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    • #3767
      michelle45
      Osallistuja

      Hi I am the partner or (ex?) Of a CG. He has had a problem for many years. We have a daughter who is nearly 4. He was attending Ga self excludes from bookies. I was monitoring his money. We had a big row 6 weeks ago about him carrying around more cash than he needs too. He said he wouldn’t be controlled. Had his card back gambled or his money blamed me moved back to his moms in one night. We have little contact. I ask him to see our daughter as she keeps asking for him but he keeps messing her around. She’s very upset.i haven’t mentioned gambling at all in last 6 weeks only seeing her. I mentioned maintenance but nothing..he won’t be attending ga. He gambles all his money from his job but then cuts grass and gets cash to supplement. His mom let’s him live at home. I took all his stuff over to his moms as after a few weeks he was still coming to the house but when I was at work and not to see his daughter. I was furious . I am still furious at his lack of contact with our daughter. She is so upset he knows this. Its cruel. In speak to his mom but she continues to let him stay there. Its my house. I am financially independent. He had an iva that has failed. We have split many times due to gambling. 2 years ago our daughter lost her hair. He claimed to have hit rock bottom and have changed. I let him back in he was gambling again within a month.!! I’m here again. I know its my decision to walk but worry about the emotional strain on our daughter. If he sorts himself out he would be a good dad irrelevant of our relationship is what I think I’m hoping. Friends know and family and hate him at the moment for the upset inflicted on our daughter. I’m very tired. I’ve had counselling before as has he. His mother constantly enables him so don’t think there is much hope. Its the upset of our daughter that is really taking its toll on me. He sees her for maybe hour a week when I really push and she seems to be OK for a while but a week and she’s really upset so I contact him. I keep trying to make contact arrangements but they keep failing as he says he has no money. I will take her to his moms and pick her up .he has been here to see her. I went out. I have limited support with our daughter. What I want is for the upset on our daughter to register and for him to do something about it. Sorry there is little fluency!! Thanks very much

    • #3768
      Dunc
      Avainmestari

      <

      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!

    • #3769
      velvet
      Valvoja

      Hi Michelle
      I found your post completely fluent and I’m glad you have started a thread.
      Even with an enabling mother, there is always hope Michelle – she just makes it harder.
      As I have said to you, nothing I think or say is judgemental; I am just trying to find another way forward for you. I am wondering if it was your choice or your partners that you went out when he came to see you daughter. I know that anger and exasperation makes those who love CGs avoid the CG because they are fed up with hearing the same old excuses as to why there is no money but maybe this was a time that you could share news of your daughter’s achievements – not her distress. In other words lighten the atmosphere and help him to be more receptive to what you may want to say in the future.
      When my CG had completed his programme in the Gordon House rehab I found the strangest thing was that he had to learn to trust me. Why wasn’t it his job to win my trust, after all ‘I had done nothing wrong’? I learned to listen because before he made the leap of faith to live gamble-free I had long-stopped listening, I had heard every excuse and given up all hope of ever believing him and I imagine that is where you are now.
      Not only is your partner hiding behind his mother’s skirt he is still drivelling out the same old ‘can’t afford it’ excuses and being unreliable – all of which point to an addiction that is active but just maybe he does want to change.
      Unfortunately, even though it is understandable, friends and family make unhelpful suggestions and offer little constructive support. They are only reacting to what they see happening to the person they love but these opinions help nobody. Your partner has an addiction that he didn’t ask for or want and, in my view, we are all blessed/lucky that we do not share that addiction; I appreciate for you to feel like this, however, will take a very long time and for many friends and family – never.
      Your partner feels himself to be a failure and all his present behaviour is amplifying that belief. His addiction is responsible for his child’s unhappiness but instead of putting it right, he has run away and is making it worse – his addicted brain will be thriving on his failure. Something has to change and if he is not ready, willing or able (and you love him) then perhaps the change has to come from you.
      If it was me, and believe me I appreciate how hard this is, I would ask for a visit, not because your daughter is distressed but because she wants to show him something, tell him about her day share a secret. I would encourage him to see his daughter is growing up and doing ok, under your parentage, rather than struggling. I wouldn’t go out but stay to ensure a happy time for both of them. I realise this feels like removing responsibility for the pain he is causing but all the anger so far has changed nothing. I also wouldn’t tell your daughter too far ahead of any possible meeting, as each failure to turn up on his part adds to her distress – he will undoubtedly let you down a few more times yet.
      I cannot offer any guarantees but I am convinced that stuck in a cycle we change nothing – it has become a way of life and I wouldn’t be surprised if you thought I was off my head suggesting what appears to be a way-out for him. A way-out is often what we all need, however, bad behaviour doesn’t get better unless it is treated.
      He possibly will see a pattern, (his addiction will certainly hope for it) – all he has to do is behave himself for a while and everything will go back to the way it was and he will be able to indulge his addiction. I believe from your post and having ‘spoken to you’ that this is not the case this time – this time it is all about a 4 year old dependent child and that belief in itself will give you a backbone of steel.
      I often see a tug-of-war between an enabling parent and the partner of the child – I don’t think you will ever win with anger, which plays into his mother’s hands. Keeping him in his addiction is just that – ‘keeping him’ and it isn’t a right or healthy relationship but it is something you can never tell him. My CG told me that as long as I enabled he could not/would not have had the courage to face his demons. I believe, therefore, that for you to win it is best to find another way to skin the monkey.
      I hope some of this helps – please keep posting, talk to our helpline. I promise to keep thinking too.
      Velvet

    • #3770
      michelle45
      Osallistuja

      Thank you so much for your thoughtful post. We have been stuck in the same cycle for years. Including may separations the last one for over a year.

      This is the first time I feel like there mat be a different way to do things. I have sort help but always felt confused? If I knew what to do differently then I would!!!

      You have such insight that gives a different perspective. If he comes here he is less rude shall we say than when I take our daughter to his moms but I choose to leave here a lot of time for practical reasons. To go to shops etc. Generally you are right its because of the anger. You are also very spot on in that it changes nothing!!

      I have never identified that his mothers involvement hinders rather naively. I couldn’t image ever having anything other than my daughters best interests at heart. She is my whole world , its my my job to assure her growth development and happiness so assume its so for everyone. How naive!! My own parents have passed away and I really miss my own mother particularly in such difficult times. For many years I struggled with the idea of the addition being an illness (my mother died of cancer) but I can see this more as time goes on but really struggle with the bad treatment of our daughter.

      I tell our daughter daily daddy loves her very much and she will see him soon. I never say today because I know it will change. I have had text saying he can’t see her tomorrow as planned as he has no petrol. I would usually ignore this and ring in days asking when he would see her then ? He shouldn’t let her down etc. I have said OK this time she is good but would love to see him soon. I will see if there are ant developments . He generally thinks its OK to be rude to me if we have any contact at all.!!

      I will try the helpline thanks. Many thanks for helping me see a different perspective. I need to think I am doing what I can . our daughter needs a father I can survive either way but she is worth so much more!!!

      Kind regards Velvet

    • #3771
      michelle45
      Osallistuja

      Morning

      I wanted to add and express how much he seems to despise me as I don’t think it comes out in my post. I make all the contact he usually ignores any call or request to see our daughter unless I push. I do it for her as she really upset although my insict is to leave him until or if he is ever ready. Oddly it was me who pushed getting back together before because I think I’d forgotten how bad things get and we had been doing things more as a family. I just get fed up of taking all the responsibility.

      I have sought legal advice and there is little I can do to force contact . should I tell him I have sought legal advice. Should I also just seek maintenance via CSA. ? I believe he needs to take responsibility for paying for his daughter but in reality know this will mean nothing if he gambles. He will just loose his job so is it worth it. I keep pushing for regular contact for stability for our daughter and me but he won’t agree to it because of ’work’ he says which is just an excuse. He seems to relish in making things as difficult as possible. His pattern is to gamble and run away to mothers in anger and not come back even for a few days before this. I would then get a text saying ’i’ll me and get my stuff’. I took it all over this time to take control. If if I ever try and talk to him all I get is’im moving on now’. . His friends will not even know he has left again. He is not even showing the slightest bit of remorse.!!

      I didn’t want to give the impression he is desperate to come back. He clearly isn’t. Seems happy when I see him barely sees our daughter then makes plans to go out with a friend drinking so I will get her early. But has no money to give me for maintenance? I prefer to get her. I worry he will leave her in the car and go gambling if the urge takes him.

      Its just a mess. I can’t see he will ever take control of his responsibilities but don’t know what I should do re maintenance .

      Thanks for reading!!!

    • #3772
      velvet
      Valvoja

      Hi Michelle
      It would be naïve to suggest that people don’t fall out of love but when the addiction to gamble is in the equation it is impossible to fathom what is in the CG mind; I can only offer that which I know through experience or knowledge of the addiction.
      It appears your partner is fully indulging his addiction and, therefore, not thinking logically or reasonably. With logic and reason he could maybe understand that his lack of responsibility and poor addictive behaviour is to blame for his daughter not being under his roof – but without logic or reason, who is his addictive mind to blame that his relationship is broken and he is feeling unhappy? I suggest that the feeling that he despises you comes from his need to blame you and I believe it is so important that you know that you are not to blame.
      I see little point in telling him you have sought legal advice, unless you intend to follow through with action. Until you know what it is that you really want to do and you are ready for the consequences of your action, I don’t believe in saying something that sounds threatening.
      I cannot tell you what to do, even though I believe I understand exactly where you are at this time, because making your own decisions is a major part of your recovery. Of course I believe a father should pay maintenance but I too recognise that a father, who is a CG, would probably gamble rather than pay and could lose his job. As a mother, I would also prefer to collect my child than to risk her being left to a gambling urge.
      I suggest that when he says he is moving on it might confuse his addiction if you tell him that you understand and you wish him well but to please include his daughter in his plans. .
      There is a possibility that your partner’s addiction has to take him all the way down before he tackles his demons and there is a strong argument that it is better to let him fall – I certainly don’t think that preventing the fall for a CG helps them.
      I hope these thoughts do help – I still have my thinking cap on but sadly when the addiction to gamble is smack in the middle of a relationship, there can be no guarantee of a good outcome. What is important is that you recover from the misery of the experience and that your daughter is safe and well.
      Velvet

    • #3773
      michelle45
      Osallistuja

      Thanks so much to take the time to write such a thoughtful and personal response. I was feeling very weary the last few days but your words show such empathy . I finding difficult to express how grateful I am. I keep reading over your posts and find such comfort in your words.

      Your words somehow give me courage not to lash out in anger and frustration. I’m trying to take control and not make emotional decisions. I have been reading this advice for years but wonder why its so difficult to do? In black and white living with a CG seems straightforward but its a minefield!! Not blaming myself and going over things is so hard to do!! Although I do know logically this is the case.

      Your advice seems very spot on.I have read virtually everything there is on the net about how you should act when splitting with a partner and you have young children. None of it applies when one party is a CG gambler though and my biggest stress has been the effect on her!! I have thought about situations in the past and when I do not respond as expected with anger or challenge or with a reminder of his responsibilities as a father and it does have a much more positive impact as you have suggested. Its so hard to do though. As it seems ridiculous that a cg adult behaves like a child. You see an adult but are trying to rationalise that they are behaving like a child!!

      I will bide my time with contact and maintenance issues. I’m unsure yet and usually respond emotionally and with regret even after many years of dealing with the addiction. When I take a step back I think how strange that I had not realised that I have also been doing the same things for years??? I think that is because of my focus on him. I now get the advice is to look after yourself. I feel a bit silly that its taken so long to grasp!

      I believe tonight I will survive this misery and so will my daughter. That is due to your advice and encouragement. Our paths just may be different to what I thought.

      I will keep on trying to think and not react to the words of his addiction. I find this immensely difficult to do. But now I find a place I can be honest about it it somehow becomes easier.

      I feel much lighter tonight. Thank you.

    • #3774
      velvet
      Valvoja

      Hi Michelle

      A massive coping mechanism for relieving pent up anger and frustration is to write a secret journal. Committing bad experiences to paper, instead of having them whirl relentlessly around in your brain, is a powerful method with which to unleash your pent-up anger. Pour the bad stuff out with no regard for spelling or grammar or the feelings of anybody else – write it just for you. This was what I did and I found that following each crazed writing session I would feel drained but I would also have a tremendous feeling of release. I didn’t re-read what I had written but printed the pages off and I kept them in a secret file. I never felt the need to re-read them because it was like having an external hard-drive for my mind – a place to hold my pain.

