Why You Should Lie For Your Alcoholic Husband

By

Why You Should Lie For Your Alcoholic Husband [EXPERT]
Being married to an alcoholic isn't easy, but common wisdom isn't always correct.

One of the common questions about living with an alcoholic is: Should I make excuses to my alcoholic husband's boss?

This is a real dilemma for many people. It's Monday morning, he has been boozing all weekend and was due at work five minutes ago. One look at him and you know the whole story of the weekend — the bloodshot eyes, the shaking hands and the smell of stale alcohol that would poleaxe an ox at ten paces.

It's not a pretty sight. He turns to you and says, once again, "Could you phone the boss and tell him I have food poisoning?" Not the most original excuse, but a fairly standard one. So, what do you do? Do you call his boss or not?

If you look at the self-help pages and advice pages the answer is pretty clear. No, you don't phone and make excuses. You leave him to either stagger into work or make the phone call himself.

The standard advice would also say that he needs to accept the consequences of his actions. Otherwise, he will never learn. Iif you do make the phone call, you are just enabling him. Therefore,he is more likely to repeat the behaviour. Saying "no" is, in fact, helpful to him.

As therapists, we find it difficult not to agree wholeheartedly with that logic. If someone does something and gets a good outcome, they are likely to repeat it. However, if they get a bad outcome, they are less likely to repeat it. Therefore, if there is a bad outcome, in this case a hangover, then he should be left to experience it. This will make it less likely to happen again. Perfectly logical, isn't it?

The problem with that logic and advice is it only takes one negative consequence and one person into account: the drinker and his discomfort of having to make his own excuses. But there are more people in this scenario than just the drinker; there is the partner and often the rest of the family to consider as well.

More marriage advice from YourTango:

This article was originally published at . Reprinted with permission from the author.
Article contributed by
Advanced Member

Dr John McMahon & Lou Lewis

Author

Dr John McMahon & Lou Lewis

Bottled Up

john@247helpyourself.com

Location: Exeter, DEV, United Kingdom
Credentials: BS, PhD
Specialties: Addiction, Drug and Alcohol, Family Support
Website: Bottled Up
Other Articles/News by Dr John McMahon & Lou Lewis:

Why Do Alcoholics Refuse To Stop Drinking?

By

It seems crazy, booze is making him ill, everyone can see that, her friends don't want to be around her, and she can't see that. Why can't they see what everyone else sees so clearly? Why do they seem incapable of recognizing that that there is a problem at all and that it is destroying them?  With all these signs of a problem, why do ... Read more

From Philip Seymour Hoffman To Shawn Pyfrom: Life As An Addict

By

Philip Seymour Hoffman dies of a Heroin overdose and Shawn Pyfrom publicly admits to being an alcoholic and a drug addict on the same day. What a powerful message that addiction is no respecter of gender, age or social status. It can affect people who seem to have everything just as easily as those with nothing. We have no intention of moralising in this ... Read more

How Can He Love Me, But Not Put Down The Drink?

By

The infamous relationship question as a partner of a drinker is difficult for you to understand, and rightfully so. If he loves you as much as he says he does, why can't he stop drinking? He says he loves you and even gushes sentiments about how much he loves you, needs you and wants you, yet when you ask him to stop drinking, cut down or not drink for one ... Read more

See More

GET MORE ARTICLES LIKE THIS IN YOUR INBOX!

Sign up for our daily email and get the stories everyone is talking about.

Ask The Experts

Have a dating or relationship question?
Visit Ask YourTango and let our experts and community answer.

FROM AROUND THE WEB