29 September 2019 at 7:23 am #6917kmck15Participant
Hello Supportive People!
A couple of hours ago, my husband told me he has a problem with gambling.
I know it’s a good thing he freely admitted it to me. Well, “freely” because he spent money that we were saving for a vacation, so he couldn’t hide it anymore.
It seems it was mostly online gambling, and having him say the words outloud was like the lightbulb turning on, and I was able to connect so many dots. His physical absences when he was “running errands” was really code for him sitting in his car playing online poker. Him falling asleep on the couch and never coming to bed because he fell asleep mid game.
The seemingly small amounts of money, had apparently spiraled into so much more.
So – what did you do? What are the first steps?
I’ve told him I need to process and I need to be able to tell him how all of this has affected me, and that we need to come up with a plan, together.
– I’ve found meetings, both for him & a support for family near us
– I’ve changed all the PIN numbers/login information for our shared bank accounts (we each have our own as well)
What are other things you’ve done in the first few days after finding out that we’re helpful, for both of you, or even things that simply made you feel more safe/secure etc.?
I’ve never been around addiction of any kind firsthand, so I’d appreciate any advice.
K29 September 2019 at 11:01 am #6918velvetModerator
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, you’ll find the times for these if you click on the “Group times” box on our Home page
Read about the friends and Family Online Groups
Now that you have introduced yourself you’ll find that many of the people you meet here have already read your initial introduction and they’ll welcome you in like an old friend 🙂
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You’ll find a lot of advice on this site, some of which you’ll follow, some you won’t…but that’s ok because only you fully understand your situation and what’s best for you and the people you love. So, take the support you need and leave the advice you don’t because it all comes from a caring, nurturing place 🙂
We look forward to hearing all about you!
The Gambling Therapy Team29 September 2019 at 12:02 pm #6919velvetModerator
Your reaction and actions, for someone who has never been around addiction before, are brilliant – well done.
What has you husband’s reaction been to all the steps you are taking to protect yourself and ultimately him? Is he willing to go to a support group? Is he talking about his feelings and what he wants to happen in the future?
When communication is opened, it is important to keep the door open and listening is often more important than talking. If your husband’s behaviour has developed into a gambling addiction, then it is good to be ahead of him in what he is capable of doing as a result of that addiction. Knowledge of the addiction to gamble will give you power over it and protect you.
You are right to say that you need to process what has happened and that takes time, you have been hit after all by a bolt out of the blue. Don’t be rushed into thoughts of trusting him, keep talking here and in your support group – you will get through this.
You are right to need to tell him how his actions have affected you but it is better to be aware that he may not want to listen through shame and guilt but it is important to be aware that he need not feel shame and guilt because he didn’t ask for or want this addiction. Nobody wants to have an addiction to gamble. The addiction distorts thinking and very often gamblers resort to lies to help them cope – be ready but don’t necessarily attack him if you hear them – the lies will cease when the addiction is controlled.
What is less easy to achieve, is ‘your need’ for the two of you to come up with a plan together that he will stick to quickly when ‘his need’ is the gamble. Make plans with him that are achievable today. By all means work out plans to protect yourself which means understanding and learning about the ‘what’ and the ‘what nots’ to do but remember he is being compelled by a force he does not understand and will probably still feel the ‘need’ to gamble.
It is most important that you look after yourself – the addiction to gamble is divisive and corrosive. Have you got family and friends to support you? Keep up with friendships, hobbies and interest because, thinking about the addiction 24 hours a day does not help, it merely saps your energy.
I will leave my first reply there and wait to hear from you but once again I applaud all the steps you have taken so far; your husband is very lucky to have you, wiling to listen, on his side.
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