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What to Do When Alcoholics Lie

by Timothy Odum
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I used to get so frustrated with the constant lies. Why in the world does an alcoholic have to lie so much? There seems to be two things that are working against each other that will never be resolved. They are opposing forces that repel one another like magnetic opposites.

I've learned how to handle things when a problem drinker is not telling the truth. It may not be what you want to hear, but "in any case" this works. In fact, I've had total strangers write comments on my blog taking out their frustrations on me because I did not say what they wanted to hear.

So, what is it that they wanted to hear?

Most people want me to tell them how to make the alcoholic tell the truth or how to stop them from lying all the time. I cannot give you a method that will work for either of these quests. What I can give you is an understanding of what the alcoholic personality is like and how you can deal with your behaviors.

A very close friend of mine says this; "how can you tell when an alcoholic is lying? There lips are moving." This problem that they have of not telling the truth is a very strong personality attribute that is common among most alcoholics.

Now here's where you may disagree with me, but that's OK because I know this works in the relationships I have with alcoholics who lie.

Here we go, STOP confronting the lies.

Remember earlier I mentioned something about the two opposing forces working against each other. One of them is that they are not going to tell you the truth, PERIOD. The other opposing force is that we become obsessed with trying to make them tell us the truth. Thus, we go around and around with each other and the result is that we get frustrated and they never admit to lying.

The only productive thing to do when an alcoholic is lying is to accept that this is their personality when they are being influenced by drinking.

Why would I suggest that you accept that they are lying?

The biggest reason is so that you can have more peace in your life. It takes two people to argue and have a disagreement about something. In more cases than not, they are not going to confess.

Now, if you are the type of person who feeds on chaos perhaps you would rather continue confronting the lies.

What works for me is to accept that they are lying and choose to not confront them about it. Whenever I do this there is less fighting that happens and I have more peace in my life.

Listen, you have no control over what they are doing or not doing. You cannot make them tell you the truth and you cannot make them quit lying. What you can do though is accept that this is one of many personality traits that alcoholics have. Just call it an extended form of denial.

For information on how to deal with an alcoholic lair go here: Why Do Alcoholics Lie? We have free audio lessons and an email mini-course to help you learn more about interacting with a problem drinker.

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Timothy Odum

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