Gambling Therapy logo
Viewing 84 reply threads
  • Author
    • #2769

      Thank you Monique for all your love and support. I know we don’t “know” each other, but I have received so much love and support from this site that it is quite ironic that the “real” people in my life have NO CLUE what is going on. What does that say about the people in my life??

      I am having a hard time hanging on – Still trying to decide what is best to do – My husband is going to therapy 2x a week soon to be 3x with a CBT therapist. He has still continued to ly to me – that is the hardest part – WHY WHY does he have to ly? I guess he is afraid..HE is trying to control the money I have in my own name – trying to hack passwords and gain access to that a******* He says he was worried I would use this money to go to a lawyer and divorce him – I explained that doing this and lying about it make that even more likely instead of just talking to me about it! And since he has his sex addiction problem we have not been intimate and now he is getting angry at me for this – How can he expect me to want to be intimate with him when he li*es to me and is still so messed up?? How can I even trust him again?? I can’t even sleep in the same bed with him bc of his issues… I feel SO SAD..I really feel like I am depressed and I am not the type of person that gives into things – I am a fighter – in all ways (I train as a fighter Mixed Martial Arts) but yet this area – the main area of my life – is so messed up and I have no control over what he will do – ANd it makes me so sad that I am having a hard time functioning. I feel so pathetic – so many other people have worse in their lives yet I sit here feeling useless.. Why can’t I just shake this off?? Why can’t I stop crying???

      I feel like I am waiting – waiting for something to happen – but mean while my life is passing me by …punctuated by homework, kids multiple after school lessons, dinner, food shopping, working out, cleaning, etc…and still this distance with my husband – separate beds, separate lives.. He keeps saying “I love you” and “I want to take you out to ______” but he never does anything about it…more empty promises. And all I get is a large angry man who is blaming me for not wanting to be intimate with him! Like this is my fault!!!

      Can anyone else relate to this?? Most of the time I feel like I am going crazy – sad and crazy – I am trying to be there for my kids but wish there was something I could do for myself – All I want is to disappear – I have thought about suicide more time than I can cownt but I would never do that to my kids – and leave them with their Dad?? Yikes!

      If anyone has advise, suggestions, words of wisdom, something, anything… I really am at the rend of my rope it seems..

      with love


    • #2770

      Sending you a huge cyber (((hug))). Take a huge breath in and out again. Breathe deep and slowly :). To me you sound like you need some time out. Is there anywhere you can go? Family, friends, a hotel, for a couple of days just to recharge, have some space? I’ve mentioned about my ex husband before and although he wasn’t a gambler, what you are describing is exactly where I was. The ‘problem’ was so immense it had to be broken down in stages. While he was going through ‘his’ therapy, I stood by him and made myself ill. I took myself off for a week, just me, to an old friend in a different country and I was able to get some breathing space. I won’t ***, its not easy. But once I had accepted it was not going to change without something drastic happening (he moved out) then things started to change. I went through 18 months of therapy, his, ours and mine, sleeping in different rooms, leading separate lives, trying to make it work. I strongly urge you to get some support for yourself, a close friend, a family doctor perhaps. We are all here for you. Take care. San x

    • #2771

      Like San, I get the feeling, as I read your post, that you really need support for YOURSELF. I cannot ‘diagnose’ and am not trying to, but I get a real feeling of depression and effects of stress from what your write. I hope you are feeling helped by off-loading a bit here and knowing that others are concerned for you. It would be great if you can have some local help too, of some depth and understanding.

      Can you find small ways to ‘reclaim’ your own identity in all this and affirmation of your own worth and of the importance of your own requirements in life? Your husband sounds very controlling and you have given so much of yourself to the family – I fear you getting ‘lost’ in it all.

      But you have experiences to build on and an inner strength yet to tap to the full. You say you are ‘waiting for something to happen’ – is it possible for you to MAKE something happen? – no matter how small at first?

      I don’t want this to sound like another ‘demand’ for you to cope with but an encouragement to find one thing you want and make it happen soon to encourage you forward and hopefully lift your spirits a little.

      Holding you in mind.


    • #2772

      Hi Madge

      I am concerned that I might be repeating myself but I am sorry I am trying to catch up and don’t have time to look back. Unfortunately the new site has not learned that asterisks are not necessary for the letters ‘l i e’ so I have edited and hopefully this post will make sense.

      You ask ‘WHY WHY does he have to l i e?’ It all starts, I bel ie ve, because the CG is emotionally immature. Like a child, when your husband was caught out in bad behaviour he would have l ie d to cover for something he had done but did not understand. It is quite likely that the person to whom he l ied backed off because the l i es were so extreme, unnecessary and imaginative. The CG’s inability to reason and rationalise causes them to use l i es again as a coping mechanism – how else can they explain the irrational. This goes on and on until it becomes the norm for the CG. After years the CG has no memory that is a true memory, their memory is all wrapped up and encased in a mesh of l i es. The CG’s l i es become their truth.

      However, knowing all this will not help you stop crying. I do relate to your feeling of going crazy, I can relate to everything you have described. I know you are not crazy and you are not pathetic but I know how vivid these feelings are to you and I bel i eve that ‘you’ need physical support. It is amazing how long the rope is, even when you feel that you have been dangling on the end of it for as long as you can remember, just dangling there is enough to destroy your confidence.

      I think that San’s suggestion of a break for you is good, cutting the rope and allowing yourself some space – is it difficult with your children?

      In my opinion, your husband is not responding as he should and I am not surprised you have a problem with intimacy.

      Have you seen anything positive coming out of his visits to therapists?

      Sometimes Madge, estrangement is the only way forward but I am not suggesting that is definitely so for you. It is important, I think, that you have time and space to think quietly what it is that you want. You are not being given that time living in the middle of your husband’s addiction; I suspect you are only hearing white noise. It might be that your husband does not truly want to change his life, if might be that he cannot. It might even be that unwittingly and through no fault of your own, you are cushioning him against changing his life – a break from the intensity would help.

      I appreciate the depth you feel at, at the moment and the feeling of being unable to function properly. I hope it helps to know that others have been where you are now and they are there no longer. Try and make it possible for ‘you’ to have the chance to think. You can do it Madge. The Mixed Martial Arts fighter is there. Dig deep and make a push towards freeing you up.

      You can do it


    • #2773

      Hi – Ive been trying to respond a million times but am always waylaid by something…I want to say few things: Yes, I feel better and thank you San for the suggestion to get away for a few days and Monique for doing something just for myself. I agree I am battling some depression given this whole situation, but am working on it.
      And something DID happen! I hurt myself by accident- I dropped a heavy decoration on my foot and ruptured the tendons ligaments. I couldn’t walk, was on crutches, etc. But it turned out to be such a blessing – My husband (who usually does nothing ) started to do everything! I was literally in bed, unable to move and he did everything! Took care of kids, drove them everywhere (which is no small feat as we live in the booni es) and took care of me! It was wonderful! And it was this time, 3 days or so, that I had totally to myself – I couln’d go anywhere or do anything, but it was good – just time for me , not to worry about anyone else. I had this time to recharge and think about what I wanted to do – SO- I decided to take a class i have been putting off for 5 years or so. I really feel like I need something for me and am so excited I will be doing it! My husband’s CBT therapy seems to really be helping him – I am cautious, but he is sharing with me and talking to me about things like he hasn’t in maybe forever. We’ll see if it lasts as I am not going to bite just yet, but happy at least he seems committed and working on his stuff.
      And I am happy – happy I have had this time to reflect, happy I am doing something for myself and happy I was *forced* to stay in bed and take care of myself – I never thought Id be so happy to NOT be able to walk, but it was a blessing in disguise. I am still wearing a boot, but mostly off crutches. And feeling better about me.
      Thank you all for you love and support. I carry you all around with me in my thoughts…You all are a blessing to me as well..

    • #2774

      Hi Madge

      I am glad you got the care and attention you deserved – it almost makes dropping the decoration worthwhile although I am not sure about the pain from the ruptured ligaments.

      How are things now you are hopefully totally off crutches and boot-free? Is your husband still co-operating more with the home?

      I am hoping that the damn that the CBT has helped to breach is still allowing your husband to let his feelings and worries out. It is astounding how much a person can keep inside them festering away without realising it is happening. I believe that CBT is an amazing tool.

      It is great to see you say you are ‘happy’ as I suspect it is a feeling that you felt was denied to you.

      I look forward to further updates but hopefully no more accidents.


    • #2775

      Thank you Madge

      Permalink Submitted by adele on Sun, 10/13/2013 – 20:23

      Dear Madge,

      Thank you for your concern and for posting here. I am feeling much better now, physically and emotionally thankfully.

      I think your term “empathy fatigue” is fitting. After being guarded with my feelings for my husband for so long, there doesn’t seem to be a lot of emotional stuff left…

      I have been following your thread with interest, empathy and sympathy since you first began posting here. Your situation is so complex – I think I have felt inept to respond with anything that would have been helpful. I am so glad you have gotten such great replies from others.

      You have done exceptionally well in making yourself aware of your husband’s gambling addiction in addition to his other issues – all the while maintaining a level of normalcy for your children. This is no small feat Madge – you may not feel it, but you have shown tremendous strength in all that you have been through.

      We have had some interesting and unexpected interventions (you dropping the decoration on your foot and my husband’s rollover) that put a twist in both our recoveries and our CG’s recoveries haven’t we? I am interested in hearing how things are going with you since you (I assume) have been back on your feet.

      I hope you will post soon and continue to explore and share your experiences here. It makes such a difference for me when I post regularly.


    • #2776

      Hi all
      Thank you to Velvet for your support. And Adele – I was truly touched by your post. You are of course not inadequate to reply to all my issues – we all in some ways are going thru the same thing, to different extents. I also feel that since the new site opened people have been dropping off – sometimes I think I am posting to the nether-world and that no one hears me..that is sad. I am happy when I see someone saw my post and knows I am still here….
      How am I doing? Well, my foot is better, but I am still sad. I resonate with something you said about empathy fatigue and feeling empty-ish inside. For the 1st time in my marriage (20 years) I don’t know if I love my husband anymore…I feel sort of numb inside. Now I don’t know if that is because all the trauma we have been thru, how I don’t know if or when Ill ever be able to trust him, or if I just plain don’t love him anymore. I even told him I found myself wishing I could meet someone else. That is horrible I guess, but I look around and see other people and imagine that they don’t carry the huge burden that my husband does….I am not sure what to do with all of these feelings…
      My husband has been trying hard and seems to be more connected to feeling empathy for me – but most nights its rush rush rush with the kids, then by the time it is 1030, 11pm he walks off to “his” bedroom, saying “goodnight”. Most of our conversations are housekeeping – who is taking what kid where and when, etc…. We are almost like strangers now…I feel sad but dont know what to do. He is in therapy 3x a week, goes to meetings semi-regularily (although he says they dont help him). I think we would benefit from couples counseling but honestly i feel burnt out from all our YEARS of counseling and dont know if I have it in me to start over and tell our story again….I also could benefit to talk to someone but wasn’t thrilled with my last therapist and dont have the energy to look for another one.
      The other thing I notice is I have no patience – I snap at my kids all the time! I hate it! I guess I am frustrated bc I am so unhappy – I feel like I spend every waking moment doing something for someone else *something I hate* – even when I work out (which is often for hours) I feel like it is not for me – I do it because I HAVE to (so Im not fat), not because I want to. I dont want to be this impatient unhappy person – but my life seems like such a burden now – hours and hours, days and days of just enduring – no wonder all I want to do is sleep.
      Thank you Adele for the kind words – but I am not sure how “strong” I am – I am not sure I am worthy of your praise. – maybe I am just stupid – stupid to stay with this man after all he has done to me, stupid to believe him over and over just for him to lie to me again, maybe I am just stupid and weak….and that is a horrible sad thought…
      Well, better run. Kid #3 waiting. Adele I hope you are caring for yourself during the time of your husbands convalescing – it is SO easy to get caught up in taking care of someone else…

      I do feel better when i post – I feel even better knowing someone *out there* hears me….
      Thank you to all my GT friends – you have no idea how important your support is in my life.


    • #2777

      Dear Madge

      The times I have heard members call themselves stupid and I have searched their posts for proof and found none. The addiction makes us feel inadequate but that is because it crept up on gradually and took away our confidence without us realising it but it didn’t make any of us stupid.

      Tomorrow at 2100 hours UK time, Adele and I will be sitting in the comfort of the cyber group room and we will hope to see you come through the door. Talking does help. You don’t need to start from the beginning with us. We can talk about the feelings you might have, or even that you might have lost, without recourse to dig into the whys and wherefores. We can start with how you feel today because today matters.

      For a short time lay your burden down and don’t just endure time passing. I cannot ‘know’ if you have fallen out of love with your husband just as I didn’t know whether I had fallen out of love with my CG a few years ago but if we share with each other, knowing that we understand each other, I like to think you might feel stronger. We are anonymous and can therefore examine our hearts without feeling judged.

      There is always someone here listening to you Madge. ‘You’ are important.

      I am glad you wrote you post – you have been in my thoughts


    • #2778

      Thank you Velvet for your loving response – I so wish I could be in the group tomorrow. My daughter has her psychiatrist appt at 4pm (EST – which I think is 2100 UK time). Something I can’t miss. I wish there was another time I could make it to group – I will check the group chart. I long to discuss these issues with people who understand – I really need to – To be heard and understood is very therapeutic, as you know.
      Thank you for hearing me, for being there for me. This illness is sooo confusing – I do feel stupid in so many ways but wonder how I allowed it to happen? It happened because I trusted my husband – that doesn’t make me stupid, does it? I don’t know anymore….Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice….
      I will try and come to a group asap – I miss “talking”.. I need to ..
      Please keep me in your prayers as I will you in mine.

    • #2779

      Would you consider taking some time out fro what comes across as a very stressful situation and let hubby take over for a week or two.
      Book a hotel with a friend/sister and just switch off.
      Looking back on times when my kids were young, I would snap at them when I was tired and annoyed. Then I would feel guilty and overcompensate. Then I would blame their father for my bad mood and he would blame me for their bad behaviour and looking back a lot of this could have been avoided if I had taken a step back….I always felt the place would fall asunder if I left for a break but the truth was it was falling asunder when I was there….I’m not blaming or judging you in any way Madge, just remembering whrn my kids were that age. They are in their 2o’s now They dont come home unless I threaten or bribe or use emotional blackmail on them. That scares me! The house my husband built is empty ! Why ? Because its not a home! Why? Because I created dysfunctional situations which later gave me an excuse to run to the casino to escape from the sadness/madness that seemed to get worse as the years went on.
      I feel guilty now because MAYBE if I had removed myself more often from the firing line, I would not now be the scapegoat for my youngest son’s unruly behaviour ( which he tells everyone was caused by an overcontrolling mother), my middle son’s sloth (he has an honours degree in architecture and won’t even look for a job) , my daughter’s absence ( she moved to Sydney and will never contact her parent unless I chase her up, and when she comes home we always end up sparring and it’s ALWAYS my fault…..
      If I had to do it all over again it would be different. Like you I was overwhelmed trying to be “all things to all men” and at the end of it all, I ended up escaping to casinos to torture myself….
      Excuse the rant Madge…..All Im saying is TAKE A BREAK. It will do you the world of good.

    • #2780

      Dear Madge

      I am not sure how your time ties in with UK time but have a look at the top of the F&F family forum page for details of how to get into groups – the topic is called ‘Groups’.

      You didn’t ‘allow’ what has happened to happen deliberately – how could you know that which the addiction never wanted you to know. If it happened, just because we trusted, this would be a sorrier world than it is now. Of course we should be able to trust. I could not c ount the times the addiction fooled me but I know I am not stupid and you will come to really believe that given time, understanding and knowledge.

      Please forget the idea that because you were (and are still strong, even if you don’t feel it), this should not have happened to you. I think the stronger and more confident you were before the addiction hit your life, the greater the problem you have in accepting that there was nothing you could do that would have made any difference. The good bit has to be, surely that, knowing you were confident and strong before, your strength and confidence will still be there if you dig for it.

      I am concerned that you do things that you hate. Why you are doing them? It sounds as though you are punishing yourself by working out far too much and yet there is no need for you to be punished – you have done nothing wrong. Can you tell me why you feel you deserve such treatment?

