Why it hurts to lie to my parents all the time


As I've outlined more than once now, I'm in a delicate situation where I can't tell my parents about the fact that my boyfriend lives with me and we'll soon move in officially (see this post for more: How telling my parents about my 6mo boyfriend went (they hate him for religious reasons) )

It's starting to hit me more and more each day just how much I hate the situation being the way it is. I love my parents, I love my boyfriend, and I know where I see myself in 5 years: with him in a cute apartment somewhere on this planet where we can both work. I'll try to involve my parents more as soon as I have kids, but until then, I'm fine with being away from them.

Photo by Kinga Cichewicz on Unsplash
Photo by Kinga Cichewicz on Unsplash

Soon, it'll be a year after I moved out from home, and I feel bad about not visiting my family more often as they're the only ones I know how to vibe with. They're the most fun and vibrant people I know, but they're also incredibly toxic and the tone of a conversation can change 5x/minute, which is insanely annoying and exhausting.

I went through so much in that year and grew a lot as a person. I miss talking to my mom every day after I got home from school - having her listen to my struggles with kids at school for 12 years was pretty great.

I don't miss fighting every day, crying every day and feeling down when arriving to school, not having much of a life outside of school and just dreading everything.

Photo by CDC on Unsplash
Photo by CDC on Unsplash

But I miss being close to my parents and I wonder how they'll react when I tell them that I no longer believe in the religion I was brought up in. I'm worried it'll take a huge toll on their mental health. I know that this sounds a bit dramatic, but my mother has been through this before with a relative and she cried for 2 weeks straight.

However, I truly hope that we'll be okay as a family. I'm not on good speaking terms with my brother, he's depressed, refuses any professional help and somehow considers me to be the enemy in his life.

I hate having to lie to him and my parents, but it's for the best. Once I open up to them, our relationship will be shattered forever and I'll never be able to be as close to them as I was.

On the bright side, it'll give me and my boyfriend more freedom and we'll be able to get married when WE want to, as opposed to getting married just to be able to live together.

Photo by Sincerely Media on Unsplash
Photo by Sincerely Media on Unsplash
Why it hurts to lie to my parents all the time
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Most Helpful Guys

  • TwistedTube

    I'm sorry that you are currently finding yourself in this heartbreaking situation. I hadn't read your previous take, I think I had dismissed is as a minor thread and now I realize it wasn't at all and I regret having done so. I'd have loved to do my best at giving both my viewpoint and some advice from the start.

    I first of all think that it's very important that you realize that the life you're living is your life, not your parents. As much as it feels awful to stand up for yourself and tell them that this is the life you're living, and that they will have to be okay with it, this is ultimately what you're supposed to do.

    Yes, this has a very high probability of hurting your parents. but right now, you are the one getting hurt BECAUSE you aren't telling them. This is not only affecting you mentally, but also leaves a strain on your relationship. The harsh truth is that them saying it will never work out can be a self-fulfilling prophecy if you're letting it affect you like this.

    Explain to your parents that you miss talking to them. that you miss talking to your mom after school and that you miss having her listen to your struggles. But that you're really hurting because they're not accepting at all. That you're planning to live your life the way you've envisioned and that you really want them to be part of it as well.

    Tell them that your boyfriend put a lot of effort into writing a long letter explaining everything about what he's doing for an earning, and all the other things your parents consider shady about him, but that after the shouting/yelling you didn't feel safe giving it to your parents.

    I hope you still have this letter somewhere, and that you can talk about it with your parents, and that you'll then finally feel safe giving them this later at last. It could greatly improve your parents their perspective on your boyfriend.

    I hope my words will be able to be of use to you.

    one last thing though.. I sense a great difference in the relationship with your brother between this post and last post. he seemed to wish you the best last time despite not agreeing, but now you're saying he sees you as his archenemy. what happened? if anything you want to say would be too private, I hope you'll feel safe DMing these things instead. I would love to do have a better understanding of this situation too, and maybe give further ideas and perspective.

