Since you have been so kind to me and replied to my thread and made me feel so welcome, I found your thread and read the whole thing. When I say I understand, I mean I really feel your pain and I am the child of a compulsive gambler. I remember my mom telling my sisters and I “never marry a man that tells you he once lost his stereo or his car in a card game”. My mom has never and will never be a gambler. My dad is a gambler of the worst kind. I remember my youth and the arguing between them. Every Friday (payday) when my dad didn’t come home, my mom would put his plate in the fridge. We would eat without him and she would load us up in her car. We would go to every bar she knew he frequented and look for his truck. When she finally found him, which she usually did, she would leave us in the car and go in to beg him to please leave before he spent his entire check. Often he wouldn’t leave, but would give her a few dollars so she could get some groceries.
She kept a calendar just for him. She would write down what time he came home. Sometimes he dissapeared for days. There were no casino’s and no legalized gambling in PA back then so he would have to find some underground gambling clubs or travel. My mom cried alot. We worried alot.
She kicked him out and let him back time and time again. She went to GA and Joined Gamanon. She took him to the priest. She went to counseling with him.
Guess what? He never did stop. Never. He can’t and he is done trying. My mom loves him terribly. They are still together.
She separated the finances. She refused to give him money whe he spent all of his. She went to school and got herself a good job and us kids never wanted for anything. She has been an angel.
My dad is at the casino right now. They are both retired. She still argues with him, but she has come to some sort of acceptance. He is old and set in his ways. He loves her and she has done what she needs to to protect her finances. They spend time together in healthy ways, but he still gambles. When he is winning he is good to all of us. When he is losing he is mean and miserable.
Then there is me. I swore up and down I would never gamble because of the pain it caused our family.
I love my Dad. I admire my dad but I am breaking the cycle. My sister has struggled with gambling and my other sister with addiction. I really believe there is a strong genetic component to these addictions. I should have known better.
I hope you are able to work through these things. Sometimes love is not enough. Sometimes it is.