      You are indeed in my prayers and when we say the Serenity Prayer every week on Tuesdays at 21.55-22.00 hours UK time I hope you know you are included in the circle.

      I do hope we speak soon. Vera’s story is not yours. ‘What ifs’ and ‘if only’ can never be part of the recovery for F&F. Today is what matters and I hope today you can tell me something that you have done for yourself that you wanted to do.

      Speak soon


    • #2781

      Dear Vera and Velvet – thank you both for taking the time to write me – I really lifts me up to know others UNDERSTAND what is going on…
      Vera- I did think about your post alot and did take some time to myself with girlfriends and just setting limits with my kids – I try to be “everything to everyone” (a favorite son of mine by Everclear!) and you know that doesn’t work. Just wears me out.
      I am being more conscious of carving out those times for me, to just be happy.

      After I read your post I was sad – I am trying to figure out why – I guess partially because you are right – right that I feel like ” it happened, just because I trusted” that somehow my trust allowed him to get away with what he got away with for so long. My trust made it possible for him to deceive me – so somehow it is my trusting’s fault..if that makes any sense. I feel dumb and bad that I trusted him. Logically I know it’s not my “fault” but I somehow feel duped by him, his addiction. Every time I look at a picture of us in the past I think “oh, that is when he was lying to me” like this addiction has destroyed all my happy memories..I look at his smiling face in the picture and think “he was deceiving me right then! How could he do that???” That makes me sad…
      I also think I am sad bc your post reminded me of all that is – Luckily for me, my CG has been away on business for a few days and its been great to not have him here. To not be reminded of all that is broken in my life. Your post reminded me but I guess its just as well since he gets back tonight. It was nice not to think about it for a while…really nice…
      What have I done for myself today? I don’t know..I guess I reminded myself that everything has a time limit – for everyone – not just me. Kids grow up, people move into different phases of their life and no matter how much we dont want it, everything changes..some how that gave me comfort. I guess to be in the moment – appreciate the time with my kids instead of looking at it as a grind, appreciating the fall leaves and color, before the cold’s the season, turn turn turn…
      I don’t know how I’ll be when he returns tonight – I wish he was gone longer – And I will try and make the groups if I can – I think those times are not good for me here, EST.

      Thank you so much for keeping me in your prayers – I do believe they help even though I am not religious – we are all connected…please continue to keep me in mind in the Serenity circle

      More later..
      Much love,

    • #2782

      Dear Madge

      It didn’t happen ‘because’ you trusted – it happened because your husband has an addiction that he neither wanted nor asked for any more than you. Yes we trust because until something happens to break trust that is what we do when we love someone.

      Don’t let his addiction spoil your happy memories; don’t let it take away that which was possibly true. He smiled because he wanted to feel and be ‘normal’, not everything is a deceit.

      I am sorry that I broke into a time when you were trying to be happy and reminded you of that which you wish to forget. There will come a time when you can forget and be the person you want to be without effort, if it wasn’t so I wouldn’t be here. It is my belief we can bury the problem but at some time, if we want to be forever free, we have to face it. You were still looking at this forum for you to be able to see my posts which says you are still looking for ‘your’ answer and you are not burying the problem. Keep talking, keep learning, the more knowledge you acquire the more ready you will be to make ‘your’ informed decision, the one that you will ultimately be happy with.

      To be able to live in the moment is a gift that is even more precious for having lived through a bad experience. You already know the things you want to appreciate and you can make them happen. Spend time watching those leaves fall; make a point of enjoying your children, don’t let them be a grind. Nothing is too late.

    • #2783

      Hi Velvet and all. Sorry to have been away. Been busy with birthdays (mine and my youngest), sports, halloween and the like – good busy –
      But still the gnawing of that **feeling** feeling of what is really real and what isn’t. My Cg and I went out for dinner for my bday last nite and it is so hard to “be happy” with him. I feel like I am always looking for the untruths or reasons why I can’t trust him. He says he hasn’t gambled in 90 days – how do I know if this is true? He says his therapist says he is not a CG but more a compulsive liar..great..either way is bad for me. We don’t sleep in the same bed anymore which makes me feel sad. Without going into detail, part of his sex addiction was trying to do inappropriate things to me while I was asleep without my consent – sick, I know. Hence the separate beds. But when he is awake and with me he is this sweet, kind generous man – when we are alone at night in bed he turned into this monster – He said he did it to get back at me for things he was mad about and couldn’t talk to me about. It happened repeatedly despite his pleadings that he wouldn’t do it anymore…. SO, if he has lied so long about this, I have no way of knowing if he still lies about gambling or anything else. …..I hope this was not too off topic, but needed to put it out there to help people understand all I am dealing with. It is the trust – how can I trust he’s not gaming? How can I trust he won’t attack me in my sleep?? Once he leaves the house I honestly have no idea where he goes, what he does and I don’t believe anything he says. How can I give my heart back to a man I don’t trust?? How can I ever trust him again?? Will I ever be able to trust him again??
      I want to move on, I want to trust, I WANT it to be better. But I don’t know how?? Any ideas???
      Sorry to make this quick (Ill write more later) – didn’t want you to think I disappeared..Off to gym before I get kids…
      Pray for me ..Im not sure what else is left..
      Love to you all

    • #2784

      Hi Madge
      It is probably impossible to trust when you have not been given evidence that your trust will be honoured and respected. I cannot tell you if you will one day be able to trust your husband, but for now perhaps it is good to accept where you are and what you feel, without trying to resolve anything. Answers come in their own time and more often when we are calm and not anxiously, desperately trying to find those answers.

      As ever, when there is addiction and other complex difficulties, we come back to ‘looking after yourself’, so that you are as well and strong as you can be. It can seem counter-intuitive when ‘someone else has so many problems’ – but it is realistic when the only person you can truly help is yourself.

      You know all this, I am sure, but often we get buffeted about by the unruliness of the addiction and we have to ‘refocus’, return to what is essential and what is possible in the here and now. It can be frustrating living in a place of ‘not knowing’, yet strangely liberating, if we can move beyond the fretful state of trying to change everything and just live in the moment. Unexpected answers will come .

      What do you need for YOU right now?

      Look after yourself.

      Best wishes, Monique

    • #2785

      I think Monique’s response is spot on. Answers will come when the time is right and to live in the present is the way to go. I also think only YOU will know if you will ever trust him again. Despite my ex husband trying to change, going to therapy and everything else, the day he hit me he stepped over the line for me. It was a firm boundary of mine and I knew deep down I was never going to trust him not to hit me. It took 14 months for us to come to the conclusion to separate and see what the extra space would bring. Next week I go to sign papers that will finally end my association with that man – 3 and a half years from the moment he hit me. When I look back at that time, everything happened at the right time, even though I couldn’t see it at the time. I’ve worked continuously on my recovery and believe I’ve come out the other side a much stronger person. When I’ve tried to push things on for a conclusion, I’ve been met with resistance. When I’ve let things happen in their own time, things have been much calmer and the end result better for me. One day at a time. Concentrate on yourself and your recovery. And a belated Happy Birthday. Take Care San x

    • #2786

      How could you trust someone who not only lies to you, but also abuses you Madge?
      I think the question, I would be asking if I were in your shoes is ,
      “Can I trust myself”?
      You need to trust your own judgement as to why you stay in this marriage, and find out if fear of what will happen if you leave (or ask hubby to leave) is keeping you there. Fear is the opposite to Love!
      You have been undermined and intimidated in many ways. When a CG carries traits like manipulation, control and disrespect into the wider ares of his/her life, I think it is time for the “victim” to ask the question, “Can I ever trust myself to have an intimate relationship ( emotional/psychological/sexual) with this person ever again.
      Maybe when you figure out the answer to that question you may be able to forgive and move on.
      In my case I know my gambling stems from not being able to trust others OR MYSELF!
      Just some food for thought Madge.
      Life is complex. I will pray for the gift of Wisdom for you!

    • #2787

      Dear Monique, San and Vera

      I hear all your words and thank you for thinking of me and taking the time to respond. A special CONGRATS to Monique for her new position here at GT – I think you will (and are) marvelous at it – I actually already thought you did work here at one point!
      Anyway – I do hear all your suggestions to sit with this issue, take care of myself etc and I do agree. But, as you may have guessed that is not my m.o. –

      You know the saying “Don’t push the river”? I am the one IN the river trying to push it in the opposite direction! I have always been like this and it is very difficult for me not to have resolution or to “sit” with anything. I am very solution focused/driven and “waiting” for something to happen is not easy for me. I feel it must be some karmic issue I am facing bc it is excruciating for me to not have a solution. I also feel like I am wasting my time in a way bc I don’t know how long I have left on this planet – if I “hang in there ” with my CG for the next 3 years only to find out that he hasn’t/can’t change then haven’t i wasted the last 3 years of my life? I feel like I want a resolution so I can move on, but I don’t know what that is…
      Professionally (Im a therapist) I know it doesn’t make any sense to make any moves when things are still so fresh and unsettled. But I also know, therapeutically it will take a LONG time for my CG to get better (if he even can) and for me to recover from his abuse. Which leads me to the conclusion of “what do i do??”
      Yes: take care of myself, Yes: take care of my kids, Yes: live in the moment…but all these things are so hard and feel like they are yielding nothing when I need solutions.
      My CG says his new CBT therapist says he is not a CG since he was able to stop gambling cold turkey – that instead he is addicted to lying and manipulating others around him to gain power – isn’t that another side of the same coin? He says the GA meetings don’t help him bc he is “not like those people”. SO..I am not sure where to go with that – his psychiatrist says he needs to go to meetings at least 1x a week, but he says they don’t help.

      I hope this is not running in circles. I am trying to be coherent and express my sense of loss, frustration, loss of hope, over all unsettled-ness that I feel. Sometimes I feel like there is so much garbage between me and my husband that nothing can clean up that mess and it would be best to move on, start fresh. But my dream was to have a family – to have my kids, loving husband – that is all I wanted. And I thought I had it till all this blew up. I don’t want to give up on that dream but I can’t see how this can ever be fixed. There are some things from which you cannot recover…. I hope one way or another, this has a happy ending for me.

    • #2788

      Hello Madge
      So nice to meet you on your thread. I’m reading your posts and i thought that from all those questions I have passed too like you so many times.
      I understand so well Madge that you need (more than everything) your questions to disappear, to find the solution to make the revolution that you need as you wrote. I understand very well what it is like the phrase “and what if I m wasting my time? And what if he will not ever recover? I will be failed because I will have lost my years waiting and trying for his recovery? I want and I need to move on , I know the feeling that I’m in the middle of the river and I need to go to a side that I’m pushing myself to go to a side because it is my character to find solutions on my problems. I know the feeling that when I have a problem I have 2 roads which one I will take? I know that all the problems have 2 solutions black and white, which one is the best? I m thinking and decide every time.
      Well Madge in my journey i found out that all the solutions that are needing time to be solved are not a waste of time .I was late for that , I was struggled but I did understand it. The revolution is not black or white.
      Ok for me white is that I will stay with you and you will succeed and black is that I’m leaving you I want to move on …I will take a divorce and move on …
      In my journey I found out that my biggest mistakes that caused me all the problems from my recovery (not my cg recovery) is that I am impatient. I need the solution now, I need it now but I couldn’t see the solutions because I just wasn’t ready to see it, and that were when I was struggled.
      Well maybe I’m wrong but in your post I can feel that you are a little impatient Madge. You need to take a side quickly because you feel that you are exhausted and tired and you need to know to what you will move on … where to give your power …because you are tired now.
      The revolution Madge comes from inside you. Is for you .When I realized it that in my journey that was the time when my recovery started for me too.
      I know you know it but try to see that with the addiction is not everything black or white. The other color is the grey. Maybe you can be friend with the grey color because is the zone we need before we will be ready to decide. If we are in the grey is bc we are not ready to decide but that makes us impatient and that is tiring. Find your forces..For you… don’t waste your mind for questions that cannot be answered. The recovery is so selfish and I think that maybe you are starting to feel it. Be selfish for you.
      So what if my cg will not recover? So what if he starts his recovery but at the end will not succeed? You afraid that your hb will not succeed, so what? It is his life , So what my dear that he is in the same house with you? So what that he leaves with you? So what that he is in another bed? So what that he is trying for his recovery and you see that some things that he is saying you don’t like it? So what Madge?

      You think that is a waste of time because you need to move on …
      My sweet Madge no one keeps you for not moving on. To move on is something that comes from inside you ….to move on is your own true recovery . Open the door and move on inside you , you will find the key in your pocket just be calm and search and you will find the key.
      My dear Madge stop worry about your cg , try to dig inside you for you ,
      In my marriage all the first year was like we were separated. So what that we were in the same house, in my mind I was trying to find my power like im divorced, I was selfish for my own recovery and my child ….
      You wrote that :
      Yes: take care of myself, Yes: take care of my kids, yes: live in the moment……
      Madge I know that you are truly understand all the upstairs but I need to ask you that now is the time to feel that, all of them feel the meaning of them inside you..
      All the upstairs is the joy is the happy is the meaning of life.. Take care your children and play with them means Madge that you can be full in your heart about this and that you will stop caring about who is in home with you or what if he is going to recover? . Don’t care about things that you don’t know … just care about all the things that making full and nice woman and mother .
      Stay in the grey zone Madge as much you need to feel your power. Be a friend with the grey zone.
      I know that all this are very difficult steps.. I was very impatient and still am and struggled a lot of times with all that. I was there Madge too.
      But one day I said that I’m here for me. Well you are in the same house with me because I need time to find out what I want so I will stay in the grey zone as much I want and do what ever you need with your recovery …and one day just came and we saw that we were in the same path . Be selfish with yourself Madge , be polite with your hb but be selfish for you and your children.
      When I felt that playing with my daughter was not the thing that made me happy and full as a person …because my thoughts were in what “if I’m wasting my time with him I became so so so selfish because nothing will take my moments from my child and from my inside. That time I felt that ok we are with a polite behavior in the same house until something happens, don’t care if that was a divorce or not.
      He was trying his own recovery and one day the time passed and we saw that we are in the same side …and we felt that maybe now we can start a little of trust and that was when feelings came up.
      I’m saying to you Madge that when I was in your position it was very difficult for me and I can feel you but please don’t give up on your dreams …. Leave the moment with your self with your kids with your house and with your work and your finance. Maybe All that are enough for now to make you happy . Be selfish for that …

      The day for you and your cg will come , No one knows what the recovery will be …But when the time will come you will be calm and wise that you will know what to choose..your power will grow so much !
      Last year were days with no cents in my pocket …and I said to my brother, I cannot go for a walk my baby because I have no cents … and he said to me
      The joy and the happiness doesn’t need money … Take your child and go just for a walk and talk for the sky the stars the moon and you will see that you will be so full inside you and so happy with your child with no money at all . He was right .
      Yesterday I decide that I don’t have the money to make her a party for her birthday because a new debt came and I decide to pay it , I was stressed a little and sad but I said that I will give her the best moments for her birthday without money and felt ok again and happy.
      Im sorry for the length but I hope something will help just for a second.
      I really feel you
      With all my love for the best

    • #2789

      How wise you are ! It was kind to hear that you understand what I am going thru and I think without knowing it I have been trying to do what you said. I decided that was I thought would *fix everything* really wouldn’t and that maybe I just need to be ok with the fact we are in 2 different beds – and I told my cg so – It had been bothering me and I was focusing on that as the solution to everything. Now I realize that it is more important for us to try and get along and his behaviors to change than for us to be in the same bedroom. And I felt at peace with that. I am focusing on the whole picture now instead of just the parts that need fixing.
      One thing I do want to say is I feel I have been **more** than patient. My cg’s problems, while not always gambling, have been going on most of our marriage. Id say 17 out of the 20 years we have been together have been filled with lies, hidden bank acou
      *ts, addictions (various), disappearing at odd times, diagnosis of mental illness and the craziness there of, sexual abuses and addictions, etc, etc… And during all this time I have been supportive, been to many therapists with him for couples counseling, my own therapy, and at last addition he has had at least 6 different therapists in maybe 8 years? that I can remember anyway…not adding all the different psychiatrist he has had, falling asleep at the wheel multiple times, multiple (MANY!) car accidents, etc. I have been excruciatingly patient..too patient many people have said. So in this regard, it is not a shock that at this point I am *SO SICK* of all his drama and problems – Yet here I remain. I guess I decided for my kids this is better for now. And I had a dream last night that my cg died and I was so sad…I yearn for the good times – we had had many- and I agree that you can only be where you are and enjoy those moments.