    Like 1 Person
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    • Thank you very much for your kind words!

      My brother is depressed at the moment. I have no idea what happened, I texted him a bit but right now, he doesn't want to talk to me and I have to respect that. He's a very sensitive person, so he may be feeling that something is up? I really don't know.
      I'm giving him his space, that's what's worked out best in the past.

    • You're very welcome.

      I guess you don't know much at all about what's going on with your brother either then except for his depression. If he said he doesn't want to talk then indeed the best thing would be to listen and give him the space he needs, that being said, maybe drop him a small gift some time just so he knows you care? Maybe he feels like you're really trying to fare away from the family due to your current predicament. A small gift would be a reminder that you want him to stay in your life, I'm also sure it would make his day just a little better through his depression. And a good thing is that you don't need to say anything to give a gift. You can just leave something in his maibox, or, if you have the key, leave it on his table when he isn't home.

    • Leaving something on his table will be very difficult as I live hundreds of miles away :) Still, I could send him something, you're right.

  • ohshee

    Well I think it goes a little bit deeper than that I think you have good morals values and ethics and you would like to share that with your parents and show them who you really are but you can't because then you have to put up with the repercussion of it but one of these days you have to do it you have to make that choice to stand up to them this is who I am you gave me the best foundation I'm at the age now to where I see things differently I'm not saying that you're wrong or that you're right I'm just saying that I see things and I feel things different and that's okay because that's who I want to be and you need to let them know when you were born you are given a gift and that gift is choice each and every day you get to choose who you want to be by the things you say and do and when you have to lie to your parents and you can't be yourself that's just fucked up and it goes against everything you believe in but one of these days you have to do it choose to do it choose to be that person they will accept it sooner or later when they see who you have become in life and that you are a good person especially since you will not and do not have to lie anymore it's okay if you disagree with you that's their choice it's okay if you disagree with them that's your choice you made that choice because you can do that on your own now

    Like 1 Person
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    • Couldn't agree more. I have plenty of happy memories with my family!

    • ohshee

      And I bet you you would even have double that if you were able to be honest with them ,, I mean how many times when you have been around them and something comes up and you say oh guess what and you want to tell them something you experienced or something that you did and all of a sudden you catch yourself and you can't say a word that's what really sucks

Most Helpful Girls

  • Minx7282

    I can relate to this a lot as I moved out when I was young and loved with my ex fiance before marriage. It sounds like you relationship is shattered anyway with your parents. Even if your mum cries and it may be heart breaking. She needs to realise she cannot control your actions or beliefs. Not even God controls our actions or beliefs but gives us free choice to choose. May I suggest that you do tell them. Make sure you have a back up plan too. In case things go south with both your parents and your long term boyfriend. Get yourself a bank account and save for if it goes bad. Not saying it will happen but to make sure you don't end up on the streets likes I nearly did many times.
    I suppose it hurts because you miss the connection and closeness with them. You wish you could be honest with them but because they may not be the most accepting people you're fearful that they not talk to you anymore and disown you. But all of this is fear. I doesn't always mean it will happen either. Only you can make the decision as to weather or not to tell them. But I bet you will feel the guilt and shame release from you when you tell them.
    Keep your guard up and prepare for the worst case scenario and hope for the best.
    If you need support through this and someone to talk to please feel free to message ❤

    Like 2 People
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    • Thank you for the kind words :) what a beautiful way to start the day.
      I always made it a point to have enough money to support myself for 6 months, because my parents are unpredictable, so thanks for the advice!
      I will eventually have to open up to my parents, though I am easing them into it by simply not talking about religious topics anymore and I am hoping that they get the message (I'm pretty sure they do, they're asking less about religious habits we shared for a long time (praying, going to church etc)).

