7 Lies Your Alcoholic Tells You


I remember a time when a salesperson gave me a big line and guess what I took it.

The product didn’t perform the way I was told it would.

Did the salesperson stretch the truth, lead me to believe certain things or outright lie?

Whatever you call it, I felt like it was a lie.

When your alcoholic tells you some things he may really believe them.

It doesn’t make them true.

There’s no need to assign intention behind these lies. I don’t believe for a minute they mean them as lies.

Let’s look at them and find the truth.

I drink because of you

I hope you don’t get drawn into this one.

It’s always easier to blame someone else for drinking. If it’s not your fault then your alcoholic has to take responsibility.

You KNOW it’s not your fault, right?

Let me review how you can know for sure.

    • You don’t force him to drink, do you?
    • It’s a requirement that he drinks to have a relationship with you, right?

not your

  • He decides when if and when to drink
  • He continues past when he should quit
  • He continues to drink when you say stop
  • How could it possibly be your fault?

    It’s NOT!

    I can quit any time I want

    This one is interesting because there is often attempts at proof, like “Remember when I quit for three months?”

    The problem with this is there’s always a return to drinking.

    There’s no intention on the part of an alcoholic to quit FOREVER.

    In recovery this issue is resolved and the idea of not drinking again is built as the only successful way to have a complete recovery.

    I deserve a few beers, I work hard

    This is one you may have bought into.

    If your alcoholic works and brings home a paycheck it’s easy to think he’s entitled to a few beers.

    Let me ask it another way…

    Is he ever entitled to become abusive, obnoxious or violent?

    Does he have an entitlement to totally ignore you and your needs?

    Do you deserve better than what the ‘few drinks’ deliver?

    I say YES!

    Unfortunately, your alcoholic isn’t likely able to determine what behavior follows his drinking.

    Even if you say, “he doesn’t get obnoxious or violent”. My question to you is “are you content with the person he becomes after his few”?

    I don’t need help

    I don’t know about you but it’s pretty hard to ask for help.

    Regardless of the situation to ask for help means you apparently ‘lack’ something.

    In the case of your alcoholic it’s the need to have objective people with knowledge about addiction that makes a difference.

    The important part here is very few people make it into recovery without help.

    I only had a couple beers

    This is a classic one. When I do an assessment on an alcoholic and they feed me this line I always ask, “would that be two 40oz?”

    I know alcoholics may not intentionally tell you less(although I suspect they do not want you to know the truth).

    I do know that even the evidence of empty bottles are not likely to tell the whole truth about how much is consumed.

    Alcoholics do at times have blackouts and may not know how much they drink, but I am quite certain they know it wasn’t a couple.

    I haven’t been drinking

    When you hear this line it’s often followed by…HONEST.

    Why? Because your alcoholic has undoubtable used it often enough when he was using to make the ‘honest’ statement necessary to lend any credibility to the statement.

    You know when there is the smell of alcohol on his breath it’s not likely mouthwash.

    Women were given this wonderful sense of smell unlike most men. I’m here to tell you they actually may not believe you smell it all over them, but you DO.

    Trust your sense of smell.

    Everyone drinks

    Let me debunk this myth right now.

    Thousands and thousands of recovering alcoholics don’t drink.

    There are may who know the danger of becoming alcoholic who don’t drink

    When the benefits of drinking are less than the pain it produces…your alcoholic will recognize not everyone drinks.

    I take extra time when someone is trying to sell me something. I try to kick the tires.

    Sometimes I still get less than expected. More times than not I get closer to the truth because I understand the ‘line’ or lie they try to tell me.

    How about you? Are there other lines you’ve been told? Share in the comments below.


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    Here’s What 33 Other People Thought...

    1. mfuerst

      Great article. My husband does at times blame me or blames stress. He tells me he can quit anytime. He did quit for 5 years because he almost died from the years of alcohol abuse. Now he says that he knows his body and when alcohol is affecting it. Even though I can see that it is already affecting his health. I don’t really need to smell it on his breath. I can tell from just looking at him, and the smell comes through his body I think. He is a diabetic, and the diabetes is now out of control due to the drinking. When his blood sugars get real high, he claims that the alcohol helps to lower his blood sugar. The fact is sometimes it does but it lowers it to dangerous levels and his blood sugars are jumping all of the place. The lies and the excuses are terribly frustrating.

