We know, honesty is the best policy when it comes to relationships.
If you want to flush your partnership down the toilet the quickest way possible, start lying to them and keeping secrets. See how quickly it catches up with you.
However, in the quest for all-consuming honesty, sometimes people’s feelings and the intention behind your words in the first place, get overlooked.
Listen: We’ve all lied to our kids. (Post continues.)
With that in mind, we spoke to a psychologist willing to give you a pass on some of those teensy weensy white lies and secrets kept that do more good than harm.
Keep in mind this isn’t an all-access pass to Liarpalooza – context is the key. But here are the times you could, and possibly should, lie or withhold the truth from your partner:
When you’ve been hit on by a stranger.
You’re in a committed relationship and just happen to be looking mighty fine as you walk into a cafe. A stranger tries to charm you and maybe even makes a move, and you politely decline.
Sydney-based clinical psychologist Stephanie Allen from Life & Mind Psychology, says this is not a story worth regaling to your significant other.
“You’ve got to ask yourself what is there to be gained by telling them the information or what are the consequences if I don’t tell them this information,” Allen says.
Conversely, think about what the potential harms are if you do tell them.
“Why would you tell them something like that when they’re just going to get upset about it for really no reason?”
“Ask, ‘is keeping this information to myself something that in my wisdom I think is for the benefit of our relationship?’ Then it’s a carefully thought-out decision.”
When you’ve overheard something mean.
If you’ve noticed they’re getting trolled online for a social media post or overheard a mean comment from an acquaintance at a party, it’s not worth opening your mouth about it, says Allen.
“If it’s their close friend then that’s different,” she adds. But if your instinct is to tell your partner about a stranger’s words just so they can defend themselves, ask yourself why it’s worth upsetting them in the first place?
When you don’t like their family or friends.
Your partner’s family is well, annoying. Actually not the whole family, it’s really just their sister. She complains a lot, is often a bit rude to her mum and has a habit of turning every conversation into one about herself.
You don’t want to spend any more time with this woman than you have to. So should you tell your partner?