The Worst Ever Lies You Can Tell Your Partner

The Worst Ever Lies You Can Tell Your Partner Shutterstock

Little white lies sometimes serve as social grease, but in romantic relationships, the stakes are a whole lot higher. Some deceptions feel justifiable in the moment, but cause a lot of pain down the road if your partner finds out you lied. While painful truths are tough to navigate, these particular lies will almost always backfire with devastating consequences.

1. “I Never Loved My Ex”

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Minimizing past loves feels like protecting your partner, but it backfires. They’ll inevitably sense something is off, which will just stoke their insecurities even further. Honesty (without dwelling on details, of course) is better: “I was in love once, but that chapter is closed.” This shows you have the capacity for deep feelings, but the focus is on the present, per Psychology Today.

2. “It’s No Big Deal” (When It Clearly Is)

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Dismissing their concerns, especially if they sense you’re hiding something, erodes trust. Instead of downplaying, try “I understand why that bothers you. Can we talk openly about it?” This approach fosters connection, rather than making them feel like their feelings are irrational or inconvenient.

3. Lying About Major Spending or Debt

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Financial dishonesty destroys relationships. Even if intentions were good (surprise gift), they’ll feel betrayed. Be upfront about big purchases, even if it means hashing out a budget plan together. Transparency builds long-term security far more than temporary deception.

4. “I’m Fine” (When You’re Absolutely Not)

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Bottling up resentment while claiming everything’s okay leads to explosive fights later. Better to say, “I’m struggling right now, can we talk later?” or “I need a hug and to vent for a bit.” They may not be able to fix it, but feeling emotionally supported deepens the bond.

5. Faking Enthusiasm in the Bedroom

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They’ll pick up on it, leading to self-doubt or resentment. Kind but direct feedback is vital. Instead of pretending, try: “I love being close to you, could we try…” Openness fosters intimacy, while faking it creates distance, even if your intentions are to avoid hurt feelings.

6. “I’m Working Late” (Repeatedly When You’re Not)

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Your partner isn’t stupid. This classic cheater excuse breeds suspicion, even if you ARE innocent. Be honest about your need for solo time, or address underlying relationship issues if you’re constantly seeking distraction rather than wanting to go home.

7. “You’re The Only One” (When You’re Not Monogamous)

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If open or poly relationships are your truth, own it. Lying about it is cruel manipulation. Ethical non-monogamy requires MORE communication, not less. Yes, the initial conversation is hard, but dishonesty is far worse long-term, destroying any chance of real trust.

8. Anything That Attacks Their Core Identity

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“Your taste in music is terrible” or “You’ll never amount to much” are ways to get back at them when you’re upset, but that’s not okay. Words cut deep, especially from someone we love. Disagreements are healthy, but insults aimed at who they ARE cause wounds that may never fully heal, making them retreat defensively rather than grow together.

9. “I’ve Never Done This Before” (Regarding Risky Behavior)

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Lying about drug use, unsafe sexual history, etc., puts your partner’s health at risk. They have the right to make informed choices about their body. Honesty fosters proactivity – getting tested, taking precautions – while deception breeds distrust and potential harm.

10. “I Was With…” (Someone You Shouldn’t Be With)

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Even if nothing inappropriate happened, lying about the company you keep destroys trust. It signals poor judgment and that your partner can’t rely on your word. Instead of covering your tracks, address WHY you felt the need to deceive in the first place.

11. “I’ll Change” (When You Have No Intention of Doing So)

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Promising to get therapy, quit a bad habit, etc., just to placate them is cruel. They cling to this false hope, while resentment builds as no change occurs. Either commit to the work, or be honest: “I’m not ready to change that right now.” They may be upset, but it allows them to make choices for their own well-being.

12. “They’re Just a Friend” (When It’s More)

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This triggers primal fears of being replaced. Even if you’re not physically cheating, downplaying a budding attraction hurts your partner. Be upfront if you’re forming a connection that goes beyond friendship. This allows you to both navigate it with respect for existing commitments.

13. “This Was on Sale!” (When It’s a Splurge)

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Seems minor, but it’s a lie about a shared resource – finances. Undermining any budgetary agreements creates conflict, even if your partner is financially comfortable. Transparency fosters a sense of being in this together, while even “little” deceptions chip away at the spirit of equal partnership.

14. Exaggerating Your Partner’s Flaws to Others

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Venting to trusted friends is healthy; painting your partner as a villain is not. They’ll eventually find out (people talk), making reconciliation far harder. Speak with love even when frustrated, or address issues with your partner directly, not to an outside audience.

15. “I Don’t Want Kids” (When You Do, or Might)

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This is a life-altering deception, Verywell Family explains. Whether they’re sure they want them or open to it, depriving them of this choice to appease you is incredibly selfish. Don’t gamble on them changing their mind. If your feelings are unclear, be honest about that uncertainty so they can make informed choices about the future.

16. Blaming Them For Your Own Bad Behavior

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“You made me angry,” or,”If you didn’t nag, I wouldn’t drink” are lies meant to absolve you of responsibility. Everyone gets upset, but you choose how to react. Own your actions, apologize sincerely for the harm caused, then work on healthier coping mechanisms, individually or within the relationship.

17. “I Don’t Find You Attractive Anymore”

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Ouch. Instead of this ego-shattering statement, focus on actionable solutions. “I’ve felt disconnected lately, can we be more intentional about intimacy?” Talk about underlying stress, explore new things in the bedroom. If the spark is truly gone, be honest, but frame it with compassion, not cruelty.

18. “It Never Happened” (Gaslighting)

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Denying their reality, especially for hurtful things, is psychological abuse. It makes them doubt their sanity, weakening their ability to leave a harmful situation. If you screwed up, a sincere apology, even if long overdue, starts the healing process. Trying to erase their experience does further, lasting damage.

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Phoebe Mertens is a writer, speaker, and strategist who has helped dozens of female-founded and led companies reach success in areas such a finance, tech, science, and fashion. Her keen eye for detail and her innovative approach to modern womanhood makes her one of the most sought-out in her industry, and there's nothing she loves more than to see these companies shine.

With an MBA from NYU's Stern School of Business and features in Forbes and Fast Company she Phoebe has proven she knows her stuff. While she doesn't use social media, she does have a private Instagram just to look at pictures of cats.
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