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Hi Callie, I think anyone who has ever been close to a Cg has had the thoughts you posted or similar at one time or another. It is an incredible frustrating thing to watch a CG out of control through their addiction, and this can leave the non Cg partner feeling hurt, angry and effect self esteem. It is so important to take care of yourself first when you are in this situation and to guard against emotional and financial manipulation. The thing to remember is it is not personal, the addiction owns them when they are an active CG, it uses people to get what it wants, the tools to gamble, be that money, time, an excuse for the binge or someone to pick up the pieces when it all goes wrong. This doesn’t mean your partner doesn’t love you, simply that there is no room in his head or heart for that love whilst he is gambling.
Most CG have low self esteem although that as not always apparent. Somewhere in side they do not believe they have the right to happiness or to be loved and find it hard to except these things are possible. It can help to separate out the person and the gambling both in your head and when talking to your CG. You love your CG, you hate his gambling, you want a future with your CG but the gambling is blocking that, if you understand what I mean. Criticism of a CG as a person will only lead to further lose of self esteem and feelings that they are not worthy of a better life, a gambling free life.
I am sure you already understand that taking away the means to gamble is the first vital step, taking control of the finances and not bailing him out if he still get into trouble is the only way to begin to protect yourself and him from this addiction. Giving up control of the finances is not something most CG will want to do but it is essential. You can not make him stop, no one can, it has to come from him but you can keep the obvious temptation of ready cash or the thought he can come looking to be bailed out after a binge away.
I can imagine the thought of being away from his child for 6 months would be a heart rending one for him but by going to GH and regaining control of his addiction he will be putting the building blocks in place for a better father daughter relationship in the future. 6 months away from her to secure the chance of a healthy loving relationship with her for the rest of her life has to be a small price to pay doesn’t it? Ask him how he thinks his gambling will effect their relationship in the future, there are many stories of parent child relationship breakdown due to gambling on the forums.You can encourage him along this path but ultimately he has to do it for himself, if he is only doing it to please others the chances are the treatment will not be successful.
But Callie most of all you have to take care of you, try not to let thought of the addiction consume you too. Take time out to do things that take your mind away from it even if it is only for a short time. Once finical barriers are put in place there is not much more practically you can do. There is no point in waiting up for him or wondering what he is doing if he wants to gamble he will, your worrying about it won’t stop it, only treatment will. So have time with friends and family or go to the gym or watch a film or take a walk, anything that takes you out of the world of CGing for a while. It doesn’t sound much but it will keep you sane and make you stronger and more able to deal with things day to day.
I hope I haven’t been to hard or gone on too long. Like Velvet I believe if a CG has the will to take control of his addiction then (with the appropriate help) then he will.
Keep posting and don’t let my long droning response put you off! You will always find support here. Lil x “Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.” (Maria Robinson)