19 February 2015 at 1:30 am #3674Emmae84Participant
I am a 30 year old mother of three and wife to a CB. We met nearly nine years ago, and when he told me’ his job’ was as a professional gambler me being naive and inexperienced alarm bells did not immediately ring. Despite concern regarding his chosen profession being expressed by my parents i reassured them as he had done me that it was a temporary thing to ‘set himself up’. He started gambling aged just 16 (after being moved miles away from his childhood home and friends). Years of loosing on fruit machines and slot machines eventually evolved into him being able to manipulate the machines, resulting in a higher ratio of wins over loses and an arguably good source of income! At this point i was unaware he took part in any other forms of gambling or indeed that it was anything other than ‘his job’. I fell pregnant after just three months, and over the 9 months of my pregnancy the extent of his gambling addiction became apparent. lying, not turning up, spending hours on poker sites or looking/betting on horses or any sport really, loosing large sums of money. Over the next 18 months it became clear that his profession was not a choice it was part of his CG and fed his problem further and he couldn’t/wouldn’t stop and get a regular job as promised. I tried everything to perrsuade/encourage him to seek help to no avail. I was made to feel like the problem was somehow my fault and my expectations of him were too high, because we always had money and the rent and bills were always paid. The fact that unlike a lot of CG he generally made good money on fruit machines, meant that it gave him a reason to feel like what he was doing was ok, and give him the means to recuperate loses from other forms of gambling meaning i’m probably only aware of a very small fraction of the loses.
When my eldest daughter was 14 months i could cope with the situation no more and i left him and moved into a flat. At this point he decided to start counselling which he attended once a week, we got back together as i started to see hope again and we moved to Gloucester to be near his step mother father and two teenage sisters as his step mum was terminally ill. He started a college course to finish off his electrical qualification, although still gambling to provide means of income. Shortly after the move a found out i was was expecting our 2nd child. This was a difficult time for all of us and his gambling through the next year became progressively worse consuming his thoughts and 95% of his time. As an example There would be times we would take our daughter to soft play which was in a bowling alley and he would disappear to the fruit machines often sitting on them for hours refusing to get off leaving me and two young children sat in a car waiting for him to finish! He would go to the shop and come back five hours later. Go away playing machines for days at a time. Spending hours looking at hours form on the computer. I was almost 3hrs away from my family and friends and felt very isolated throughout this time.
We moved back after one year and the next few years years continued in the same cycle, still gambling for a living and having no counselling at this time. We had a third child and got married when things took another turn for the worse resulting in him loosing £2000 wedding present money and taking £1000 of the children savings as well as other big loses. After this he had more counselling and i found him a job meter reading, then after a month or so found a job PAYE as an electrician. I had full control of finances by this point. For eight months he claims to have not gambled and things were more settled however emotionally for me so much damage had been done i really struggled with trust and had lost all sense of who i am, and had no confidence or self esteem i was also suffering unbeknownst to me with anxiety. This eventually resulted in me having a breakdown just over a year ago and we have been separated since. He was very supportive of what i was going through and in fact told me i hadn’t done enough for our relationship and to support him. Since then he has quit his job and spiralled into debt with his gambling, lying and letting the children down.
Today he is currently undergoing treatment with GMA he went in less than a week ago, my children think he is away working they have no idea he has a gambling problem or where he really is am i doing the right thing by not telling them?Me and the children are struggling with the no contact, however understand why it is important.
I’m sorry this introduction is so long and there is so much more i feel i could say still, very hard to condense 9years! Thanks for reading and i am hoping to hear back from anyone who understands where i have been and would welcome and advice.
Trying to stay positive
Emma19 February 2015 at 9:00 am #3675DuncKeymaster
Thanks for starting a thread in the Gambling Therapy friends and family forum. This forum will provide you with warmth and understanding from your peers.
Feel free to use the friends and family group, youll find the times for these if you click on the Group times box on our Home page. Now that you have introduced yourself youll find that many of the people you meet here have already read your initial introduction and theyll welcome you in like an old friend 🙂
If youre the friend or family member of someone who is either in, or has been through, the GMA residential programme please take extra care to make sure that nothing you say in groups, or on our forums, inadvertently identifies that person. Even if your loved one isnt connected with GMA, please dont identify them either directly or indirectly just in case they decide to use the site themselves.
Youll find a lot of advice on this site, some of which youll follow, some you wont…but thats ok because only you fully understand your
situation and whats best for you and the people you love. So, take the support you need and leave the advice you dont because it all comes from a caring, nurturing place 🙂
We look forward to hearing all about you!
The Gambling Therapy Team
PS: Let me just remind you to take a look at our19 February 2015 at 12:01 pm #3676velvetModerator
I think you have done marvellously condensing, what must have been 9 ‘very trying years’, into this first thread. I would imagine you were quite worn out after writing it – the first post is always the hardest. I hope it helps when I say you are in the right place and everything you have written is understood.
You have done so well over those 9 years that for now I’m not going to dwell on what has gone before. The important thing for you at the moment is to look after yourself while your husband works on his addiction in the excellent GMA programme. This is not just an important time for your husband, this is a very important time for you too, a time to recharge your batteries, to learn about his addiction and hopefully to learn how to support him and yourself, when he has completed his programme.
My CG did the GMA programme a few years ago so I understand the difficulty in covering up an absence, while also feeling extremely nervous yourself. If it was me I wouldn’t tell young children about the GMA programme because I think it is hard enough to understand as an adult. In my view it is impossible to know what it is like to live with the addiction to gamble, unless you have done so, which makes sharing your feelings with those around you very difficult and possibly means your thoughts are whizzing round at a terrific rate of knots with nowhere to go – I hope sharing here will help and give you the ability to be more serene and able to keep the spirits of your children high.
I know the time a CG is in GMA seems to stretch endlessly away but it does soon pass and is a drop in the ocean compared to a lifetime. Your husband is doing what is right for him but it is a very selfish time, you can’t talk to him, you don’t know what he is doing, it can be very frustrating. By looking after yourself, seeing family and old friends, picking up hobbies and generally doing the things you have stopped doing because of his addiction you will be doing what is right for you and ultimately is the very best thing you can do for him. It is a time to regain self-esteem and confidence which have been shattered so that when he comes home you are as ‘new’ to him as he will be to you.
There will be more time for us to post to each other while your husband is away so please ask any questions you may have. It would be great to ‘meet’ you in the Friends and Family group on Tuesday evenings between 8 and 9pm where we communicate in real time – nothing said in the group appears on the forum.
I would not be writing to you now if I didn’t know that the addiction to gamble can be controlled and fantastic lives lived, as a result.
Stay positive; enjoy this peaceful break from addiction.
Velvet11 July 2017 at 10:45 pm #3677frankie06Participant
I am in a similar situation as you, ive been with my boyfriend 7 years last may. He constantly watches slot machines on his phone. He has tried killing himself in the past three times that i am aware of and i was there.
We have a son together and lived together 5 ish years, arent married though and contemplating having a second child or getting married…i cry and laugh every day the moods i go through is ridiculous.
How did you manage to get your husband to get help with the GMA? How do i go about doing it or does it have to be the gambler and how would he apply?
Hope you see this message
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