Dishonesty: How To Spot It & Deal With It?

It can be incredibly emotionally draining to deal with a dishonest partner. Yes, problems with self esteem can affect a relationship. A very codependent partner can also negatively influence the entire relationship. Jealousy can also quickly destroy relationships. However, nothing seems to be quite as emotionally damaging as experiencing dishonesty in a relationship you thought was built on trust. 

The first thing people usually have problems with is becoming aware that their partner is being dishonest. Denial is a large part of why dealing with dishonesty can be so traumatic. But even if you manage to spot dishonesty – how do you deal with it? What are the best ways to communicate with a partner who is not being truthful? How can you even think about building intimacy in a relationship if there is no honesty first?

There are techniques you can use to spot dishonesty, and there are ways to deal with the partner who is lying to you. Although it is always best to resort to professional help and consider emotional intimacy coaching, that doesn’t mean you can’t do a little to help yourself.

How Does Dishonesty Affect Relationships?

Being lied to hurts, and no amount of sorrys can take the lie back. Once your partner lies to you, it seems as though a whole mountain of doubts comes crashing down on you.

But that’s, unfortunately, not all. Dishonesty can erode a relationship in many ways. Not only do you feel miserable, but, once some time passes, you will inevitably start thinking about all the other things that dishonesty brings into the relationship.

  1. The trust is gone – The only solid foundation for any relationship is trust. Without it, there’s little to fall back on, which is why dishonesty causes such big problems in relationships. 
  2. Lying hurts – It doesn’t have to mean that the partner’s intention was to hurt you by telling a lie. Nevertheless, they did, because to find out that you’ve been lied to is never easy, and it nearly always causes emotional pain.
  3. It shows disrespect – When your partner tells you the truth, no matter how difficult it may be for you to hear, they show they respect you enough to be honest with you. On the other hand, when your partner lies to you, it shows a serious lack of respect for you and your feelings.
  4. Lying is selfish – When a partner is dishonest, it shows that they are not willing to take the blame for the greater good of the relationship. Instead of coming clean, taking the flak, and accepting responsibility, they lie in order to selfishly save their grace.
  5. Lies breed lies – And in two ways. For one, dishonest partners, if their actions remain unaddressed, continue to be dishonest. Also, once you notice all the lies, you will start thinking that there is no reason for you to remain honest. Always try to work things out, but do not change the characteristics of your own personality to accommodate for your partner’s flaws.

Can A Small Lie Ruin A Relationship?

Truthfulness should always be the top priority in a relationship. Even if the truth is unpleasant, difficult to deal with, or plain painful, it’s better than a lie. Lies can affect relationships in many negative ways, no matter if they’re big or small. 

For individuals who were raised in an environment that was unsafe, for some, there is a pattern of not using their voice that is learned. This pattern can lead to not wanting to tell the truth if the truth is going to create conflict. Later in life, one little white lie can build on more.

Even when a lie is white and harmless, you can end up feeling bad simply because of the fact that your partner lied to you. Also, there can be other issues behind every lie, waiting to rear their heads. That is why you should always think carefully before being dishonest.

What Harmless Lies Can Ruin A Relationship?

Just because you or your partner perceive a lie as harmless, it certainly doesn’t have to turn out harmless. Every lie has a great potential to be detrimental to a relationship. Here are the five most common white lies that can cause serious rifts between you and your partner:

  1. “I’m fine” – If there’s something wrong, if you are angry or sad, you should let your partner know. This can lead to a serious argument that can greatly affect the current state of your relationship.
  2. “My credit score is OK” – Some of the biggest fights originate because of money. Although money should not play that large a role in relationships, it does, and not being honest about potential financial struggles can leave serious consequences.
  3. “I haven’t texted my ex in a long time” – Lying about your ex is certainly a quick way to ruin a relationship. If you’ve heard from your ex, be honest and tell your partner about it. No point in hiding it, as when the truth inevitably comes out, it will have a much worse effect than if you had been honest in the first place.

What Are The 5 Signs That Someone Is Lying?