      I asked myself if I knew I only had 2 years to live, would I leave my cg? Thinking of unfinished business I might want to do (meet someone else, etc) and my answer to myself was “no” – I would not leave him bc nothing is guaranteed and I want my family – I want my kids to have a family and I want my family and my cg is trying to change.

      I am not sure if this makes sense to anyone but me, but I hope it does. Ell, I appreciate all the time you took writing to me and knowing that you have asked the same questions I have..I don’t know what the answers will be but I am here daily waiting for the answers to show up.
      WIth blessing of peace,

    • #2790

      Hi Madge.

      As I read your post, I thought you were really working things through even as you wrote. And you came up with interesting ‘answers’. I think you are finding that if you concentrate on what YOU really need and even want, some things do clarify for you. But not all at once, of course.

      And yes, I just want to acknowledge your patience and your devotion and I am sure your friends here on this site can see those characteristics and recognize that at times you feel you have ‘put up with too much’. It is good you can describe that feeling and the other longings you have – they are all part of who you are now and contribute to your self-awareness, which in turn can help you make the decisions you need to make from day to day.

      I wish you well as you continue your journey.

      Monique, Gambling Therapy Team

    • #2791

      Hi Madge
      I have read your post to Shelly and I am glad you are getting support from reading other threads; the similarities are always surprising because we all thought we were the only person to have experienced such tragedy in our lives. I remember sitting in wonderment for weeks in Gamanon, unable to take in what I was hearing – they knew without me telling them and what a difference it made that I was not the only one.

      It is hard to stand your ground, so many times it seems impossible but you have made a brave stand against your husband’s addiction. Whatever happens there will be no judgement here. The expression I like and one I know I can live with is ‘I will not live with the addiction to gamble in and controlling ‘my’ life’.

      All our stories are complicated but it becomes possible to read between the lines of others after a while. You have read in Shelly’s thread things that have struck a chord but there will be many things that neither she, nor you, commits to writing because it becomes unnecessary due to an unwritten understanding that builds in time.

      What is your husband doing now that leads you to believe he is trying to change and gain your trust? I appreciate he has been through a lot of therapists and different psychiatrists but has he been to one that deals with just one of his specific addictions, such as a dedicated gambling therapist. I am not able to comment on your husband’s other addictions other than his gambling because it falls out of my area of expertise but I do believe that the addiction to gamble is often at the root of many other problems and maybe it would be better if he dealt with just that one addiction to the point of saturation.

      You raise an interesting hypothetical question at the end of your recent post and I am interested that the reason you give to stay is that nothing is guaranteed if you left. I fully understand what you mean and it does make sense but it is an answer that a CG depends on because a CG gambles on the fears of the loved one even if it is not deliberate. In making your stand you must really know what you want because you are not a gambler but in this forum, whatever happens Madge, you will be understood.

      Nobody can ever say when a true recover begins, neither CG nor loved one but it is a fact that true recoveries do happen. Keep your strength up, you are doing well – your posts to others are positive and supportive and worth re-reading at times of doubt.


    • #2792

      dont know where to begin but ill start from the top.

      Tragedy you mention: yes, you are right. I never thought of it that way but indeed what has happened to me and my family is a tragedy. It is not cancer or other horrible things, but it is horrible in its own right.
      I am still having a hard time when my cg tells me he is not addicted to gambling. He stopped cold turkey mid july and (as far as I know) hasn’t done it since. He says his therapist said he is not addicted to gambling but addicted to lying and control – isn’t that part of the same thing? When I think of all the deception he had around the gambling for years and the subterfuge I can only think it was addiction. Whatever it is called, it was messed up and unhealthy.
      The issue I am having is feeling sort of numb. My cg will try and hug and kiss me and I just pull away. I feel like I can’t trust him with my heart. I know he feels bad but I can only be where I am. I feel like if he could have fooled me for so long, how can I ever trust he wont do it again? I feel like we have covered this before here but it is different now in the sense that *I am* pulling away from him. Not chasing him to “fix” himself etc. It is more me saying (at this point) I cant do this.
      I am trying to hang in there and see what happens.

      Velvet you asked
      “What is your husband doing now that leads you to believe he is trying to change and gain your trust?”

      I have been thinking about this a lot. A few things I came up with: 1)He has been trying to change as a person with the help of his new CBT therapist. Looking at his actions and the consequences of them; having empathy for me and others. 2)He said he cried in the car yesterday because of an argument we had (everything leads back to all of this stuff). That is a big deal. He never cries. So I think that was a break thru for him. 3)He tried to stand up for me (protect me) when one of our kids said something sort-of rude to me (I didn’t think it was rude but it is something we have discussed in general – i.e.: he shouldn’t stand by silent, which has been his usual behavior, if my daughter tells me to shut up). So he spoke up and reprimanded our son when he said something off color. 4)He has been sleeping in the other room, not having relations with me for a while now (a few months?) which for a *former*sex addict you can imagine is really hard and he hasn’t complained or anything. He just says “you have every right to your space and to feel safe and secure and things will happen when we are both ready”.5)he calls me daily from his work (not cell) number so i know he is at the office and not the casino (at least when he calls).6)stupid one, but he asked me yesterday what I wanted for the holidays – sounds silly I know but he NEVER does that. Usually I buy what I want and he “gives” it to me. Yesterday he planned to go to the mall and shop for me, with out me even asking.7) he has been loading the dishwasher – yes, i know, it sounds crazy, and maybe it is just temporary, but he has been *noticing* dishes and loaded them in the dishwasher – he even turned it on a few times!

      Regarding the dishes: I know you may be thinking “why is this a big deal?” but in my house, for 19 years I have done everything *EVERYTHING*. Before you feel too bad for me, I also have a house keeper 4x a week to help. We have a large home and it is way too much for me to handle. And i have also rationalized that since my husband does nothing, I deserve the help. But when the weekends are here or the housekeeper is away, everything has been my responsibility. My kids do have chores which they do, but the bulk of everything – including yard work, landscaping, fixing things in the house,taking care of our rental properties, etc has been on me. So for him to NOT leave his dish on the table, is a big deal. If he stops leaving his clothes on the floor, THAT would be something..;) (no, not joking. He leaves his clothes all over the floor every day – including underwear)

      So, Im not sure if this list answers the question of what he is doing to change, but these are the things I am noticing my cg doing. He says he wants to be a new person. He does seem like he is slowly changing,
      I am changing in a sense too – every day brings with it some new feelings and frustrations. Trying to claw my way out of this maze of uncertainty is a challenge. I hope we can be a”new and improved” couple – I wish we could go back to loving and trusting one another. I am not there yet. I told him: “We have fallen a long way… and we have a long road back”. I hope his patience will last and that I am able to regain loving feelings toward him. Right now, I am fine to be with him as a “friend”. Maybe sounds weird? I don’t know… just where I am.
      It will take a transformation on his part – and who knows? when and if he does transform, I may not even like who he becomes… I told him that..we will have to wait and see.

      I miss who I thought he was. All that is gone now. The road ahead is dark. Step carefully.

      Thank you for your loving thoughts Velvet. I so wish we could all meet in person and share face to face. Your input – all the input from the GT members has helped me to step gingerly through the darkness…looking for the light…

    • #2793

      Hi Madge
      I have come to believe that the numbness is a method our minds adopt to help us cope.

      You say ‘I know he feels bad’ and I feel this is a guilt that you should put on one side. You have felt bad for so long and whatever the reason for your husband’s multiple problems – you were not one of them.

      A long time ago I wrote to another member and I said that I believed my CG had become estranged from me to allow me to be free. I didn’t know until then that he had ever read anything I had written but I received a phone call. He told me that he had not left for my sake and that he had not cared about how I felt – he left, he said, because I could no longer enable him, I was broken and had no further use. He believed he could do better without me.

      I don’t tell you this in the hope you think your husband cold and indifferent but to stop you wasting your energy worrying about his feelings when it is ‘you’ that requires all your energy to keep you healthy and able to cope. As you know my CG has changed his life and with that change has come an empathy I could never have dreamt existed so what he felt, when his addiction was powerfully in control, is in the past and not relevant in our present. I do believe it is so important for F&F to look after themselves because the CG’s thoughts are solely for themselves and their addiction. I would be more surprised if you were to write that you did welcome a kiss and a hug from someone whose behaviour had hurt you so much.

      Your husband’s behaviour does appear to be changing, he does seem to be trying to live a better life and I do so relate to what you have said – even with regard to the dishwasher. However if he is truly changing you will not and cannot a massive explosion of understanding and loving feelings to wipe away all that has happened to you – you are not a robot that just needs re-tuning so that everything becomes brighter.

      Your husband is saying the right things and I am glad he is putting you under no pressure. Only time make a difference I’m afraid. Maybe you will find you want his kiss and hug but maybe you will not. It is the biggest gamble a CG makes when they gamble with the feelings of the person who loves them and I cannot tell you what your outcome will be.

      All I can do is try and shed some light for you when you walk the dark road because I firmly believe you will reach a decision that sits right with you. You are doing all the right things to make your life better and in doing so will come clarity.

      Stand back from what you ‘think’ he feels – and deal with what you know ‘you’ feel. If you give in to what you think he wants, in my opinion, you will struggle. Give yourself time and you will know what you want – if what you want is the same as your husband then you will have spent your times wisely – if it is not, then you will still have spend your time wisely.

      Face to face would indeed be terrific but I can hold a light from here and will continue to do so


    • #2794

      Hi V and all

      I often wonder if anyone on the site wondered what had happened to me..maybe that is self-centered – but I wanted to say I am still here just been too traumatized to write..

      My CG is trying to change I honestly believe. He helps more, listens intently and tried to be empathetic – something he never did before. He is emoting which is a new things for him. I am scared sometimes that if he does change I won’t like the *new* him, or we just won’t get along – is that weird? I do love him. He asked me what I wanted for Xmas and I said “to be able to trust you again” – that makes me sad –

      We’ve had so much going on that the gambling/sex addiction got pushed to the background – the *slathering beast* Velvet speaks of is still there, but in the corner – G-d, I am so afraid it will come out of the corner!

      Things we have been dealing with:

      1. Daughter suspended at school – for nothing – she said a silly phrase in spanish (no profanity or anything) over and over and our private school decided it was bullying! Now that is on her record and may jeopardize her future schooling.

      2. A rental condo we have had a massive flood – top floor to basement- pipe broke – and we found out we are way under-insured – unit is a total loss and we don’t have enough insurance to fix it. I barely have the emotional fortitude to get the quotes, etc to try and rebuild it…every day that it sits is another day of lost rental income…and a financial burden…

      3. Our health insurance got changed by CG company and now we essentially just have catastrophic coverage – now I really have to think whether I can take my kid to the doctor for his warts bc then it will cost me $300???

      4. Same school for daughter now saying they think she “would do better in another setting” – she hasn’t even done anything – her teacher hates her and is seriously ganging up on her..this school has had a massive enrollment decline bc it is so messed up – we were just trying to get thru the school year and then leave but now we are faced with potentially leaving (or getting kicked out!) next week!

      5. My Cg has been out of the country which is partially good but adds extra stress when the above is solely left to me. I *literally* also spend 4+ hrs a day in my car driving my kids around to school and their activities because with him gone, i have no help.

      6. Our beloved cat who is 19 1/2 yrs old is dying – he is on 3 different meds trying to keep him going but I just don’t know how long he will last ..this will kill my daughter…same daughter with all the school problems (who already feels super bad about herself…)

      I feel totally alone and overwhelmed. This past year also brought (along with the 3+ yr secretive gambling uncovering of my CG) the death of a very close best friend and the deportation of my other best friend. Most days I just want to disappear – Someone was talking about getting out of bed early and I said “what for??”.

      It seems like every day brings a new trauma – I don’t know how much more I can take???

      Im having a hard time seeing the point in all of this – this life – it feels like were are here to suffer, see those we love suffer and then we all die. I know this sounds terrible but this has been my experience for quite a while. I DO try and hang in there, spend time with my kids, “enjoy” life, but the older I get the more I dislike people and just wish to be alone, away from the pain. People bring you pain. People (specifically my kids school) brings my kids pain – I can’t stand to see my kids suffer and feel like I can’t do anything about it. That is a whole other topic but it is what has been on my plate.

      My CG has been supportive while he has been away by calling, sending flowers (from overseas!) but always in the back of my mind is when is that beast going to re-emerge?…I can almost see it standing in the corner, waiting for its chance to return….

      I don’t think i could take it – I really don’t – I think I would literally fall apart…

      Sorry this is so depressing – it is depressing re-reading it – but I wanted you to know (if anyone was interested) what has been going on and why I hadn’t posted in a while. I think of my GT family fondly, warmly holding all support, comments and advice close to my heart.

      Think of me – put me in your prayers if you can – I am not sure if I can handle anything else blowing up…


    • #2795

      Dear Madge
      I hear nothing self-centred, jut someone feeling invisible and wanting to be heard.

      It is late here in the UK and I feel I cannot give your post the considered reply it requires. I will come back to you after a night’s rest.

      I hadn’t forgotten you, I haven’t done catch-up for a while and I apologise.

      I will certainly hold you in my prayers tonight.


    • #2796

      I am on my way out, so another brief reply for now. My heart goes out to you. Sometimes life seems to throw everything at one person and it seems so unfair and almost unbearable. I hope that you know others are with you in some small way in your times of trouble and that this knowledge can help a little. You are in my thoughts now.
      Holding you in my mind as I go out.


    • #2797

      Of course, people here are wondering how it’s going for you and everyone else on this site. I believe, YOU, think you are being self- centred in asking if anyone is wondering what’s happening with you. For me, this is how I too was thinking when I was in ‘victim-mode’ in my life. It’s a horrible, horrible place to be and my heart goes out to you. Sending you a massive cyber hug.
      It took much work on my self to move my thinking from victim to survivor to thriver. The life you describe could have been mine 5 – 10 years ago. Life kept delivering more and more ‘disasters/problems’, one after the other and bigger and deeper until it literally blew up in my face. I knew deep down this wasn’t how I wanted to live my life, I knew deep down my love for my husband had been eroded and I knew deep down my children were suffering and their behaviour was their way of trying to cope with it all. I ignored all the signs and continued to try and make it all work. My ex husband removed himself from family life and I was left to deal on my own with their behaviour, the police, the schools, the authorities, the health worries that when with it. Oh yes, what you have written could indeed have been me. At the time I did not know about my cg and his gambling problems, looking back I can see why he started and the impact it had on all of us.

      All I wanted was a good family life, being supported and loved. What I didn’t realise at the time was I was supporting and loving everyone else BUT myself. I gave myself such a hard time. I didn’t listen to my body crying out for some self love and only stopped when the pains in my head became unbearable, I was forced to stop and take notice. I craved someone to support me, anyone in the end. I had always done everything in my life, never asked for help. Well, there is help out there, for everything. I learnt to delegate, I learnt to ask for help, I learnt to be kind to myself, to take one day at a time, not to worry about things that could happen. I learnt how to crawl out of victimhood, to smile again, to live again. When I did that, life became much easier. I started to attract new people into my life, that showed me a different way to be. I learnt to support myself, to be on my own, to enjoy my own company.
      I had wonderful material things, big house, foreign holidays, successful husband, children wanted for nothing what I didn’t have was unconditional love, support or respect. I’ve swapped all the material things now for love, support and respect but most of all how to love, support and respect myself. You too can get off the rollercoaster life, if you really want to. Don’t leave it too long to listen to yourself, Madge. Your body already knows the answers. One day at a time. Wishing you some relief soon. Take care of you. San xx

    • #2798

      Dear Madge
      I think maybe a good place to start feeling better is to stop being scared that if your husband changed you would not love him anymore. I wonder if you are feeling that this could work the other way round too if you changed. I was going to paraphrase from the following but feel it is good to read in its entirety.

