Welcome to GT, glad you have been reading posts and hope they support you in your struggles. As Velvet has mentioned my father is a cg. He’s like your husband in regards to being very well liked, I don’t think anyone wasn’t charmed by him, and of course so was I, the dotting daughter. It seemed that the only flaw he had was his gambling, so I and others overlooked it for many years which made it easy for the addiction to grow stronger and be the master manipulator it was.
My parents were old school; being married meant for life and my mother certainly had this belief when she married my father. So she stuck it out with my father’s gambling even when utterly unhappy and beyond frustrated with my father’s gambling (lies, money missing, debts and denying that he really had a problem). My father also took this to his advantage believing their relationship was a safe haven and he could gamble and my mother would stay put, regardless of her unhappiness. Somewhere in their relationship there was a breaking point and my mother patiently waited until I turned 18, to divorce my father. I wasn’t that surprised, as I heard the fights for many years and when it was officially it really wasn’t a big deal. What I was seeing at home was not a marriage. I would never blame my mother for leaving him. I feel sorry that she had to stay with him, for what he put her through emotionally and financially all those years.
My father seemed to do well with this new found freedom, gambling whenever he wanted. My mother moved on with work and I went to college. Dad just kept gambling and I got caught up in “helping him” when he needed money. I hid this from my mother and in ways I became my mother; so unhappy with my father’s gambling. I know my mother went through hell with my father’s gambling but I got the super strong manipulative and brutal addiction trying to tear me apart, along with my family. My father’s addiction was relentless and I honestly never experienced such stress and emotional trauma in my life. It was plain scary. I still get sick with worry thinking about it.
I learned that by not doing something I was basically letting the addiction to get stronger. I could no longer turn the other cheek and just say, “he has an addiction, he can’t help it,” because that will only give the addiction leg room to become stronger. SO I found GT (thank God) and I started my recovery, this is my suggestion for you. Start with little baby steps, have consequence’s and stick by them. Don’t allow to be manipulated by him or the addiction. The addition really preys on our fears and uses it to get what it wants.
I thank God daily for the good things in my life and I know God does not want us to be unhappy. You are not here to fix your husband, only he can do that. You can love him, but don’t just accept his gambling as your duty. He has to take responsibility for his addiction and he can do this through being faithful to his recovery. There is nothing you can ever say or do for him to stop. He has got to do this and once we let go of this thought, recovery becomes our way to sanity. I wish you all the best.