Following on from our last blog post where we started talking about how to avoid white lies in relationships, we’re now going to take a look at exactly what you can do if you’ve already lied to your partner, and realise that this little white lie (as it seemed the time) could actually come back to affect your relationship in a very negative way. If you think that the topic is serious enough to bring up and discuss with your partner honestly, you may be where a lot of people are at this point – not sure of the first steps to take. So what do you do? How do you make sure that your relationship doesn’t suffer from one little mistake?
Well, like a lot of situations – I like to take what might seem difficult and break it down into simple steps so that you have an easy plan you can keep to if you find yourself in this situation. So let’s take a look at the four steps to fixing relationship lies:
Step 1: Take A Seat: Similar to the recent blog post I wrote on how to go about solving any argument, the first step you need to take is to say to your partner, "I’ve got something we need to talk about, so can we sit down together?" This lets you partner know that something serious is on your mind, and whatever you’re about to talk about together means a lot to you and this isn’t the time to be joking around.
Step 2: Explain What Happened: Ok, so right now your partner understands that you are wanting to talk about something serious… so make sure you don’t drag this part out too long or you might start to scare them 😛 Instead, just begin slowly telling your partner what happened, what actions led to you lying, and the fact that you lied to them. Also, here you should tell them what the lie was – you don’t need to go into too much detail but at least give them the outline to save them from wondering how serious these relationship lies are.
Step 3: Apologise, And Mean It: At this point you have to understand that since you were the one who lied about something, no matter if it was big or small in your mind, your partner will be feeling confused or shocked about what’s happened. So it’s your responsibility to apologise to them for lying. At the very least, this will help to comfort them and let them know that you really do regret what happened, and are now looking to make it up to them.
* Key note here – the apology you’re giving has to be genuine! If you don’t mean it, this will show in your voice tone and body language and your partner will, on some level even if they don’t realise it, not believe your apology was honest and will continue to have feelings of doubt for the future. So it’s very important that you apologise honestly to them any type of relationship lies.
Step 4: Explain From YOUR Point Of View: This one is another biggie, and in a lot of ways this is actually where people go wrong when they are apologising for anything.
When people start to apologise for something, they often make the mistake of actually putting ‘blame’ onto the person they are apologising to. For example, if you lied about the reason you weren’t able to meet up with your partner one time – it’s a lot better to accept responsibility for your own decision than it is to make it out to be about them. So instead of saying, “You’re always trying to control my time, and I was getting fed up!” – it’s much more effective (and healthier for you and the relationship) to say, “I was feeling overwhelmed at the time, and felt I needed a few hours to myself”. Do you see how, even with this basic example, by putting the reason for the lie on the other person you could actually be doing more damage than good?
So for these reasons it’s important to always frame why you lied from your point of view, rather than bringing your relationship or your partner into the picture.
How You Can Stop Any Relationship Lies
I hope you can see how these steps can be applied to a lot of different situations. Whether it’s small relationship lies or bigger ones, these four points can be used to help cushion the blow and help the relationship move on afterwards.
Now none of this is to say that lying is what you should be aiming for or that this will help every time, and there’s info here if you need advice on how to stop telling lies in relationships. But if you find yourself stuck for how to tell your partner about something you shouldn’t have done, this is a great outline and it gives you good starting point – hope it helps 🙂