If you stumbled across this particular post, I would imagine there will be a wide range of opinions about what I have to say regarding the topic of whether your wife spins far too many lies and what is behind it all.

I admit, the headline is an attention grabber.  From the get go, if you really think about it, the notion that women lie far too often to their husbands is quite flawed.

The truth is that husbands lie to their wives just as often across a wide spectrum of occasions and situations.


And as to the quantity of lies that might be passing back and forth between husband and wife, it is really a function of how one technically defines a lie.

After all, we all lie, true?

Am I lying now?

I sure don’t think so.

Because the truth is we all lie.

We all lie in different ways.  Big lies.  Little lies. White lies.

Sometimes we are not even aware that what we are saying is not truthful.

And sometimes we know that what we are saying is deceitful, but we do it anyway because we wish to protect someone’s feelings.

Would that be a good lie if your wife is trying to protect you from getting your feelings hurt?

Indeed, shouldn’t she get some brownie points for looking out for your feelings?

Is there ever such a thing as a good lie?

I actually think so, though I am sure purists may disagree.  They would argue that that misstating the truth can later open the floodgates for deceitful behavior.  That might be true too, but we can all go down that road of second guessing the intended outcome.

can I trust my wife to be upfront

Sometimes we are all guilty of stretching or obscuring the truth in order to protect those we love. Though sometimes we say we are doing such a thing for the wrong reasons.

Yep, being deceitful is a tricky proposition.  So don’t be too eager to crucify your wife for not coming clean about something.  Better to trace the lie back to its source.  I will talk about that more a bit later.

Now sometimes the source of the lie will not warm your heart.  Such is the case if the lie stems from an affair.  I discussed this recently in this post….


By the way, most of the time, when your wife is coloring the truth, you won’t even know it.


Is it because women lie so much?

No, of course not.  Women are no more bigger liars than men.  I just think they are somewhat more skillful in hiding it.  But that is a long story and I won’t be going there today.  Just consider the possibility that women, including your wife, may have evolved to be a bit more clever is disguising the truth.

All humans find it within them to tell a lie far more than you probably realize or even would care to admit.

Studies have been done that show it starts pretty darn early in our lives.  I am talking like 5 or 6 years of age.  Do you ever wonder where these little kids learned to lie?  You are right if you guessed they learned it from their parents and others close to them.  But scientists also think there is an innate motivation for the little ones to lie on occasion.  It relates to self interest and also avoiding consequences.  Sounds familiar doesn’t it.  Kinda like why we adults lie!

Now some people might say that when your wife lies, she must be hiding something.  But rarely does such a blanket statement capture the truth of the situation.  Women (and men for that matter) may find it necessary to bend the truth for a variety of reasons.

And often, it is not due to her wanting to hide something from you.  What she maybe doing is trying to save you from something, namely yourself.

I have had cases in which a husband’s wife has chosen not to tell him the truth about a matter because she knows it might upset her husband’s fragile ego.

I have had other cases where the wife was merely being protective of her husband and went along with something she knew was not true.

Sometimes your wife may tell a lie simply because she is exhausted and just doesn’t have it in her to argue or debate a point.

Sometimes what you take as a lie from your wife is really just a misunderstanding or misinterpretation of the known facts.  In such cases, your spouse may not be trying to intentionally mislead you.  Rather she may just have a different memory or understanding about an event or something that the two of your previously agreed to.

is she really a liar

So just a little word of advice.

Don’t be too quick to cast that first stone if the lie doesn’t amount to something that is really important or meaningful.

We all do it.

Sometimes for good and bad reasons.

Research reveals we lie about twice a day and that men actually lie more frequently than women.  But personally, I think the frequency of lies being told is far greater, particularly if you include the fact that we often are liars to ourselves.

I decided to pose this question about lying to a bunch of guys.

Among some of the men I spoke to about this topic, the questions and comments I got ranged from the fear their otherwise reliable and trustworthy wife was hiding something to those who were insistent that they had married a compulsive liar.

