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Alcoholism & Compulsive Lying

Postby SH » Mon Mar 13, 2006 12:22 am

Hi, I have a question. :(

If I date a recovering alcoholic who says he has not drunk for years, should I be prepared to deal with the possibility that he may lie about little things?

I have read that substance abusers lie to hide their addiction and other things/reasons. As an alcoholic does a person learn to lie and does the lying continue when the drinking stops?

Thanks for your opinions.

SH
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Postby shadowalker164 » Mon Mar 13, 2006 3:29 pm

What a fascinating question.

In my opinion, recovering alcoholics, those recovering alcoholics involved in Alcoholics Anonymous cut way back on their lying. And if I don’t have to hide my drinking (not drinking), I don’t need to lie about hiding my drinking.

Do you have any reason to believe he is lying?

If he is drinking in secret, and that can happen, you will know about it soon enough. It’s hard to act sober when we are drunk as Davies Sow. Anyone with eyes or a nose knows.

But I get this feeling that that ain’t it. Do you think he has a secret that he isn’t sharing with you? Does he go off somewhere and then not explain his absents? Or involved in something else that he isn’t letting you in on?

As active alcoholics, we lie. We lie, we cheat and we steal. But we are no better at it than anybody else. And some people lie just to keep their hand in, But recovered alcoholics are probably less prone to lying than the population at large, we need to be. Our sobriety depends on it.

Just my opinion,
Richard
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Postby Lilac » Mon Mar 13, 2006 9:22 pm

I don't think anyone would be safe making any kind of blanket statement about that.

It would all depend on the individual. I'm no expert, but I don't think that alcoholics are any more prone to lying, per se, than the rest of the general population.

So my advice would be to treat him the same way you treat everyone else. Give him the chance to earn your trust, in exactly the same ways and the same time as anyone else. Don't hold him to a microscope or an inquisition, and don't hold him to a different standard than anyone else.
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Reply To Fascinating Question

Postby SH » Thu Apr 13, 2006 12:19 am

Hi Shadowalker:

I don't have any reason to believe he is lying about not having taken a drink in years, but I am not sure. I don't know him well enough, nor enough about his personal life, and we have not spent time together yet. We have been friendly acquaintances, since Aug 05, and only started talking on the phone, during Christmas.

He told me in Feb 06 that he is a recovering alcoholic/drug addict in AA/NA. I know that this was hard for him to tell me, and I applaud him for telling me so soon, before our relationship progressed. :) He had said he felt that a person should know what she is getting involved with. It took him 3 more phone calls after he said that to tell me.

My question has to do with little lies about inconsequential things. The couple of lies he has told me seem more to do with shyness or wanting me to like him/approve of him than anything else. Have you ever spoken too fast because you wanted to please someone but what you said wasn't exactly true?

One lie was in Oct when I asked him if him family's carpentry business had a website. When he said yes I asked for the address and he said he would get it. After I ran into him a couple more times and reminded him he said it was in his head (?). I wondered about that but I thought he meant it had been given to him but he did not write it down. Eventually I supposed he had lied. When he gave me a card that one of his family members said he should pass out, I did an internet search and could not find anything. It was not important anyway.

Well it was after he revealed his recovering substance abuse that the lies came back to mind, and I wondered. But I have to take several things into account. Not only is this a new relationship in which he wants to please me (when he wants to and how it suits him), but he is also a Pisces and for some strange reason they may say they were at the cleaners when they were really at the drug store. They are compelled to be mysterious. He has also frankly told me that he is shy and has difficulty dealing with rejection, though I would never have guessed this since he seems so confident and self-assured.

As you can imagine all types of questions come up when a non-addict like me learns that her romantic interest is. So my question is when a person slowly becomes an addict, in a situation where they may have had to fight to hide and deny their problem before they hit bottom and got help, do they generally become so used to lying that it becomes a bad habit and they continue to do it without thinking? I know that prolonged substance abuse can have long-lasting and sometimes irreversible effects in various ways. I wondered if lying was one of them.

I think you answered that. Just responding to your question. Thanks so much for listening. :(
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Postby Guest » Sat Apr 15, 2006 7:46 am

Hi
My BF was also a reformed alcoholic who fell off the wagon a few years ago due to serious stress in his life. During this period he also became a big liar. He told a zillion lies about everything from his health to his day to day activities. He is a secret drinker and a 'top up' drinker, but you would never suspect he was drunk.
Like you, I knew nothing much about his background, and it was a new friendship. Eventually, on moving in together he would act very secretively and I could never pin down why - ofcourse later on to find out alot of it was the drink.
After hitting his rock bottom (this time) he has now quit again. He has been sober for nearly 18 months (Im so proud!).
But the lies continued long long after the drinking stopped. Lies about other things but do seemed to have stopped now.

