Coping With Lying Alcoholics-Why they lie so much

How can you tell when an alcoholic is lying? There lips are moving. Coping (dealing) with the lying nature of the problem drinker is better done through accepting the fact that lies are a way of life for the substance abuser. They really have a problem with being truthful about anything.

Why do they lie so much? Let’s face it, they are living in a world of denial and if we get honest enough with ourselves, we will realize that we are living in denial as well. It’s really not important to understand why they do this, just accept the fact and leave them alone when they do it.

The sooner you can accept that lying is a part of the alcoholic’s lifestyle the better you will be able to cope. Dealing with someone who is not telling the truth is frustrating because it causes us to want to argue with them about not telling the truth.

Just learn how to zip your lip.

When we stop confronting them then there will be a lot less finger pointing going on. There is great freedom to be enjoyed once we stop judging an alcoholic.

When we learn that we do not have to try and prove to them that we know they are telling us a lie, then our frustration level will go down. This will help us to also stop blaming an alcoholic for much of our stress.

What is the point of confronting an alcoholic who is lying anyway? You know they are just going to deny the truth and stand up for the false reality that they perceive to be truth. Alcoholic liars come in every shape from a teenage son, daughter, spouse, mom, dad, grandmother or grandfather.

The reason they lie so much is because alcoholics are filled with shame. Have you ever known someone who when they were a child said they wanted to be an alcoholic when the grow up? Of course not, no one sets a goal to be addicted to some type of drug or substance. The alcoholic thinks and feels as though “they” are a mistake. For that reason they will lie about countless matters.

Unfortunately, lying is a comfortable way of life for the alcoholic. The best way of coping (or, dealing) with this problem is to just accept the truth and let them tell their lies without you pretending to be the private investigator who knows what really happened.

Trust me… When you start letting go of all the things they are doing, you will start losing your temper with an alcoholic less.

Just let them live their dysfunctional life and you enjoy yours without the additional fight for the day.
Author: JC Edited by: Odum On

Alcohol Addiction Family

How to Stop Arguing With an Alcoholic

430 comments to Coping With Lying Alcoholics-Why they lie so much

  • Thank you SC
    I actually got an email from him todsy. Thought it was going to say all the things. I needed to hear…instead it started off by telling me that he is not feeling well today and just needed one thing from me.!! He needed a copy of my work stubs so he could get help with the light bill!! What!? You have got to be kidding! Well, I called him and explained ehy I was not going to help him. He didn’t like that but we didn’t argue it was a civil convo. I then let my emotions show by asking him if he was. Seeing someone else… I shouldn’t have asked but it felt good… of course he responds no I don’t want anybody else and I wish you you were here… yeah right so I then asked if he still wanted to be married.. of course he answered yes…. even though his answers are probably lies it felt good to ask. Besides if he really wanted to make things right wouldn’t he email me about us and not a light bill? I’m still confused and hurt. I still haven’t told him about my new place or that I filed for child support. I’m feeling pretty bad for not saying anything. Should I? How do I break it to him without him being upset and feeling betrayed? I probably shouldn’t care but I do love him and hope one day wr can be a true married couple again… help!!! t

  • Should I just send h an email about how I feel what I expect and my situation? I keep feeling like I want to call him up and tell him I how much I love him and miss him. I know this isn’t right but I feel like I’ve been forced out of my marriage against mywill. I still feel in love with my husband. I still have so much WIFE left in me… I’m confused.

  • Pez

    You must set boundaries Patricia! then if they are not met, you need to stand your ground on leaving. you’ve already made the first step. Patricia, with an alcoholic you need to follow your head not your heart! you read the post here. deciding right now do you want to live with an alcoholic for the rest of your life? yes or no? if not set strong boundaries and do not budge. and gradually, move on with your life.

  • Pez!
    You are right… I’m struggling. I just need to hear an opinion on my e telling him about my place. How do I tell him? What about the child support? Am I doing the right thing? I know its about taking care of our child but should I be taking a different route? Why am I having such hard time? He is the one that caused this pain. I’m sure my emotions didn’t help but should I feel the blame for this? He acts as if I made this choice without reason… well he says he knows why I left but he’s not saying anything else.. I’m just really confused. I’m really struggling right now.

  • Pez

    Patricia, there is no right or wrong way to do it. In my opinion, you don’t owe him anything or any explanation. But if your conscience is getting to you email and tell him you have moved out got your own place and it are filing for divorce and child support. Or you can choose just to wait till he gets served. There is no right or wrong way to do it. But do not be surprised once he finds out or you tell him he turns into a nasty SOB! if they don’t get their way they can get quite nasty and to me that shows their true colors.

