Hi. I have experienced what you are talking about, definitely. Feels sort of like living in some sort of private ****. I didn’t know, up til the past couple years, the extent of his gambling. I did start to wonder why the money was so short, when we really should have had plenty. Actually, my head is still spinning at *****, because he filed for divorce to marry someone else (who was married also) in order to keep up his pretense that he is wonderful and I am "the failure, the loser, the crazy one". And it’s hurting a lot, because not only has he left the finances a complete shambles, he forced a hostile divorce which has now got me facing bankruptcy, ever in danger of losing my job because my car (195,000 miles +) keeps breaking down and I can’t afford repairs. Been forced to do them myself.
Fifteen years ago, I had a career and things seemed lovely. I couldn’t put my finger on "what it was" but up til the past few years, I have been the "identified patient" and the "identified problem". In fact, I have noticed that the ***** he is hardest to deal with have been when "he" has any reponsibility in a problem, or should I say in solving a problem. I don’t get the "whole thing" but there is this thing where "responsibility" is viewed as blame, "accountability" as control and you, trying to live as an adult, are just a drag, no fun, etc. And from what I understand (and have gone through working through my own problems), part of getting better includes letting loose on some of those wrong attitudes and confronting, then changing them. Though it isn’t quite simple and smooth and often, things are said and done that can be quite hurtful. I don’t have any contact with him anymore, as he refuses to see himself other than as he chooses to, delusionally, but when I was still having contact the last year or so, I was finally able to hear his rantings and such for what they were: nothing but the product of a diseased, distorted mind. I have gone through a lot of personal therapy and that has helped, as my defenses are somewhat stronger and healthier, plus I have changed some of my own behaviors. So most of what he throws at me rolls off. But even so, I have asked myself, if it is/were true (what he is saying or yelling), is he showing ANY love, any forgiveness, any possibility of belief in that there is redemption for me? It was when I started asking myself some of these questions – and I finally said it to him, too – that I realized there was no love being shown me, etc. And I suppose it might be sort of impossible for them to do so, as long as they are in the grip of active addiction. I really like that post (I think Velvet) put up on Addiction; I tried to explain some of that to my husband, at one point. Mostly because I have my own set of "temptations"; gambling is not one of them. But faced with one, I was almost beckoned in by the delusion and lies … and that is all that they are, but by the time (if?) you get to the point of realization, it is also the point where losses and lies and lots of other unsavory things have gotten into life and mind, and it becomes harder and harder "to come clean".
So I would just encourage you to know that some of what is happening is "normal" but if he continues to get treatment/recover, he will change and that sort of thing will not be common. Plus, people who are in recovery do still get angry and say or do things on occasion, but are usually much quicker to catch themselves and correct – apologize sincerely, make amends and work on themselves. It definitely helps to have some support on your own, and if the gambling is known about, it probably is helpful that it can be addressed in your own support. I didn’t know, so I haven’t been in anything that really spoke to that, but I imagine it does help.
I hope the best for you both. It may seem like a long journey, but it will be that regardless :-). I would have been thrilled beyond words if my husband had chosen recovery and us – his family, over deception and living with his enabling, destructive mother these past several years. Eventually, our daughters and I will probably heal. But there will always be a big "hole" where he should have been. I could have handled the pain of recovery, knowing there is another and better end on the other side of the tunnel. But the pain of staying lost and ignorant and going down in flames for no purpose, no I can’t do that anymore. So I hope things go better with the both of you!