Get practical support with your gambling problem Forum Friends and Family Glitches – Starting new Post – HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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    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


    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


    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!


    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.


    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


    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,


    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


    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.



    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…


    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



    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…



    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.



    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.



    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


    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.


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