We all make mistakes.
But what if you haven’t been honest and your partner found out? What can you do to salvage the trust? How can you regain your spouse’s respect?
Here’s the five-step foundation to heal and reconnect again after lying
How to apologize to your wife for lying?
- Get clarity on why you lied
- Understand how lying has impacted your wife
- Own your lie without excuses
- Seek forgiveness from your wife
- Ensure that it doesn’t happen again
Follow these five steps to repair any damage lying has brought into your marriage. It’s possible to bring love and respect back. It can be challenging at first, but it’ll massively improve your connection and bring you two forward.
Want to know how to move on from this event and look forward to a bright and strong future together? We’ll break down each step into actionable takeaways you can implement them today. Read on to find out how to deal with what has happened and clear the air.
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Get Clear on Why You Lied to Your Wife
I was embarrassed.
A pile of cooked spaghetti stuck together in a clump.
Natasha had told me to stir the pasta and I didn’t.
‘She’ll get angry at me.’ I thought to myself. So I quickly hid the spaghetti under a few loose ones on my plate.
As I started to eat the mess I created, I thought to myself: ‘This is wrong. Why do I have to hide a mistake from my wife?’.
So I gathered my courage and broke it to her. Did she get angry at me? No. Even if she did, why would I be afraid of her reaction?
Aren’t most of us lying to stay out of trouble? Your spouse may have gotten mad about mistakes you made in the past. To avoid any further angry encounters, you simply started lying to them.
The other case is that you want something your spouse won’t agree to, so you use deception and lying to get your way. Once she finds out you have to figure out how to apologize to your wife for doing it.
We lie to keep control.– Jachym Jerie
Here are some reasons why people lie.
In my opinion, lying boils down to two reasons:
- You either want something.
- You want to avoid something.
In both cases you believe that the only way to get the outcome you want is to lie.
Let’s go back to my example. I didn’t want to get into trouble so I lied.
For you it might be that you want to buy something for yourself that your spouse won’t agree on, so you lie to get your way.
Now that you have some ideas why people lie, get clarity yourself. Why did you do it? Ask yourself:
- What did I try to avoid?
- What was I trying to gain?
- What was I feeling and thinking in the moment when I lied?
You can’t apologize to your wife for lying if you don’t understand why you did it in the first place. An apology means that you take responsibility for what happened and aren’t going to repeat your behavior. If you’re not clear on why you did something, you’ll just do it again.
Not only do you need clarity with yourself, you also need to understand your wife’s reaction and how she’s feeling about it.
Understand How Lying Has Impacted Your Wife
Why is lying bad?
It’s not bad because everyone tells us it is. It’s bad because the other person doesn’t know when you’re lying and when you’re being honest. It erodes trust which is vital for a healthy relationship and marriage.
When you lie to your wife, she’s going to feel hurt. She might be asking herself:
- Why did he lie?
- Why didn’t he trust me?
- Is our marriage in trouble?
- Can I trust him again?
- What else has he lied about?
You broke her trust. If you want to regain it, you have to show that you understand what you did to her. What she’s thinking about is just the tip of the iceberg. Having her trust broken is something that impacts your wife on an emotional level. She feels hurt and insecure about the relationship.
If you don’t understand how your behavior has impacted her, talk to her. Find out what her emotional experience is. The better you understand her, the better you can apologize to your wife for lying. Really listen to her and what she’s telling you.
Yes, it is an uncomfortable experience to see someone who we love feel hurt and to hear how our actions have impacted them. But this is the exact responsibility and honesty that we need to adopt if we want to move forward.
Avoiding hurt emotions or the past does not resolve anything. Processing past events and the feelings involved heals. Have compassion for yourself and your partner as you go through this process, it’s the only way to learn from this experience.
Now that we’ve covered both sides, let’s look at how to apologize to your wife for lying. The first thing we need to do is be completely straight about what we’ve done.
Let’s first discuss what happens when you don’t fully embrace what you did and why you might feel resistance to owning your mistake.
People don’t want to own their mistakes because of their ego. If I admit that I’ve done something wrong I’ll:
- Show vulnerability.
- Feel humiliated.
- Feel like I’m somehow less worthy.
When you don’t address those beliefs, you won’t own up to your mistake fully. Your apology will go something like this:
‘I didn’t want to hurt you. I’m sorry. But why are you so sensitive?’
‘I’m sorry I lied to you. But the lie wasn’t so bad. What’s the big deal anyways?’
