Get practical support with your gambling problem Forum Friends and Family confused about the recovery process

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    dear all. its so nice to see a support group and fora just like what is here in this site. such a good place to find people sharing strength, experience, hope and listening ears and hearts.
    i wish everyone a loving and a day of feeling loved today.

    i am a codependent of CG.. he is my fiance. He has reached 1 year sobriety.. though honestly i really would not be sure what to believe in… believed him though.. but recently iv been doubting.
    i know it is his business but i am affected.
    starting 3 months ago.. it suddenly turned upside down. before that i thought we were doing in our relationship quite well. we were both attending our meetings. he tried also very hard to be as honest as possible..he checked in with me regularly. after one fight 3 months ago when i asked him to try harder in terms of reconnecting ties w my family.. thats when he started to withdraw.. he asked space from mee. and said he needed more space. he was able to stand not talk to me for long periods. which i really dont get. i was willing to compromise and understand. i just did not want the space. so took him 2 months to finally converse w me. and he said it was such a nice breather 2 months. he was able to unload and breathe. which hurt me actually. i felt all the burden the worry.. but i never complained. okay. its okay. we have different tolerance and coping levels.
    ever since then.. he was different. he tells me that he would like to focus working on his steps. and made all excuses to stay out of touch. id like to trust his technique. but that process waso painful for me. it was like i was forced to do something i dont like. i dont get why i had to be set aside. if his program i sworking well then we both should have developed better ways of communicating right? but thats not whats happening. he makes me feel like i get in the way pf his program.. i make him lose the focus.. 5 days ago when we talked he told me that i literally cause him headaches and that im such a pressure to him.. which i dont get. because ive been so supportive of his program. all i just want is for us to regularly communicate. for him to involve me and not set me aside in his reocvery. and when i day involve give me updates.. tell me how its been going. that makes me happy. but he completely shuts me out. that makes me feel unloved. it also makes me feel he os back to gamabling. because he surely has money.. and now time. i know consequences are his. he even told me he is not forcing me into the relationship. he feels drained and he has nothing to give. it sounded so desperate. maybe he is playing again. i just wish he could talk to me. and trust me enough to talk to me… i know that this is a process for both of us individually… its painful. and uncertain are the results. i too am feeling ambivalent. its hard enough to work a relationship out..all tge more with the addiction.. i hope he doesnt harm hinself too much. i also like that he is learning to walk alone and deal with his problems.
    i was told that an addict needs to badly truly want recovery fpr miracles to truly happen… it confuses me that he is removing me from the equation.. and if thats what being willing to do whatever it takes to heal and recover…why me?! or is it because i make him face his demons and he is not yet willing and able to do that fully…
    i know i have to take care of myself.. focus on myself.. its gonna be a long journey. but all i wanna do is settle down and have a healthy partner.



    Hello and thanks for starting a thread in the Gambling Therapy forums

    Here at Gambling Therapy we pride ourselves on being a caring and diverse online community who can help and support you with the difficulties you’re currently facing. We understand that this might be a tough time for you, particularly if you’re new to recovery, so come here as often as you need to and participate in the forums, access online groups and connect to the live advice helpline if you need one to one support. We’re in this together!

    Here on the forum you can share your experiences in a safe, supportive and accepting environment. The beauty of writing it all down is that you can take your time and you will be creating a record of your progress that you can look back on if it ever feels like you’re not moving forward. So, share as much or as little as you like but do try to stick to keeping just one thread in this forum so people know where to find you if they want to be updated on your progress or share something with you.

    And on that note….

    I’m going to hand you over to our community because I’m sure they will have some words of wisdom for you 🙂

    Take care

    The Gambling Therapy Team

    PS: Let me just remind you to take a look at our
    privacy policy and terms and conditions so you know how it all works!


    Glad to see you starting a Thread in the Family and Friends Forum, DK!
    Remember we met in the chat a few nights ago?
    You will get lots of support and answers from people in a similar position to your own. The weekends are often quiet , but hang in here and keep posting!
    Take care!


    Hi DK,

    I only have a minute as I am in the process of moving, but I want to offer a few words of encouragement.

    On another thread you asked what is meant by “taking care of yourself”. And in your new thread here you are wondering why your fiancé has seemingly shut you out of his recovery process.

    For me, taking care of myself means changing the things I can by protecting our joint finances and limiting his access to money (among other things). I’ve gotten busy doing things I want to do instead of worrying every minute of every day about what my cg is doing, why he is doing it, why he can’t see what my needs are (and seemingly doesn’t care), and why he won’t assuage my fears and insecurities by talking to me about it. Those constant thoughts and concerns of his addiction won’t change a thing and do neither of us any good.

    It has taken me a very long time to realize that my husband’s recovery is completely separate from mine and we must each be totally selfish doing what we need to do in the process.

