My Husband Promised To Tell The Truth About His Affair, But He Continues To Lie. What Now?

By: Katie Lersch: I sometimes hear from wives who are not only devastated by their husband’s affair, but that are exasperated that he’s not telling them the whole truth even when he has promised to do so.  Trust is so important in the aftermath of infidelity, but it is very difficult to restore this trust when the cheating spouse continues to lie.

I heard from a wife who said: “when my husband admitted that he had been cheating, I made it very clear that I would accept nothing less than the complete truth from him from that day forward, especially where the affair was concerned. I told him that I wanted to know everything, with nothing left out.  He committed to doing this.  He promised me that he would not lie to me again.  A couple of days ago, I asked him if he ever took the other woman to dinner or to hotels.  He denied this.  But then I pulled one of our credit card bills and it was obvious that he had lied because there were multiple charges for dinners I didn’t attend and for a few hotels at which I never stayed.  When I confronted my husband about this, he said that he didn’t want to hurt me.  That just doesn’t cut it because it’s obvious he’s continuing to lie.  What can or should I do now?”  I’ll try to address these concerns in the following article.

Why A Husband Will Continue To Lie When He’s Promised The Truth: There are several reasons that you might be seeing dishonesty right now.  The first possibility is that the husband was telling the truth about not wanting to hurt his wife.  It was possible that he knew that the hotel visits were going to give the wife horrible mental pictures that would be nearly impossible to overcome.  And he was trying to spare her these sorts of painful images.  This doesn’t excuse him in the least, but I am trying to give you an idea of why you might be seeing this dishonesty.

Another possibility is that he is trying to minimize the fall out from this. He theorizes that the more you know, the harder it is going to be for him to ever regain your trust.  So his concern is more for his own cause than it is for you.  But he knows that it’s going to be more difficult for you and for the marriage to ever recover if you have all of the painful and damaging details. So he’s going to withhold those details unless he’s forced to abandon this strategy.

I’ll mention one final possibility, although I hesitate to do so.  Sometimes men continue on with the lies because they are continuing on with the affair.  However, this wife did not think that this was the case as her husband was almost always home with her when he wasn’t working.

How Do You Make Your Husband Understand That You Can’t And Won’t Deal With His Lies?:  Often, you will need to be very direct.  When you suspect a lie (and especially if you can prove it,) speak up.  And when he says that he doesn’t want to hurt you, reply that you are already hurt and continuing to be lied to only diminishes your trust and further damages your marriage.  I’d suggest something like:  “we both know that this is not true and I have proof of this.  You should know that if you continue to lie, then I can’t move forward with you.  I need to be able to trust you completely and that just isn’t possible right now as you continue to be a stranger to the truth.  I know that you don’t want to hurt me.  But it’s too late for that.  In order for me to even begin to heal, I need to have confidence that I can believe what you say.  And each time you continue to lie to me, this becomes less and less likely. Can I count on you to tell me the truth from this moment forward, no matter how difficult that truth might be?  I would rather be hurt by the truth than to erode the trust with the continued lies. Ignorance is not bliss at this point.”

Sorting The Truth From The Lies:  I know that I’ve spent the majority of this article focusing on the husband’s lies. Now, I’d like to focus on the wife.  There’s a real risk in becoming so suspicious that no matter what your husband says or does, you automatically have doubt.  Obviously, the hotel and the restaurant bills proved that this wife was right to have her suspicions.  But sometimes, you get to the point where you automatically doubt everything that he says.  I tell you this because I want you to just be aware and observe. I hear from so many husbands who tell me that no matter what they say or do, their wife suspects them of lying.  So they get to a point where they feel like they can never win no matter what they say.

I’d suggest that once your husband begins to get back into the habit of telling you the truth, acknowledge this.  And if he’s not giving you valid reasons to doubt him, then try to give him the benefit of the doubt.  So to answer the question posed, there’s plenty that you can do when he continues to lie. It helps to pinpoint why he is doing it and then to address this very directly while making it clear that you can’t and won’t move forward until it stops.

My husband was very reluctant to tell me everything after his affair.  I had to make it very clear that omissions or little white lies were only going to make things worse for him. Despite this, we were able to move forward and save our marriage.  We are actually very solid today.  If it helps, you can read our recovery story on my blog at

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