Divorce ... Maybe

My husband is a gambling addict. We have two children 8 and 15 months. He has gambled 15+ years. What started his gambling at 17 years old was what I believe to be loneliness and a really really dysfunctional family (learning more everyday which is mental).


Throughout our time together we have had ups and downs, make ups and break ups, all of which were related to gambling in some way.


My husband is in the Army, and last year after our second child was born I decided to move home, as my husbands intention was to eventually leave the Army and we can settle into a 'normal' life. The last time I saw him was 28 Feb after a lovely weekend home together. He left on the Sunday and neither the kids or I have seen him.


As a few days after he returned to his base he started gambling again, and everything naturally went down hill. Weeks of vicious emails/texts/fb msgs back and forth to eachother, until I find out he is sitting on a plane on his way to Afghanistan.


I knew he was due a tour, had no idea when though. So it has been almost 3 months since we have seen him, and very rare communication. He is overdrawn on credit cards, been trying to get out more payday loans. Just the standard stuff along with his gambling.


He says he wants a divorce as if it is my fault we are where we are. Shouldn't I be the one threatening divorce? He refuses to talk to me, and won't return to the UK until October. I spend EVERYDAY and NIGHT thinking about him.


Anger at what he's doing, sadness at his illness, happiness from all the good times. I smile and cry in the same breathe.


I am an absolute mess pretty much all the time. Everything I read talks about the gambler hitting their 'Rock Bottom'. I'm pretty sure I am at mine.


My grandmother is on her way out.

My grandfathers dementia is getting worse.

My fridge packed in the other day, baby drinking milk still, nightmare.

Washing machine leaked twice, water everywhere.

I hate my job.

My mother is having a nervous breakdown because of her parents.

Work full time with two kids.

Childcare and summer holidays coming up, expensive.

My car was just serviced and mot'd, over £1000 spent so far.


I need my husband, I need my best friend. But he wants a divorce, he hates me, he's miles away and I have not done anything but love and support him.


Emotional mess. How can I cope with everything without losing the plot any more than I already have.


Hi Mushu


I just wanted to welcome you to Gambling therapy. Unfortunately I am away for a few days but I am sure that other members will be here to support you soon. I will be back on Monday when I hope to give your post the reply it deserves.

You have been very brave writing this first post

Well done

Velvet


Hello


Thanks for starting a thread in the Gambling Therapy friends and family forum. This forum will provide you with warmth and understanding from your peers.


Feel free to use the friends and family group, you’ll find the times for these if you click on the “Group times” box on our Home page. Now that you have introduced yourself you’ll find that many of the people you meet here have already read your initial introduction and they’ll welcome you in like an old friend :-)


If you’re the friend or family member of someone who is either in, or has been through, the GMA residential programme please take extra care to make sure that nothing you say in groups, or on our forums, inadvertently identifies that person. Even if your loved one isn’t connected with GMA, please don’t identify them either directly or indirectly just in case they decide to use the site themselves.


You’ll find a lot of advice on this site, some of which you’ll follow, some you won’t...but that’s ok because only you fully understand your


situation and what’s best for you and the people you love. So, take the support you need and leave the advice you don’t because it all comes from a caring, nurturing place :-)


We look forward to hearing all about you!


Take care


The Gambling Therapy Team




PS: Let me just remind you to take a look at our


privacy policy and terms and conditions so you know how it all works!



Dear Mushu

You are having an awful time and I hope the support you get here will help you cope because knowledge of the addiction to gamble does give you power over it. I cannot tell you what to do because all decisions have to be yours but with knowledge you can make informed decisions.

Writing your first post must have taken a lot out of you – I admire the way you have laid out all your problems. It will take time for us to get to know one another so please don’t expect to be able to deal with so many complex issues in the twinkling of an eye.

Nobody could tackle all the worries you have in one go and in my opinion sometimes we have to lay aside those things over which we have no control while we deal with the problems that we can control. You say you are thinking about your husband every day and every night and I would imagine every minute too. What I am about to suggest might seem inadequate but for those us us who have been where you are now it has made the difference between coping and falling apart. Every day try and do something for yourself, something that pleases you that fills your mind leaving no room in your head for husband’s addiction – this could be seeing a friend, walking to the park, anything that distracts and relieves your brain even if it is only for an hour. Your mind is overworking and needs some peace to be able to handle the situation you have found yourself in.

There are things in your list over which you have no control and although it is difficult those things are best put to the back of your mind because you need all your energy for yourself and your children. Sadly you have no control over your grandmother dying or your grandfather sinking further into dementia – there is nothing you can do and so although it is terribly distressing please try and concentrate on the positives in your life – your children and your health.

Your husband’s addiction is known as the hidden addiction, it cannot be seen and unfortunately awareness of its destructive ability grows slowly over a long period of time. In the time it took for your husband’s addiction to get to this really destructive stage you will have lost your confidence and self-esteem and it is really important to know that you are not to blame for an addiction over which you have no control; you are not to blame for the threats or the poor behaviour from your husband.

You hate your job and many people can relate to that but for now you are in work and hopefully you can put that issue on a back-burner. In the future when you have more clarity it will be easier for you to look at your work and job prospects – now is probably not the time.

It is important for you to protect your finances and to do this maybe you could open an account in your sole name where you can save for your future whatever the outcome of your relationship. I hope you can put the money you earn away safely and you can get that fridge repaired.

I would never tell anybody to leave or to stay in a relationship. The addiction to gamble changes reality to fit the personal perception of the CG (compulsive gambler) and at the moment his threat about divorce is possibly just his addiction talking – if it was me I would not continue any discussion with him where the word divorce is raised. He is possbly feeling worthless and thinking you would be better off without him but only time will tell the truth about his feelings.

There is so much more I want to say to you but I will close for now and wait for you to reply to what I have said already.

As you are in the UK it would be good to talk to you in real time. I have a group on Tuesday at 10pm and it would be great to ‘meet’ you. For residents of the UK we recommend that ultimately you will seek your support from gamcare.co.uk who are funded for the UK whereas we are not - but for a time I am able and willing to support you.

I recommend looking for a Gamanon in your area – it is the sister group of GA (Gamblers Anonymous). It is great to talk to someone you can see and is a terrific further source of support for you plus giving you some time out.

I hope some of this gives you hope but please come back anyway.

I would not be writing to you if the addiction to gamble could not be controlled. Furthermore I would not be here if there wasn’t a future after rock bottom.

I leave you with the Serenity Prayer said at the end of all Gamanon meetings and said by many of us around the world who are, or have been where you are now.

God grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change

Courage to change the things I can

And Wisdom to know the difference

Speak soon

Velvet