In my case it is my son that is a CG. He is gamble-free for 6 years and determined on a life-time of being so. They don’t reform Sarah – they live in control of their addiction but there is no cure. Like Jenny, I accept that my CGs life will always be a work in progress but then isn’t that true of all of us who are trying to live a good life. It is the personal experiences and how we deal with them that make us who we are and many things change us as we go along. Living for 25 years with the addiction to gamble has made me the person writing to you now. I am stronger for the experience. I have made the decision that the best revenge I can have on that which hurt me for so long is to help others fight it – I couldn’t have done that 7 years ago – I have taken something from the addiction and it pleases me.
I have married friends whose husbands are living gamble-free, one couple for 18 years, I do have their stories in my head when I write.
My CG changed his life in the Gordon House rehab which you can see details of on the forum page further down under GMA residential treatment Q&A.
It is hard to support without enabling but sowing the seeds of recovery is something we can all do, as is looking after ourselves. Many CGs have changed their new lives on this site. There is ‘My Journal’ forum for CGs and CG only groups, we have a helpline for you and your husband. There is GA, dedicated addiction counsellors and rehabs. I believe in letting a CG know that their loved one is seeking help. 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.
I cannot tell you what to do but I believe it is unwise to thrust information at a CG – perhaps you could leave the 20 questions ***** around having ticked them yourself. He might screw them up and throw them away but maybe he will glance first and know that he is not alone.