    • Minx7282

      You're already 10 steps ahead then.
      It's good that you have a back up plan that just show maturity and wisdom in yourself. I'm glad to hear you're already easing them into the conversation.
      I hope it goes well for your when you do decide to tell them

    • Minx7282

      You're very welcome too I'm just glad I can help you along in your journey

  • HSSC12

    Tallandsweet, not telling them is not lying, that logic has never made since, but yeah…one should never lie. Lying makes things worse. Always. However some thing that might help is if you think about it this way; when parents in some situations have already made the decision to be upset or angry and stay that way, they are not necessarily being logical about the situation. Thus, I would recommend you don’t add emotion to their already over-emotional mental process. Thinking about it, letting it rent space in your thoughts, and possibly adding to their emotional choice by maybe creating a false narrative will makes things worse. People always have to remember that parents choose to be emotionally illogical a lot of the time. Why, well, in my super conservative upbringing I discovered that they lose themselves in their individualized train of Christian thought. They don’t think like a Christian anymore, they think like an irrational being. Not that this is that case for you, nor is it currently for me, but hopefully that helps.

    Like 2 People
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    • Thank you for your kind words!
      I agree that they can't be argued with... They're too far from reality at this point. Anyways, it'll work itself out, the universe always finds a way :)

    • RACSKC0B

      Not saying, is not the same as not lying. It is a specific kind of lie, known as "a lie of omission".
      That said, I totally understand @tallandsweet, and I don't blame you. If I were in your shoes I'd probably do the same.

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What Girls & Guys Said

  • Vixxxen

    So here are my thoughts, don't lie but stand your ground. At the end of the day, your choice to believe or not is just that... you're choice. As someone who is religious and also a mother, I realize that all I can do is raise my kids the way that I'm supposed to, but at the end of they say the choice is ultimately theirs. That being said, no matter what they chose, I chose to love them anyway. So yes, you're mom might be hurt and it's understandable really if you look at it from her point of view. Depending on her beliefs, she is hurt because she fears what lies ahead for you if you turn away. What parent wouldn't hurt over something like that? As a parent you want to protect your kids and you want what's best, so I get it. But again, it's a choice you have to make.

    But don't lie. Get it out there so that the idea and realization has time to settle with her, so that she can work through the hurt and move on to the acceptance stage. That way when it's time for you to get married to this guy at the time you and he have set aside, she will hopefully be in the acceptance stage and there won't be any hurt on your wedding day. You and your mom can know that you disagree, but that love is unconditional and your wedding will remain an amazing memory, as opposed to one that is tainted by the hurt between you and your mom if you were to spring it on her at the last second.

    Like 1 Person
    • I understand that with a "normal" religious household, your reply would make a lot of sense, however, I was raised in a high control group that I have personally chosen to refer to as a cult because it's so difficult to leave once you're in.

      My mother won't be able to accept me leaving because she thinks that if I leave, I'll die before her. I am hoping that in the rest of our shared lifetime, we will have an honest conversation where I can explain to her why I stopped believing. I think that deep down, my mother knows all of the reasons why what she believes in can't be true, but when you're raised with a "everyone outside of our bubble is horrible" mentality, that's all you'll see.

      The first thing they said when I told them about my boyfriend was "but if you don't share your religion, you'll have nothing to talk about". I understand perfectly well why they think that, because this high control group eats up 30-90% of your free time (depending on how deep you're willing to go if that makes sense), but I always knew deep down that that wasn't the life I wanted for myself.

    • Also, while I will obviously invite my family to my wedding, I don't think they'll all attend because religion is a huge thing to them. My grandma had a heart attack after finding out I had a boyfriend. All she knows is that he doesn't share "our" religion, not that he's Muslim, of Turkish decent, my height... All major dealbreakers for her, she's *extremely* conservative.

      I'm hoping that my parents will come around, but my brother is very depressed right now and I don't think he'd handle the news well. Lying is easier in my current situation for sure.

    • Also, despite all of this and having made some bad experiences with this religion that definitely stick out, I spent 18 years of my life thinking that it made me happier than everyone else (looking back, it didn't... but it didn't make me unhappier most of the time). I made some friends in the religion, though none of them stuck around. I truly wonder why as they always told us friends were really important.

