6 June 2013 at 6:09 pm #1814
It’s a good thing I said I believed him “for the most part” in my last post … I remember now he hesitated just a beat before he told me he had not gambled the other day.
Does anyone know of an Android phone application on the order of Betfilter that blocks online gambling sites?
I saw a new email from a gambling site so I decided to call him right then. The whole conversation was calm – I was not demanding or outwardly angry – I just asked him to please be honest so we could work thru it … so he admitted he had been using his phone to gamble online – and I am thankful for that, but …
**** **** **** !!!
It took everything in me to keep from telling him how sick I am of the lies and how this has knocked me to my knees again. I’m sure I didn’t handle it just right, but I got him to talk about it a little and this is basically what he told me:
He said he was really trying to make himself stop gambling – that it had been hard, but he insisted that he had not been to the casino.
He said he hasn’t gambled on his phone for money in 2 or 3 days, but he has played for points for free. I asked him where he got the money. He said he’d gotten another debit card on the account he has in Oklahoma and has maxed out the credit card and loan accounts on it again. I thought he had closed the account to charges, but apparently not. I think I may ask him to send this bank a letter telling them he has problem, requesting that they block him from using the account for anything other than paying the loan balances – then have him copy it to me.
I asked him if he got the same high from playing for points instead of money. He said sort of – that when he wins, he thinks “man I wish I’d had real money on that spin”. So I asked him how it made him feel when he lost playing just for points. He got a little animated and said that when he loses it really hits him that he’s very glad he didn’t have real money on it – almost like he felt this was helping him to stop gambling. ????
After talking about his gambling online with his cell phone, he told me again that he felt like he was making progress even though I might not see it or believe it. I told him that I actually do recognize that he is making an effort to stop gambling, but only because I am working on my recovery and understand better how hard it is for him to do so. I think I may email him and tell him that had I not reached out for help we would very likely be in the middle of divorce proceedings – and then ask him to consider where we might be if he had already reached out for help.
Then I reminded him that I would not put money in his account to pay on his debts until and unless he had stopped gambling and was getting help with his addiction – which he still has not done. . He told me he has been trying really hard to resist, and that he wants us to do something special for our 25th anniversary in September – and that’s what is motivating him right now to resist. This is the first time he’s said anything to me about our anniversary. I don’t know if his motivation is based on hoping we are still together in September, hoping my feelings will be softened towards him by then so we can really celebrate, or if he just means so we will maybe have the money to go somewhere. I don’t know …
I wish I could be excited about our anniversary and wanted to plan something, but right now I can’t help but think about how much more he might gamble between now and then, and that anything we spend on a trip would be better spent on his debts. Hopefully we will have a good weekend and talk about it some more.
Lord please help us …
"… should I give up or should I just keep trying to run after you when there's nothing there?" Adele6 June 2013 at 10:20 pm #1815
Gambling for points is still gambling. He is making ‘mind bets’. Some newly abstinent gamblers say that what they are keeping track of is what abstinence has saved or cost them. Mind bets are not an uncommon way to remain in action. However the gambler may start to get ‘juiced’ and be unable to shake off the excitement.
I have asked about blockers for android phones before and I think the answer was there was nothing on the market but I will check again. Does he have to have an android phone? It would be good if you could encourage him to change his phone to a basic model – in the interests of his recovery.
CGs do appreciate the barriers when they cannot react to triggers because it gives them time to think – not possessing a phone on which he can gamble seems to me to be an excellent barrier. It is not treating him like a child – it is assisting him in his quest for the recovery he says he wants.
Dear Adele – you want to believe so much but I would be failing you if I did not tell you to strengthen you barriers. I’m afraid it is too early to believe him so readily and he possibly did not respond to your text saying you believed him because it was all he wanted to hear.
I know you know it but I will say it anyway – he is a CG and CGs tell lies and manipulate. Accepting that our loves ones are CGs is harder than we realise at first. We want to save and really understanding that we cannot is very difficult.
Looking after you today is still more important than anything. At the moment it appears that you are working harder at his recovery than he is. I think you did well getting him to admit he had gambled but I think it would be good if you reinforce your willingness to help him only if he helps himself – provided you can say it and mean it.
You are doing well with your posts – you are getting things down and that will help you when you look back.