      I have also heard about people writing things down and then burning the pages – or taking them to the top of a hill, reading each documented detail through for one final time and then tearing them up and throwing them to the 4 winds whilst yelling at the top of their voices – ‘I am relieved of this particular memory’.

      I did eventually destroy my file and although I did it after my CG changed his life – it was all about ‘my’ recovery, not his. I destroyed it gradually over a long period of time, one page at a time – as I recovered. The damage caused by the addiction to gamble builds up over time and therefore, in my opinion, recovery does not come quickly or easily – but for those who have had this experience, I believe that fighting for their personal recovery should come first or else the addiction has won another victim which is totally unacceptable.

      While your partner is not under your roof and your daughter is your main concerns it seems to me that keeping a dialogue going with her father is important – unless you feel he is damaging her. I know my approach seems to be softly, softly and therefore perhaps a bit negative but I think from your particular thread this is the better way – the iron fist in the velvet glove. I don’t believe that keeping a dialogue open is enablement; I think you recognise enablement and therefore you can avoid it – you can always come and push your concerns around about it, on here.

      Once again I hope there is something here to help you but you know where I am if you want to push any more thoughts around

      Velvet

    • #3775
      velvet
      Valvoja

      Hi Michelle
      Has a time been fixed for Friday? Assuming he turns up I suggest that you wish him a happy time with his daughter and perhaps say that ’if he must gamble, do not leave his daughter outside as it is too dangerous’. In other words, you will be reasonable if he looks after your daughter because she is your sole concern.
      Hope to speak to you again soon
      V

    • #3776
      michelle45
      Osallistuja

      Thanks for your advice. Not yet! I was worried about this and even said about going out with them as its her bday my reasoning being she won’t be left anywhere as its my day off too.. (He doesn,t know my reasoning) I was worried about saying something in case he got angry and stormed off leaving her upset on her bday?

    • #3777
      velvet
      Valvoja

      Hi Michelle
      I hope that there are some plans in place for tomorrow – if you have any thoughts that you want to push around you know where I am.
      It will be difficult for you having time off on your daughter’s birthday if your partner is going to take her out, without you – I suspect the time will drag, so I am with you on the thought that spending the time together would be better – especially for birthday girl. My thought is that gambling is not up for discussion and anger needs to be capped however hard that is – I am sure you are already in agreement with this as I know she comes first with you.
      I hope that whatever happens your daughter has a lovely day – at her age, every day should be lovely.
      Speak soon
      V

    • #3778
      michelle45
      Osallistuja

      Hi velvet

      Thanks for your kind and thoughtful words as always.

      My daughter did have a lovely weekend thank you and I hope a bit oblivious to the chaos her father tries to create. I wonder do you have any thoughts on how I might deal with difficult situations for example:

      My CG has little impact on my life now apart from times he is supposed to see our daughter. He is often late and still makes very little time for her probably about 3 hours a week. On Friday when it was our daughters birthday he was 2 hours late. He rang her to wish her a happy birthday and told her he would see her. She was very excited and kept looking at thecwindow. He then became really angry saying he was important in her life too when I reminded him we had to be back for 4 Pm due to other plans I had made of which he was aware . when I called to chase him as he was late he then said he wasn’t coming. I resorted to pleading which I have not been doing just because I couldn’t believe he could be so cruel to her. He did eventually come but in an angry mood. Saying he wanted to take her out on his own. We eventually agreed i was going too!! ( i was too worried about his mood).when we were out he said he was leaving after about 20 mins as we were in separate cars!! (He refused to get in mine although a lift was offered).My daughter spotted him trying to leave the park and she cran after him and so he stayed. Its all so ridiculous.

      I’m thinking in future try to avoid him speaking to her on the phone to tell her anything and then when he phones to back down it has no impact on her. It has even stopped making me so angry only perhaps weary. My daughter is still very excited to see her dad and when he is not wrapped in his own self pity or anger he is lovely with her. These glimmers seem to be getting less and less though. I now recall when ever I tried to rely on him to sit when I was going out he would often gamble then do the ’I’m not coming back now ’ self pity card. Which I would usually fall for usually because I just wanted a break!!! So I would say oh go on we can sort this out and he would come. I do see his behaviour hasn’t changed only maybe mine has a little.

      I suppose the only way he can have any impact on her /my life. is by causing chaos. I can only perhaps relate to a child having a tantrum?

      I think I just need to try and speak to him weekly to try and set some plans in place but there seems little I can do if he fails to keep them. He priority seems to be work and then cutting grass after work and weekends for cash. There is no end to his stream of income so no stop to gambling.

      I’m far less emotional when our daughter asks for dad. Its usually at bed time when she’s tired. She is usually distracted I realise but I’m getting weary of the chaos he tries to create. I keep saying about turning up on time but he knows how desperate I am that our daughter is o.k so I suppose he is seeing how far he can push things. His selfishness and cruelty to our daughter is a wonder to me but its for him to come to terms with if he ever is able to.

      I have now even managed to tell a friend I have been avoiding speaking to properly for months as I didn’t want to say we had split again. But I did the more a statement of fact and it was better for me. She seemed a little annoyed I hadn’t said but had guessed anyhow. Maybe because I left it till just before my daughters birthday party on Saturday as I knew she would ask where my CG was. He choose not to come. I said little about this . in the past I would have pleaded. Keeping up appearances and all that. Again how irrelevant that now seems!

      Anyhow just a few thoughts I have. I would be grateful for any of yours as always.

      Kind regards

      M

    • #3779
      velvet
      Valvoja

      Hi Michelle
      Sometimes I think it is difficult to differentiate between the selfish, destructive behaviour that comes with the gambling addiction and the behaviour of incredibly, thoughtless selfish people who seem to walk through life causing chaos and then walking away to the next ‘best thing’. The addiction to gamble can be controlled – yes they do cause chaos and they often walk away from relationships, for enablement, when the going gets tough – but there are also many people who leave relationships and children because they are not getting what ‘they’ want and the other man’s grass looks greener. I do hear the compulsive gambler in your partner but I can’t help wondering which came first – the selfish man who became a CG or a CG whose addiction has made him selfish – one, in my opinion, can be treated, the other I am not so sure, especially with an enabling mother. Whatever the outcome of all this, his behaviour in front of a 4 year old in the park is not acceptable.
      I still believe that angry confrontation with him will only wear you out and not make a scrap of difference to him – I prefer the ‘softly softly catches monkey’ approach although that is not always possible, nor is it everybody’s way. ‘If’ he does want to change and have his daughter in his life then he obviously has a lot of work to do but in the meantime I agree with you, I would try and avoid my child speaking on the phone to the person who has the potential to cause her pain. I would not voice an opinion about her father’s feeling towards her or tell her that he is due to visit or raise her hopes in any way about her relationship with him. I am sure you can distract her at bedtime when she is tired so that she goes to sleep with warm thoughts.
      I am glad that you have talked to a friend – I think that keeping up appearances is very draining and you do need ‘on the ground’ support.
      My remit with GT is the addiction to gamble but as a mother/wife and human of course I see things on the wider scale. I hope that you will join me this evening so that we can talk more freely.
      Velvet

    • #3780
      velvet
      Valvoja

      There is one other version and I like very much

      God grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change
      Courage to change the thing that I can
      And Wisdom to know it is me.
      Goodnight
      V

    • #3781
      michelle45
      Osallistuja

      I have tried to remember this many times today. Having a bit of a difficult day trying to have courage but thanks for your kindness as always.

      I’ll speak soon.
      M x

    • #3782
      twilight16
      Osallistuja

      Hi Michelle,

      Your wishes for your daughter to have her father in her life is admirable and a true reflection of what a good person you are. However, you may want to rethink it as I am sure you have wished this for yourself with your ex; wanting him to be the man you knew he could be, showing you signs of capability; however he always seemed to run back to gambling, leaving you high and dry, breaking your heart.
      Do you really think he will act differently around your daughter? Will common sense come before his gambling? As long as he continues to be in denial of his gambling he will always put gambling first.
      Your daughter is still very young, where the tears she cries for her father now, desperate;y wanting him will pass. Seeing her cry now, is nowhere as bad as the tears will be when she is older, when he has maniputated her and used her to enable his gambling. I was born to a cg, one who never whole-heartedly admitted to his gambling addiction; of course there were a few occations when he knew there was no other choice.
      I would not push a relationship with him, stop calling him to see your daughter. Spent the time with her, if she asks about him somehow skirt around it, until she forgets. There is no need to reinforce her desire to hear from him.
      Five years ago, I cut ties with my father, my daughters were 4 and 9; and of course they adored their grandfather because they had no idea what he was really doing, I was torn, but I went ahead with the estrangement because I was not going to let the cycle repeat itself with my daughters. I told my oldest why grandpa was not coming around , at first she still didn’t see the big deal of his gambling, but as time past she did. Now that she is 13. she is aware about addictions and how dangerous they are. Just knowing that both of my girls are safe from my father’s addiction is worth more than wanting for them to have their grandfather in their life. They are better not having to live that lie.
      It is you and her that are important; and if it means it is just you two without your ex, there is nothing remotely wrong with that. Don’t try to fit him in your daughter’s life when he is showing little effort to be the father he should.
      Take care,
      Twilight

    • #3783
      michelle45
      Osallistuja

      Hi twighlight

      Thank you ver y much for taking the time to write to me. I am sobbing reading this. Luckily my daughter is oblivious eating dinner after a day at nursery and afterwards in the park!!

      I have read so many of your posts and threads. Velvet has helped me so much on this site. I missed her forum this week I was out but her support has been amazing. She commented that she hoped you would see my thread so I am so grateful.

      I have had an awful few days. I hate myself this week I’m not sure how to describe it but its like I kid myself the addiction doesn’t exist then somehow respond to situations that show it does. Leaving me exhausted.

      You hit the nail on the head. Im spending my life hoping this will change when i cannot change it. I know all of this. But why then am i still trying to control him and his addiction?. I really don’t know why after almost 10 years of being aware of it. It makes me unhappy. I am aware I’m stuck in a cycle. I make good steps forward to break the cycle. I was doing well. And then ruin it all. Arguments and confrontations where I’m left feeling I’m unreasonable and to blame. I think I was being unreasonable to be honest but when i recognise and try to put things right im shut out leaving me devastated.

      My ex has moved on. I don’t want to go into detail but I read some of his emails as he was still signed on my laptop..I feel devasted and hurt and rejected but why what am I chasing. ? You are correct I have been heartbroken many times. He always runs back to gambling and his mother.

      My daughter is happy. He asked to take her away for the weekend and I went literally faint.I do not trust him to look after her in case he just decides to go gambling and leave her but not only that be in a mood with her because of some thing ridiculous . Se might feel insecure. He has barely seen her for months but won’t acknowledge this. In his mind I create reasons why he can’t see her! I’m evil and unreasonable . I have done nothing but constantly encourage his contact . I think I have been suffering from anxiety as I never know what will happen.! I made some excuse about the weekend saying we were. busy .He is furious and now refusing to see her again. I am not saying I was innocent in this. I argued with him and responded to him but I realise my mistakes and feel awful.

      I have been so tempted to try and contact him today. For what I wonder more misery. I won’t. A day at a time!

      I’m so glad I’ve come back on the site today. I feel better. I can only move forward and keep trying not to let the addiction in.

      Thank you so much for reading and your advice. I know this deep down. Its like i indulge my fantasy of a happy family!!I. I thought from your posts that you now see your father? You sound very strong. I need to get there!!

      I have been so engulfed In him again and know it just destroys me so why?

      I need to remember what I’m dealing with. It really is devious.

      I hope you and your family are well. I’m an adult. I need to protect my daughter. Thank you!!