  • You are right! I’m tired of catering to him and being afraid to lose him when he isn’t afraid to lose me. I need to finally except that I don’t have to walk on eggshells anymore!!

  • Well…
    I sent the email but of course I unloaded. I probably shouldn’t have done that… this is a painful process.

  • He is not responding to my emails.

    I feel like a fool!

  • Sally

    Patricia, you’re NOT a fool, but you should be able to feel the jerk of the chain you’ve voluntarily hooked yourself to. STOP worrying and fretting and howling about him! You’re so busy trying to live in his life that you’re not living in your own! Like most people, you prefer the evil you know to the evil you don’t. Guess what? There isn’t any evil out in the great big wide wonderful world like what you’ve known with your drunk soon-to-be ex- husband. Let. It. Go. It takes lots and lots and LOTS of practice, but you can do it. It’s not easy. Actually, it’s damn f*cking hard. But what’s harder and so much more destructive is thinking about being with him. He’s a habit that you can break.

    I spent 5 years with a drunk. A very charming drunk at times, but also a sorry, hateful, selfish, lying drunk most of the time. I saw the effect him being a drunk had on his grown children. If you persist in trying to keep him in your life in any way other than what you legally have to, you’re going to deliberately permanently damage your child. His daughters all hooked up with men like him, but eventually (with the help of a lot of talks with me) figured out that what had been their past didn’t have to be their future. His son was a full fledged drunk before he was 25. Is this what you want for your child? Your job is to protect your child, not to inflict harm because you choose to keep a drunk in your life.

    YOU can choose to let him stay in your life and keep damaging you. Your child can’t. You have to choose who you want most. Your drunk or your child. Because drunks don’t allow anybody to be first in anyone’s life who’s involved with them. They make everyone’s life about making things comfortable for them and keeping things comfortable.

    Drunks see the rest of the world as conveniences. No one in a drunk’s life is a real person. They’re only supporting cast for the drunk’s starring role. That will never change in a drunk’s life.

    As for why your drunk doesn’t seem more contrite when he’s the one who’s caused all the drama and heartache? It’s because in a drunk’s world, anything that they ever do because they were so drunk they can’t remember should be forgotten. I mean, gee, how can the sober world be so cruel as to expect them to be accountable for what they don’t remember doing? In their view, if they don’t remember, it didn’t happen. My ex- drunk said I wasn’t being fair to expect him to be sorry for something he couldn’t remember saying or doing. Didn’t hate to break it to him that just because HE didn’t remember didn’t mean that I didn’t. Can’t un-ring a bell, ya know?

    Patricia, stop and think about your life right this second. Is another year of this pain and torture ok with you? How about another 3 years? 5 years? 20? Expecting anything to be better with a drunk in your life is like thinking you can jump off a tall building and fly. You’d discover long before you hit the ground that you couldn’t, and you’d get to experience the terror of the trip down. Living with a drunk is just like that. YOUR life won’t get any better. Your child’s life will be ruined and completely warped by being around your drunk. I don’t care if he did father her. He’s not an active father. There’s a huge difference.

    I spent 5 years with my drunk. I’ve been gone 4 years this coming January. The first year plus was damn hard. But I survived. I let myself feel awful. I let myself cry. Then I finally figured out that how I was feeling wasn’t so much about him as it was about beating myself up for getting involved in the first place. That certainly wasn’t hurting him, right? So I cut that self-loathing off, got up, dusted myself off and I’ve kept moving. I have my job, my family, my friends and my house and life is good. I sleep at night knowing that I don’t have to worry about some stupid drunk getting stupid and setting something on fire or any of the other stupid things drunks do. I never have to be embarrassed by anyone’s behavior. I don’t have to be the DD ever again.

    You can do this, Patricia. It’s very early in your flight to freedom. Stop second guessing yourself and get on with taking back your life. Stay strong. Don’t give in to the impulse to hide behind the evil you know over the evil you don’t. It does get better. You will get stronger. But…don’t get involved with another man until you’ve spent a long time on your own and understand exactly why you ignored signals you picked up and should have paid attention to about your ex-. Understand why you were drawn to him. But stay strong and don’t give in. You can do this. You’ll find the same strength and understanding on this site that I did. Stay connected with the good people here. It helps more than you think.

