Nothing will damage a relationship faster than breaking the trust that holds it together. When you aren’t able to trust your partner fully (or vice versa), it affects everything from the way you communicate to your intimacy.
Most people can probably agree that lying in a relationship is never a good thing. But, when most people think about lying, it’s easy to focus on the “big” things, like infidelity or lying about money.
It’s only natural to gloss over how little white lies can damage a relationship just as severely. When you tell yourself that a little lie is no big deal, and permit yourself to use it, you’re creating a tactical plan to lie to your partner about something. Chances are, if you have to think about the lie that much, it’s a bigger deal than you’re willing to admit.
With that in mind, let’s go over some of the most common white lies that will damage your relationship.
“I promise I’ll give it up…”
Most people have bad habits, but if your pattern is harming your relationship, it’s probably something you and your partner have discussed.
Whether it’s smoking, drinking, or even something as simple as laziness, don’t make hollow promises to your partner if you don’t intend to make genuine changes. Not only are you giving them false hope, but you’re letting them down each time you don’t follow through.
Unfortunately, promises like these are easy to make again and again with no real aspirations to do anything differently. Break the cycle and either change the habits or stop making false assurances.
“You’re the only one for me…”
If you genuinely feel that your partner is the only person you ever want to be with again, that’s great! Unfortunately, people tend to use this little white lie when they’re already under suspicion.
Maybe you’ve been looking at other people a little too closely. Perhaps you’ve even been texting someone else or meeting up with them. If your partner has raised suspicions and you feel the need to lie to cover yourself, it could do more harm than good.
It’s better to be honest about how you feel, especially if you’ve got eyes for someone else. Stringing your relationship along will only make it worse for both of you.
“I’ll call you…”
This falsehood is more of a white lie that will damage a relationship in its early stages, but the same principle applies no matter how long you’ve been with someone.
Simply put, if you tell someone you care about that you’ll communicate with them, do it. Again, making an empty promise isn’t good for anyone. You might think you’re protecting their feelings at the moment, but you’re just trying to get yourself out of an uncomfortable situation by promising something you don’t intend to do.
So, if you’re new to a relationship and you don’t feel a real connection, be honest with that person instead of leaving them on the hook. If you’re already in a committed relationship, keep the promises you make, no matter how simple and small they might be.
Eventually, those white lies will catch up to you. More often than not, lies get “found out.” That’s how trust gets broken, and that’s ultimately what will damage a relationship—sometimes beyond repair.
White lies are dangerous and damaging. They should be avoided just as much as their larger counterparts. If your relationship is struggling because of white lies or you’re not sure how to fully express yourself, feel free to contact us or visit our page on couples counseling to learn more. We’re happy to work with couples in the Oakland, CA area.