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How do you deal with a liar?


dIV4r
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I have a close friend, let's call him Bob.

I have known Bob for nearly 10 years. I consider him a close friend and someone I really care for, like a brother really. Bob has a problem though. Shortly after I first met him and we began to hang out, I found out he had a drinking problem. Needless to say we had several falling outs over the years but he ended up joining an AA group and has been sober for 3 or so years now. 

Well, I recently found out that he started drinking again earlier this year and he was covering it up. His girlfriend accidentally spilled the beans on that one. I haven't confronted him about it yet because I am really not sure how to handle it. I know he is was a liar and a lot of it was down to alcohol and being afraid but after 10 years of friendship, you'd think I would be worth his honesty and telling me he slipped up.

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13 hours ago, dIV4r said:

I have a close friend, let's call him Bob.

I have known Bob for nearly 10 years. I consider him a close friend and someone I really care for, like a brother really. Bob has a problem though. Shortly after I first met him and we began to hang out, I found out he had a drinking problem. Needless to say we had several falling outs over the years but he ended up joining an AA group and has been sober for 3 or so years now. 

Well, I recently found out that he started drinking again earlier this year and he was covering it up. His girlfriend accidentally spilled the beans on that one. I haven't confronted him about it yet because I am really not sure how to handle it. I know he is was a liar and a lot of it was down to alcohol and being afraid but after 10 years of friendship, you'd think I would be worth his honesty and telling me he slipped up.

As someone who has seen substance abuse up close, there isn't anything you personally, can do about Bob's issues, which all stem from his addiction.

You have two choices.  You can either continue being Bob's friend, or cut him out of your life completely.  You cannot force someone battling substance abuse into an expected behavior or diversion--they have to want to do it for themselves.  It's not an easy decision to make, because if you want to be his friend, but he doesn't want to change, there's nothing you can do to change that.

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Battling an addiction, especially a physically and mentally addictive substance is a battle. As @BropolloCreed79 said, he has to want to do it. No one else can change him. If he hasn't hit rock bottom and doesn't realize the damage he is doing to himself and others, he won't find a reason to change. Even then, one can manipulate situations in their minds that it is the fault of others and not their addiction. 

Best thing to do is see for you is decide if the value of the friendship is worth it and protect yourself. If Bob is an awesome person but struggling, do things to help keep his mind away from the alcohol. It takes at least 21 days to develop new habits and break old ones. Be supportive and do what you can. Avoid blaming or shaming him as it will lead to drinking for the emotional strain. Probably best to keep him active an avoid situations that bring it out.

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I have never been in this kind of position. Anytime a friend or family member took drugs or began drinking too much, I slowly just moved on from them. It isn't something I can tolerate or leave myself open to. 

As for the lie at hand, I am not sure if you should confront him. His girlfriend wasn't meant to say anything and if you do bring it up, he makes take it out on her. Alcohol can make people become very nasty. Maybe just separate yourself from the situation completely or just accept that he will continue to lie about it and ignore it.

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On 9/29/2018 at 9:22 PM, dIV4r said:

you'd think I would be worth his honesty and telling me he slipped up.

I have to argue that maybe he kept it from you because "Bob" respects how you view him. Maybe he's just afraid to let you down. Obviously I don't know the specific dynamics of your friendship, but I could see this being the case. Sometimes it's harder to admit to a friend that you f*cked up.

 

My advice, I'd ask him about it (in the right setting/moment). Bring it up casually and see how he takes it. If he asks how you found out, just say you had your suspicions and he confirmed. Don't start pointing fingers or anything, but let him know you're there for support (assuming you want to be). If you just ignore it, it will just progressively get worse until you have another falling out. Like @BropolloCreed79 and @TheHansonGoons said, it has to be HIS decision, but that decision is easier to make with the help of those around you. In my opinion, this is something you might want to get in front of.

Really, this depends on if YOU think the friendship is worth it.

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Explain to Bob, that RDR 2 is coming out and you don't have time for his antics, that you have serious gaming to do.  jk!

All joking aside, you need to get to Bob's issue and where you stand with that issue.  In HS, I had a close friend, who I knew was a liar.  He really couldn't help himself.  I told him once that I am a honest person and I won't back him if he lies, so don't put me in that situation.  We was good friends for years.  Then one day, we both met and liked the same girl.  In the heat of competition, he told her a bunch of stuff that painted me in a bad light.  Later in a conversation, it came up what he said, so I confronted him which lead to him and I stop being friends.  He couldn't stop himself and let it go at that.   Well, thing is this guy already had several GFs and the stories flowed non stop.  So at one point I started letting all of his GFs, the Truth.  We all went to the same school, but they hung out in different circles.  Well, they became Bffs, and he got kicked to the curb.  I quit being his friend because he lied about me to others and then tried to lie to me about it. 

I have known my share of alcoholics, for them the alcohol has always been there when they needed and never judged them for their weakness.  So you need to know, is he willing to give it up for the sake of your friendship?  Are you willing to be there day or night, when he isn't strong enough to stand alone?  Can handle being lied to, when fails? 

If he lied once and is capable of doing and more then likely willing to do it again.  Bob, needs to heal for the sake of Bob.  Whether or not you can be that friend that is there and willing make sacrifices for him is on you.  You need to decide how good a friend you are how much you can handle?  It is his journey, but how far will you be a part of it.

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As a person who has suffered from Alcoholism my advice would be to try to talk to him about his problem and try to convince him to get help. Now don't force Bob to stop drinking or to try and get help because that'll only make things. Be supportive and honest throughout the whole process, try to get Bob involved in other thing. And once he has made the choice to change. Support him till the end of his problem.

If he refuses to get help, I'm afraid there's nothing you can do apart from deciding if your friendship with Bob is worth keeping.

Edited by Freddie Mercury
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My father was a drinker. When I was younger I asked him why and he said it was his vice. After I got that response, I think I was 14 at the time, I stopped talking to him. He knew how much I and my brother hated it and how much it hurt our mother. Fastword time, he did end up quitting twice on his own. He did go back to it and is paying the price for it medically speaking, but he did try. Point being, no one forced him to and he had to want it for himself. 

Be there for him if you can but if you don't have it in you, you are not obligated to save him so don't beat yourself up too much.  It is an addiction but it is also a chemical process that happens in the body and regardless of how you view it or anyone else, his body tells him he needs it to live.

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