Hi Victoria
I understand everything you have written and I think you have done well to write so bravely in this first post.
The problem you are finding is common and what happens next can be determined by you.
I also felt that my CG had been given all the answers whereas I had received none of the information that could help me cope with all my concerns and with the new man who had been through the programme
I went to Gam-anon and listened to others whose spouses/partners/brothers/sons had changed their lives around with GA. Some did not like the new man and one even wanted to put the clock back to him gambling again, because she found the gamble-free man boring, which I admit I didn’t understand. A lot struggled with understanding but then there were those who had not only survived but were living wonderful lives with their loved ones.
The best thing I did was ask my CG to help me to get it right. I didn’t want to mess up whatever it was that he had been given that could turn him from being a gambler with no moral fibre into someone with empathy and honesty.
Your partner wants a clean slate but this does not mean he is living without regret – he knows he has wrecked lives but he cannot change the past. I know it is hard for you but you do not own his addiction and therefore you are stronger than he is at the moment. He is coming to terms with all he has heard and it sounds as though he is determined to live gamble-free – and maybe he feels he will do that regardless of any outside influence.
I understand your resentment and it is really hard but in the end it comes down to what ‘you’ want. Your partner was away for 14 weeks, did you see friends and do things that pleased you; did you enjoy living without gambling affecting every minute of your day; did you, did you do things that you had stopped doing because of his addiction? In other words did you change at all?
It is even more important now in the early days, when your partner has to use every bit of his strength to control his addiction, that you do the things that make you happy. Yes he has to be selfish but then it is ok for you to be selfish too.
One of the hardest things for me was the realisation that it was incredibly hard for my CG to trust me. If you were anything like me you would have found yourself constantly watching and waiting for the next bombshell, there would have been arguments and threats, both of which achieved nothing. Your partner has done something different to change his life and he is trying to succeed but if he feels you are carrying resentment (which I accept is natural) he will probably feel he is going it alone.
It was months before my CG told me anything that had happened on the programme and it came in dribs and drabs over a long period. In the meantime I began to relax with him and to show him that I had also made an effort and that I was prepared to support his recovery in the best way that I could.
I wouldn’t be writing to you if I didn’t know that the addiction to gamble can be controlled and wonderful lives lived – often better perhaps for having to find the courage to face such a terrible addiction. Was it hard – yes? Did I c o u nt to 10 many times – Yes? Am I glad I stuck it out – 100% yes?
With regard to the daughters that you have between you I have brought up my thread entitled ‘Siblings’ which I hope will help. The children of CGs do not have the voices to explain their confusion or the ability to change a thing. They watch, listen and make uninformed judgments and can get things very wrong.
You haven’t said how long it is since your partner completed the programme which might help me to understand where he is coming from at the moment.
If you are starting to think you are wasting your time then it is perhaps possible that you are giving him negative thoughts about how you feel about your relationship.
I will leave this post here and await your reply.