    You may think that is not possible when two people are sharing a life together, but It is. You may not have the relationship you once had, and it may not be what you expected or wanted, but, for me, I am beginning to believe it is possible to have a loving and sustainable relationship with a cg. It most certainly is not easy, and my circumstances are different from yours, as is everyone’s, but this has been my experience thus far in my recovery.

    I hope you will continue reading and posting on this forum so you will gain the knowledge to know the difference between what you can change (which is you) and what you cannot change (which is your fiancé), and with that wisdom determine what you are willing (or not willing) to accept and live with.

    Hang in there DK – things will get better.



    I am a little confused as to why you call yourself a co dependent,
    Having skimmed your post I didn’t read anything there that lead me to the same conclusion.

    There is nothing there that suggests that you need to be addicted to the addictions of another. A co dependant needs their other half to be sick or they in turn need also to be sick in order to be completeish !!

    I don’t think that’s you but of course you can fight your corner if you really believe that to be the case

    I don’t think you will because just like me you love someone with the compulsion to gamble and there is no shame in that , not on this forum.

    So I assuming for one minute that I am right !! the next step is what you may want to do next??

    There is no pressure to do anything. Things are often so difficult we lose the ability to do nothing everything screams at us from within and without …………. I have to do something , you must do something ………… it just goes on and on

    Sit back, learn what you can but about yourself, do nothing until you are no longer in crisis.

    Keep posting keep talking

    Jenny x

    That’s not you


    “…for me, taking care of myself means changing the things I can by protecting our joint finances and limiting his access to money (among other things). “– he has completely shut me out. he manages his money. he has completely detached from me. not even a word. for 1 week now. not even a compromise or a deal with me. i understand that he has to take care of himself.. but i wonder where he placed the relationship now. there is no relationship at all. he is just working on himself. i cannot accept that forever. you know i can understand and accept his meetings. but i cannot accept being shut out. of course i am not yet fully abke to understand what is going on. thats because he has not given me information.what is there even to understand?

    “it has taken me a very long time to realize that my husband’s recovery is completely separate from mine and we must each be totally selfish doing what we need to do in the process.”– does that mean shutting out your partner completely? will that ever be an acceptable reason to shut out someone in your life esp your partner and blame the pressures all on her???? i cannot understand and accept that.


    thanks Jenny.
    it is really diffuicult to be with a CG.


    of course i remember you vera. how have u been? hope well! take care!


    Hi Dairy
    Well done starting your thread.
    I will reply to this thread and offer some thoughts on the other thread you have started. We do recommend that you only have one thread and this one seems to me to be the best one for you to continue with. If you have more than one thread posts can get lost.
    You said that you were attending your meetings – are you with Gamanon?
    CGs in early recovery can be incredibly difficult – without their addiction there is a void in their lives which can resemble grief and each CG handles this in a different way.
    You are doing great being supportive of his programme but the best support you can give him is to fill your life with good things that please you, things that maybe the addiction stopped you doing. See your family, see your friends, enjoy your hobbies and share your pleasures with him – give him time to come round to joining you – he has so much going on in his mind and he needs to not have to worry about you – he is not deliberately hurting you.
    My CG told me that what I considered his needs were, were in fact ‘my needs’ and he was right. I understand you wanting to reintroduce your fiancé to your family but that is your need and right now it isn’t his. You mentioned a fight when you tried to get him to reconnect but fighting in early recovery is pointless and counter-productive.
    Your fiancé is being selfish but that is his way to save his life and the way for you to counter-balance that is for you to look after yourself first. He wants to concentrate on the steps, which is what he should be doing and he is to be commended for it. Sadly it has left you feeling left out which is why doing things for you every day, where the addiction is forbidden access to your mind, is so important. Learn to love yourself and to realise how important and unique you are.
    CGs feel they have nothing to give, they feel worthless and unlovable and afraid because their lives are ruled by an addiction that brings them constant failure. You may think that by telling your fiancé he is worthwhile and lovable he will believe you but his brain is still trying to disentangle itself from an addiction that knows how to make him feel otherwise. If you imagine your fiancé’s head is full of water – the water being his addiction; until he has tipped some of that water out there is no room for ‘your’ hopes and dreams or ‘your’ needs. He hears you as though through water, your lips move but you make no sense – yet. He needs time and while he is taking that time it is so important that you give yourself time.
    I don’t believe that it is a miracle when a CG controls his/her addiction; I believe it is hard work and courage. It is only your fiancé who can make himself face his demons and CGs need space to do so – it is not ‘shutting out’. If all your fiancé wants is to settle down and have a healthy relationship then he has taken a big step forward but he has a long way to go. Knowledge of his addiction will help you understand and cope – your fiancé will want to trust you.


    re doing great being supportive of his programme but the best support you can give him is to fill your life with good things that please you, things that maybe the addiction stopped you doing. — iv seen this in many readings.. why is taking care of me thebest way to help him?

    if its not shutting out .. what is it? i feel so left out all alone. why cant ge even say hi or ask how i am..whats one text message ?


    there are no gam -abon meetings in my area so i join the codependents anonymous mtgs. there are some people in my coda meetings where addicts attend too. so we have common friends. it kinda makes me feel uncomfortable. and hard to open up. i feel like he is able to tell stories to other people. while i dont know about those. its wierd and sad. sometimes i dont feel like opening up. people arnd us are able to see the full picture.


