Men lie for the same reasons women lie: to protect themselves or get what they want.
If you have children, you know most kids lie without even thinking about it. You ask if they ate a cookie and half a cookie in hand and crumbs falling out of their mouth as they speak, they, “No.” When we’re caught, we lie to avoid dealing with the consequences of our actions. We’re supposed to grow up and stop doing this, but it remains an option and we can easily default to it without even thinking about it.
On a deeper level, lying is about fear. We’re afraid of what others will do if they know the truth. If we feel shame over our actions, we assume others will shame and punish us for what we did. If you can’t deal with the consequences you imagine, you lie. Learning to offer appropriate grace will help with this; it’s easier to admit the truth when you know you won’t be emotionally executed for your crime.
Men also lie to avoid talking about things they don’t want to talk about. This is why men fail to mention health problems to their wives – they don’t want to think about them, must less have a long drawn out conversation. I suspect wanting to avoid too many words is a common reason men withhold things, and lying is just a step past withholding. I’m not justifying this, but being aware of his discomfort discussing things could help. He may be willing to admit the truth and talk about it a bit, but unwilling to have a several hour or day discussion.
Another reason me lie is to protect their wife. I’ve talked with men who hid impending bankruptcy from their wives for as long as possible. Others don’t confess porn use or adultery to “protect” their wife. Obviously, there is a lot of self-protection going on here, but not wanting to hurt her is a part of his thinking.
Men also lie and withhold information to improve their odds of getting something they want from their wife, with sex being a common example. “If I share this bad news, we won’t have sex tonight,” he reasons – possibly correctly. If sex doesn’t occur for several days, he may keep putting it off. Once the couple has sex he may feel it’s been so long he can’t tell her. Another version of this is saying an event he wants to attend will be over at 5 PM when he knows it will be 7 PM at the earliest. He thinks his wife will protest his going if he says he will get home late, so he lies. He decides going and dealing with the fall out is easier than dealing with her reaction if he tells the truth up front.
Bottom Line: There are no acceptable reasons for lying; if he’s lying it’s on him. However, you can do things to give him less reason to lie.
[See here for the origin of this post]
~ Paul – I’m XY, and I’m working hard to keep my nose short!