    • #3784
      twilight16
      Osallistuja

      HI Michelle,

      Glad I could help in anyway, another valuable lesson I learned in my recovery is not to care about what others think about me and my choices. I am the only person who can say what is right for me.
      When we listen to others, and do what they say, we are going against what is right for us. The least of your concerns in what he thinks or says. He is full of the addiction, to know what he is really saying, the addiction will say things that strike at the heart. This is called emotional blackmail, trying to reel us in, so we will feel guilty. I also refer to it as a low blow.
      10 years is a long time, I am sure a good chunk of your life. Don’t you think it is time you really move on? I still read a little attachment to him, with him being on your computer and reading his emails. If you feel the need to get something out of your system, write it done. There is no need to lash out at him, he will not really hear you and you will only get more frustrated for even trying. The addiction is not deserving of your heartfelt emotions or tears, it will only use it against you.
      The relationship at this point should be civil for your daughter’s sake, but speaking or spending time with him otherwise should stop; there is no reason for it.
      We are creatures of habit, so I can see why you still call him, but have you really tired meeting other friends to talk to? OR just go out for a walk, pick up a book, watch a movie, go outside with your daughter. There is a thousand things you can do to make your day a better one.
      Yes, I am in contact with my father now, seeing him every few weeks. A few years back it was discovered that he has dementia. I firmly believe the years he gambled contributed to this in someway. I do believe you do end up losing your mind to gambling, of course this is my opinion, but I have found facts showing good reason for the connection.
      Your daughter’s happiness is what mothers want for their child, and even though we want the fairytale family, it is not always possible. What’s more important than having a father in her life, is one where an addiction does not destroy her.
      I wish, as I do with all cg, he acknowledges his addiction, gets the treatment he needs and sticks with it. It is possible, but it has to be his desire and not just yours or your daughter. In the meantime, work on your recovery so you may become stronger for not just you but your daughter.
      All the best,
      Twilight

    • #3785
      michelle45
      Osallistuja

      Hi Twighlight

      Thanks for taking time to write a response. I am sorry to hear of your father’s dementia. It must be a very difficult situation for you.

      I have been thinking about your advice. My CG has seen our daughter over the weekend. I did not contact him about this. I will try not to do this. You are right about the attachment. I struggle to move on . I live in hope but do realise I need to continue doing things for me and my daughter. I do in the main. I’m good at practical things. I keep us busy but I do struggle emotionally. I’m sure many people do its tiring!!

      My daughter is well. I understand your message.

      Thank you

      Best wishes to you and your family

      M

    • #3786
      twilight16
      Osallistuja

      Hi Michelle,

      You are doing extremely well, none of this is easy; we are all human, and of course, there are situations where we can be flexible.
      However, keep in mind, that tough love mixed with the insight to see what is really happening in a situation, gives everyone in a relationship what is needed to not be taken by any addiction. I like to see the addiction as a separate identity, bullying the addict to believe lies, and of course it tries to bully friends and family imhumanly. Standing firm is like being an advocate for the person, and of course yourself and child. It is never wrong to show compassion, but not enable. We all know the worst type of enablement is monetary, that is a line, in my opinion, does more harm, as the addiction has gotten what it wanted.
      Living life the fullest with your daughter, sharing precious moments together is what matters the most. The next time your ex doesn’t call or do as he says, let it roll down your shoulders and off of you; don’t let it bring you or your daughter down. Show that you are not interested in games.

      Take care,
      Twilight

    • #3787
      michelle45
      Osallistuja

      Hi Twighlight

      I am striving to be strong. It is constantly difficult but Is find if I can distract myself I am not putting myself in positions where I become vulnerable.

      My CG is in a period where is gambling is less active I suspect as he has money to spend on our daughter when we spent some family time together. This is where it becomes more difficult for me as I see less CG but more of the person and although I know this doesn’t help me as its more painful in the long term and I need to be strong for my daughter. His addiction has just settled a while and he thinks of other things . it will return.

      Its been half term so more time to fill and more time to think. I am better when im at work as my life is more structured. I am planning more with friends and try to keep busy.

      I keep telling myself do not react for the next time I get annoyed when my CG doesn’t do as he says. Its easy to forget how truly awful it is when things go quiet? It often does with my CG but I do know my resolve will get tested at some point. I do not enable with money but worry that I do with my attitude towards him now. I do not mention the prior months when he failed to take steps to see our daughter and I’ve done all the encouraging until recently.I’d constantly like to remind him of this but choose not too. I suspect he has now forgotten all of that! We have spent some time together as a family and this is probably not wise for me.

      I read your reflection and it hits home so much. I think i m struggling as I’m not angry. I’m so used to anger that its difficult to know what to feel when that dies down a little.

      I have such alot to be thankful for . My daughter is very happy. She makes me very happy . I am very proud of her. I enjoy spending time with my friends and family. I know I just need to keep working on me to fill the emptiness in me. I don’t want to fill it again with a CG. Its very simple really. I often wonder why I keep struggling.

      Thanks for your time again twilight and as always velvet.

      Best wishes
      M x

    • #3788
      velvet
      Valvoja

      Hi Michelle
      I don’t hear enablement in what you are doing. Mentioning all the times your CG has let your daughter down would be water off a duck’s back. In my opinion it is much better for him to realise that decent behaviour towards his daughter gets results, gambling doesn’t. If he lets your daughter down again then that is the time to say how much it hurts her – let him feel the difference in atmosphere.
      If there is constant tension, constant complaints about his addiction it is much harder for him to see a good future. There is no quick fix Michelle, you are working on the relationship between a CG and his daughter and that is tough. Please don’t think that I am saying you should not get angry because you would have to be a saint not to be so against his addiction. The fact remains that he can do a lot of damage if he doesn’t address his addiction but he is more likely to trust you to support him in changing his life if you are strong and not ‘constantly’ angry.
      It is great to hear that you are ‘enjoying’ your family and friends – keep that social life alive, it will shine through you and shows him that you are in control of your life and that you are not going to allow his addiction to bring you down.
      Great post – well done
      Velvet

    • #3789
      michelle45
      Osallistuja

      Thanks for your encouraging words Velvet and seeing the positive in everything I write. That takes some doing!! I notice twighlight has done this in her posts too. I hope this is how I will begin to sound at some future point!!

      Your post did make me feel better. I do sometimes feel that I do not do things as they should be done and am constantly swimming in the dark. Although I notice when I’m doing things for myself the feeling subsides. Its when I’m trying to second guess my CG or start worrying I’ve done something or said something that I shouldn’t I become upset. It highlights the pointlessness of this I suppose. I do appreciate what you are saying about my CG. We have a better civil relationship at the moment. I am much more at ease with this. I do not like conflict!I do wonder however if he is really phased if im angry at all. It gives him an excuse to gamble and feel sorry for himself I assume. Although he doesn’t need any excuse. Things have calmed down on the gambling front at the moment. He appears to function in reality. Although I will stress appears as his reality is nowhere close to mine!

      I have had a lovely day with my daughter and friends. We are both shattered. I have plans for the weekend and feel positive today. Thanks again!!

      Kind regards
      M x

    • #3790
      michelle45
      Osallistuja

      After commenting on enablement yesterday in the topic forum my words were put to the test tonight. Thank you for responding Tania I have read your threads and can see many things mirrored in my own life.!

      My ex CG rang tonight to say he wouldn’t b seeing our daughter the weekend as planned he had no petrol and no money and 2 weeks until pay day. He has not done this for many weeks. His gambling had settled down he was doing as he should . he has been paying maintenace and extra and buying things for iur daughter for a good few weeks. But his gambling behaviour always follows the same pattern. Intense then slows. Anyway he said he wouldnt be seeing her and if there was a problem with our daughter to let him know. ! He had obviously just gambled any money he had and was looking for someone (me) to blame. I now recognise this and TRY not to get drawn in. It takes such strength of will power !!!

      My reply was of the lines well your stuck in a cycle with ur gambling and if you want to change you know where we are. You have been gamble free before. This turned into a bit of a tirade from CG then. We both need to move on don’t contact him or his mom( I have remained on friendly terms with her he lives with her ) we are different he won’t b controlled . i think this is as a result of me letting slip almost last week that i loved him. We have been seperated for months. He has behaved badly and so i surprised myself too with the comment. He commented that his gambling had been worse this week. He had previously not mentioned gambling once since our split. He also said he wanted to pay the balance on a holiday that had been booked before we split and had been gambling to get the money together ( another familiar story)He is using both things as an excuse to gamble more. He threw in could I lend him £5 for (beer) cans!!!! . he hasn’t asked me for money at all in the period we seperated! He appears to be at a bit of a low but with only two weeks to pay day he will see hope (money) on the horizon I said no! His mother would usually always oblige in these situations so he had either had nmoney from her gambled it and didnt want to ask for more. Or She has said no ( just for tonight though) as she is fed up ( just for tonight) she has enabled him for many years.

      I suspect he will not contact me about our daughter and then try to blame me because I wouldn’t lend him £5 .( a new game maybe. Not one usually played by my cg? )now he would have to drive 15 Miles with no petrol for 5 Pounds.? I think we all know it would have ended up being more!! In the past I have enabled but had also stopped this behaviour for months before we split again.

      Anyhow the point of my writing all this is so I don’t get angry pick up the phone and respond as he intends I’m sure because then I can be manipulated! Am I slowly starting to get this after 10 years!! I was initially upset by it all but that has passed quite quickly. I don’t feel devasted that he is threatening not to see her as I did a few months ago. I can generally distract her . I can find things to do the weekend and it will soon be the start of the week when she is busy at nursery!! What sort of frame of mind is he in anyway. Not one to indulge and show unconditional love and fun to a 4 Year old!!!

      I am hoping I will continue to feel positive that I have done the right thing. It is really a minefield . I am starting to see that it is only going to be me removing myself from the situation that will improve things for me and my daughter. He stormed off the end of Feb and wouldn’t see our daughter for weeks. We are now mid June. Same behaviour different month.

      My CG is truly stuck in a cycle as I have witnessed and I have played a part in theses behaviours in previous splits. I’m now trying to limit my part!!

      Anyhow bit of a lengthy post. I want to be able to read this again and see how ridiculous and selfish his addictive behaviour is.

      Thanks if you have read. I am making bigger strides to letting go I hope!

      M

    • #3791
      velvet
      Valvoja

      Hi Michelle
      I don’t think you are slow at getting started to understand but of course ‘knowing the right thing to do’ is easier than ‘doing the right thing’. I am a believer though that once you begin to read the addiction it is easier to spot the ‘clues’ and asking for £5 is one such clue. He knew if he asked for too much he wouldn’t get it so he went for a small amount hoping the door would open just enough to get his foot in – after all it worked before! His addiction is looking for chinks in your armour – he is aware you are getting stronger so he is adopting the more seductive approach – and you didn’t fall for it – well done.
      It is a minefield at the beginning but look how well you did – because you didn’t pick up the phone and blast him, he couldn’t inflict more hurt, so you recovered quicker – ‘you’ were in control. The healing that gives you deep down positive feelings takes time – it is gradual and exhausting but ultimately it is a walk back to life.
      You are right that his behaviour is ridiculous and selfish but it should never be underestimated – it is dangerous and you are doing the right thing in shielding your daughter. I know you are holding back because of his addiction and not seeking to punish him but he will not believe that – it won’t suit him to believe it – he needs to blame you. He has the capability to be a good father, when he controls his life but at the moment he is out of control.
      Telling him you love him will not have made matters worse – he maybe thought the enablement door was open again but you have scotched that thought; so if he does any deep thinking at all he can hear that you love him but you will not pander to his addiction – I can’t think of a better message.
      Keep going as you are and keep seeing your friends. In my opinion, unless his mother tells you that she doesn’t want to speak to you, it is a good line to keep open especially as she is your daughter’s grandmother. The adults can all ‘move on’ (as he puts it) without you losing touch with his mother.
      Everything you have written says that you are doing well.
      Velvet

    • #3792
      michelle45
      Osallistuja

      After my lost post I have been a mix of emotions as I know I have enabled and need to stop going over it. I have done it. Its gone and I want to develop firmer boundaries for myself so I am less receptive in future.

      After my CG last rant I assumed I wouldn’t hear from in. This turned out not to be the case.I decided I would pay the balance left on the family holiday . I had the following conversations in my head:

      _ I would take may daughter away in August (its a caravan) irrespective of what CG was doing.it was a shame to waste it
      _ I can show CG I can do things without him ( I do this anyway!!)

      But also

      I should let the deadline for payment and reminders telephone calls pass. I need to book something different. It would be better for me. Its giving the wrong message to CG.

      Well I paid the balance. !!

