I hope you post again soon.
It is very difficult when a CG (compulsive gambler) earns enough money to cover the addiction. Unfortunately the addiction has longer to work away secretively, causing greater damage to those who love the CG and also the mind of the CG.
I did everything wrong for all the right reasons for so many years so I hope you will not find me judgemental when I tell you that CGs do not react well to ultimatums. Your husband is unable to think rationally or logically about his behaviour – he be***ves that gambling bring him over-whelming joy – he is totally unaware of the price that will be exacted from him and those who love him, for such a be***f.
I cannot tell you what to do, I have no crystal ball, I cannot tell what the outcome of your situation will be. I do know that you are more important than you realise. You cannot stop your husband gambling but you can help the one person you need to help and that is ‘you’.
If he is still absent from the family home, please try and use this time doing things that please you – things you have not done because the addiction has been filling ‘your’ head 24 hours a day as you sought to save you husband. See friends, shop, have a massage and think of anything else other than addiction. Feel refreshed, stronger – know that you are not controlled unless you choose to be.
Fighting your husband will not make a scrap of difference to his be***f in his addiction. I think it is good, although difficult; to know that arguing about a CG’s ***s is a waste of time. If you can stand back a bit and listen to what your husband is saying, it becomes easier not get caught up in an argument that has no point apart from making you feel less in control. Once you begin to try and put your side the addiction has something to get its teeth into.
A non-CG loses self-esteem and confidence – that is what the addiction wants and ***** from the loved one so that it can be enabled – it does not like being thwarted. I be***ve the way to thwart an addiction is to confuse it by regaining your confidence and self-esteem – by knowing that you are not to blame, that you are unique and special, that you are stronger than your husband who is owned by an addiction and you are not.
A CG is emotionally immature and just like a child who has had his toys removed your husband has behaved angrily and irrationally. You wouldn’t give in to a child who was screaming at you to return it’s toys when you know the toys are dangerous but you would probably seek other ways to educate that child. Unfortunately your husband is an adult and capable of greater hurt and harm than a child – but the principle is the same. Give in to his addiction and you will live with it and its consequences. Stand up for yourself and refuse to live with the addiction but learn about it because knowledge brings power.
Although it is not recognized professionally the following is a coping method that many of us have used at the beginning of our recovery to help us cope.
Imagine your husband’s addiction as a slavering beast in the corner of the room. As long as you keep your cool and don’t threaten that addiction it stays quiet, although it never sleeps.
Your husband is controlled by that addiction but you are not. When you threaten that addiction, it comes between you and controls the conversation or argument. It is the master of threats and manipulation and you are not. Once it is between you, you will only hear the addiction speak and because it only knows ***s and deceit, it will seek to make you feel blame and demoralize you. When you speak the addiction distorts your words and your husband cannot comprehend your meaning. I doubt you even know how you got into the huge fight that resulted in his departure – his addiction chose that fight – not you.
My CG explained it to me by saying (for instance) that when I told him that if he didn’t *** but lived honestly he would be happy, his addiction was distorting his mind convincing him that I was ***** because he truly be***ved that he was unlovable, worthless and a failure – he was lost and fought back because he didn’t have any other coping mechanism. The addiction has no love for the CG nor for those who love them – its victory is ‘failure’. However much your husband convinces you that he is in control – he is not.
I hope you are still reading and that you post again. I fully appreciate you love your husband but I know that looking after ‘you’ is the greatest support for you and for him.
Well done on writing your first post