Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire…

Sarah M is all kinds of awesome. She’s fearless, feisty, generous and wise, has ridiculously amazing shoes and loves to rock a sequinned frock. 

This is Sarah’s first post on AOW, but we’re adamant it won’t be her last-not when she writes as eloquently, hilariously and honestly as this… 

How important is honesty in a relationship? I’ve always considered it to be the foundation on which the house of Mr & Mrs M is built.  I regard myself as an honest person and I have always maintained that I try never to lie, particularly to those who are closest to me.  Looking at it in more detail makes me to realise I lie more often than I thought.  I’ll give you an example:

In the early hours of this morning my sleep was disturbed through stomach ache. It appeared my domestic-goddess-induced use of chickpeas (they seem to be breeding in our tin cupboard) had created a large amount of trapped wind.  In my groggy state I started to turn over to make myself more comfortable and, in doing so, managed to unleash an almighty trump. Flatulence so vociferous that it woke my previously slumbering husband.   He sat bolt upright, startled, and asked what on earth had made such a noise. 

Did I own up? Did I heck.  

“It must have been Raj-next-door’s sticky sash window, darling, nothing to worry about, go back to sleep” and so he settled back down.  As did I, after a silent snigger.  


Mr M came to kiss me goodbye as he left for work this morning and asked me if I remembered the window waking us up.  I realised that I had two choices – #1 deny all knowledge and let him think he’d dreamt it or #2 own up to my impressive guff.  All of a sudden, from nowhere, I found myself telling him the previously unconsidered #3 – elaborating on my untruth. “He’s having problems with his windows like we are. It’s to be expected in a building of this age, I guess’.  A discussion regarding the problems of old sash windows ensued and off he went to work, none the wiser to the ridiculous and unnecessary untruth I had told him. 

I’m going to offer up tiredness as my primary defence (I am not a morning person) but I still have no idea why I did it. I didn’t need to lie, I have no idea where it came from. Is it just me who comes up with ridiculous responses to obvious questions or does this low level lying go on in other relationships? 

Are you someone who’ll respond to their significant other with “These shoes? Oh no, I’ve had them for ages, you just mustn’t have noticed” or are you the woman who sprays the furniture polish around and takes the credit for the house seeming so tidy?  Would you create a culinary masterpiece using packaged ready meals and take the credit for slaving away at the stove all day? Would you tell someone that their bum did look big in that?  

Is lying always unacceptable or does it have an occasional place in a successful relationship?  I’d love to hear your views (and if anyone can make me feel better with an utterly ridiculous falsehood of their own, please do leave a comment). 
Categories: Family, Friends and Relationships, Marriage
21 interesting thoughts on this


  1. Anonymous
    Posted November 29, 2011 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

    Well that made me think!! Last time I woke OH up with a trump he knew exactly what it was!! I'm not guilty of shoe or clothing related untruths, but small lies do creep in…….keeping them small is the key!! Great piece!!

  2. Posted November 29, 2011 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

    Sarah this is a brilliant post! Also liking the use of the word 'trump' – it's much underused and by far the best option in my opinion.

    In the same circumstances I've been known to pretend I'm asleep and then deny all knowledge in the morning.

  3. Kate
    Posted November 29, 2011 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

    Excellent article!

    I will often go with half truths instead of outright lies;

    'Yes, these shoes are new, but they were only £15 in the sale! Bargain'. Were they heck.

    Or 'Yes darling, I did have a drink tonight but only a small glass of red'. If a small glass = a bottle.

  4. Posted November 29, 2011 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

    Lol, brilliant!

    I often plan to tell such little lies regarding shoes, clothes, Christmas Decorations – he has actually banned me from buying any more this year (ahem there are about 8 new baubles in the cupboard I plan on claiming as old ones – might be difficult since the reason for NEEDING to buy new ones is my decision to change the tree colour theme this year!) But he ALWAYS knows! I think it might be because I literally can't control my face and as much as I try, a tiny smirk or secret look always sneaks out!

    Betrayed by my own face! I'd be useless at poker! Luckily he finds this funny so it usually lessens the inevitable grump about new shoes/clothes/decs. Fingers crossed!!

  5. Posted November 29, 2011 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

    I should point out I can be sneaky sometimes if it isn't a lie! I recently 'fell in love' with a Christmas decoration and it was 3 for 2! Who can resist!? So begged him to let me get them (even let him choose the 3rd one) and he eventually gave in, although sulked until we got back to the car. His condition was that it was absolutely the last new decoration. So I agreed – I had already bought the secret hidden 8 so the new ones would be the last – complete truth!

    Maybe I do have a minor decoration addiction though?

  6. Posted November 29, 2011 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

    Apparently I'm awful at telling lies. My face gives me away completely. Unfortunately this means I've taken to lying simply to see if I can pull it off. It's genuine arbitrary things as well that I'll lie about: "I've decided I don't like mushrooms anymore" ec.

    The problem is, he's my best mate, as well as my love. So I can't help but burst out and tell him once I feel I've reeled him in, Perhaps he's right – I just can't lie!

    Brilliant post – made me laugh! Thank you!

  7. Anonymous
    Posted November 29, 2011 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

    Great post! Don'a all women do the 'what this old thing?' line? I know I do!

  8. Posted November 29, 2011 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for your lovely comments!

    I'm glad it's not just me! I'm going to have to 'fess up to Mr M before I tell him I'm as good as famous, aren't I?

    SJM x

  9. Posted November 29, 2011 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

    This made me chuckle!

    Honestly? I've been known to trot out the line "I've had it for ages, I just haven't worn it recently" or alternatively shave a few (ok a lot) quid of the true price!

    He is wise to me though and nearly always knows I'm fibbing.

