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

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  • #2814
    twilight16
    Participant

    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.
    XXXTwilight

    #2815
    madge456
    Participant

    “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 –

    xoxo
    M

    #2816
    madge456
    Participant

    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.

    xx
    M

    #2817
    madge456
    Participant

    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,
    M

    #2818
    madge456
    Participant

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

    Much love
    M

    #2819
    jenny46
    Participant

    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
    madge456
    Participant

    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
    M

    #2821
    madge456
    Participant

    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??

    HELP!!!!!

    #2822
    jenny46
    Participant

    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

    Jenny

    #2823
    jenny46
    Participant

    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
    velvet
    Moderator

    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.
    V

    #2825
    madge456
    Participant

    “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 –

    XO
    M

    #2826
    nomore 56
    Participant

    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
    jenny46
    Participant

    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
    madge456
    Participant

    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.
    xoxo
    M

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