Is it possible to forgive a partner for lying? 'Where there is love, there is a way'- therapist says

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Illustration by Getty Images
Illustration by Getty Images
  • Marriage therapist Bakhe Dlamini says lies impact a relationship negatively. "They deplete trust in the relationship, bring pain, divide the couple, and cause conflict." 
  • Some common lies that destroy relationships are cheating, lying about finances, children born out of the relationship or a medical condition.
  • "If the partner who has lied takes full responsibility and genuinely shows remorse and change, there is room to forgive," Dlamini advises. 


A woman recently shared on social media that her husband of nine months had lied to her, "It is a lie I am not willing to forgive," she wrote after finding out that he had three children outside of their marriage. Although the woman admitted that her husband was the best thing that had ever happened to her, she could not move on from this betrayal and constantly asked herself what else her husband could be hiding from her.

As the saying goes, "lies have short legs" in this case, they jeopardise a good marriage and destroy a happy home.  

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Marriage therapist Bakhe Dlamini says lies impact a relationship negatively. "They deplete trust in the relationship, bring pain, divide the couple, and cause conflict. After being lied to, it can take a while to trust your partner again. At times, it takes forever, and loss of trust destroys a relationship."

According to Bakhe, some of the most common lies that destroy relationships are cheating, lying about finances, children born out of the relationship or a medical condition.

Is there such a thing as a small or big lie? Those who lie in relationships and marriages may think it is a way to protect their partners from hurt and protect themselves from shame or embarrassment. But, when lies come out, they can destroy everything.

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Bakhe says, "Lies are lies. What is called "small lies" could over time, add up to a solid case against you. "Is it possible to forgive a partner for lying? "Where there is love, there is a way," he says.

"If the partner who has lied takes full responsibility and genuinely shows remorse and change, there is room to forgive. For the relationship to work out and be on a path of healing, the partner who was lied to must also make a conscious decision to let go and forgive." 

"Inability to heal emotionally on the part of the partner who has been lied to means it may be difficult to move on. Also, there could be resentment, anger, desire to seek revenge, constant conflict, etc."

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