      • FreeMyAddict Team

        I wish it weren’t true, but some people actually die from alcoholism. Denial of the illness doesn’t take away the truth. Many other diseases often stem from alcoholism, diabetes, stomach issues, heart disease and high blood pressure to mention a few. Thanks for your comment.

    2. Marina

      Good article. I still sometimes fall for his lies, ” I didn’t drink, you are silly, I don’t know what’s your problem. He has gone to AA off and on, but still has not reached his low. I know I am enabling him. I am the only one who is working and keeping the household afloat, I have stopped given him and money for anything at all. I now give him bus tickets so that he can take the bus to his “meetings”. I have given him gift cards to purchase things at the grocere store. But I think I should stop doing that too. I am very frustrated and confused. I am going to Alanon, which is helpling me, but sometimes I still feel alone and very frustated.
      Thanks for letting me vent a bit.

      • FreeMyAddict Team

        You’re really doing a lot of things well. The more you recognize the lies you’re told the better you’ll be able to respond. I agree with you the gift care needs to go (he’ll find a way to use it for booze). We’d love to have you in Community Connect. A FMA Coach is there from 10 AM to 2 PM Mon through Fri. It’s one of the least expensive ways to access a coach. I think you’ll like it.

    3. Rosalie

      My husband says some of these things to me. It really affects my self-esteem. He hides the booze bottles and thinks I don’t see them. He gets angry if I ask him why he hides his booze. He had tremors in his hands because of heavy drinking before I met him. He thinks I don’t know. There are times when I think about leaving.

      • FreeMyAddict Team

        You recognize some of the lies you’re being told. Good! It sounds like your alcoholic was quite a ways along with his addiction even before you met him. I hope you find ways to take care of yourself whether you stay or leave.

    4. Ross

      He says he’ll quit and start going to AA.But ts been put off week after week.

      • FreeMyAddict Team

        Someday he will quit… Hopefully before it costs his life or someone else. Today is the ONLY day for recovery.

    5. Mark

      Although I notice that most these articles are about men with a drink problem, in our family it is my wife that struggles with drinking. She has been drinking on a daily basis for several years now and is getting progressively worse, she accepts that she has a problem and has seen a councilor who she slates as rubbish and from what she tells me, I must agree that she has not given very good advice, advising her to try and start drinking later in the day to reduce the quantity consumed. This does not work as she can’t stop once she’s started until she becomes unconscious and she will be the first to admit, she has an all or nothing personality. When I try to talk to her about it she’ll try to abstain for a couple of days and then on failure she’ll start again in secret rather than acknowledge the severity of the problem. When she drinks in secret, she thinks I can’t smell the drink on her and despite stumbling about slurring her words, thinks that I am unable to tell. Empty cans and bottles find their way into the strangest places. The supply of alcohol is usually very well hidden although both the children and I stumble on her stash now and again. When we do and she is aware of our discovery, it moves to another hiding place. When I have approached her about it in the past, after she has had a drink, she has said it’s my fault that she drinks although she can’t tell me why other than that I used to drink when we first met. It has become easier to live around the problem for a quiet life rather than take the flack when I try to talk about it but it doesn’t stop me worrying about her and having to bail her out financially when she’s drunk all her money away. I found your article very helpful in getting a true perspective on the truth rather than blaming myself for not being able to help her. Thank you

      • FreeMyAddict Team

        Mark, The majority of our readers are women however alcoholism isn’t gender specific. Women tend to hide drinking as a pattern and few around them know the full extent of their use. The articles on our site apply equally to men or women. Counselors are like any other profession, there are those who are excellent and those who need to get a clue about addiction. It appears your wife’s counselor needs to understand addiction better. Your wife will not likely find a place where social or casual drinking works. The goal needs to be long term abstinence. You’d benefit from conversation with a FMA coach. We are in Community Connect from 10am to 2pm Mon thru Fri. An ear to listen who understand and can point you in the right direction. Thanks for your comment.

    6. alannah

      Hi, so many things on this page are hitting home…..hard and it is hard to take. My commonlaw says and does many of these things and more, I am pregnant and pretty much cant go anywhere I have no income right now and three kids that he would never let me leave with and I would never leave behind. He is a good father and spouse when alcohol isnt involved. how do I try to keep this all together?

