You Lie!

January 18, 2016

in Uncategorized

Sometimes in the comments on posts here a woman shares something her husband has said to her, then dismisses it as false. In other words, she accuses him of lying. And yes, I get men doing the same thing over on The Generous Husband, so this is not “a woman thing”.

Sometimes we do this because their words don’t match their actions. But other times it’s more a matter of their words not matching how we feel about ourselves – which goes back to last weeks Rejecting What We “Don’t Deserve” post.

Very big pants © Gajus |

Regardless of why, accusing our spouse of lying, even if only in our own mind, is kind of serious. Has our spouse given us good reason to think they would lie to us, or is it just our way of not dealing with something that doesn’t fit into how we see ourselves?

Unless your husband lies regularly I think it’s wrong to assume he is lying about a few things, especially if it’s just things about you or your marriage. Next time you doubt him, why not lovingly challenge him? Try something like “I wish there were true, but I don’t feel it is. Are you trying not to hurt my feelings, or am I seeing things wrong?”

~ Paul – I’m XY, and the proper answer to “Do these pants make me look fat” is “Take them off so I can compare”!

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{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

Me January 18, 2016 at 7:31 am

Hi Paul, this is a thing I’ve never really been able to “get”. I mean, obviously there is some kind of disconnect here. No, I don’t believe my husband when he says I am pretty, or hot, or smart, or sweet, etc., but I don’t call him a liar. I don’t even think “he’s lying” in my head. I think he’s saying what he feels he is “supposed” to say in order to be a good husband. Either that or he is simply delusional. This isn’t a “pity me” thing, it’s just reality. I have a mirror, I have seen photos of myself that are very ugly. The thing with photos is this, if I’m in a group photo, the other people in the photo look great to me – just like they look in real life. I look hideous. Logically, if they look normal, then what I look like in the the photo is what I look like normally, therefore the hideousness I see in the photo is my reality. That makes me very sad, especially for my husband who is a good man and now stuck with me. Back to the “what we don’t deserve” thing, that makes this whole love thing hard. I don’t see how he can possibly be in love with someone who looks like me, and I think he deserves a much hotter wife. So I also have a hard time believing him when he says he loves me, because why would he? I bring nothing to the table.
Anyhow, and this is gonna sound crazy, I know – but not believing and calling someone a liar are two different things. I don’t think he’s conciously thinking, “hey I’m gonna lie to her.” I think he’s just a nice guy who tries to say nice things to be a good husband.
And to further back up my claims here, growing up I was reminded daily how ugly I was, how stupid I was, and how no guy would ever like me, etc., etc., etc. so why would all of that change just because I became an adult. I realize that some people in my family were not very nice, but even mean people wouldn’t say such things if they weren’t true. In my experience, negative things are true, and when people say positive things it’s usually just to butter you up. I don’t think anyone would be mean enough to say unkind things if they weren’t true.


Paul Byerly January 18, 2016 at 9:12 am

@Me – Lori used to say “Thank you, but I worry about your eyesight” so I get it.
I find women don’t look at themselves the same way they see others. Other women get a pass on things they criticise in themselves. It’s almost like anorexia – a woman looks in the mirror and what she sees is now what’s actually there.
I’m sorry you had so many angry hateful voices feeding you lies when you were growing up. What they said was about their own fears and selfishness, not about you. People say untrue mean things to try to build themselves up. It’s a desperate, sad thing – rather than trying to be better they try to look better by making those around them look worse.
Your husband didn’t get the beat up on Me memo, so he just gives you his honest opinion. I realise he’s the odd man out, but that does not make him wrong.
BTW, I doubt he would say he is stuck with you. I pray you one day can say “He’s blessed with me!”
Paul Byerly recently posted…Know When to Walk AwayMy Profile


