24 December 2015 at 2:23 am #4464SadAndConfusedParticipant
CG spouse has returned to gambling, and with it once again decided that he does not want a relationship, it is too restricting. He lost everything, got a bit more, and then won. He is still winning.
I love him. Do I just walk away? Can I wait for him to crash and then see if he wants to get help? Can I do anything to help him protect his winnings as his friend?
The last question is probably the most urgent. I am concerned about enabling. I would like to suggest that he send somebody his winnings so that if he is feeling like gambling again he can do so without losing it all.
What are your thoughts on this? Any and all advice is welcome, I just want to do the “most” correct thing here.24 December 2015 at 9:14 am #4465DuncKeymaster
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 our24 December 2015 at 11:11 am #4466moniqueParticipant
Welcome. I hope you will find the help and support YOU need. When you love someone who gambles, your mind is full of their needs and the desire to protect them etc. This is how things are. But one of the vital things to do is to gradually turn your thoughts and efforts into looking after yourself and your own needs. This is not selfish, it is wise and essential. Addiction hurts the person who is addicted, but can (as you know too well) also hurt others very badly, especially those who really care. So do ask yourself what is best for you – when you are protected and safe, you will be stronger and, when the time is right, you will be able to help the one you love in the best way, if he truly wants help.
I hope this makes sense.
Regarding the winnings – my thoughts are that things can change very quickly in the context of gambling and we don’t know what the situation is at this moment in time. You could offer the sensible advice that the winnings are given to someone else for safety, but it will be up to your partner whether he acts on this advice and sticks with it. Once you have given the advice, it will be good if you can try your best to ‘leave it be’; try not to keep agonizing over it.
Do keep posting here (it might be a bit quiet over the holidays, but I hope you will get some good replies) and read the posts from others in similar situations. Look for the F&F Support Groups and join in those, if you can. And do some nice things for yourself and others you love. It can be hard to turn your thinking around, but it is important to look after you, too. Ultimately this is best for everyone.
Monique24 December 2015 at 4:31 pm #4467velvetModerator
Hi Sad and Confused
In my opinion when a CG ’wins’ they lose so much more. The addiction breathes freely and grows rapidly, behaviour deteriorates at an alarming rate and little, if anything, can be done to get through to the CG.
I can’t tell you what to do because there is no way of knowing how an active gambling addict will react. My first thought if he entrusted his money to someone else was that, that person would have a terrible time in the future when your spouse tried to get the money back following the inevitably heavy losses, however, I cannot know that this would definitely be the case. I do believe that if you follow this course, however, the person you chose to help you will have to have a really strong will, able to withstand abuse, cajoling, pleading and threats because this addiction is divisive and powerful.
Are you still living with your spouse? Can his financial position hurt you? If you are living apart then, in my opinion, leaving him alone to crash might be your best option – this is easier to do when the CG is not in your face all day long.
Enabling is allowing the addiction of another to control ‘your’ life. It is giving money to a person who does not see money as you do; a CG sees money as a means to an end – the end being the ‘gamble’. To clear the debt of a CG is to enable because that only wipes the slate clean temporarily without the CG taking responsibility. Covering for an addiction that thrives on secrecy is enabling.
In my opinion the best way you can help your spouse is to look after yourself. This works because no matter whether he wants a relationship, or not, he will not deliberately want to hurt you – he will not want you to be part of the wreckage of his addiction when he eventually determines to change his life. If you are showing concern for him then he can blame you for his behaviour, if you are getting on with your life and allowing him to do what he wants to do then you cannot be to blame.
I am wondering how old your spouse is because young people often do not appreciate the depths their addiction can and will take them to.
What made your spouse stop gambling in the past? Did he seek help or did he think he could beat his addiction on his own? It is recognised on this site that CGs need the right support if they are to live in control of their addiction, abstinence is not recovery.
I will leave it there and wait for your reply. There is an F&F group next Tuesday 20th 20.00-21.00 hours UK time and you would be very welcome – it is good to communicate in real time and you would be very welcome.
In the meantime I do hope your Christmas is not marred by your spouse’s addiction although I appreciate that this may be difficult. I wouldn’t be writing to you if I didn’t know that the addiction to gamble can be controlled but I do know that ‘you’ do not have to live in its shadow. Do things for ‘you’ over Christmas, see friends, indulge in hobbies – all things that get left behind when addiction is in your life.
