How To Deal With The Lies Of Your Addict Significant Other

Dealing with Lies in Addiction: Understanding and Managing the Common Lies of Addiction
Hello, and welcome to *Put the Shovel Down*. In today's post, we're diving deep into a topic that is crucial for anyone dealing with addiction: lies. Specifically, we'll explore the seven most common types of lies that people with addictions tell. While there are other posts and videos on this channel about lying and manipulation, today, we're going a little deeper.

For those of you who are new here, I'm Amber Hollingsworth, a Master Addiction Counselor with over 20 years of experience helping people overcome addiction. I've seen firsthand how pervasive lying can be in the context of addiction. There's no foolproof way to get someone to tell the truth, and attempting to force honesty often backfires. Instead, I'll provide you with insights and tools to navigate these challenging situations effectively.

Understanding the Reasons Behind Lies in Addiction
Before we delve into the types of lies, it's important to understand why people lie, especially those struggling with addiction. At the core, lying is often a mechanism to avoid something unpleasant. While it may feel personal when you're lied to, it's usually about the liar's attempt to escape discomfort, shame, or consequences.

The Seven Common Types of Lies in Addiction

1. Denial of Use:
The most obvious type of lie is denying the use of substances. When confronted with questions like, "Have you been drinking?" or "Did you go back to the casino?" people with addictions often lie impulsively to avoid immediate confrontation. These lies are almost instinctual and occur in high-pressure situations where the person feels cornered.

2. Self-Deception Lies:
These lies come in the form of rationalizations, justifications, or minimizations. The individual is not only deceiving you but also themselves. This type of lie is a defense mechanism to avoid facing the reality of their addiction.

3. Broken Promises:
Promising to do something and then not following through is another common lie. Whether it's promising to attend a meeting, repay money, or take care of responsibilities, these promises are often made with good intentions but fail due to the unmanageability of their addiction.

4. Avoidance of Punishment:
People with addictions often lie to avoid punishment or consequences. This could range from avoiding an emotional reaction from you to dodging more severe consequences like being kicked out or losing a job.

5. Manipulative Lies:
These lies are aimed at getting something from you, such as money, time, or resources. For example, lying about needing money for groceries when it's really for alcohol. The goal is to manipulate you into supporting their addiction.

6. Avoiding Shame:
Lying to avoid feeling ashamed or embarrassed is another common type. This is similar to lying about one's weight on a driver's license. It's about avoiding the discomfort of facing their reality.

7. Lies to Others About You
This type of lie involves the addicted person telling others falsehoods about you. This might be less common in the general population but is seen more frequently in those with addictions or narcissistic tendencies. These lies are about shifting blame and avoiding accountability.

How to Respond to Lies
Knowing why and how someone lies is half the battle. Here are some strategies to handle lies without escalating the situation:

1. Don’t Force the Truth:
Trying to force someone to tell the truth usually backfires. Instead, acknowledge that you know they're lying without demanding a confession. This approach reduces defensiveness and keeps the conversation open.

2. Call Out the Lie Gently:
If you know someone is lying, address it calmly. For instance, say, "I feel like there's more to this story," rather than accusing them outright. This can make the person reflect and possibly come clean later.

3. Understand Their Reactions:
Recognize how your loved one typically reacts to being confronted. Whether they shut down, become defensive, or escalate, tailor your approach to manage these responses effectively.

4. Address the Behavior, Not the Person:
Focus on the lie itself and the behavior, not on attacking the person. This reduces defensiveness and encourages honesty.

5. Give Them an Out:
Offer a way for them to tell the truth without losing face. For example, say, "I know you're probably just trying to avoid a fight," which acknowledges their feelings and intentions without harsh judgment.

Lies in addiction are often a way to avoid discomfort, punishment, or shame. Understanding the reasons behind these lies and knowing how to respond effectively can help you navigate these difficult conversations. Remember, it's about creating a space where honesty is possible and not escalating the situation.

Amber Hollingsworth

Watch this video titled, "How To Stop An Addiction On Your Own" next:

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