I will write again tomorrow but I wanted to get these thoughts down tonight. They have come out a bit blunt but they are as always accompanied with your interests at heart.
7 June 2013 at 9:57 am #1816jenny46Participant
I see you doing the hard work here to the point where you can lose sight of who you are, as you creep around on eggshells trying to make it right or guarding what you say to him about his behavior or his addiction. How convenient for his addiction to have someone so worn down by it but also desperate for the well being and recovery of that person. Too me that is a powerful combination for the addiction to use to its own devices. It knows you love him, it knows you believe that recovery is possible, it knows your knackered and it probably knows that at ***** your self esteem is at rockbottom – it thinks it knows you and your reactions which is why he is able to spin the most remarkable lies!! I think possibly I see it like this because I have heard very similar on several occaisions to the point they actually become a little predictable but often impossible to see because of all of the above.
I had a gambling conversation with my partner last night and we do have several these days although brief it went something like this he asked me "do you believe you can be one step ahead of this addiction?" to which I replied "No and I would never try to do it again" he said "Good I hoped you would say that" meaning that he knows that I have learned to look after me not that he was hoping to be able to pull a stunt !! I then said to him "Do you believe that if I find out that you have gambled that you will be spending another night under my roof ? " to which he replied "absolutely not" What the conversation showed to me was that through his recovery and mine has grown a mutual respect, I respect the power and capabilities of his addiction and he respects my right not to put up with it.
I used to agonise over the right way to say things or mention the G word and I agree there are more positive ways to put things across than how I often do but if he is telling you lies and has told so many in the past he has a bit of a cheek asking you if you believe him ! in my oppinion. I think my partner now in recovery would tell me I was actually a bit silly if i were to believe everything he said and would not have that expectation.
I guess I am trying to say don’t let his addiction compromise who you are, if you don’t believe him tell him if you feel you can, that no actually you don’t and why would you. Let him wriggle around on his own hook for a while. As V has said strengthen your barriers and look after you. Your feelings are more important than comfort for the addiction.
Words are just exactly that and quite unreliable, if he is serious about his recovery he should be showing a bit more action, taking a bit of the responsibility if not all of it. You cannot shoulder it all Adele or it will bring you down. When I read your posts I don’t see a ‘blob’ I see woman who is doing the best that she can under massive adversity. I see a woman who doesn’t yet realise her own strength but will at some point make it work for her.
You believe in him but nows the time to believe in you
We see things not as they are, but through how we are today x9 June 2013 at 7:09 am #1817
I am so confused.
Friday night’s conversation:
Friday night I said all the wrong things for all the wrong reasons. I don’t know exactly how it happened, but within an hour of my husband getting home I was questioning him about how he got another card to his old bank account (turns out he had kept a credit card this whole time “just in case”), and what went thru his head when he **** to me on Monday night saying that he hadn’t gambled at all (when I **** it out of him on Thursday that he had been gambling online on his phone), and when he has told me these last few weeks that he is trying very hard to stop – exactly what is it he thinks he has been doing towards stopping his gambling, does he have a plan? (he says I’m trying to stop, that’s what I’m doing – I say but you haven’t! – he says my plan is to just stop – I say how?! – he says I just have to stop – I say but you haven’t! – he says then I guess I’m not doing anything to stop). I told him I felt like I was the only one working on his recovery.
It wasn’t a fight – we don’t ever really do that. He’s like Harry; he hates conflict and will avoid it at all costs, so he just usually resigns – which is pretty much what he did Friday night. Unfortunately he was fairly dejected by the time I was done with him.
Thursday afternoon’s conversation:
What’s crazy is that Thursday afternoon when I called him about the phone gambling and he admitted it, I remained positive and supportive – somewhat disingenuous to what I really felt, but it seemed to allow him to be more honest with me. In this conversation I reminded him that I had asked him again to please just tell me if he slipped – that the ***** was the worst. He said it was easier to be more honest with me since I was being “nicer” to him. I asked him to explain what he meant by me being “nice” and how he thought I was different now.
It’s very hard for my husband to express how he feels about anything, but he did a good job of describing what I think are classic CG reactions. He said when I was yelling at him (which I don’t do) or telling him how disappointed I was in him, it would “ruffle his feathers” and get him riled up. Afterwards all he could think about was how I was always putting him down. He said then it was like he would gamble just to show me he could do what he wanted to do and that he would show me he could win all the money back and pay off his debts. He said when I was constantly on him about his gambling day after day, he got so he didn’t even want to call me – and he didn’t for a long time.
