I am so confused.
Friday night’s conversation:
Friday night I said all the wrong things for all the wrong reasons. I don’t know exactly how it happened, but within an hour of my husband getting home I was questioning him about how he got another card to his old bank account (turns out he had kept a credit card this whole time “just in case”), and what went thru his head when he **** to me on Monday night saying that he hadn’t gambled at all (when I **** it out of him on Thursday that he had been gambling online on his phone), and when he has told me these last few weeks that he is trying very hard to stop – exactly what is it he thinks he has been doing towards stopping his gambling, does he have a plan? (he says I’m trying to stop, that’s what I’m doing – I say but you haven’t! – he says my plan is to just stop – I say how?! – he says I just have to stop – I say but you haven’t! – he says then I guess I’m not doing anything to stop). I told him I felt like I was the only one working on his recovery.
It wasn’t a fight – we don’t ever really do that. He’s like Harry; he hates conflict and will avoid it at all costs, so he just usually resigns – which is pretty much what he did Friday night. Unfortunately he was fairly dejected by the time I was done with him.
Thursday afternoon’s conversation:
What’s crazy is that Thursday afternoon when I called him about the phone gambling and he admitted it, I remained positive and supportive – somewhat disingenuous to what I really felt, but it seemed to allow him to be more honest with me. In this conversation I reminded him that I had asked him again to please just tell me if he slipped – that the ***** was the worst. He said it was easier to be more honest with me since I was being “nicer” to him. I asked him to explain what he meant by me being “nice” and how he thought I was different now.
It’s very hard for my husband to express how he feels about anything, but he did a good job of describing what I think are classic CG reactions. He said when I was yelling at him (which I don’t do) or telling him how disappointed I was in him, it would “ruffle his feathers” and get him riled up. Afterwards all he could think about was how I was always putting him down. He said then it was like he would gamble just to show me he could do what he wanted to do and that he would show me he could win all the money back and pay off his debts. He said when I was constantly on him about his gambling day after day, he got so he didn’t even want to call me – and he didn’t for a long time.
He was very forthcoming about how I made him feel, but he also wanted to make sure I understood that he realized I had every right to say the things I said to him.
He went on to say that now I seem to have a good positive attitude toward him, not constantly asking him about it and telling him what to do, and it gives him a better attitude. He told me he knew it hadn’t been easy for me to be that way.
This is when I told him that the only reason I was able to handle it this way is because I came to this site and I’ve learned a lot about his addiction and how to put up barriers: That I am trying to learn how to take care of myself so I can support him in his recovery. I told him straight out that if I had not found this sight, we would probably be in the middle of divorce proceedings. Then I asked him to imagine where we might be if he was getting help.
It was a mostly positive conversation, but I didn’t know how to feel about him ***** to me and gambling again.
You are so right Velvet – I do so desperately want to believe – to believe that he really does want to stop gambling and that our marriage is more important to him than his gambling. And I am shocked sometimes at how my own attitude can swing from negative to positive to negative to positive ….
I’m sending mixed messages – and feeling mixed emotions.
Thursday night after this conversation and during the day on Friday before he came home I kept thinking about it and trying to figure out how I was going to deal with this – because on the one hand he did finally confess and actually opened up a little communicating with me about his “stinking thinking”. I think that’s progress – right?
But – at the same time I’m thinking ****! I just basically accepted that he **** to me and gambled again, and he still hasn’t gotten help. So what are the consequences for him; the fact that I had a minor melt down on him Friday night when he was expecting to come home to the “nice” me?
I have told him that I will support his recovery but I won’t support his addiction. The problem is I don’t think I know the difference sometimes.
Am I supporting his addiction by accepting the lies and the gambling and continuing to “be nice”? Am I not being supportive of his recovery by pointing out to him that what he is calling “doing better” and “trying to stop” is really just still gambling and *****? I don’t know if I will ever be able to have the conversation you had with your husband Jenny, so how do I refuse to live with the addiction?
I think I have probably caused a setback for him with my wish-wash.
He says he understands my anger, but I know he really doesn’t – he just thinks I feel he has screwed up again and he probably thinks I expect the worst from him – and part of me does! This is just TOO CONFUSING.
I’ve got to get my head on straight because I only have part of tomorrow to talk to him and try to get this thing on track before he leaves for another 10 days of working his new flexible (and dangerous) schedule. As Harry described, I would like for us to be able to discuss what the trigger is and try to figure out a better coping mechanism: Let this become a valuable lesson rather than another excuse for him to gamble.
"… should I give up or should I just keep trying to run after you when there's nothing there?" Adele