      • FreeMyAddict Team

        Alannah, you keep it together by taking one day at a time. Maybe you can use this time to decide what you want to do to make your situation more secure regardless of his behavior. I understand your hands full right now with the pregnancy and three children. I’m sure with all your responsibility there are talents you have you will be able to rely on into the future. You don’t have to plan on leaving, there just needs to be new boundaries where you and the children are protected and secure.

    7. Lee

      This is my first time. Im reading these stories and it is all so familiar. My spouse and I did drink together when we met, but I never noticed how much he drank. I do know after the 11years together, I will not talk to him when he comes home every night drunk. Its the same every-night, he comes in drunk, he eats and 10 minutes later he is past-out on the couch, chair where-ever he is sitting. I learn 6 years ago, not to confront him when he’s drinking. I will never go there again. I try and talk to him in the morning and as soon as I bring it up, its time for him to go to work…
      I have had five years of health problems, once bed ridding for 8 months. He never called and came home early to help out. I think that’s when I lost all respect for him. He’s like a little kid and who can reason with a kid. He says he brings home the checks to pay the bills, so I guess he thinks his behavior is suppose to be supported because he works. He has his own business and does a lot of side jobs. He makes a lot of money on the side (of course that’s none of my business) I know he gambles and all his friends think he’s well off. He is such a fake person. He lied and presented himself to me like a successful person and put a 14,000 ring on my finger. I gave up my job and filed bankruptcy when we moved in together 9 years ago. Now We barely make the bills monthly. but he’s still out there trying to impress all his drunk friends with this all this money in his pocket, and of course all his friend borrow money for gambling then he bitches that they don’t pay him back. I sit in a corner wondering what happened to my life. My depression is beyond any words I could say. There is no light at the end of the tunnel for me. Even If I were to try and leave now I couldn’t support myself and he knows that. His work trucks are in my name cuz he doesn’t have a license. I don’t even know why I’m writing this it sounds like a pity party going on here. If this help anyone then I’m blessed for writing it. I have no advise for it not to happen to you. I’ve been independent since I was 16. Now to be dependent on a drunk is the lowest time of my life. Drunks will drain you of ever once of energy you have and make you feel completely helpless……. Bless who ever receives this.

      • FreeMyAddict Team

        There’s a lot going on in your situation. I believe you have more choices than you see at this moment. It appears with HIS trucks in YOUR name it might be a good idea for him to listen to you. Sandee, keep reading the articles on the site… you’ll gain your strength to do what’s best for you. Thanks for taking the time to share. I’m sure there are others who hear an understand your pain.

        • kate

          Hi Sander
          Try to disconnect and get some energy back. Then you can leave him and find your real life. You deserve it.x

        • FreeMyAddict Team

          Leaving or staying is a very personal choice and needs to be made with lots of thought and prayer.

    8. Lee

      Thank you for the response.

      I spoke with my attorney handling my claim with Allstate. He wants to start the divorce proceedings. I’m scared to death on how Dave is going to respond to this. He came drinking last night. I knew his new chapter was not going to last long.

      We spoke this morning over watching a true story on Animal Planet he cried at the end. I asked how he could have so much compassion for a true story when he has never shown any to me over the last five years of health problems and being left alone to deal with them. He got mad and got ready for work.

      I’m so scared. I have no where to go,and I’m stuck in the prison of a house disabled. I’m crying right now cuz I don’t know what is to come. I know what he does react to confrontation and its with his fist.

      I pray every day for a better day. Now for the first time, and am really scared of what he might do. His business and son has been he biggest priority and now I’m going to be messing with that.
      …I have never been so helpless
      … God Help Me

      • Wendell

        First, I want to make sure you have an action plan if your alcoholic should become violent. Remember, zero tolerance for violence regardless if he’s been drinking or not. You need to be ready to implement the plan. Here’s a domestic violence hotline. It appears you decided to take some bold action. These kinds of choices are difficult an a lot depends on what you do and what your alcoholic does. The most important part is for you to be safe. You may feel helpless but you just made one of the more difficult decisions you could ever need to make. I do believe God will help you!