He was very forthcoming about how I made him feel, but he also wanted to make sure I understood that he realized I had every right to say the things I said to him.
He went on to say that now I seem to have a good positive attitude toward him, not constantly asking him about it and telling him what to do, and it gives him a better attitude. He told me he knew it hadn’t been easy for me to be that way.
This is when I told him that the only reason I was able to handle it this way is because I came to this site and I’ve learned a lot about his addiction and how to put up barriers: That I am trying to learn how to take care of myself so I can support him in his recovery. I told him straight out that if I had not found this sight, we would probably be in the middle of divorce proceedings. Then I asked him to imagine where we might be if he was getting help.
It was a mostly positive conversation, but I didn’t know how to feel about him ***** to me and gambling again.
You are so right Velvet – I do so desperately want to believe – to believe that he really does want to stop gambling and that our marriage is more important to him than his gambling. And I am shocked sometimes at how my own attitude can swing from negative to positive to negative to positive ….
I’m sending mixed messages – and feeling mixed emotions.
Thursday night after this conversation and during the day on Friday before he came home I kept thinking about it and trying to figure out how I was going to deal with this – because on the one hand he did finally confess and actually opened up a little communicating with me about his “stinking thinking”. I think that’s progress – right?
But – at the same time I’m thinking ****! I just basically accepted that he **** to me and gambled again, and he still hasn’t gotten help. So what are the consequences for him; the fact that I had a minor melt down on him Friday night when he was expecting to come home to the “nice” me?
I have told him that I will support his recovery but I won’t support his addiction. The problem is I don’t think I know the difference sometimes.
Am I supporting his addiction by accepting the lies and the gambling and continuing to “be nice”? Am I not being supportive of his recovery by pointing out to him that what he is calling “doing better” and “trying to stop” is really just still gambling and *****? I don’t know if I will ever be able to have the conversation you had with your husband Jenny, so how do I refuse to live with the addiction?
I think I have probably caused a setback for him with my wish-wash.
He says he understands my anger, but I know he really doesn’t – he just thinks I feel he has screwed up again and he probably thinks I expect the worst from him – and part of me does! This is just TOO CONFUSING.
I’ve got to get my head on straight because I only have part of tomorrow to talk to him and try to get this thing on track before he leaves for another 10 days of working his new flexible (and dangerous) schedule. As Harry described, I would like for us to be able to discuss what the trigger is and try to figure out a better coping mechanism: Let this become a valuable lesson rather than another excuse for him to gamble.
"… should I give up or should I just keep trying to run after you when there's nothing there?" Adele12 June 2013 at 4:57 pm #1818
I promised I would reply to your post today.
I have read and re-read your post and I have made a start on a reply but there is a lot in your words and I want to do them justice.
Swinging from negative to positive is quite natural for anyone seeking to understand an addiction they do not own.
Never mind sending mixed messages – you are getting mixed messages and that is an active addition in full flood.
I am going to send this because I said I would reply today. I have people coming for dinner and I don’t know when they will leave.
I wanted you to know that you are in my thoughts and there is lots to say.
I will write fully as soon as I am free
12 June 2013 at 6:41 pm #1819AnonymousGuest
One of the worst feelings in the world is knowing you can’t believe a word that comes out of your spouses mouth and you can’t. You inspired me to take a look at what I was doing to myself. And it wasn’t pretty. I was not proud of who I saw, not only because of the way I had physically let myself go, but intellectually and emotionally as well. I knew I could not keep tearing myself apart trying to keep him from gambling and playing detective. It’s hard to stop when that’s what I have been doing for a while. But if I don’t stop I will totally loose myself.
So I am truly embracing step 1 of our 12 step program. I am not responsible for his gambling, I can’t control it and I can’t stop it. That is verrrry hard to do. But I am already feeling more positive. Will my cg gamble again, more than likely. Will I expend gobs of my energy to figure out what he has already done? No. I have protected myself financially and ultimately my CG. If he really wants to gamble can he get money? Yes. I hope though by the time he manages to find cash he has had enough time to ask himself if it’s worth it and tells himself no. That’s in his hands not mine.
