It is a truth universally acknowledged that women are experts when it comes to lying. And when a woman lies, it is near impossible to figure out the truth. It is also generally believed that while men will get caught in a lie easily, many women will not, usually, simply because they know how to cover their tracks.

It all leaves men guessing and wondering what is really the truth when it comes to their women. Counselling psychologist Faith St Catherine said women lie for a number of reasons, but mainly because of fear, and because they see where they can gain something from the lie.

“Fear is the main reason persons lie,” St Catherine said. “Especially if they are afraid of the person and what the punishment will be. Adults will lie because of fear of what will happen.”

Why do women lie? Below, some women explain.

1. To keep the relationship going. She will lie about whatever she believes will keep the man happy enough to stay with her. “Whether it’s minor things like liking sports too, or something major like the number of partners she has had, it’s all in an effort to make him believe that she’s more of what he’s looking for,” Tania C said. “By the time he realises that she’s been duping him, they may already be married, or be tied together by kids.”

2. To spare the man’s feelings. “No matter how macho your man acts, deep down he’s still a little boy wanting reassurance,” Maya said. “So a woman will lie about the effect a man’s deed — like his sexual prowess — has on her, so he doesn’t feel bad.” A woman may tell a man that he’s good in bed, or is the best lover she ever had, when in fact he isn’t.

3. About having an orgasm. “This is one of the most common lies, and one of the ones that men, if smart, should be able to figure out quite easily,” Gianna said. “If he’s wise he will know that there’s little chance that she’s going to orgasm by penetrative sex alone, or within seconds of him starting foreplay. So if a man asks ‘did you come?’ within five minutes of sex, what does he really expect you to say? If you like him you’ll say ‘sure’ and inwardly roll your eyes.” Some women will lie about having an orgasm, and faking it to the point where it is impossible for the man to see through the moaning and groaning. In fact, a survey conducted by That’s Life magazine in the United States found that nearly half (46 per cent) of women fake orgasms and more than half (55 per cent) claimed they were tired, had a headache, or felt ill to get out of lovemaking.

4. About being in love. Women will lie about being in love with a man if he can make her financially comfortable, knowing full well she is in it for what she can get from him. The affection she showers on him will be the icing on the cake in making him believe she really is madly in love. “This is what you call a convenient lie,” Michelle said. “‘Cause God forbid, the man has to know that she’s most times faking. How dumb could he be? But I know that for many men, perception of devotion is good enough for them, as long as you do their bidding.”

5. About the number of partners she’s had. Women will lie about this, especially if this number goes over five. “And that is why men should never ask,” Jheannelle said. “What you don’t know won’t hurt you. A bit of advice, if she tells you two, and two seems a bit odd to you, especially if she had six serious boyfriends, you do the math!”