8 May 2013 at 2:13 am #1799nomore 56Participant
Adele, oh girl, do I hear and feel you! You already did all the right things by protecting your money and having the credit monitored. Your story is very similar to mine and I don’t know about you but I did take what my hb did, how he behaved and what he said personal. Until I learned and understood that the cgs come in all shapes, ages and colors but the addiction and its’ nasty pattern is the same across the board. As to your (step) daughter, I understand that you are afraid of her reaction but as you said, you love her and have a long history with her. It might not be your place to tell her about her dad’s addiction and nobody can tell you what to do of course. Every situation is different and so are the people. One thing to keep in mind though is that cgs don’t know friends and family from enemies when it comes to getting a hold of money. When the well at home dries up, they usually turn to others to ask for funds or borrow some. My hb came up with the most outrageous explanations and family and friends fell for it. Or just pretended to believe his stories, who knows. You say that your hb lies not only about money and gambling. I also dealt with it for many yrs. My hb always avoided any kind of argument, confrontation, anything that he felt uncomfortable with. And mostly things that he hid for as long as possible because he didn’t like the reaction of others would he have told the truth. It was easier to be a master of avoidance and then deal with problems when everything was said and done. His dysfunctional family was just the same way. I am a firm believer in holistic treatment for any kind of addiction. The whole person has to be addressed, not only the gambling. My hb completed inpatient treatment 3 ***** and only the last time it really worked because he had to work on more issues than just the gambling. Which was only a symptom of everything that went wrong in his life.
Your hb does not like the term disease. I don’t really either. But was else to call it? Does he think he is just behaving badly because he chooses to gamble? And his statement that he will get “over” it once you are living together again is just a copout imho. It give him a reason, not you, just him. He gambles because of his current situation. Right, who would blame him….It buys him time to keep doing what he is doing and at the same time gives you hope that everything will be ok again. It does not matter where he lives, with you, in a state with our without “big” casinos. Once the addiction has a hold on him, it will continue to torture both of you. The up and downs of total devastation and some hopeful glimpses into the future are very common. That’s how the addiction works. To keep both of you in line so to speak. Anything that poses as a threat has to be removed, and you are a threat because you decided to fight it on your own terms. And you are fighting, that’s what your posts are saying. If you get well yourself, the addiction looses some of its’ grip. At least on you. Did you get the jeans and the heels yet???? 🙂8 May 2013 at 2:53 pm #1800
It was great to see you in a group – it does go fast I know, but you did well.
I am struggling to find the time to keep up with all the posts at the moment – I hope I answered some of your concerns when I spoke to you.
This is just to say I haven’t forgotten and I will go through all your points carefully hopefully before I take my break from Friday to Tuesday in Scotland.
9 May 2013 at 7:58 am #1801
Thanks Velvet – I know you are pulled in many directions. I am doing better than I was since I have immersed myself into this site, I just have a long ways to go still. Hope you enjoy your visit in Scotland.
That first group thing kinda freaked me out a little… lol. It was a good workout for my brain and my fingers. After that baptism, I held my own fairly well yesterday in a community group session. I met 3 very nice people there, and it was most helpful, and enlightening. I plan to join in more often if I can figure out the ***** …
NoMore – I greatly appreciate your posts. You have a very good understanding of this addictive behavior and I have given your words a lot of thoughtful consideration. You’re right – our stories are similar. I find myself thinking and saying that more and more on here…
I’ve been thinking about my boundaries … They’ve changed of course since I’ve come here. I am considering paying off 2 payday loans this week that my husband took out last month. If I do, the boundary would be crossed if he ever took out another. Actually, I think that might the boundary whether or not I pay off those loans.
I have been so very angry and very harsh with him … and I’ve been as strict with our finances as I think is possible, yet he manages to find ways … It amazes me! He’s not a manipulative man, not conniving in his nature, and he certainly is not creative AT ALL … yet he finds ways.
In March he managed to *** out a line of credit on an account he opened secretly 2 years ago when this all started. I had confiscated his cards, he gave me the codes for the account, I closed everything but the account with a balance, and had been making payments on it for the last year and a half. This was the second time he’s ***’ed it out by having them send him another card.