  10. Posted November 29, 2011 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

    Brilliant post, Sarah.

    I low-level lie frequently. On the cost of makeup/clothes. On how much wine I drank. I am near convinced that Mr K doesn't low-level lie to me at all – not that I would mind if he did. It's almost like my white lies to him are my way of jutifying things to myself.

    So I suppose the question is – why do we feel the need to low-level lie? And does it matter that we do? I'd wager no, it doesn't matter, and that a white lie just lubricates a marriage. As long as white lies don't get bigger.

  11. SammyP
    Posted November 29, 2011 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

    Lovely poetic piece about trumping! I also favour the phrases "parp", "guff" and (a personal top) "bottom cough".

    I too am guilty of low-level truth bending. At some stage I'm sure Mr P will cotton on to my shoe fetish though. Thankfully I seem to be getting away with blaming my bottom coughs on the children so far ;-)

    Looking forward to reading more from you! xx

  12. Posted November 29, 2011 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

    I'm afraid I'm guilty of feeding my husband things with lactose or egg traces in if the alternative is him going hungry/lots of hassle for party hosts/family etc (he is a vegan). He never checks up and if pressed would confess he'd rather not know. See, functional lying!

    Sam frequently uses the word trump too, it is quite hilarious. And as our diets are mostly vegan, we have gone far beyond the point of lying about who has done one.

    Great post Sarah, more please!


    (still laughing about Bex's Christmas decoration mania- got visions of bulging cupboards threatening to pop open and reveal the sordid, bauble-y truth….)

  13. Posted November 29, 2011 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

    Sarah, so awesome to finally read you! (well that sounded creepy) Why do we all feel the need to do the 'this old thing?' thing? (I have the best excuse as have a LOT of clothing in storage – 'no, it's not new, I bought it in Australia and it's been in storage') My husband always tells me exactly how much he spends on stuff, and I don't think he has it in him to low-level fib. V thought provoking. Oh and @Bex, that is HILARIOUS and if you're over at ours anytime before Christmas, either this year or in the future, I'm counting my baubles before and after you leave ;) xx

  14. Catherine
    Posted November 29, 2011 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

    I introduced some american friends to the the word 'trump' recently and now they love using it. 'Fart' was always considered a mild swear by my parents when I was growing up!

    I do tell white lies to get out of things (telling my advisor I was going to a wedding when I was actually visiting the Statue of Liberty springs to mind) but I own my trumps with pride.

  15. Posted November 29, 2011 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

    Hahahaha just when I thought AOW had covered it all!

    This made me laugh Sarah M – v amusing! I hardly ever low level lie to hubby as he clocks it immediately. Ha!

  16. Posted November 29, 2011 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

    Sarah, this is a brilliant post and a great light-hearted topic that I so needed after a terrible day at work! I too low-level lie but can't understand why I do it. Most of the time I have no reason. About 40% of the time hubby clocks on to me and he seems to be getting better at telling unfortunately! I also sometimes seem to do it at work and rather than make me seem more competent, I think I've given the impression that I'm either far more stupid than I am or that I don't know what I'm doing. Sometimes it's just easier to say 'Oh I'll go check' and just go and sort it out myself, than have to explain exactly where things are at!

    This post reminds me of a conversation between Monica and Chandler, when Chandler says 'It's always better to lie than to have the awkward conversation'. Well that's my approach sorted then, Friends is always right!


  17. Becca
    Posted November 29, 2011 at 8:09 pm | Permalink

    Ouch. I cannot lie to TMTMMO. Can't.

    Well….technically I can but it really upsets him. Questions like 'did you eat the last bag of salt and vinegar' or slight fibs about how much something cost 'no Rebecca how much did it REALLY cost' really upset him. He gets really stroppy about it.

    It's not anything to do with truth issues at all. Or trust. But whereas I was trained by my Mum to lie about the cost of things 'tell your Dad this was £300 cheaper' (yes Mum a designer bag costs £50), TBTMMO can't see a difference.

    I honestly fib all the time 'oh yes I did that at home when I was working from home but I left it at home…honest' and I really shouldn't. If he hates it, I won't do it.

    Or I will try harder.

  18. Posted November 29, 2011 at 11:00 pm | Permalink

    I find the boy knows my lie STRAIGHT AWAY. The other day he asked me if i had taken any tablets for a headache i'd mentioned earlier, i said yes. A lie, i hate swallowing tablets. Just from that one word he was able to tell i was lying and made me take them haha. If he can tell with something so small i would never dare with anything bigger!

  19. Posted November 30, 2011 at 7:37 am | Permalink

    I may occasionally lie by omission rather than anything else.
    Did you have any dreams??
    No. Not that I can think of.

    Because even though they are not within my control, if I said yes I dreamt about doing the nasty with Edward Cullen…he would be muchos upset!

    It saves him upset you see…that's my little guilty secret.

  20. Anonymous
    Posted November 30, 2011 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

    I confess, I cannot tell a lie. Physically cannot.

    Plus, if it's a new purchase I get far too excited and like to show as many people as possible!

    Brilliantly written piece.

  21. Posted November 30, 2011 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

    I'm be getting hitched in 2 weeks (YAY!) in a church with no heating and (BRR!) and when suggesting to impending hubster that we provide blankets for everyone I *may* have told a wee porkie when told I was being ridiculous because I *may* have already bought them.

    40 of them.

    I am now trying to hide a box of 40 blankets in a very small car from a very nosey fiance.

    I'll tell him on the day – promise! :)

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Hello! We're Clare, Aisling and Anna and welcome to a corner of the world where smart, flawed, real women talk about the bigger picture; about their experiences, stories and opinions on all aspects of being a woman today, from marriage to feminism to pretty, too.

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