15 signs your partner isn’t being completely honest with you, according to psychology

The foundation of any healthy relationship is honesty. Be it little white lies or major whoppers, once your trust in your partner begins to erode, your relationship is on borrowed time.

According to psychology, dishonesty is one of the main reasons that couples split up. 

It’s heart-wrenching to find out that your partner has been lying to you. And the more time you’ve invested in the relationship, the harder it will be to accept.

Research studies confirm that most people expect truth and honesty from their partners. 

Once lying comes into play it leads to hopelessness and hurt for the partner whose trust has been broken. 

Dishonesty spawns a never-ending vicious circle of repeated accusations and denials that chip away at the relationship’s veneer of mutual respect and love.

Are you wondering if your partner is deceiving you? Check out the signs below to find out if your partner is being dishonest according to psychology. 

1) They dodge your questions

If your person is hiding something from you, the more you pry the more evasive they’ll become. If this isn’t typical behavior from  your partner, it can be a sign that something is amiss.

Trying to have the difficult conversations may be exhausting and fruitless. When asking a direct question, your partner may avoid answering by changing the subject or just saying, “I don’t know.”

2) The story changes on a dime

Nobody’s suggesting that you interrogate your partner like you’re starring in an old-time gangster movie, but if you’re careful to keep track of their inconsistent story lines, you won’t need to anyway.

If your SO is being dishonest with you, their narrative most will likely be liberally sprinkled with things that don’t add up or make sense. 

3) Their phone habits change

Cell phones have become a major factor in dishonest relationships. Your partner might hide their phone whenever you enter the same room, or you may catch them furtively texting at odd hours like early in the morning or very late at night. 

Curiouser and curiouser!

Such shenanigans will probably set off your intuition, and what you find could break your heart.

If your partner is reluctant to make or receive calls when you’re around, they’re holding a nice big bouquet of red flags for you.  

Even if they pick up a call in your presence, if they’re dishonest about the reason for the call or the fib about who the caller is, they are lying to you

4) Their routine suddenly changes

If your partner’s established routine changes, you don’t need to jump to conclusions and automatically assume the worst. But according to psychology, sometimes even minor tweaks to your SO’s day-to-day activities can be a harbinger of doom for your relationship. 

Are they culling out a block of time to sneak around, maybe with someone else? If your gut is telling you that something is off, it probably is.

5) They lack accountability

One of the fundamental building blocks of any healthy relationship is the ability of each party to take responsibility for their actions.

On occasion, partners get on each other’s nerves and they argue. But they can usually rebound back as strong as ever – assuming each person acknowledges their wrongdoing and makes amends.

A dishonest person rarely takes responsibility for their actions. Instead, they prefer to lay all blame at their partner’s feet.

6) Broken promises 

Does your partner’s mouth write checks that their actions don’t back up? The repeated refusal to keep promises is a troubling sign of dishonesty.  

Naturally, there are times when circumstances unexpectedly change making it impossible to follow through on a promise. That can happen to anyone.

But if your SO consistently breaks their promises, they’re showing you that they’re not trustworthy. Take the hint because you deserve better.

7) They unconsciously cover their mouth

Body language has been the downfall of many a fibber. Most liars feel some semblance of guilt about their actions which can result in some damning subconscious tells. 

Their words are persuasive, but their body language sends an opposing message. This could manifest as nervous ticks or tense behavior even if they claim they’re totally relaxed.

For example, a dishonest person may cover their mouth with their hand. They might even turn away from you while telling a particularly heinous lie. Or their eyes will dart around, resting on anything but you, the victim of their deceit. 

If you’re seeing a lot of these types of behavior from your partner, remain vigilant. You might be getting played. 

8) Exceedingly vague

If someone has nothing to hide they’ll be an open book about how they spent their day, and with whom. 

So if your partner has become uncharacteristically vague or secretive, it may be a clue that they’re up to no good. 

I wish I’d known this years ago. When I’d ask my other half at the time where he went after work he’d snap, “Just out.” If I pushed the issue, he’d use that as an excuse to bolt back out the door, which was what he was hoping for in the first place.

Curt responses like this one are always an ominous sign.

9) Needless detail

phrases man not ready for serious relationship 15 signs your partner isn't being completely honest with you, according to psychology

Sometimes someone who’s trying to deceive you can choose the opposite direction and embellish their lies to a laughable degree.  

Their explanations are just bursting with needless details and nonsensical ramblings. 

Think about it. If you ask most people what they did last weekend, they’ll most likely pause and think for a minute. 

On the other hand, a liar might get their replies ready ahead of time, and then bombard you with a million details in a way that reeks of deceit.

A family friend would do this all the time when he’d call to check in with the wife. How she didn’t see through it is beyond me. His performances bordered on Vaudevillian. 

Perhaps she chose not to because the repercussions of facing the truth were too hard to bear.

10) Your sixth sense is tingling

For the most part, our intuition is a pretty reliable gauge of what furtive behavior is going on around us. 

Even if you are a generally trusting person, your intuition will nudge you when something is “off.”

If you get a sudden inkling from your gut that something is amiss, chances are you’re right. Don’t ignore your factory-installed lie detector. 

11) Freudian slips

If your partner is hiding something from you, they may unconsciously beseech you to trust them

For example, their stories will be sprinkled with phrases like “trust me,” or “this is the honest truth.” 

It may sound like innocent colloquialisms we all use, but with a dishonest partner chances are this is guilt unconsciously manifesting while they’re trying their darndest to placate you and show you that everything is just spiffy.

12) They exclude you on social media 

Social media plays a huge part in modern life, much to the detriment of our

relationships. Most partners in healthy relationships follow each other on social media as a matter of course. 

If you’ve sent your partner friend requests on their social accounts and they don’t accept you need to ask yourself why and be prepared for the answer. 

13) Excuses, excuses

According to psychology, another calling card of a dishonest partner is their penchant for giving excuses instead of being accountable. Your SO has an answer for every who, what, where, and why.

Unfortunately, you’ll need hip waders to navigate your way through all the half-truths, fibs, and downright lies.

And since they are never at fault (in their estimation, anyway), they’ll adeptly shift the blame to anyone else but themselves.

14) They hide their finances from you 

Financial problems are one of the top reasons that couples divorce. If you aren’t willing to share the ins and outs of your finances with your partner, maybe you aren’t ready for a committed adult relationship.

15) Whereabouts: Unknown

Hopefully, you and your partner don’t follow each other around everywhere you go, but couples in healthy relationships usually know where their person is. 

If your SO isn’t sharing with you where they’re going and what they’re doing, you can pretty much bet your bippy that they’re trying to pull the wool over your eyes.

Final thoughts

Everyone tells lies from time to time. In some instances, small lies to protect someone’s feelings or keep the peace in your relationship are actually beneficial.

It’s all about context.

However, according to psychology, excessive or pathological lying can cause irreparable damage to your relationship by destroying the trust between you.

If you notice any of these aforementioned signs of dishonesty, address it with your partner sooner than later.  It will either save and strengthen your relationship or make it clear that it’s time to move on. 

Picture of Kathy Copeland Padden

Kathy Copeland Padden

Kathy Copeland Padden lives in a New England forest paradise with her cats, kid, and trusty laptop. She has been writing since age 8 and is such a pack rat she can back that up with physical evidence. Music is her solace and words are her drug, so her house is strewn with records and books. Watch your step.

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