Is Lying to Your Spouse Ever Okay?

Lie to your spouse

So, I have a friend that lies to her spouse. 

There are certain places her spouse doesn’t want her to go, but she doesn’t like her spouse telling her what to do, so she goes anyways. And she just doesn’t tell him.

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Or maybe she’ll say she’s going one place – and she really does – but then she leaves and goes somewhere else. All while neglecting to tell him about the second place.

Now, before you get too judgmental… (because yes, Christians are supposed to judge, but not without knowing the situation or doing it with the right attitude). Her situation isn’t as unique as you might think.

The truth is… pretty much all of us lie to our spouses on one occasion or another. Sometimes even regularly.

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It may be a huge lie like an affair or how much we spend online shopping. Or a small lie like saying we’re fine when we’re not.

Have you ever:

  • Hidden your receipts so your husband wouldn’t know how much you spent or on what?
  • Closed out of an internet browser so he wouldn’t see what you were looking at?
  • Told him a story about your day, but purposely left out some pretty key details because you know they would make him mad?
  • Pretended to enjoy sex more than you really did to protect his ego?
  • Told him you LOVE his friend, his family, his new haircut or your new gift when it couldn’t be any further from the truth?

I’m going to go out on a limb and bet that you have. We all have.

And yet, Psalm 12:22 says:

“The Lord detests lying lips,
but he delights in people who are trustworthy.”

And what’s even more scary, Revelation lumps liars in with murderers. Yikes!

“Outside are the dogs, those who practice magic arts, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.”

Whether it’s a big lie, a little lie or even a lie said with good intentions, God takes lying seriously. And it’s no surprise. Lying is a great way to erode your marriage. Here’s how.

1. Lying Destroys Intimacy

God designed marriage so that a man and a woman would become one. Every time you lie to your spouse, you destroy intimacy and put a distance in between you and your spouse that prevents this from happening. You set part of your life and your self aside and refuse to share. You can’t become one when you’re not all in.

2. It Sets You Up for More Lies in the Future

Every time you lie to your spouse and get away with it, it gets that much easier to lie again the next time. Not only do you not want to share the information you’ve already hidden, but you inevitably find more information you want to hide as well. In some instances, this can lead to some pretty big lies.

After all, no one starts out looking for an affair or to wrack up 30,000 in debt their husband doesn’t know about. It all starts with the decision to be dishonest once, and then snowballs from there.

3. It Erodes Trust

And what happens when your husband finds out you’ve lied? It makes it that much more difficult for him to trust you in the future.

Honestly, trust is something that does not come easily to me, personally. But thankfully, honesty is a quality that’s very important to my husband, and he’ll straight up tell me things he does that I don’t like rather than trying to hide them from me.

It may make me angry at the minute when he does things I don’t like. But it makes it SO much easier to trust him because I know he’ll always keep me in the loop about what’s going on.

4. It Prevents Your Husband from Loving You

One of the best feelings in life is to really know and be known by your husband, to know that he knows you inside and out, all of your flaws, and he still adores you anyways. That he sees you and loves you for who you are.

And yet, when you lie to your husband, you prevent this from happening.

When you lie to your husband, he doesn’t get to know you, he gets to know a version of you that’s not true.

And I don’t know about you, but I don’t want my husband to fall in love with some version of someone that’s kind of like me,  I want him to fall in love with me!

(Worried that if he really knew you, he wouldn’t love you? Don’t be! He’s your husband. He married you. He loves you. Be brave and open up! Just take it one step at a time. My Closer Marriage Conversation Cards for Couples would be a good place to start.)

5. It Gives the Devil a Foothold

Ephesians 4:27 says “and do not give the devil a foothold.”

For those of you who don’t know, a foothold is a strong, sturdy place to hold your foot, especially while climbing. Without a foothold, you wouldn’t be able to climb. You’d slide right off the rock. But with a foothold, you have a secure place from which to act and move.

And when you give the devil a foothold, you do exactly this.

As Christians, the devil should have NO power over us. “It is finished.” Jesus won. We are victorious. We are more than conquerors (Romans 8:31-39).

But when we give the devil a foothold – typically through sin – we give him a place from which to influence us, work in our lives and torment us.

This is scary stuff you guys!! You DON’T want this to happen! And avoiding sin is one way to help prevent it from happening.

**By the way, if you think you may be struggling with spiritual warfare or the consequences of giving the devil a foothold, I HIGHLY recommend reading one or both of these two books – both by Neil T. Anderson. I’ve read both and they are EXCELLENT.

The Bondage Breaker: Overcoming Negative Thoughts, Irrational Feelings, Habitual Sins

The Steps to Freedom in Christ

There are certain things I will not go NEAR now after reading these books. Scary stuff.

Do I Have to Tell My Spouse EVERYTHING?

I did want to mention one more thing real fast:

Just because you shouldn’t lie to your spouse does NOT mean that you have to tell them every little thing.

It’s okay to keep your mouth shut about how annoying your mother in law is, how terrible his breath is first thing in the morning or how much his snoring drives you crazy. There’s no reason to share every little thought that comes in your mind, especially if it’s not kind.

You just have to consider why you aren’t sharing. Is it something that doesn’t need to be said or is it something you are specifically hiding? If you’re specifically hiding something, then it’s probably something you shouldn’t be doing in the first place and something you need to share. But some things simply don’t need to be said.

Like your mama taught you, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”

(Change the subject, or if you have to, try to put it in a super nice way then distract him with bacon. Everyone loves bacon. 🙂 )

Are there any areas of your life that you need to practice being more truthful in?


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Brittany - Equipping Godly Women
A devoted Christian, wife and mother, Brittany loves helping other women grow in these roles as well. When she isn’t busy taking care of her growing family, you can find her at Equipping Godly Women, where she regularly shares tips, tricks and encouragement to help you be the amazing woman God created you to be. Brittany also has a thriving online community on Facebook as well.