But I am hoping that as he sees me putting my energy into positive efforts he will eventually want the same. And I pray that the desire to be in control of a positive life becomes greater than the willingness to just exist in a negative one. But that shift in desires has to come from him….not me. Not the non-cg.
I have to say my heart breaks watching his internal struggles and I can see the pain in him. It makes it hard to keep my hands to myself and not try to fix it. I can’t fix my CG and you can’t fix your’s. We can’t make this easier for them. We can’t accept responsibility for their gambling. We can’t trail after them waiting for them to fall and then try to pick them back up.
It took me a solid few weeks before I understood what Velvet has been trying to tell me and it’s just that….we can’t fix the CG only ourselves.
I know my CG has noticed my shift in priorities. I’m trying to stay the course.
But I think before you will be able to take care of you and begin your recovery, you need to know your CG’s gambling is not your problem to fix it’s his. You can’t take care of him and you can’t make him better….he has to do that. You can set boundaries for him based upon what you need and you can be a listening ear.
What you are doing I did. That is the only reason I feel I can speak so bluntly. I am keeping you in my thoughts.
BB12 June 2013 at 9:40 pm #1820twilight16Participant
I can see why you are confused as this addiction is always sending mixed message. It knows when to be nice, it knows how to twist situations in its favor and it knows how to be mean as he**. One can never trust it, but of course it is within the one we love, but, still this is not an excuse.
You see it is your husband that has chosen to gamble. He is the one not the addiction. The addiction cannot operate alone. It can whisper sweet nothings in his ear, but it cannot physically make him gamble. Each cg is it’s lifesource and unfortunately, we become one as well when we enable and tolerate gambling.
Continue to concentrate on your recovery, as you are doing well. It is important for you to let your husband take responsibility in his recovery. He has got to want it more than anything for it to work.
XXXTwilight(I believe we get our greatest strength from the hardest obstacles)1 July 2013 at 1:01 pm #1821
What sort of threads would you like to read? I will point you to a couple and see it they are the sort that help. Like so many others Meglee had more than one thread but she came to this site having moved on in a different way to me – one thread was ‘Finding Peace’. There is ‘Movedon’ who posted the following
Hi to all, a few people asked me to put this letter for all to read – I have found it really helpful on many many occasions & I hope it will help any of you who read it too.
A time comes in your life when you finally get it… When in the midst of all your fears and insanity you stop dead in your tracks and somewhere the voice inside your head cries out – ENOUGH!
Enough fighting and crying or struggling to hold on. And, like a child quieting down after a blind tantrum, your sobs begin to subside, you shudder once or twice, you blink back your tears and through a mantle of wet lashes you begin to look at the world through new eyes.
This is your awakening.
You realize that it’s time to stop hoping and waiting for something to change or for happiness, safety and security to come galloping over the next horizon. You come to terms with the fact that he is not Prince Charming and you are not Cinderella and that in the real world there aren’t always fairytale endings (or beginnings for that matter) and that any guarantee of "happily ever after" must begin with you and in the process a sense of serenity is born of acceptance.
You awaken to the fact that you are not perfect and that not everyone will always love, appreciate or approve of who or what you are… and that’s OK.
(They are entitled to their own views and opinions.) And you learn the importance of loving and championing yourself and in the process a sense of new found confidence is born of self-approval.
You stop ******** and blaming other people for the things they did to you (or didn’t do for you) and you learn that the only thing you can really ***** on is the unexpected.
You learn that people don’t always say what they mean or mean what they say and that not everyone will always be there for you and that it’s not always about you. So, you learn to stand on your own and to take care of yourself and in the process a sense of safety & security is born of self-reliance.
You stop judging and pointing fingers and you begin to accept people as they are and to overlook their shortcomings and human frailties and in the process a sense of peace & contentment is born of forgiveness.
You realize that much of the way you view yourself, and the world around you, is as a result of all the messages and opinions that have been ingrained into your psyche. And you begin to sift through all the **** you’ve been fed about how you should behave, how you should look and how much you should weigh, what you should wear and where you should shop and what you should drive, how and where you should live, and what you should do for a living, who you should sleep with, who you should marry and what you should expect of a marriage, the importance of having and raising children or what you owe your parents.
