Everyone is guilty of telling the odd white lie now and again, but when it comes to relationships which should be built on trust, is it ever acceptable to lie to your partner?
According to London-based psychologist and novelist Hélene Fermont even in the healthiest relationships, there are some things that you other half just doesn’t need to know about.
And the writer, who explores themes of lying in her latest novel, insists that every woman should make a point of having her own bank account – and not disclosing the balance to her partner.
‘Not being financially independent leaves you in danger of feeling trapped with someone that’s not right for you,’ she told FEMAIL. ‘Lying to protect your own freedom and safety when necessary is acceptable.
‘It’s not necessary to reveal the exact amount in the account. As long as both parties know the other is financially independent and they are honest about the important things, having funds to yourself is not an issue.
‘Even the most well-meaning and healthy relationships can fall apart, and it is important to have that ‘rainy day’ fund just in case it comes to an end. And if you don’t end up using it – at least you can feel proud that you’re not dependent on someone else.’
Helen added: ‘Having your own financial independence and not depending on someone for a roof over your head is fundamental to being in a healthy and loving relationship. For a balanced relationship, both parties should contribute towards bills and expenditure.’
However, she added that if your partner finding out about your bank balance is an overwhelming worry, you might want to question whether or not it’s really a healthy relationship.
Another lie Helene says it’s acceptable to tell without fundamentally putting your partnership at risk is anything to do with past relationships.
THE UPS AND DOWNS OF LYING
· A few white lies here and there are usually innocent
· You are not obligated to reveal everything to your partner
· But repeated lying can lead to relationship breakdown
· Lying frequently snowballs into more lying
· Why do you feel the need to lie? Feeling you need to keep secrets can be a warning sign of a controlling or abusive relationship
‘When you first begin dating someone, and you are still getting to know the person – you are not obligated to disclose all information from your past relationships and the reasons they didn’t work out,’ she explained.
‘These reasons can often be very personal and you should never feel obligated to tell all. Sometimes the past is better left in the past.’
Another instance where it’s fine to tell a white lie is when someone asks for your opinion on their appearance or needs reassurance.
‘We are all guilty of paying someone we love a compliment that we don’t mean, saying something looks nice when it doesn’t, or laughing at a joke we don’t find funny. This is often because we don’t want to hurt their feelings,’ she said.
‘These small lies are generally harmless, especially when they are well meant. It is when people deliberately lie about fundamental issues that the foundations begin to crack.’
While telling a few white lies now and again may not have any dangerous impact, there can be consequences.
‘There are a few instances where it might be necessary to keep things from your loved ones – for your own health and safety – but this doesn’t come without risks,’ she explained.
‘The danger of lying is that it can frequently lead to more lying. You are stuck with an added pressure of keeping up with the lie to save yourself from being found out. It becomes a vicious cycle and cause a relationship to breakdown.
‘Consistent lying can be very destructive to both parties.’
Hélene Fermont’s new novel explores the theme of lying in relationships. His Guilty Secret is out now, available from Amazon, priced £9.99 in paperback and £3.99 as an e-book. For more information see helenefermont.com
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