Hi ailujym
I am glad you found your way to the forums. Unfortunately you did pop up in the F&F ‘Topic Forum’ which got somewhat depleted when we moved site not long ago and which isn’t up and running properly again – yet. Harry has moved you and hopefully you will be reading this.
It is one of the problems F&F have, I think, that we see the addiction in terms of money, which kind of makes more sense to the non-CG (compulsive gambler), because trying to understand that ‘the gamble’ itself is the problem doesn’t equate with reason and logic.
When you stop and look, it is always the behaviour that has hurt you most – the lies, the deceit, the needless arguments and the misery. The loss of money was a problem but it was nothing compared to the loss of your self-esteem, the inability for you to trust and the overall feeling that you were to blame for the madness that engulfed you.
I cannot tell you what to do because it is important that you make your own informed decisions and I hope that this site will support you with those.
I am concerned when I read that you are worried that your own recovery could be at risk if you move away from your friends and the ground support you now have. The addiction to gamble is divisive and secretive, it isolates those it hopes will enable it and that is a real risk which I would hope you will weigh up very carefully.
In AA I think you will have come across the ‘20 questions’, I would suggest you print off the Gamblers Anonymous set of 20 questions and ask you partner to look at them. It is possible that your partner is unaware of the support that is available for him; he certainly seems unaware that the defences he puts up for his addiction, are well-worn and baseless arguments that hold no sway with CGs who live gamble-free.
Your partner is almost certainly suffering low self-esteem and lack of confidence because his addiction guarantees failure and living with failure is destructive to his mind, hence the massive mood swings. He does love to gamble but his love is a toxic mistress who does not love him and who will bring him down if he doesn’t seek support.
Active CGs think about the gamble 24 hours a day and those who love them often find themselves spending an equal amount of time worrying about the affects of gambling, thus the addiction claims two victims for the price of one. As the worry increases, so the stress levels rocket and those who are closest to the CG lose their way. In that perilous state F&F become unable to help anybody.
Please put yourself first. I believe you when you say that your partner is a lovely guy but sadly he is a lovely guy with an addiction to gamble. I like many CGs but liking and loving them, does not and will not save them. Looking after you will ultimately be the greatest help you can give your CG partner.
If it was me I would tell my partner that I had sought help because I was worried. Maybe you could leave the directions to GA, gambling addiction websites and dedicated addiction counsellors lying around, giving information on where help is to be found, it might help him focus on the reality of his ‘pleasure’.
I have no idea why on a certain day and at a certain time my CG had, had enough. We had been estranged for some time when during a strained telephone conversation I mentioned the name of a rehab centre. It was no more than a sign-post for him which I hoped would say I was still on his side – but I could not and would not live with his addiction. Only he knows but maybe, just maybe it was the trigger for him to determine to live gamble-free.
I wouldn’t be writing to you ailujym if I didn’t know that the addiction to gamble can be controlled and wonderful lives lived as a result. It takes determination and courage but it can be done and is done.
Please keep posting and never forget how important ‘you’ are. You are not to blame for his addiction.
Speak soon