You learn to open up to new worlds and different points of view. And you begin reassessing and redefining who you are what you really stand for. You learn the difference between wanting and needing and you begin to discard the doctrines and values you’ve outgrown, or should never have bought into to begin with and in the process you learn to go with your instincts. You learn that it is truly in giving that we receive. And that there is power and glory in creating and contributing and you stop manouvering through life
merely as a "consumer" looking for your next fix. You learn that principles such as honesty and integrity are not the outdated ideals of a bygone era but the mortar that holds together the foundation upon which you must build a life.
You learn that you don’t know everything, it’s not your job to save the world and that you can’t teach a pig to sing. You learn to distinguish between guilt and responsibility and the importance of setting boundaries and learning to say NO. You learn that the only cross to bear is the one you choose to carry and that martyrs get burned at the stake. Then you learn about love. Romantic love and familial love. How to love, how much to give in love, when to stop giving and when to walk away. You learn not to project your ***** or your feelings onto a relationship.
You learn that you will not be, more beautiful, more intelligent, more lovable or important because of the man on your arm or the child that bears your name. You learn to look at relationships as they really are and not as you would have them be. You stop trying to control people, situations and outcomes. You learn that just as people grow and change, so it is with love…. and you learn that you don’t have the right to demand love on your terms… just to make you happy. And, you learn that alone does not mean lonely…
You look in the mirror and come to terms with the fact that you will never be a size 5 or a perfect 10 and you stop trying to compete with the image inside your head and agonizing over how you "stack up."
You also stop working so hard at putting your feelings aside, smoothing things over and ignoring your *****. You learn that feelings of entitlement are perfectly OK…. and that it is your right to want things and to ask for the things that you want…and that sometimes it is necessary to make demands.
You come to the realization that you deserve to be treated with love, kindness, sensitivity and respect and you won’t settle for less. And, you allow only the hands of a lover who cherishes you to glorify you with his touch… and in the process you internalize the meaning of self-respect.
And you learn that your body really is your temple. And you begin to care for it and treat it with respect. You begin eating a balanced diet, drinking more water and taking more time to exercise. You learn that fatigue diminishes the spirit and can create doubt and fear. So you take more time to rest. And, just as food fuels the body, laughter fuels our soul. So you take more time to laugh and to play.
You learn, that for the most part, in life you get what you believe you deserve… and that much of life truly is a self-fulfilling prophecy. You learn that anything worth achieving is worth working for and that wishing for something to happen is different from working toward making it happen.
More importantly, you learn that in order to achieve success you need direction, discipline and perseverance. You also learn that no one can do it all alone and that it’s OK to risk asking for help.
You learn that the only thing you must truly fear is the great robber baron of all time… FEAR itself. You learn to step right into and through your fears because you know that whatever happens you can handle it and to give in to fear is to give away the right to live life on your terms. And you learn to fight for your life and not to squander it living under a cloud of impending doom. You learn that life isn’t always fair, you don’t always get what you think you deserve and that sometimes bad things happen to unsuspecting, good people. On these occasions you learn not to personalize things. You learn that God isn’t punishing you or failing to answer your prayers. It’s just life happening.
And you learn to deal with evil in its most primal state – the ego. You learn that negative feelings such as anger, envy and resentment must be understood and redirected or they will suffocate the life out of you and poison the universe that surrounds you. You learn to admit when you are wrong and to building bridges instead of walls. You learn to be thankful and to take comfort in many of the simple things we take for granted, things that millions of people upon the earth can only dream about: a full refrigerator, clean running water, a soft warm bed, a long hot shower.
Slowly, you begin to take responsibility for yourself by yourself and you make yourself a promise to never betray yourself and to never, ever settle for less than your heart’s desire. You hang a wind chime outside your window so you can listen to the wind. And you make it a point to keep smiling, to keep trusting, and to stay open to every wonderful possibility.
Finally, with courage in your heart and with God (whatever you believe him/her to be) by your side you take a stand, you take a deep breath and you begin to design the life you want to live as best as you can.
There’s always light at the end of the tunnel even if sometimes you have to try really hard to see it!
— 14/10/2010 14:09:21: post edited by movedon.
I hope I have got this right but I think one that you will relate to is ‘Lcat286’s’ thread ‘Husband with a gambling problem – how do I deal with this?’ I found that one on page 10. although their marriage does not survive I think you will find support in her thinking.