Then things basically just blew up last week … that final straw you know? I got a call last Tuesday (4/30) from the ***** Department of one of my credit cards. Someone had used a "Thank-you" card for several on-line purchases that morning and they called to confirm the legitimacy of the charges. I had no idea what a "Thank-you" card was, I’d never received it nor asked for it, and the phone number for the charges was a non-working number. Of course I’ve learned by now to immediately suspect my CG – so I called him. He hesitated for a moment, but confessed to using a card he had found in a stack of mail I had shoved into one of the spare bedrooms – intending to sort thru it eventually. My mistake. Online gambling of course – which he only took up recently. $1000 gone in a blink.
I demanded that he come home immediately – enough was enough – I was going to shut him down one way or the other. I told him whatever it took, to leave his work and come home – or don’t bother to ever come home again. I meant it and he knew I did.
He came home Wednesday, and I didn’t really know what to say or what to do. It was so weird. It was like "Hurry hurry hurry and get your ars home now… zoom! OK I’m here … Ok, good, sit down and shut up. lol There was just this silence between us – his was in shame, and mine was in defeat. I think that’s the best word to describe how I felt.
He did not say anything about all that had transpired the last few weeks, although he knew I was aware of it all. That’s how he is though, non-communicative, non-confrontational, unemotional. I have tried in the past to get him to talk about issues between us, and he will literally sit there and say nothing. I timed him once … me "so what do you think about so and so …. tic toc, tic toc … 10 minutes with NOT A WORD. He waits for me to drag things out of him. Are these common traits in CGs? I know Ell has described her husband as being this way, and so have you NoMore. What’s up with that?!
Before he got home Wednesday night, I had done a lot of thinking and crying – sobbing actually – and I’m not really a ‘sobber’. I put a call in to an attorney and then just sat there for hours, numb with the realization that my marriage and my life as I knew it was very likely about to come to an end. In my job, my hours are unstructured, so it is easy to procrastinate when things aren’t right on the inside. I needed to go out and get some work done before he got home, but I couldn’t make myself do it. So I decided to do some research on my computer…. and that is when I found Gambling Therapy.org.
Ell’s was the first thread I read. I felt an immediate connection to her, and the beginnings of a sense of hope. I read and read and read for several days while my husband walked on eggshells. Finally, on Saturday I think, I began telling him about this site. I told him some of the things I was learning. By Saturday night my attitude toward him was kinder. I told him thru tears how very sorry I was that he has been afflicted with this addiction. I apologized for not being more understanding. I see so many things that I have done wrong in my ignorance of this addiction.
It is a start for us … he has not yet made an appointment with a counselor (but he has the name of one there), or said that he would attend a GA meeting (they have GA where he’s at), but he has done some reading on this site, and he’s talking more honestly with me about his addiction. Baby steps …
Holy cow! I have rambled on and on again … so sorry. This wasn’t even what I intended to post about … Guess I needed to get that off my chest!
"… should I give up or should I just keep trying to run after you when there's nothing there?" Adele9 May 2013 at 9:38 am #1802
You did better than me in my first group and I didn’t try again for weeks – well done on coming in to Community Groups so quickly. I know my rusty typing skills increased to a rate my teachers would never have be***ved me capable of! Another good thing I have wrested from the addiction.
If you did things wrong you did it for the right reasons. The addiction to gamble ****** on us not knowing how to cope with it – why should we? We are bound up in honesty and trust with someone close to us.
I don’t think you will – but please don’t apologise too much – you were being decent whereas he was not.
I am also not a person given to tears but I shed my fair share over this addiction and probably more as the realization of what it was all about, sank in. I think maybe we allow ourselves the luxury of tears when the fighting without understand stops.
The depths of his bad behaviour are not surprising. I read your paragraph about your husband not being manipulative or conniving in nature because he is not creative enough and yet he found ways. I t seems to be saying that he has diametrically different characteristics and this I understand and I be***ve is what those who are looking in, do not understand. It is why the analogy of creating a separate entity for the addiction appeals t me as someone who loves a CG but is not recognised professionally. Of course the addict has the addiction – they are not really separate. There is no cure, our loved ones will always be CGs.
