Velvet, your post hit the nail on the head! And Jenny, thx for mentioning the “Buts”! I would like to add an “If only”. My mantra for so many years. If only…my hb would see the light and quit gambling. I had not made so many wrong decisions. If only this and if only that. Then my life would have been great, peaceful, meaningful, insert the positive result here….The way I look at it today is that the “ifs” and “if onlys” were just a way for me to justify my stand still, my not acting when deep down inside I knew that I was my own worst enemy. But hindsight is always much better of course. IF I could turn back time, things would have panned out much differently. BUT that is not an option. The ” if he would only quit gambling” became true. It looks like this today: my hb takes care of his own money but gives me the majority of it so I feel safer today. He has made amends to his family as much as possible. He has built better relationships with his daughters by being truthful, reliable and responsible. He doesn’t make any promises that he can’t keep anymore. He listens and tries never to judge but to understand where others come from. I appreciate this change so much. BUT I honestly wonder IF our marriage would have turned out to be better had he not been the pretend person I met all those years ago. Maybe, just maybe I got what I thought I needed. Not the gambling of course but the person he was back then. Or rather pretended to be. Weird thinking, I know. However, after the attempts he made to start recovery, the years of relapse mode, after everything that happened and the nightmare we went through I would have never thought that he would make these incredible changes in almost all areas of his life and turn out to be the man he is today at the ripe old age of 61! I guess what I mean is that this transformation is possible, no matter how hopeless the situation might be. Yes, we are only friends today and there are many things that will never go away. A lot of damage was done and can’t be repaired. But at the end of the day IF a cg like he was since childhood can turn his life around, so can almost every cg.