Do you ever lie to cover up the drinking?

Published by at 3:09 pm under Common Concerns

Welcome to First Steps to Al-Anon Recovery. This is a series of podcasts to discuss some common concerns for people who have been affected by someone else’s drinking.

Today Ann, Bob, and Anne will tell us if they ever told lies to cover up for someone else’s drinking problems.

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24 comments on “Do you ever lie to cover up the drinking?”

  1. lisa says:

    My husband has been drinking since I met him almost 10 years ago. He worked traveling almost every day and would be very tired when he got home for his 2 or 3 days off. I knew he drank, but didn’t realize it was a problem until just before we got married. I still married him, knowing that something wasn’t right. I am not much of a drinker at all–maybe I’ll have 2 drinks per year.

    My husband will not always drink, but when he does it will start on a Friday and end on Sunday or sometimes even Monday. Once he starts drinking wine or hard alcohol he doesn’t stop, and to top that off he is a light weight–affecting him after 1 drink.

    I hate it! We have 1 child and I am up front with him about his father’s drinking. I tell him how bad it is for the body and mind. I don’t go into detail, but my son who is 8 notices his dad mumbling things that don’t make any sense, when he is half-way awake on the couch.

    His parents are now noticing and think they can make him stop, but I’ve tried to explain to them that we’ve been going through this for years and until my husband realizes/admits that he has a problem nothing will change. They seem to think, without saying, that I’m giving up on my husband–they don’t realize that I’ve tried the pleading and the therapy (3 times) with him, but I know that I need to take the focus off of him and keep it on my son and myself. I’ve been doing pretty good at keeping steady and looking forward on us and looking past my husband when he drinks. A few times I’ve told him that he has to leave and go into the motor-home, which he’ll do without resisting.

    Not sure where to go from here. I can’t leave, I’m a stay-at-home mother and left my career, which was in the “travel” industry, when my son was born and can’t see going back to it when I have to and want to be here to care for my child.

    I love my husband, but it’s hard to look at him when he drinks. It’s sad to me to see him like that–like I said, I hate it.

    If he only could realize what he’s doing to his family and himself–I hope for that day–and if it ever comes I pray that it will change and remain changed.

  2. Mike says:

    I have been covering for my wife and lying to family and friends for several years. Our adult children are the only ones beside myself who know what the drinking is like. I am so tired of living this way, watching my wife drink to the point of passing out almost nightly without memories of the previous night’s events. We have the same conversations repeatedly because she can’t remember conversations. My wife has a good heart and was a good mother to our children when they were young. The later years not so much.

  3. judie says:

    Thank you so much for such great shares. I read these to understand how alcoholism affects my life as an adult child of an alcoholic.

  4. Jessica says:

    My husband and I started off as drinking buddies. We both drank too much, too often. I was a full-time college student, he worked. Well, I began to tire of the money spent, hangovers, arguing, even tired of my garbage can being filled with beer cans. He did not slow down, also got involved in heavy drugs, then I found out he was cheating on me.

    I completely fell apart! Begged him to pick me, even tried to kill myself. Well, he started using me for sex, literally, lied to me about where he was living, just lied about everything. Well, I ended up pregnant with our now two-year-old son. I married this man 9 days before our son was born.

    Now, I can drink a few beers, eat, go to bed. He buys at minimum an 18-pack of beer at a time, hides 12-packs in his truck and drinks those up after I have gone to bed. He is diagnosed bipolar and refuses medication.

    He woke up today telling our son horrible things about me. Our son is two! I haven’t worked in years, am not allowed even five dollars. We have three dogs. I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO. I do not love him, haven’t since he broke my face last August. I left, we lived apart until Christmas. He pays the bills and refuses to leave.

  5. jan says:

    Just lost one brother to alcoholism and have another on his way to the same. It’s devastating to the whole family. We’ve just started with Al-Anon. A family dynamic can be based on lies we tell ourselves. Seems complicated, but Al-Anon helps us to see more clearly.

