How to Spy the Lie and Catch a Liar

These six ways to catch a lie are inspired by Shiva and Shakti’s parable about a bag of gold, and based on psychology research about catching liars. You don’t need a lie detector test to know if your boyfriend or husband is lying to you.

How to Catch a LiarIf you want to become adept at knowing when someone is telling you lies, read Spy the Lie: Former CIA Officers Teach You How to Detect Deception. It’s written by three former CIA agents – Philip Houston, Michael Floyd, and Susan Carnicero – who share anecdotes from their careers in intelligence. They teach readers how to recognize the deceptive behaviors, both verbal and nonverbal, that we all tend to display when we respond to questions untruthfully. For the first time, they share with the general public their methodology and their secrets to the art of asking questions that elicit the truth. Catching a liar is easier when you know how to detect deception.

If you want to learn how to catch a liar because you suspect your husband or boyfriend is cheating, read 5 Signs Your Husband is Cheating and Lying About His Affair.

These tips on how to catch a liar may help you determine if he is lying to you about anything from how he spends his money to who he was with last night. I want you to keep this parable about Shiva and Shakti in mind, though. Your partner’s lie may be a bag of gold, if you’re ready to accept it.

The Parable of Shiva and Shakti – and the Bag of Gold

Shiva and Shakti, the Divine Couple in Hinduism, are watching over the earth. The wife Shakti spies a poor old man walking down the road. His clothes are shabby and his sandals are tied together with rope. Her heart is wrung with compassion, and she turns to her divine husband and begs him to give this man some gold.

“My Dearest Wife,” says her husband Shiva, “I cannot do that.”

Shakti is astounded. “What do you mean? You are Lord of the Universe. Why can’t you do this simple thing?”

“I cannot give him gold because he is not yet ready to receive it,” Shiva replies.

Shakti becomes angry. “Do you mean to say that you cannot drop a bag of gold in his path?”

“Surely I can,” Shiva replies, “but that is quite another thing.”

“Please, Husband” says Shakti. “Give him some gold.”

And so Shiva drops a bag of gold in the man’s path. The man is walking along, thinking to himself, “I wonder if I will find dinner tonight – or shall I go hungry again?” Turning at a bend in the road, he sees something on the path in his way. “Look there, a large rock,” he says. “How fortunate that I have seen it. I might have torn these poor sandals of mine even further.”

And carefully stepping over the bag of gold, the poor man goes on his way.

6 Ways to Catch a Liar

The poor man in the parable couldn’t see the bag of gold because he wasn’t ready. He didn’t recognize freedom and wealth, even when it was dropped right in his path! Your husband or boyfriend’s lies may be the bag of gold you need to be free from an unhealthy relationship. Lying is a warning sign of a bad relationship, and I don’t think catching him in a lie is the problem. The problem is the fact that you suspect him of lying, that you’re searching for tips on how to catch a liar, and that you can’t trust your boyfriend or husband.

Here are six ways to catch a lie, from research by psychologist Jacqueline Evans of the University of Texas. She and her colleagues developed a set of lie-detecting guidelines that anyone can use when trying to catch a liar.  When these six signs are combined, they may help you catch a liar red-handed.

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He doesn’t share the details

An honest person will share seemingly unimportant details when talking about an experience, such as the kind of music playing in the background or the color of the flowers on the table. A liar, on the other hand, won’t share those little details because they are difficult to reconstruct or remember in later renditions. A skilled liar knows he has to be consistent and remember all the different parts of his story, so he won’t include details.

He claims his memory is poor

We all forget things sometimes. However, liars will excuse the missing or incongruent details by saying they have a bad memory. This tip on how to catch a liar requires you to know if your husband or boyfriend really has a bad memory, or if he is trying to distract you from the truth.

He makes corrections or contradictions while telling you his story

An honest person is consistent. He doesn’t change his story when he’s talking to you, and he won’t backtrack and delete or edit the details. If you notice that your boyfriend or husband’s story is changing as he retells or as you ask questions, then he may be lying to you.

He is thinking hard about what to tell you

Tips on How to Catch a Liar

How to Catch a Liar

If your husband or boyfriend seems uncertain about his story – or if he’s thinking hard about what to tell you – then you may be one step ahead of him. If you want to know how to catch a liar, you need to put all these little hints and tips together. These signs work as one big indication that your husband or boyfriend is lying to you.

He is nervous or tense – a surefire tip on how to catch a liar

An honest person doesn’t get anxious or nervous when he’s telling you what he did last night, how he spent his money, or who he was with. Even people who lie a lot can get a bit nervous when lying because we know it’s morally and ethically wrong. We know we’re being deceptive. According to this psychology research about catching someone lying, it takes a great liar or a psychopath to pull off a string of lies without looking at least somewhat anxious.

He talks unusually slowly when he tells you his lies

Liars know how to lie; they may even read tips on how to catch a liar so they can keep lying! Liars know they need to provide consistent details when telling lies. So, they often take quite a bit longer to tell their stories because they want to try to be consistent. If your boyfriend or husband talks slowly sometimes but not all the time, he may be lying about some things.

How do we put the parable about Shiva and Shakti into practice?

