Lying is a sin which is classified among the Greater sins. The famous scholar, Shaykh Ansari writes in his book, Makasib al-Muharrama:
”Common sense suggests lying is Harām, all the revealed religions also say so; particularly Islam. The Qur’an is explicit in this regard. The corpus of hadith (opinion of the majority of the jurists) verifies this tenet and reason also sustains this assertion.”
The Prophet of Islam in another tradition is quoted to have said, ”When a believer utters a lie without a valid excuse, he is cursed by seventy thousand angels. Such a stench emanates from his heart that it reaches the sky and because of this single lie Allah writes for him a sin equivalent to that of committing seventy fornications; such fornications that the least of which is fornication with one’s mother.” (Mustadrak ul-Wasa’il)
A Muslim can be a sinner (all types of sins) but the Prophet denied that Muslim can be a liar, the one who is seeking lies all the time will be recorded as a liar by God and this is a very bad in this life and here after.
Truthfulness is one of the pillars on which the moral survival of the world depends. It is the foundation of praiseworthy characteristics, the foundation of prophethood, and the result of taqwah. Were it not for truthfulness, the rulings of all divinely-revealed laws would collapse.
”It is only those who believe not in the Ayah (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) of Allah, who fabricate falsehood, and it is they who are liars.” [16:105]
Consequently, lying can be problematic in a marriage. Sometimes people lie about little things, like what time they arrived home or how the vase got broken. Other times, it is more serious lies about who they were with and what they were doing.
Lying can feel like a serious form of betrayal. If you catch your spouse in a lie, it is important to examine your reaction. Your behaviors may influence the likelihood that your spouse may lie again. The following may help you in having a better reaction in confronting a lying spouse:
1. Review the Types of Lies
If you catch your spouse in a lie, take a look at whether or not it seems to be an isolated incident or a pattern. It’s not very often that a lie is an isolated incident, however. Lying is often a pattern for people and they sometimes get into the habit of stretching the truth.
2. Examine How You Would Have Reacted to the Truth
After you have reviewed the types of lies you are hearing, it is important to examine how you would have reacted to the truth. For example, if your spouse acknowledged, ”I forgot to pay the electric bill,” what would you have done? If you would have yelled or blown things out of proportion, there’s a chance your reactions may be contributing to the problem. It’s important that you are able to express your anger in appropriate ways. Problems provide an opportunity to work together on solving them if you are both honest and able to address them respectfully.
3. Communicate with Your Spouse
When you catch your spouse in a lie, provide a gentle confrontation. Talk to your spouse about your concerns and share that you are hurt by lying. Encourage your spouse to discuss the reasons for the lie. Try to work together on developing a plan that encourages your spouse to be more honest.
Agree to do your part to make it less threatening to tell the truth. Discuss how you can respond in a way that is helpful to your partner.
4. Consider Seeking Help
If you and your spouse are struggling to deal with dishonesty it can be harmful to your marriage. Learning how to deal with the hurt and resentment caused by lying can be very difficult to deal with. It can cause a lot of feelings of betrayal and can break down trust in the marriage.
If you are having difficulty dealing with dishonesty in the marriage, consider seeking professional help. A marriage counselor can help you learn how to build a trusting environment, to be more honest with one another, and to rebuild trust after it has been broken. If your spouse is not interested in counseling, you can always enter into therapy for yourself. Often, one person can benefit from counseling and this can improve the marriage even if the other person does not attend.