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Dear Ell
“Carried away by our worries, we’re unable to live fully and happily in the present. Deep down we believe we can’t really be happy yet – that we still have a few more boxes to check off before we can really enjoy life”.

You have indeed been a fine teacher and you have taught your husband so much – but how do you let go and enjoy ‘your’ recovery. You have gained so much knowledge of the addiction to gamble and with this has come greater understanding; with greater understanding will come recovery. These are steps to your recovery Ell – they are not the end product.

You have been the most patient member, you have listened to everything that has been said to you and then you have taken than knowledge and you have given it to your husband in a way that he could understand. I think you have given him so much of yourself that you are feeling a little empty. The time has come for you to give yourself the care and attention that you deserve

We talk about CG ‘recovery, but a CG does not recover – they will always be CGs. They have to confront their addiction every day and control it for the rest of their lives. It is your husband’s acceptance of his addiction and his determination never to return to the dark abyss where gambling took him, that can give ‘you’ the ability to let go and live in the present. I know that he doesn’t ‘need’ you to make his gamble-free life possible but I am sure that because you are there it is easier. That is his life though. Your recovery is different and I think that when a couple go on together, having had this addiction in their lives, the one who loves the CG will take longer to ‘recover’ but unlike the CG they can do so.

It is no secret Ell that my CG is my son and as such the physical expression of sexual love plays no part in our relationship. I have taken longer, therefore, to reply to you because of this.

Sensuality between a couple can all too easily be snuffed out by daily routine. You have taken time out before from your busy life and re-found your feelings for each other. Have a meal together where you look into each other’s eyes as opposed to working and chatting side by side, dance together and lose yourselves in music. Learn to trust your own emotions.

Sensual exchanges charged with the history of the addiction to gamble are more difficult and here I know I am without knowledge. What I do know is that joy doesn’t simply happen to us Ell. We have to choose joy and keep choosing it every day.

I cannot give you a time or a date when I could have said ‘today I have recovered’, but I am truly recovered. In my opinion, the first year following any unhappy disturbance in our lives is the most difficult. There were days and nights when I cried even though recovery had started. If I gave in to memory I would cry again but I choose joy and I choose it every day.

Put all guilt behind you, there is nothing to feel guilty about. You know you love your husband and you know he loves you. You have a wonderful opportunity soon to reaffirm your love for each other when you reach you second anniversary.

Dear Ell, I am not sure I am doing your concerns justice but I feel I must send this post because I said I would write to you this weekend and the weekend is drawing to a close.

The next page of your story is, as yet, unwritten, it is a blank page and each moment will be completely new. I cannot tell you what to do but I will keep walking with you as you turn your page. Your husband is enjoying his freedom and he trusts you which is great – now you have to learn to trust yourself.

Please talk to me soon