3 Ways To Deal With Dishonesty From An Alcoholic Spouse

alcoholics toilet

Walk into the bathroom and look in the toilet tank.

I’ll wait…

Did you find a bottle?

If there was one you probably know who put it there. If not, your alcoholic husband probably drank it. Look again in a day or two.

Did you get a good laugh out of that one? Well, think about it.

What a perfect spot to hide his booze. Who would think to look there? He can have privacy and the toilet works as a cooler.

If your husband’s been an alcoholic for any length of time, you may have found bottles in that place, and others, around your home.

When you talk to him about what you found he may say “it’s not mine,” or “that’s from when I was drinking.”

Then there’s the argument that lasts all night and maybe into the next day.

Nothing is really resolved by those arguments.

Here are a few tips to avoid the argument and deal with what you’ve found.

Let Him Know Without a Word

When you find a bottle just put it in plain sight.

Do you think he’ll bring it to your attention? Maybe not.

He may even wonder if he left it there, and that’ll mess with his head. And he’ll have to figure out another place to hide the bottles.

Eventually he’ll run out of places you don’t know about.

What if He Lies to You

“I don’t believe you.” These four simple words work.

When I talk to someone about their behavior and I know they respond with a lie, I simply say, “I’m sorry, but I don’t believe you.”

Try it next time. He may get defensive or might look down and walk away. He knows he’s been caught. He knows the truth and so do you.

After a few times of “I don’t believe you,” maybe he’ll realize you’re smarter than he thinks.

You Have the Evidence

Maybe you’ve found bottles, or saw his car at a bar or liquor store, whatever the case may be, when you talk it over with him, he’s likely to deny it.

Just say, “I’m sorry but other information tells me differently.”

That’s straight and to the point, and you don’t have to divulge how you know differently.

You don’t have to go into the details. He doesn’t need to know how you discovered the truth. Don’t encourage the argument.

These tips probably won’t make him quit drinking. But he may begin to wonder if his lies and deception are really worth it. It might be the first step in his recovery.

But more importantly, you don’t have to keep it inside because of the fear of his angry reaction. Use these simple techniques.

Keep an eye on his favorite spots and don’t forget to check the toilet tank.

Where’s the most unique place you’ve found a bottle? Was it in his tool chest, in a pocket of a coat in the closet, or maybe in the suspended ceiling? Let us know in the comments.


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Here’s What 14 Other People Thought...

  1. kim

    Where’s the most unique place you’ve found a bottle? He started to hide it in the trunk of his car. now it is at work.

    • Tom

      So you found it in the trunk. And now he hides it at work. I wonder what will happen when his boss finds out. Or maybe he’s his own boss? If so, how much longer will have a business if he continues to drink while working. I hope you’ll follow our suggestions in this article regarding bottles he hides at home. But at work…well, that’s a tough one on your part. Does he realize you know he hides his booze at work?

  2. Marina

    I also found the bottles/cans in the trunk. How about in the outside garbage cans, empties under the bed mattress, in the crawl space. I know I should be looking for the evidence, but sometimes I can’t help it. I am looking less and less, like you said agruements don’t help.


    • Tom

      Boy Marina…you sure know where to look. Isn’t it amazing how he thinks you don’t know. And you’re right…arguments don’t work. Maybe you can try these three tools that we suggested in this article.
      Did you give up looking? Or decided wherever you look you’ll probably find a bottle?

      • Marina

        Thanks for the info article. I have given up looking, I would probably find the bottle if I did look. I have taken your suggestions, when I did find a bottle I would just put on the counter, and not say a word. I would come home from work and it would be gone, I was strong that time and did not say a thing. I will try and not argue, and just simply say I don’t believe you and leave at that.
        Again Thank you

      • Tom

        Thanks for sharing Marina. I’m sure many of our other visitors to this site will be interested in his response when you avoid arguing and just say “I don’t believe you.”

  3. David

    I have found bottles in pants pockets, on the top of the cupboards (he’s tall and can reach easily), in files, the coffee table drawer, and his knapsack hanging in the hallway. When I can’t find them, I check the garbage and recyling on pick-up day to count what he has tossed out. He also smokes pot which he hides in his briefcase. He thinks I don’t know the combo. Only once have I admitted to searching, although he has caught me. I will try the ‘outing’ method you describe. If nothing else, at least he will know I’m not as stupid as he thinks.

    • Tom

      It will be interesting to see what happens when you start putting the bottles out in plain view after you find them. Alcoholics think they’re “pulling the wool” over loved one’s eye’s…and don’t realize that their behaviors are so obvious. Keep watching this site for some new programs that may help you put the focus on yourself.
      Keep in Touch!

    • Karen

      I’ve found bottle buried under a pile of leaves in the backyard once. I’ve also found bottles behind shampoo bottles inside shower,in hamper buried under dirty clothes, small bottles balled up in socks in sock drawer, inside shoes, in winter coat pockets, inside A/C vent,inside an empty computer casing,in his glove box of car,in bushes outside, poured into other containers and stashed in pantry…you name it, he’s done it. It is so sad. He always swears he doesn’t remember doing it or it must’ve been done long ago and that he’s not doing that anymore,but then I keep finding new ones. The lies and dishonesty are the worst for me. He makes me feel unrespected and unworthy of love. I know he does love me and is struggling, but his selfish,sick need is stronger than his love to save himself and our marriage and makes me feel worthless and depressed. I want to separate, but I feel guilty like I owe him and don’t want to hurt him. So, we keep going round in a loop where he swears to try and change and I forgive him, it gets better, until it slowly gets worse again and he’s lying and hiding in no time. I think I need the therapy for staying with him and for what it’s doing to my mental state. I keep waiting for the man I married to resurface. He is so good in so many ways…it’s just the drinking,lack of self-control, lying,hiding (dishonesty) that has ruined it for me.

      • FreeMyAddict Team

        Your alcoholic has a disease. The dishonesty is to protect his supply of alcohol. He fears not having more alcohol than he does getting caught. His behavior is typical of an alcoholic. He needs professional help. You might consider Al-Anon

  4. D

    I’ve found bottles in his briefcase, backpack, coat pocket, sock drawer, t-shirt drawer, desk drawer, night stand, and behind books in the bookcase. Finding them and putting them out hasn’t changed anything – either confronting him or not saying a word about it. My husband is going to one-one-one therapy and group therapy, but the cycle keeps continuing and he keeps finding new hiding spots.

    • Tom

      If he’s going to therapy and still dirnking and hiding his bottles…it appears he doesn’t want to quit drinking. It might be a good idea for you to continue letting him know when you find a bottle. He has to make the choice to quit drinking…and apparently he hasn’t made that choice. I hope your focusing on what you need to do for yourself…instead of him and his alcoholic behaviors.

  5. e

    My husband is an alcoholic and also smokes pot. I have found bottles stashed in the linens that are used only a few times a year among other places, but my favorite is the pot that he has stuffed in his bottle of anti depressants prescribed during his latest detox period. Nice.

    • FreeMyAddict Team

      Your husband was sure protecting his stash. How typical of an addict. I hope you let him know you understand he does this and until it stops recovery won’t work. Thanks for your comment

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