Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Your Turn: “He Does Coke and Lies About It!”

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My boyfriend and I have been together for two years. Coming into this relationship I knew he would occasionally do coke when we would go out for drinks with friends. It never really bothered me until we were a for-sure couple. Then, I told him how I felt about it and we would get into little arguments because: a) of course, after a couple of drinks you get horny and want some, but he can’t perform when he does coke, so that gets me mad; and B) When I ask him if he has done it, he lies. ALL THE TIME.

I’m okay with him doing drugs — I have moved past that, but I’m not ok with the lying to me all the time about it. Am I over-reacting? He is my best friend and he just lies to me and thinks it’s okay. Well, I don’t find that okay, and if I confront him about the lies, he makes me feel horrible and tells me that I am trying to control his life. — Tired of His Coke Lies

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26 comments… add one
  • juliecatharine

    Juliecatharine August 9, 2016, 8:33 am

    How old are you and how often are you guys out drinking with friends that he’s lying to you about this ‘all the time’?? His message here is very clear-coke and booze is how he likes to party. He doesn’t care that he ‘can’t perform’, he doesn’t care what you like or don’t like, but he doesn’t want to deal with you so he lies–badly. Frankly, I’d be much more optimistic about this relationship if he would just tell you and let the chips fall where they may. Instead, he lies poorly, you get upset, you argue, he (presumably) makes conciliatory noises, and you both go on the same way until the next time. This is who he is. This is how he responds. Take it or leave it (him).

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    • juliecatharine

      Juliecatharine August 9, 2016, 8:37 am

      Also, you need to be honest–his cocaine use does bother you. He’s not wrong, you are trying to control this aspect of his behavior.

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  • avatar

    convexexed August 9, 2016, 8:37 am

    I think you need to further clarify your actual position on this. Why is it that you want to know when he has used cocaine? Is it so that you can know if he is currently high for safety issues or to avoid sex that won’t work out—that is, to know his current state in the moment in case it affects you? Or are you asking him for a weekly tally, after the fact, of what he’s done so you can keep tabs on him? The first is reasonable; it can help you understand his state of mind while you’re interacting with him. The second I can understand him bristling about, because it seems contradictory. You’re okay with him doing drugs, but you want him to report all the details after a night out as if you are his parole officer?
    Are you worried about him cheating on you while he is out partying? Or perhaps curious/maybe jealous about a part of his life you don’t share in? Worried he’ll get in legal trouble or experience an adverse health effect? However you feel about his using drugs is fine. But you need to dig deeper into your feelings and what they mean to you both now and going forward. It’s okay if you decide his drug use makes you too uncomfortable or if you fear it will affect your future plans, whether those include raising children or running for office. What’s less okay is to tell him you’re okay with his drug use, but acting suspicious and controlling by demanding a play-by-play as if it’s NOT okay with you. That’s confusing. One proven way to bring the liar out in almost anybody is to back them into a corner in a game they can’t win, asking a question with only one acceptable answer. He is lying because he doesn’t believe you are actually okay with him using drugs. I don’t believe you are either.
    Lying is not okay. I don’t condone that he lies. But both of you are guilty of some level of dishonesty—your response to his cocaine use shows that you are not completely honest with yourself or with him about how you feel.

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    • juliecatharine

      Juliecatharine August 9, 2016, 8:43 am

      Exactly, you said it much better than I did.

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  • avatar

    Essie August 9, 2016, 8:51 am

    Yeah, I get the sense that she’s not really OK with the drugs, it’s one of those things that you don’t like about your partner, but you know he won’t change, so you just deal with it. She doesn’t like the drugs, but she’s afraid to lose him, so she pretends, to him and to herself, that she doesn’t mind.

    To me, all that’s kind of irrelevant, though. The lying is a deal-breaker.

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  • avatar

    ktfran August 9, 2016, 9:12 am

    He lies because you are clearly not ok about the drug use. Every time he does coke, you two argue.

    You knew this was something he liked to do before the two of you became official. Maybe you were hoping he’s grow out of it. But when you date someone, you date them for the person they are, not who you hope they become.

    If occasional drug use is a deal breaker for you, you need to MOA. And yeah, maybe he will finally grow out of it, but do not wait around and make both of you miserable in the hopes of him changing.

    If it’s only the no sex thing that bothers you, you could kindly ask him to refrain if you two have plans. I bet he’d be more open to that discussion.

