1. I love you. I know it’s a little obvious. But wives need to hear this little phrase over and over. I don’t know if it can be said too much.
2. You are beautiful. Every woman wants to be beautiful. Tell her how she is beautiful and what about her is pretty.
3. Thank you for all the little things you do. Women usually do quite a few little things that may seem unnoticeable day to day, but they are big things! Let her know you don’t take her and the work she does for granted.
4. You are smart. Women have sometimes been belittled and sometimes assumed inferior. Tell your wife how smart she is. Point out some ways you have learned from her.
5. I am a better man because I am with you. Express to your wife that you have become a better man because she is in your life. She challenges you and pushes you to do your best. Because of her support, you have achieved goals & dreams in your life.
6. Tell me about your day. Women like to talk. Be genuine and ask your wife how her day was. Really listen and pay attention showing her that she is important to you.
7. I need you. Let you wife know that you really need her. Without her you would not be able to do all that you do.
8. Sit down and put your feet up. Yes. Sometimes wives need a little break! Take over dinner or the laundry for a few minutes and let her get some quiet time in.
9. You are a great mom. If you are blessed with children, then your wife has a very demanding job. She is on call 24/7. Let her know that you really appreciate her role in your children’s lives. And that she is doing a fabulous job too.
10. How can I help you? Find out what you can do to help your wife out. You might be surprised at all the little tasks she has to do each day. Just taking on one of them would be a big help to her.
People lie for all kinds of reasons but when you are on the receiving end of a lie, it rarely feels good. Sometimes people lie because they are afraid of the other person’s reaction, they feel they are not good enough, they are protecting another person’s feelings or they are enabling their own or another person’s addiction. Lying can also be related to attachment difficulties from early childhood. Whatever the cause, learn how to work through the lies in your relationship and move toward a healthier place.
Who You Can Control
The only person you can control is yourself. You are in charge of your own thoughts, feelings, actions and reactions. No matter how much you want to make another person tell the truth, it needs to be her own decision to do so. When your emotions, desire to control or sense of self-worth are particularly tied to another person’s behavior or feelings, it could be helpful to seek out therapy or a support group for possible issues with codependency, attachment or trauma.
Communicate Your Experience
When you suspect someone is lying, it is important to communicate what you know to be true about the situation, as well as your thoughts and feelings. Instead of talking in “you” statements, which place the blame on the other person, use “I” statements to communicate your own experience. For example:
- “When I found this empty alcohol bottle that was still wet on the inside, then I thought that you had started drinking and I felt afraid that the kids and I would lose you. I feel scared that the future I envision for us will not be possible.”
Remember to maintain a calm, compassionate tone of voice and keep eye contact. When you talk about your own observations, thoughts and feelings, you make the conversation about the thing that you can control: you. It seems less threatening to the other person, who can choose to put you at ease, or admit to any wrongdoing. He might also get defensive or angry, but remember that his response is his own responsibility, not yours.
Remember that the other person may or may not be honest about her actions, even when you have been transparent and honest about your experience. Listen actively to her response by paying attention to her tone, the emotion behind what she is saying and whether or not the facts line up and make sense to you. Breathe deeply, stay calm and repeat back what you hear her saying to make sure you are hearing what she intends to communicate. For example:
- “I hear the struggle and pain in what you are saying. It seems like you are afraid that I will be upset with you and not believe you. I can understand your fears. You are saying that you brought Fred home from the meeting to help him sober up while I was out of town and that the bottle is not yours. Is that right?”
Set Proper Boundaries
Once you have heard the other person’s response to your concerns, tune in to your own emotional condition. Do you feel angry or are you experiencing overwhelming feelings? Perhaps it is time to set some healthy boundaries to look out for your own best interests. The boundaries to set will vary based on the history of your relationship and whether or not you are satisfied with the other person’s response. If you feel he is still being untruthful and there is a history of lying in your relationship, you might need to set more rigid boundaries than if this were a one-time thing and your partner admitted to the wrong and is committed to making it right. Here are some ideas on how to set boundaries:
- “As soon as I can talk with Fred to verify that he was here over the weekend, I am willing to let this go and move on. I want to trust you and need some reassurance. Would you like to call Fred, or shall I?”
Once you set a boundary, make sure to follow through with it. Continue your own healthy communication patterns and self-care, regardless of what the other person does.
Relationships can be challenging, and lies complicate things even more because trust is broken. Each person in a relationship comes to the table with her own strengths, weaknesses, history and dysfunction. When things feel overwhelming, hopeless, desperate, or you and your partner seem to be going in circles, therapy can be immensely helpful. If the lies in your relationship are putting you or anyone else in danger, seek professional help in creating and acting out a safety plan. When lies are connected to addiction, groups like Al-Anon provide community and coping skills for moving forward. No matter what is happening with you or your relationship, you never have to face it alone.