    All my hopes and prayers for you and your child.

  • Sally

    Patricia, pictures of my ex- passed out in the kitchen floor helped keep my backbone strong when I felt weak. They helped me remember why I couldn’t go back down that road again.

  • Thank you Sally.

    All you are saying is very true but I’m really struggling.

    I want to call him. I miss him. Was I wrong for leaving.. why is this so hard. I didn’t think I would feel this way.

  • Pez

    Patricia, you obviously are not getting what we are saying to you! It sounds to me that you need to seek out a qualified counselor. we can give you encouraging words and let you know our experience with a drunk and how it ends up but we are not qualified as counselors. so my suggestion to you is either get a counselor or go back to him and go around the mountain a few more times until you hate him! that’s what we are trying to save you from. I had to go round the mountain three times before I got the message. peace to you and I wish you the best.

  • Thank you Pez!

    No, I get it… but it helps to purge what I want to do on this site without actually doing it. Its almost like a little therapy and hearing the feedback just helps me feel good that I didn’t give in because of the obvious. I’m sure you understand you have been through the storm. I know I will be as strong as you one day but right now I’m one of the ones that was just “rescued” so I have healing yo do. Being on this site is helping me.

  • Sally

    Patricia, we all know the danger of second-guessing our decisions. What you feel is just like everyone else here. It’s scary to make a change, but fear isn’t permanent. Remind yourself of one very important thing – feelings aren’t facts. The facts are that the life you had with your ex- was bad for you. The fact is that you can’t save him, but you can save yourself and your child.

    Understand this – you can crawl up on a cross for your ex-, but he won’t think any better of you for it.

    Leaving is hard because you’ve let his life overshadow yours. It may help to ask yourself what you’re avoiding in your life by focusing on his? It’s always easier to deal with his problems than to work on your own. STOP. Change is hard. You didn’t get into this mess overnight and you won’t get out of it in a day or a week or a month. But if you stay strong, you will get through it.

    Accept that you’ll feel bad for a long while, but that feeling will pass and you’ll get through this. Just keep coming here to talk it over. You’re in my thoughts and prayers.

  • Denise

    Hi Patricia, Take a deep breath. I was in a situation similar to yours but I did not leave. I had no family around. They were in a different town. Even they said they would help- I received none. So, ultimately, I stayed. I am a strong person but there are still those days after 35 yrs. I wish I had left. I had two young boys at the time. They saw and heard a lot. Every once in a while I’ll still say to them ” the three Musketeers” , and they smile. They know. No one can tell you what your heart is feeling. All the great advice is wonderful but ultimately it is your decision- and yours alone. And anyone who loves you should stand by you and your decision. Not ridicule. But, please remember this, your child comes first -Forever- no matter what. Your child is so much a part of you that in the years to come your bond and your strength will shine through in them. I always think to myself I didn’t sign up for this. This isn’t the way love should feel. You will be fine no matter what decision you make. It is a gloomy morning here. The fog is low in the trees. Time for a walk with my dogs. Maybe I’ll get some good pics this morning. Take care of you and yours. Always, Denise

  • Thank you Denise,

    I have been getting really good advice and wisdom and what you have said helps a lot. I wish I could have been as strong as you and able to stay and weather every alcoholic storm but I was exhausted and just couldn’t think anymore. I needed to leave so I could breath, think heal and regroup. I tried doing this while staying but I couldn’t stick to it. I am an emotional person and it got to be too much. I do still love and believe it or not still want myhusband. This is what I’m struggling with. is

  • Sally

    Patricia, I understand you still loving him. I still love my ex-. That’s a fact and a feeling. But another fact was and is that he isn’t good for me or to me.

    We can love many people in our lives, but we don’t have to allow them to remain in our lives to makes us less. A true marriage and love should make us more. That wasn’t my reality with my ex-, and it’s not your reality with your husband. We wouldn’t tolerate a friend treating us like our drunks did and do, so why would we tolerate it from someone who swears they love us yet treat us so badly? Love isn’t supposed to be a source of pain.

    Stay strong and focus on getting through the fear of being alone. You’ve come through rough times before and you can do it again. Read the stories on this site. They’ll help give you strength, knowing others have been where you are. Get mad and use the energy from it to push yourself. Stay strong. You’re stronger than you think. You can do this.

  • Thank you Sally,

    I’m trying to get through this one day at a time. I can’t wait for the day where I can testify on how I made it through!