All of the above have gone and left the addiction behind them. There is a lot I wanted to say to you, particularly about your worries about **** and its relationship to addiction but I have got to go and do other things.
I am glad the lovely and inspiration Kathryn has told you that you are welcome on the Feel Good Challenge. It is great when the forums are crossed supportively.
I will write again soon. Don’t get too bogged down with the semantics of the addiction.
V (who seldom stays quiet for long!)
3 July 2013 at 11:22 am #1822
I know you read other threads and I assume therefore you have seen my attempt to explain **** and the addiction to gamble.
I think you sum it up well when you say **** is easy and relationships are hard. Relationships between CG and non-CG are often verging on the impossible.
One of the dangers we have, I think, as we become more knowledgeable about the addiction to gamble is, that we can ‘see it’ it other things too and I am definitely not saying that you do.
**** can be a part of the addiction and not an addiction or obsession in itself. The gambling stops and the surrounding behaviour stops – well lots of it anyway. It would be naïve to suggest that when the gambling stops a perfect person emerges and personally I could not put up with a perfect person. I have heard from 4 separate CGs that **** helped them feel like men when the addiction had done its best to emasculate them. All 4 were ashamed and glad to leave it behind when they changed their lives.
I find the inability to love others because of personal hatred and a total feeling of failure and worthlessness, the saddest part of the addiction to gamble – I can understand that a CG will feel worthless when ‘love’ raises its head in the bed (sorry bad analogy). You have hit the nail on the head – **** is easier than proving themselves physically with someone who loves them – but it can prove to them that they are still able to function, although in actuality it only increases their shame and lack of self-esteem.
I hope some of this helps
Post soon – your quietness is overwhelming
9 July 2013 at 1:55 am #1823
Thank you all for your posts and encouragement. I apologize for being absent from here for so long. I am so looking forward to a whole day in my pajamas, drinking coffee, catching up and posting.
My sister and I have been working night and day for the last week and a half (oh my aching body!) on going through my house and my mom’s getting things sorted and ready for the estate sale on the 18th. We have carried trailer loads of stuff from here that I am getting rid of – and it feels great. I have cleaned out an entire room in order to basically replicate my mother’s sewing room. She was a master quilter before macular degeneration took its toll on her sight, so she can no longer see well enough to make her beautiful quilts. I have a lot to learn, but I will have a wonderful sewing room to do so in!
I haven’t been able to post because my sister has been here, and I don’t feel I can slip off for any length of time – we have really been busy. She has been so wonderful to help realizing how overwhelmed I have been. She knows me so well in some ways, and doesn’t know me at all in others..
My husband came home for 4 days over the holiday and we worked his rear end off. He says he talked to the counselor on Friday and they were going to get together this week to work out a time slot – so we will see.
He says he has not been to the casino but he gambled another $60 on his phone this last 2 weeks which he says is a lot better than before, and it is, but it’s still gambling. I asked him to try to cut it all out.
I don’t know about the **** – didn’t bother to look and didn’t really have time.
He seems to be excited about getting the house (and the garage and the work shop) cleared out and organized. When he called me last night to let me know he’d made it back to work ok, he reassured me that he would call the counselor, that he was really happy with everything we were doing here, and he said "I think if we get the house all straightened out, and get ME all straightened out things are going to get better for us." He seemed sincere and humble.
I don’t know, I can’t get very excited about anything these days I guess because I don’t want to be disappointed – but I am more at peace than I have been in awhile. I just hope it isn’t the calm before the storm!
V my husband truly does have Impulse Control issues and always has. I suspect this is the reason he’s been married 5 *****. The **** has been ongoing since the 90’s, so unfortunately I don’t think it’s going away when and if the gambling goes away, and neither will the unreasonable spending: It all came before the gambling. But I know too that due to his raising he has always felt (undeservedly) somewhat worthless or inadequate, so what you say still makes sense and is reasonable.
V – what I am interested in finding out about is counseling and therapy: What approach is generally taken in therapy? Do most therapists rely solely on what their patient tells them? How do they manage to learn about other issues aside from the one the CG is there for? How will we know if the therapist knows what he’s doing? I think we may only get one shot at this – if he actually goes – and I don’t want it to be wasted on an ill-fitted counselor.
