Well done with the way you handled you husbands’ belief that you were punishing him.
Cash is enabling if it is used for a gamble but your husband has to eat. It is a very fine line between knowing what to allow him and what not to allow him. We did deal with enablement in our Friends and Family Topic Forum which unfortunately did not travel well from our old site and has (hopefully temporarily) lost its brilliant posts – it is as bit like a reference library with no books at the moment. There is a lot of effort being done to bring those old posts back but sadly I can’t direct you to the Enablement Topic with all its replies. Maybe you could look at the topic on enablement and perhaps focus on what your answers would be. It makes it easier for me to see where you are struggling.
When your husband questions your trust, I think, it would be in order to ask him if he believes that he can trust himself because a CG accepting he has an addiction knows he/she cannot trust themselves and therefore cannot expect others to trust them. It is the desire of the non-CG to trust that has causes them so much heartache – it better not to trust and so not to feel let down again.
Have you told your husband that you are seeking support?
In our Resources there is the link for http://www.gamblersanonymous.org/ga/content/20-questions. I think it is good to print them off, tick the ones you would answer ‘yes’ to and leave them for your husband to see. I suggest leaving them for him to see rather than handing them over and saying ‘read this’ as the addiction would be more than ready to wage an argument with you over it. Just as you did not know that there would be people who understood the experience you have lived through, many CGs are unaware that their addiction is recognised and understood by others.
I am not of the opinion that a CG father knows deep down that his wife and mother of his children is vital to the protection of his family. Only in a true recovery is the CG able to begin to feel such empathy. The addiction to gamble will take you down with it if it can regardless of anything. In recovery the guilt over the lack of all consideration for anybody else in the past can be overwhelming and that is another reason why the CG needs to get the right support.
Does your husband acknowledge he has an addiction that requires support? Would he consider coming on this site and joining the CG groups and/or forum, would he approach our helpline? Our CGs on this site are trying to control their addiction or they are controlling their addiction – what comes over strongly is the positive care they have for each other and the desire for everybody to succeed. I have seen so many change their lives and the joy is felt throughout the site when it happens – even by those still struggling.
I am afraid that a CG will accept living in an angry home and will not be ready to give peace when allowed only the money that can be afforded to throw away on a gamble. The addiction to gamble has nothing to do with money and this is one of the hardest things for the non-CG to take on board. It is the ‘gamble’ that matters and as long as the gamble is being indulged the addiction will gain ground. The non-CG gives a meaning to money that a CG lacks. To a CG money is no more than a tool – a means to an end and because of the nature of the addiction the end will always be failure.
I have brought up my thread ‘The F&F Cycle’ which I hope will help you realise the pattern that evolves for the CG and for us.
Keep talking, keep sharing, you are doing great. You are already better equipped to cope and there is so much more that will help you.