Cheating and lying go hand in hand.

Lying involves willfully generating information that is counter to the actual truth in an attempt to deceive another person

– Zuckerman, DePaulo, & Rosenthal, 1981

Why can’t a cheating spouse tell you the truth?

  • It’s an Exit Affair –. Some cheaters are too concerned/stressed/guilty to end a committed relationship or ask for a divorce – for a variety of reasons. So they have an affair in order to force the issue and bring things to a close. You may never get the truth as they have years of emotions and resentment to work through, before they can admit – that they have been unhappy for along time (and perhaps never wanted to get married in the first place.)
  • Embarrassment – the cheater may be too embarrassed at having been discovered to talk about the affair.
  • Guilt – the cheater may be so consumed with guilt that he can’t bring himself to discuss the affair.
  • Fear of Your Reaction – the cheater may be afraid that you will rant and rave, throw things, or become violent. He may be afraid that if he admits to having the affair you will leave or put him out.
  • Concern for Your Feelings – the cheater may be filled with remorse for having hurt you, and afraid that revealing additional facts about the affair will cause you more pain.
  • Inability to Express Himself – the cheater may not know how to verbalize his behavior, how to put his thoughts into words, or how to tactfully describe what he has done. He may not even know why he had the affair.
  • Fear You Won’t Forgive Him – the cheater may feel that his behavior was so despicable that you’ll never be able to forgive him for what he did. He may feel that discussing the matter is a lost cause.
  • Fear that You’ll Use What He Says Against Him – the cheater may be afraid that you’ll use what he says against in a court of law, bring it up in every other conversation from now on, or use it to manipulate him in some way.
  • Assuming Talking Won’t Help – the cheater may feel that he’s already a condemned man — that you’ve already made up your mind to leave him, and that there’s nothing he can say to make you change your mind.

What is a lie?

Everyone tells little lies every now and then. You could call these lies “little white lies” and term the individual an Occasional Liar.

People who tell white lies don’t usually think of themselves as true “liars”. They justify their white lies as harmless, or even beneficial, in the long term. They will sometimes tell only part of the truth, and not be suspected of lying at all. White liars may use their lies to to shield someone from what they believe is a hurtful or damaging truth.

Occasional liars are those who seldom tell a lie. When they do, they are so blown away by what they said their guilt overcomes them. These individuals are quick to ask for forgiveness. Occasional liars might not be perfect, but they are often respected for their attempts at being truthful and humble enough to admit when they are wrong.

Lying defined:

  • To make a statement that one knows to be false, especially with the intention to deceive and manipulate for personal gain.
  • To intentionally give a false impression.
  • Any circumstance is meant to give a false impression that may be favorable to one’s personal gain or personal agenda.
  • Self-deceptive people can appear to believe they are telling the truth, however without clarity beyond egocentric behavior, they are unable to tell the truth consistently and are untrustworthy.


So why is it so hurtful and harmful to lie about cheating and infidelity?
The simple answer is because the lying impacts the emotional connection or bond between the couple.
Lying also impacts the ability to accurately store and retrieve memories. In many affair types, the cheating spouse will create “false memories,” to help ease the guilt and shame around cheating on their spouse.
A false memory is a fabricated or distorted recollection of an event that did not actually happen. People often think of memory as something like a video recorder, accurately documenting and storing everything that happens with perfect accuracy and clarity. In reality, memory is very prone to fallacy.
Research has demonstrated that lying about an event interferes with one’s later recall of that event. After an individual has lied they are unable to accurately recall the concealed truth. When we lie to ourselves, we actually start to believe the lie, and soon it is difficult to recall the actual truth from the lie.
In affair recovery, this inability to recall what was previously talked about can prove to be a painful experience for the betrayed spouse, who obsesses over the affair details continuously. Therefore it is important to work with a qualified 3rd party, to discuss the affair story in the detail level needed for all people to be able to move forward.
Lying also can indicate personality traits that can have terrible effects on the spouse, and other family members. Controlling Behavior runs the gamut in wounded personalities of people that have low self-esteem, fear based thoughts. When these fears are left unchecked, this need to control others may progress into narcissistic and Psychopathic behaviors. One important point to understand about controlling behavior is that it will always lead to some form of psychological or Emotional Manipulation which promotes deception and lying.

The need to assert Control over others leads to Manipulation. The Manipulation of others leads to varying degrees of Deception and Lying.

Control + Manipulation = Deception/Lying.


FYI - It’s All in Your Brain

The tendency to compulsively lie may be attributed to the structure of your brain. A recent study conducted at the University of Southern California (USC) shows that if you have a history of lying, your brain might actually be structured differently than that of a person who is generally honest.

White matter in the prefrontal cortex (the front part of your brain) is responsible for masterminding a lie, which includes weighing how the other party will respond and suppressing your own emotions to limit or eliminate the appearance of nervousness.

Gray matter is the substance that curbs the impulse to lie to make things easier and holds people to their principles.

In the USC study, compulsive liars showed a higher percentage of white matter and a deficit of gray matter.


Read more about lying

Read more about the body language of lying


1 Comment

  1. Marion

    Is there hope to mend a relationship ship after partner has had an affair and lied asking for more space to think about the relationship when he wanted the time to see the same woman for six months


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This
(function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); = id; js.src = "//"; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs); }(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk'));