Hi All,
I am very appreciative of the “many tough posts” from all of you who seem to understand me better than I understand myself some*****.  I really don’t know what I would have done these last months without this site and all of you. And V you need not be concerned about the “whipping” speed:  I believe the chapters of my book have unfolded as they were meant to and exactly as I have needed them to – and for that I am eternally grateful.
Something Is Changing
With my sister here for so long I had to lay my book down for awhile, but I’ve read these posts and others over and over because in the middle of all the “busy”,  some***** I just needed to remind myself of what is really going on in my life.  You see –  something is changing in me and I don’t know if it’s good or bad. I don’t think about the addiction all the time and, sadly, I don’t really think about and worry about my husband nearly as much;  and I don’t experience that tugging ache in my heart every time I do think of him.
With so much focus on all that we’ve needed to do for Mother’s estate sale and to get her house ready to sell, I’ve sort of “buried my head in the sand” and become somewhat immune to the normally invasive and painful thoughts.  I am hoping that the “sledgehammer of truth” has finally knocked me off the damned rollercoaster and this numbness I feel is me getting my “sea legs” back.  
The Last 3 Weeks
The last time I saw him was on the 21st. He had come home late Friday night before the last day of the estate sale on the 20th, so we didn’t do anything – plus I was upset that he had gambled his last $600. All weekend he was unfazed by my indifference, wanting to chit chat about the sale, etc., but he did not offer to talk about this setback or about his out-of-control gambling problem, and what, if anything, he was going to do about it.
By this time I had read all of your posts many *****, except for the last one you wrote V, and the words had been swirling around in my head: The sledgehammer was pounding away;   … there is no magic spell … CGing is not about money … he is gambling with our marriage … I am doing all the work … I cannot save him … don’t be so quick to forgive and forget … if I don’t let go – if I don’t give up, his addiction will continue … nothing I do or write or say to him will wake up his conscience and snap him out of this … he has to want his own recovery … stand back and let him find his own way … face the horrible truths …
When he was ready to leave on Sunday the 21st, he came over to me expecting the usual consoling goodbye hug and kiss and reassuring “I love you too” from me – even though I had gotten absolutely nothing from him! As he stood there it hit me –  this is what was expected of me! This is exactly how I allow the addiction to continue, how I accept and tolerate the gambling!
The truth is that standing before me was only a shadow of the man I loved; the form my husband’s addiction has assumed and that I have been foolishly chasing after. The truth is – the man I married and committed to spend the rest of my life with is no longer there and I don’t know if he’s ever coming back. The truth is – this shadow of a man cannot take care of me or care about me:  He cannot be there for me or be with me.  
 I became so angry that he was once again going to leave me frustrated and wanting that instead of an embrace, I dismissed him with a very firm “Goodbye” and went on with whatever I was doing. He stood there for a moment looking stricken and alone, and finally walked out the door without another word.  I have not spoken to him since.
Unbeknownst to him, I still have online access to his bank account because I had utilized a “quick sign-on” feature on my iPad that only requires the PIN before he changed his password.  So I saw that he had gotten a $1500 payday loan on the 26th. He paid $500 on his Advancial account and probably intended to leave the rest for the draft payments that were coming due on his account. However, sometime later that day he withdrew $650 cash. I’m sure he thought about that money just sitting there about to be drafted by his creditors and convinced himself that he could win enough to pay all his debts. Sometime later that night he withdrew the rest of his balance before any drafts could hit. As I watched this struggle, I kept thinking about Jamie’s story and how his addictive thinking would work on him until all logic and reason was gone. It is a vicious and unrelenting grip this addiction holds over its’ victims isn’t it?
We didn’t speak or text until he texted me on 8/2 to let me know he would be home on days off the following Monday. He called me “Dear”, said it was strange to go 2 weeks with no communication, hoped I was doing ok, and put a “love you” at the end. I asked him if he’d seen the counselor yet. He replied that he hadn’t – still relieving supervisors – new ones coming out of training, blah blah blah. (From now on until he is getting help and I see consistent, positive change, when he opens his mouth I’m going to assume it is the addiction speaking – blah blah blah – taking a page from Ell’s book.)  I texted him back suggesting that he make an appointment with the counselor instead of coming home. He said ok he’d do that and that was basically that. I don’t know if he saw a counselor or not, but I made a note on my “To Do” list to make an appointment with one for myself tomorrow.
 The gloves are off Velvet and I think this is me taking my stance. I had to dig deep for the strength to tell him not to come home, but I know it was the right thing to do for a change. I don’t know what he (the addiction) thinks about it, but I have a sad notion the spiral has begun.  While he was on his days off he got another payday loan for $900 and withdrew $750 cash the same day. Insufficient funds charges by the bank took care of the rest.
Although it has been difficult, I have come to realize the truth is I am very much alone in this marriage right now and I think I’m actually coming to terms with that realization.  I’ve noticed that I think and speak more in terms of “me” and “I” instead of “us” and “we”.  I am exploring the idea of being single (in terms of a separation until and unless he finds his way to recovery) and what that might mean for me. It became very clear to me when I read your words Ell that, like you, I do not want a relationship with an addiction! I want to refuse to live with it.
 I am socking back as much money as I can in case the addiction talks him into keeping his paycheck one day. If that happens I’m afraid it will be over for us.  So I am trying to “apply myself” a little better to (translation: “give a **** about” lol) my thankless part-time job with the federal government in case I am forced to amp it up and take on more work.
We’ve just about got my mom’s house ready to sell, and I think I’m going to start on mine next – take advantage of a really strong seller’s market  out here. Then I may move to where my mom and sister live. It would mean being further away from my granddaughters, but I can just make lots of trips back here to see them.
Thanks again everyone for your advice, your care and concern, and your continued support. I know I will get through this with your help.
 "… should I give up or should I just keep trying to run after you when there's nothing there?"  Adele