Dear Shelly
In my opinion everyone who loves a CG will have times when they try to push this horrible addiction to the back of their minds in the hope it will go away, only to have it brutally shoved back to the forefront again as the addiction reasserts itself.
It never left your mind completely though and until your husband has accepted his problem and sought support it will always be in his mind too and not at the back.
I think your handling of your husband’s addiction was terrific even though I know you are feeling defeated. You told him that it was his choice and you recognised that you could not control his addiction. That is not defeat, that is acceptance and without acceptance it is hard to move on.
I would never tell anybody to go or to stay – I know your husband can change or I wouldn’t be writing to you but there are no magic words to give you to make your world feel right instantly.
I know my words seem rather pathetic when you are faced with the enormity of an active addiction but looking after yourself is the best way for you to cope – both with yourself and with him. I don’t know of any CG who thanked those who love them for trying to make them stop gambling but I have heard many who say thank you for not becoming victims. Taking yourself out of the cycle isn’t easy but just as I know your husband can change I know that you can live at the centre of your life and not on the periphery of his.
I’m going to close but my thoughts are with you. I will finish with the Serenity Prayer that F&F always say at the end of Gamanon meetings and also my favourite alternative. When you read them I want you to know that, just as in Gamanon your hand is being held around the world, in cyber space, by those who really understand including many of us who no longer live in the shadow of the addiction.
The Serenity Prayer
God grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change
Courage to change the things I can
And Wisdom to know the difference.
And the alternative
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.
Speak soon Shelly