Advice

Dear Coquette: My Girlfriend is a Liar

Pin it

“We have a really mellow and open relationship.”

Welcome to Dear Coquette, a place to have your burning and how-do-I-make-this-stop-burning sex advice questions answered. You might recognize The Coquette and her bare-knuckle honesty from her columns on Playboy.com, The Daily, or her own popular site, Dear Coquette. Send your questions to coquette@nerve.com.

My girlfriend lies to me. She works until 11 but sometimes has to stay after for prep/clean. She doesn't get home from work until 1:30 or later though. She always smells like booze. She walks in the door saying, "What a long day, had to clean blah blah, the alcohol reps were in tonight or they gave us a couple beers to stay late…" There have been a few times where people have mentioned to me that they saw her out at a bar or something when she was telling me she was at work. The problem that I'm having is, I don't care if she goes out for drinks after work with her friends, I do that too. It's unwind time. She knows I don't care. We have a really mellow and open relationship so she can't be cheating on me. There is absolutely no reason, whatsoever, for her to lie. I can't stand lying. It makes me not trust anything she says. Can you please help me? Why is she lying?

Your girlfriend is a functioning alcoholic, and she's lying because alcoholics lie. That's just what they do. Of course, you're asking about petty bullshit while playing down the glaringly obvious problem ("She always smells like booze") because you're an enabler. That's just what they do.

You're going to read this and not believe me. (I can smell your denial through the internet.) That's fine. This isn't an easy thing to hear, so let me tell you what's likely to happen next: Nothing. You won't say anything to upset the delicate balance, and she'll continue drinking and lying.

Eventually, her lies will grow from little and white into something bigger and considerably more shady. She will betray your trust in some manner that you finally deem unforgivable, and it will cause the relationship to dissolve.

It won't stop there, of course. This kind of thing will become a pattern. There's always another slow motion train wreck waiting around the corner for a "mellow and open" enabler like you. I imagine in a decade, you'll have quite a few of your exes calling you out of the blue to apologize as part of their ninth step.

Then again, maybe you'll prove me wrong and confront your current girlfriend about her drinking immediately. I hope so. It still doesn't end well for you two as a couple, but at least it'll play out much faster. The sooner the better in her case.

Image via Shay