Is Honesty the Best Policy in Marriage?

A couple of weeks ago, an acquaintance of mine and I were talking and she informed me about lying to her husband. She said that “I lied to him, withheld information and I am not really sure if I should apologize and tell him the truth?”

After drilling her about why she felt the need to lie to her hubs, she finally admitted that she was not telling him the truth because she knew she was wrong.

“It is not a big deal,” she said. “He doesn’t need to know, right?” she added waiting for my approval.

This made me think about a statement that I heard many times in my life and live by till today. That honesty is the best policy.

But is being honest — in marriage — the best policy? Hmm…

In my opinion, honesty is such a vital ingredient in any marriage. Honesty in marriage creates happiness, a sense of security, and loyalty to one another. Honesty is a key building block for a lasting marriage.

Been sheeg, laakiin been run u eg sheeg.

Somali Proverb

Like my friend, I know there are a lot of others who think that telling a little white lie isn’t going to be damaging at all. Perhaps they are completely right, but one thing I know is that one white lie will ultimately turn into a bigger white lie. As a result, this would probably keep you up at night. And as Sweet Brown said, ain’t nobody got time for that!

At the same time, there should be boundaries to completely avoid. For instance, if you know that whatever you are going to share may be really harmful to your marriage, be sure to think about what the outcome will be. If you do decide to spill the tea, make sure you choose a good time to disclose this information. Choose your words carefully, be sensitive, and just tell the truth.

Others feel that in order to keep the peace, it may be judicious to tell “half-truths” or white lies. This allows you to not hurt your spouse’s feelings; actually, the mere fact that you are putting their feelings first is honorable. I, somewhat, agree with this. Sometimes it is just better to keep shut and not hurt your spouse’s feelings depending on what it is you need to share. If she has gained a few pounds and she starts asking questions, tell her she looks beautiful the way she is.

There is this Somali proverb that says, “been sheeg laakiin been run u eg sheeg.” So even if you are telling a little small lie, make sure the lie somewhat resembles the truth.

It is really important that you hold yourself accountable and avoid that which can be destructive to your marriage.

On the other hand, if your spouse directly asks you something, you should definitely be honest. It is one thing to not be asked something directly and lie. But it is something totally different if you are asked about it straightforwardly and you lie about it.

More likely than not, you’ll find that it is far better to just let your spouse know the truth so that you both can address the issue and work on a solution together. It is also really important that you hold yourself accountable and avoid that which can be destructive to your marriage. Being transparent with your spouse is crucial. This will create a sense of reassurance, love, and respect between the two of you.

Be sure to build each other’s trust.

Lying to your spouse can potentially cause them to be suspicious of you, to not believe you or even worse, to not trust you. Like they say, if you want to be trusted, be honest. In any relationship, trust is a key element that must be present. By being dishonest, you are risking the trust in your marriage to dissolve.

At times, it can be extremely difficult, to tell the truth; no matter how hard it may be, be honest anyway. In my eyes, yes, honesty is the best policy.

When your spouse knows that you’re lying to them, it creates a doubt in their mind about every truth you told. It’ll also cause suspicion to arise even when you are being truthful in the future. The hardest thing for someone to admit is that they are at fault; that they are wrong. Your integrity should be all that matters.

Dear married folks (and for those of you who are in a relationship), work hard on finding some balance. The key isn’t to always be completely 100% honest; your compatibility and your willingness to work with one another is also key. Yes, there are times that white lies will come in handy to keep the peace, but please remember never to damage your marriage by going overboard and lying to your spouse about something you know you shouldn’t. Remember been fakatay runi ma gaarto — the truth never catches up with a propagated lie.

What do you think? Is honesty the best policy in marriage? Should you and are you always honest with your spouse? I would love to read your thoughts. Leave a comment below. Also, please consider sharing if you think this may be helpful or useful for someone.

As always, I leave you with lots of love. XOXO


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