13 August 2013 at 8:25 pm #1421stressed1Participant
My husband is a gambling addict who is now in the stages of recovery. In the past 4/5 years he’s been through two bouts of excessive, detrimental gambling with the second time being throughout late 2012 to just a few months ago. He’s ruined his once profitable business by taking money out of it to gamble and by neglecting the business entirely. Last spring he went away for treatment for three weeks and I thought that would be the end of it but he continued to gamble after he came back home. He hasn’t gambled in a couple of months and says he never wants to again but now I know better than to hold my breath.
I am currently paying all of our household debt and some of his personal debt until he gets he finances back in order. He’s looking for a new job. It’s been about six months now of me doing this and I am extremely angry. I feel like i’m paying the price for his mistakes not only emotionally and mentally, but now financially as well. We argue all the time about money. We’ve had to borrow money from his mother because of his lack of contribution to the bills and i’m also really pissed about that as I, by myself, do not need his mother’s money. She’s aware of the situation and I appreciate her help but there’s a part of me that wishes she would say no when he asks. I told him the other day that I feel as if he’s just coasting along and not trying as hard as he could to get it together because he has his mother and I to lean on. I recently got a new job with good pay but cannot save a dime of it.
I know that you should stick by your spouse when times get hard and that’s what i’m doing but I can’t help the anger at something I feel could have been avoided and that I played no part in. I cannot look at this situation the way I would if he’d been laid off from work or became physically ill with some type of disease. I just cannot.
I just feel like on top of the torment, anguish and hurt i’ve had to endure due to his addiction, now I have to deal with watching my paycheques disappear as soon as I recieve it. I’m just so mad and I don’t know how to get over the anger. I’m also resentful of the fact that we are at the stage where we should be starting a family but can’t because of what he’s done to us financially. I really want a child and so does he but now wouldn’t be the right time. I also have to listen to his mother tell us that we can’t have a baby now because of our finances and that makes me even more mad about this entire situation. I just don’t want to hear anyone telling me what I can or can’t do at this point in my life, especially something so important to me. She’s in our business more than I would like her to be but that isn’t her fault, it’s his. I’m just so mad and sad about everything.
Please help me with any thoughts on how I can be the best possible wife in this situation.
14 August 2013 at 10:01 am #1422velvetModerator
Welcome to Gambling Therapy.
You showed you yourself for a second in a group last night and I didn’t have time to welcome you – you are more than welcome in a group – just type in the box next time and I will answer you. We will be communicating in real time which is obviously quicker than the forum. It is also good to see your thread started as it gives more time for consideration.
I am just about to open another group so I can’t write much at the moment. I will reply to you asap – I just want you to know as quickly as possible that you have been heard.
In the meantime – welcome you have come to the right place
14 August 2013 at 3:23 pm #1423moniqueParticipant
I want to say ***** and hope that you find the support you need on this site.
It is not difficult to see why you would have such strong feelings of anger and resentment, given what you have been through. It is good to express them in a safe place like this, too, and know that you are heard. I suppose one of the problems, though, is that these feelings can end up harming YOU, whilst having little impact on your husband (or his mother, for that matter). I think your post is saying you ARE really full of these negative feelings, but that you WANT to be different – is that right? I think one of the ways to start shifting things for yourself is to turn to considering what YOU now want and how you can look after yourself, even in this messy situation.
It is not easy to comment on your husband’s addiction in terms of ‘illness’ – compulsive gambling can be thought of as a disease, but you clearly feel that, for you, it would be very different if your husband had suffered from cancer or something physical. But I would say that he probably feels very bad about himself and certainly did not intend to become addicted when he first gambled. You are right not to assume all will be well, but if your husband means what he says about not wanting to gamble again, that is hopeful. However a 3 week treatment period will not have solved all his problems and he will need ongoing support – does he have Gamblers Anonymous meetings to attend? use online support? have treatment follow-up? Are you able to talk calmly about what he *****? But also share calmly that you are struggling but that you want to make things better.
But back to YOU. You long for a good family life with some money left over after the bills and debts are paid, of course. You are working very hard to keep things going. What can you do to treat yourself from time to time? – give yourself a break? – think of fun things for a while? Doing something for yourself doesn’t have to cost a huge amount, but you need to relax, forget about debt and bills occasionally and enjoy something that is for you. It is not a luxury to look after yourself, it is a necessity! Your post sounds as if you feel no sense of control – you are doing what you have to do and resenting it. Caring for your self even in little ways can help you feel that you are taking back some control where you can.
I’m not sure I am saying the right things for you here, but you will get other replies and perhaps share in the group sessions and start to work things through. You sound as if you have a lot of determination and strength, which will serve you well. It is good to share with people who have also been/are going through the anguish and turmoil of being involved with a compulsive gambler. I am the mother of gambler, whose life is still in a bad way – he does not live with me, but it is painful for a mother to see this.
I wish you well as you step forward.
Keep hope alive.
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