I also know the ‘hurry up lets talk’situation and then the knowledge that you are defeated by ‘whatever’ it is that is going on. It is symptomatic of the addiction that a CG will behave as though past behaviour has not happened and so they wait for the non-CG to speak. As soon as a conversation is started the addiction is ready to blame the non-CG and *** about everything to protect itself. My CG said that when he said ‘give me time to get my coat off before you start’ what he was really saying was ‘she is going to give me a hard time and I need my addiction to be ready’.
Your husband had nothing he could say, to assuage you – his addiction was manipulating the conversation, protecting itself, trying to weigh up how serious the attack was and how it could side-step the arguments – he was gambling that you would give up.
Might I suggest you encourage him to contact the helpline as he appears to be getting something from this site, and/or start a thread of his own – if he is confident in his addiction, what has got to lose? CGs know other CGs better than we ever will. We have many good threads running – a recent one is by Uncontrolled called ‘The Journey Starts today’ and another is ‘Anniversay’ by Colin in Brum. They are only two in many but both of them were in danger of losing everything, until Uncontrolled came to this site and Colin to GA.
Your husband is a good age to weight up the wreckage he has left behind him. You are regaining your confidence and self-esteem and you will not be part of the wreckage he has to deal with and that will support him tremendously.
Without our recovery the CG has the greater struggle. Our recoveries take a long time but only because I think we go on a learning curve that takes us into every part of our lives with what we learn. I am not the person I was before the addiction came into my life; I am certainly not the blob I was when the addiction was in my life.
I will be back next week although I have a group tonight if you want to hone your typing skills again.
I am not seeking to put a dampener on your hopes but talking about doing something and actually doing it is a big step, until he ‘does’ something rather than talking about it, keep every barrier up and trust nothing. Trust take a long time – I cannot give you a length of time. I trust my CG to look after his recovery – I can do no more. all I can say is that he is doing well. As far as this forum goes, however, I be***ve it is the fact that I am doing well that ****** and of course I can move mountains!
You may never know what results come from your actions but if your nothing there will be no results – Mahatma Gandi
9 May 2013 at 6:18 pm #1803nomore 56Participant
Hi Adele, just like Velvet said, the silence is very common. My hb was the same. He just reacted to me instead of really having a conversation. Disclosing as little as possible in re to the debts he had accumulated, just to test how much I actually knew. He also liked to beat himself up verbally so that I would not get too angry. Other ***** he got defensive and blamed me for what he had done. Addiction talk at its’ best. Why do you think about paying off the payday loans? They are his responsibility and he has to start owning his actions from here on. He can’t eat the cake and keep it. It would only prolong his behavior. I’m very glad for you that your card company called you, they do that nowadays for suspicious charges thank god. I put red flags on all my accounts way back when after my hb ***** some checks from me and successfully cashed one of them. It is very common practice for the banks not to pay much attention when it comes to married couples even though there is only one name on the account. Hide your mail where he can’t find it, no matter what it is. The addiction is much smarter than we think!
My hb never talked much about anything, like I said. Gambling is often an outlet for bottled up feelings that the cg feels uncomfortable sharing with others. A lot of cgs are escape gamblers and a good treatment plan addresses more than just the gambling. I don’t know what state you live in but most have a Council on problem gambling. Great resource for all sorts of info, incl. a list of GA and GamAnon meetings as well as gambling certified counselors. I agree with Velvet, having the intent to do something is great but he is just producing white noise until he really takes action. Here is an example of how the addiction tries to make you comply by given you the hope that the cg is finally willing to fight back. My hb had his disability benefits deposited into my account and after deducting his share for the household expenses I put the rest on a savings account for him for his personal *****. I left for Germany where I spent a month with my family. While I was gone, he changed it to an EBT card and went on a rampage at the casinos. I found out upon my return, duh. Then he disappeared for a week, hiding away at the mental ward of the VA hospital. While he was gone, I made the decision to not play the game anymore, no matter what would happen to me financially. Felt peaceful and free for once. So he came home and ranted and raved about how stupid he was and how he regretted it and on and on. I said nothing. Made some coffee, sat him down and told him that he could say his thing and I would say my thing and then we would be done. My thing was, the charade ends now. No more dancing around the fire. No more of anything. It’s either getting your own place or going into inpatient treatment. I’m done, can’t do anything else and that is that. About 2 months later he left for a 120 day inpatient program and came back a changed man. Not only not gambling but also willing and able to have a real conversation, to verbalize his feelings and most importantly, he finally understood what my daughter and I, his family and friends had gone through. He took responsibility for all his actions incl. the crime he committed.
