I can’t tell you how good it was to read your post.
As you so rightly stated you ‘stood up for yourself’ and you ‘stood on your own two feet’. Nobody did it, or is doing it, for you Jilly – you retook control of your life and laid the foundation on which to build your future. The door was ajar and you kicked it open – well done.
As a woman in her 50s you have a lot of life ahead of you and with good friends and a loving family you will flourish.
However, flourishing does take patience – your recovery will be a long one and sometimes it will seem very tough. You have trodden one of the most difficult paths so please continue taking support whenever and wherever you can. Your children will struggle and with that will come emotional demands on you. I cannot tell you what to do but I believe that protecting something that was wrong is not fair on them or you; I also know that the cover-ups of another’s past actions can come back and hit you and I know how painful this is. It is so hard that while you are taking your first breaths of recovery they are too and not everything drops into its correct place easily. Keep talking Jilly – you know where I am.
I appreciate the bluntness of Twilight’s post and believe the danger in her words is more real for you than for many. I would be doing you a disserve if I said that I was not concerned that you were maintaining a reasonable amicable relationship with your husband because reason has never been part of his make-up, either with his gambling addiction or other areas of his life. If ever you are feeling doubtful Jilly, re-read your posts and keep your health and sanity at the forefront of your life.
Monique is right – forget what might have been – this has been your experience, unique to you and is therefore the experience on which you will build your future – nobody can judge you and if they try then the fault will lie with them. My CG, in control of his addiction, has been able to tell me that because I tried to do everything right I did everything wrong and he was ‘not’ criticising me – it was a fact. Just like me Jilly you tried so hard to do everything right and it was manna to the addiction but how could you possibly have known? You have been a good wife when a bad one would have coped better – I know which I prefer.
You wrote that you would help anybody if you could and I can assure you that you have done that by writing this post. You said that you thought you would say to a partner of someone with an addiction that they should run – I don’t think that is a popular or unpopular thing to say here. The outcomes from this addiction do vary as the posts of many F&F members reflect. Your post reflects your experience and is (and will remain) an important part of the tapestry of this site.
I do appreciate your thanks but – and it is a massive but – you changed your life Jilly. My input was that I knew you could when you doubted it, so mine was the easier part.