  • BeenThereLovedIt

    I have family the same as you describe, both fun and vibrant, yet toxic.

    I hate to say it but your life will probably improve if you just drop the truth bomb on them and let them decide if they can live with it, because it's your life and you cannot let others control it, family or not.

    Me and my wife cut ties with the most toxic people in both our families 15 years ago, and we've never been happier.

    Like 1 Person
    • I'm planning to do just that :) I'm so blessed to have a supportive family on my boyfriend's side, though due to the language barrier and some minor cultural differences, I'll never be able to have as much fun with them as I can have with my family.
      However, his family is the one who makes an effort, who makes sure I feel welcome, who includes me in their family, and who refers to me as their daughter.
      My family didn't even want to let him sleep in their house... The contrast is just absurd.

    • So yes, I love my family, I have the best time with them, I LOVE talking to my parents on the phone until they get too inquisitive, but I know that they'll never accept my boyfriend. Like, ever. They'll get over hating him, but they won't accept him anytime soon and they'll definitely make him out to be the scape goat in everything that will go down once I drop the religion bomb on them.
      Eventually though, I hope that they'll come around.

    • Perhaps they will, you would know better than I. I hope it all works out for you.

  • mazharhussainkhan

    Life is just hard. You can't do anything about it. Whatever you do now will hurt you, whether it's telling the truth or lying.
    You should do what you think is best for people around you or what you think is objectively right.

    My family members are strong believers in Islam but I don't believe in it and whenever any religious thing is brought up and I have to be a part of that conversation, I just speak the truth. It really disappoints them, temporarily because they think I'm gonna go to hell for this. But I don't care because the truth is the truth and they gotta live with it. And I don't talk about it unless I really need to.

    To the outside world, I still am a believing Muslim. I do some Muslim things as traditions instead of worship and others I don't do at all. When they ask me about not practicing Islam, I just tell them that I am a lazy man and a sinner because of that and I hope God forgives me. It seems like something a practicing Muslim would say so they stop asking questions and shut up in most cases. I don't care about telling the truth to people who can't accept it (except my family who don't accept it and I tell them anyway).

    Like 1 Person
  • Screenwriter

    You know, it's fine to distance yourself from your parents as you enter young adulthood. It sounds like you've had a troubled relationship with them. 50-50 good/bad. That's not too great.

    You've got to decide what kind of relationship you're going to have with God, or not with God. That's up to you. You can't please your parents because you aren't a child.

    I assume you're working on your own and have your own income. Then everything you do IS up to you.

    My only caution would be this. You've gone from being in your parents' home to deciding to live with and marry someone after only six months.

    You don't know this man well enough. Why don't you have some space between parents and marriage where you live on your own. You don't have to end any plans with your boyfriend. But you will be your own person on your own with your relationship on the side and get to know your boyfriend better WITHOUT living with him.

    Living with someone has absolutely NO bearing on marriage or a later relationship studies have shown. You're discussing marriage and children after knowing this man for six months. You are rushing it.

    Why not put yourself on "pause," and ease off the rush into another relationship. Give yourself a breather. You are in the flush of a new love, everything is rosy and perfect, you've made all these plans... He's SO much better than your parents and their oppressive religion...

    Get to know this man for the next year and a half and see where this relationship goes. It usually takes AT LEAST a year of knowing someone to get the lay of his land. Most solid relationships happen after knowing someone about 2 to 3 years.

    If this guy is as wonderful as you think he is, he will remain so for another year and a half. Make plans to do loads of things: travel together to different places, go to movies, museums, climb rocks, see national parks, visits his friends and family whereever they are. See what kind of people he comes from. Meet all his friends and relatives.
    And most importantly.

    TAKE YOUR TIME. You have an entire life ahead of you. There is no rush.

    Like 1 Person
    • yofuknutz

      I think the chorus of her toxic family she has the impression that she has a gun to her head as she has to make moves unfortunately trying to avoid her family alone can be toxic to her relationship I can only relate to my family.

