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Hi Toyman
Welcome from me to Gambling Therapy – I hope you will soon know that you have come to the right place.
The arguing is horrendous I know and sadly will almost certainly lack logic and reason. How long has this poor behaviour been going on?
There is no instant fix I’m afraid but there are ways to cope. Although not recognised professionally the following is my favourite and used successfully by many including me:
When next you feel an argument building, that you neither wanted nor asked for, imagine her addiction in the corner of the room snarling and wanting to defend itself. When her addictive behaviour feels it is being attacked it leaps from the corner and forces its way between you whereupon all reason flies out of the window as her addiction seeks to blame you and demoralise you.
It is so important to remember that your wife is being controlled by her addiction but you do not have to be – you are therefore the strongest person in your relationship. The addiction she owns however is the master of threats and manipulation and this is not what you want to be.
My CG (compulsive gambler) explained to me that it was like having a having a head full of sand, there was no room for the love and hope I offered, it couldn’t get in and he responded to my attempts to support him with lies and deceit because he didn’t have any other coping mechanism. With the right support some of that sand can be tipped out allowing space for good thoughts and rational thinking.
I would not be writing to you now Toymaker if I didn’t know that the addiction to gamble can be controlled and wonderful lives lived.
The Gordon Moody Association (GMA) now offers a fantastic Women’s project and I cannot recommend it more highly. My CG went through the GMA programme years ago and lives happily in control of his addiction. If you contact our Helpline they will be happy to give you details
However your wife appears to be she is almost undoubtedly not happy, her addiction guarantees her feelings of failure and worthlessness. I cannot tell you what to do but maybe you could download the Gamblers synonymous 20 questions and leave them for her to see – I don’t suggest handing them to her as she will possibly rip them up and tell you she doesn’t need them. If she can have a time to read them, she will hopefully realise her behaviour is recognised and there is a lot of support for her.
Toyman I have to leave it there for my first reply to you. I have a Friends and Family group on Tuesdays 20.00 -21.00 hours UK time and it would be great to communicate with you in real time – just get your questions ready and I will do my best – you will be very welcome.
One final question – does your wife admit she has a problem?
Well done writing your post – the first one is always the hardest
Speak soon