I want to say hi; I came on here a while back and posted again last night. I’m glad that you are at least seeing the reality; as you said, you are young. I didn’t know ex was CG until after he filed this last divorce (we have had three divorce actions and two completed divorces). I don’t have a great level of expertise, other than experience and have done a lot of research through reputable articles. I would like to add this excerpt from one for you to consider:
“Children of the pathological gambler are probably the most victimized by the illness. Usually underage, emotionally and financially dependent upon the gambler during the worst of the illness, it is the children who are the most helpless. They hear the arguments, recriminations, apologies, broken promises, insults, lies, and fights. They hear their mother arguing with their father about not having money for food, clothes, or school items for the children… The children of pathological gamblers, growing up in an atmosphere of emotional deprivation, isolation, parental abuse, rejection, poor role modeling, and emphasis on money, are very likely to have equally problem-ridden lives.”
this is from The Effect of Pathological Gambling on Families, Marriages, and Children. The rest of the article is at:
When I met ex, he had full time job and I thought he was reponsible and held many of the same values I did. I was older when I met him (25) and so I thought that was good. Before we married, he lost his eyesight due to diabetes. He still had limited vision, but the blindness was temporary. However, we moved 2000 miles to be close to his parents, for “support”, supposedly. I now question whether they knew more than they let on.
He didn’t work for about the next 8 years, while I went to nursing school 40 miles away for a year and worked FT weekends 30 miles away. By that time, we had two small daughters … my youngest was 5 months old when I went to school.
I was always “overly” responsible I guess but the next few years started wearing me down. Especially because I wanted to further my education and career. We lived almost 20 miles from anything resembling civilization. I started getting physically sick pretty frequently; he said something about us never being able to move while his parents were still alive because he “couldn’t break a promise to them”. I guess that hit hard, because it told me that I was “stuck” and that our marriage was a lot less important than “pleasing his parents” (from whom he expected inheritance).
I’m not in your situation, so I don’t know how to advise you other than to say that it seems like a good idea to stash some money where it will be safe in case of emergency or you have to leave … or decide that is best. I think it is a very good idea to get as much support as you can and work on building up your self esteem/concept. I didn’t realize how much mine had suffered, over the years. And of course, getting reliable information.
I don’t want to sound “scary” or anything, either, but everyone says they get worse with age. I sometimes wonder if that is also a function of their choice to do what they know is “wrong”, or if they have some other stuff going on. He filed for the divorce, but refused to allow me just 5 or 6 months to get my finances in better shape and make some plans.
Since I did not “obey him” pack my things and go when he demanded, I have been subjected to deliberate and maliciously being bankrupted and deprived of any settlement. Our 20 year old daughter’s credit is destroyed too, even though the bills are hers “legally” they are medical/educational expenses from high school. When our children were small, he told our oldest (6 at that time) that he needed her to tell him “the color of the stop lights”. She was terrified that something would happen to him if she didn’t “do her job”. Both girls were told I was going to kill them, that I had deserted them, on and on. I don’t know if my experiences are “typical” but I’m horrified that any “parent” would do these things and I am also horrified that the governments permitting gambing refuse to listen to the realities of CG.
One daughter sees him something like I do: the person we thought we knew is gone. There is a monster just inhabiting the body that looks like his, or something along those lines.
I offered to see him through and even though a lot had happened that has hurt me and our children, I told him I didn’t need the details, most of that was between him and God. And that God didn’t bring us through so much to drop us off a cliff. Didnt matter. He went off with the other woman (wallet, is how I see it now). Precious little I could do, since his mother and that woman and his buddies were all enabling and cheering him on.
Like I said, maybe what I have gone through is not “typical”; I don’t know. But I would hate to see someone else go through it or anything close, and I still find it is hard to get good information. But as said earlier, sometimes the best thing is to “do nothing” although that is not exactly what you are doing (I believe). No matter what you decide, it all has implications and is serious. And probably in many cases there is some time to get good information and set some plans into motion, whatever your decision.
My children “thought” they had a father. Now they don’t, though he still expects them to be there for “holidays” and give him a ride when he needs it. It’s been sort of a double whammy, because they have been coming to realize that the father they “thought” they had was nothing more than an act.
One last thought: when we were divorced, i was doing well again within a few years. I was a lot happier and also discovered I’d never been “mentally ill” as had been claimed. Traumatized and injured, yes. But I recovered. I’ve seen our children bounce back a lot, once they could be themselves in reality too. And when he ran off for the weekend, right before he filed divorce again, I was actually overjoyed to learn he was having an affair. Sounds strange, maybe, but I had been feeling “down” and couldn’t figure it out. It all fell into place … and I only wonder how many people get misdiagnosed with a mental illness when there is really nothing wrong … with them!
I hope things get better for both of us; hopefully your BF will have the courage to face himself. Seems rather rare, but happens, so I hope that is the case for you. Either way, you CAN get through!