      To my surprise CG was in touch to see our daughter that weekend. Also to my surprise he mentioned holiday. I didn’t tell him I had already paid it . I was surprised by the conversation. He asked if I could pay the balance and he would pay me back in 2 installments when he got paid. Its a couple of hundred pounds left. He had paid some of the balance previously. I agreed!!!

      To put this in context when we have been seperated previously we have gone on family holidays and remained separate. I have also replaced CG with friends on holidays when his gambling appears more frenzied and I believe he will let us down.

      Now just because he says he will pay I know this doesn’t mean it will happen or he might have no money to go. I will go anyway. But I have been dishonest and made it easy for him. I know he was using the holiday as an excuse to gamble. I am giving the message this is acceptable. I am also saying he can do as he wishes and its OK with me!!

      I feel uncomfortable and disappointed in myself. I have not changed anything!!

      I am clear on my boundaries for enablement when its direct. This is clever. Now I think he wants to pay for the holiday. He does like to buy things and treat our daughter. But cannot keep it up indefinitely because of his addiction. I know this . He has paid maintenance too over the months we have seperated. But he is a complete mix of messages (as it appears i am)But I have enabled.

      I don’t really know how to deal with situation. In my fantasy we go on a happy family holiday together.in reality I have enabled.

      This has been going around in my head for a week. I felt too ashamed at first to admit what i have done (is this how cg feel all the time?)I have distracted myself because I have been very busy at work but am hoping posting will help me work through it.
      Thanks in anticipation of any comments!!

      M

    • #3793
      nomore 56
      Osallistuja

      Hi Michelle, if I got your post right, you paid for the vacation and can go with or without him? First of all I know the romantic fantasy of a perfect family only too well. It gives hope that one day, just one day it will all come true. Rarely does though. You did recognize the enabling part, that is good. Maybe there is a way to turn it into something nice for you and your daughter. Do you really want him to go? And if he does, will it be a a nice time for you? If you have serious doubts, just go on without him. Take a friend like you did in the past and go and have a blast!
      If you would like him to go with you, why not set him a deadline and tell him to come up with his share of the cost at a certain day and if he doesn’t, for whatever reason, go on without him. Personally I think that would not be enabling because he will not reap the benefits without doing his part. At least in my opinion. Cgs make promises all the time and have no problem breaking them without a second thought. Mine did it all the time. He bought stuff for our daughter and then never had the money to pay any important bills. When my daughter got older she told me that all she wanted was for her dad to be there and not to cause us so much pain. The material things meant nothing to her and she also thought that her father was all about money and never about the relationships, no matter with whom.
      Maybe going with your child and a friend would do you more good than adding him to picture, I don’t know. Not an easy decision for you at this time. I hope it works out the best way possible and you are able to enjoy your hard earned vacation!

    • #3794
      jenny46
      Osallistuja

      if I am reading your post correctly, you paid the balance of the holiday without it being in mind that he would be going and without an agreement with him at that stage to pay – that is not enabling. Or if you paid it in that knowledge it would have been.

      Enabling would have been if you had agreed to pay the balance knowing that he would be going, also knowing that the reason he had not got the money to pay was because he had or intended to gamble. You had other options in mind like taking a friend or going alone, not just him ?

      My concern for you is that the boundaries of your separation remain unclear and very blurry, I may be wrong but your posts (reading between the lines) seem to indicate that you are hanging on to this relaitionship not just for the sake of your daughter having contact but in the hope there will be a reconciliation and a gambling free one – I may be wrong.
      It will be difficult to sustain this type of split and its one which I feel will not allow you to escape the manipulation of addiction. I can also see that in the long term it will only add to confusion and unnecessary further heartache for your daughter.

      If it is over, then it is over. Arrangements are in place for him to have contact with your daughter for example – if he doesn’t show up then that is his problem, if when she is older she no longer wants to have that contact then those are his consequences – let him stew in them, and concentrate on your daughter – unfortunately you cannot save her from him or him from himself but you can soften her blow.

      I know this may sound a little harsh and it is not meant that way. In my experience as long as the door remains slightly ajar you will leave yourself open to more and more of these scenarios (I’m sure that will gradually become far more inventive!!) and enable him to get off the hook. There appears to be no hint of a recovery

      You will also delay your own ability to go on with your own recovery and get the life for you and your daughter that you so rightly deserve

      Jenny

    • #3795
      velvet
      Valvoja

      Hi Muchelle
      Nomore and Jenny have given you really constructive replies. I think I will probably ‘chat’ to you later today but I wanted to put my pennyworth in anyway.
      All the conversations in your head were good – none of the options were to enable and you made your informed decision – I cannot see any dishonesty on your part. If you had told him that you had paid the balance and all he had to do was cough up 2 instalments, it would have been enablement but it seems to me you paid the balance so that you and your daughter could have a well-deserved holiday.
      It is probably what happens next that determines whether you have changed anything or not. . You have agreed that he can pay you in a couple of instalments but this has not happened yet – what would be good for you to know before this happens, or not, is whether you ‘want’ him to pay. Tough call
      I don’t believe that happy families is a game that can be played when an addiction is active in the middle of it BUT it is you that has to live with the outcome. I tried for far too long to incorporate the addiction in my family believing that love would conquer all and regardless of what was staring me in the face; I had to learn it was always an impossible dream.
      We all made mistakes with this addiction Michelle, some enablement is obvious, other enablement is harder to see. I know how hard you are working to get through this experience and I know you can come out on the other side but I know how hard it is to do so. It probably feels as though you are taking 2 steps forward and 3 back but this whole post says that you are more aware and that you are seeing the addiction for what it is. Ok so you had a hiccough agreeing that he could pay the balance but you are a good loving person who reacted on instinct and you are not thick skinned – this does not mean he can do with you as he wishes.
      Know what you want, know what you will allow and build your barrier accordingly.
      Hopefully speak later
      Velvet

    • #3796
      michelle45
      Osallistuja

      Hi

      Thanks very much nomore, jenny and as always velvet. It really helps to get other peoples views. Its so good to be able to come somewhere and be honest and not feel shame. I have felt embarrassed and shame over many years for many things I have done or reacted to. This helps me gain more perspective and not feel so alone. Its a very difficult process. I have underestimated the addiction for so long and I think I realise I want things to change but struggle and its slow. I do feel I’m getting a bit stronger sometimes although I make many mistakes .

      My CG has messed our daughter about this weekend. He arranged to see her at one. I had a text saying it would be half one. He does work on Saturday. By three he hadnt showed. I didn’t chase him made alternative arrangements for me and my daughter to meet family at a local fete and go for a meal. He then turned up about 3.30. I was angry at his complete lack at consideration tried to control it but the atmosphere was very tense and he saw our daughter for about 10 mins as I said we were going out. She could pick up on the atmosphere and was a bit upset. I told him not to turn up for 10 mins as it upset her. He did apologise then several times and it was left OK (although I was internally raging). He asked if he could see her today. I agreed in the afternoon as we had plans this morning.

      He hadnt’ showed at the agreed time and I couldn’t help myself but ring a few times and then message just asking if he was still seeing our daughter? Luckily he didnt answer the phone and his response was to ’to do my own thing’. I replied OK and we did. We have had a busy weekend and my daughter is happy!

      I now have received a message saying
      ’ he cannot afford the holiday or cover his DDS (one of which is maintenance to me) he is overdrawn and has no money. Maybe I should make alternative arrangements’

      He gets paid monthly and was paid on friday. The holiday and making alternative arrangements is no big thing to me as I had already paid it but he doesnt know that. I am financially independent so his lack of maintenance isn’t devastating for me. Oddly he is proud of his daughter and its important to him to contribute financially when he is more controlled with his gambling. For example if I tell him I have got something for her (she starts school in September so I have bought uniform) he asks how much and will give me the money).( It is not my intention to get money off him for things its just as part of the conversation about and she likes to show him things . i wonder if he thinks its about money? ,- who knows). He has obviously thought about what to put as his message is quite coherent. It is not the ranting of someone who has just blown all their money. There is no apology as its all about him.

      Ihaven’t responded yet and am not quite sure how to. I am thinking I could use this as an apportunity to suggest he gets support for his gambling. ? He is obviously at one of his lows but he has hit lows many times before. I have had messages in the past saying he couldn’t afford holidays. I think in the past I ,helped out, by lending money to overcome the latest crisis. I have a feeling if I respond I might be ignored unless its with the offer of some money ( I will not be doing that. I am certain of my boundary there!)

      I would be grateful for any advice.

      Thanks v much

      M

    • #3797
      nomore 56
      Osallistuja

      Hi Michelle, this all sounds so familiar to me. It sounds like you have not really made up your mind yet what you want to happen. Your cg does what cgs do when the addiction is fully alive and well and nothing else seems to matter. I do believe he loves his daughter but gambling comes first, at least at the moment. I used to thrive during the days (later on only moments) when it looked like my hb finally was ready to do something about his gambling. Constantly on a roller coaster and the downfalls got steeper and steeper over time. There came a point when I came to a screeching halt and decided that enough was enough. I became very calm and made up my mind that I would take no more. The decision to remove him and his gambling from my life as much as I could, no matter what he would do was like lifting a burden from my shoulders. Even if he had not finally gone to inpatient treatment and started his true recovery, I would have never gone back to the everyday insanity.
      Have you decided what you want from him? What are your boundaries, especially as far as your little girl is concerned? Children rather come from a broken home than live in one. I would not let your daughter observe, see or hear any of the arguments, whether about money or visitation. If he wants to see her, I would let him but not tell her beforehand. What comes out of his mouth is white noise. He might have the intention to spend time with his daughter but the addiction always gets in the way. So instead of hoping and wondering and getting all worked up and angry, maybe it would be better so just sit down and make some kind of a plan what you want your life to be like. Maybe set some boundaries and tell him if he wants to come at 2 he can have maybe 30 min to be late and then he is out of the picture for that day. Something along that line. You don’t depend on him financially which is a great, great advantage you have.
      The longer and the more often he gets away with his behavior, the more he will try to manipulate you. If you quietly and calmly set some rules you are able to keep yourself, he will get the idea that he is on his own with his best friend, the addiction. I might just be rambling here and it is all my very personal opinion as an outsider who has been there for way too long. But only after my point of no return did I quit to call my hb, look at his mail, tried to find out where he was and when etc. And found piece of mind. Don’t ask me what it cost me to achieve it.
      I wish you luck and hope your daughter grows up a happy girl. Have the cg-free vacation you two deserve so much.

    • #3798
      vera
      Osallistuja

      As a CG, Michelle, it seems to me that your guy is breaking lots of rules AND getting away with it!
      Don’t underestimate how much your child id absorbing throughout all this unhealthy interaction . Although you sound like a very caring mum, she seems to be caught up in the middle a lot of the time . Reading through the eyes of a CG it seems he vanishes when he wants to gamble. Makes a guest appearance when his luck is in. Pays some money (maybe to relieve his guilt) then has a free reign to do an ”action replay”and all at the emotional expense of you and your child.
      Maybe you should consider setting up legal boundaries? It will make him aware of his rights and duties and may keep him more accountable. On the other hand it might highlight the true nature of his gambling problem and let him see when he is breaching the Law. To be honest , I think he is having an easy time playing you like a fiddle . A dose of Tough Love would not go astray on him. NOT a judgement, Michelle. Just an observation!