Catching your husband or boyfriend in a lie may be the best thing for you, because it gives you the chance to re-assess your relationship. If he’s lying to you, you don’t want to be with him.

His lies are little bags of gold in your path! My prayer for you is that you’re strong enough, brave enough, and courageous enough to see his lies as gifts. Pick up his lies, use them to bring light and truth into your relationship, and let him go. I pray you see his lies as gold, and that they allow you to be free from the darkness of deception and untrustworthy men.

Do you suspect your husband or boyfriend is cheating on you? Read Is He Cheating? How to Be Your Own Private Investigator.

I welcome your comments on how to catch a liar, but I can’t offer feedback or advice. Writing about your experience might help you see your relationship differently, though, so feel free to share your thoughts below.


Your thoughts are welcome below! I don't give advice, but you can get free relationship help from marriage coach Mort Fertel.

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4 thoughts on “How to Spy the Lie and Catch a Liar

  • dani

    hi there. my bf and i have been together for nearly 20 yrs. we got together wen i was 17 and i knew him since 15. he was my first, so he is my special person. we had some issues in our relationship bout 4 yrs in i found vids of girls. we sorted it out and 13 yrs l8r i discovered he had been masturbating over porn and womans pix for the 13 yrs. at first he said he was just looking then he said he was getting off and then a week l8r i got him to admit that he njoyed looking at pix even if he wasnt getting off as it made him feel less stressed and temp better. neway i was able to look at wot part i may have played it the probs and we came to the fact he needed more fulfillment sexually which i was needing myself and didnt know it. it was an amazing time of growth even though i was the most hurt id ever been in my life., and my trust was broken. trust seemed to b an issue ongoing. Over the last yr ive had alot of family stress and the sex fun started to dwindle due to me just dealing with alot from my family. so last week i was on his pc and i decided to search the history, and i found that he had searched a model/dancer girl on google. when i confronted him, he basically was trying to make out that he hadnt searched it at all and it was in his words a “fluke”. i was ok for a few hours and i just thought that was totally unrealistic, i said it was on ure history u must have searched it (search was 6 months ago), then he said he had absolutely no memory wot so ever of it and he cant understand why he wouldve searched this girl. then after bout 5 hours he said to me he had a feeling b4 the search that he shouldnt have been searching it, but still zero memory. its been a few days now and we have communicated bout things to do with his emotional feeling during fights and not communicating bout the sex dwindle, we r rebonding and it is going great. BUT… he still is adamant that he cant remember the search , had no idea where he got this persons name from ( the girl has very limited info in the net apart from 3 profiles, so there is almost no chance that he wouldve seen it anywhere other than on social media.) ive said to him ill b willing to work on things and rebuild trust etc, but it would b alot better if he could just tell me the story round this search. all his body language says he is lying and ive said to him, everything along the lines of il be hurt but i love u and we can work through it etc, but keeps saying he cant remember while displaying body language of someone who is likely to be lying. he is adamant he hasnt masturbated at all or done anything in that nature, i believe him ona level because i can see that old patterns can resurface in innocent and different ways, searching a profile isnt searching a porn star, so it seems innocent etc. i did c from the history that he didnt go further once the search was done, within a min of the search he was doing work stuff on the net, he claims he hasnt messed with history however he is a computer programmer and know pcs very well, he also said b4 he used incognito. so my question is wot do i do? im having real trouble believing he cant not remember a single thing round this search, and this is making me think he is withholding a hell of a lot more than just a search and it is fueling my paranoia, i just cant shake that he knows exactly wot happen and it is absoluetly killing me. we have alot of good stuff and i believe he has never actually cheated on me in person with someone else. i want so bad to b with him till i die and i dont doubt when he tells me he feels the same he is is being honest. he said he knew from the moment he met me that he wanted to be with me and thought id never be with him. apart from the probs he treats me like a queen and always make me feel so sexy and special. i understand the sex dwindle can hurt him and makes him feel our connection is fading and he needs a womens love to feel good about himself, and i felt the same and im so willing to really make an effort for both of us to keep our bond strong. he had promised prior that he would communicate with me b4 it led to this again. as said i want to believe him but i just feel there is something missing and i cant understand why he wont tell me.

    plz plz can u give me some advice as im so confused and i dont know wot to do.
    kind regards

  • Furious

    Husband always has an excuse when he gets caught in a lie. He had a pof account under a different name and claimed he got hacked. Then I found face book accounts with different spelling of name . He denied that and said he is being hacked I want to catch him red handed in the act but no luck.

  • Laurie Post author

    Dear Ellen,

    I’m not sure what to think about your husband’s behaviour, but it sounds like you already know how to catch a liar! In fact, you don’t even need to worry about catching your husband lying…you’ve already discovered that he doesn’t tell you the truth.

    What do you think about your husband’s lies? What is the still small voice inside of you telling you about your husband and your marriage?

  • Ellen

    My husband lies an yet he turns it around like it me,an he has became self center he always anger,an tells me of he can’t have me then know one can.Which is starting to spok me caues he been acting like he work on my car he will lift the hood an I got spoked about this after I found a old looking paper explain how to do things a car which seem to be scary. Please can you previed me with what you think,Thank you so Much.