Henri January 19, 2016 at 6:24 am

@Me – They DON’T HAVE to say anything. And that IS the point. It was many years before I heard a single compliment from my husband. Not that I only heard criticism, but he is a man of very few words, and his thinking is and has always been “if I am not criticizing anything then its a compliment.” When we first going out, yes I heard lots of compliments and the whole “puppy love” stuff, but shortly after marriage it all stopped. So when he did start making an effort, it was hard for me to take, because I hadn’t heard anything for almost a decade, and then I thought it was just “homework” from his men’s group he had been attending at the time. It wasn’t until my counselor very recently pointed out to me that he isn’t obligated to say anything, that it really began to give me understanding.
Sure its not easy. Particularly when in my boat where my husband feels that there is nothing wrong with looking at other women. Porn is out, but nudity/sex in movies nothing wrong, regardless of enticement or not. But that’s about sin, not me. Does it hurt, sure, but I want him to choose God first, not me. I digress.
I really just wanted to point out that our men don’t have make any compliment to be a “good husband”. The fact that he is choosing to, says alot.


Kate January 18, 2016 at 4:48 pm

Me, please click on the link to my blog, look at my picture there, and come back and tell me truthfully whether you think I am ugly or pretty.

I ask you to do that because:

1. I was called ugly growing up.

2. Some people still do considering me ugly.

3. I own a mirror and a camera. Cameras hate me. I had a professional photo shoot done and the photographer and I had a laugh at how few photos actually came out great. The others were horrid, and it wasn’t because he isn’t a good photographer.

4. I thought I was ugly most of my life. I don’t think that anymore.
Kate recently posted…Give Us This Day Our Daily BreadMy Profile


Me January 18, 2016 at 7:34 pm

@Kate, truthfully, I think you are beautiful! I don’t know what you looked like growing up, but you certainly grew up well!! And I’m sorry, but cameras don’t hate you. Your picture is stunning, it looks like a modeling photo!

I am so happy for you that you have learned to embrace your beauty. Congratulations on growing up gorgeous!


Kate January 19, 2016 at 4:13 am


But don’t you see? I was told I was ugly. I own a mirror and can see my imperfections. And while you call my photo a model-shot, it took a LOT of pictures, camera angles, lighting, make-up to get that picture. Like you, I heard the negative (and still sometimes do), and I see pictures of myself with others and I’m usually the one with the crooked smile, the one eye squished up, the big nose sticking out, the hair looking flat and lack-luster….

I didn’t ask you to visit my blog to promote myself or make you feel badly. It took a lot of guts for me to share that link and ask for an honest opinion. I just wanted you to know that you are not alone. Many of us ladies face the same thing. The voices from our past, and even present play over and over in our heads. Little things throughout the day “prove” that we’re right and everyone who compliments us is wrong.

It starts within your own head and heart. I have a big nose. I am scarred from acne. My smile is crooked, my face is asymetrical, and yet, I am not ugly. Some think I am, but that’s ok. It’s freeing to accept that, and wonderful to accept that others find me lovely.

My heart aches for you to be free from your own negative self-talk.

I don’t understand what my husband sees in me, sometimes, but I am thankful that he does see in me what I don’t always, and I BELIEVE him.


Paul Byerly January 19, 2016 at 6:33 am

@Kate “and I BELIEVE him.”
This is a true gift to your hubby!
Paul Byerly recently posted…Change Your FocusMy Profile


Me January 19, 2016 at 7:49 am

Okay, first, I appreciate the replies and the encouragement. But… Two things…

I don’t see how believing something that is untrue is a gift to my husband. Wouldn’t that just be encouraging his delusionalness? Or worse yet, cause me to act like a delusional woman who thinks she’s all that? No thank you. (Good news, I have learned to say “thank you” or remain silent as opposed to arguing. That has cut down on conflict.)

And secondly, Kate, your argument holds no water because you really ARE beautiful. (And you do not have a big nose.)

And it’s not just my family who refers to me as ugly. We went to my husband’s work holiday party last year, and another woman blatantly looked me up and down and then asked me my name and who I was. I introduced myself and another woman said “she was here last year.” The first woman said, “I don’t remember her, and she’s so tall and striking.” That was probably one of the cruelest things a non-family member has said. She should have just said, “you need to leave because you are too ugly to be here.” And what’s worse is, I actually felt pretty that night. My husband had told me I looked beautiful before I left. I made the mistake of believing him and leaving the house feeling somewhat confident. Then to be put down so harshly, and in front of a group of women, it was harsh! But you know what they say, the truth hurts. (By the way, I did look up striking, and it means “attracting attention by reason of being UNUSUAL, extreme, or prominent” – in other words, too ugly to be allowed out in public.) My poor husband! Think how embarrassed he must have been to have to take me with him. And to tell me I was beautiful before we left was a bad idea, he would have been better off saying “why don’t you call someone to see if they can make you look presentable?” – or – “maybe you could stay home?” I would have understood. After she said that, I felt just awful that he had to be seen with me in public.

