I can relate to every word you have written – even down to your processes of thought. The lack of material things don’t make sense, the lack of money doesn’t make sense, the destruction of statements doesn’t make sense, trying to make you think that you are not mentally right doesn’t make sense UNTIL you come to the understanding that a terrible addiction to gambling could be at the core of your problems. I sincerely hope that it will give you some re***f to ‘know’ that there is a ‘reason’ why you have had this struggle although now, of course, you are left with working out what you are going to do about it. Re***f goes out of the window but I hope in it’s place will come knowledge and understanding that will help you cope and give you power over that which has been hurting you.
I hope your parents do get repaid although repaying debts is never high on the priorities with a CG (compulsive gambler). Money is a means to an end – to make the gamble possible because the gamble is all that matters. There is no point in trying to make sense of the insensible and although I cannot tell you what to do I think that accepting you cannot understand what it is like to have this addiction will help. The people who understand ‘you’ are those who have experienced what you are going through. If you have a local Gamanon group I hope perhaps you could join it although I am not sure if your husband has to drive you, as he is your carer, which will make physically seeking help more difficult. Maybe if would be good if he knew you wanted support even if he says he doesn’t need it.
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’. Most compulsive gamblers will answer yes to at least seven of these questions. In my opinion most members who have lived with the compulsion to gamble will also be able to answer yes to at leave seven of those questions which hopefully will help you ‘know’ what you are of are not dealing with. Maybe you could print them off and tick the ones you ‘know’ relate to your husband’s behaviour – perhaps he is unaware that he has a known addiction but that there is support for him.
Unfortunately GT is not funded to cover the UK and although I could not reject you I have to redirect you to gamcare.co.uk for your future support. In the meantime I will give you as much as I can in this post.
From what you have said you have read the ‘F&F cycle’ thread that I have on the site. I will drag it up for you again anyway.
I am also sorry that a lot of what I am giving you is copied from other posts I have done previously but sadly because it is Sunday I have other commitments – I just want to make this post as comprehensive as I can.
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 forever watchful.
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.
My CG explained it to me by saying that when I told him (for instance) 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 only teaches failure for the CG, it has no love for the addict or those who love them. However much your husband convinces you that he is in control – he is not.
If he strikes you Blu then he is not displaying ‘normal’ CG behaviour. CGs normally get enablement by charm and striking is never charming. There is a group called WA who deal with violent behaviour towards women – please get in touch with them. You are not a punch bag – you are not an excuse for your husband’s addiction, nor are not to blame for your husband’s addiction.
I looked up CODA and there many different groups but I think you are talking about the 12 step co-dependency programme. It is hard not to give ultimatums hoping they will change someone but they don’t work with the addiction to gamble – unless you mean it 100% and carry it through.
I sincerely hope you can talk to your parents about the situation you are in although I know the addiction to gamble divides fami***s as it feeds on ***s and secrecy. Unfortunately unless people have lived with the addiction to gamble, their opinions can be very narrow and not supportive, so personally I think it is best to tell others as a statement rather than asking for opinions. It I best, I think, to gather all the information you can and then make your own informed decision but it is good to do it with support.
There is a terrific rehab in the UK called Gordon house and there are details below this forum about it in GMA residential treatment. I wouldn’t be writing on here if I didn’t know that this addiction can be controlled but it is possible that your husband is unaware and afraid of trying to control his demons. Once again though this does not mean he has any right to hit you, blame you or pull you down.
You said in your first paragraph that if was hard to express in print the things he was saying about winning. You could have written me a book about it and I would have understood everything.
I hope I have given you enough food for thought and enough support to help you realise that you need not be a slave to his addiction so let the chains fall off. Freedom and slavery are often mental states. You do not have his addiction. You do not have to be controlled by his addiction.
Have a look at our F&F Topic forum under this one. We focus on specific issues – one of which is enablement. Don’t feel guilty – guilt will hold you back. I unwittingly enabled for 25 years so there is no judgement here.
I have to go but I will leave you with the Serenity Prayer that we say every Tuesday evening at 8.55pm to join with anyone in the world who wants to feel part of an understanding group. If you want to put your hand out, I will be holding it in cyber space.
There are many Serenity prayers. The first is the best known, the second is my favourite.
God grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change
Courage to change the things I can
And Wisdom to know the difference.
God grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change
Courage to change the thing that I can
And Wisdom to know it is me.
You will be in my thoughts on Tuesday evening. Copy your post and re-post in gamcare.co.uk. I know it took a lot for to write and you are brave having done so. I wish you well.