    I think filling your life with good things is important on a whole host of levels.

    If your partner loves you he would want you to be happy and not be controlled by the addiction that controls him. I guess like many he struggles to deal with himself and to deal with the feelings of another as well can be too much for both. Seeing that you can still do good things for you may lighten his load a little.

    In your reply earlier you say it is difficult being with a CG and it is, that is why it is so important to do things that build you up. You can’t run an old boiler without fuel and you need your strength. Addiction takes from us it doesn’t give back, put back in what it takes out.

    Looking after you means that you start to recognise your own importance to yourself and that happiness does not depend on the happiness of another but that it is a bonus if the other also comes to live with happiness.

    It proves that you can accept that you are not responsible for actions of another or the consequences of those actions and that you do in fact recognise that you cannot control the other but you can control your self by making better choices. You can decide what happens next, whether your day will be a better one or not.

    I’d be surprised if your CG couldn’t tell a good story, mine certainly could, some very elaborate ones as well !! I found a difficulty in opening up as I thought I should be the one who appeared to cope and didn’t spend enough time “focusing” “looking after” me. I have always worked through a lot of things within myself through posting to others.

    Do you do nice things together ? without the dreaded G word making an appearance in every conversation, perhaps for now at least the G conversations are just to difficult for you to have together and better experiences are there to be had and good memories can be made for both of you. Take some pleasure in not allowing it to interfere with the good things in your lives. Possibly it is time to separate it out and exclude gambling from your life instead of it leaving you feeling that you have been excluded from its life.

    Something else you may read here from time to time is that happiness is the best revenge you can have on this addiction – I (if I remember to do it now) take a great satisfaction in secretly and often openly holding up two fingers in my mind for every day that I am happy, each day that gambling addiction does not have a say in how I am feeling.

    The best way to see if it works is to try it out on yourself, it doesn’t have to be anything massive, small things but lots of them can be just as effective !

    Try it you don’t have anything to lose

    Jenny x


    Hi Dairy
    The beauty about this forum is that you can read the same thing written in different ways by so many people which means, to me, it is worth listening to.
    My CG went away for 9 months into rehab, I did not hear from him for 6 months. I could have spent that 9 months worrying about him and feeling left out or I could look after me. Worrying about my CG would have achieved nothing – he was finding ‘his’ recovery and it had nothing to do with my recovery – they were not the same. In that time I reformed friendships that I had lost because of the addiction, I re-joined life, went out, changed my thinking, gained knowledge of the addiction to gamble and learned to live for me again. I ceased to think about the addictive behaviour 24 hours a day. I found peace.
    If I had not changed when he was away he would have returned to the same person he had left – a victim of his addiction with no confidence or self esteem. Instead he came home to a confident person, someone who had learned to love themselves and he was proud and relieved at that transformation. He had not deliberately wanted his addiction to hurt me; he did not want me to be part of the wreckage his addiction had caused – he didn’t want the guilt of me.
    Am I right in thinking that you are in the same group? I attended Gamanon which is the sister group of GA. We were not allowed to go into GA meetings apart from the occasional invited evening. The reason I think this is successful is that CGs can talk freely and share their concerns – if I had attended GA with my CG my anger, frustration and misery would have prevented him from speaking from his heart, my judgement would have crippled his progress, likewise if he had been in my Gamanon meeting I would not have opened up as I did among those who understood me as he couldn’t.
    I suggest this is why you find it hard to open up. CGs form a bond – they identify with each other and that support is wonderful. F&F form a bond and identify with each other and to me that support is invaluable as it shows in this forum. Would it be possible for those who are friends and family in your group to form a separate entity where you can talk freely about what worries you? At the moment you are hearing your fiancé’s concerns in a meeting with others who understand him. I suspect he doesn’t want to talk about it again when he comes home because you have already heard it and possibly formed judgements on what you have heard.
    How long have you been affected by your fiancé’s addiction?
    I do not know what my CG talked about as he sought to control his addiction although I am aware, from him, that he blamed me for months. We have a terrific relationship now because both of us changed our lives and both of us took care of our own life.
    I hope some of this answers you questions but if not please just keep talking.

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