      There are two days in every week about which we should not worry: two days which should be kept free from fear and apprehension.
      One of these days is yesterday with its mistakes and cares, its faults and blunders, its aches and pains. All the money in the world cannot bring back yesterday. Yesterday has passed forever beyond our control. We cannot undo a single act we performed. We cannot erase a single word we said. Yesterday is gone.
      The other day we should not worry about is tomorrow with its possible adversities, its burdens, its large promise or poor performance. Tomorrow is also beyond our immediate control.
      Tomorrow’s sun will rise, either in splendour or behind a mask of clouds – but it will rise. Until it does, we have no stake in tomorrow, for it is yet unborn.
      This leaves only; one day – TODAY. Any person can fight the battles of just one day. It is only when you and I add the burdens of these two awful eternities – yesterday and tomorrow – that we break down. It is not the experience of today that drives people mad – it is the remorse or bitterness of something which happened yesterday and the dread of what tomorrow may bring. Let us, therefore, LIVE BUT ONE DAY AT A TIME.

      I have now seen San’s terrific reply in which I can see my old self too so I am going to leave it there and wait for you to write again. When you are down Madge it seems that life throws more and more adversity at you, the ground feels like it has opened up and swallowed you, everything is dark and there is no way out. You are so important Madge, I know it, San knows it, Monique knows it but the knowledge seems to be passing you by. Grasp that truth and look after the important person who is the one person you can change and that is you.


    • #2799

      Just logged back in and see that you have got some great replies now. Still thinking of you and hope you are feeling some of the care and concern here for you and that you will be able to really ‘take in’ the messages you have received.

    • #2800

      I have read your post from start to finish and did attempt a reply the other day but failed abismally so sorry for that. I would like to put your husbands addictions on one side for a moment if that’s ok. What I hear when I read your posts is almost a gurgling as you try to keep your head above water in all the day to day practicalities of life – being all things to all people until the life has been sucked out of you, an endless stream of stress and pressure. The whole picture is just to big Madge to take on in its entirety. I know because I have been in a similar position.
      I have run around doing everything for everyone, trying to make it right and burning myself out into the bargain feeling that if everything was right for them then in some way it would be right for me to. If you were to ask me, who was the fool, me for doing it or those that let me, then the answer would have to be me!!
      Looking after you is important and does not have to be a grand affair it can be something as simple as turning your back on the dishes or putting something in the shopping trolley once a week that is just for you. It is not selfish it is sensible and self preservation, but it can be hard to do. Saying no without feeling the need to justify it and explain your decision away is the start of you believing in you.
      If you have to have a battle choose it wisely – is it worth it? and still I am not talking about the addiction just day to day stuff. I got into a battle in a similar situation with my son at school which finished in me taking him out and him going to a new school – best thing I ever did at least for him, its not throwing the towel in its just focusing on what the outcome needed to be ( even though I confess to taking a certain amount of delight in bullying the obnoxious head master considerably more than he ever bullied my son !!) but it didn’t help, there was no point in the battle nothing could have changed as long as it continued.

      Dishes can seem like an incredibly big issue and indeed an important one, strangely when ignored for long enough they seem to do themselves and if they don’t what is the worst thing that can happen ?
      Small things become big things and big things become too big to look at objectively.
      I would like to see you get rid of the small things one by one in order to give yourself a more sturdy foundation from which to work. Very simple boundaries that help you to regain a sense of stability within you. Sit back and watch the mayhem around you and ask yourself what is really important and necessary to do at that time – bit by bit the answers will come.

      I don’t know how but this post has suddenly gone into the wrong order but I hope it makes sense so far !!

      So then the addiction/s on the top of everything else – same rules apply (in my oppinion) Choose your battles, focus on what’s important. You cannot win this battle as its not yours to fight, like the obnoxious headmaster, it squeals like an excited old hen, when its poked hard enough running around quacking nonsense in its attempts to protect itself, blaming everything else but itself ! It can indeed be that beast in the corner but it fears you, it snarls (quacks) and is best left alone to be with itself.
      I too would be very surprised if you were able to be close to your husband after all that has happened and maybe a little worried. Again try to be a little more gentle with your expectations of yourself. You are harsh on yourself , something somewhere tells me it should be the other way around. Time will tell how this will play out for you but you are in charge of life, life is not in charge of you

      Jenny x

    • #2801

      I am blown away by all the love and support – thank you all so much – San, Velvet, Monique Jenny – Thank you for hearing my cries – you advice is so helpful and gives me stuff to think about as i go thru my day, reflecting on the words of people who are many miles away but so close in others.

      But I wanted to say: Jenny: your post was awesome – you hit the nail right on the head and I felt you really “get” where I am coming from – please write more! 🙂
      Your post really helped me – I decided today I will eat one meal sitting down at the table – yes, it is that bad. I usually grab a bar while I am driving my kids 4hrs plus all over the earth, and I never hardly sit at dinner bc I am serving others or cleaning. So today – TODAY I will sit down and eat a meal. And try not to feel guilty about it. That sounds so stupid, i realize, but you know how life sometimes just gets away from you and you turn around and can’t believe where you ended up?? That is how it is for me.

      I am harsh on myself. You are right. My life feels like a series of score cards on every activity that I do – as if the Olympic judges of life are following me around and my every act is graded by holding the score cards up: “and she scores a 6, a 5 and 3”. I do this to myself – but not intentionally.

      As for my daughters school – Yes! They are obnoxious and yes I have tried to fight them every step of the way. But they are broken and I I don’t want them to break her. I just worry about switching schools mid-year, if that will be the right choice, if I’ll “screw up” again by making the wrong choice (the judges again).

      As for my CG – he is supposed to come back Friday nite – I am sort of happy he is (I need the help) but sort of unhappy he will be back – then I will have to deal with whatever mess he may or may not bring. I agree there is nothing I can do about that – Right now I feel (like Jenny said) I am just trying to keep my head above water. Thats all I can do – do what needs to get done daily, deal with my kids and their needs, and hopefully sit down and have one meal at the table for myself. That would be an improvement.

      Gotta run – more to do – more later-

      love and hugs to you all..

    • #2802

      One meal at the table is a very good start, I always feel that making that one stand and sticking to it, although an effort is the start of replacing old habits with new ones and you show to yourself and others that you are important, life then, if you build more of these small changes in day by day suddenly becomes more ordered as you take back control of you.

      Like you I struggled with whether it was a good idea to move my son and the outcome was unknown. But to me school is different from education in life. I thought one day, do I really want these idiots to teach my son ? apart from the fact that he wasn’t actually learning anything in his lessons, I felt he was being given a wrong lesson in the education of life. My conclusion was that they were not good enough to ‘teach’ my son anything that would benefit him in later life – although for some a bad experience can turn in to a positive one. Within a fortnight of him moving he was a changed person in many ways, new friends, no more outbursts, improving on his grades etc etc. He had nothing to lose and neither did I, the stress was awful and now as its falling away life is happier. I think the deciding factor was that he wanted to leave. How does your daughter feel about where she’s at?

      You have not screwed up Madge from where i’m sitting – if anyone has the school has by employing incompetent staff who are not ‘fit for purpose’ if they think its ok to bully their pupils – don’t shoulder the blame for everyone else’s mistakes.

      You are one woman!! with enough on your plate without carrying around the issues of others. What’s there stuff is their stuff, and theirs to carry around, some people will let you carry it around for them – certainly doesn’t mean you have to.

      In my last lot of counselling I learned about the hooks, the way I got sucked in to situations that were bad for me ie. doing too much for other people and not enough for me, if you can spot the hooks dangling in front of you with a large lump of bait on them then you have a chance to consider what your action will be. An example of that could be someone else huffing and puffing over the fact that you have not done the dishes or the house is not immaculate all of the time – if you see the hook you maybe won’t feel the need to jump up and do them to suit others. My kids have finally realised that if they do not put their washing out it doesn’t get done and if they have a problem with that then they know were the washing machine is and now they have even learned that it doesn’t switch its self on either !! amazing really just what teenagers can do when they have to !!

      Your CG may or may not come back with a new mess but if he does, will he be expecting you to sort out his mess? and it is his mess. Sad if he does but the consequences of what ever his actions may have been are his responsibility, yet I feel for some reason that he will try and hook you in to doing his worrying for him along with a lot of sorting. These are the things that weigh us down and make the lives of others a little lighter.

      You have your head above water and that is where it is staying other people will do what they do regardless, if that is their mind set but if you begin to change a few of your reactions then you will get a different response I feel.

      Show the olympic judges the door, who are they to score you but based on your last post I think they would have to agree you’ve made a cracking start just by changing one thing in your day for you. I really hope you can keep it moving Madge you deserve to be as happy as the next person and I for one look forward to reading about many more little changes that you are about to make.

      Jenny x

    • #2803

      h i Jenny. Thank you so much for your wonderful post. This is just a quick note before I run out but wanted to get it in before forgot again. My c_g is back and for Whatever reason I guess I thought that he would be different. He is still the same. But I’ve decided that I am not going to take the” hooks” as you suggest. He still expects me to do all the picking up and care taking that I have always done but I just don’t want to do it anymore. I’m distancing myself a little bit and I am not sure if that’s a good thing but it feels better to me then always being the one doing things and receiving nothing in return….he expects to have some sort of relationship with me while virtually putting nothing into it. We haven’t seen him for over 2 weeks and after he doled out the presents (which was very nice ) he sits down on his computer and just ignores everybody. Does this make any sense to you?

      I started to feel angry and frustrated like I always do but decided (and told him) that he has to decide the type of relationships he wants to have with everybody in the family. And then I left. and I have to say it feels really good to not take the hooks as you call them. It feels really good to draw the line and say I need to take care of myself and your mess is your mess. You have helped me see that and I’m grateful for that. For whatever reason you seem to really understand where I’m coming from and I’m so happy and grateful that you are able to show me the light in some way.

      As for our daughter, I’m not really sure what to do about her school. She feels ambivalent and so do we. Part of her wants to stay and part of her wants to leave. I don’t want her to feel disrupted in the middle of the year and this is also the only school she’s ever known. It would be a big adjustment also since she’s never been in a public school – we’ve only done Montessori education so it would be a huge change for her. That being said her teacher is horrible and mean was openly hostile to me in our last meeting. My daughter does very well academically but is a little hyper and sometimes talks when she shouldn’t be talking -that’s the worst thing she’s done. Apparently the school thinks this is Code Red and can’t deal with her. They just think she’s a troublemaker. Which she is not. One of the other teachers talked about how much “negative energy” she brings to the social group. I know you don’t know my child but she is the happiest most bubbly person around. She definitely has a lot of hyperactivity energy but definitely not negative energy……unfortunately that’s how they see her. It’s a horrible situation and I know something has to change.

      I realize the unknown is difficult and sometimes you just have to make a leap. That seems to be a common theme in my life. I don’t like change.

      All for now…


    • #2804

      Hi Madge
      Yes it all makes perfect sense to me , I have not updated my own thread for months but briefly I have singley raised three boys on my own now aged 21, 16 and 15. I work full time and always have and have coped with an ex husband who is an alcoholic and my ex partner for 7 years who is a CG so I guess I have a sense of just how overwhelming life can be at times !!

      What I pick up in your posts is the sheer stress of it all, I am not totally out of the woods yet, but I am getting there bit by bit. The support I have had from here over the last 6 years I think it is now, has been amazing (6 years I am a slow learner!!)

      Looking after you I think Is a bit of an alien concept and at first it feels wrong, selfish even but it isn’t it is one of the only defences possible when faced with the addiction to gamble or any other addiction in my oppinion.

      I used to think what are they all on about – go and have a bath, do something nice – how is that helpful how does that solve my problems. But now I see that it does, and you are seeing it to.

      Boundaries of what is acceptable to you are beginning to appear in your posts and little by little I see you beginning to think – hang on a minute I have needs to!!. More importantly I see your focus beginning to turn away a little from the addiction and you considering what is best for you and your child.

      The addiction seems to have a knack of throwing a smokescreen across what is really going on and the distance that you allow yourself will help to let the fog in your mind settle. You have made it clear that he needs to look at the type of relationship he wants with you and the rest of the family and I think that was quite a good way of putting it across to him without having a head on collusion with a squarking addiction.

      Your daughter sounds like a bright intelligent girl and the comments you are recieving about her sound remarkably similar to ones that were made about my son. Negative energy in a social group sounds like someone who has been unable to mentally interest or challenge your daughter and has looked in the “Guiness Book Of Labels” for one that appears to fit.
      You know what your daughter is and what’s really going on there and she will hang on to the fact that she has a mother that believes in her.

      I get what you say about not liking change, I don’t like it either at times, I guess i’m getting old and stuck in my ways a little bit !! But now I look back on a lot of stuff and think, was that really me ? I dare say I will look back on a lot more and ask myself the same question in years to come as well.

      Now I quite like being stuck in my own ways, it’s better than being stuck in someone else’s ways.

      Keep sitting back, keep spotting those hooks and above all keep looking after you Madge, you may not feel it right now but at some point you will feel a difference.

      Jenny x

    • #2805

      Hello madge
      You are a strong woman madge and when I read your posts I can see the light and your improvement .I can see a woman a wise woman. You are doing so well madge , your strength every day becomes bigger and bigger . Im so glad that you now eating on the table and that you are starting thinking more your self and your needs . Don’t stop .
      Sometimes the phrase :focus to your self sounds so little but I can say that this is the key for everything . Give power and knowledge to your self , give your self the respect he needs and you will see that day to day something will always change with a better way.
      You have so much on your plate madge but you are doing so good my dear.
      Im sending my best wishes to you and your family ,
      With th all my love ell

    • #2806

      Thank you Jenny X and Ell for your love and support –

      Jenny: you sound like you have been thru so much – did you even wonder how you ended up attracting men with addictions? I am starting to wonder what I did “wrong” to end up with my husband – what did I miss?? he wasn’t like this when I met him! – really, he wasn’t. He loved kids, I thought he would make a great Dad – He was kind to me, attentive, sweet thoughtful – now?? Not so much…He is trying , but I feel like given *everything* he has done, i can never know what to expect from him. Did I ever think when I married him he would lie to me for **years**, gambling, sneaking away from work, spending our money, “lending to “friends”? DId I ever think he would try to take advantage of me sexually in my sleep? Repeatedly? Did I ever think he would be distant and disconnected from our children (ignore them basically) and not participate in our lives?? NO! No – I never thought it would be like that -SO, I wonder what I missed all those years ago? Or what is wrong with me to end up with someone like him???

      I then tried to explain to him given that he has acted in numerous ways that I never ever, ever thought he would, I now can’t know what other things he may do – like he is a chameleon and I have no idea what color he may turn – any moment…I don’t know him any he was saying to me: “remember when you drive around in your new Mercedes who pays for that..” I was like “what”??? since when do you talk to me like that? I am a prostitute ? Like if i don’t sleep with you, you will use intimidation to get what you want?? My husband was NEVER like this EVER – who is he turning into??? He apologized after this incident but it just makes me wonder who he is turning into…

      This scares me and leads me not to trust him. He is trying to be patient with us not being intimate but subliminally has the attitude of “oh, just get over it!” – He has been pressuring me sexually and I keep telling him *NO* – “oh come on, just give me a kiss…” he’ll say – while I try and push him away – but he doesn’t seem to get it – how he has violated my trust, destroyed our relationship, blew up our lives. Yet some how I am feeling bad that I can’t just “put this in the past”. I keep telling myself it does no good to re-live all these things, but I simply can’t just “get over it” or forget it – his lies, deceptions, his violations of me – I think he should feel lucky I am even here at all!

      I am not sure this makes any sense – I was just trying to say how I am fighting for my self preservation yet I am getting push back from him to do what he wants and I guess I feel a little guilty (? – is that weird?) for not just moving on with our lives intend of being stuck in the pain and betrayal –

      When do you let that go???

      As for doing stuff for me – today was “do nothing day” and even though I did a few things (dealt with our gutted condo, financial end of year work, spoke to kitchen designer, fed/took care of kids, dishes, laundry…wow – I guess that wasn’t nothing….) but for me I guess it is nothing compared to the break neck speed I usually go about my day and the number of tasks I usually cram into a day. Funny how on my “do nothing day” I still did a lot –

      The point of all this is I am trying to be mindful and take time for myself to do what i need to do to survive, not just make sure every one else is ok and forget about me (which is what i usually do).