Velvet27 December 2015 at 4:25 pm #4468SadAndConfusedParticipant
Hi, thank you for your replies. Velvet, I have read your posts all over this forum, I would like to thank you on behalf of everyone here for your dedication to being supportive to us all… You are clearly an amazing person.
My CG is 28. We were together for 2 years. We are different than most people. We are both highly intelligent and socially awkward. We clicked right away. He lives in another country from me. My finances are 100% safe from his gambling. I can walk away from this only have wasted 2 years, but without losing anything but time and energy.
I was with a previous ex for 7 years, he had a drug addiction. I have that kind of heart that doesn’t want to walk away from someone in need, until I know for sure that I cannnot help them. My ex and I actually surprised a lot of counselors, he was addicted to opiates, and the recovery he would get with me was almost as effective as rehab. But opiates are near impossible to deal with, and eventually we had to stop trying and just let him go hit his rock bottom.
I have a lot of knowledge on this area. I enjoy researching, and specifically like learning about the brain. I understand the effect that gambling has on his dopamine production, and that he has actually acquired a need for gambling in order to provide him with the required levels of dopamine for survival. I understand that while he will not die if he quits gambling, that his brain may think he will, subconsciously. I know that the need for survival is greater than any will power. It is like trying to stop breathing.
Knowing everything I know, part of me thinks I should just be patient while he does his thing. When he crashes it will hurt and he will want a way out. Is there any way that it is okay to stand by his side as his friend until he crashes and then take action the same as i would when my ex would come down from his drugs?29 December 2015 at 6:45 pm #4469velvetModerator
Hi S & C
Standing by as a friend until he crashes is fine but what about your life?
Highly intelligent and socially awkward would probably describe more CGs than you have imagined (and those who love them). The addiction to gamble can enter all walks of life and sometimes it is the intelligence that makes it more difficult. In my opinion being intelligent leads people towards thinking they should understand the things in their lives that are hurting them – they should be able to ‘sort it out’. I think it is one of the reasons why those who love CGs keep the addiction’s secret, thus allowing it freedom to grow. I believe that all who seek support on this site have the kind of hearts that don’t walk away unless every avenue has been explored.
I hope you will understand that I really cannot tell you what to do. You are safe from your spouse’s addiction in that you are apart and your finances are 100% secure. I would never tell anyone to leave or to stay with an active CG. You have done the right thing for your CG and gained knowledge but now, having done so, it is important that ‘you’ make your own informed decisions which is a large part of the F&F recovery.
Whatever you do S & C I hope you will not feel you are wasting your life. I believe it is important that we take the sad experience of living with the addiction to gamble and turn it into something good, thus denying the addiction a greater victory.
Keep posting and protecting yourself.
Velvet4 February 2016 at 7:45 pm #4470monacolaParticipant
Hi Sad and Confused,
I’ve been dating a CG for a little less than a year, he has been upfront about his addiction from the beginning, including past indiscretions, relapses, etc. A big relapse hit him last fall when I was away on an extended holiday. He broke up with me rather coldly during that time, gambled and crashed horribly right after I got back. Then, slowly, he came back life. I decided to give things another chance and it was good for a while.
I do have experience with addictions and was in AA as a teenager (I’m a moderate drinker today) so I could not help noticing little by little that he was not giving recovery his all, he didn’t attend meetings, he was lying to his family and ultimately to himself – more or less not doing the basics. While not wanting to be codependent or enabling I told him I was aware of what this meant to his recovery but that I was not going to try to fix him. I did say I might have to make drastic decisions later on if things would become hurtful or harmful to me.
Very recently I started noticing behaviour that I only experienced before when he relapsed. He started pulling away, showed serious signs of depression and abandoned our intimacy – just in a matter of days. When I confronted him, he got angry and broke the relationship off. Now I realise that he has started gambling again and that this is the beginning of another cycle. If I don’t break free from him now, I will be stuck in a cycle of addiction and codependency, maybe for a long time.
The good news is that due to his gambling he’s ignoring me so there’s no dialogue, the bad news is is that I miss him and I am afraid for him. Behind all of this is the sweetest man I know, my best friend, my main man. I don’t take any of this personally – yet it hurts like hell. I never thought I would have to walk away from someone I love, but I think I have to.
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