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      Last Saturday everything in my world was lovely, I was happy, went shopping for some things for the wedding and was really excited about it and most importantly the future. When people asked em if I was looking forward to the wedding, I would say not really but I’m looking forward to being A’s wife very much- and I meant it.
      I have spent my adult life looking for something, and I didn’t know what it was until I found it, and it was him- he completed me, understood me and is a kind and loving man. He’s very sensitive and gets very hurt about things that have happened in the past, but generally he was happy, calm and caring. I never really truested men, my biological father is a very abusive man both physically and mentally, and we were placed with my father and his wife when I was 4- he has turned out to be a gambling alcoholic. I am aware only too well of what addiction can do- I always said I didn’t want it in my house or home.
      At the moment we are living apart- he is in Dubai and I am here completing a working contract. On Saturday I couldn’t contact him for around 6- 7 hours and eventually I recieved an email that has changed my world.
      ‚Dear Meira
       I don’t know where to begin with this – i will start as i will probably end…..I’m sorry.
      I have been nothing but an idiot for the last few months – maybe more – what i mean is that the similarities between me and your dad are greater than you could ever have thought….what im saying is that i have gambled everything that i had away including the money in the Wedding account and also this month’s wages. I also have debts to the tune of AED30,000 borrowed from D and R. (Of course when I tried to work out why he kept gambling when he had arranged a payment plan with them- it turned out he was trying to win back the bank loans he had borrowed and the wedding fund)
       There is no easy way to tell you this as i know its ruined everything that we have and may go on to ruin more than that, the reasons that I have done what I have are not clear to me to be honest – I have been finding things very tough recently and have almost certainly become depressed and wanted to remove myself from reality. The impossible thing even for me to work out is why…..I have found you and had the rest of my life mapped out with the person that I love and a person that loves me, as well as believing in me.‘  It goes on but I think you get the drift.
      In part I’m relieved that what he has done has only been going on for 5 months- but in that time he has built up- and spent as much money as people do in 10 years of cg. Hi did this when he was young to deal with his problems and he stopped for so long. He never built up debt before. I also worry because I know I wouldn’t have found out as quickly as I did if it hadn’t been for the fact he knew the wedding was in a few days and I would need money to pay for it. I thought we had savings and everything was covered. It is not. I went from being safe and secure and looking forward to our future, to being insecure and scared of what will become of us if he doesn’t beat this. He has a very good job which it turns out enabled him to do what he has done, and we have weathy friends and he has borrowed from 2 of them. He also spent all of the money in our wedding fund. He has hurt me terribly and yet I can’t really be angry.
      I keep thinking that- it’s only been 5 months- something you do for a short amount of time is easier to give up then if you have been doing it for years. He feels ashamed right now and is desprite to fix things and says now that I know about the money eh has no urge to gamble at all. What triggered him gambling 5 months ago were personal circumstances that made him feel liek a failure, he lost his passport which doesn’t seem like a bad thing but it was before a trip to see his son who he hated himself for letting down- it also meant postponing the wedding as if he didn’t have a passport he couldn’t complete the required paperwork… he also go hit with a massive bill that he hadn’t expected but should have known about- and I discovered I was pregnant and lost the baby. We have lost 3 now.
      This was expensive as I had cancelled my insurance intending to go on his 7 weeks later- when the wedding was cancelled- no insurance- big bills. He was hurting emotional and financially. We also (as I didn’t think we had a proble) rented a new flat- my parents gave us a lot of money for furniture as a wedding gift- which it turns out he gambled away too. For some reason him putting me under pressure to find money so we could be comfortable, and my parents stepping in and him spending it on his addiction- and then borrowing it hurts more then anything. He brough my parents into it. My mam more then my dad. And she was so proud of herself. Also he’d borrow for his gambling but not for us…. I think at first he gambled to escape reality, and then more and more it became about recouping his loses so that I wouldn’t find out. I know know so that reason is gone. But happens when he gets hurt again…
      A lot of our problems wouldn’t be here if he stopped 7 days ago- but in the space of 12 hours he gambled this months salary and the Wedding fund. So now I am in the position of loving a man, different but similar to my father. He’s different as he is still a good and kind man, overly generous and sweet natured… he is the same as he never has enough. If he drinks he drinks to be drunk, if he eats something he likes he’ll eat it all even though I’ll be making dinner an hour later, if he gambles he doesn’t stop until there is nothing left.
      I have take control of his and our finances. He asked me too- he has given me everything- credit card (only one), bank account details, I changed the details on his online betting site and closed it down- but have linked it to somewhere he doesn’t know in case he activates it- there is software going on computers and I have asked him to write down his feelings now, the negitives of gambling and why he wants to get beter and leave it on the coffee table to remind him. I jus hope it doesn’t lead to resentment. I have made detailed budget plans and in many ways he actually had to be thought how to write everything down- he didn’t even know the exact amount he gets paid. We can be out of trouble (and still get married) by the 30th of June. I have a good job- but I don’t want to spend the rest of my life not trusting him (as I’ve seen what it did to my parents) or have this happen again. If he does it again it will be a very shrt marriage and I hate him for making me think this way. It hurts me so much.
      To be fair to A, he is the sort of person who makes a mistake and learns from it, I think he was very lonely and needs to talk about his feelings and deal with things in healthier ways and I feel Thearpy will help him greatly (even though Addiction Thearpy isn’t available in Dubai as Gambling is illegal) he has issues to deal with, and needs to stop feeling sorry for himself and hating himself- its like a cycle that never ends in which he feels bad about himself or past mistakes. He comes across as confident but his self esteem is low. I can say a million nice things to him and he will remember the one negitive.
      He needs to grow up, he’s 33 not 20 anymore. He needs focus on and value what he has, not always remember what he has lost. He needs to understand when he has enough. He needs to still want to recover when his shame goes away. He has a habit of running away from unpleasant things and he needs to face them head on. I cannot do this for him, but I love him for better and for worse for now. I refuse to let him destroy me as my father did my mother. I believe in him for now, and I know it takes a million tiny steps to get better. But if it continutes I will leave and I mean it. A divorce is better then a long unhappy life.
      But I’m scared I’m handling things wrong. I had to sort out our finances. I had to sort out his as it’s illegal to bounce cheques and not pay loans in Dubai. But I can only do it this once, he knows this- and to be honest he earns so much money this shouldn’t be an issue. I know people would think I’m crazy for staying with him and marrying him, its like he’s done a great wrong and I’m rewarding him. But I’m not. I’m doing what I have to do for me, what I want.
      I hate the fact that I was so excited bout the wedding and now he and his behaviour has made me so unsure of the future but I’m willing to show faith and belief in him. I am aware that this could be a one off- and I don’t want to regret not giving him that chance- love isn’t just loving him in the good times. I’m also aware with limited money and with me saving damage done will be minimal. I will make sure I have a nestegg with my mum in case I need to leave. Too many times women don’t leave because they can’t afford to. I can, I just don’t want to yet. I searched for him for too long to give up on him first time… but this has left scars- and damage- and I know he’ll react like a spoilt child if I dare to mention this once its fixed and he feels he has recovered and moved on.
      I have told him that he will have to attend GT for the rest of his life- and at the moment nearly every day. He can’t hide from it now, or in the future. The minute he forgets we will be in danger. I hate that there is this in our marriage, but no one is perfect- and he has taken a lot of steps to try and get better. I just hope for us and his son, that he suceeds.
      I’ve written loads, and rambled and made no sense in places (sorry) but it’s helped- any advice you can offer would be appreciated.
      Thank you- MeiraA life lived in fear, is a life half lived

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