      I feel like I am rambling but I hope I have made a little sense. I do hear all your love and support and am really trying to carve out time for me (eating for one) and just saying NO when I want to say no.

      And to not rescue him either – I tend to do that – whenever he is messing up with the kids I used to try and protect everyone (like if he was supposed to play with the kids but fell asleep instead I would protect him and say – “oh, daddy was just tired” – now I realize the kids see him as he is no matter what I do. And yes it is sad if they have a crappy father, but there is nothing I can do about that – I can’t create nor fix that relationship and if he wants to wreck his relationship with them then that is up to him. My kids know I am there for them and can always count on me. If he blows it with his kids, it is all on HIM.

      I think these are healthy steps for me – I know that all my loving friends on GT have helped me get here. I know I have miles and miles to go, but I am going…..

      love to you all


    • #2807

      To answer your question, yes, i’ve wondered about it in the past and if I thought about it for too long now I would be unlikely to speak to anyone again !!

      That was the crux of the matter for me not so much why did they do it but why did I tolerate it in what was once quite a self sacrificing way. They did it because I let them, is the short answer but the reasons behind all of that were deep within me and nothing to do with them.

      If and when you are able to let it all go is more likely to be when you do not have active addictions in your life whose behavior serves on a daily basis to remind you of why should protect yourself from it all. You will let go when it is right for you. No guilt is required !

      Trying to be mindful of your own needs is great as is trying not to rescue him from all the situations he creates for himself and far more beneficial for both of you, he can learn from his own mistakes and you will have a lot more space in your weary mind to start putting in there some of the nicer things in life.

      Good one Madge keep it up

      Jenny x

    • #2808

      Is it possible that I’m beginning to see a little bit of light? It feels that way although I don’t want to feel like its false hope. I feel even the tiny steps that I’m taking… & I do mean tiny.. Are helping me to distance myself from the addiction and really value myself.

      We have this ridiculous game we play where I ask my husband to do something and he then turns around and asks me how to do the task….Basically asking me to do what it is that I have already asked him to do. Like he is helpless and couldn’t possibly sand the driveway unless I gave him direct instructions on how to do so.

      So now when he turns around and dumps it back on me I say something like “well I don’t know” or” I’m sure you can figure it out “and I just walked away. & I let it go. Which is sort of a new thing for me because it’s hard for me to let go of anything.

      This feels like progress to me. I know it’s such a small thing But it allows me some distance and makes room in my mind, as Jenny you suggest, for other things. So I don’t have to feel like I have to control everything. And if I don’t then probably nothing is going to completely fall apart. I make sure the children are safe of course but I need to not care so much about everything else.
      Especially my CG. I feel even this tiny shift had given me room to breathe. …much needed room.

      My CG is working on “keeping his side of the street clean” as he says and I need to work on keeping myself safe And keeping myself from worrying so much about everybody else’s problems.

      Thank you all for teaching me that.I’m hanging in there and hoping for a better 2014.


    • #2809

      Hi Madge
      It only takes a little bit of light to make a enormous difference to what you can see.
      ‘You have turned a ridiculous game into a positive step and each tiny step will take you closer to your goal – even if are not 100% sure what your goal is yet. You are moving in the right direction. This new behaviour is doing something right for the right reason – great.
      In many ways the F&F has a similar road to take to the CG when they want recovery. They have to tip old behaviour out of their clouded minds, leaving room for new thoughts that lead to new behaviour. It takes others to support in the tipping and there is no shame in that. The more we listen the more we learn to tip and the more clarity comes to our over-worked and sadly distorted brains. How well you describe this when you say ‘I feel even this tiny shift has given me room to breathe…much needed room’.
      It is difficult to draw back from everybody else’s problems when you are the mother and wife in a family with so many problems in it but in my opinion, if we take on everybody else’s problems we over-load and help nobody. I used to think of myself as the foundation on which the whole structure of my family depended – eventually the foundation didn’t just crumble it imploded and turned to dust. There was a lot of debris flying around for a while, quite a long while in fact and I couldn’t see through it – but then as it began to settle and I saw light through the haze I saw my family not just managing but succeeding – they were supporting themselves.
      I don’t believe there is a necessity to implode; I think that tiny steps towards keeping the foundation in good repair are what is needed. It seems to me by standing back and letting your husband work something out for himself has helped you repair a little.
      The light you can see will only be false hope if you blow it out. Fan the flames M, a little at a time – success is not the result of spontaneous combustion, you must set yourself on fire first’. Once you have taken a step forward don’t look back but let the success of that step fill you with renewed hope and then when you are ready (and not before) take another step. Nobody can judge the speed you should go at – whatever feels safe and liberating to you is right.
      I don’t wonder why it took me so long to ‘get the message’ or how I ended up in the middle of a cycle of addiction – I am just relieved that I came through it in the end. While we are analysing the whys and wherefores we often waste time thinking of ‘today’ and that is all that really matters.
      You can rest assured that those of us who are willing you on will hold your hand and rejoice at every step.


    • #2810

      Thank you V for your support as always – loving and kind and leaves me with food for thought.

      Trying to “keep the light going” but it is so hard. I had a vulnerable moment with my CG tonite when I told him I finally understood that sometimes when he doesn’t say anything during an important discussion (with the kids or me) it is because -I realized – he doesn’t know what to say. I thought this was insightful, supportive and open. His response (after a beat) “You see? Even someone Perfect learns something once in a while”. How hurtful!!! When I confronted him he said (as usual) “oh, it was only a joke” – Not a joke. and I was trying to offer an olive branch..only to be slapped in the face.

      I told him he needs to look at why he is so angry at me and why he is so hostile….then I walked away…no retaliation, no yelling, just left. But why? why is he still putting stumbling blocks in front of our relationship?? It is so frustrating.

      I will continue to not take his bait and not allow him to walk on me but every time i feel like we’ve made an inch of progress my CG seems to hurl us backwards a mile….

      Sorry.. just venting..venting and crying..and another day tomorrow to be spent together in the house during a snowstorm..

      Pray for me..

    • #2811

      Hi Madge

      Just because you have made some small changes in how you are looking after you doesn’t automatically follow that you will gain positive responses from him in between. In fact as his addiction sees you change and you are not so familiar and predictable then it may well ‘up’ its nasty behaviour in an attempt to bring you back under control where you will be the more pliable person that you once were (once were !!)

      Madge I also thinks that although someone may not be gambling the behaviour that grows up around the addiction does not diminish over night, deep seated things can be very difficult to shift.

      Lets face it – causing rows appears to be a very common theme on this forum

      He can only take you back if you allow him to, he can hurl you back no further than you are prepared to go. The important thing is Madge that you retain your focus on you and what you have decided is important and from where I’m sitting that is not him and his hurtful remarks.

      I am not praying for you Madge, I am sitting here knowing that you can rise above the screeching, chicken like noises of the addiction and I am quietly urging you on.

      Thank you for your lovely reply on my thread as well

      No tears today, just careful thought !

      Jenny x

    • #2812

      Dear Madge
      I am not a CG and therefore unable to read the mind of a CG but I do remember thinking that I understood why my CG had behaved in a certain way when he walked away from me. I thought he was giving me the chance to breathe, that he had done enough damage and could not bear to take me down any further. In recovery he told me that he walked away for himself because as a pathetic blob I was of no further use to his addiction – it had nothing to do with love or regret for me. It was tough lesson but it taught me that thinking we have insightful moments is probably not our best thought.
      I think you found words that made sense to you and they make sense to me but I don’t think they would have made sense to your husband, wrapped up, as he is, in distortion. What you did say was supportive and open and he chose not to listen, or he couldn’t comprehend your intended meaning. I see his remark as less of a desire to hurt but the usual desire to blame.
      I cannot tell you what to do Madge but personally I wouldn’t offer olive branches to a person whose addiction was still hurting me. Olive branches are to be extended to someone who you have disagreed with – it is a symbol of peace. You have not disagreed with your husband nor brought a fight to his door; he is a CG and in simple terms the usual methods of sorting things out are not available.
      I realise this is somewhat negative but acceptance of what you are possibly facing is, in my opinion, so important to you.
      What exactly is he doing to change his life? What therapist, counsellors is he seeing and how often? I cannot know why your husband is still putting so many stumbling blocks in front of your relationship but I do question the effort that he is putting in to changing his life. Your husband is apparently not tipping any of his illogical thoughts out of his mind at all.
      I wish I could dry your tears but the only person who can do this is you. The snowstorm will pass just as one day you will emerge from the nightmare you are living. You cannot control the snow but you can control your life.
      I am urging you on with Jenny –
      Be strong – the most important weapon in the hands of an aggressor is the mind of the oppressed. Rise above it Madge – you can do it.

    • #2813

      Like Jenny and Velvet, I too want to urge you on. You have been learning a lot and it may feel like there’s no end in sight to what you still need to learn, but you WILL see progress as you gradually put things into practice.
      Jenny and Velvet have both offered such wisdom and support, I really have nothing specific to add right now, but wanted to join with them in encouraging you along on your journey.

    • #2814

      Hi Madge,

      What a surprise to see a post by you on my thread. Thank you for your kind words. 🙂
      I went back and read your last posts seeing why you are upset; your husband’s rude remarks were point blank hurtful and uncalled for. It can be partly blamed for the addiction within him, but it can’t take all the blame. Your husband still said them. I learned when people say mean things, they are insecure about themselves and want to appear like they are the better person. Still it shouldn’t excuse them from saying hurtful words and shouldn’t be tolerated or placed on the wasteside. What really gets a person’s attention are actions. They are what speak volumes.
      Next time your husband says something down right mean to hurt you, I’d say for example: “You have done this one too many times and I am not going to talk to you until you think about what you said, and apologize for why you said the hurtful words you did,’ this will make him think about what he said and of course you must stick by your words. No talking period.
      Recovery is never easy; looking back the hardest part was getting on the road and staying on it for dear life. There were many bumps, detours and bangs, but I managed to stay on it with help here. I could have easily jumped off because it was plain scary at times, it seemed easier to just put up with my father’s gambling saying it was an addiction, but deep down I knew I was only fooling myself. So I endured the scary, the hurtful, heart pounding times, feeling utterly scared with the help from members here and my faith.
      Each little hiccup in your life is just helping you get stronger and before you know it, you will only a shed tears of happiness living a life free from despair and fear. You are doing great. There are struggles in everything in life, we just have to look pass them and know we will be alright. Have a great day.

    • #2815

      “Just because you have made some small changes in how you are looking after you doesn’t automatically follow that you will gain positive responses from him in between”

      Wow – just that alone was so helpful – how funny is it I can see all the problems and solutions in others lives (Im a therapist) but not my own?

      Your post was powerful and spot on – you really seem to “get” me and my situation. Yes, he is not gambling, but yes his addictive traits that got him there in the first place are still alive and well. He is so unaware of what he is doing it astounds me – He hostility towards me crops up all the time in nasty comments or just plain dumb actions.

      Example: We have had this issue with him trying to have non-consentual sex with me while Im asleep. (insert raised eyebrow here – I know) We sleep apart – 4 months now. So what does he do this am? 8am, he sneaks into my room, (waking me up), climbs into bed with me – I ask why is he doing this? “Oh, I though we would make a small step forward and Im not going to do anything to you” What?? He wakes me up, terrifies me by getting into bed with me and then tries to defend this –

      I calmly confronted him about his behavior and he agreed yes, he was selfish, yes it wasn’t going to bring us closer and yes he knew it would upset me when he was doing it but did it anyway – that sounds like addictive behavior I told him…he agreed.

      He is so confused – he really is trying – therapy 2x a week and SA and GA groups. But like you and others have said, his issues are deep seated and will take a long time (if ever) to get better.

      I am not focusing on him though – bc I know that won’t work. I feel stronger every day and the support I get here from lovely people such as yourself has been, well, transforming…

      Thank you for the reality check by saying “I am not praying for you” – telling me I need to make the changes and not expect them to happen by prayer, magic etc.

      I am hanging in there and trying to move forward despite my CG’s continued issues and continued ways to try and unconsciously sabotage things. Like you said, I am keeping my eyes ahead . I am not sure where I am going, but I know I won’t be taken advantage of, lied to or used any more.

      Thank you for being there for me –


    • #2816

      I decided to respond separately to every one today –

      You can see from my post above that you are right – my CG has not tipped most of his illogical thoughts from his head. He is in CBT therapy 2x a week, and goes to meetings (either SA or GA) once a week. He is journaling and sleeping part from me. He calls me from the landline at work so i know he is at work and not the casino. So he is active in his recovery, but like you and others have said, it is a long, long road and we are not very far into it.

      I found out about the gambling 6 months ago – the sex issue started in 2008, then “got better” mostly with meds (he is Bi Polar and ADHD) then reemerged when he stopped gambling – all the same additive process, different outlets.

      I at this point, am trying to stay out of the way of his addictions. I am keeping myself safe, focusing on my kids and me and pointing out things my CG does when he does them so he can look at them.

      I suggested maybe we should go for couples therapy – we have done this 1,000 times before, but who knows? maybe it could help.

      Thank you for urging me on – thank you for understanding – and thank you just for being there.


    • #2817

      Thank you for your lovely post –

      I do lurk around and try and read others posts as often as I can – I don’t always have time to reply but I do try and follow and relate to all the experience that others have had.

      You certainly have come a long way – and knowing how far you have come gives me hope. Every one’s situation is different but the threads are the same – I need support and courage to continue on – I have had darker periods in my life (my childhood) but not when I had control of my own life. Seeing everyone who has changed and grown stronger makes me think maybe I can do that too –

      You are right about my CG – when he says something mean I always confront him about it – and he 99.9% of the time apologizes. Unfortunately this sets up the dynamic in our house of me always being right and him always being the messed up one. This makes him resent me even more and so this leads to his passive aggressive “f*ck you” behavior (the gambling, sex stuff, lying, etc).

      I don’t know what will fix this but I know I need to protect myself and let him deal with his own problems. I realized recently that if he doesn’t put in effort with his kids that is HIS loss and there is nothing I can do to repair that relationship with his kids. I used to try and push him to do this, but I can’t. I can’t be mother and father. I just can’t. And while that breaks my heart (bc i didn’t really have a dad – long story) I didn’t ask for this. I never thought when I got married he would turn out like this.

      I say all this to state that I have stopped blaming myself and stopped trying to fix his relationship with the kids. That is on him.

      I used to blame myself for a lot of things – I wasn’t good enough, if I was only “better” things would be ok – Now I know its not my fault. I am a really good person who ALLOWED these things to happen to me –

      Don’t get me wrong, I have a long, long, long way to go – but I feel better. Lighter.

      Thank you for reading my thread, thank you for the support and thank you for being an inspiration for what CAN BE.

      With much love,

    • #2818

      Thank you for your continued love and support – I could NOT do this without the GT team –

      Much love

    • #2819

      Just wondering if you survived the snow storms as well as all the other storms of daily life ?

      If you feel better / lighter then what you are doing is working for you. Allowing these things to happen to you is to me something we can say after we have reached a certain awareness not before. otherwise we just self blame even more.

      To start with we don’t know that we are allowing them to happen and we are not meant to know that, such is the level of manipulation, we are supposed to think we are to blame for absolutely everything.

      After the awakening it is still not easy to not allow ourselves not to allow these things to happen. Just as your CG still indulges some of his behaviour then also so do we, our responses and behaviour too have become ingrained – or at least that is how it is for me. I think that if I really believed my CG was getting support and trying I may well have a rethink, however I do not believe that !! the point I was going to make is that if he presented me with the right set of circumstances I would react in the way I have always reacted which would be to try again.

      I have not had experience with someone with a sex addiction so am clueless about it but I imagine it to be quite frightening at times and like the others , far reaching in its effects on the person and on others. I think I would have difficulty in not trying to cure it with two bricks in his nether regions such is my ignorance.

      Boundaries are becoming important for you Madge and are bringing stability in comparison to where you have been, it is quite amazing how continuing to stick to them will help you. Other people do get fed up with testing them if they remain firm (eventually !!)

      Do the two of you do much together as a couple these days without all the talk of addiction coming in to it ? or does it always rule the conversations – just being nosy.

