Good Morning Johnny,
This is a great topic you have brought up. And this covers the five precept on not lying.
I understand that you have lie before, I also lie to avoid conflict prior to my practising to my Dharma. After practising the Dharma, it is then I understand that no matter what the lies, telling a lie emit a negative karma and it is not recommended.
Let me write you an example on my personal experince.
When I follow my girlfriend to buy Thai Buddha Amulet Jatukham to wear, my mum being a from a Taosim lineage is not please with the idea. She believes that randomly wearing of amulets may attracts or I can be wearing a spirits that does harm to me instead of good. She scolded me and advise me against wearing it. When my girlfriend ask me if my mum reject the idea, I said no to avoid the conflict. Little did I know that my mum had called my girlfriend and spoke to her in a very heavy tone, and resulted in my girlfriend being very disappointed with me for lying.
After I have begin to pratice the dharma, the same similar situation happen again. I was down with cough, and my girlfriend had brought me chinese medicine to eat. My mum wasn't please, she was against me of taking it because she believe it can damage my brain and health unknowingly. I have a choice of drinking the medicine in secret, I didn't. I told her nicely I wasn't abusing drugs, if I am abusing drugs that it could have damange me. I told her that she has a good intention of worrying for me, and so do my girlfriend. I told her that the chinese medicine I drank came from a very good doctor from my gf mum's recommendation. I know she is still against it, but I have done noting wrong and I am not afraid to tell her the truth.
My girlfriend ask the same thing regarding my mum, I told her striaght about my mum opinion. Naturally she got angry, she felt being discriminated as if everything she bought for me is being rejected by my mum. I spend time in calmness and explained to my gf on my mum behaviour and ask her for forgiveness. She manage to calm down, but I know time to time she is still unhappy about it. Everytime she brought up on it and said she would not want to live with my mum, I told her about my mum behaviours that she can feel worried of her kids too easily and she had the habit of saying things that can anger people. I continue to ask her for her forgiveness. What I can do is that everytime she was angry I show her compassion and kindness, eventually with patience, I hope that my compassion and kindness eventually will reach her and she will understand and learn to forgive my mum.
So through this I understand that telling the truth is always better, if we are not afraid we can always offer and explanation and ask for forgiveness. We have to learn to accept the result of telling the truth.
As you have know, lying is against the 5 precepts. What about hiding the truth and telling white lie to avoid conflict? Hiding the truth and telling white lies is the same as lying. If you have noting to fear then you don't have to lie, the reason we lie is only because we are guilty of something we have done. If you lie because you are guilty of something you have done before, then why not start praticing doing the right things so you have noting to be afraid of when you tell the truth?
Now, I am not asking you to striaght to go about telling the truth of whatever lie you have told before, that is really up to you; but from this point onwards, learn to change for the better and slowly do the right things in your life, take your time to change for the better and cut down the amount of the white lies. Eventually when you have noting guilty to fear about, then there is noting for you to lie about.
Lastly, I wish that you have a great weekend with your family.
We are born with compassion, it is just that we had lost it.
Understand no matter what happens, you already had shelter and food, these are enough for you to find happiness.