  6. coreen says:

    Just found this site. Thank all of you for sharing your very private posts.

    I have been with a retired male for over 3 years–only in the last few months did I see that he was drinking more and more daily. I have confronted him–been nice, yelled, etc.

    This site may be just what I need to become sane again. Living with an alcoholic is exhausting. We have a lot of friends and are in a beautiful water community. I don’t think anyone sees that my bf is an alcoholic–I am the only one who knows and I have no one to confide in.

  7. Anne says:

    My husband is an alcoholic and I am an adult(senior) child of an alcoholic and let me tell you I hate finding myself in the same position in my 60′s as in my childhood.
    He has been diagnosed with alcoholic fatty liver and told to stop drinking, but that lasted a week at most.

    He lies about his drinking, but I find wine and beer bottles around our property. I tell him he can’t lie to his liver, but he doesn’t seem to care.

    I own our home and most of our assets and have a prenup. I could force him to leave, but I don’t really want to do that at least not until I am eligible for medicare, since his employer provides our health care.

  8. Angelique says:

    I am an adult child of an alcoholic and now find myself in a three-year relationship with an alcoholic. I love this man, but feel I cannot live with the drinking, lies, and rage that seem to happen way too often. Life feels like a roller-coaster.

    I wish alcoholism was our only problem, but right now it’s at the top of our list of major issues as it causes so many other bad things to occur. My fiance is manic-bipolar without medication and drinks secretly, which causes him to act strange. My suspicion rises and I ask him if he has been drinking due to not having any other explanation and that is where the lying comes in, followed by the destructive behavior.

    He says he doesn’t want to do these things, but I have lost track of how many times it has happened. I don’t think he will ever change as his entire family drinks daily, and they are not supportive to help him with the bipolar or the drinking.

    I feel my self-esteem and self-worth diminishing and I do not like who I have become–angry and hateful. So, searching the internet I found your site. I have been to Al-Anon meetings years ago when I was a child and I think it may be time for me to seek out a local support group.

  9. Sw says:

    Yes, I have lied. It was what the alcoholic did, and then I began to lie for him.

  10. Maureen says:

    My husband drinks and lies about it. It has gotten worse this year as I have been recovering from breast cancer and chemotherapy. I have been reading the entries here and I don’t sense any outrage.

    Is Al-Anon about admitting that we lie to ourselves? If so, once you admit it–what happens then? Live with it? I am ready to leave my husband. I just don’t want to take it anymore. The kids are grown, I work and can afford to support myself. It will be a hassle selling the house and splitting everything up but I’m done.

  11. Jessie says:

    Evasive was a constant in my relationship with my boyfriend. I stopped calling my family and seeing them because I was embarassed about what was going on. I did not want to admit that I was living with someone who was an alcoholic. I felt ashamed of myself. I felt like a failure. I felt like I was continuing the pattern that my mother had, as she went from one alcoholic to the other while I was growing up. Hearing that others have gone through this is comforting as I know I am not alone. Thank you for letting me share.

  12. Roni says:

    I watched my mother lie and cover up and deny my entire life. On the other hand, I’ve always been the one to “call out.” For example, my husband will hide a beer can under the bathroom counter and I’ll bring it out and ask him who he thinks he’s hiding it from. I’ll point out that our boys find them too and know what he’s up to. I’ll tell him that he’s teaching them to conceal and be dishonest.

    I can tell you this approach hasn’t brought one positive to our lives. I guess I have been in denial about the fact that bringing things out into the open about what he’s doing isn’t my place and is a waste of time and energy. My sons and I will be going to our first Al-Anon meeting this week. It’s way over due!

  13. Leann says:

    Reading all of this makes me realize I’m not alone, but does not make me feel better. I have lied to many people but with the intention of protecting my family, my spouse.

