Lying, a common human sin, varies in the magnitude of the lie involved. There are small lies (usually called white lies, implying their insignificance) and there are bigger lies, which usually influence a person, a decision or a situation. There are many reasons why people lie, among which are fear, insecurity, the need to conform, the need for peoples’ approval or a lack of courage. These are all psychological needs, emanating from personal reasons, derived from within. We can say that these reasons are universal among all mankind, however, the social pressures that force people to lie, varies from one culture to another, hence this could be one reason, why people can lie, forced to lie, or tempted to lie . Meanwhile, there are no absolutes about any culture whatsoever.
“There are many reasons why people lie, among which are fear, insecurity, the need to conform, the need for peoples’ approval or a lack of courage.”
Now if we look at our society, are we forced to lie in Egypt? Are we surrounded by liars from every kind? Do we lie ourselves? How often do we lie? In what areas do we mostly lie about, or is lied about in society? In my opinion, the things that people mostly lie about or lie in- are two: marriage and work, as both are quite challenging areas in life, which require a lot of effort to maintain in competitive and a somewhat reserved society as Egypt. I would like to discuss lies in marriages, or rather all forms of deceit in marriages. At first, I thought of splitting it from a male versus female deceit perspective, however, as the same lies can be done by both sexes, I decided to focus on the nature of the lie, rather than who does it, at the various stages of a marriage phases (as seen by me).
Marriage in Egypt is difficult, and the parents are concerned about finding their son or daughter a spouse. Naturally we are human beings, and hence we are not perfect, we might have unusual circumstances that might not be suitable for certain grooms or brides, however, these conditions might be ideal for someone else. As a result, there should be no need to lie, however, our society and culture, pushes us to alter the truth. See the following examples.
Men and women lie about having married before, and both take the necessary measures to hide that truth. Some even have children, and denounce them and place them at orphanages. Some lie about getting engaged before, or the number of times they were engaged. Some lie about their age (both men and women). Some lie about the family background, and where they live. It even goes as far as a woman renting an apartment in a classy area for her and her family to move in, away from her relatively economically and socially lower area which she lives in. They can do this, to impress or at a minimum match the groom’s family, until the marriage contract is “sealed”.
There could also be lies about the groom’s profession and his education as well the brides’. There could also be lies about the financial capabilities of the groom. These are some of the highlights of the lies that could be made, but I am sure there are other more possible types of lies that can be made.
“Our society is very picky, unforgiving of social mistakes or sins, and to add to that, because there is little room for social mobility on its own, people use marriages to climb the social and economic ladder, and to do that, occasionally they might resort to lying.”
Lying is wrong, and is by no means justified, however, I believe, that it is the culture that forces the people to lie. Our society is very picky, unforgiving of social mistakes or sins, and to add to that, because there is little room for social mobility on its own, people use marriages to climb the social and economic ladder, and to do that, occasionally they might resort to lying. In addition, parents want their daughters to marry an engineer, doctor or a college graduate versus someone who attended a 2-year program at an educational institute, or any vocational school. As a result, people lie. While there could be bad intent behind the lying, I would say, these lies are usually made on good intent to get the marriages “done”. Which is still very dangerous, even if done in good intent, because while they do get the marriages started – they are most likely to be a reason for the marriages to end.
Deceit after Marriage:
After the couples get married- it becomes more difficult to lie, as they live with one another. Also the types of lies that are made differ in nature. A common interesting lie made by men and women, is that they both claim they had hundreds of men and women to choose from to get married to, however, it was fate that made them accept their current spouse, even though they are not the best choice. The man claims, he was a Don Juan with many girls chasing him, and the woman pretends to be the heart breaker of the century, while both may be completely inexperienced before the marriage.
When couples marry and differences arise in spending patterns plus the frequency and nature of the outings that the couple pursue come to the surface, a tendency to lie about the past to manipulate the spouse into feeling bad and accommodating the other’s lifestyle happens. For example, a wife can claim that before marriage, she would party every so often, and go to the finest restaurants in town, when she was at her father’s house. She could also claim, that she is used to not being confined by a curfew or a budget. While this may not be true, the wife’s objective is to make her husband feel bad about depriving her of the luxurious life she led before, and hence give her the freedom, the money or make concessions on any other issues they have between them.
“The man claims, he was a Don Juan with many girls chasing him, and the woman pretends to be the heart breaker of the century, while both may be completely inexperienced before the marriage.”
Aside from the above lies, there could also be a different protective type of lies. Men and woman can lie to one another about their salaries, each one fearing that the other would make further financial demands on one another, if one realizes that the spouse makes a lot of money or got an increase in salary. Some wives would even open separate bank accounts and not tell their husbands about. Some men would lie about their full salaries. In addition, if the husband is somewhat cautious with money, or is a planner, the woman can lie about how much money she spent shopping, the price of the items she bought or how much money she spent at the hairdresser. Men on the other hand, can lie about their relationships with other women, claiming that they are just friends, while they might be cheating on their wives. That though is cheating and is a totally different type of deception of immense significance.
“Some wives would even open separate bank accounts and not tell their husbands about. Some men would lie about their full salaries.”
Having looked at lies before and after marriage, we can conclude that because there was a lack of honesty in the beginning it leads to a continuous chain of lies that develop and increase after marriage, for both partners to sustain their relationship. Meanwhile, continuous deception requires consistency and a lot of effort, and not everyone is capable of doing that. As a result we have a lot of broken marriages in our society, stemming from lies and blemished truths made by families or couples to be more socially appealing or acceptable for the marriages to see the light. Hence, all the lies made end up being in vain. If we were able to be honest, and deliver “a what you see is what you get” approach, maybe our lives would be different, and society would be different.