Lies: Good or Bad for a Marriage?

Not all lies are equal or bad, so says Elizabeth Bernstein in the Wall Street Journal.

No one would ever claim that lies about infidelity would be acceptable. But, as Ms. Bernstein urges, “the fibs and feints and little white lies that serve as a social salve and help a relationship run smoothly.”

Some of the acceptable reasons, to fib, she argues, include- “to avoid conflict, to gain approval, to save face or just to be kind.”

Every man learns, for instance, that the answer to the question “does this outfit make me look fat” is an emphatic “No!” Perhaps this is not a lie- maybe the rose colored glasses from which a husband views his wife takes ten pounds off her backside.

Asking do I look fat or which outfit looks better on me calls for an opinion. But, would it be acceptable to lie about a fact?

One of the major reasons for divorce is that there is a loss of trust. Where do you draw the line between little inconsequential lies and the complete betrayal of trust? If the lie is of little consequence, why even bother to lie? If the entire foundation of the marriage is based on lies, isn’t the marriage destined to self-destruct?

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