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Hi Michelle
As Harry wrote above we have Friends and Family group times. If you click on ‘Support Groups’ at the top of this page, you will see that I have a group running this evening between 20.00 and 21.00 hours UK time (I think it is 8 – 9pm for you). At 8pm if you run your mouse over the Friends and Family box in the purple schedule you will see the word ‘join’ light up. Click on it and we can communicate in real time. Nothing said in the group appears on the forum – you will be very welcome.
You got your experiences across very well. It is hard to get it out when there is so much that has happened and so much that makes no sense in your life. I think we get used to talking to those who could never understand and we can’t believe that there is someone out there who can.
There is a lot in your first post and I think for me to try and answer everything would confuse – I do tend to talk too much! When I first sought support, it took me months to even believe there was such an addiction so I know how hard it is to get your head round it. I have brought up my thread ‘The F&F Cycle’ for you to read which I hope helps you see the nature of the beast and the way that those involved go round and round until all senses are blurred.
The first bit of news I have for you is that you are not losing your mind – you love someone with an addiction that destroys relationships leaving those within in lacking in self-esteem and confidence and I include the CG in that. You can recover.
When your ex-partner first gambled he would have thought he was the same as everybody else, it was a fun thing to do. He would have had no idea that for him ‘addiction’ was waiting and by the time he could have been aware, it would probably have been too late. He would have lied to cover his initial losses and his feeling of being out of control because the addiction he owns uses lies as a tool. Those who heard the lies would have been confused, but we have all allowed ‘silly’ lies to go at times and after all who could know what was really going on in his mind? More losses would follow, more and more exaggerated lies used until the CG’s memory is full of lies – as you said your ex-partner seems to believe his lies – that is because he can’t remember ‘truth’ because at some point his lies became his truth.
I will leave this there but there is much to tell you and much that will help you cope. Your ex-partner has been to GA but I am wondering if he has he ever accepted he is a compulsive gambler. Many do pay lip-service. When he went to GA, did he talk about it when he came home, was he any different. Does he say he wants to stop gambling?
I look forward to hearing from you again. Look after yourself and your son first and foremost. At the moment your ex-partner believes his addiction will look after him so he is selfishly getting on with his life. The best thing you can do is to look after you, when you are strong you will be better equipped to cope with him.