      Any way keep it up

      Jenny x

    • #2820

      Hi everyone –

      How I have longed to post but have been caught up in the drama of my life. To short form it for you:

      1. My Dad had a stroke 3 weeks ago – the day before he was to visit for my son’s 16th Birthday – it was very sad and scary and put all of us so out of sorts (being the birthday weekend and all) – I didn’t want to ruin my sons Bday yet my Dad was in the hospital – I didn’t want my kids to think their Grandparents had blown off visiting them yet I didn’t want them to worry about Papa…My Dad ended up being ok (no residual paralysis ) but they are still doing tests etc..It was very traumatic for our whole family and made my son’s birthday sort of suck.. I felt so bad for him…

      2. My old beloved cat is very ill – he has been in Hospital having all sorts of tests – Me and the kids drove down every day (it is quite far) and sat a vigil and visited him. He came home as the Vet is trying to figure out what to do with him – I guess his illness is so rare there are only 2 or 3 other documented cases of it so they don’t really know what to do…meanwhile he has this huge tumor cyst thing wrapped around his neck going into his chest making it hard to swallow ….they drained it providing some relief but it is just going to come back.. I so thought of you Jenny as I have spent a few nights sleeping on the floor next to my cat – crying – just loving him – I can’t bear the thought of losing him yet I wonder if he even knows how much we love him..

      3. Did I mention we pulled my daughter out of her awful private school?? She was MISERABLE and now is in public. She is happy in public as there are no watching eyes to follow her every move but educationally we are very unhappy. While this is supposed to be a good school district (top 15 in state) it is no where near the level of her private school. My son said she is getting dumber every day…may be the case…

      Ok – long back story – on to my CG. He is trying – trying to share his feelings, still going to CB therapy 2x a week, going to either SA or GA once a week. He has been good trying to share his feelings with me, buy me flowers, leave me love notes, etc. All good.
      BUT – even though I love him (and I do but hate to admit it for that may give him power over me) I don’t know that any amount of therapy or sincerity on his part will make me ever trust him again. I am ALWAYS looking for the lie – always wondering when he goes out if he is *really* going where he says he is – I don’t know if you can lie to and abuse someone as much as he has lied to and abused me and expect them to trust you again. I don’t know if I ever can.

      He has broken my trust and my heart too many times and I said to him “you can’t mean to tell me that for the rest of your days on this earth that you will never do anything really messed up again???” – he was silent – because of course he will! It may not be tomorrow or next week or 3 years from now, but I feel like it will happen. He is messed up. His therapy is helping him see his issues more clearly and he seems to have better insight but even being a therapist myself, I know that people only manage their issues, they don’t get rid of them completely. And I feel one day, he will majorly “mess up” again.

      Now where does that leave me?? I don’t know….

      My CG has 6 months sober from gambling – and from sex with me as well – He wants to be intimate again with me (which I am not opposed to in a recreational way ) but I don’t think I can actually sleep in the same bed with him anymore (we haven’t since August) because that is when he used to try and take advantage of me (when I was asleep). I told him I don’t think I can trust him next to me when I am sleeping- maybe ever – I am not sure if this is a deal breaker for him – and I feel scared it might be.

      Because despite everything that has happened and everything he has done, I think back on the 20 years – 20 years! – we have been together and all the good times he have had. And since my Dad’s stroke I keep thinking if I would want to have my life without my CG – and I can’t really imagine my life without him. Even though I am so mad at him and hate him sometimes, we have so much history and have been through so much he is part of me – and I miss him when he’s not here…

      I hope this doesn’t sound crazy. I hope you don’t judge me – I just am confused and trying to sort this all out – With my Dad almost dying and my beloved cat sort of dying currently, I have re-evaluated my feelings toward the people in my life, deciding who matters to me. And as f**ked up as my CG is, I still love him.

      And Jenny – how many hours I have thought of you as i have slept next to my cat on the floor petting him, loving him. I wonder if he knows how much we love him and how we **and I **couldn’t bear to be without him….so much loss….

      I am going to read some other posts and see how you all are doing – I hope you are all well and trying to care for yourselves – I am still trying to keep my boundaries with my CG – I don’t want to let him in but we need to try and rebuild something together – how do you do that???

      much love

    • #2821

      Hi again

      something came up and I need feedback.

      my husband was asked to travel abroad for work – not required, they just wanted to see if he was available. Given all the mess we have been thru, my daughter leaving her school, my dad having a stroke and my cat currently dying, I asked if he would stay home because I really need the help and support. As it is, I drive 4 hrs a day just getting the kids to schools and activities.

      My CG agreed he would stay home and maybe in 2 weeks if the cat was ok he’d travel then.

      Fast forward to last nite – We are talking about our upcoming week schedule and he says “oh, but I could have been abroad this week…” I calmly explained we had discussed this and then proceeded to ask if he was mad at me for asking him to stay home and help me. He said no, he understood but there is always part of him that wants to run away from us (his family!) and “do his own thing”. I again said I didn’t want him to be mad and me for not traveling and then taking it out on me later passive-aggesively, as he usually does. He continued with how he likes to travel and thought this assignment would be fun (mind you he just got back rom being away for work for almost 3 weeks on business travel). I explained again how hard it is for me to have to do ALL the driving childcare etc all while dealing with my daughter with behavioral problems, our flooded out condo and my dying cat.

      He then goes into a rant about how whenever he expresses his feelings to me I “come down on him” – I did not come down on him at all – it was me practically begging him to stay home and not be mad at me and help me at home with everything. He stormed out of the room yelling at me “Im not dealing with this again” –

      SO – my question is if he is the one who wants to run away from his family and home responsibilities and I am the one begging him to stay and help me, how is it I am “coming down on him”????

      I feel so sad and so broken – best way to describe it – it just ruins my whole day. I am trying to not take responsibility for what he does but I end up feeling like **I** did something wrong when I don’t think I did. Was it wrong for me to ask him to stay home and help me?? I always do *everything* in our house and it is a lot, a lot, a lot…I feel overwhelmed with now the cat’s constant care and he feels the need to “run off and travel” – so selfish – all the bad things he has done are all so selfish… I am the one still here trying to make this work, I have never put my needs before the needs of my family. So why does he want to run away from us all the time??? How come i feel like the bad guy???

      Now he doesn’t want to talk to me. And I am left feeling like a criminal. He makes me feel like I am not entitled to help, that it is my job to always handle everything. And he should get to do whatever he wants – that it is a “burden” for him to deal with me, his kids, the cat – anything that isn’t entertaining or fun for him.

      How did I get here?? And what do I DO??


    • #2822

      I am still here as is the rest of this forum. You are not broken, I won’t accept that from you because from how you post. You can not be broken by something that is already broken The way that you post indicates is that you are not broken.

      This addiction will fool you Madge at every opportunity – but can it really ? no actually it can’t.

      You have already done for your daughter what you felt was right – the proof is there, she is happier. You have done what is right for family members who are ill, you were there you are there.

      Once again Madge you have done it and you have done it in spite of the warbling of the addiction. These are not the actions of a broken woman.

      I suspect that his actions of running off to do his own thing is a means of wanting to go and gamble with no interference from you but that could also mean my cynism ( can;t spell it )

      Madge You are getting it but in your last posts you don’t mention the time you are putting on one side for you any more – where has it gone ?

      How about you and your daughter get on a plane or a boat and take time for you, no sour grapes – just you and your daughter away from it.

      I guarantee you one thing or in fact several. If your husband is serious about recovery he will not deny you a break. I f he wants to gamble he will – nothing you can do about it.

      Come on Madge I want to see you walk forard, this addiction can never take you any where that you are not prepared to go.

      You only have to ask my dog who is fully recovered and acting like a luney !!

      I would do my time on the floor again for my dog and my boys and for the other special people in my life that I know want a life.

      Would I lie on the floor sobbing for someone who doesn’t want help or doesn’t accept the fact that they need help ? not a cats or a dogs chance in hell xx

      Get back to looking after you and who is important


    • #2823

      I think there is something really special in a person who can say. I love someone who has this addiction. I see the person underneath despite what their addiction is showing me. That takes guts Madge.

      Loving your husband is not a sign of weakness. Admitting that you love him does not give him power, it does not give the addiction power over you.

      I know Madge and I wish all my hundreds of words That I have posted on here were visible for you to see right now but they are not ,but what I have said and what I will always say is that in the darkest moments there was no need for speech, we felt for each other and we both know what we felt and what was real.

      The addiction had no power ultimatley, we held the power because what we had was real, the addiction wanted it but it never took it.

      Our relaitionship is done but addiction never took it, it can never take what we had, although it seems impossibel.

      I am not ashamed to post under my real name – which I do and I will never be ashamed to admit that I do still love a CG who was and is my best friend and that is how it will remain, all be it in the past.

      I feel privaliged to have had this experience. it has just taught me so much. I have a life with new eyes and for that I guess I have to thank him – but not yet !!!!!!!!!!!

      Jenny xx

    • #2824

      Dear Madge
      Confusion is the nature of the addiction to gamble – it is like a whirlwind that sucks you up, leaving you spinning and wondering where the hell you will be when it has finished with you.
      I appreciate you have so many things going on in your life at the moment and you desperately want love and support but that is making you vulnerable and addictions feed on vulnerability. Having him stay home appears to have caused even more problems than if he had gone. When he is away working do you feel less stressed? Bluntly Madge, it appears you cannot count on your husband and in my opinion your best choice is to take care of yourself and your children, however difficult that may be. It wasn’t wrong for you to ask your husband to stay home and help – it was what any person going through the difficulties in your life would ask – but his subsequent behaviour sounds typical of a CG who is active in mind, if not in deed.
      You got to where you are by living with a terrible addiction that seeks to determine the lives of those around it. Looking after yourself is paramount. Determine that you will not let his addiction bring you down, refuse to allow it permission to affect you.
      When the things you have been doing are not working it is time to change and do things differently. I know words can sound hollow Madge but I really, really do understand what it is like to be in the middle of the maelstrom and I know the only way to escape is to refuse to live in the middle of it.
      In my opinion you will not be able to rebuild until he has dealt with his addictions and from all you say his mind is still actively fully addicted. Abstinence on its own is not enough.
      Thinking about you. You can make a difference.

    • #2825

      “Bluntly Madge, it appears you cannot count on your husband and in my opinion your best choice is to take care of yourself and your children”

      this has rung thru my head this week – until now when I have a chance to post –

      I truly appreciate your truthfulness with me – you are right – sadly, you are right. I know I can’t count on my CG – it hurts so much but I know it to be true. And also sadly, my kids know it to be true.

      But amongst the darkness that is my life, i wanted to report a glimmer of hope.

      Today after all this mess from previous posts, my CG took kids to school and was supposed to return (i thought) for us to go to teacher/parent conferences together. He (of course) expressed no interest in going at all until I asked him to come (you think a man would be interested in the progress of his own children, wouldn’t you??). BUT, instead of returning home, he never showed up. I started to worry, where he was, what he was doing, etc – but I stopped – consciously I MADE MYSELF STOP. I reflected back on your words, Jenny’s words, and everyone else on the forum’s words and decided – DECIDED- to not focus on his mess but instead have breakfast with my youngest who goes to school last. We had a lovely little breakfast and I was happy to be with him.

      My CG eventually called me 10 minutes before the conference time with the usual excuses “Oh, I thought I was just going to meet you at school, etc”. It turns out he had been doing errands, but who really knows with him. The point is that at least for that moment I was able to put aside my worry about my CG, tell myslef I couldn’t do anything about his crazy behavior and just be with my son…

      That felt good.

      Point #2: “his mind is still actively fully addicted. Abstinence on its own is not enough.”

      Never thought of that – again Velvet, you are right. He has been gamble/sex free for 6 months but his actions and mind are still where they have always been – with himself and his own needs – I never thought that with abstinence you could still be addicted…now I see you can…WOW – that was mind blowing –

      I can see how hard it is for my CG to think of others – what a struggle it is – so sad – so sad for me and my kids. But I need to focus on me and my kids. I told my CG I do love him but that it is dangerous for me to love him – that I always get hurt and I need to keep him emotionally at a distance. I don’t like being that way but it doesn’t seem like I have much choice til he gets better. I don’t know if he can/will get any better.

      In the meantime my daughter and I are scheduled to go away for her competition next thursday. She is excited and nervous as I am too. But I am nervous about leaving my other 2 kids with my CG – he is forgetful and I only hope he will remember to feed them and that they will be safe. They are 16 and 8 yrs old so I know they can get cereal etc and won’t starve, but I am hoping Dad rises to the occasion and really takes care of them. And the cat too and all his meds. I don’t want to cancel our trip bc it is important to my daughter but worry that their Dad isn’t a great caretaker – it is so hard to be the only parent in a house of 2 adults…. ;(

      I will continue to strive to take care of me and my kids and not worry about him and his problems. It is hard because the person I love it still there and I see how messed up he is and how hard he is trying from his side. I know he is trying. But his success is only limited. Maybe for now that needs to be enough..

      More later – and will reply to Jenny later too – off to pu kids –


    • #2826
      nomore 56

      Hi Madge, I agree with Velvet re the abstinence not being enough. I dealt with my hb being in relapse mode for many years. He too was unreliable, showed no interest in anything or anybody but himself and had huge pity parties for the diva he had become. Everyone was out to get him, he was angry, jealous of every little bit of something good I treated myself or my daughter to and sometimes got downright nasty and hurt us in many ways, emotionally and verbally. I recommend the book “The relapse syndrom” by Gorski to you. Every word he wrote was something I experienced on a daily basis. It is a mandatory read for substance abuse counselors in training here and also used in many treatment programs. It might explain the state of mind your hb might be in at this point in time. It would be a good idea to have someone who could carefully check on your kids while you are gone without upsetting your hb too much. I learned the hard way that you cannot really rely on most addicts even when they are abstinent because they are the most selfish people on the planet. Could you possibly board your kitty at the vets to make sure it is properly taken care of? I don’t want to scare you, by no means but having gone through the motions for so many years I learned a lot of lessons I could live without to tell you the truth. It is great that you don’t intertwine your personal well being with his so much and are doing nice things for yourself and your kids! Way to go!!!!!!!!!!

    • #2827

      I hope you both really enjoy your trip and that thoughts of gambling are not allowed to spoil it.

      Sometimes Madge people don’t take responsibility because they are not given it. Particularly true when we have an ‘irresponsible addict’ in the household recovering or not there is a tendency for us to carry all responsibility for absolutely everything because we think they will not cope or that they will make bad choices etc etc.

      I sometimes think that we are as much a contributor to the problem of responsibility as they are because we take it and hang on to it and don’t know when to give some of it back.

      I think its great that he is about to have this opportunity, spare him the lectures of what he needs to do when your away. Show him quietly that the possibility of his bad choices are not interfering with your happiness or that of your daughter, you may be pleasantly surprised.
      He may have an addiction but I doubt he is a total incompetent (hopefully!!).
      Now is a chance for him to step up a little and if he doesn’t I would let him wallow in his own consequences after all we all know the noise that comes from irritated hungry eight year olds, rather him than me.

      Enjoy your trip Madge

      Jenny x

    • #2828

      You are right – “people don’t take responsibility because they are not given it” – couldn’t have said it better myself. I can’t worry about what my hb will do when i am away but I do believe he can rise to the challenge if I get out of his way. I do tend to *take over* most days as I think my way is the best way. I need to make room for him to do more as you mentioned because that will help everyone in the long term. He is capable and I need to let go for that to happen.

      As for me, I have been inspired by Berber’s strength – if she can have a baby and focus on her and not her CG, I should be able to keep my focus on me and my kids.

      I am looking forward to my trip however we are scheduled to be dumped by snow starting tomorrow am – hoping I can fly out otherwise I will need to postpone. Will keep you all posted.

      My CG was having a few hissy fits today about a bunch of things but I made the choice to not get entangled in his mess and let him work on his recovery and take care of the kids if I leave tomorrow…

      Please send safe travel prayers for tomorrow – Im not a great flyer –
      thank you for supporting me – you have been wonderful. This continued support has made all the difference for my recovery.

    • #2829

      Let him fill his life with normal x

      Jenny xx

    • #2830

      Hi all..

      So much to say.. never enough time…

      Short version:
      1) trip went very well. Hb took care of kids well (to my delight) and my daughter placed a 1st and 3rd in her classes – very good with world class competition.