  • TommyMountainFigure

    Religion sometimes as a lot to answer for. It is the biggest cause of rifts between families and also the main cause of wars.
    Be brave and tell your parents the truth or it will drive you to insanity, or worse still, when you and your boyfriend have a fight? (as all couples do sometimes) it COULD cause you to break up.

    Like 1 Person
  • Likethesky

    I don't know if this will help but avoid talking about your boyfriend with your parents. I know that if hate him like they mean it then they will constantly try to talk about dumping him but just change the topic or just stop talking then.

    Slowly they'll get too tired to talk about ending things with him If they don't get any reactions from you then they'll slowly get demotivated about it

    Like 1 Person
  • Gray-Wisp

    I don't know the other parts of this but as long as you generally follow traditional values then the religion and marriage isn't that important. I guess I would argue having a relationship with God is but that's a topic of it's own. It doesn't sound that bad.

    Like 1 Person
  • Kabluie

    Lying adds stress, and stress can make some people's skin go nutty and it'll show.

    It's worth telling them because you don't live under their roof and don't have to march to their orders, I talk to my parents often and I'll tell them who's living over like it's a regular convo.

  • JuliaStyles

    What a wicked web we weave. If your parents are religious I would think you would be too as people brought up in the church usually follow the parent's views too.

    Like 1 Person
  • OddBeMe

    I gaslight my parents. My mother helicoptered over me til 18 - so I tell her she has a grandson. Then ten minutes later it’s in triage. Ten mins after we’re shopping for mini caskets and wondered if she wants to join in a light lunch. Wifey’s trying to lose the baby weight.

  • zagor

    What religion and ethnicity are you and your boyfriend?

    Like 1 Person
  • Daniela1982

    Why does it hurt to lie?

    Why it hurts to lie to my parents all the time
  • yoyoyoyoyoyoyoyoyo

    There needs to be a compromise.

    Your parents are here right now, and you'll be here when they leave. Maybe they worry about his morals? They just don't want to see you get hurt.

    At the same time they have to realize that you are a grown woman and will end up doing what you want to do anyways.

    I think there should be a well thought out discussion about this, yes?

    For maybe 18 years, it has been there duty to protect you from all dangers and watch you grow up to be a beautiful flower in the world's garden, they are going to be ever so cautious of who picks you.

    Like 1 Person
  • laxsaji

    You boyfriend was not borned you it's not good you should need to tell your parents and discuss the situation with them if you can convince them with your words if you have guys s otherwise best idea is to leave your boyfriend because we don't know which one wherever who is best for us which god chooses for us you are seeing just a light but maybe god will create lighten person for you so keep love with your parents and tell them truth with any hassle. its just my opinion which I was faced in my life so I can just suggest you not force.

    I hope you consider my suggestion in good words or maybe you will consider overall it will be good for you if you think about it.


    Disagree 1 Person
    • I will definitely not consider leaving my boyfriend as you didn't understand that my boyfriend has nothing to do with me no longer feeling comfortable in my parent's religion.

    • laxsaji

      There is no border of religion in love if you don't mind can I be your life partner

    • No, you cannot.

    • Show All
  • blondfrog

    Then don't lie. There is no excuse for lying. You just want us to give you the green light to justify your life's. Too bad you are not getting a green light from me.

    LikeDisagree 2 People
  • the_sinner

    I like the planning that you’ve done for yourself and your future family but I’d still not support the fact that you’ll be lying to your parents until everything’s stable.
    Even if the lying is less hurtful but it’s unhealthy anyway.

  • TallAnon

    Definitely tough, a friend of mine had to hide it all the way until they got married (which was delayed due to covid). Hope you can tell them sooner than later.


    Don't lie. Just tell them the truth. The truth will set you free

    Like 1 Person
  • Property_Of_Jocker

    Of course, it hurts. Your parents are the most important persons in your life.

  • NightHawk99

    Don't lie. Religious people are stupid. Do whatever you want.

    Disagree 1 Person
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