Healthy relationships are all about honesty and trust. Without these two things, even the most passionate of partners are bound to drift apart eventually. But when they do, are those two qualities out the window? What we mean is, once your partner becomes your ex, is it OK to lie to them every now and then? Whether you find a few fibs morally acceptable or not is personal, but the fact of the matter is that there are few people out there who don’t lie to their exes every now and again. About what, you ask? Keep reading to discover some of the most common lies people tell their ex-spouses.
1“No, there’s nobody else.”
Though you might think that this lie is protecting your ex-spouse from even more pain, it’s only going to hurt you later on when they inevitably find out the truth. If the reality is that the cause of your separation was somebody else, it’s better to let your partner know than to have them find out via social media or a third party, effectively ruining whatever relationship between the two of you remains.
2“I never thought about other people when we were together.”
Even in the happiest of relationships, it’s only natural for people to fantasize about celebrities, coworkers, or cute strangers from the bar. But is this something that your ex-spouse needs to know about in the midst of your divorce? Probably not. If you want to end things on amicable terms, then this fib is probably for the best.
3“No, I’m not seeing anyone new.”
If you and your spouse did part on good terms, then the last thing you want to do is upset them with the news that you’re dating again. When things get serious, you’ll inform them of your new relationship status—but until then, there’s no reason why you should have to divulge private information about your personal life to your ex-spouse.
4“I’m really happy you’re doing well!”
What are you supposed to say? That you wish your ex was as lonely and miserable as you feel sometimes? This is a lose-lose situation, honestly.
When your ex asks how you’re doing, you fake a smile and inform them that things are “fine,” because 1. It’s none of their business and 2. It’ll only make you feel worse knowing that your ex knows that they still have control over your emotions. Watching your former spouse move on with someone else while you replay memories of good times in your head likely has you feeling anything but “fine.” But that’s the kind of information that you save for your friends and your therapist.
6“I still want to be friends.”
Remaining friends with an ex-spouse is difficult, especially if you still harbor feelings for them and they’ve moved on, or vice versa. However, sometimes it’s easiest to go along with whatever your ex-spouse suggests—especially if there are kids involved. Of course, you can always make a different decision down the line.
7“I never actually loved you.”
Not every separation is civilized. Rather, some divorces can get pretty nasty—and when they do, it’s not uncommon for people to lie to their ex-spouses about the fact that they never even loved them in the first place. It’s a low blow that cuts deep—and it’s usually just a defense mechanism—but it’s a common lie nonetheless.
8“I’ll never love someone as much as I loved you.”
On the other hand, this might be something you tell your ex just to appease them. Heck, in the moment, you might’ve even felt like you meant it! However, one 2014 report from the Pew Research Center found that 67 percent of people between the ages of 55 to 64 got remarried, so suffice it to say that you’re quite likely to fall in love again after you get divorced.
9“No one will ever love you like I love you.”
Though this is more of a manipulation than a lie, it is nonetheless something that exes say to one another that is both untrue and meant to cause pain. The fact of the matter is, odds are that someone will love you (and someone will likely love them, too). Yes, it might be different, but that doesn’t necessarily mean worse.
10“Of course I put the kids to bed before 9 p.m.”
When a divorce involves children, it often becomes the case that each parent develops their own parenting style. And if you’re the more relaxed parent, then you know that sometimes it’s better to fib whenever your ex asks whether the kids were in bed at a reasonable hour or how much TV they watched. What they don’t know won’t hurt them!
11“No, I don’t mind taking the kids again next weekend.”
Do you want to rearrange your entire weekend yet again just so your ex can go on a last-minute getaway with their new partner? Of course not. But you say yes anyway, because the kids are just as much yours as they are theirs—and you’ll eventually inevitably need your ex to return the favor.
12“Don’t worry, my girlfriend/boyfriend wasn’t over when the kids were here.”
With your schedule as busy as it is, you hardly have time to balance time with the kids and time with your new beau, and so sometimes it just makes sense to hang out with everyone at once. Of course, you’re not going to willingly tell your ex that (and you’re going to hope the kids don’t either).
13“I was only pretending to like that thing you love.”
When breakups start to get ugly, former spouses will say anything they can think of just to get under their ex’s skin. In the heat of the moment, you might even pretend that you secretly hated the TV show the two of you once bonded over—if only to make them feel like your entire relationship was a lie. Ouch.
14“Yes, it’s fine that you’re dating my friends now.”
More than 7 billion people in the world and you just had to start dating one of my friends? No, really, it’s fine.
15“It’s not you, it’s me.”
Sorry, but it’s probably you. And if you’re on the fence about splitting up with your spouse.