Even though individuals who tend to be frequently dishonest tend to think they don’t have a “tell” when they’re lying, the truth is there are some signs that point to the fact that the person is not telling the truth. Here are 5 signs that signal somebody is being dishonest with you:

  1. They’re touching their throat, mouth, or face – If you notice that a person is excessively touching their body while talking with you, especially if they normally don’t do that, you could be listening to a lie.
  2. They’re repeating themselves – If an individual, while speaking with you, begins to inexplicably stammer or repeat words and phrases, it shows they’re not sure of what to say next. While it doesn’t necessarily mean they’re lying – perhaps they’re just nervous, if they don’t behave that way normally, it’s a red flag. 
  3. They make nervous pauses – If you ask a dishonest person a question, they will normally make a pause before giving you an answer, granting themselves the time to construct a dishonest reply. 
  4. They’re looking at the door – If a person is uncomfortable in any given situation, their instincts start telling them they should leave. If you notice they are looking toward the door, it might mean they are desperate to escape the uncomfortable situation of lying to you. 
  5. They’re not blinking – Blinking is a reflex, so if you notice that a person is maintaining eye contact with you without blinking, it can mean that they are such avid liars that they’re actually trying to fake truthful behavior.

How Do You Deal With A Liar In A Relationship?

When you discover that your partner has been lying to you, there is only one course of action – confronting them. Allowing the dishonesty to continue can only be more detrimental to your mental health, while giving space to your partner to continue their usual routine. Here’s how you should confront a dishonest partner:

  1. Confront your partner privately

    This is an unpleasant topic for the both of you, so no need to do it in front of other people – unless there is reason to believe that you may not be safe when confronting your partner.

  2. Give your partner a chance to explain the lie

    Sometimes, it is enough for your partner to confess, apologise, and promise such behavior will not repeat itself.

  3. Remain calm

    Do not let your emotions run wild, because that could provoke a bad reaction from your partner. Although you have every right to be angry, try not to show it.

  4. Show your partner the evidence

    If your partner is unwilling to admit what they’ve done, show them the evidence that clearly points to the lies.

  5. Explain lost trust

    Tell your partner how you’re feeling because of all the lies. Let them know how their lying has negatively impacted your relationship and your happiness and you won’t continue on unless they get help.

  6. Propose relationship workshop

    Finally, if you’re willing to continue working on your relationship, you should suggest relationship coaching to your father. Nobody can help you as much as qualified professionals.

Join PIVOT Emotional Intimacy Coaching & Nurture Your Relationship

Can A Small Lie Ruin A Relationship?

It’s never easy being lied to. The emotional trauma of realizing your partner was dishonest is difficult to deal with on its own, and even more so if you want to salvage the relationship. Lying can be extremely damaging, but there are relationships that come out all the stronger out of it. However, if you truly want to work on it with your partner, you should consider reaching out to an experienced relationship advocate.

At PIVOT, we know just how emotionally traumatizing dealing with dishonesty can be, which is why we organize relationship workshops and retreats, as well as individual coaching sessions alongside our team of experienced advocates. Contact us today and let the healing begin.

Codependents & Their Struggle For Power & Control

Codependency refers to relationships which revolve around unhealthy helping dynamics. A codependent partner tends to struggle with low self-esteem, a lack of emotional control, self-blame, as well as setting healthy personal boundaries. All of these behavioral patterns can result in power struggles and imbalances in relationships and cause the individual to seek assistance in a codependent relationship retreat. 

But why do codependents struggle with control? Do they seek power even though it seems they are happy to relinquish control? 

In this article, we will explore the role of power and control in codependent relationships and try to understand why codependents struggle in this area. If you have a codependent individual in your life, struggle with codependency yourself, or simply want to learn more about the behavioral condition, read on. 

Are Codependents Controlling?

Although most relationships have more or less balanced power structures, codependent relationships are often characterized by severe feelings of powerlessness and deep urges to seize back that power. Such structures are a common codependency symptom, and is frequently encountered in relationships which feature a codependent/narcissistic dynamic.  

In fact, control is one of the defining characteristics of codependency, whether it has to do with controlling oneself or others. Since codependents struggle with empowering themselves and being assertive, they tend to seek control and power from external sources in order to feel good. A codependent may try to change others in order to find happiness, and feel helpless if their partner doesn’t appreciate the help. 

