A strong marriage is built on a foundation of trust. When you don’t trust your spouse, everything else in your marriage suffers. And once trust is lost, it is hard to rebuild—not impossible, but definitely hard.
And when people think of the loss of trust in a marriage, thoughts typically turn to issues around infidelity. And while infidelity is a real issue many couples face, it’s not the only area that leads to problems around trust.
Frankly, when your spouse hides anything from you, it poses a problem. Sure, small lies may not seem like major issues, but unfortunately, small lies usually lead to bigger ones down the road.
So how do you know if your spouse is lying by hiding something from you?
It isn’t always easy. Although people often lie just because they don’t want to get caught, that isn’t always the only reason. Sometimes people lie because they don’t want to ask for help, they are embarrassed or they even want to protect you.
Here are thee major issues your spouse could be hiding from you, along with a few tips about how you can help. Remember that a lying spouse isn’t always a reason for you to run in the other direction. Sometimes, it’s a reason to get your spouse (and yourself) some help.
Depression and anxiety are two of the most common mental health issues, and they impact the lives of millions of Americans. Unfortunately, because of the stigma often attached to mental health conditions, many people are uncomfortable asking for help.
If you notice changes in your spouse’s behavior or mood, don’t just blow it off. Pay close attention.
- Has your spouse lost interest in being intimate?
- Is he or she sleeping more than usual?
- Is he or she suddenly losing or gaining weight?
- Does your spouse seem to get easily irritated?
Sure, these issues are not always related to depression and anxiety, but they can be. And if your spouse is hiding it from you, that’s even more reason why you have to be there to offer support. Your support can lead to your spouse getting much-needed help. If you want to learn more about how to help someone struggling with a mental health crisis, considering getting Mental Health First Aid training.
If your spouse is abusing a substance, it is very possible that you have no idea. Many people who abuse substances are functional and are able to still meet the day-to-day responsibilities that they have. This is especially common with alcohol abuse.
Also, there is often a strong relationship between substance abuse and other mental health disorders. The training mentioned above can also give you the skills you need to offer support to someone struggling with substance abuse.
And remember that helping a spouse deal with any of these issues also means that you have to pay special attention to your own health. Helping someone you love doesn’t mean losing sight of your own needs or the needs of your children.
If you make the decision to support your spouse through this difficult time, you have to make the decision to get the support you need as well.
It starts off with small purchases like a pair of shoes or the newest tablet. Next thing you know, things are completely out of control. You find out your spouse has debt you didn’t even know about, the savings has been tapped into and accounts that you thought were in good standing are now in collections.
It’s uncomfortable to deal with and very stressful to manage, but financial problems are very common in marriages. Finances are especially tricky because most people can hide their financial behavior for a pretty long time. But once the cat is out of the bag, figuring out the next steps is challenging.
If you find out that your spouse has been hiding his or her financial decisions from you, the first thing to do is assess the damage. Once you do that, you should strongly consider intervention from a third party in the form of marriage therapy and/or financial counseling.
Of course, you are dealing with anger about the deception, but making every effort to process your anger while developing a plan for financial and marital recovery will serve you both best.
Hiding anything from a spouse is wrong, and it’s hard to rebuild trust once it’d damaged, but if you stick around and support your spouse long enough to understand the root of what is going on, you may find that you can rebuild trust and develop a stronger marriage with the right help.
BMWK family, what do you do when you feel like your spouse is hiding something?