    • #3799
      velvet
      Valvoja

      Hi Michelle
      In my opinion, this is a message that would not best be replied to by suggesting he gets help with his gambling, I think it is a message that doesn’t deserve a reply but does deserve action on your part. You are aware (as I was when I read it) that this could be manipulation for enablement, he has done this before and you have helped him out, so not the actions of a man ‘doing something about his addiction’. You can afford the holiday, you have paid for it and I believe you should go and enjoy a gamble-free holiday with your daughter. This to me is a good time to stand your ground; you are not retaliating or being unkind.
      I think you hit the nail on the head when you say he appears to be at only one of his lows. Your CG is messing with your daughter’s head and you know that is not acceptable. I do believe he can love his daughter but at the moment he is only willing to show it as far as his addiction will allow and that, in my opinion, is not enough for a 4 years old. To be the father he wants to be and you believe him to be capable of, he knows what he has to do but at the moment he is having his cake and eating it. He is controlling your life when the phoning and the messaging is allowing him to dictate his comings and goings with your daughter and then only when he says ‘go and do your own thing’ do you do it. A large part of recovery for a CG is taking responsibility; as long as you take if for him, he will not make any effort. If he is not responsible enough to be with you at the agreed time then ‘you’ decide what you are going to do. By all means give him 5 mins in case traffic is bad but always be aware that keeping you waiting is a manipulative behaviour.
      I understand your reluctance to get things on a legal footing as this may have the opposite effect from that which you want. Personally I think you are strong enough and independent enough to make this through without legal redress but this will always be up to you.
      Look forward to ‘seeing’ you tomorrow evening. Don’t worry, you will get there. I wouldn’t understand you if I had never made mistakes – and I do understand you.
      Velvet

    • #3800
      michelle45
      Osallistuja

      Hi Vera, Nomore and Velvet

      Thank you very much for taking the time to reply. It is great to hear other peoples views, including that of a CG gambler Vera. I have read and reread them all and it gives me many things to think about. I am gaining different perspectives on my CG behaviour. Things that wouldn’t haven’t even occurred to me. Much food for thought to help me navigate through this extremely confusing time!!

      Thanks again

      M

    • #3801
      vera
      Osallistuja

      Don’t try to figure out a CG’s behaviour Michelle or you WILL be confused. We can bamboozle even the most clever and alert people when we want to gamble !
      The best think you can do is build a wall around yourself and your child and keep your CG outside.
      When he sorts himself out, things might be different but for now you need to protect yourself from his behaviour.

    • #3802
      jenny46
      Osallistuja

      I must say I agree with most of the replies you have already had so don’t feel I can add to them but more echo what they are saying.

      What is there to say to what has happened which you haven’t said a thousand times before ? If you say it you will no doubt get the same response as you’ve also had a thousand times before ! perhaps a simple – thanks for letting me know would suffice ? then go on and enjoy a good gambling free holiday with your daughter.

      If you fear such a response from him if you don’t offer to take him or pay his way (which I agree is some what predictable) then what does that say about him, to me it says it’s about continuing enablement and manipulation.

      As for the visits, I don’t see his reliability improving until steps are taken by him to control his gambling problem. It’s hard on children in any split and all we can do is pour our efforts in to clearing up the mess and concentrating on them, not on the absent person with problems.

      You cannot keep taking the responsibility for his bad choices and as long as you do – he never will. He’s calling the shots and he is getting in the way of you going forward with your own life – sorry to sound a little blunt !

      If you make arrangements and he lets you down and your daughter down then that is his responsibility – you cannot make it right, it is a hazard of the trade (so to speak). Putting life on hold is a waste and I’m sure your daughter feels your frustration how ever hard you may try to conceal it.

      He needs the rug pulling out from underneath him in my opinion. Sometimes a legal route is helpful but it can do no more than you can, it sets out boundaries and perameters for contact etc but they can just as easily be bent if people don’t adhere to them eg, if you give in and in my experience they can often be inflammatory to the situation.

      You are getting stronger Michele and I think you beat yourself up way too much than is good for you. Set your own standards and live up to them don’t live down to his expectations

      Jenny

    • #3803
      michelle45
      Osallistuja

      Thank you for all your support and good advice velvet jenny and Vera. It is really interesting to read your posts and how positive and well you are doing. Your input is very much appreciated.

      I find it takes me time to read, process and then act on good advice. Things take much longer to deal with than I appreciated. I have always been in a rush to make my CG better I suppose .

      He is continuing to do what he wants. Have heard very little from him. There is no set pattern for him to see our daughter. He saw her in the week this week but She has been upset a few times about him since. I put this down to the uncertainty of his contact. I’ve decided that this is not good for her at all. I’m just unsure how to deal with it. I’m finally getting to grips with what a boundary means. I have really struggled with understanding this because I suppose I didn’t know what I wanted .

      I feel like I have all the advice and need to take action. I mean this as be clear what I want and what is acceptable for her. I am not requesting visits for her. I need to now get help on my strategies for coping if he stops seeing her all together. She keeps talking about him a lot drawing pictures and been a bit attention seeking at nursery. She is 4 and about to leave nursery and start school so it is a time for change for her. I was very upset and angry about this on friday and upon advice from harry on the helpline ive contactacted a local support group for counseling. I’m getting a bit worried about her and not sure what to do. I feel I need to tell my CG the impact of his irresponsible behaviour is having on her but again don’t know how to. There is little point setting up a plan if he doesn’t stick to it. Its just can I live with myself if I tell him not to see her unless he has taking steps to control his addiction. ? I know only I can answer this and I don’t want to make an emotional decision.

      With school holidays coming up I have got some lovely things planned with her. A weekend away next weekend and then our holiday in a few weeks. My friend and family with young children are joining us so I know we will have a great time. A much better option than holidaying with the anxiety an active cg brings.

      At the moment I not feel very well equipped to deal with my daughters upset unfortunately. I am keeping her busy and looking forward rather than hovering around for the first time in a while. All that is good but I need to be confident I am doing things the right way for my daughter.

      Thanks as always

      M

    • #3804
      jenny46
      Osallistuja

      I guess addiction isn’t called a family illness for no reason, it certainly has the knack of affecting everyone involved regardless of their age etc.

      Considering you don’t feel very well equipped to support your daughter – I feel you are doing a fantastic job. There is no easy answer in my opinion and unfortunately the benefits of your support to your daughter may take a long time to show themselves, years even.

      My own sons are still very affected by their fathers alcoholism, different addiction I know but the impact is similar and so is the unreliability. I struggled to support them for years and often felt so helpless or like you, feeling like I wasn’t the best person to support them or feeling badly equipped and at times feeling like my own head was barely above water. They were extremely challenging at times and I lost count of the amount of meetings I had and of the amount of services that I contacted who were apparently there to help (the so called experts !) in reality it was all an added pressure and with hindsight made matters worse but that was my experience.

      It took several years for them to deal with him in the way that they do now – and also several years of me passing on my learning from this site in little bite size pieces. They no longer try to understand the why why why of it all and they no longer dance to his tune – they have learned to protect themselves, they know when to walk away . They know it is not about them and they know they cannot make his choices.

      None the less it still hurts them, they would still rather it be different – they no longer shoulder the responsibility, they are no longer the parent in the relaitionship.

      They also make very short shrift of their fathers antics and I would not like to be on the receiving end of some of their cringe worthy comments towards him !

      I thought the day would never come when all the words fell into place, but it has – it just takes time.

      You are doing everything you can to soften the blow for your daughter and you can do no more. Don’t be so hard on yourself Michelle – give yourself a break now and again.

      You will hear a lot about the importance of gaining knowledge and looking after you and it seems a bit of a strange concept and at times one that doesn’t do the ”problem” justice – but its true.

      I am a firm believer based on my past experiences that if I truly look after me then the rest follows on, the knowledge I have gained on this site, is knowledge that I have been able to pass on to my children, the same knowledge that you are learning and in turn can pass on when the moments are right.

      The most important thing is that you are happy and stable and that the channels of communication between you and your daughter remain open and honest – this makes you by far the best person to support her. It’s difficult unfortunately when supporting someone properly can mean telling some painful truths and accepting that we cannot always make it right.

      Boundaries are important but I think they also tend to follow quite naturally in some ways as you gain in strength and more importantly your self esteem begins to increase. One day you will look back and wonder – who was that person who put up with all of this !!

      You are your own worst critic, you’ve had a rough ride and it’s little wonder that you question yourself, be kind to yourself

      Jenny x

    • #3805
      velvet
      Valvoja

      Hi Michelle
      If your ex-partner was a family friend your daughter would accept his comings with pleasure and his lack of comings as normal. Unfortunately it is not possible to undo any words he might have said that may be keeping her mind so involved with him when he isn’t there. Do you react differently to his visit than you would an uncle? There seems little question that his addiction is hurting her and therefore your behaviour is so much more important. If you are happy then hopefully she will be happy – if you are tense then she will sense it.
      What is your reaction when she shows you a picture of her father? I except you would rather she was drawing a dog or a sheep in which case you could exclaim with delight how lovely it is and how much you like the interesting curl of the pink eyelashes. By all means show the same interest in the picture she draws of her father – if she is subconsciously testing your reaction she will know if you are negative. Hopefully she will begin to draw more dogs and sheep because they are more fun and get a laugh.
      It does take time to process new thoughts, ones it would be fair to say you never could have imagined you would have to process. However, taking things gradually, a piece at a time, like a giant jig-saw, the picture will gradually become clear. Your daughter undoubtedly will be more in the moment than you are – she is sucking in knowledge like a sponge, watching and listening to everything around her, forming her opinions and memories for later in life.
      Hovering is fine sometimes while you re-plan your life but from all your CG has said he doesn’t see a gamble-free future as being something he aspires to and that means his behaviour towards your daughter will become less acceptable. Distance from his addictive behaviour will help her develop her mind safely just as it will yours. Your boundary is a gamble-free security fence for your daughter.
      If you are asking the question ‘can I live with myself if I tell him not to see her unless he has taking steps to control his addiction’, my reply would be – no you should not be answering emotionally but impassively with the informed knowledge and insight you have gained. In my opinion, this is not something that should be open for debate with an active CG; you are protecting your child and his and it is down to you to make the best decision for her, however I think such a decision would best be discussed with the counseling group you have approached
      It seems to me that you can be confident that you are going the right way with your daughter; you have lots of lovely things planned with her and a holiday that sounds great.
      Velvet

    • #3806
      michelle45
      Osallistuja

      Thank you for your responses jenny and velvet. You both write with such empathy that I am always in tears. Tears of relief I think. Jenny your journey has been tough yet here you are helping others with words that make such sense. Velvet I remember months before posting reading your posts to others and thinking how eloquent your words were but how little I felt I understood them or how little they seemed to apply to me.

      I now feel completely differently. I feel better informed about my CG addiction than ever before but it is such a different way of reacting that I have doubts. By taking a step back I am starting to see how manipulative my CG can be. He has had little contact in recent weeks since his ’ I have got no money for maintenance or holiday message’ . This is down to little response from me. I realise now the big part of I have perhaps unwittingly played in his addiction. How much I was letting it also control me.

      Well that is past and no more. Two messages that are really sticking in my mind are from the group a few weeks ago. Jenny the advice you had received and shared about your ex he will always lie for his own purpose as part of his addiction but you do not have to ( I hope my interpretation is correct!) .Velvet your comment that you have to want things to change enough for you to actually do it.

      I do not want to live a lie and hence changing is what Im striving for. Posting on here really helps me believe I have the confidence to help my daughter deal with her dads addiction. I cannot protect her from the truth and its just hard to accept. Her upset is painful. It is so true that CG is a family problem. I am however trying to minimise the damage. In answering your question velvet I probably do tense when she mentions her dad. I get anxious that she will be upset. I suppose if I’m more matter of fact and accepting of the situation she will be.

      I have used the counselling service before. It is worth a try but i have contacted other agencies before that i felt were not able to offer me the support that i wanted. This site and your responses in contrast have have helped me so much. I would never have had the courage to take step back from my CG without this site. I would have doubted myself too much. I perhaps didn’t realise how much I have lost of myself. But protecting my daughter as much as possible is my goal. After all I will only have her to answer to in years to come.

      Anyway thank you both for taking the time to write such a personal response. As always I feel better. It is so difficult. I make many mistakes with my daughter ( in general and about my CG!!) . If I keep going I hope I will get there like you both have!