Obviously my husband, if he does love me, would tell me I looked beautiful so that I’d feel comfortable attending the party. While the woman I met would be much quicker to tell the truth about me being so ugly that it’s “striking.”

Kate, I think it’s awesome that you accept that people find you lovely. I am genuinely happy for you. But again, you really ARE beautiful. I think it’s great that you can believe your husband. But he is only seeing what we can all see, and that is that you truly are lovely.


Elizabeth January 19, 2016 at 11:13 am

I debated about replying to this, but felt I needed to. The truth is that you look like yourself. I look like myself. I can guarantee you that if we were to meet in person, I would think you looked great and you’d think I looked great (in spite of all evidence to the contrary). That’s just how life is! It doesn’t really matter if everyone is delusional. Who cares? My daughter thinks that my dad is Santa. Big deal. Everyone has incorrect ideas about their friends, relatives, people they see on the street. For example, everyone else seems to have their lives together a million times better than I do. Is that accurate? No. We’re all pretty much the same… there’s always going to be an area that we do terribly in that someone else is awesome at.

I don’t want to be unkind, but it’s the honest truth. You are who you are. Nothing you do will change that, and rightfully so. Most people don’t want to be someone else… just a better version of yourself. And that’s completely possible – in fact, it’s a GUARANTEE for everyone who loves Jesus.

P.S., I’m short and dumpy and my hair is a very flat boring shade of brown. I wear glasses and it takes me an unreasonable amount of time to get “presentable” lol. Those are the cards and there’s no chance to deal again. I wouldn’t deal again even if I had the chance. My life is completely unglamorous in every possible way and it’s great.


Elizabeth January 19, 2016 at 11:20 am

Also, I’m guessing your husband probably wanted you to come out with him because he likes you and enjoys your company. He picked you for some reason, and even if it wasn’t for your beauty, maybe it was for your brains, or your sense of humor, or maybe you’re good at talking to people, or make friends with someone lonely, or maybe he just straight up likes you as a whole package. Whatever it is, he invited you, so he wanted you to come!

My husband likes that I get super annoyed with basically everything and that I stand up for the truth at awkward times. He likes that my friends are all a little mean but ultimately care for people. He likes that I think facebook parties are the dumbest. He likes that my job is pretty much just to boss people around and encourage them simultaneously. I don’t really find any of those facts particularly appealing, and in fact I’d love to change them, but it’s not my job to tell him what to like.


liz April 11, 2016 at 5:51 pm

Me, that woman at the party paid you a compliment! “Striking” is a positive thing to be called, especially coupled with “tall.” I have never heard it used to mean “so ugly it was striking.” I understand that you have been mistreated, but don’t count compliments against yourself!


CSL January 19, 2016 at 9:15 am

True story: a husband and wife were attending a Christian conference on marriage and family, when the speaker gave out this statistic: a poll was taken among Hollywood actors and actresses about their looks, and it turned out that 95% of these “beautiful people” would change their looks.

The husband turned to his wife, who had been a Miss America contestant and asked if that even sounded right. His wife, who had been selected as her state’s representative to the Miss America pageant, said, “Oh yes!” He then asked her, “is there something that you would change about yourself?”, and again she replied yes.

Moral: everyone thinks that their mirror reveals their flaws when they should be looking for the beauty in them. Ask yourself, “Does Cindy Crawford see a mole or a beauty mark?”, and then believe your husband.
CSL recently posted…Re-addressing “What God Hath Joined”My Profile


IntimacySeeker January 19, 2016 at 10:34 am

Wow. Even with the “do these pants make me look fat” reference in Paul’s post, I’m saddened to see we got off on a track about physical appearance….again. I fear we are missing out on the abundant life Christ offers by making an idol of whether our husbands and/or other women find us beautiful. In a world where women are constantly objectified, we jump on board and objectify ourselves. We insult ourselves, our husbands, and our creator.


