Small lies, big lies, little white lies. At the end of the day, they are all lies. They hurt just the same and they all can leave a slow path of destruction. In your mind they may resemble the latest hurricane, crossing your heart and ripping apart the life you thought would take you into the nice, warm sunset.
Relationships require honesty, but it takes both partners defining the term honesty to actually have an honest relationship. Sometimes relationships are like being back in high school, learning new terminology and the various ways it may be interpreted. It is well worth your time to spend some time studying.
Dishonesty may rear its head in many facets of a relationship. Even though a lie is a lie, there are different levels of deceit that accompany it. Will it really be catastrophic if your spouse tells you he had two brownies versus four but then bakes another batch just for you out of remorse? That may be perfectly fine when it comes to brownies, but when it comes to deceitful lies that have long term repercussions, the damage can be staggering.
There are different forms of infidelity
A small web of lies tends to lead to a larger spider if you listen carefully. Infidelity can be masked as so many different things when the person doing the lying fully believes their own words.
I have heard of spouses that see online dating as just virtual communication between two people. In other words, to them it doesn’t meet their definition of cheating so therefore, no harm is done; unless you are the victim of the action.
The definition of infidelity may not be the same for the cheater as you
Semantic games are head games that cheaters excel at. You must ask the accurate question in order to get an honest answer.
Confronting a spouse with a history of word games and expecting them to answer a direct question with integrity is like trying to stop the ocean from pulling the sand into its depths. So when a suspected spouse says, “no, I’m not cheating. I don’t have a girlfriend,” you probably asked the wrong question.
His answer is “technically” true based on his definition of cheating and girlfriend. So, in his mind, he is right and honest. In the semantic game, this may translate to “we talk online so that’s not cheating and how can I have a girlfriend? I’m married.”
Do not get lost in the game
Simply listen. An unfaithful spouse can only play the game as long as he has another participant. Listen for the lies. Listen to the definitions of their actions.
They will tell you everything you need to know. You should not live your life having to monitor each word just to get honesty. Know your definitions. Even the little ones.
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More by Tracy Crudup