As promised – some points that I hope will help you understand a bit more. I want to go and relax so I am sorry this is cobbled together from posts I have written many times but hopefully the message will be clear.
Although it is not recognized professionally the following is a coping method that many of us have used at the beginning of our recovery to help us manage.
Imagine your partner’s addiction as a slavering beast in the corner of the room. As long as you keep your cool and don’t threaten that addiction it will stay quiet, although it never sleeps.
Your partner is controlled by that addiction but you are not. When you threaten that addiction, it comes between you and controls the conversation or argument. It is the master of threats and manipulation and you are not. Once it is between you, you will only hear the addiction speak and because it only knows lies and deceit, it will seek to make you feel blame and demoralize you. When you speak (or text) the addiction distorts your words and your partner cannot comprehend your meaning. Imagine his head is full of water – he can hear you speak but it is as though through water – it doesn’t make sense.
My CG explained it to me by saying that when I told him (for instance) that if he didn’t lie but lived honestly he would be happy. While I was saying what made sense to me, his addiction was distorting my words, convincing him that I was lying because he truly believed that he was unlovable, worthless and a failure – he was lost and fought back because he didn’t have any other coping mechanism. The addiction is all about failure for the CG which has no love for the addict or those who love them. However much your partner convinces you that he is in control – he is not.
The addiction to gamble means that the CG will only know failure but when you try and tell your partner such things though he will not understand. Gordon House has specialists who can open his eyes if he wants them opened. They cannot stop him gambling anymore than you can but they do have the knowledge to show him how to change and how to control his addiction..
I don’t know why my CG is a compulsive gambler – I don’t know why I am not. What I do know is what it took him to change his life and how it was important that I changed too.
In answer to your question I don’t think you will get him to understand you until he is ready and there is no crystal ball to say what the outcome will be. We believe that understanding ‘us’ is the answer but it isn’t. One of the strangest things I had to learn from this addiction was the importance of my CG trusting me – I always thought it had to be about me trusting him. My old behavior would never have given us a steady base on which to build our relationship – I had to change too. Keep learning, keep asking questions and most importantly keep looking after yourself.