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Hi Justme
I think that the first thing you need to hear and believe is that he is going to GA and not just saying that he will start. Words and promises are too easy.
I am not surprised you checked his phone – sadly the addiction to gamble makes detectives of many F&F who would never have dreamt of looking to check up on a loved one. He is wrong to assume that others would not put up with it and I am sure if he pushed his thinking past other GA members he would find others who do understand why their loved ones feel the need to check.
A slip is not always a negative thing, it can be the shot in the backside that makes a gambler stronger in his recovery. Your husband appears to have slipped at the beginning of this year but he did not return to his support group and subsequently relapsed along with heavier drinking and drug taking. You are not to blame for this relapse, your husband is the only person responsible for this downturn. Does his circle of associates include gamblers and drinkers? Is he easily led? Are his friends aware that he has a problem?
Trust takes time to rebuild and, in my opinion, cannot be rushed. I believe it is dependent on the behaviour of the addict and yes on the reaction of the loved one too.
I think it is good to let him know that you don’t want to check on him but to ask him how he expects you to learn to trust him if you don’t. Let him know that you want to stand shoulder to shoulder with him in his desire to be gamble free but that you need help too. Maybe he could ask the other members of his GA group how they respond to their loved ones who are struggling with trust. Trust is two-ways – he wants to trust that you will not check on him and you want to trust him that he will he honest,
Keep posting JM – I can hear your dilemma and I hope to hear that your husband has started on his recovery so that trust can become even a possibility again.
It would be great to ‘meet’ you in a group where we could communicate in real time. There is a group this evening, Thursday between 10pm and 11pm and another on Tuesday at the same time. Nothing said in the group appears on the forum, it is safe and you will be welcome.