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  • avatar

    blink14 August 9, 2016, 9:28 am

    How often is he doing coke? Personally, I have no tolerance for drugs, but there’s a big difference between occasionally and frequently. Is he doing it once a week? a few times a month? If he’s lying to you about it, he clearly knows that what he’s doing bothers you, whether or not you see that yourself. And its ok that his drug use is upsetting to you, but be honest to him about it. He feels like he needs to lie to keep the relationship on an even keel.

    Frankly, I would say move on from this. You may be comfortable with the literal act of drug use, but you clearly aren’t comfortable with the effects of it on your boyfriend. Again, that’s a completely acceptable response, but don’t cover your own eyes and pretend its only about him covering it up. You are also not being honest about what is actually bothering you when he does do drugs.

    I dated an alcoholic once, who said he only drank occasionally. Not saying that your boyfriend is addicted (although its a very real possibility), but you can’t force people to change their habits, if they don’t want to. Him lying is essentially a symptom of the drug use.

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  • Kate B.

    Kate B. August 9, 2016, 9:36 am

    Why do you want him? Do you think this is the best you can do? It’s not. He lies to you. Why is this acceptable? To be fair, you changed the rules: you told him his coke use didn’t bother you, and then when you became a for-sure couple, it suddenly did. How is he supposed to react to that? He probably feels you lied to him. Either his drug use is okay or it isn’t. It sounds like it isn’t. You are both wrong for each other. I think you should break up.

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  • avatar

    Sue Jones August 9, 2016, 9:38 am

    MOA. A relationship with a druggie never ends well. A relationship with a chronic liar never ends well. That is 2 for 2.

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    • mrmidtwenties

      mrmidtwenties August 9, 2016, 10:07 am

      I definitely agree with liar, but druggie seems like quite the stretch given the information we have.

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      • avatar

        ktfran August 9, 2016, 10:14 am

        Yeah, but she’s lying too. “I’m ok with the drug use…. except when I’m not and we’ll argue about it.” Then the next time, he lies because he doesn’t want to argue.

        I’d like to know, did he automatically start lying about it, or was it only after they had arguments did the sneeky stuff start?

        This won’t end well for either of them. Better for both to MOA.

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      • mrmidtwenties

        mrmidtwenties August 9, 2016, 10:24 am

        Definitely agree on them both lying, my point was more that it’s unfair to label him a “druggie.” This relationship is definitely doomed.

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      • avatar

        ktfran August 9, 2016, 1:17 pm

        Agreed. I think Ron summed it up really nicely down thread. Sorry for my misunderstanding!

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  • Diablo

    Diablo August 9, 2016, 9:43 am

    What a double standard! You object to him lying, but don’t mind lying to yourself. There’s no version of this that ends well. Your best and only out is “I care for you but I can’t date a cokehead. I’m sorry, we’re through.” Anything else leads to imminent catastrophe. That’s where he’s headed, so you can only decide if you want to go too. (If he beats the odds, straightens up and gives up coke, I’ll be glad to admit I was judgmental and wrong. But i wouldn’t bet cash on it.)

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  • avatar

    T August 9, 2016, 10:12 am

    So when you first met, you hung out with him and watched him do this and were cool with it, but then as soon as you’re an official couple, you immediately start arguing about this and being not okay with it and expecting him to just stop (and I’m guessing the arguments happen that night, when you’re both drunk). Every time you find out about it from then on, an argument happens, right when he gets home after a night of partying and wants to go to bed within ruining the night. Hmmm I wonder why he started lying? If you’ve truly decided that you’re cool with his occasional/recreational use, then actually be cool with it. Don’t ask him about it and try to figure out what he’s been doing. But if you’re not cool with it, or some aspect of it, you need to have a calm talk–when you’re both sober–about your expectations for him, and whether he’s willing to agree.

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    • avatar

      Ron August 9, 2016, 11:28 am

      I think it’s beyond the stage for talking about it and onto MOA. She doesn’t want to be uncool and say it right out, but his using cocaine is a deal-breaker for her. She has tried to circumvent this by changing him and being his nanny when it comes to his drug use and he has responded to this approach by lying to her. She says this is about the lies but it sure sounds like it is about his continuing to use coke. He certainly knows she doesn’t want him using it. He knows that lying is his only chance at avoiding a fight. By now she certainly knows that he isn’t going to stop using coke because she wants him to. She also knows he is not going to allow her to be his monitor nanny. So there really seems to be nothing left to discuss. Deal-breaker equals MOA.