How Are Codependents Controlling?

While being controlling may not be the first characteristic you think of when you think of codependent individuals, the need to change, fix, or control other people is one of the primary symptoms of codependency. Here’s how it manifests. 

The Need To Feel Needed 

If you struggle with codependent traits, you might feel in control only if you feel like your partner or other people in your life need you. Noticing that your partner can do without you or that they don’t need your help to deal with their personal problems may cause you to feel powerless or helpless. 

Taking Responsibility For Others’ Feelings 

A codependent often feels like they have control over other people’s actions and feelings, while not being able to control their own. They tend to feel like their partner can’t resolve their own issues without their help, and will do everything in their power to seize control over the situation.

Controlling Through Enabling 

Enabling means doing for others what they can’t seem to do for themselves. For instance, if your partner is an addict, you may help them avoid the consequences of addiction or mental health issues and prolong the problem by doing so. This can also be seen as a form of control, because the addicted or mentally ill partner becomes fully dependent on the codependent individual. 

Why Do Codependents Need To Control?

Codependent individuals often grow up in settings with dysfunctional relationships to power. They were often emotionally and sometimes physically mistreated by their parents or caretakers. For some individuals, they may have been parentified at an early age.  Parentification is the process of a role reversal whereby a child is obliged to act as parent to their own parent or sibling. 

Causes Of Controlling Behaviors In Codependents 

How Are Codependents Controlling?

In order to paint a clearer picture, here are some common causes of codependency and the need to control: 

  • The family they grew up with was unpredictable and chaotic, without clear boundaries and control dynamics 
  • They learned that people pleasing and accommodating others is the only way to feel loved and cared for 
  • The dysfunctional relationships with power often harbor resentment and cause passive-aggressive and indirectly controlling behavior 
  • They never learned how to be assertive and control their own lives, so they try to change or fix others in order to feel empowered 
  • They may be afraid of their own, deeply buried power, so they believe they can only have their needs met if they are accommodating and indirect in relationships 

If you have codependent tendencies, the first step towards overcoming them is understanding that you should look inside, rather than outside to find strength and empower yourself. Control over others may make you feel better in the short term, but won’t get you closer to finding balance and happiness in your life. 

How Do I Control My Codependency?

If you’ve fully understood the detrimental effect your codependent patterns have on your personal relationships, know that you’re not stuck. There are ways you can overcome codependency and learn to find peace and love in your life.

  1. Learn The Difference Between Codependency And Support

    It is easy to confuse supportive behaviors with codependency, especially because support is a natural part of any relationship. Unfortunately, codependent behaviors have an entirely different end goal – they are driven by the need to control or direct the behaviors of your partner. Although you may not be aware of your need to control, your partner might become more and more dependent on your support over time and stop helping themselves. And, then often resent you for it later down the line.

  2. Uncover Your Codependent Patterns 

    Understanding yourself will help you immensely on your path toward self-realization and healthy balance. Look into your past and try to see how your environment and upbringing influenced your personality. Of course, the best way to do so is by speaking to a relationship professional who can help you heal your core wound using expert techniques. The Survival Pattern module in the PIVOT process can begin this process.

  3. Practice Setting Healthy Boundaries 

    In order to overcome your codependency, you have to learn how to say “no” and focus on meeting your own needs instead of worrying about the problems of others. Understand your own limits and don’t get involved in helping other people when it drains your own resources. The Relational Circle Boundaries in PIVOT will give you the ability to do this.

  4. Learn What It Means To Be Truly Assertive

    Being assertive doesn’t mean having control over others. On the contrary, it means having independence and understanding who you are and where you stand, and finding the courage to realize your potential and operate from the Healthy Adult concept in PIVOT. 

Find Your Power In PIVOT Codependency Intensive Workshops 

Living in denial and lying to yourself may be tempting, but understanding your own codependency and working on overcoming it will give you the power and confidence you never knew you had. And with PIVOT on your side, you can find the strength you need to build healthier relationships and overcome codependent patterns

At PIVOT, we offer comprehensive retreats and workshops for codependents, as well as professional and insightful individual coaching sessions that will help you heal your core wound. Reach out to PIVOT today and find the support you seek.