I wouldn’t be writing on here if I didn’t know that the addiction to gamble can be controlled so I hope that gives you some comfort.
I don’t think anybody would take that first gamble if they knew that addiction was waiting for them. Your husband, like all other CGs, did not ask for nor want this terrible addiction in his life, any more than you do.
I understand what it is to be the unwitting enabler of the addiction. The addiction is not something that is broadcast enough in the media and the symptoms are hard to detect unless you know what you are looking for.
There ‘is’ a reason why this man spends too many hours in the bookies and causes harm – it is called the addiction to gamble and it takes great courage to control, courage your husband lacks at the moment.
It isn’t cowardice that stops him telling you that he has done wrong – he hides and lies about his poor behaviour to protect his addiction because he wants you to enable him and he knows you will not enable him if you learn about his addiction.
Until you know if you are cut out for supporting your husband, I suggest you do nothing apart from learn about his addiction, by reading and posting on this site and/or joining a Gamanon group, which is the sister group of GA.
Your husband’s addiction will have caused him to lose his self-esteem and confidence; it will have destroyed his logic and reason. You will probably have had your self-esteem and confidence severely dented but you still have logic and reason because you do not own the addiction – that means you are stronger than your husband and the person who can change her life, for the better, more easily.
I cannot tell you what to do, as all your decisions must be yours. Jenny has suggested good ideas for your finances and also talked about looking after ‘you’.
Putting ‘you’ first works, even though it doesn’t feel as though you are doing much. As a victim of your husband’s addiction you are powerless and you will be incredibly tired, angry and confused. In control of your life, you can find different ways to fight the addiction. Do something for yourself today – something that the addiction has stopped you doing and while you are doing it put the thought of the addiction so far to the back of your mind it can’t upset you. Unfortunately it will still be there when you have finished whatever it is you decide to do but hopefully you will have proved to yourself that you can live without the addiction filling your mind, even if it is only for an hour or two, while you get your hair done, have a massage,see a friend or take your daughter somewhere special – anything that is just for ‘you’. You will change the more time and effort you give to yourself and the addiction will be confused by your change.
I have no doubt your husband is a good man at heart but it is important to be strong and not pity him – he ***** your strength, not your pity.
I will leave it there fore now Sarah but there is a lot to say. We also have Friends and Family groups where we communicate in real time and you are welcome – ***** are in the box at the top right hand of this page.
Well done writing your first post – it is the hardest.