    Thank you!

  • Sally,

    I just went back to some of the post from a few years back and came across one you wrote on Jan. 12th 2012…

    I’m am amazed at how strong you were then just having left your alcoholic a week prior to your post and here you are years later with that same strength that is helping people like me now. God Bless you!

  • Paula

    My husband and I have been married 11 years. About a year into the marriage he became abusive, verbally and physically. I never told anyone and kept silent. As the years have gone by, we have a son together who is 9 now. My husband was deployed twice as a civilian to Afganistan and Iraq. After coming back he grew more and more into his alcohol addiction. He has been in rehab 3 times and hospitals for detox 4 times. He still drinks and now is on the verge of losing his job. I have tried to be there for him but just a few days ago, he became intoxicated and because his demeanor becomes worse as he keeps drinking he was taken to the hospital once again, but this time I didn’t go get him. Instead, I filed a PFA. I love my husband , but nothing is waking him up to help himself. Now, I’m forced to separate my son and I from him, and I really feel guilty for doing it. I don’t know what I should do, if I should let him go and if he truly cares about his family, he will find a way to come back into our lives?? I really feel so bad. How does anyone deal with this?

  • Pez

    Paula, you are making the right decision for your son and you! The sad part about it is love is not a motivator to quit alcoholism or any addiction. he has to decide to do it for himself. I’ve heard rare circumstances where someone threatening to leave has motivated a drunk to quit drinking. it’s so much deeper than that, thats why its called addiction. So all I’m saying is don’t count on it. Plan to move on. I’m sorry for your circumstances sucks!

  • K

    Paula, Abuse physically or otherwise is unacceptable. Everything that can be done
    has not helped your spouse. He is past anything that could help him. You are wise
    to get your son and you away from his diseased brain and build a new life. MY heart
    aches for you and your son. Get out before something more serious happens to you
    or your son. He does not know what he is doin or right from wrong. Good luck

  • I want to thank you Pez and K for your support . It means a lot when you feel alone . Someone who hasn’t gone they this type of situation cannot understand fully how it affects a person . I find the blogs on this site to be very helpful to me and I am so happy I stumbled across it . I pray for anyone out there to stay strong . I have a long road ahead … So I will be looking forward to coming on to this site and getting some strength .

  • Pez

    Paula and Patricia, we are all here for you always. And you guys are always here for me. This site has been the best support anyone could ever ask for. Me 9 months out of that relationship I still have to come here to remind myself of a drunks cruelty! And it helped set me straight. not saying the paint the betrayal is not painful, it is. But this is the best support group anyone could ask for and I thank all of you!

  • This site has been a God sent. I’m going through all kind of stages due to my husbands alcoholism and ptsd. I finally got me and my 15 month old out of his way but now there is a whole gamet of emotions flooding me after the move… Paula I know how you feel. Keep on using this site it will help. I’m going through some changes but I’m surviving one day at a time. Stay true to your heart but be wise and keep praying for strength. Thats what I do

    Pez, Sally, Mmmm! and K just to name a few are wonderful people full of experience wisdom and tough love! God bless them all!

  • SC

    I do the same thing Pez. I come here to remind me of the alcoholics cruelty and it does feel good to not be alone. I am divorced but still can feel the pain from all of it. I told myself and my best friend that when I got to the other side of the river, I was going to be a better person, I just didn’t know how long that would take. Still working on it.
    Glad we all have each other.

  • Pez

    Hope all is going ok Patricia. We haven’t heard from you lately and I am very hoping very much you didn’t go back to him! Let us know how you are.

  • Hi Pez,
    Thank you for the thinking of me! I haven’t gone back to him completely but we have been talking. I’m trying to find a therapist in my area that I can afford and will help me with my codependency and self esteem issues. I’m all over the place right now with my emotions. I’m weak and I know it. I have to get help.

  • Pez

    Good move Patricia counseling would be great! They will help you see things in a different way. Be careful talking to him they are good liars to get what they want! Very smooth talkers. Just remember alcohol will always be above you or anyone else! His first love.

  • Thanks Pez,

    I went to Vet court with him today… trying to be supportive as usual. I’m not yet convinced that he is really trying to make a real change for himself but just trying to comply to stay out of jail. He says all the things he thinks I want to hear but I’m no longer taking those wooden niclels!! I’m just confused. He is showing his sweet self again but I now REALLY know the monster that lives within… part of me wants my husband back the other part just wants to be completely free!!! Completely.

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