      2) Upon my return hb decided to revert back to old self and do nothing with kids are around house. Had a few fights about it where I called him on dumping all responsibility on me and demanding he step up to his responsibilities.

      3) You’re gonna love this part – My hb tells me he has a trip for work scheduled for UK. Fine. For some **unknown** reason in my brain, I thought the UK didn’t have casinos (have no idea why I thought this given my interaction on this forum – DUH!!!!) so I made a joke saying at least he won’t get tempted to gamble over there…He then proceeds to tell me that there are lots of casinos in this area and that he visited them all last time he was in UK on business last year!! HA ! I had no idea! I was stunned that he had done this and more mad at myself for being so naive. The last time he was in UK was before I found out about all the gambling stuff so this wasn’t new gambling, just revealing of old gambling – why didn’t he tell me before??? And also now this upcoming trip made me really nervous.

      I was happy he told me about the casinos (even though he had lied about it over this whole time) and was honest that he was scared about what he was going to do with his extra time there.

      We sat together and looked up all the GA and SA meetings in the area – there were quite a few!- and made plans on which ones he would go to. He thought that was good that he was honest with me about his fears and that he made plans on what to do with his extra time.

      I feel sort of scared about what he is **really** doing there but tell myself there is nothing I can do about it anyway. I have my hands full over here. Velvet once said she thought maybe it is easier without my cg home – well yes and no – Yes because of less friction and one less person to yell at and No because I have no help with the kids and no support, help driving around etc. I drive about 4 hrs a day getting kids to schools (all 3 in different schools different towns) and their various activities and with out his help out is a even greater burden on me.


      While he has been gone 2 bad things have happened:
      1) I found out my 11 year old daughter has been emailing some random 22 yr old man in another state telling him she was 18. This child of mine is very strong willed and has ADHD and behavioral problems. She said to me “I know what I did was wrong but I wanted to do it anyway” – being fearless with no impulse control is a bad combination.

      2) my oldest son (the wonderful one) got a 67% on his final honor math exam!!! This is my son who is a high honors student and was *hopefully* bound for an ivy league school – not anymore I guess!! I don’t know what went wrong there but to say I am disappointed would be the understatement of the year…

      This all brings me to where I am at: I feel like a failure – I feel like my husband is totally messed up, my “perfect” son is failing, my daughter is out of control…my little son is ok so far but I feel like with my track record his failure can’t be far behind. I feel like I have failed in my job of mother – I gave up my career many years ago to be a mom and I feel like my kids are turning out all messed up. My first failure was marrying their father – because he has been a terrible father and I know part of their acting out is because he has been so absent in their lives…So all around the past 20 years of my life have been a mistake – my kids Ive messed up, my husband is messed up and I feel like everything I try to do to fix it makes it worse….I feel terrible….

      Well – there you have it –

      Hb still away the rest of the week leaving all the wreckage of our life to me to sort through. I am miserable.

      Had to vent. Hope it made sense.


    • #2831

      I think it is often useful to try to understand our past, but it is also important to accept that we did what we did back then usually with good intentions deep down. Often we made decisions when we were naive and maybe vulnerable. We need to be forgiving and kind towards the person we were during all our yesterdays.

      The past is now one of those things we cannot change (as in the Serenity Prayer). Today and the future are what we can influence with the wisdom we have now gained.

      Today you have your children in all their variety and with all their complications and difficulties. They need to live, as you do, in this day and all their future days. Try not to spend your precious energy on the ‘wrong’ choices of the past. I know that is not an easy task, when you are questioning your life and feeling in some way ‘to blame’ for its problems. As you know and understand yourself more, let this lead to loving and accepting yourself more fully , too.

      Just some thoughts from reading your post – I hope they make sense.


    • #2832

      I hear you Madge on the messed up , dysfunctional family issues and your “failure to thrive ” husband, your “out of control” daughter and your “great expectations/going backwards”son……I’ve been through the lot and do you know what?
      I have watched kids who grew up with my kids. The ones who’s parents DIDN’T do all the private schooling, all the extra curricular activities, all the taxiing etc etc and guess what ,they all have stress free lives, their now grown up kids are all in great jobs and ” living happily ever after”while I’m still chasing my sons up , wondering who they are with, paying their debts and rent arrears,while they continue to spit in my eye and the father says……… “It’s all you fault!!!”
      Moral of the story Madge! MOTHERS CAN’T WIN, even those who try gambling as an escape!!!!
      In my experience, you won’t change. You will just continue being a martyr for those kids….unless you lose your head some day and pull the proverbial rug from under everyone’s feet.
      Try to see the funny side Madge!
      You and I are probably the only ones not laughing!!!
      And YES there are gambling establishments in the UK and in Ireland and a CG will sniff them out as soon as he sets foot on foreign soil…
      Life is one BIG MYSTERY!

    • #2833

      Hi Madge
      You have not failed. You are working your socks off, doing everything you can to make your family pull together but there is a strong force at work counteracting your efforts and it is something, I think maybe, you are struggling to comprehend.
      Your husband is one of two people from whom your children should learn how to lead decent lives and yet his addiction is based on lies, distrust, secrets and manipulation. With one fifth of your family displaying these unacceptable behaviours I fail to see how everything could be tickety- boo.
      Of course you do not have to be a martyr and of course you can change. I know because although I would never consider myself a martyr, I felt a complete failure just as you describe yourself.
      One fifth of my family has an addiction to gamble but my family is functioning well (and getting better) because ‘I’ have changed. My CG has controlled his addiction but as far as the rest of my family is concerned, I believe it is ‘my’ change that has altered what was dysfunctional. I am now leading from the front and not trailing behind picking up the bits.
      Whatever happened yesterday is gone. Your eldest son is still wonderful even if he didn’t make the grade for an Ivy League school. His inner happiness and self-esteem is more important and you are the person who can make him feel great and able to pick himself up and achieve whatever he wants in his life.
      Your younger daughter needs positive action from you, action you can give. Talk to her and listen to her, she is at one of the most confused times of her life. When I was 13 I told a boy I was 16 so that I could go to an x-rated horror film – I was pushing the boundaries and I learned as a result of that lie that an age limit on a film is there for a reason – I was absolutely terrified. Your daughter needs to learn from you that boundaries are there for her safety.
      There is no ‘need’ for your youngest son to experience failure – I have many friends whose youngest child has broken the mould. Believe in him and enjoy him. While your husband is away, doing whatever, build your life, the life that ‘you’ want it to be.
      You have not failed as a mother – you are still there and so are your children Nothing is broken so badly that it cannot be fixed.
      What you do today is all the matters Madge. With a daughter in need of guidance and a son in need of reassurance there is little time to waste feeling a failure when you are not.
      Of course mothers take the blame but feeling guilt is one step too many.
      I don’t believe there is a funny side – I believe it is hard work, strength and self-belief that will win the day for you and I believe you can do it.

    • #2834

      I’ve thought long and hard before replying to your thread. My heart goes out to you. Been there, got the T-shirt as they say. Everyone is right in saying it will only change when YOU change, however, at the point in the journey you are, that maybe hard to hear and deal with. Everyone has to go at their own pace and it’s scary, terrifying in places, soul searching and full of fear of the unknown for the future and on the other side very rewarding, safe, easy and full of love. I talk of it as sides because when you work on yourself that’s what it feels like crossing to another world.

      Everyone has there ‘enough is enough’ point when your are forced to make some changes. We hear about our CG’s reaching this point, I believe Family and Friends reach that point too. Life will continue to send events etc your way (and each time it will get worse) until you reach that point. When you do reach that point Madge I want you to know there is so much help out there for you. You don’t have to do it alone. I craved help and support for the troubles I went through with my children (ex-hubby backed right off when he could no longer ‘control’ them). I was way out of my depth and he was there but not there when it came to helping me deal with schools, self harming, gambling, drugs, drink etc etc. When I started to do the work on myself, I learnt how to support myself, how to ask for specific help and life showered me with the support I needed. I am now teaching my children how to get that help and support for themselves. I don’t want them to wait until they are in their 40’s to start to live their lives.

      It was hard to admit defeat in that my marriage was not working. I worked sooo hard at trying to make it work and I believe we went round and round the block so many times reaching a point of do we keep working at this or separate.
      We agreed to separate in the end and see how our lives would go (divorce was not an option then). After just 3 months of living apart we agreed to divorce. Three years later we divorced and now the 30 years I spent with that man I can’t even remember!! I blocked it out lovely and enjoy my life to the full now living one day at a time.

      It will be interesting to see how your CG get’s on in the UK. My CG has now left the UK because the temptation in the UK was too much and he wasn’t ready to ask for the help yet. I would say use the time he is away to really think about what you want from your life. Your children will grow up and leave before you know it! Keeping a journal I always found very helpful just to vent and sometimes out of my scribblings came some answers too. Let the pen flow, don’t think too much about what you are writing just let it all out.

      Everyone deserves a good, safe, easy life. It’s waiting for you Madge :).

      San x

    • #2835

      Hardly Madge ! you are doing the best that you can for your family that is not failing in my opinion.

      I am reading between the lines and what I am reading has been written by someone who feels that they are responsible for absolutely everybody else and their outcomes and by someone who still is at the bottom of their own list of priorities.

      You are not defined as a person by the choices that other people make, yet I sense the Olympic judges have again mysteriously appeared on the side lines with their unhelpful whispering in your ear – you are a very harsh judge of yourself.

      Your husband proved he could cope well when he was either allowed or forced so keep it up, he sounds as though he’s a bit like “Madge is back so I can now give everything back to her to deal with again” The question did he give it to you or did you take it or did it just lapse back to ‘the way its always been’ ?

      As we know a CG who wants to gamble or needs to gamble is going to do it anyway in any country. One massive thing that takes over enough of our head space making it difficult to concentrate on the positives and the important things and people in our lives. The implications of this snowball and everything becomes negative and a major effort and the feelings of failure increase – because we cannot change something of which we have no control over at all.

      So back to you !! I am not a believer anymore of waiting to reach my limits because I never did reach them, they could always be stretched just that little bit more,, because as the feelings of self blame, guilt and failure take a hold then the limits stretch as we try ‘just that little bit harder’ and so it goes on.

      Just as a CG has to actively change and work at a recovery then so do we, one little piece at a time. Things will change when we make them do so. We can wait for it to happen and ‘it’ never does happen.

      I really believe Madge that when you start making time for you and forcing yourself to put yourself first, that is when other ‘stuff’ will change around you. It could be said that I am now free of the addiction which I feel I am on a day to day basis although I still carry the impact of it !! but that is because I do things like go out when really I can’t be bothered, buy myself something nice that I don’t need (yes I have money now oddly !!) have an early night, spoil the kids occaisionally and I plan it all and I force myself. I believe that if I did not do these things, all of which are in my own control to do, then I would still be in an emotionally crippling relaitionship.

      I want to see you build on the start you made Madge, looking at the bits you can change for yourself, I think you may find and I hope you will, that they are well worth the effort. I think that they could bring you clarity of thought.

      Time to make your recovery happen

      Jenny x

    • #2836

      Thank you so much all for your support and comments. I will have to comment later in more detail but have read your responses. I am feeling much better now.

      According to my CG, (who is still away) he has been *good* while in UK. According to him the gambling problem there is much worse as there are places to make bets, slot machines around every corner – I had no idea. I am pleased he is talking to me about that and he attended both SA and GA meetings there – very good I think –

      BUT – the important part – ME! I am trying to take care of me ! Last night I attended a new Brazilian Jujitsu class – 2 in fact – because I want to improve my range of fighting. I had been wanting to go for a while but of course I put it off because I am always laster than last. But yesterday i felt COMPELLED to go (even though I had already trained for 1.5 hrs with my MMA trainer!). I knew I needed to do it for myself. I ended up staying til almost 10:30pm and while I felt a little guilty (sorry!) once I got home, I knew I needed to do this for myself. It felt good. Like I was in a little bubble away from everything and just focused on me. I am sore today for sure but feel good that I bumped myself up the list. And everything at home was ok. Imagine that?

      As for my CG, we’ll see how he is when he returns. From what he is telling me on the phone, he has been working very hard to stay sober attend meetings etc. But I know I need to distance myself from his recovery and focus on ME!!

      Yeah ME! so glad I finally paid some attention to myself..

      Thank you my lovely friends…I really need you and so happy to know you are there when I falter.. All your suggestions and advice has been heard. Loud and clear.

      love to you all

    • #2837

      Hi all

      Getting ready for another trip and CG is freaking out – making me freakout. He doesn’t really want to go bc it won’t be “fun for him” (its kids amusement park trip) but we are also seeing my daughter compete for 5 days – i don’t know why he has to be so selfish and just think about him – he is an **addict** is the answer, ding, ding ding!

      To Update:
      He came back from his trip to UK and according to him he was sober **except** when he got on the plane and **only** played 5 hands of blackjack. He didn’t understand why i was so upset…He later agreed it wasn’t a good way to break his sobriety and says he is back on the wagon. I find it hard to believe he didn’t do any other gambling over there – it is so hard to believe anything that he says..

      He is also mad that I still can’t sleep in the same bed as him (due to him being inappropriate to me while i slept). We have been sleeping part and not intimate for 7 months and I still feel afraid of him if I were to sleep with him. Almost like PTSD. (Yes we have been to multiple therapist since this has been going on – on and off for 6 years). He says he is feeling resentful towards me, and while I totally get I need to focus on me and the kids needs how are we supposed to go on this 10 day family vacation without having it ruined by his selfishness??

      I am having a really hard time – I am so anxious I can’t even pack – we leave tomorrow am! I want us to go and have fun but it seems like all he can think about is why he can’t sleep with me (physically and otherwise) and why we are spending all this money taking our “ungrateful kids” to this theme park (hint: think Mouse)……I have been so patient with him, trying to support him while keeping my distance and doing stuff for myself. But I don’t see how our FAMILY can have a nice time if our CG is all pissy and moody because he isn’t getting what he wants – it will upset the kids, they will know…he will ruin everything….

      Does anyone have any advice as to how I handle this?? We leave in the early am and I want my kids to enjoy and have fun –

      It seems like my CG always does something to ruin any special time – birthdays, anniversaries, trips, mothers day, etc he always is in a **mood** – I supposed because it is not about him. I wanted this to be a special time for all of us but he never wanted to go – I can’t see why he wouldn’t give some of himself (time, waiting around, $$$) so his kids could be happy…

      Well, I supposed I should try and pull myself up and start parking…all I can do is take care of me and the kids..

      any advice how to handle the next 10 days is much appreciated….


    • #2838

      My advice would be to leave him behind and have a great time with your kids on your own.
      Velvet wrote a very good thread about Christmas and how to cope with it, I think this could be applied to ‘special occasions’ too.

      She says “By looking after yourself you will give all your loved ones a happier Christmas than if you allow the addiction of your loved one to bring you down.”

      Good Luck Madge, we look forward to an update when you get back. Keep smiling. San x

    • #2839

      I too would have my doubts as to whether his recent revelation of his gambling episode was a ‘one off’ in fact I would struggle to believe a word of it given that his behaviour is more consistent with someone who is gambling than with someone who is not. It almost sounds like he is up to one of those ’cause a fuss so I can create some time for gambling’ scenarios ! but I will make everyone else feel miserable and responsible at the same time.

      Whether he is or he isn’t gambling Madge don’t let the actions of another spoil an opportunity for you and your children after all do you really want him being a misery for the whole of your trip.

      There is no end to the selfishness around this addiction but it can also never cease to surprise us and can become more incomprehensible as we try harder to understand it – its too much like hard work !

      I think I’m tempted to say get those bags packed, ensure your finances are protected and as San says leave him behind and have a great time with your kids.