    9. My husband’s blame game was: “You always had to be in control” or “You always controlled everything.” He’s right. I had to control everything; because he was always so out of control; in order to keep us from being homeless, living under a bridge somewhere or having the power cut off every month. I lived in hell every day having to control so much all at the same time.

      • FreeMyAddict Team

        When your husband became out of control with alcohol there wasn’t much else you could do. You control the situation as best you can, give in it or leave. There aren’t many other options. Alcoholic’s are good at blame instead of taking up responsibility. You did what you had to do.

    10. Sheila

      My husband got a DUI two years ago, and he swore then he was never going to drink again. Well, then he went from not drinking ever again to, “I’m only going to drink when I go camping.” Well, now he wants to go camping so often that he doesn’t think about the kids. He is the kids’ step-father. My step-daughter from a previous marriage came to visit her little brother and sister, and he decided to go camping all night. Now, mind you, if their father finds out that my new husband is drinking, I risk legal issues with custody, and their father makes really good money and could hire a lawyer. Then, he decided to go camping two weeks later when my daughter had music performances at her music camp, and then got behind the wheel of his car that he just bought two months ago. He had just gotten his license back the end of last year too! He was arrested for a DUI and has been in jail for the last three weeks. I, too, stopped giving him money, but somehow, he finds a way to get money! I am the breadwinner of the family, but his paychecks (which I would go with him to cash and place in my single checking account) do cushion the blow of some of the bills. So, now, I am struggling with my two children while he sits in jail and promises that he will not drink anymore. He says he’s been crying out for help, but no one will spend time with him. I work nights; he works days. He also tells me that the kids don’t need to come first all the time! Excuse me? Then he goes on to reason that the kids never want to do anything with him, so why should he want to go do anything them? How immature! He sits in jail and tells me, “WE are going to be okay.” HA! There is no “WE” when he sits in jail while I struggle to pay bills. He gets three square meals a day, has no risk of losing his place to sleep, and all the while, I won’t have enough to pay the mortgage and utilities. I feel betrayed and abandoned, very depressed. Sometimes I wish I would have never married him, and sometimes I wish I would have just stayed in my abusive marriage to my ex because at least then I wouldn’t have had to worry about losing my home or my kids.

      • Sheila

        And, yes, I hear “You always have to control everything,” too. I hear, “I never get to do anything I want to do.”

        • FreeMyAddict Team

          Someone has to control things, he certainly isn’t. When he tells you he never gets to do anything it sounds to me like he’s gearing up to drink.
          Just an excuse. Thanks for your comments.

      • FreeMyAddict Team

        Compulsion to use is more powerful than ANY promise made by your alcoholic. You may be at a point where he gets help or you find your own way. It’s extremely difficult to know what to count on with your alcoholic. Most reliable expectation is he will continue to use and you will continue to be left on the short end of things. He needs to know your fed up with his addiction and he needs to get help. Thanks for your comment.

    11. My alcoholic doesn’t say any of this. He drinks then asks for help. This is the 3rd ER visit and second detox stint in 2 weeks. He wants help and wants to stop. But his doesn’t fall back on his coping mechanisms when his triggers arise. I believe he wants help. What I’m not sure I believe anymore is that he loves me or stays because I put up with him. I’ve searched the web for answers for the last hour and think I need to set boundaries more and stick to them. He knows he cannot drink in my house and I’ve stuck to it. That’s how he ended up sleeping in the woods on a rainy Friday all night. I feel like I’m on an emotional roller coaster. He loves me and then he’s chatting with his ex on Facebook. He gets drunk and says if I leave he’ll find another woman. Blah blah blah. When is enough enough? Does it ever get better? Does sobriety ever “stick?” He’s been in and out of detox rehabs sober houses and programs for years now.

      • FreeMyAddict Team

        To the question when is enough enough, it’s different for everyone. You decide if you’re done. You don’t have to put up with him threatening to be with someone else.
        It sounds to me like he wants to get some help. He needs more than detox. I’m quite sure the detox program tries to get him to go into a rehab program. There’s not a specific amount of length of time he needs to attend but here’s the key. If he OWNS his addiction to alcohol he’s on the right track. He will have a support system in place and an accountability person with whom he will confide regarding his progress or lack thereof. If these three things are NOT in place he’s not ready to leave rehab.

