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Hi Neecy

The addiction to gamble takes confidence and self-esteem away from the person who loves the CG. Without realising what they are doing F&F gradually give up their hobbies, their social life, interest in their appearance, their diet, everything is sacrificed in the determination to make the CG realise what a wonderful world it is without compulsive gambling. 24 hours a day is given over to the addiction of another which means there is no time to think about self.

The end result is that the F&F personality gets lost and given enough time they can end up pathetic blobs – I know because I was one.

While your partner is in GH he will be working on himself – he will struggle for quite a few weeks and possibly blame you for the fact he is there. If he dedicates himself to the programme he will learn that the responsibility for his behaviour, for his addiction and for his life is down to him – that he is the only person who can change his life. He will be given the tools to make that change, to live in control of his addiction and to take responsibility for himself .

When the leaves GH he will be as a new bud that has yet to blossom – the blossoming will cover his life-time.

Those who wait for the CG can carry on as they always have, believing that all the change is down to the CG, so that when he comes home they are the same – or they can work on themselves, have a make-over, see friends, go to the theatre and in so doing build their self-confidence and self-esteem.

The CG does not deliberately destroy the self-esteem and confidence of the person who loves them most and so for me the way to deal with the time, when the CG is away, is the way tht builds self-esteem. Your partner will need a rock when he comes home and that is someone who is confident that they are important.

I unwittingly lived with and enabled the addiction to gamble for 25 years and it took me to a place I will never go to again. I have ‘chosen’ to learn about the addiction and I have learned to like myself enough to never live with the addiction again. I like me enough to look after myself and that is the person that my CG was surprised to meet when he left GH.

I hope this makes sense.

I would call GH once a week about 10am on a Tuesday when the staff had time to arrive and get settled. I would ask if my CG was ok and they would reply that they had seen him and he was smiling, or he was washing up or something like that. They didn’t volunteer more because his battle with his addiction was his to have alone – it had nothing to do with me. It was enough for me that he was still there. I didn’t speak to him for 6 months.

I can offer you no greater support Denise than to suggest you look after yourself, that you do things each day that give you pleasure, that you talk to others and grow in yourself. You are important even if you don’t realise it. You are too important to waste your time rushing to the side of a man who is in a state because of ‘his’ poor behaviour. The awful depths he plummeted to where as a result of his behaviour, not yours. He is learning to cope with his behaviour and the best thing you can do is appreciate his effort and match it by putting you first.

The first few months that you want back when he first came to Wales will not be the most wonderful months for your partner. His addiction was in control of him then. Imagine how much happier he will be if he turns his life around and takes control of that addiction.

I hope I am making sense. I hope you will come right back at me if there anything you disagree with or you struggle with. I really do understand how hard it is and I am sorry our session ended as it did.

You are so important to what happens when he leave GH. We have different versions of the Serenity prayer on the site. My favourite is:-

God grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change
Courage to change the thing that I can
And Wisdom to know it is me.
Speak soon