Get practical support with your gambling problem Forum Friends and Family Feeling isolated and severely depressed

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  • #3722
    erin1974
    Participant

    Hello everyone. It’s been quite a long time since I have been on this site. Having a very difficult time looking after myself these days.
    My common-law spouse is a compulsive gambler. He was convicted in December of theft and fraud in the amount of 50000$. He was sentenced to 6 months house arrest and 18 months probation. He is also required to pay restitution, payments are 500$ per month.
    He’s not gambling anymore but the compulsive lying continues. He attends GA meetings at least twice a week and also attends therapy sessions once a week. He’s says he has a job but I don’t believe he does. I haven’t seen any money from him in years.
    I work more than full time as a Registered Nurse and still we live paycheck to paycheck and are behind on some bills. I have been making his restitution payments because if they are not paid he will be sent to jail. I rely on him to look after our daughters when I have to work nights and weekends.
    I am so tired. So full of anger a lot of the time. I sink deeper into depression each day that goes by. I just want to sleep. I feel so anxious and stressed I feel as though I might snap at any moment. I feel so sorry for my children and my husband. I know I’m not being the mother they deserve and cannot give my husband the support he needs either. Frankly, I’m tired of it always being about him. I feel as though I’ve been stuck in the same spot for 6 years, unable to move forward financially or emotionally.
    I know I need counselling. I know I need to do things for myself. I also should probably be on medication. But I can’t do any of it. I just do t have the will or the energy. But I need to for my children.
    I’m glad that I was able to write this post. It feels good to let all of this out of my head.
    Erin1974

    #3723
    velvet
    Moderator

    Hi Erin
    I am not surprised you are tired and full of anger – you are working so hard to clear debts that you didn’t incur and you are feeling a lack of support.
    Has your spouse ever admitted a lie to you? Does he lie about things that are unimportant? Are you able to ask him, without an argument, why he lies – and if so, would he consider confiding in his GA group or counsellor that he still feels the need to lie.
    When he says he has a job, do you tell him that you don’t believe him, or do you ask about his fellow workers and whether or not he is enjoying the work? Point blank refusals to believe a liar usually result in a bigger lie as they seek to save face. I am not judging, I think I would have the point blank refusal to believe on the tip of my tongue – but I am wondering why he still feels the need to lie.
    Your spouse is dealing with an addiction that has taken away his self-esteem and confidence and maybe he invented the job as a cover up for his feeling of inadequacy. He is feeling he has failed you and he is lying to try and make things better but of course, as you and I know, it makes matters worse because there cannot be trust while the lying continues. I know his addiction will have knocked your self-esteem and confidence out of the window too but unfortunately (or fortunately) because you are the logical rational person in the relationship, it tends to come down to you to be the understanding one. I certainly agree that you could do with someone to support you on the ground. Is there a Gamanon near you or is there a counsellor you could talk to who has been recommended? I do think it is important to find a counsellor who will give you the right support because without knowledge of the addiction, I think they can drive up so many blind alleys and possibly make things worse.
    6 months house arrest has put your spouse under your feet so you haven’t had any time for ‘you’. I know that the addiction to gamble divides families by feeding on lies and secrecy but do you have friends to talk to or a supportive family? Unfortunately unless people have lived with the addiction to gamble, their opinions can be very narrow and not supportive so personally I think it is best to ask for support while stating that you don’t want opinions.
    I’m glad you wrote your post – I know how writing can get angry thoughts out, leaving space for thinking more clearly.
    Please post again and ask any questions and I will do my best to support you
    Velvet

    #3724
    nomore 56
    Participant

    Hi Erin, your story is very familiar to me in many aspects. In 2003 my hb was convicted of embezzlement (83K) and sentence to a year in prison because he worked for the fed. gov. and stole the money from his workplace. He also has to pay restitution which he cannot do in his lifetime, he is 62 and disabled. The day the sentence was announced, I considered my marriage over. We are still married on paper for various reasons but do not live together. Gamblers are pathological liars, no doubt about it. But my hb, just as yours kept on lying about lots of things. He had not been gambling for 11 years prior to that huge relapse but lying was a daily thing for him. He avoided anything he found unpleasant, anything that he knew would bother me. When he knew I would not agree with something, he did it anyway and lied about it. After being released from prison, he relapsed right away and then several more times until I called it quits on him and told him he had to move out of my house (he lived on my couch for 4 years). He completed a 120 day inpatient treatment program and has been in recovery every since. What he learned in tx was an eye opener. Lying was his way of coping with life as a child with an extremely abusive mother and several stepfathers. His siblings did the same. He now believes that this was the seed his cg grew from, at least partially.
    Do you know for sure that your hb is not gambling? Going to GA and counseling could just be lip service. Do you have any indication that he is actually working? It sounds like you support your family by yourself? To me, something doesn’t add up. Just mho here of course. If you are the only bread winner AND pay HIS restitution, would it not be better to take this money and pay a baby sitter for your kids? I’m an outsider here and just look at the naked facts so please don’t take offense. At the end of the day, his actions put him in the position he is in and bailing him out of the consequences by paying the restitution makes things very easy for him. Not contributing to the family expenses sounds outrageous to me. But maybe I’m too harsh because my take on the hole my hb dug for himself was to just tell him to go and take care of it and so I handed it over to him. His choice, his consequences, his altogether. Today, I support his recovery as good as I can and am willing to. Should he relapse again, he is on his own. His retirement is garnished every month for the restitution payment and he has to live with it. And ironically this is the reason I could not buy my own place which is the only thing I have left to wish for. At the end of the day, the choices he made will affect me directly forever.
    Sorry for the long post, I just wanted you to know that you are not the only one dealing with these issues. What is important really is YOU and your kids. Take care of yourself and the children how YOU think is best. I wish you strength and peace of mind. The burden is just too much for just one pair of shoulders.

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