In my last article, I wrote about why men lie. But guess what? Single and married women lie too. However, women lie differently in that they remove the truth from themselves unlike men who remove themselves from the truth. Women can have big lies like men. Women can also have secrets regarding their past or infidelity in their marriage that their husband knows nothing about. More often, however, they are “little white lies”. For women, the little girl inside (consciously or subconsciously) wants the fairy tale. She wants Prince Charming to be a reality and to fulfill all the emotions her little girl heart has felt. She anxiously desires for him to meet all the expectations she has dreamed of.
As this little girl grows up into a woman, the little girl’s emotions may not mature with her as she ages due to her past wounds. White lies about what she ate, what she weighs, or what she spent on an item become justified and acceptable. For example, a wife may say to her husband, “I saved $100, because it was all on sale!” However, she forgot to mention the $300 she spent in order to save $100. She will say things to her girlfriends such as, “I love your new hair style.” “I love that outfit on you.” When really she is thinking, “What did she do to her hair? I would never wear something like that.”
We all know women are more in touch with their feelings than men. Men and women are different which is a wonderful thing. A woman’s emotions are her greatest strength, but they can also be her biggest weakness. Emotions are real but not always reality. Women can oftentimes let their feelings dictate how they act. Feelings are tricky, because they can lie to us. I have seen many women believe their emotions are never wrong. Foolishly, they begin to use their emotions as a “lie detector” so-to-speak to filter facts and truth. Some women will choose their feelings to be true regardless even if the facts of the situation are counter to their feelings. Women try to bring the facts of a situation into their feelings as men try to have their feelings (that they deny) catch up to the facts of the situation.
Now, I am not talking about intuition. Intuition is different. A woman can lose her intuition if she allows her emotional litmus test of “truth” to be her primary guide. For example, many women have told me they have known for years that their husband was having an affair but did not want to believe it. The fantasy the little girl wanted and the feelings attached removed the truth that her intuition as an adult woman was trying to tell her. This is also known as self-betrayal.
So why do women lie? Guilt and shame are the number one reasons women lie. Guilt says, “You made a mistake”. Shame says, “You are the mistake”. Shame is very deadly and toxic. No human likes to feel shame for long periods of time. Women lie for the same reasons men lie. Women also protect the things they love. They say they love their spouse and children but behavior shows that they love their own image, reputation, money, secrets, self-interest and future when they lie. Women also lie by omission. They lie to protect their self-image and to get what they want. They also do not want to hurt their spouse and believe their husband would leave if he knew she had an affair.
Numerous women have told me they want 100 percent honesty from their husband. Mistakenly, I believe women see themselves as “better than” or “not as bad” as their spouse when it comes to honesty. They see themselves as more honest, open, and able to share their feelings. Generally speaking, they believe they are more sacrificial, more genuine, less selfish and less deceptive than their husbands. In many cases, this is true, however, not as often as a woman might believe. Women love to compare their strongest qualities God has given them to their husband’s weaknesses.
How honest is too honest? For example, consider this exchange between a husband and wife. “Now honey, be honest, does this dress make me look fat?” Really, ladies? Be careful what you wish for; because the most honest answer a husband can give is, “No Pumpkin, that dress doesn’t make you look fat, your fat makes you look fat.” Ouch! I guess he should have lied to you like you do to your female friends.
Universally, I see women lying to themselves about marriage, and many suffer from the Cinderella Syndrome.
Below are some lies she tells herself before marriage.
- I’m going marrying Prince Charming.
- We will live happily ever after.
- He will meet my every need for safety, security and stability.
- My broken or poor relationship with my father is not going to affect my marriage with my husband.
Below are some lies she tells herself after a few years of marriage.
- I can get what I want by manipulating him with enough sex and begging.
- I am no longer happy and deserve to be happy. If we have children, we will be happy.
- He doesn’t know what he is doing, so I need to take control of this marriage.
- There is someone else that will make me happy. I don’t feel in love with my husband anymore. I deserve to love and be loved. My heart wants what my heart wants.
Women are great at making excuses for not doing things, which is usually followed by the spoken or unspoken reality that “I just don’t feel like it”. Generally, women are very resistant to the recovery process when lying is their issue.[Read the Gift of Sex Addiction] Many live by a double standard, especially when it comes to recovery. It’s like a female privilege or entitlement that cannot be questioned or challenged. Women also play the victim card. “If you only knew what he did to me.” They believe they are okay and have no need to participate in their own recovery or to join their husband in his recovery journey.
Women use small lies with big girl justifications. Women politely lie to me when questioned why they have not participated in recovery with comments such as, “I will think about it. I will get back to you. I don’t feel like I have anything to work on. I didn’t do anything wrong. I don’t love him anymore. He has hurt me too deeply. I just don’t have time.” They justify, minimize, deny, and deflect just like men do. The facts of the circumstances do not match the “truth” of their feelings, so they remove the facts from their presence and hold tight to the little girl and what her feelings are telling her. I guess I would call it an emotional fantasy.
Ladies, fight for your marriage. If lying or dishonesty is an issue for you, begin to come clean today, so you can have a true happily ever after.
Cory Schortzman is an author, speaker, teacher and licensed mental health professional. Since 2008, he has served as the Executive Director of Transformed Hearts Counseling Center in Colorado Springs, CO. He is the founder of SARA, the Sexual Addiction Recovery Association. Cory is passionate about helping couples and individuals overcome sex addiction. He is also passionate about bringing awareness to the public and supporting the elimination of sex and human trafficking. Cory has been married since 1998 to his beautiful wife, Kerry, and lives in Colorado with their four daughters. He and Kerry have been seen on the CBS Early Show, Inside Edition, and ABC Good Morning America, Fox 21 News, and TLC/Discovery discussing the harm of sex addiction and the joys of recovery. He has also been heard on numerous radio programs.
Cory’s books include: Out of the Darkness, Into the Light the Workbook, Into the Light the Steps, Ashes to Beauty the Steps, 301 Dating Ideas, 301 Conversational Ideas, 301 Ways to Say I Love You, 301 Ways to Love Your Children & 301 Recovery Tools & Tips.