See, I’m also very good at rambling, lol. My point is that there have to be serious consequences for a cg to feel the need to make changes. Kinda like starving the beast of addiction.
Take care of yourself first, addictions of any kind hate that….9 May 2013 at 7:32 pm #1804
Velvet – I absolutely agree with the premise that this addiction creates a separate entity within one being – I have witnessed it personally and in reading the stories here. And it is created without a tangible substance like alcohol or *****. Although I suppose money is the substance for CGs – consumed uncontrollably in massive quantities.
**** THIS BEAST VELVET!
**** IT TO ****!
"… should I give up or should I just keep trying to run after you when there's nothing there?" Adele9 May 2013 at 9:03 pm #1805
Has anything new occurred to make you feel like writing as you have? I am closing down now for a few days but I hope you will use the helpline and/or the other groups.
I don’t think money is the substance – it is purely the tool, the means to the end. I don’t think that non-CGs can understand it.
Look after yourself
9 May 2013 at 11:13 pm #1806
Unfortunately yes V.
He’s off the radar this afternoon and I know too well what that means.
I am trying to hold on.
"… should I give up or should I just keep trying to run after you when there’s nothing there?" Adele– 5/10/2013 3:10:33 PM: post edited by chasing pavements.10 May 2013 at 8:14 pm #1807berberParticipant
Thanks for the Mojo! It has been well received. On top of that it gives me strength to know that you have read my thread and can relate. I love how you say "God doesn’t give us more than we can handle" – and it’s true. Look after yourself, like Velvet said. Treat yourself to something really nice!
Dear Adele, have a good weekend and hope to chat with you again soon.
12 May 2013 at 11:37 pm #1808veraParticipant
Thanks for your prayers. Badly needed and much appreciated!
Hope you got through the weekend without too much trauma.
All I can say to you is that you are in the right place here in GT. As a CG, I know that there is NOTHING that anyone can do to stop a loved one gambling until he/she is ready to admit that they are powerless over their addiction and are ready to seek help themselves. During the "waiting period" a lot of destruction takes place and many people are affected.
Never give money to your CG. Never allow yourself to be manipulated or threatened by him. Always listen when he tries to explain his fears and when he looks for help but take his promises with a grain of salt.
CGs are Masters of our "trade" and we can fool others up to the white of their eye!
Action speaks louder than words! CGs are good with words but our action don’t always measure up to our spoken promises.
Keep the lines of comminication open. Gambling is a lonely disease and most CGs I know are scared stiff of what lies in store.
Keep posting! Keep praying!
God bless!1 June 2013 at 3:34 pm #1809
Re your 5/24 post: You’re absolutely right about pressing my ***** on him and asking too many questions, and telling him I expect more of him – it is making perfect sense now because I’m realizing these things are actually counter-productive. Being patient, practicing self-control (at least while I’m with him) and better understanding the roller coaster ride my CG is on is making a difference – at least with how I feel.
Is your husband aware that you are seeking help and that it does make a difference?
My husband is very aware that I’m seeking help here – and I think I’ve made it clear that this is the most important thing going on in my life right now – my recovery and utilizing this site. I have encouraged him to start a thread, or use the helpline or groups. If he has (which I doubt) I don’t know about it. He said he had been reading here, so I asked him if he had seen my postings. He seemed a little surprised, and said he hadn’t – then I didn’t say anything else. In a bit he asked me if I had used a name he would know, and I said no – then I didn’t say anything else. In a bit he asked me if I had put a story on there, and I said yes. I think I’m taking a chapter from Building Bridges’ book here – steeling myself – holding my tongue when I really want to “seize the opportunity” to launch in to a big conversation about what I think he should do.
