Why Addicts Lie
If you have an addict in your life you have been through some trying times. Your addict has a disease, but it’s a tricky one. She may cheat on you, lie, neglect you, steal from you or even hurt you. For those in close relationships with an addict, lying is one of the most hurtful behaviors to experience. You expect honesty in your intimate relationships, but addicts lie all the time.
Reasons Addicts Lie
To help you cope with the lying and to learn to forgive and move past it, it helps to understand. Although it may not be right, there are real and valid reasons addicts lie.
Addicts Lie To Avoid Confrontations
As you watched your loved one slide into addiction and ruin her life, you probably made numerous attempts to get her to stop. At times you may sound like a broken record and a nag. Maybe the issue has led to increased conflict. The stress of these confrontations is overwhelming and destructive for both of you. While you want to be honest, get the problem out in the open and find a solution, she just wants to avoid your hurt looks and anger. In order to get out of these conflicts and to avoid them, she will tell every lie imaginable.
Addicts Lie To Maintain The Addiction
Lies also help your addicted loved one to perpetuate her addiction. Most addicts are afraid to stop using for a number of reasons. They fear the idea of stopping because they feel like they need drugs or alcohol. The pain and discomfort of detoxing are scary and so is the possibility of failing. The idea of trying to live a sober life, and what that might be like, is even scarier. To keep the addiction going, your loved one will tell many lies. Lying becomes a tool for self-preservation.
Addicts Lie Because Of Shame
Addicts feel a great deal of shame. Although societal attitudes are very slowly changing, there is still a great deal of stigma attached to addiction. Many of us still view an addict as a person who is morally weak. It’s no wonder that addicts feel ashamed of what they do. Especially in sober moments, your loved one feels a huge sense of guilt, embarrassment and shame. Instead of working through these feelings, she uses more and then lies about it. She doesn’t want other people to realize just how badly she is doing.
Addicts Lie Because Of Denial
Denial is a powerful force and most addicts use it to cope with their problems. Despite all the evidence to the contrary, most addicts refuse to admit to having an addiction. They lie because they don’t want to make that admission. Your loved one probably thinks that she is different from other users. She can handle it, she says. She is in denial that her problem is no different from that of other addicts and as a result she lies to you and to herself.
As you cope with having a loved one addicted to drugs or alcohol, realize that her lying to you is not a personal attack. This is her coping mechanism and a rational part of the disease of addiction. This doesn’t mean that you should accept the lies. To help your loved one, you have to push through the falsehoods and ask her to face up to the truth. Don’t let her get away with lies when you catch them, but do provide ongoing love and support.