. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.