      And yes, it certainly sounds from the letter that she pretended to accept behavior she views as a deal-breaker prior to their official status and then set about trying to change him to what she wanted him to be in the first place. I don’t for one minute believe her claim that she would be fine with the coke use if he just honestly told her whenever he used it. She wants to know because she disapproves and wants to monitor that he is phasing down his coke use. He doesn’t want her to know, because he wants to run his own life and doesn’t want to cut back on his coke use.

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      • avatar

        dinoceros August 9, 2016, 12:13 pm

        Exactly! Next time, LW, don’t accept behavior while dating that you wouldn’t be OK with in a relationship or marriage.

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  • avatar

    jilliebean August 9, 2016, 11:48 am

    Nothing to add to this great advice but had to say that I am crying laughing from that picture, Wendy!!!

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    • avatar

      Anonymousse August 9, 2016, 11:53 am

      Me too, best stock photo yet!

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      • avatar

        ktfran August 9, 2016, 1:15 pm

        I meant to comment on that. Yes! I love the photo.

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  • FireStar

    Firestar August 9, 2016, 11:49 am

    If you feel the need to monitor something, then you aren’t okay with it. You’re wary of it. It okay to not be okay. Because that’s why he lies, right? Because he knows you aren’t okay with it. I’m someone that can’t abide any drug use in a partner. I never have. It’s just not part of my world. I had one . I have friends that have done drugs – that’s cool – just not my thing and not what I want in a partner. You are allowed your deal breakers. Whatever they are.

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  • avatar

    dinoceros August 9, 2016, 12:12 pm

    I would assume that either based on your actions or his perceptions, he feels that you do not approve of his drug use. Therefore, he lies. You said after you were a couple you told him how you felt about it, which implies you did tell him you aren’t OK with it. So, I’m confused about why you say now that you don’t care.

    Either way, I think you need to move on. You seem to have differing opinions on his lifestyle, and nobody wants to date someone who lies.

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  • kmtthat

    kmtthat August 9, 2016, 12:36 pm

    Good god, just break up already. Nothing wrong with not being cool with drugs. I’m not. And that’s ok! SERIOUSLY. It doesn’t made you a prude or uncool. I’m just…not ok with it at all. And don’t want illegal substances in my house for legal issues. and don’ like being around people who are under the influence (expect booze – I never said it made sense). You have the right to want what you want and him to want what he wants, it just may make you not compatible.

    If your preference is that he not be high while around you otherwise you don ‘t care —tell him. If he lies, the problem is he’s a liar and you have different values. Move on.

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  • kare

    kare August 9, 2016, 1:19 pm

    1. Is he going out all the time leading you to think he’s lying about doing coke all the time? Or do you think he’s tipped into habitual use leading you to question him?

    2. Is your main indicator that he’s on coke his inability to get an erection? Because sure coke dick sucks, but even alcohol can cause issues.

    3. It’s just not a great idea to date someone then expect their behavior to change.

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  • Nookie

    Nookie August 10, 2016, 6:23 am

    Coke use is a really slippery slope, I have a few friends that have had an addiction form from recreational use. I haven’t had that problem myself and do occasionally still have some if it’s on offer.
    .
    As everyone’s said, the LW does have a problem with drug use and that’s okay if it’s a deal breaker for you. It seems to me like this is a real communication problem from both sides, you’re not communicating your true feelings about his drug use and he’s lying because it’s easier than having the fight.
    .
    I don’t see this working out but if you own your unhappiness with his use and communicate that you’re not comfortable with it, he’ll have to decide what’s more important to him.

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  • avatar

    Jessica August 10, 2016, 1:31 pm

    It’s unclear whether your boyfriend is lying to you because you’ve expressed it bothers you, or if his cocaine use is problematic enough that he feels a need to conceal it, and/or can’t stop his use. Either way, there is a not a channel of open communication between the two of you regarding his cocaine use, and given the info available in your letter, that’s the biggest issue we can speak to right now.

    It’s important that you and he have a sit-down, calm discussion about his use, your honest feelings about it, and the value you place on honesty in your relationship. If he is willing to have this conversation with you, and if he also agrees that honesty is important, you guys can probably work through this.

    If he is not able to bring open communication and honesty to your relationship, then the foundation of your relationship is not secure. And if he does have a growing issue with controlling his cocaine use, that is problematic for your relationship as well.

    Good luck!

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