    12. tammy

      My husband comes from a long line of alcaholics. We have 2 young kids and I think I am reaching my limit with it all. I think the biggest line he gives me is, “I’m going to get a power aid”. He never comes home with power aid. Just be honest with me after 10 years I know his game.

      • FreeMyAddict Team

        My suggestion is for you to speak truth into the circumstances where your husband believes he has successfully manipulated you. He needs to know you know and it’s not okay. Tough choices on your part may get him to understand he needs help. 10 years is a long time to put up with the hassles of an alcoholic husband. Hopefully this site helps you be strong and make good choices.

      • FreeMyAddict Team

        Lies are common and often get worse. Apparently alcohol IS his power aide. Ironic, the difference between the two drinks. Thanks for your comment.

    13. Cindy

      We have taken a homeless man in and he is staying at a house we are trying to sell. We would see him every day on the street and the weather was so cold. We befriended him and eventually invited him to the vacant home to live for now. He has been there about for four weeks now. We try to take care of him but notice that he is asking more and more for us to buy him a beer. He takes a LOT of medication and says he has cancer and a bad heart and therefor has a right to drink however much he wants because he is dying. Once again, last night, we got a call at one in the morning that he may need to go to the hospital because his heart was hurting so bad. We only live a short distance away so we were there within minutes and as usual it tuned out to be a ploy to try to get us to buy him another beer. I have never been around an alcoholic but I am sure that is the case we have gotten ourselves into. We can refuse to buy him any beer but we are having a very difficult time knowing if anything he tells us is true or not. He had a doctor’s appointment this morning and when I went to get him he said they had called and cancelled it. Would I be wrong to call the doctor’s office and see if that’s true or not? He has asked us not to contact any of his family because he had a falling out with them. He tells us that his best friend is on his way from a neighboring state to bring retirement checks that have recently started coming to him but that the friend was the only address he knew of to have the checks sent to. Each day there is an excuse as to why the friend isn’t here yet. I looked at the phone we gave him, when he was drunk one night, and got the phone number of “his friend”, thinking that if this man dies, his friend would know how to contact his family. I don’t want to invade this person’s privacy. My husband and I have decided that it doesn’t really matter if he is telling the truth or not in the sense that we brought him in out of the cold and anything we have bought him is something we have control over. And yet, we find ourselves feeling like we need to be able to verify “something” this man tells us so we don’t feel so used and violated. We really enjoy his company when he is not drinking but can’t handle being around him when he drinks. Do we have a right to question his truths? Any time we question him about something he threatens to leave and lays a guilt trip on us. Our family thinks we are crazy, very naive or stupid.

      • FreeMyAddict Team

        You have displayed great compassion toward an individual who needs a lot of help. His medical information is confidential and no doctor’s office is going give you that information. The result of your generosity is you have been drawn into enabling his behavi1or. Here is a little guidance from someone who has over 30 years of working with alcoholics. Never buy alcohol for an alcoholic. If he complains regarding medical issues the best place is to take him to the ER or his Primary Care Physician. Don’t get drawn into his manipulation. No doubt he has issues health and otherwise. There are places where he can get the type of help he needs such as a Rescue Mission or Salvation Army Addiction Program. They have the competence to help homeless, alcoholic and get him the medical care he says he needs. Thanks for your comment and your kind heart.

    14. Jessica

      I’ve lived with my alcoholic boyfriend for over 2 years and he has had a drinking problem the whole time, hiding tall cans and bottles in the garage every day and gets mad at me when i confront him. he is not a happy drunk, but a very cruel person and it has consumed him so much i have had to literally leave the house with no car and no shoes on more than one occasion because of the anger.He tells me he loves me and I believe him, but I am so broken from this I have lost myself in trying to help him or “change” him and I end up drinking myself to deal with the pain, making another wrong in the relationship. I don’t know how to deal with him anymore, I start calling him names like a drunk and a loser and i end up making it worse because i know i’m not supposed to do that. I am his living punching bag who has fallen to the ground.

      • FreeMyAddict Team

        Jessica, you have seen some of the behaviors of an alcoholic. Trust me, it gets worse. Love doesn’t change your boyfriend. His decision to get help for his drinking problem is what makes things different. There’s not a question about if he loves you. He just loves alcohol more. You have tough decisions to make. I would recommend for you to insist on him getting help and support for his drinking problem.

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