I am so pleased that you have had the courage to post in this forum.
I wouldn’t be on this site if I didn’t know that the addiction to gamble can be controlled and fantastic lives lived as a result. It takes enormous courage and dedication to control the addiction which, sadly, you have no control over, however, the right support can make a tremendous difference to the CG who wants to change his/her life.
Please put all guilty feelings firmly behind you – you divorced a man who was unreliable, who was lying to you, who was not accepting his addiction and who had the potential to bring you down lower than you can imagine. As the addiction is progressive, unless treated, you were right to fear that he would cross the line. You made an informed decision that must have been very difficult for you, a decision that many, many ‘good’ wives have taken.
It is impossible to know when a true recovery starts and as it is very early days for your ex-husband; your confusion is totally understandable. I think it is ok to be cautiously optimistic but it is equally important not to give way to false hope. Your words ‘his conversation and accountability is different than it’s ever been. Not just a bunch of excuses and rationalizations’ are indeed hopeful but as it will have taken him a long time to become overwhelmed by his addiction, it stands to reason that it will take him a long time to climb out of the abyss in which he has found himself.
I cannot tell you what to do because all decisions must be yours but I hope to give you enough knowledge so that you can make the right decisions for yourself when ‘you’ are ready. It is so important that you look after yourself at this time, whether your ex-husband is truly attempting a recovery or not – do things that please you, pick up with old friends that maybe got put to one side as a result of living with the addiction, revive interests and hobbies, built up your strength and self-esteem which will have taken a battering – realize how important ‘you’ are – it is the best thing you can do for both of you. Living with the addiction will have consumed your thoughts for 24 hours every day so allow your mind time to enjoy the peace that comes from not living in the addiction’s shadow. Build your self-confidence so that when you come to make big decisions about your future you are sure of yourself and what you really want.
If your ex-husband is truly embracing recovery he will value the fact that you are caring for yourself because he will not have the energy to care for you. Controlling the addiction will take selfishness while he fights his demons because only he can save himself
It would be good to ‘meet’ you in the F&F only group on Tuesdays 20.00 -21.00 UK time but whatever happens please keep posting. Well done on your first post.