A wife's dishonesty may come from a place of compassion, or may just be an attempt to please or placate you. But, the truth is, no one wants to share a bed with Pinocchio. So when should your B.S. detector sound? Listen for these seven common catchphrases--and prepare to call her bluff.
1. "This dress was on sale."
It wasn't. In your wife's mind, saving money ("It was half off!") negates spending it--and therefore reduces the odds that you'll blow up at her about blowing the budget. "This is often taught by the mother: Always downplay. Never reveal how much something really cost," says Barash. And her need to protect her image may overpower her desire for honesty. "We think a man will judge us for our spending habits, and that he'll think we're silly or frivolous," says DeAnne Lorraine, a Los Angeles-based dating coach. "We don't want him to think we're a liability."
2. "You have the biggest penis I've ever seen."
You don't. This is what psychologists call an "altruistic lie"--an untruthful compliment designed to shield you from embarrassment. "Most women have one ex-boyfriend that was enormous," says Lorraine. "But among the rest, there were only miniscule differences. So why not tell this guy he's the biggest?" Read: Unless you're packing some serious sausage, you probably aren't top dog. But you're so similar to the others that she can convince herself you've got a quarter inch more to offer. "It's not like it really matters to us, but it matters to men," says Lorraine. "So we'll stroke their egos."