2 Critical Things To Remember When You Discover Your Partner Lied To You

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girl talking to guy on bench

It's upsetting and it hurts when you discover that your partner has lied.

Even if the lie you catch him in is about something minor, it brings up questions.

You start to wonder what else your partner is lying to you about and whether anything he (or she) says is true at all.

If the lie you uncover is clearly a big deal, your relationship is suddenly on the line. You're now whether or not to stay with your partner. If you stay, the road to rebuilding trust is just beginning and all feels uncertain.

Without a doubt, lying of any kind damages your relationship. When you realize that your partner's actions don't match what he or she said or you come upon proof that contradicts your partner's claims, your relationship suffers.

It's a lot like when your hand brushes up against a piece of wood and you come away with a splinter. If left untended, the splinter could wedge itself deeper and deeper into your skin. The wound may become infected, leaving you with an infected finger.

Your reaction to your partner's lying could leave your relationship just as inflamed. If you try to pretend that he or she didn't lie, resentment and suspicion can fester. If you yell, scream, or make sarcastic comments, the "wound" will only get worse. 

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There are two critical things to remember when you discover your partner lied to you:

1. Make sure you have all of the facts.

Don't rely on gossip or guesses. If your partner denies lying or blames you for being "jealous" or "paranoid," you'll have nothing to stand on if you don't have reliable information. And if you're wrong, you've just damaged your relationship for no good reason.

2. Get calm before talking about it.

If at all possible, wait to confront your partner about the lie. Breathe deeply and calm down. The more you can focus clearly on the facts and on specifically what you want to change, the better chance you have of a positive outcome.

When you do talk with your partner about the lying, it's possible that he or she will get defensive and turn this back around on you.

You may hear things like:

"This is all your fault!"
"I wouldn’t lie if you didn’t get so jealous!"
"If you didn't overreact, I wouldn't have to lie!"
"You're making this all up!"
"You're crazy!"

The "splinter" gets driven even deeper when your partner blames you for his or her lying (even if there's no admission). For this reason, it's vital for you to be as calm as possible and to remain focused on saying what you need to say in a way that your partner can hear.

RELATED: Why A Relationship Needs Lying To Survive, According To Experts

Present the facts that you have and then use comeback phrases like these to turn this ugly situation around.

1. "I feel _____ when you ______."

It's powerful to state how you feel. Be specific so that your partner is not only aware of what you are referring to but also how his or her lie has affected you.  For example, "I feel angry when you lie to me about your ex texting you."

2. "I want to know _______."

If the truth about a situation is still unclear, ask. Tell your partner about the proof you have and then request more information. Say, "I overheard you telling your buddy that I'm just a booty call for you. I want to know what kind of commitment you will make to me."

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3. "Are you willing to _______?"

Repairing the damage after lying takes time. When you and your partner create conscious agreements to bring more honesty and openness, you're on your way to reconnecting and trusting again. Try, "Are you willing to give me access to your email account and cell phone so that I can see that you've stopped communicating with her?"

4.  "I expect ________."

Getting specific is key to stopping your partner's lying habit. State your expectations to set boundaries. For instance, "I expect you to talk with me first before you make a major purchase. I expect us to discuss it, consider our budget, and make a wise financial decision together."

5.  "How can I support your honesty?"

Acknowledge the ways that you might unintentionally make it unsafe for your partner to tell you the truth. If you get angry easily or are jealous, take responsibility for your share in the dynamic and start responding differently. Find out from your partner some specific ways that you can foster an environment that promotes (instead of shuts down) honesty.

Communication — especially about difficult topics — doesn't have to be difficult! 

RELATED: 6 Ways To Attract An Honest Man — And Make Him Yours Forever

Susie and Otto Collins are relationship coaches and authors who help couples communicate, connect and create the relationship they desire.