use as an excuse

use someone or something as an excuse

to blame someone or something (for a failure). (See also use someone or something as something.) John used his old car as an excuse for not going to the meeting. My husband was sick in bed, and I used him as an excuse.
See also: excuse, use
References in periodicals archive ?
They use as an excuse the breakup of the American family, which started in the 1970s, when I was growing up.