Hi Sade! Welcome to GT!
I am a CG, so I understand how difficult it must be for you to live with someone who gambles. I always say there is only one thing worse than being a CG and that is being married to or living with a CG! I don’t know how anybody does it ! They have my admiration!
Yet, when I read the F and F Forum it always amazes me that so many “Significant Others” are able to rise above the addiction which , through no fault of their own creates havoc in their lives and I know from a “victims”perspective, you will be given lots of advise , support and guidelines to show you how to protect yourself and safeguard your money, your home and your sanity. However the day to day trials will remain until your CG decides he has a problem and seeks help. I can give you some insight into how a CG feels (not every CG of course. My experience pertains to myself only!)
When A CG ( me)is in the throes of gambling, anything you say will fall on deaf ears. Talk means very little. Action is what counts!
Remove yourself from the room he is in while he is gambling online. Otherwise it will appear that you are either colluding with him or taunting him. Either way, he will use your presence to continue gambling. CGs like to blame others for their woes. Your pleading , begging and yelling will NOT stop him gambling! On the contrary it will give him an excuse to continue (“You drove me to it!” was my trump card!)
If he talks in an abusive, threatening or manipulative tone, WALK AWAY! CGs are great manipulators, great actors,great at bamboozling others especially when we want to inveigle money from a loved one. I made so many promises and threats at times like this, that I don’t understand to this day how my husband fell for it all!
In the aftermath of gambling binges however, things are more hopeful. This is the time to LISTEN to your CG. This is the vulnerable time. This is the time he is likely to be open to suggestions for change. Tell him firmly what you will NOT be doing. You will NOT give him money. EVER! You will not pay his bilsl. You will not bail him out. You will not lie for him. You will not be part of his secret life. You will not over up his losses or collude with him in any way. In other words you refuse to be his enabler. You will not listen to blame, manipulation, sarcasm or any other form of verbal abuse.
On the other hand, You WILL listen when he is genuinely seeking help. You will hold his cash, credit cards, take charge of finances and oversee his spending. You will “drip feed” him with cash for day to day expenses and you will ask to see the receipts. You will attend GamAnon if he agrees to go to GA. In other word you will support him in recovery.
I hope this answers some of your questions Sade. I am writing because if I had been treated differently in the early stages of my gambling by my “nearest and dearest” I would never have progressed to the level of loss, grief and chaos that I ALLOWED gambling to cause in my life.
YOUR RECOVERY IS AS IMPORTANT FOR YOU SADE, as your CG’s recovery is important for him.
It is not easy, but it is possible. The evidence is on this Site.
One day at a time is the motto!