      Many thanks

      M x

    • #3807
      nomore 56
      Osallistuja

      Hi Michelle. I can see your struggle to protect your little girl in your posts. When I met my hb, he was already a cg, I didn’t even know what that was at the time. He told me that he was divorced and had a daughter who was 5. It was obvious, that he loved her very much. He lived in Germany at the time and his daughter on the US west coast. Needless to say that he didn’t see her much. According to him, his wife divorced him because …the reasons were many and changed over time….I believed him. He splurged financially when it came to his daughter even though he didn’t have the money really. A year later we moved to the US and things got ugly. Hie ex wanted their daughter to visit us but only during a certain time, no matter how hard we tried to tell her, that the flight was unaffordable on these specific days. She put her daughter on the phone (not quite 7 at the time) and the little girl asked why we didn’t want to see her. She did not come of course.
      When my hb was forced into medical retirement, we had no money for months until I got my job back. My hb could not pay the child support and when things got better, he just didn’t want to pay. I was the one making him get the money orders each month, adding a sum for what he owed. He received a letter from his daughter in the mail asking him to please pay the support. A little girl in the middle of all this crap. My hb was mad at his ex and she was mad at him. It was a terrible situation and it went on until his daughter was 18. Always about money with the ex and I hated what was going on. His daughter finally broke free of the dad hating past and they started to build a relationship that was shattered again when he relapsed.
      What I had not been told (but suspected) was that the divorce was caused mostly by his gambling. Some really bad facts emerged through the years. Since my hb started his true recovery almost 6 yrs ago, he has a good relationship with his daughter but it took years to come to this.
      Today, I understand some of the behavior his ex showed. Been there myself with my own daughter with the only difference that she was older and my hb had no funds to even support himself.
      I think a therapist might be a good idea but it would have to be one who is knowledgable about cg. Your ex is and will always be your daughters dad, no matter what. If he becomes an absentee father who puts her last, it might scar her for years to come. Nobody can tell you what to do and I just wanted to tell my story as an example how it should not be.
      What really got me was that the ex wife married her long-time bf after she got pregnant at 40, knowing that he was and still is an active alcoholic who relapses badly after long periods of sobriety. So now there are 3 children involved in this addiction mess. Adult or not. I think you have come a very long way in a short amount of time!

    • #3808
      jenny46
      Osallistuja

      Yes, the piece of advice I was given was very good advice and I’m glad you too found it useful. I think as I said to you in my last reply, sometimes it takes a very long time for our efforts to come to fruition and at times, during the process it is easier to wonder if we should not in fact tell a lie to conceal the ugly truth or soften the blow – especially when speaking to the young children that we so want to protect.

      However as they grow up and discover the ”ugly” truth and then have it compounded by the fact that we too lied (all be it for the right reasons) then how can we be trusted either or comment upon the lies of another ?

      My ex convinced my children for years that he didn’t have any issues, telling them lie after lie, many of which involved blaming me. It was tough, very tough as I always seemed to be the offender for years.

      As they get older Michelle, they see it all for themselves and they make their own minds up. My ex frequently pretends to be in meetings etc when we all know he’s getting hammered somewhere, he lies to the kids in the same way as he lies to himself. My answer to them in the past when they have asked why all this is and why does he lie, has not been to slate him but to say something like – alcohol is his priority right now and that is not personal to you although I understand that you may feel that it is . I could have said – oh he must have finished his meeting early !!!

      But what would that have made me? I think its how these things are delivered, done with support and without spite but open and honest.

      Its tough to take but it is the truth and often the best support is being able to say what someone doesn’t want to here but needs to. The addiction to gamble thrives on lies and secrecy, going along with it is a form of enablement in that it allows its owner to continue without consequence.

      Its hard M but as I say children eventually see it themselves but in telling them the truth – they can ask questions and they in turn can learn to deal effectively and protect themselves as they get older.

      They can learn that it is not about them

      Jenny

    • #3809
      michelle45
      Osallistuja

      Hi nomore and jenny. Thanks again for sharing your experiences.

      Nomore your journey has been such a difficult one. Your post made me cry and I can relate so much to your post. My ex has an older daughter who was part of our lives and is not anymore . Again my daughter want to know where her sister has gone. I never got to the bottom of the breakdown of that relationship but his daughter was part if our lives for years. She is now a teenager doing her own thing but the addiction has also caused damage to that relationship.

      Nomore I think what a lovely woman you are! I’m glad you are in a position where both you and your CG are in control of your lives.

      Jenny thank you for sharing your experiences. Its so kind to offer your advice when you have come out the other side. Again you are so kind and show such insight. Even at 4 my daughter wants to know where her dad is. I try and offer a distraction or simple answer to her. I will be mindful of not lying. I have had enough of lying.!!

      It is so hard to do but because I can read others experiences I can see it is imperative!

      Thanks again for taking the time to help.

      Regards
      Mx

    • #3810
      twilight16
      Osallistuja

      Hi Michelle,

      It’s good that you keep returning here for support, it is here where you will gain the tools to break through this addiction in your own time.

      We all want there to be hope, we all want to hold on to the dream/prayer that our cg will stop gambling and be the person they were. It was a dream of mine for many many years and if my father had shown any true desire to face his addiction and seek recovery I would have been there. I would have supported him, there is no question about it.
      I spent most of my life being his number one fan, many times looking the other way when he would tell me little lies and hold on to the idea that I was always going to be there for him, because I loved him.
      But as the years past with his addiction getting stronger. I had to do something, though I believe if I could have postponed it I would. I did not want to take the tough love approach, but I was at the end of my rope just a few inches from being eaten by sharks (life). I had always given him the benefit of the doubt, which cost my immediate family emotional and financial distress . Everyone but I was seeing what was happening, his gambling was getting him in trouble and I had to finally face the music I dreaded to. I finally had to face him and his addiction. I was at a very depressing place in my life. Anxiety taunted me, taking any good thing in its grip to destroy.
      Coming here to the site was a blessing, I learned about the addiction. I couldn’t figure how my father couldn’t just stop gambling. After reading and learning, I learned it was like a drug addiction, it really screwed around a person’s thinking. I got excited thinking I could work around his addiction, developing strategies. The biggest was separating the addiction from the person. I found joy being able to love and spend time with my father. If the addiction would ask for enablement I would say no and not feel bad about it. Knowing that it was the addiction that was trying me, however, my ending is not a happy one.
      My father did not ever admit to having a gambling problem and without that admission, he never seemed treatment. However, in the mist of my recovery I was able to move on with my life, and I truly can say I am the happiest I have been in a long time. I thank God for the support here and for the strength I was able to build by the people here, especially Velvet, Jenny, Loob Loo and Jilly.
      My advice is for you to live your life being the best mom you can be to your little girl. Don’t push a relationship with your ex, it will only bring more heartache. We don’t know the future, he may change, but it really shouldn’t be your concern. If he doesn’t it is his loss and just knowing that he has an older daughter he doesn’t speak to speaks volumes.
      Take care,
      Twilight

    • #3811
      nomore 56
      Osallistuja

      Thank you for your kind words. It took 25 years, 3 inpatient treatments and many relapses to get to this point. My hb also spent a year in prison because of a gambling related crime. I don’t know what his ex told his daughter about his uninvolvement in her life, but am sure it was not very nice. My daughter was 14 when her dad was sentenced and it was hell for the both of us. She did not appreciate being in the dark for so long. Of course she noticed the tension, the fights, the money problems and my desperation but didn’t understand what was going on. I had to tell her that her father was in jail when I picked her up from school the day of the arrest. Today, I would talk to her about it. After all, she learned about substance addiction in school and now they even have cg included in the curriculum. My daughter and I were part of the group that developed the material and that helped her a great deal. As for my step daughter, she now has a little boy and is adamant to protect him from the fall-out caused by my hb’s gambling and her stepdads drinking. It took years for her and her dad to rebuild their relationship. She just watched him for a long time to make sure he rally did change.
      Talking to a 4year old is very hard. But if he doesn’t change, some age-appropriate info and conversations might help to sort her feelings out in the long run. I feel so sorry for your little girl, i cannot begin to tell you. What a blessing that she has a mother like you!!! And btw, our marriage did not survive. We are still married on paper and have managed to become good friend. Took a while and still seems very strange but it works.

    • #3812
      michelle45
      Osallistuja

      Twighlight and nomore thank you for taking the time to share your experiences. Your advice and honesty is invaluable and I really appreciate it.. I can also see how you have come out the other side!I can honestly say its only by using this site that I am finally starting to become ’calmer’ and more at ease with myself. If im being completely honest i haven’t always liked to read and accept the points made by those who I just trying to help but when I take a step back that’s what I’m here for.!! Change is tough I do know that but there really is no alternative I also know that!

      I have set an appointment this week with a charity that supports gamblers and those affected by it amongst other addictions. I have used them before but am aware much more with what I’m struggling with and that’s communication about our daughter. My CG is in an angry phase with me and he has seen our daughter this week but there is always a slight twist on the arrangements. For example instead of picking her up can i drop her to him; my lack of response then led to can I meet him half way and he will bring her back. So thats what happened. My daughter is so excited to see him and her words are straight away ’ I love you and miss you daddy’ . my instinct to these requests is no but I still fear the impact on her and hoping to develop strategies to communicate. I have not called my CG for many weeks and left him to make contact to arrange to see our daughter and also not answered if he wants to speak to her as I don’t want this routine to be established and then he will let her down. It is a brief conversation over drop of that I try and establish an exact time of meeting next time and he is vague. He will let me know but if I have plans then that’s fine. I then repeat she needs consistentency and a time needs to be agreed. Again he will let me know we just go round in circles! I therefore called him although again i didn’t think this was a good idea but i dont know how to establish even the basic communication with him anymore. I said he needs to be consistent with her and have regular contact as this is what she needs. This gets me nowwhere . Lots of distraction statements that make no sense’ it’s not about me apparently for once in my life but our daughter’ and he would rather not speak to me’

      How on earth do I communicate what our daughter needs. A phone call or face to face does not work. I need to try something new. Email? What is the point as communicating with a CG is not like communicating with others. You usually get some relevant feedback not a strop. I can only ever understand my CG behaviour by likening it to that of a child !

      I do not encourage contact. I understand it must come from my CG but he still doesn’t seem to make our daughter priority. I am presently not comfortable with saying no contact as I’m worried about long term impact on our daughter.

      So how on earth do you communicate important messages to a CG??

      Thanks
      M x

    • #3813
      jenny46
      Osallistuja

      It must be very frustrating, I’m not sure why there is a misunderstanding of what is a consistent arrangement unless of course it is a deliberate misunderstanding.

      You’ve tried your best, you can’t make him be reasonable, perhaps e-mail is one worth trying as at least then you will have a record of all of this in the event that you need it in the future.

      Having said that often the written word is more easily wrongly interpreted

      I think there’s a time when you have to accept that you have done all you can, as long as you get on with your life and it doesn’t dictate plans for you and your daughter I fail to see what else you can do which will not leave you dancing to his tune

      Jenny

    • #3814
      michelle45
      Osallistuja

      Thanks very much for your wise words. Sorry it has taken me a while to reply but I did go on my gamble free holiday. It was lovely as my friend joined me with her 2 children for half the holiday and my sister and brother in law for the other half. Even though my daughter was unfortunately ill when we were away she had a lovely time. It is very true that there are many opportunities in life if only you choose to look for them / take them! I took the opportunity to go away without my CG and we had a good time.

      The problem I have had is trying to set up a firm arrangement. My CG has been non committal when I have tried to do this. Taking a step back he is presently making arrangements and sticking to them. I believe he is in a period where is gambling is less intense his behaviour suggests this. He told me he needed to spend more time with our daughter and do more things with her. But as always we shall see how long this lasts.

      I’m still trying to sort out my boundaries. I do really struggle with this although I’m very clear now that I no longer wish to live with a gambling addiction. I’m trying to protect my daughter from the addiction too and at the moment it is obvious her dad really wants to spend time with her and do things with our daughter. This then makes me worry; how long will it last? He will stick to arrangements I believe but more halfheartedly.

      I generally feel much clearer and less stressed. That is good. It is school holiday so I am spending a lot of time with my daughter. She asks a lot of questions of her dad’ why don’t you live at my house daddy’. This no longer upsets me to hear. It is unfortunate but reality and I find it much easier to deal with than I did a few months ago!