For example, the men complained that…

My spouse lies about all the little things.  How can I trust her on the big things?

Something must be going on.  Usually she is trustworthy. All of a sudden I am catching her in all kinds of shady and questionable assertions about her whereabouts.

What is the best way to confront my wife? I think she is outright lying to me?

I know she just goes along with stuff to avoid conflict.  But something is up.  What can I do to get her to simply tell me what is going on?

I am disgusted with her deceit. How do I deal with my wife that is constantly hiding things from me.  I know I get crazy about this sometimes and she shuts down.  

I have lost complete trust in my wife.  Why should I believe anything she tells me?

Should we even bother to try to make this work? I am not sure I even want to be with someone who is such a liar.

As you can see from some of these statements, suspicions that one’s wife is not trustworthy and is lying can create a lot of ugly fallout.  We are often quick to anger when we think someone we previously trusted so much, has stooped to telling us untruths at ever corner.

To make matters worse,  when we are angry, we seldom see the full picture.  We can turn off our empathy and default right into playing victim.

Look, no one likes being lied to.   And if the untruths are really piling up, then most definitely something terribly wrong and the whole foundation of the marriage needs work.

But we should be reminded that lies are often told for many different reasons and if you are off playing the recrimination game or allowing your hurt feelings to never get put to bed, then you are focusing on the wrong things.

It is natural for our fertile imaginations to run wild when we suspect our spouse is lying to us.  But before you condemn your wife for her transgression, try getting to the root of why she may be lying.  That is where you want to direct the spotlight.

So let’s circle back to the question of the post.

Why do wives lie to their husbands?

Is there something you should do?  I have partially answer that.  But before we proceed further, let’s agree that we could easily remove the word “wives” and replace it with “husbands” too.

None of us are immune to the temptation to bend the truth.

We all have told a fib or two, or three, etc.  So again, don’t be so harsh in your judgement. Now I realize some lies hurt more than others.  And I am not saying you shouldn’t feel bad.  Nor am I saying that since we all lie, it should be swept under the carpet.

I am not saying those things at all.

I just think the most pragmatic thing to do is to try to trace the lie to its origin.  Then you will learn something more about what motivated the untruth and that is something worthwhile to know.  That is something you can act on so it doesn’t trigger future deceptions.

And as to the issue of married men and women lying frequently to each other, let me suggest you keep reading.  You might just gain a new insight on how to save your relationship.   Because clearly, a marriage filled with lies is one that is on the verge of crumbling down.

So What Does It Mean When Your Wife Lies A lot

liar liar pants on fire

First, let me come to the defense of women and wives.

There are a lot of men who can be difficult to live with due to any number of reasons.  This may cause their spouse to hold back from opening up.  They may be frozen with fear that a truthful utterance will cause their husband to become  unglued or more upset.

In such a case, the wife is simply trying to protect herself and the relationship from any unnecessary emotional chaos.  She may be trying to protect the kids.  Such a wife may be trying to protect her husband’s fragile ego.

I have seen plenty of relationships go sour when the husband becomes irate when he thinks the wife is hiding some deep dark secret.  Maybe he is a control freak or is obsessed and simply can’t accept the truth or is convinced there is a lie at the heart of all things. Perhaps the wife got a phone call from an old boyfriend and was afraid to say anything about it to her husband.  Maybe she goes out to have a coffee with some male friends just to catch up.  Nothing happens. But then as things often go, the truth of their encounter surfaces and everything gets blown out of proportion.

OK, so let’s say you have been married a few years and you have come to believe that your wife has difficulty telling you the truth.   The first thing I would ask you to do is question whether your standard for truth and lies is realistic.  Sometimes we can fall into the trap of being far too judgmental about matters of truth-telling.

For example, let’s say you are the kind of guy who is often jealous.  Or let’ say you are a little obsessive about everything that goes on and whether it squares with your version of the facts.  Or consider the possibility that the relationship you are in is one where the personal power balance is slanted way in your favor.