    My husband is an alcoholic of many years. I am tired of the lies. However, the embarrassment that is caused by the alcoholic’s actions are hard to deal with too. I’m at the point there is no reason to lie, everyone that knows us at all, knows the truth anyways.

    I have thought about going to Al-Anon, but that is a hard step. I mean, I know I’m sick. I have to be to keep putting myself through this. I love my husband more than anything and I know I’m not doing any favors lying. I want to make everyone happy.

  14. RP says:

    I just learned about my significant other’s relapse after 9 years and 10 months of sobriety. I attempted to go to a local meeting (would have been my first ever), but when I arrived I found out it had been cancelled due to the Thanksgiving holiday. I came home to find another meeting and found these podcasts which have been a great help until I can get to a live meeting tomorrow.

    In the almost 2 years we’ve been together, I admired my SO’s commitment to his sobriety and actively living the Twelve Steps of AA. His relapse rocked me to the core. My trust in him and our relationship and in my ability to cope has been severely shaken. I’m trying hard to take it a day at a time, restore some confidence that I can find the serenity to live each day honestly, and pray he will regain the strength to return to a path toward sobriety again and commit to helping himself through AA.

    The idea of watching him take a destructive path is overwhelming. I’d watched a lifelong friend who passed away from alcoholism. Thanks for giving me this temporary outlet.

  15. jonzie says:

    First time doing this. It seems like a good tool to recovery in this day and age.

  16. Baarn1 says:

    In the past, I did cover up for the drinking and lied through my teeth to protect the “integrity” of our family. I lied to protect my illusion of being in control. I am so glad I don’t have to live like that anymore, I am not in control of others.

    Today, after many years practicing the tools of this life affirming way of life, I find that I continue to lie to myself in order to preserve denial. When I don’t want to deal with the “what if’s”, I can tell myself the following lies:
    “I can handle this” (whatever “this” happens to be)
    “It’s not that bad” (whatever “it” happens to be)
    “This is NOT happening. (clearly this IS happening or else I would not need to address it)
    “S/he he does not have a program…therefore not accountable for unacceptable behavior”.

    I am not totally recovered yet. As long as I am in relationship with other people, including myself, I will need to seek recovery. I don’t have to do this perfectly but I owe it to myself to be as honest as possible, whenever possible and push past the fear which cripples me emotionally at times.

    Just for today, I feel profound gratitude for finding this website. It has helped me with a 10th step inventory.

  17. Shiela says:

    First, I want to thank you for having this available. We moved recently and am having a hard time finding a new home group. I miss my former home group terribly. I was still a newbie there with only a few months under my belt. Now, I was feeling like a fish out of water until I came across these podcasts. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate you being here.

    I just found out about my significant other’s relapse. I won’t go into all the details other than to say this is painful for me. We have been down this road before. However, now I have Al-Anon and that is my lifesaver. So, second, to answer the question, yes, I have avoided telling the truth and lied to myself. And, just recently, I had to have been lying to myself.

    I knew he stopped going to meetings. I know when he does that, he is lying to himself again. I know at the very least, it isn’t a good sign. I also know he has not been in contact with his sponsor. Why I didn’t look at the possibility of a relapse was lying to myself. I wanted to believe something other than a relapse.

    Now, I need to be honest with myself and take care of my place in all of this. I guess it’s back to Step One! : ))

    Thanks again for the podcasts. I do truly appreciate it.

  18. Rebecca says:

    Thank you for these podcasts. I have not yet had the nerve to go to a meeting, but this helps me to hear others experiencing the same thing as me. I come from a strict upbringing where reputation is incredibly important so I’ve always lied and downplayed my husband’s drinking. I often make a joke of it so no one thinks it’s that bad. But it’s an extreme problem and always has been. Nothing’s going to change it, but it gives me comfort to hear others. Please continue the podcasts!

  19. Julie says:

    Yes, I have.