      Thanks as always for reading and the great advice.
      M

    • #3815
      velvet
      Valvoja

      Hi M
      A gamble-free holiday sounds like just what the doctor ordered – the more gamble-free times for you and your daughter the more good memories for her to look back on. Too many upsets and failed promises will add up for her. You are giving her what she needs, protection and love. If and when her father sorts his life out his daughter will be healthy and happy and not wrecked by his addiction – that will be down to you.
      In my opinion (and this really is ‘my’ opinion) your partner cannot appreciate the size of the job he has placed upon you and probably never will – you are the steel backbone, the silent carer that your daughter needs to help her grow. The reward comes in seeing her grow into a happy young woman that the addiction failed to hurt. Of course you will feel anger and there will be ups and down, it is only natural but you are doing well.
      The boundaries are hard and blurred by having to protect your daughter – ‘you’ are the ring fence around her. Maybe if you looked at the way you protect her it will help you protect yourself because you are determined that the addiction will not hurt her.
      I hope the school holidays are proving enjoyable – the weather is mixed but thankfully there are a lot of fine days.
      Speak soon
      V

    • #3816
      michelle45
      Osallistuja

      Hi velvet

      Thanks for your reply. I have been feeling unsettled recently although I appear to be doing the’ right things’ in the main. I suppose the frustration I feel will have little place to go as long as my ex is an active CG. I do look after me much more than a few months ago and although my daughter is generally happy I have been struggling to come to terms with the fact that unfortunately my exs addiction will impact on our daughter to some extent because that is the nature of addiction. The very ugly truth. Not what I intended. She has been affected by it although she doesn’t know this yet and it is very difficult to remain calm with this knowledge. I know I will continue to try and protect her as much as possible.

      My ex does make contact to see her although in all of this he is not a ’real dad’ as he cannot have any real responsibility. I do not ask his opinion or lay anything out there that could be manipulated by him. Hence he can only ever have a limited relationship whilst gambling. He is gambling less over the past few weeks I would say from his behaviour acting normally and being reasonable. I have told him his gambling does impact on our daughter as I think he believes it doesn’t. He also still thinks he can control his gambling as he said all he is doing is a bet on the football on a Saturday ( I obviously doubt this. It will spiral again even know if this is the intention for a while). I cannot believe he still says these things and actually believes them.

      There is a correlation between his gambling activity and focus on our daughter. His gambling is less intense so he has more attention on our daughter. He has been turning up when he should for around 5 weeks which is good for him .He now wants to take her away overnight. I know as always just because he says this and intends it it may not happen but I have concerns about him doing this which I have expressed to him. All of this was surprisingly acknowledged by him without childish remarks, although I told him he didn’t take any responsibility for our daughter ( I don’t give him any opportunity too!) Which he didn’t agree with ( oh the blinkers on a cg)!! and this is where I get frustrated with the situation. What is he up to now? It becomes very tiring and I am at a loss of how to deal with the ever changing face of a CG . he is operating within agreements within the main although does try to test and change still. I get annoyed with myself as I prepare myself with every possible scenario I have either experience of or can think of when arrangements are made, try and anticipate any problems that may arise. For example meeting half way with our daughter rather than him bringing her back. I am then prepared next time but literally I can’t think of everything. And will be thrown off guard. The reality is once his gambling is more intense our daughter will get less focus . This is where the reality and ugly of the addiction will impact on our daughter. Can anyone offer advice about this? Am I getting this all wrong?!!

      Now this ould just be a characteristic of my exs personality but I know when he doesn’t gamble he is Mr helpful, reasonable etc and Mr arrogant difficult when he gambles.

      I have been able to express some of my concerns about the impact his gambling has on our daughter . this is because he was receptive. I have answered my own previous question on how to communicate. I can’t unless he will hear it. I can only act.!!

      Any input gratefully received!!

      Thanks as always m

    • #3817
      mermaid
      Osallistuja

      Hi M,
      I just read your post (it can be cool and rainy here in Mexico too and I am stuck indoors dying to get out to the park and sunshine!) and wanted to thank you so much for writing and for all your kind words of support. Thank you!!!!!!!

      I read your post and it just must be so hard to have your daughter to think about in all of this and her affected by your husband, but at the same time I know (as you have said) that she also fills your life with so much that is positive and that helps you get through all of this. Like all of it…always…in life…the trick is to try to focus on the positive! So easily said! 🙂

      What really resonated in reading your post was how you write about your husband changing depending on how much of a hold of him the gambling has. I find this too with my husband and it is so so hard…it confuses and manipulates us, it truly plays with our emotions! One minute you think you have your old husband back, the one you loved and you go all…soft…and the next he is someone you don´t really know at all…and don´t want to, who you don´t like. It all brings up so many confusing emotions. I can imagine it must be even more confusing for the cg…if they care to stop and think about it. This makes it so hard to know how to relate to them, how to react. I was reading something Velvet had written on a post, and although it sounds a bit formulaic, it might also work…to have planned responses written out for certain situations and certain things that the cg says, or ways he acts…because it is so hard to respond clearly in the heat of the moment. I haven´t got any of this worked out yet, but was thinking to perhaps try. If he says such and such…I can respond in this way…and then I know…I know that the emotions of the moment will have less hold on me. I think this could perhaps help. I think it would be trial and error and learning by mistakes…next time I will say such and such…but maybe it would help. We can only learn as we go along 🙂

      It is so hard to think sometimes it is just hard to get through the day, but it sounds like things are getting better for you and you are getting stronger all the time. I don´t think you are making mistakes and definitely don´t beat yourself up in any way…we are all just learning along the way in very challenging situations. I think I might try writing down sometimes how I responded in a situation or to something my husband said and then how I would like to respond in the future..and hopefully make some progress! Do you think that might work for you?

      Take good care there and I hope you and your daughter have a lovely weekend. x

    • #3818
      michelle45
      Osallistuja

      Hi mm

      Good to talk to you in group. I hope you feel better soon. Thanks for offering different perspectives and things to think of at a time when you have such alot to contend with. It is valued and shows your great understanding in such a short time. I did write down things I wanted to say thank you. I did say them but I was only able to as my ex is currently receptive. I may sometimes have a problem with communication but I realise my ex chooses sometimes to hinder rather than help communication. Again the penny has eventually dropped. I do realise I have a tendency not to see the obvious!!

      I have spent a lot of time wondering and thinking about gambling addiction over the years. I feel like I don’t want to do this much anymore. It serves no purpose for me. It keeps me stuck. I want to leave the addiction behind me.

      I am becoming much clearer just because I recognise patterns. Many things I have read now make sense. I did not believe that my ex would be manipulative for his own devises because that for me was so difficult to accept. I wonder how I lived with blinkers for so long. Probably because the pain of acceptance is very hard .

      I wonder about my feelings for my ex now. But this is almost irrelevant to me as the biggest love of my ex is his gambling. He grips on to it dearly. It is more powerful than his love for his daughters. His youngest daughter, my daughter is the priority in my life. He is being responsible and kind and considerate as yet again he kids himself he can control his addiction. I know he loves our daughter I can see it. I also know he doubts he can change and doesn’t really have the present conviction for it. I think he imagines he can control it yet again.

      I am trying not to get sucked into his efforts to be more controlled. He seems normal again. Its hard again to believe this is the person that can be so unreasonable and so caught up in himself he has little consideration for a child.

      I do know that this will not last as long as he does not try to get support. I have told him about this site but I wait for nothing. I confirm plans and decline requests to join him and our daughter. What is the point?

      I feel a little easier. I feel stressed when I feel I make wrong decisions and judgements. The goalposts with a CG can be ever moving if you let them. I feel I have control in other areas of my life. My CG threatens my control of my life if I let him.

      I am trying to say no more!!

      So mm keep going as you are keep questioning what is right for you. Thank you for your kind words. Thank you as always velvet.

      Regards

      M x

    • #3819
      jenny46
      Osallistuja

      One of the worst things for me was the ability of this addiction to make us over think, perfectly natural under the circumstances given the knowledge and pain that we know can arise through being caught up in an episode.

      We start to work as hard as the CG does in plotting and planning their gambling. We try to plan for every eventuality, feeling the need to try and counter or avoid every episode and it’s impact – we work as hard but in a different way. Our life is consumed by the impact of the addiction.

      Possibly most of the scenarios you envisage may not happen but in all this brain activity you can become totally burnt out and exhausted – the situation will not change because you have worn yourself out over thinking it.

      The only persons actions that you can change are yours and no amount of thinking about his possible will change them – what will be will be.

      It is only when we look at how we are dealing with something and see what we can change about ourselves that change is possible – it starts from within.

      You cannot make his choices but you can control your own and your own thoughts, how much time you spend worrying about what he may do next is down to you, how much time you spend doing something nice and more constructive is down to you etc

      Don’t worry about how you communicate or what he makes out of it you can’t be responsible for the way it is interpreted or the subsequent choices he makes, there’s no point worrying yourself to bits over whether you have got it right or not – so what if you haven’t ! you are a human being, we make mistakes

      For what it’s worth M you are being way too hard on yourself, give yourself a break now and again,

      Jenny

    • #3820
      mermaid
      Osallistuja

      Hi M,
      It was good to meet you there again in the group too. And your message was just so lovely. It was just so nice to read. I know we are both in quite different situations, but at the same time there are always things that are similar with having a cg in your life. I can relate to much of what you say and your experience so far helps me too. I think it is true that it helps so much to be gentler on ourselves and firmer with the cg! So often we tend to be the opposite! And it can really truly take time…time to figure out how we personally can and want to deal with it all…and it is a big learning curve because it is the other person who has the addiction and it is often just forced into our lives and then…it is natural to want to ”fix it”, I think. I think we need to give ourselves a break for that. Even professionals who don´t have personal involvement and who have been working with addicts, and cgs, for years, struggle to really understand what is best to do. But the self-care thing is a constant!

      I am still in that stage of thinking a lot and just wanting to find out as much as I can about addiction and compulsive gambling. I realise there is a time when it just feels too much and one needs to step back, and I now try to take more breaks from it, but that is just where I am at right now. Not wanting to fix it all for my husband, but wanting more knowledge, to learn from the experiences of others. Just to… learn…And also for every aspect of my life I want to learn how to be a better communicator and work out my boundaries. This would also be something I would want to improve with my husband without his gambling. But I completely understand what Jenny is saying. You have 8 years of it…it is definitely time to branch out and be the true you, to make your life how you truly want it to be. He will always be the father of your daughter, and be in your life because of her, but you have more power over your life, and hers, than you ever imagined and there are so many opportunities out there!

      I think that if we can both see that, on average, each week is better than the one that went before, that is real progress! 🙂 In the end, the ”winning” in this is coming out of it all being stronger, more content people, more true to who we want to be…easy to say in words…but, we can do it! Jenny is an example of that! 🙂

      I hope the rest of your week is good there and that you do plenty of things that are good for you. 🙂

    • #3821
      velvet
      Valvoja

      Hi Michelle
      My CG told me that when he hindered conversation it was to give his him time to get his addictive brain into gear so when the penny dropped with you, you got it right.
      I fully appreciate that you want to stop thinking about gambling and addiction but the only way I know how to do it is to live a full life so that such thoughts are crowded out and then in time it becomes a way of life – fake it until you make it, because you will make it.
      The ‘normal’ acting active CG is indeed hard to fathom but for me it is a question of whether or not your ex is doing something constructive about his gambling. Actions are necessary, words will never be enough. Don’t beat yourself up if you think you have made a wrong judgement – as long as you remember that ‘you’ are not the one that is controlled you won’t go wrong. Any Brownie points his addiction thinks it has scored will be nothing compared to the knowledge you have gained – trust yourself, you are doing brilliantly.
      I think maybe soon you will not feel like posting anymore and that is fine if that is the way forward for you. I have ‘met’ hundreds of people who have passed through this forum and then gone on their way leaving the addiction here where it can’t hurt them anymore.
      I am going on holiday this weekend for a fortnight so I will not be posting but I will still do my groups so if you want to pop in – I would love to ‘see’ you.
      Wishing you well
      Velvet

    • #3822
      michelle45
      Osallistuja

      I hadn’t realised it had been so many weeks since I posted probably because I had been using the support group. Thanks jenny m and v for your input and great advice.

      My ex is behaving well but still gambling. He has talked about the impact gambling has had on his life and trying to restrict his gambling but he is not committed to change fully. He is behaving so much better with our daughter but I know the reality of our break up has finally hit him and he is trying to hold on. He has acknowledged the change in me and how this has made him look at himself. This did surprise me but I’m very realistic. He needs to want to change his life enough to actually do it.

      He has kept up his good behaviour for a while now so I have been including him more in the affairs of our daughter. He has been reliable with arrangements. I think I am starting to feel uneasy as I’m expecting some sort of drama when he is due to look after her hence I have back up plans!! His cash from his extra job grass cutting will dry up due to the change in seasons and hence he will have less money. I think this is why I’m expecting him to let our daughter down. He will not access to the extra money grass cutting provides. He also fills a lot of his time with work. He will have more spare time with one job. All ingredients for a big gambling blow out and the resulting devastation. However this will not be my devastation this time.