Patience … not easy for me.
That was all that was said – but the fact that he actually asked me questions about it is huge. He told me once that the F&F forum was more helpful to him than the CG forum. I thought that was interesting. So, yes, I think it is making a difference for both of us.
Going to my CG friends Birthday Party on the coast:
Harry’s advice to be wary was much appreciated – and heeded. We had a great time, the margaritas were fabulous, my husband sang Karaoke, which shocked us all, and we avoided the subject of gambling completely – except one mention to me by my friend that no one knew of my husband’s addiction.
BB – I hope you have found your way to those moments of “normalcy”. The evening with our friends here at home, and the weekend trip to the birthday party were big breaths of fresh air for both of us. I won’t say it was easy to “chain the beast up” – there were many ***** I found myself caught up in thought while gazing across the water. But I think the “normalcy” has given my husband a bit of confidence, or hope … or something.
Taking my own inventory:
BB, I hope my post moved you in a positive direction. I know how much you love your husband and want him to overcome this thing. I have cried with you and wanted to give you a silent hug many *****. I see you getting stronger with every post, and that has given me courage to find better ways to refuse this addiction.
I do have a very long (and very old) list Velvet. So I decided to apply both the puzzle analogy and the One Day At A Time theory to it. I will break that monster To Do List down in to manageable “pieces” that I can complete in “One Day”. Thursday, I did all of my laundry, Friday I swept and mopped all of my floors. Two pieces done! Time to get off my lazy butt.
No More, I’m not really doubting myself (any more than usual), and I don’t really blame myself for my husband’s gambling. My post was, I think, the beginning of a cathartic journey for me – a journey that is going to either intertwine or become one with my recovery journey. I wonder if this would be helpful for you to do also?
Velvet, I do want to change my direction – for me, and for my husband. And I will greatly appreciate you continuing to be by my side. Thank you.
— 6/9/2013 3:53:38 AM: post edited by adele.3 June 2013 at 8:58 pm #1810
I will write to you tomorrow.
V4 June 2013 at 1:55 am #1811AnonymousGuest
I’m glad you are chipping away at your list. I am a huge lister myself and the feeling of accomplishment of crossing something off felt great. I used to use it as therapy from stressful unproductive days at work. I’m going to start putting listing to work again!
You did most definitely motivate me in a positive direction. It’s been a painful movement but I think I’m finally heading to where I need to be. I really enjoy reading your thread you do not hold anything back and that’s awesome and very brave. I also think it’s great your husband reads F&F. I do not know how my husband would react.
How wonderful to have a time of some kind of peace. Even if you know it’s temporary at least you had some quiet.4 June 2013 at 4:03 pm #1812
I loved your post.
How you feel is more important than anything. All first F&F posts start with information on the CG but behind that CG and writing that post, is someone who has taken a metaphorical beating and ***** healing.
Ban negative body language from your vocabulary.
If you are concerned about being over-weight don’t become a slave to scales – if a weigh-in makes you feel a failure all day – break the habit. Live in the present – today is the only day that ******. Don’t buy jeans or dresses that will fit you when you lose weight but wear clothes that you love and fit you now.
You deserve respect and kindness. Don’t use food as an excuse or exercise as a punishment. Look after yourself. I am sure you have a captivating smile that has not been seen nearly enough recently – dig it out – try it in the mirror, I am sure it is amazing.
Stick post-its on your mirror that will give you a boost – who else will greet your every morning with ‘smile you are wonderful’. Remind yourself daily of how good life can be.
Find new focuses – worrying about CGs all the time leads to self-destructive feelings so getting busy as you have started doing is good. Pursue interests that make you feel better. The more interesting you feel the more attractive you are to others.
You can’t always control what happens to you but you can control how your react. Patience is not easy for me either but sometimes it is necessary. Allow time for others to change and adjust to the new you. Seize opportunities and focus on daily pleasures.
Avoid making a catastrophe out of something that is not the end of the world. If something worries you, step back and ask yourself if it will matter in a few months time and write it on here. Get it out of your head where it will fester if it left.
Make all your positive changes last and last but not least – keep posting. What did you achieve today?
