How To Know Your Partner Might Be Lying

by Isadora Baum, CHC

Establishing trust in your relationship is so important for long-term love and success; however, when one partner begins to lie, things can get ugly and a relationship is at stake unless the matter's addressed. Knowing when a partner is lying to you can help you address the problem, consider whether you can forgive and re-establish a connection, or need to cut ties due to lack of trust and respect (all three are perfectly fine, depending on personal feelings and situational aspects).

As a certified health coach, I work with clients on forming and maintaining wonderful, encouraging, supportive and healthy relationships with family, friends and significant others to boost wellbeing and happiness. Feeling lost and out of control in your relationships can lower self confidence and cause tension and stress that can seep into other life areas and cause damage. Thus, knowing the signs of lying can help you seek out the issue early on and resolve it in order to move on with ease and a quickened healing process. If your partner is lying, consider what to do next. Communicate, weigh pros and cons, or trust your instincts; you'll find what's best for you. Here are 11 ways to know your partner is lying to you and what to do about it.

1. Make Note Of Inconsistent Story Facts

Liars often share too many inconsistencies in stories when discussing matters that they want to hold secret, advises licensed marriage and family therapist, Erika Fay, LMFT, and Transformational Life Coach, over email with Bustle. Fay says, "If you have found that there continues to be inconsistencies in his or her story about where he or she is, what they enjoy, and who their close friends are, you might want to be careful."

2. Listen To Your Gut

"We all have a 'gut' feeling," says Fay. "Sometimes it can be hard to discern which is a gut feeling and which is paranoia. Get clear on what your own issues are. Do you usually trust or are you suspicious of everyone you date? If you are a generally trusting person, you might want to pay attention if you feel like something is off."

3. Notice If Don't Want To See You On Weekends

Coming home late after work for dinner or simply to slip into bed can be normal for many relationships; however, if your partner "refuses to see you on weekends," he or she might be lying to you about his or her whereabouts and with whom he or she spends adequate social, intimate time with during free hours, advises NYC based psychiatrist Dr. Judith H. Tanenbaum, over email with Bustle.

4. Point Out Weird Body Language

Tanenbaum warns against awkward body language, such as tensing when asked questions, touching his or her nose (which is a sign of lying, based on research!), and having clammy hands that seem to never stop fidgeting, among other gestures and incoordination. Pay attention when he or she is telling you a story or describing a recent event.

5. Take Note Of Too Few Or Many Details

Tanenbaum also says that too few or too many details in stories can signify lying, as too few can be due to secretive behavior and anxiety about speaking freely, and too many can be due to anxieties from feeling unable to provide a valid, complete story (which will unfortunately be invalidated due to so many intricate and inconsistent details!).

6. Watch Out For Defensiveness

If your partner gets defensive when asked questions, such as saying "why are you interrogating me?" or "why don't you trust me?" it could mean that he or she is worried about getting caught and is overreacting to your attempts at mature communication, suggests Tanenbaum. If you are confronted with such hostility, it's wise to be cautious.

7. Keep Track Of Eye Contact

In interview with Huffington Post, Stan Walters, author of The Truth About Lying: How To Spot A Lie and Protect Yourself From Deception discusses "the big cover up," where your partner will avert his or her eyes, look away, or walk away as a means of denial and covering up traces. If you notice that he or she cannot meet you head-on and remain composure and balance, he or she might be lying to you.

8. Listen To How Fast Or Slow They Speak

In interview with Huffington Post, Lie detector expert and former federal law enforcement investigator Janine Driver, says that a partner that is lying to you will often alternate in speech rate. While he or she might start speaking slowly, once the lie is set and the story builds momentum, he or she will speed up speaking rate and trying to spit out the words (and lie!) as quickly as possible.

9. Notice If They Avoid Talking & Become Evasive

In interview with Psychology Today, Terri Orbuch Ph.D says that your partner will become evasive, where he or she will try to spend little time around you and avoid questions when asked. He or she might provide responses saying, "I don't know" and one-word, snippy answers to avoid getting into greater discussions.

10. Look For Unmatched Gestures & Emotions

Paul Ekman, professor of psychology at the University of California at San Francisco, told Time that unmatched gestures and emotional reactions can signal that your partner is lying to you. For instance, Francisco mentions, a hostile beating on the table without an angry expression or diction, can appear odd and out of character. Such contradictions can indicate lying.

11. Pay Attention If They Show Satisfaction

According to Driver, if your partner dons a half-smile or smirk, or appears to show satisfaction and glee in his or her ability to share a story and tell a lie without getting caught, it could signify that their story has false details that should be disclosed. Look for curls in his or her mouth and gestures of contempt to know when there's a lie in the works.

If you notice your relationship on the rocks and feel distant from your partner, it could be due to lying, whatever that might entail. Lying within relationships can harm the intimacy and trust and it can lower personal wellbeing and happiness unless it is addressed and mended head-on.

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