Its very difficult to trust again, and I have to be wary that Im not being paranoid, but I do notice that he is, in general, a secretive man. But I have had to learn to trust and respect his privacy and just hope that whatever he needs his privacy for it is not to the detriment of our relationship.
I feel i would be able to spot the drinking again this time as I am now far better clued up to it than before,(but boy he was clever at hiding it) but he will do things that make me suspicious - with things that I had never really had any cause to be suspicious over (like password protect his pc but insists he has nothing to hide :? )
and then tell me I am the paranoid? To which i just told him, if he has anything to hide, im sure it will come out - as it always has!
Perhaps not the best way of having a relationship, but trust does take an awfully long time to repair.
So from my personal perspective, I do think that the secretiveness that has to be undertaken in order to try to maintain a longer term lifestyle whilst drinking heavily, can sort of, become a habit.
But not one that cant be overcome.

At least he has been totally honest with regard to his drinking problem and you are wise to look into it. I hope he is able to open up to you and as you get to know him better, you need to be able to ask about anything that you have doubts about.
Good luck.
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Just to add.......

Postby Guest » Sat Apr 15, 2006 8:20 am

I should point out that our relationship, is generally, very happy and stable. But i do feel that he sorta enjoys keeping a little mystery, whereas I guess, although I do like a little privacy, I prefer transparancy (especially with everything we have gone through!)
So i tend to try to lead by example - in that I mean if I am open, then he is. With the password - although i had one on mine for the kids (which every one knew it anyway - including him), im sure he feels that due to this incident I would change it to something he didnt know (which would be the kind of indignant response I would have done in the past - oh dear) so instead I do the opposite and remove it completely.
Having had to be an investigator extrodinaire - I now find being untrusting or suspicious and mysterious the most boring thing in the whole darn world.
What will be, will be! No point worrying about what might not happen!
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Thanks For Understanding

Postby SH » Wed Apr 19, 2006 11:12 pm

Dear Guest:

Your 2 posts above are invaluable because you outlined exactly what I am asking about.

Now, your info will not make me automatically reject this person, but it will help me in coming to a decision. I have more to work with either way. I know it is important to gather good info because I would be dealing with something I am not familiar with.

I really appreciate you taking the time to write. It is such a relief when someone understands. :?

I am so happy for your BF and I hope all continues to go wonderfully!
Hope never dies. Hope is alive. Hope is infinite.
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Lies

Postby REM » Sat May 06, 2006 2:10 am

I do not have the experience or wisdom of those who have responded to your question. Yet, this much I have learned:

1- When someone lies (addicted or not) they ultimately lie to themselves.

2- Do not lie, make excuses or take responsibilty for others.

3- Love many; trust few
Learn to paddle your own canoe.

4- Those who choose the soft & easy way turn out soft and easy.

5- Visit www.todoinstitute.com

6- Feelings are for "feeling"

Best wishes always...
Namaste'
REM
 

Update

Postby SH » Tue Aug 08, 2006 2:47 pm

Hello and thank you all for your compassionate responses.

The relationship did not develop for other reasons, and I am glad. Other issues quickly surfaced and drove a much wider wedge between us. I think it was not for me anyway since I had very serious questions from the beginning.

The interpretation of one of my dreams during that time was that I had "a lucky last minute escape from a regrettable mistake."

Love and Peace to all and God bless.

SH
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Postby binky » Mon Feb 12, 2007 2:44 pm

personally, i think it was he who had a lucky escape, not you.

look at what you've said. he told you about his addictions, which you admitted must have been hard to do, and then you use them as a basis to mistrust him.

if he hadn't told you, would you still have had the same mistrust? even over something as small as the whole business card thing? would you still have had the same questions about him?

however he did tell you, and let me tell you, he must have known how you didn't trust him. which can hurt more than anything.

if you had trusted him, you wouldn't have been on here looking for answers.

you mentioned his star sign and your dream in your replies. recovery from an addiction is based in fact, not horoscopes or dreams. apart from the dream to be free from addiction.
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