Last week I talked about the lies I sometimes tell my children, as well as those I tell on behalf of my children. This week, I am talking about the lies I tell my husband. Some of them are so automatic that I forget that they are actually UNtrue. My plan is to clean up these false statements so that my marriage will be stronger. Besides, once he reads this post, I will be so busted.
Here are the top 10 lies I tell my husband:
- I’m not mad. Why do I even say this when it’s so obvious that I am fuming? Why do I have to start every hard conversation with that defensive salvo, “I’m not mad.” What is so wrong about being mad? And Lord help him if he’s the first to mention that I might be a little bit angry. Under those circumstances, you can bet your Pumpkin Spiced Latte that I will never admit anger.
- No, I’ve had this forever. Anyone with me on this one? Your husband notices that you have something new (sweater, scarf, shoes), but you can’t bring yourself to admit your latest shopping spree? You roll out the whitest of lies– “This old thing? I’ve had it forever.” I have diluted the potency of this little trick through rampant overuse.
- I had a coupon. On the rare occasion that I actually admit that my sweater is new, I am quick to follow up with this little gem. I assume that even though I have never in my life used a coupon and my husband knows that, he’ll still buy this little clump of BS.
- It won’t hurt my feelings if you don’t want to eat it. I came THIS close to saying this last night about a meal I had worked relatively hard on (I chopped and sautéed). If you must know, it was a Spanish chickpea stew with turkey meatballs. When I tasted it, I thought it sucked. I opened my mouth to tell Jeff that I would not be offended if he made himself a different dinner. But I stopped myself. Because that would have been a lie. (This lie is an example of something I wish was true about me. I certainly wish I was carefree and self-assured enough to absorb the humiliating blows of a spouse who hates your cooking. But, I am not. Luckily, Jeff knows that so we can skip this charade most of the time.)
- I don’t have a preference. Sometimes, this is a true statement, but often, it’s just a distortion of the truth, which is that I DEFINITELY have a strong preference (that he change Simon’s diaper, or that he make the salad without onions, or that he stay with the kids while I run to Costco).
- You don’t have to buy me a present. Here’s the deal with this one. I say this hoping that he will know I am lying. I want to be the person who doesn’t want a present (even though I really do), but by pretending I don’t want one, I hope I will be rewarded. With a present.
- You can have the big piece. Um, this is only true if we are splitting livers and onions. But if it’s a carb, a sweet, or a vegetable, I want the biggest piece. Actually, I want it all, and I want Jeff to politely back away.
- I just want to say one thing. Everyone who has spent more than 6 seconds with me knows this is a huge lie, but I still say it all the time. My husband knows better than anyone that “one more thing” always turns into about 19, which means I either do not understand math or I am a liar. (Or both.)
- Take your time. The kids and I are fine! Much like #6, this is a lie that is born of the disparity between who I am (the struggling shrew who wants her husband to come home to help her) and who I want to be (the patient, wise, modern-day Mary Poppins who has everything under control all the time). Many times I do mean that Jeff should take his time, but only if that takes no more than 5 more minutes. Language– it’s so slippery.
- I haven’t seen it. This is a lie that I find myself telling, hoping my husband will think it was either the babysitter or the cleaning lady or our children who threw away something he was looking for. In my fits of decluttering, I tend to throw away tons of household items that my husband uses. But, when he’s standing at the counter asking where the special brush for the cast iron pan is, I can’t bring myself to tell him I chucked it. So, I lie.
I am exposing these lies to the light that emanates from the Interwebs. Here’s to my getting-more-honest-everyday project! (I just named that project right here, so it has not previously been a thing, but it may be a thing now.)
Do you ever fib to your partner? Do tell!