You are temporarily separated which is an excellent time for ‘you’ to break the cycle of addiction that hurts your life and in doing so you will be doing the right thing for you, the right thing for your children and ultimately the right thing for your CG.
What I tried to describe in the F&F cycle was the way that the non-CG reacts to the life of the CG thereby drawing them into the world of addiction as though it was their own. The non-CG becomes an integral part of the whole sordid experience, the addiction is silent, secretive and subtly demoralizes the non-CG into believing they will ‘save’ their loved one in the end – if they just hang in there and don’t mess things up.
The non-CG becomes a detective, a psychoanalyst, a Samaritan, a victim and unfortunately, in doing so, usually feel they are shadows of the person they once were. They desperately want for the real person to be recognised and for it to be known that they feel trapped and want to break free – but how?
I have no crystal ball Tanya – I have no knowledge of what your outcome will be but I believe completely that your recovery is important to whatever happens.
The following was written by lcat a member who was here between 2010 and 2011.
I remember how desperate I was when I first wrote on this forum. I had gone everywhere I could to try and find answers as to how to help him stop gambling. I now know that , it was an impossible task I was trying to undertake. No one had any answers for me. But on this forum I came to understand what it meant to take care of me. As I struggled to do that over the many months, and reading all the post from people from all over the world, our stories were all the same. Didn’t matter where we lived. I never read how anyone had stopped their CG from gambling.! NOT even once!!
Lcat did move on to life without the addiction to gamble overshadowing it.
‘You’ have the key to breaking your cycle but you do not have the key to breaking your partners and it is important that a non-CG realises that they cannot save anyone but themselves. As victims we are impotent, empowered we are not.
To face his addiction is the scariest thing your partner will ever do. If those he loves are wreckages of that addiction he will have to carry that guilt and guilt is destructive.
You are tired, you want to give up and you just want this ‘thing’ in your life to go away. If you look after you first then you can recharge your batteries and show your partner that with strength it is possible to overcome terrible difficulties. I am not judging, I can’t because I did everything wrong but when we are drained and weary we are not the best at dealing with problems. The addiction has sought to take away your self-esteem and confidence so that it can feed on your unwitting enablement. In the Friends and Family topic forum below this, ‘enablement’ is focussed on – maybe it will help. Please write on any topic that you feel drawn to.
When lives are in a mess it is like a giant jigsaw in thousands of pieces and you don’t know where to start. If you take one small piece and look at what is contained within that piece you can put it down and then take another piece and join it to the first piece. Gradually you build the whole picture until it makes sense but it does take time. ODAAT is a well known acronym on this site and stands for ‘one day at a time’. We can only deal with one day at a time but if we make the most of that day we can build our lives to be better and stronger – we can become the people we want to be.
Do something just for you today and refuse to allow your partner’s addiction to be in your mind all the time you are doing it. Don’t worry about what your partner is doing – his mind is taken up with addiction and is not worrying about anything else. That is no refection on you or your children; it is the nature of the addiction. Your partner has to want to stop gambling and to seek treatment. With the right treatment, GA, rehabs, this site, he can learn to tip out some of the addiction in his mind and fill it with good things. Each day build up more ‘gamble-free thinking’ time for yourself.
I think, (I am sorry if my memory is wrong here) that you said your husband has been to GA and read the 20 questions but it would appear he has forgotten them. At the top of this page click on to ‘Resources’ and in ‘Location’ scroll down to ‘world’. Click ‘Gambling help’ and then ‘Search’. Scroll down to ‘Gamblers anonymous – Twenty Questions’. I suggest you could print them off again and clearly mark the ones you know there is a ‘yes’ answer. Maybe you could give it to your partner without brooking an argument and maybe he will re-read and ‘remember’ because CGs do forget. Complacency is the enemy of a CG in recovery and a short sharp shock may remind him.
I am sure we will meet in a group again soon but in the meantime please keep reading, gaining knowledge and writing which is therapeutic.
You will have up days and down days but hopefully the balance will start to shift towards more ups than downs because you are moving forward.