Me January 19, 2016 at 5:22 pm

I think I need to clarify something. The issue isn’t what I look like. The issue is if my husband wants to call me pretty, that’s his right. But it’s Just as ok if I choose to believe him or not. I don’t have to think Im pretty just because he says so. It’s not really something worth arguing about. (On the flip side, I’m a pretty straightforward person. I don’t like when people aren’t straight with me, and I don’t like “fluff”. So yes, it bothers me when he fluffs me with flattering words.) And that’s okay!

I just don’t understand why not believing someone when they give you an opinion, is equal to calling them a liar. I don’t call my husband a liar. If I don’t believe that I’m pretty just because he tells me I’m pretty, so what?

And I AGREE with you that it is hard for women (at least me) to fully embrace the abundant life Christ offers when the whole world is shouting “you’re not good enough!!!” I get how that is wrong, and messed up, and I’m wrong for feeling that way. I get all that. But it’s still a struggle. A big, painful struggle. I’m working on it. Sorry for ruffling so many feathers. It’s awesome that you are all so secure. I mean that sincerely. I know I need to pray more about finding my security in Christ. I’m still a work in progress…


IntimacySeeker January 20, 2016 at 10:29 am

@Me I think I’m hearing you more clearly this time. You seem to be saying that what you think of yourself is based on what you choose to think of yourself, regardless of your husband’s, or others’, opinions. That is a good thing. You also seem to be questioning why husbands, or others, take it personally when we don’t agree with their opinions.

I think “agree” is a more appropriate term than “believe.” For example, I can believe my husband finds me beautiful, intelligent, compassionate, industrious, resourceful, etc., if he says so, but that doesn’t mean I’m obligated to agree with him. And he shouldn’t feel offended if I disagree.

However, I sympathize with anyone whose spouse constantly speaks ill of themselves. Who wants to be around someone who does that? I once struggled as you do with similar issues. I think I’m a lot more enjoyable for my husband now than when I was always beating myself up. Thinking and speaking well of myself is a gift to him.


Paul Byerly January 19, 2016 at 5:46 pm

Personally, when I look at a woman I see far, far more than her physical appearance, who she is and how she acts play a part in how beautiful she is to me.
Let me be quick to say this is not something I’ve gained as I grew older and wiser – it’s always been this way. I wrote an essay in 11th grade about female beauty, and the body was not the most important thing on my list even then.
A saying I have often heard from men is “Beauty is skin deep, but ugly goes all the way to the bone”. We know physical beauty is a very minor thing of no real use. We also know being ugly is not about the way a woman looks physically.
I realise there are men who can’t see past the physical body. I realise the media makes it seem this is the norm. I don’t think it is the norm, and I’m tired of the media lie about men being believed by so many people.
Imagine if we were all blind – how would we see people? We would think of some as beautiful and others as ugly even though we could not see their physical form.
Paul Byerly recently posted…Change Your FocusMy Profile


Sarah January 19, 2016 at 6:05 pm

Lying is a besetting sin for my husband. I really don’t believe a lot of what he says, not even where he’s going when he leaves the house. I know he’s not doing anything inappropriate, but he’ll claim he’s going to a store and go to a store AND out to lunch alone to get away from the kids for a while. I consider his compliments to either be sexually motivated or due to some other motivation that I haven’t figured out yet. They infuriate me and in my mind are never, ever true. I hate them.


Mychele January 20, 2016 at 5:26 pm

I’ve been working on this and it’s really been a boost to my confidence and helped me me more respectful to my husband. It doesn’t make sense to work on being more respectful if I act like he’s a liar.

I love your tag line…~ Paul – I’m XY, and the proper answer to “Do these pants make me look fat” is “Take them off so I can compare”!

I laughed out loud when I read this yesterday and pulled it up to share with my husband who also thought it was great.

I really enjoy your sites; thanks for all you do.


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