And just like a poker player, an addict will perfect the poker face, the butter-wouldn’t-melt facial expression and tone of voice that convinces you, at least long enough to give them the benefit of the doubt, that it's you who is in the wrong, for not trusting them.
The addict's game of hide and seek involves the addict concealing something and the people around him seeking an explanation or some evidence to account for a situation that just doesn’t make sense.
The motives for playing hide and seek by someone with addiction seem obvious until the evidence is found and a family member wonders how the addict expected the evidence not to be found.
Later, the addicted person will often admit that they wanted to get caught, either because it added to the excitement of what they were doing, or because they really wanted help.
Alcoholics may have hidden bottles around the house.
Sex addicts may hide their pornography, website links, or evidence of affairs.
And just like the childhood game of stuck in the mud, if they get to you, you can get stuck too.
In many ways, addiction is the ultimate game of deception because becoming addicted means fooling yourself, as well as those around you.
It is helpful then to have a list of behaviors that one can look for that, when present, may suggest that someone has a substance use problem.
Addict behavior can sometimes be real-life versions of games we played as children. Bluffing is a deceptive move in the game of poker that also appears in many other games of deception.
Note: The concept of addict games is not based on scientific research, although the interactions described are commonly experienced by people close to those with addictions.
Game playing in relationships is not a given for anyone, regardless of whether or not they have an addiction.