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

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    Let him fill his life with normal x

    Jenny xx


    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.



    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.



    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!


    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.


    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


    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


    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


    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….



    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


    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



    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


    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.


    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!



    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.

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