  20. Dave says:

    I’m studing at ISU, Pocatello-Idaho. Chemical Dependency in the Family. I think you have a great program. I’m looking for even more insights. I’m studing to become an addiction counselor. Keep up the great work. Your program is helping.

  21. Tara says:

    I love these podcasts!

    I am a new member of Al-Anon and it is so nice to be able to have these “mini meetings” between my in-person meetings.

    I can really relate to a lot of what has been shared here.

    I have been lying about the effect of my husband’s drinking in regards to me and my life. I was too busy being caught up in how his drinking affected him and what I should be doing to fix him and his life. I completely forgot about myself, and it was exhausting.

    I also lied about my husband’s drinking to others, particularly my family. I did this because I was embarrassed and also because maybe it would make it more real. This really isolated me and made me feel bad about myself. I don’t want to lie about his drinking to myself or anyone anymore.

    It has been very confronting to face these things but I am grateful to have Al-Anon as part of my life now.

  22. Ann says:

    The subtleties of this share are very helpful to me, and so was listening to the conversation on the podcast. Thank you. This has convinced me that the web can be a powerful extension of my program. I didn’t believe it before.

  23. lW says:

    You are brave. I admire you and hope you have a happy life.

  24. sandlady says:

    I never had to call my alcoholic husband’s employer and my father was self-employed as a physician. Both were “high level, functioning drinkers.” The main person I lied to was myself. I was in denial for 12 years about my husband’s drinking. I had moments of clarity that I ignored like the time my parents came to visit my husband and I for Thanksgiving. It snowed 18 inches and we couldn’t go outside. My husband started his all day weekend drinking beer early on Saturday morning. I was fixing breakfast and pouring coffee for my parents and he went right to the refrigerator and grabbed a beer. I pulled him aside and said, “Please, my parents are here. Don’t drink beer so early in the morning. You know what they will think.”

    I never said anything to my in-laws. Keeping silent was in effect lying on my part. As it turned out, my mother-in-law was alcoholic. After my husband and I separated, I called them hoping they would speak to my husband about his drinking. My mother-in-law asked, “How much does he drink a day?” I responded, “At least two six packs,” and she said, “That’s not much.” My father-in-law told me that drinking had been a problem to my husband and was why he flunked out of two colleges. I really hoped my in-laws could help save my marriage. I was trying to get my in-laws to “fix” my husband. It didn’t work.

    When I told my parents about the drinking, they weren’t surprised. My brother even commented, “I never saw anyone drink beer so fast.” I realized then that others could see that my husband’s drinking was out of control and I couldn’t. When I finally stopped lying to myself and went to Al-Anon, I learned that it did not matter how much or how often my husband drank, it was how his drinking was affecting me. I had been through lots of times when my husband would stop drinking only to inevitably resume it because he thought he could control it. He was brutally honest with me and it hurt that he had every intention of continuing to drink. I told him I was going to Al-Anon and he said he thought that was a good idea. He really could have cared less where I went just as long as I got off his back about the drinking.

    It was painful to come out of denial into the reality that my husband’s drinking was a problem and that he wouldn’t stop even though I asked him to do so. I learned right away in Al-Anon that I had to take care of myself and to focus on me–that was how I could help the alcoholic, because I was no longer part of the denial process. It took me about a year-and-a-half of Al-Anon to really understand that alcoholism is a physical, emotional, and spiritual illness and that people with a drinking problem drink because they no longer have control over their drinking. It was very painful for me to face, but it helped me to recover from the effects his drinking was having on me.

    I was in denial for most of my life about my father’s drinking. The family tried to hide it and when I started going to Al-Anon, I unearthed the family secret…my father’s father abused alcohol, my mother’s father was an adult child of an alcoholic. Alcoholism ran on both sides of my family. My family know that I go to Al-Anon.They don’t want to hear about it but respect my decision. I am the only one in recovery. I could feel sorry for myself but I don’t. I’m grateful to no longer be living in denial of whose drinking affected me.

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