Under these circumstances, the marital environment may be such that one partner is uncomfortable with telling the other the whole truth and nothing but the truth.  So what comes off as lies and deceit from your perspective, is really a reflection of your wife’s discomfort with the communication levels in the marriage.

But what if things are not that way in your marriage.  Let’s assume there are no jealousy or obsession traps unfolding.  Let’s say that the husband is not a control freak such that the wife is afraid to say or do anything to upset the apple cart, prompting her to sometimes tell little white lies or even big whoppers.

What does one do when you discover that your wife seems to have a penchant for telling you things that are untrue?

Let’s say this is her default behavior and it is engrained in her behavior.

Well, the first thing you need to figure out is what is driving her to act this way and how long has it been going.  Is it a psychological survivor mechanism that she adopted early in her life?  Or does she have some narcissistic tendencies and lies are like lollipops.

Has she always been fast and loose with the facts since you have known her?  Or is this something new that has recently unfolded in your life together?

Does her lies compound, such that one lie leads to another, then another?

This could be a sign of a compulsion to be deceitful and is probably the worst kind of liar.  Or  it could be fear that drives her behavior.  Your wife may be guilty of telling you some really big bad lies for fear that the truth will break up the marriage.

This kind of situation may unfold if your wife has done a terrible wrong, such as having an affair or making a very important decision without your knowledge and participation.

Or you the husband could be the source of her fear.

Don’t Be So Quick To Judge Your Wife

don't judge your wife so soon

So as you can see, there are a number of reasons why your wife may find it necessary to keep the truth from you.

Often, the common denominator is fear.

That is right.  From a psychological perspective, most lies are the offspring of  fear.

Such is the case for your lies as well.

We fear getting in trouble for something.

We fear being wrong.

We are afraid of being hurt.

We fear being discovered.

We are afraid of disappointing or being disappointed.

We fear losing the one we love.

So don’t rush to judgement.   It may be that your wife is battling through her fears, however small or large they may be.

So if your wife tell you a fib, it doesn’t necessarily mean that she is a bad person or is corrupt of character.

Nor does it necessarily mean that she can’t be trusted.

Now I am not saying that it is impossible for your wife to be devious in all respects, out to primarily satisfy her own agenda.  If that is what is driving the lies, then you have a bigger problem than the collection of lies that have been told.  Being married to such a person is usually going to end badly.

Bur jumping to conclusions before you understand the underlying events or behavior that led up to her decision to deceive you would be a mistake.

Instead of casting blame, seek first to understand.

This may also be a time to for you to look in the mirror.  Is there something you have done or are doing that would cause your wife to be reluctant to tell you the truth about some matter?

How would you even know unless you explore.  Until you get to the root of where the lie has emerged, you will get no where and there will be little progress in rebuilding trust.

It is easy for us to be angered and feel hurt.  That is a primal emotion that is always lingering near the surface.  And when you discover that you are lied to by your wife, the obvious reaction is to blame and to feel like a victim.

But I would argue that while it is certainly hard to swim upstream against the tide of such emotion, you would be better off to not take the lie so personally.

If you can set aside your own ego and sense of importance and embrace a selfless demeanor in trying to understand the origins of your wife’s mistruth, you will draw closer to the truth that eventually needs to come out for trust to be restored.

Far too often I have seen relationships endure unecessary hardship because neither party showed tolerance.

Once you make that giant leap to remind yourself and accept that your wife’s lie is probably not worse than lies you have told yourself, then you have taken a big step to help make things right.


How likely is your marriage to succeed?

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One response to “Why Does Your Wife Lie To You So Much

  1. It’s a very rare occasion when I do lie. I have to keep the peace. Sometimes to tell the truth means an angry explosion in the household. He can’t handle criticism. On the other hand he lies constantly about the smallest things. A true example. I packed his lunched. I found two weeks worth of rotting lunches in the back of his truck and take out food bags with bills racking up at about 100.00/week. Of course to him it wasn’t a lie when he lied about it because it was unimportant to him. I stopped packing his lunches which earned me the title of lazy bitch.