‘I’m sorry I lied to you. But what choice do I have when you always argue with me?’
In all those examples, you’re not actually apologizing. You’re blaming your spouse for your actions. If there really is an issue with how your spouse is reacting, address it differently. Use clear communication, rather than blame.
Now let’s look at how the apology goes when you truly own the mistake you’ve made:
‘I’m sorry I lied to you. It was immature of me. I was scared of your reaction and didn’t know what else to do so I just lied.’
‘I’m sorry I lied to you. I’ve really hurt your feelings and broke the trust we had between each other. I really made a big mistake here.’
Do you see the difference? If you don’t own your lie fully, you’ll erode the trust between you and your wife even further. The reason why a lot of marriages fail or stay at an unhealthy place is because one or both partners don’t evolve emotionally.
As long as we’re trying to hide, defend or continue behavior that we don’t even feel good about, the more we stay in a childish pattern where nothing gets addressed. All you get is more drama in your relationship. Taking responsibility is a foundation step for a healthy marriage that cannot be skipped. Once you make this first step, the next one will become that much easier.
Seek Forgiveness From Your Wife
It’s not enough to say sorry.
Actively ask for forgiveness if she’s really hurt. To ask for forgiveness means to open yourself up for rejection. But that’s exactly why it’s so powerful.
You’re not trying to hide anything. You’re not trying to win her over. You don’t have the expectation that she will forgive you.
You truly regret what you’ve done and you ask her for forgiveness. The power lies with her. You’re doing the opposite of why you lied in the first place: You’re giving up control and putting it into your wife’s hands.
If you approach this by thinking ‘how do I get my wife to forgive me for lying?’ you’re still trying to control her because it’s about getting the reaction that you want. Whether she’ll forgive you or not is out of your hands.
To forgive doesn’t mean to forget. It means to learn from the experience and release the emotional baggage.– Jachym Jerie
When you ask for forgiveness, you’re not asking your wife to forget what you did. You don’t want to do that. Rather, you want to grow as a couple and grow closer through this experience! The only way you can both do that is through understanding.
Only when you understand your initial motivation of lying can you forgive yourself. If you don’t have clarity as to what happened within yourself, you’ll repeat it over and over again. If you do that, you’ll break the trust to a point where she won’t give you forgiveness anymore. So both steps that we have covered until now are 100% crucial in saving your marriage and its future.
How can we avoid losing her trust and learn from this whole experience? Read on to find out how to stop this harmful behavior for good.
Ensure That it Doesn’t Happen Again
Saying sorry isn’t a magic way to undo what you did.
If you’re truly sorry and you understand:
- Why you did it.
- How it has hurt your wife.
- How it has hurt you.
If you really get the three points about, you’re not going to do it again. Why is that?
Ever touched a hot stove? I assume you did when you were much younger. Are you ever going to touch a hot stove again? No. Why? It hurts.
It’s the same with lying or any other harmful behavior in your relationship. The more you truly see how it impacts you, the more you want to avoid it. It’s harmful just like touching a hot stove.
The reason why relationship problems persist is that people don’t want to see the reality of what they or their partner has done. Not facing the truth leaves them in denial and also keeps the negative pattern running. This leads them to repeating the same harmful behavior again and again.
To ensure that it doesn’t happen again discuss with your wife what needs to change. Are there issues you need to address in the marriage so that both of you are comfortable being honest? If you have difficulty bringing tough topics up without fighting, check out this article here.
If your marriage isn’t built on honesty, it has no foundation.– Jachym Jerie
What issues do you have to address yourself so that you’re comfortable with being honest? When I lied about the pasta, I wasn’t Natasha’s husband anymore. I reverted back to being a boy who needed to please his mom.
How do you see your wife that makes you feel the need to lie to her? Do you see her as a source of trouble you can’t handle? If so, you have to talk to her.
You’ve now learned the five step foundation to heal and reconnect again after lying. We get it, it’s not fun to admit that you’re wrong. It’s also not a walk in the park to see the repercussions of your actions.
But this is your opportunity to step up as a partner. So many marriages are ruined not because of the mistakes but because people don’t want to grow up emotionally and actually take responsibility.
Most likely, you didn’t like to lie in the first place. By taking the five steps, you won’t have to feel the need to lie anymore. Your trust, respect and communication will improve with your spouse. And you’ll be on your way to a much happier and healthier relationship.
Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Don’t be afraid to learn from them.
Make a stance for what is right. Try your best to do what is good.
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