      My head is becoming less full of gambling. .Jenny you are so right. I have spent so much time plotting for every eventuality that I have worn myself out in the past. Not anymore. I think I will be OK.

      My daughter adores her dad but she is only 4. She talks about her dad and this makes me sad sometimes. But I can see the reality. He is lost in addiction. I need to be strong enough not to be.

      Things are so much better than a few months ago. All I can simply say is ’thank you’
      M x

    • #3823
      jenny46
      Osallistuja

      Loved your update and look how far you’ve come ! suddenly all that hard work and stress begins to pay off. It’s fantastic to read that you ”think ” you’ll be ok and I am waiting for the sequel when you say you ”know” you’ll be ok and I don’t think i’ll be waiting for long some how.

      I’m glad some space may be finally appearing in your mind as you are not consumed with thoughts of gambling, I guess that comes with acceptance that we cannot change what someone else does and worrying and second guessing changes absolutely nothing.

      And more to the point there will now be more room for nice thoughts about nice things to happen and I look forward to hearing all about it.

      Well done M

      Jenny x

    • #3824
      mermaid
      Osallistuja

      Thank you, M for posting on my thread. Your great kindness comes across in your words. It truly sounds like you are moving forward and progressing well in the School of Self-care! Yay! 🙂 Although there might be times when it feels a little harder, you seem to be living more in the present and looking forward to the future than dwelling on the past. Your mind is freer to focus on how you want your life to be, and on your daughter. It must be very hard sometimes to watch her with your ex, a little bittersweet perhaps, but at the same time, it sounds good that he is being more responsible with her. I totally understand that you have your guards up, of course…and wonder when his next slip will be, when his behaviour will deteriorate for again, but at least you are stronger and more protected so it will all not affect you as much in the past and you will keep learning and getting stronger. He has noticed the change in you too, and that seems a good thing. I´m encouraged by reading your posts and being in the group with you…it makes me see how positive steps can be taken. It doesn´t matter if it takes a while to learn and to embrace them, they happen and they bring results. 🙂 I am not gone yet, but I will be thinking of you often in Cuba and waiting to be able to get an update when I next take a break.
      xx

    • #3825
      michelle45
      Osallistuja

      Just wanted to update

      My exs behaviour has improved in recent months. Been far more reliable.I didnt realise he had noticed that my behaviour had changed but commented a few weeks ago that a change in my behaviour had made him look at himself.

      I suspected last weekend he might gamble heavily as it was payday and his supply of cash from grass cutting would be drying up as winter approaches. He did although kept to arrangements to see our daughter. I know he gambled because he said he didn’t have maintenance money and looked awful.

      I failed to respond ( had a throat infection and could barely speak) have also noticed the less I say or do the more he says and does!

      I then get a text out of the blue really that says ( in summary) he realises he needs to change and has made the decision to stop gambling. He is very sorry for all the hurt and upset.!!

      I know he has been thinking about change and talking about it and his behaviour has been much better . he is seeing his older daughter and our daughter has seen her sister. Signs have been there.

      he saw our daughter as planned last night and was keen to talk about how he can’t control his gambling and must stop. He doesnt even like gambling (!) But its like his brain switches when he starts and he cant stop. He doesn’t appear to want anything from me ( I offer nothing) but is keen to make changes . his mother will help with finances ( this is futile she gave him money to give to me for maintenance!!) He realises he needs to Fill his time more wisely. He understand s its actions. I made little comment other than you need support. He acknowledges this and think quite open to suggestions. He realises its small steps.Whether he follows them through im not sure.My instinct believes his need to change at the moment he seems to have had enough.He has been this resolute twice before in about 7 years. Both times stopping but returning after about 10 months the first time and 2 the second.

      A little bit of a strange situation. No change for me really. Talk about being there for our daughter and building a life .But I would like to be encouraging without getting dragged in. I’m not sure how to communicate. Without support he won’t succeed if he’s serious. He had support before. He self excluded before. He does all the things you are supposed to do when u want to stop but they all seem futile if the desire to gamble is still there . It seems to have left briefly for the first time in about 2 and half years. He seems to have had enough presently but it doesn’t ’ look’ like a rock bottom. He has a place to live. A job . although gambled heavily his mom helped. These don’t indicate a person who would do anything to change.. It’s more than a low though. I’m not sure what it is!!!

      I wonder how I can best respond?

      Thanks m x

    • #3826
      velvet
      Valvoja

      Hi M
      Well he is certainly making more hopeful noises.
      I have just returned home and read your post but I would like to think about my reply because you are right that good encouragement is important. It is too late for me to try and put something so important together so I will reply tomorrow.
      In the meantime keep looking after you and don’t raise your hopes too much – his words are good but the actions must follow or the words are meaningless.
      V

    • #3827
      velvet
      Valvoja

      Hi M
      Sometimes it is impossible not to hold your breath at times like this but whatever else you do I want you to keep breathing and doing exactly what you have been doing so far.
      In view of the text, if it was me, I would ask him if he wants to talk. He may be already regretting his words, after all he is talking about facing his demons and CGs like to put it off it they can, If he is regretting then say no more, there is no point in pushing – just carry on as usual. If he says that he wants to talk then suggest a mutual time at a place where you both feel safe. It is important that he talks – there is no point talking at him, maybe you could hang on to the sore throat a bit longer.
      We do have the most amazing rehab which you have heard about but which he might not feel he is ready for if you go into the fray with it too quickly. I think it would be good for you to have a look at the Gordon Moody Association website before you speak to your CG. It is a fantastic charity and it has changed so many lives, including mine. Our Helpline would also be pleased to help you in any way with this. I only mentioned it once during a fraught call with my CG and he grabbed it like a drowning man, which indeed he was. Unlike my CG, yours is telling you he wants to change so I think that having information to hand is the best thing to do.
      I appreciate your words when you say there is no change for you and that is the way I believe it needs to be for you, however, I know that this man is important you to as the father of your daughter and for that very good reason I think offering a place where he can get help is the finest way to help him. It may be best if you can discuss the finances of the residential support with our Helpline or with Gordon Moody before you approach your CG as he may well throw up that he can’t stop working etc. I hope you will find that there is hope for him.
      I am not going to mention other supports such as GA, exclusion, counsellors at this point because your CG has gone down those roads before but also because I firmly believe that Gordon Moody is the finest answer for any CG who has finally had enough – and from the little your CG has said, this is possibly the case.
      I look forward to hearing how you get on but can’t stress enough that nothing changes unless he acts positively – words are not enough, so keep looking after you first.
      V

    • #3828
      michelle45
      Osallistuja

      Hi velvet

      Thanks for your advice as always. I have been mulling over his words and actions since the weekend ( which are both still positive at this point) and was just unsure how to proceed. It helps to post and get it out my head so I can deal with it.

      I had never even considering suggesting GMA how strange. I don’t know why! The only reason the other support tools out there haven’t worked for my ex is because he has chosen not to use them effectively. He chose to attend a few counselling sessions. But i think it was mainly for my benefit.Just as I myself am seeking counseling and feel very happy with it now in the past I went and didn’t know what I wanted. Henc i felt dissatisfied. The only thing I’m clarifying in my own mind ist here is a difference between something not working for us because its not right and something not working because we don’t really give it chance to.

      I think my ex wants a different life at present. He is fed up with the problems CG brings. I will look into GMA I know how important it was to you and your CG and what a fantastic place it must be.

      I do have my doubts as to whether my ex will consider this an option. But my instinct is also telling me he has to find his own way. I can offer support from inside my safety net. Thank you for your advice. I felt a little unsure. I’m now feeling more confident. I’m making my changes. He needs to continue with his.

      Your wisdom is very well received. Thanks

      M x

    • #3829
      michelle45
      Osallistuja

      Hi
      I logged out of group by mistake and couldn’t get back in. Thanks v as always. I needed to remind myself about enabling. My ex does need to accept that he needs support if he truly wants to stop. He had a gamble free period but is gambling again. I just need to process this and set my thoughtsand actions appropriately! I have spent time reading my old posts and think it will help me to express my thoughts here! Time to remain strong!!

      Regards mx

    • #3830
      velvet
      Valvoja

      Hi M
      Your use of the word ‘need’ was spot on in your post. ‘If’ he truly wants to stop he will ‘need’ treatment. He has, in my opinion, proved that his way doesn’t work but many CG believe that abstinence is recovery and have to find out the hard was that it is not enough. A slip does not have to be viewed negatively though; it can be an incentive to try harder and more importantly to try something different. He said he could do it on his own but he has not succeeded thus giving you a great opening to encourage him to seek the right support.
      It is great that he has had a gamble-free time, a time for him to remember that he was lighter in his heart, that his relationship with you was healthier – and more importantly for you I know, that his relationship with his daughter bloomed. He can have this time every day but I feel he requires direction. I believe you could do with more support from within his home and I look forward to an update on that but I do know how hard that will be.
      I believe that maybe this has been good for you, he was being very convincing and it is easy to slip back and forget – that is the sheer devilment of this addiction and no reflection on you.
      I’m sorry you couldn’t get back in – I believe the group is locked in the final 5, 10 or so minutes. Speak soon.
      V

    • #3831
      michelle45
      Osallistuja

      Thanks for your response v it has made me feel better. I must admit I had the old familiar feeling of shame creeping in as I was starting to believe my ex was making good progress only to go back to gambling. The point is only he can control his progress ; but my focus needs to be on my life.

      Your response has helped me see again how strong and dangerous the addiction is. How if I let it it will suck me back in!! I will take on my exs struggle instead of my own.

      Writing down my feelings really does help. Talking to you does help. My feelings are what they are but I am living a better life and showing my daughter a better life with the addiction outside my door and not in it!!

      I need to remember this!
      Speak soon.

      Regards m

    • #3832
      michelle45
      Osallistuja

      Hi I read Velvet’s plea and thought I’d update. I joined the site over 2 years ago and it completely changed my life. My ex is still gambling although had a significant periodic abstinence. We have a daughter who is 6 now. She’s well. But she’s only doing well because she gave me the impetus to stand up to addiction.. Velvet and many others gave me the strength and self belief back. I use the support group although haven’t posted.

      I think I constantly need to remind myself not to underestimate the addiction ..then remind myself I’m rationale and stronger.. I read posts and reread my own post when I have self doubt..but above all I understand!.

      Keep posting!

      M

    • #3833
      Kathmandu118
      Osallistuja

      Hi Michelle,

      I am a new member of this forum and I joined because I’m beginning to experience the harmful effects of gambling in my life. I haven’t had too many issues to be honest, but I realise I am compulsive and in the past few weeks have lost approximately $1500, which is a lot for me and well outside my normal behaviour. I can only imagine the effects of this if I had a family or dependents. I’m single so for me it’s a matter of recognising that there’s an issue and dealing with it decisively.

      Anyway, I just wanted to say that I think you might need to get a mediator or someone who can help to ensure that you get the best outcome for your daughter no matter what happens as far as his gambling is concerned. He sounds quite far gone with the addiction.

      It’s such a dangerous addiction because unlike substance abuse, you can go and go and go and you don’t pass out or get to the point where you are refused entry. It’s easy to overlook how much damage your gambling is doing and most people don’t keep a record of how much they’ve lost, so they are often unaware of just how bad their addiction has become. I felt great walking into a casino the other day, but so angry and frustrated by the time I walked out. It’s a vicious and crippling addiction in the long run.

      Anyway, I think I’d get as much professional advice as possible if I were you. You sound like a wonderful person and I think you need to keep your strength up for your daughter’s sake. All the best.

    • #3834
      michelle45
      Osallistuja

      Just wanted to say thanks very much for taking the time to posting my thread. I’m glad you have found this site and I hope you are getting the support you need. You have acknowledged your problem and I hope you gain some peace of mind. I wish you well too.

      For myself I continue to manage the situation with my daughter as best I can. My ex is in regular contact and seems to be continuing his pattern of gambling and then abstinence.. but doesn’t seem to grasp recovery. My goal is to protect my daughter from the addiction as far as possible whilst allowing her to have a relationship with her dad. I suppose this will become more difficult as she gets older and asks more questions. But who knows what the future holds and just for today I have knowledge of the addiction and won’t let it beat me

      Thanks again

      M

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