We all know that Italians value their honour, the honour of their family and in certain parts of the country, the honour of The Families. If you know what I mean.
But in a new twist the courts have ruled that in cases of adultery a woman may lie to protect the honour of herself and her family. See this article for more information.
So when is a lie justified? Philosophers have wrestled with that one for thousands of years, so I’m not going to claim to be able to answer it here. What I will say is that within a relationship there are very few occasions that I would consider lying to be justified. For the most part I would say that lying to your partner is thoroughly reprehensible. But not always.
I think the key question is whether the lie is motivated by a selfishness on your part or the realisation that the truth could hurt your beloved. Even then they may, in the long run, value your honesty more than a lie to spare their feelings.
Men have a way of avoiding lying to women by not quite answering the question they were asked and in my opinion this is perfectly justified as it avoids arguments caused by situations where there is no right answer. For example:
Q: Which dress looks better on me?
A: You look great in all of them.
Q: You don’t like my mum do you?
A: I’m sure she’s very nice when you get to know her.
Q: What do you think to the cake, it’s my own recipe?
A: I can’t put into words what it tastes like …
Q: Does my bum look big in this?
A: Erm, it makes you look shapely.
See, not lies, just diplomacy.