4 June 2013 at 7:25 pm #1813
Well, I am struggling again …
My husband had to work this weekend so we have only spoken on the phone this last week.
Trying something different:
When he left to go back to work after our trip, we decided he would take $100 instead of the $10 or $20 I usually give him (because he would be gone longer this time), that he would keep receipts, and I told him if he slipped to just tell me about it and we would get through it. He was surprised at my attitude and said he would tell me if he slipped.
When we talk on the phone, he does not say anything to me about whether he has gambled or not, or if he has been tempted: It is just understood that he is trying hard not to gamble because that is what he told me he could do right now – so I have accepted that … for now.
The bank stuff:
The bank account he opened to put the last chunk of money in that he borrowed has been drafted by all of his previous debtors for the month. It’s crazy – he’s using borrowed money to make payments on money he’s borrowed, with no plan for when that money runs out. Nothing is being deposited.
Yesterday I got a notification text from his bank saying that access to the account had been blocked – no reason was given, so I texted my husband about it. He said he had tried to log on to check the balance, which makes no sense, because he is notified every day of the balance and for any transactions on the account the same as I am. I pointed this out and he said he was trying to see who all had been paid so far, and I think I believe that.
He called the bank and got access to the account reestablished. Then the next thing I know, I get another text notification from the bank for a $30 check paid to some new payday loan company.
He says it absolutely is not legitimate – that I know about every loan he has taken out. The check appears to be computer generated somehow (not handwritten) so there is a good chance that it is indeed **********. There was another draft on his account week before last that we have disputed, so the bank has credited his account while they research it.
See, these are the kinds of problems he has created by frantically looking for ways to get money online and elsewhere: Somewhere along the way he has provided too much information to the wrong people and now they have managed to get access to his account. UGH !!!!
I was worthless yesterday, even before I started dealing with all the stuff on the account. It was as if I knew something was coming … like it was time in the cycle for something to happen. I have got to shake this off!
His new work schedule provides opportunities to gamble:
Here’s the thing: Everything this last week and the upcoming week has been and will be a test of my husband’s resolve not to gamble. He has been working nights in the field covering for a supervisor who is on vacation – so he did not come home this last weekend. After tonight he will go back in to the office for a few days (his normal job), come home this weekend, then next week he will be taking on a new long-term/temporary position supervising a group of 3 crews that work together to cover a 24 hour work day – so his work schedule will be whatever he determines it ***** to be to keep these 3 crews running smoothly. He is experienced, dependable and a good supervisor – which is why they can put him wherever they need him.
The good things about this are he will work 10 days then come home for 5 days, and it is a boost to his ego.
The problem is … schedule changes have always provided him opportunities to gamble; this is when he has gotten in to the most trouble. He either runs to the casino when he has down time and is bored, or he goes by the casino on his way home or back to work – because I have no idea what his schedule is and would not know if he was leaving too early to go back to work or getting in too late when he comes home for his days off.
I think I believe him:
This is all just one big rant – possibly all for naught – because when he called last night I finally just asked him how he was doing on his gambling. He said he had not gambled and really had been too tired to even be tempted. He said he still had about $60 and had only forgotten a couple of receipts. And he said he was anxious to come home this weekend and see me. Amazingly, I think for the most part I believe him on everything.
So when he texted me that the $30 draft was not legit, after awhile I texted him back and said “for what it’s worth I believe you”. He either had gone to sleep or it had no impact on him because he hasn’t responded.
The Blob again:
Oh well … this rant is over – I have gotten it out of my head V – no more festering. If I don’t get up from here right now, today will be another Blob Day like yesterday and so many others.
I will try the sticky note thing Velvet – I actually know someone who puts sticky notes on the mirror for her husband and he loves it.
I want to post on your thread BB, thank you for posting on mine – and on yours Ell. I have things I want to say to you both about your last posts – and I will do so when I’m in a little better frame of mind. I know you both understand…
And No More – I hope as you indicated that you are considering what recovery might look like for you, and that you plan to post it on your thread. I am thinking about you and watching for you here.
"… should I give up or should I just keep trying to run after you when there's nothing there?" Adele
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