      He may be controlled by his addiction but you are not although I know that’s how it can feel, don’t let it take any more of your life Madge, its had quite enough already


    • #2840

      Hello my dear madge
      Thank you so much for your warm post on my thread.
      Take big breaths and pack your suitcases my dear. Don’t ever ever allow anyone to ruin something that your children deserve to have. This journey is for your children joy.
      Even if he is their father he cannot ruin it (he doesn’t has the right) and if he cannot understand it because he is selfish from the addiction, you protect your children from him, you just leaving him behind.
      And if you cannot leave him just behind you, speak to him (you speak to the addiction now, remember!)With all your power that even if he will come if he will do something wrong to ruin your children joy or make them sad even a little you he will see another madge that he will not recognize. Give him an ultimatum if you feel inside you that you can do it.
      Please my dear, I know how nice is to make a trip just like a family and spent nice time and your cg just be a nice father and spent time with his kids. He is not ready Madge. He cannot do it.
      You should put your nice smile in your face, because if you smile your children will smile too and go your holidays and spent terrific time . Addiction has no place in the trip with your children.
      I know that my words are a little hard but I think that san and jenny gave you terrific answers .
      With all my love
      Put your smile on you are going a trip with your beautiful children

    • #2841

      Hi Madge,

      How did the trip go? Hopefully you were able to enjoy being with your children and collect moments you will always remember.
      I hope you are not getting too worked up by your husband’s actions if they include gambling and being nasty. Just staying true to your recovery is what is really important for you and your children. Sadly we cannot change people for the better, regardless of our best intentions. However, the only person we can change is ourself; this applies to everyone and not just a person with an addiction. Marriage is challenging period, I know this as well, but through the craziness I experienced with my father, always trying to knock some sense into his gambling brain I got no where, just as I would to someone who is fixed in their ways. So again, focus on you. Also, listen to your inner feelings, and let them guide you. I realized the times I didn’t listen to my gut, I wasn’t really doing what was best for me. Life is too short to be unhappy and to put up with the nonsense from anyone.

      Hope all is well.

    • #2842

      Hi Madge,

      It’s been awhile since I’ve posted, but I’ve been reading when I can. I hope your father is still doing well after his stroke. You’re at that age when both your children and your parents need your attention, and that can be difficult even on a good day – much more so with the distractions and aggravations of addiction.

      I’m so sorry about your beloved cat … I am a lover of animals and know that heartbreak well. Sadly I’ve lost the oldest of my 3 wonderful dogs, and 2 of my 6 sweet, beautiful cats since I’ve been on this site. I hope you have other pets too – my buddies have gotten me through some rough, lonely times!

      Something in your last post struck me – about how your cg always manages to ruin special times. A lot of the things you have said about his behavior reminds me of a spoiled, selfish teenager I know: My nephew married her mother last year, and his 2 younger children have had lots of things spoiled due to her drama. It isn’t fair to any of them, but especially the younger kids.

      It seems, like a teenager, the more you want your husband to do something, such as a family outing, the more he resists. It is sad that it isn’t fun for him to see his kids having fun. Unfortunately I’m guessing your kids are picking up on this too.

      You know Madge, I think if your children are going to learn how to refuse their fathers addiction before they become adults and have to figure it out on their own (like Twilight), they’re going to have to learn it from you. I personally think it would be excellent for them to see you ask your husband (when he’s being pissy) to go elsewhere because you and the kids want to have a nice time…. And then go and have a nice time! Think of ways to stop letting his addiction bring you down and then teach your kids to do the same. You all deserve happiness and for those special times to be special!


    • #2843

      Hi Madge
      Being woefully late updating your thread is forgivable – you have a busy life. It is also fine if you are doing well and I hope that is the case.
      It would be great to get an update though.

    • #2844

      Dear friends –
      Oh how I have so very very often thought of you all….

      Sorry I have been too busy to update…it has been up and down…

      I can’t even remember where I left off…our trip was actually good. My CG behaved himself after we had a long talk about what was going on and how we needed him to be “fun” and not destructive…He was fun and we all had a good time! I was so happy as was my daughter! She competes as an equestrian and had a wonderful show and her dad was present…it was great!

      He has been great overall… He had what I call a slip (he doesn’t of course) when he was on travel – he told me he played a computer blackjack game “for 5 hands only” while on the plane. He still went to GA and collected his 9 month sober keyring.. I told him I didn’t think that he could count 9 months because of the slip but he didn’t listen of course….

      So, he has been good TIL this weekend….

      I noticed he was acting weird and obsessed with work…then last night at 1:30 am he gather his clothes up (he sleeps in another room from me because of his sex addition) and as I follow him to the other room tells me he is going to work at 5am! Easter Sunday??? he knew we had plans with the kids and he was all “oh, Ill be home for our plans”… as we argued into the night he admitted he is in a bad place and is self destructive and he feels like a failure etc….Some of this behavior might be related to his Bi polar (he does weird things and gets wound up when his meds are needing adjustment…) and I have seen him this way before..but regardless in my fear I found myself running around the house hiding all the car keys and his wallet so he couldn’t leave…who knows if he was really going to work or if he was going to casino but I didn’t want him ruining our day… I felt like a fool as I ran around at now 330 am hiding keys in the freezer but I was determined to have him home…I know that I was probably wrong, that I should just let him do as he will, but I just wanted him home..

      He was so sad admitting how screwed up he is and how he is in a bad place and how he feels like a failure ..I feel bad for him…But I told him he wasn’t going to take me down with him, that no matter what I will take care of myself and my kids.

      I am trying to take care of myself – I am now training Brazilian Jujitsu 6 hrs a week along with my MMA stand up training. This I do for me. I feel good about that and try and keep that commitment. My children are draining but lovely (my daughter is having a hard time and may need a medication update) but overall all is ok.

      I realize my CG will be having problems forever because it is not just his CG – he also is Bipolar, ADHD, Sex Addict, Compulsive eater, CG……that makes me sad but I do love him and I know he loves us..He really has been there for me lately (except this weekend) and he has been doing better. I only hope his therapist can help him tomorrow and that he can get back on track.

      I so value all of your input and friendship. I think of you all daily and try and walk the walk and be true to myself and be there for my kids…

    • #2845

      I agree with all you said…My Cg is like a spoiled teenager. His therapist has often told him he needs to grow up and take responsibility for his actions. I guess he is working on it with his therapy and meetings but sometimes I think some people are too broken to ever truly be “fixed”. I think he can get better, but not 100% better…I think he will always have problems….
      I agree if he is being stupid and selfish we will leave…I told him yesterday if he didn’t want to be with us and behave himself then he needed to just leave…pack up his stuff and find another place to live leave…Im not going to let him upend our lives. The children see him for what he is..a troubled man but a troubled man who loves them …..
      thank you for listening, thank you for reading…
      to be continued…

    • #2846

      Hi all
      I was hoping to get some feedback on my last post. It’s been really tough for me over here and some days I don’t know if I’m coming or going. I’ve been reading others posts and trying to get inspiration from them. But I feel so sad and sometimes so hopeLess and wonder if I’m missing out on things in life.

      I would really appreciate anyone’s thoughts on my previous post and how things are currently going. I need to feel like somebody understands……

    • #2847

      I hear you Madge!
      Life can be tough.
      Marriage is not easy.
      Despite addiction.
      Its all about give and take.
      Better or worse (If you have taken marriage vows)
      It seems we either have to give all or give nothing.
      Stay or leave…
      Can you stay and give all , or will you walk away?
      Only you can decide.
      (just my present thoughts to let you know you have been heard)

    • #2848

      Thanks for responding. …
      Sometimes I think no one is listening. ..maybe my story isn’t interesting enough or perhaps it’s too complicated. Either way it’s nice to know someone is listening. I feel so alone a lot of the time even though I am surrounded by people. I feel like my life is passing me by …I spend almost all my time either attending to my kids or being ignored by my husband. He says it’s *hard for him to connect* which is why he drifts away. But I’m lonely and I miss him….

    • #2849

      Dear Madge
      I am always listening but often feel that I write too much. Of course your story is worth listening to and you deserve all the support this forum can give.
      You are right to call your husband playing blackjack a slip. I hope that he told his GA group even if he did collect his 9 month gamble-free key-ring. Maybe you could say if it happens again that you feel it would be nice if he discussed his behaviour with his group rather than telling him that he should not have counted his 9 months as gamble-free. I believe in supporting CGs to be open with each other – it is far less distressing for you if someone else is putting him straight.
      I was so sorry to read that you were running round the house hiding his keys and wallet to stop him going to the casino but I understand why – it is so difficult to stay calm when you feel the addiction is triggered.
      I can hear you love your husband Madge and I know how hard it can be to love someone who is not in control of their life. That is why it is so important that you are in control of yours – you are the lynch-pin in your family but that does not mean you have to sacrifice your life for your husband’s addictions.
      Was his therapist recommended to you, do you feel he/she is making a difference?
      I have changed my times on Tuesdays so that my group is 6pm New York time – it would be good to talk to you in real time.
      Keep walking the walk and I will walk with you but please never, never forget or underestimate the importance of ‘you’.

    • #2850

      I’m reading your posts too as they come through. Your story is certainly not NOT interesting! A little complicated, maybe, but there are many facets to it. Back in 2010 I wrote a blog entitled ‘Who am I’ it’s stored on my computer. After reading your thread and another, I re-read some of it and it could be ‘your’ story. The now ex-husband and his ‘games’, sleeping in separate bedrooms, going to counselling, the affects on my children etc etc. I was exhausted emotionally and physically, frustrated things weren’t happening faster, completely ‘drained’ with children/schools etc etc. I talk about being lonely and there must be more to life than this! I remember a time when my eldest son held me in his arms and cried, ‘We want our mum back’. I gave all of myself away to my ex and my children, my house, my work.
      I look back on those times now and wonder ‘who is that lady
      talking there’ it’s not ME. I understand that everything that happened HAD to happen to get me where I am today. Slowly reclaiming ME back and letting go of what I could not control has brought me where I am today.

      ‘I realize my CG will be having problems forever because it is not just his CG – he also is Bipolar, ADHD, Sex Addict, Compulsive eater, CG……that makes me sad but I do love him and I know he loves us..’ This is a huge statement Madge. You understand he will have these problems forever … can YOU live with it forever? Is love enough? Only you know those answers. I believe your body knows the answer to these questions already it’s whether you choose to listen to it is the question. Sending you a cyber hug and wishing you some peace. Best wishes San x

    • #2851

      Thanks for your reply to me

      Being a mother can often be a thankless job, a never ending stream of varying forms of unpaid employment ! Cook, taxi driver, cash point, friend, great big ogre etc etc !! there are so many roles you fulfil which can change minute by minute – and what thanks do you get , probably as much as me !!

      On top of this you are married to someone with a whole host of issues which involve the need to take rather than give. Is it really any wonder that you feel the way that you do.

      There are many ocaisions when I have screamed “what about me, what about my feelings ” ” what does everyone think I am a machine devoid of all emotion?????”

      In truth that is what I was well on the way to becoming -it was a coping mechanism for extreme circumstances that emotionally I was struggling to cope with.

      I think my lesson in looking after me was to start seeing other people who made me laugh and were good company. You have your classes which is good and i’m sure helps to vent some of what’s going on but where is the emotional quality in the good relaitionships that we lose when we are so caught up in being everything to everyone ? The type of stuff that replaces bad with good ?

      Out of interest, when you say you love him – what is it you actually love about him when it comes down to it ?

      You have been heard Madge and there can be a time when things appear to stay the same or in limbo for what seems to be forever.

      I read an interesting quote recently which said ” If you follow your heart, remember to take your head with you”

      Jenny x

    • #2852

      Thank you Jenny – spot on again. Things are very confusing for me now. I am trying to hang in there –

      I often do think my family thinks I am a robot who just *does stuff* for everyone. I try to remind them I am not. When I leave tues/thurs nites for my class my kids are unhappy but I remind myself I NEED this for myself – and I do – it is the only thing I do for myself – btw, “Everything to Everyone” is a favorite song of mine by Everclear…listen to it if you can…

      When you ask what I love about him – I love who he is when he isn’t “sick” – He is smart, funny, kind, intelligent – loving – That is when he is THERE. When he is avoiding life (via work, gambling, sleeping, eating, etc) I don’t like him very much. I feel sad when he is “not there” and I miss his presence. I have a few really good long term friends but they live far away. I also had a few losses recently (my best friend died last year and my other best friend was deported!) So I seem to have less support now that ever….
      I guess that is why I am lonely and sad…

      I recognize I need the ” type of stuff that replaces bad with good ?”..I try and see the other friends I have here but I am not as close them as I am with the other far away ones. I think that is why this group us so important to me. This is my support – where people know the “true” story and don’t judge – it is and has been a blessing and a G-dsend – I am so grateful to you and the others here at GT.

      I think it was San that asked if I can manage staying with my CG knowing all the long term problem he has. The truth is a) I don’t want to break up my family and b) I still love my CG. I know too many divorced families and I can’t put my kids thru that. I know you may all be screaming “but you need to take care of yourself and your kids already know the truth of their Dad” etc etc. I know my kids see their Dad as he is – good and bad- but I can’t, in my heart, break up their family. I can only try and make things better from my end and hope he can keep working on his end.

      And yes, I pay the price – I know I do – but I can’t let my kids suffer more (the kids of my friends who are divorced definitely suffer more). I know if we got divorced Id have less control over my CG and how he deals with the kids – If we are together I can take better care of the kids and still have some good family times (like when we were away) when Dad is *present*. I realize is it not a great picture for me-but I am stuck – really I am – because my kids are more important than me. At least for now. Maybe when the youngest is older this will change – but for now, I am here..

      Velvet: to answer your question about his therapy: – He has been to like 8 different therapists – this one we are at now is a CBT guy and seems to be helping him. He was seeing him 2x a week but bc of the kids schedules (and my ability to only be one place at a time!!) he is only going 1x a week. He still is going to his SA meeting and sometimes GA meetings. Honestly I think he is so deeply damaged that “full recovery” is probably not going to happen. I am hoping he can be more present with the family and control his addictions…I don’t know…

      I would love to make your group at 6pm Tuesday but that is kid time – from 2pm EST til 11pm I am with kids (unless Im at my class – my great ecape!!). Hopefully one day Ill be able to pop in and talk in real time. I would love that.

      I hope I have covered all the questions that were posed of me – I am really grateful that there are people out *there*, lovely people who care enough to repond and offer support and advice. I know things change – change and move – and I am trying to hang in there while we go over this current hump…

      We have been married 20 years – that is a long time – I know my CG loves me and would do anything for me. When I look at others lives around me who I know, I see their problems from the outside (addiction, affairs, generally being a mean person, illness) and I realize I wouldn’t want top trade with any of them. That says something, don’t you think???

      Gotta run – children call – more later – Glad I was able to spend this time with you all.

    • #2853

      Hi Madge,
      I am being completely honest when I say I have often started writing you, to only stop. I feel like everything I want to write will only upset you, but if you take one thing I write I feel it will be all worth it.
      As you know my father is a cg and I have lived with this addiction for so long. My mother did her very best, as you, to shield me from it; but of course, as the years passed, and the older I got, the more I was able to piece things that weren’t as obvious as before.
      I didn’t even have to hear the fights anymore, to know that my parents were fighting, or that my mother was upset. I could read it from her body language, and their silent treatment, and their superficial talks, about how work was and how beautiful it was outside, just to fill the void. Your children learn from you and your husband. You are their first teachers and what is happening at your house with the disrespect is not normal. I went back reading your earlier posts and reading how your daughter could ever tell you to shut-up is only a reflection of what she sees. Again, please bear with me, I am not trying to hurt you, just for you to reflect and be the change you need in your house.
      This addiction is nothing to downplay as the other ones your husband has. Don’t let love blind you of just accepting this as loving your husband. I don’t like saying this, but the addiction is playing you well, it knows that you are afraid of it, but of course this can change.
      I know from hard experience, despite your very best intentions of wanting to prevent your husband from gambling, like hiding his keys, in the long run it will always be futile because the addiction will always find a way to gamble. You will only run yourself ragged, and in the end all your efforts will be in vain and you will suffer a breakdown. Who will be there to take care of you?
      What I highly suggest is for you to really start your recovery and please stop sticking to the idea that you will never divorce your husband, this is unnecessary stress. No one can say this, and I would never say this either. I have been married just as long as you and have two children. I love my husband but I know never to say never.
      When you are in true recovery, it is liberating, you feel this excitement that you are getting yourself together, you are not afraid of what the future holds, you start seeing things differently, and you feel better about your life. Divorce shouldn’t even be an issue at this time; you just need to heal your troubled heart and soul. You owe yourself everything; you were not made to fix anyone’s life, but yourself. Don’t take the burden for doing for others, this includes your children. Love yourself Madge to want a better life.
      What I wrote is from my heart and means no disrespect towards you. I hope you see this.


Viewing 84 reply threads
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.