If our marriage does survive this addiction, I now realize that I want a better marriage than I had before the addiction – and strange as it sounds, if that happens I guess I will have the addiction to thank!
Gotta run – my sister the slave driver is back …
9 July 2013 at 4:40 pm #1824
Hooray for sister – anything or anybody that keeps you active and away from the constant niggling about gambling is good. It helps when you are eventually faced with having to think about it, to be clearer headed and more positive..
I think it is great that you are more at peace with yourself than you have been for a long time. You are aware that there may be slightly stormier ***** ahead but – here you, fully aware of the capabilities of the addiction and yet you are feeling at peace. That is a woman on a mission.
You are making the most of the calm ***** – you are gaining in strength. You are enjoying other things in life and dare I say it – not spending every day looking at this site which is not always a healthy option when you want to pull back from the constant buzz of hearing the addiction.
I understand what you mean when you say that even if the gambling was controlled your husband might still have problems which would be, for many, unacceptable and that is something that only you can decide about. A thief who becomes a CG and then controls their addiction will almost certainly still be a thief. A CG who steals to satisfy the addiction and then controls that addiction will almost certainly not be a thief.
The information as to what brought the CG to the professional has to come from the client, or loved one (if they are included), but the dissembling of that information comes from expertise, experience, understanding and years of training. A good therapist/counsellor will help the client dig in to their inner self but if the client is determined not to allow the therapist in, the job is almost impossible – hence the requirement that the CG has to want to stop. Having supported the client to dig deep and bring up the issues that have lain buried they can teach how to use the tools for the future. Personally I would go on recommendation – we have access to a lot more information on the ability of professionals these days and I would use every bit of it. I went to a counsellor and a psychiatrist on the recommendation of my doctor – but I don’t think even my doctor had a clue about the addiction and the counselling made me feel worse and more alone than before. The psychiatrist thankfully did help me understand that I did not have Alzheimer’s disease but after a time that information did not help either. My problem was that I didn’t know what I was looking for – but you do.
With regard to how they learn about side issues – if you take this forum, the first post is solely about the CG. It takes time to learn about the author of the post but I know a lot about you just by continuing along a path together. You are an incredibly capable human being and you know what you want from a counsellor – even if you think you don’t. I know I cannot tell you what to do but having found the right counsellor it is my belief, that the CG is better off seeing that counsellor alone. It does involve a lot of trust but I know, for instance, that I would not have been helpful to the counsellors who gave my CG the ability to dig deep into himself for his answers and who gave him the tools to live his life in control of his addiction. I believe that our recovery follows a different path and is equally important. The paths might converge but it is better, in my opinion, that regardless of the outcome, the non-CG walks their path separately.
I think ‘you’ will know if the counsellor your husband sees is up to the mark. When a CG changes they lay a massive burden down and the lightness that comes from that act is visible – especially when you are as aware as you are.
I accept that your husband may have looked sincere and humble and I believe that getting you ‘straightened out’ is the best thing you can do for you and for him – however ‘straightening you out’ is not his answer. You are not being ‘straightened out’ so that you can live with and tolerate his addiction. ‘You’ do not make your husband gamble. ‘You’ do not make your husband look at ****.
I find your words about wanting a ‘better marriage than you had before the addiction’ to be positive. None of us can truly know when the addiction did start – the CG can usually only guess. However I don’t find it strange at all that you think that if a better future is possible you will have the addiction to thank. I don’t thank my CG’s addiction because it caused him too much pain but I do probably have a better relationship with him than would have been possible without adversity. Many families have different adversities and working through them can create better relationships. I believe that the addiction to gamble is one of the greatest adversities but can, if we allow it, be turned into a great education.
Thank goodness for the slave driver. It sounds as though you are doing a great job and I am sure the end result will make all the aching bones worthwhile.
12 August 2013 at 7:25 am #1825
I am very appreciative of the “many tough posts” from all of you who seem to understand me better than I understand myself some*****. I really don’t know what I would have done these last months without this site and all of you. And V you need not be concerned about the “whipping” speed: I believe the chapters of my book have unfolded as they were meant to and exactly as I have needed them to – and for that I am eternally grateful.
Something Is Changing
With my sister here for so long I had to lay my book down for awhile, but I’ve read these posts and others over and over because in the middle of all the “busy”, some***** I just needed to remind myself of what is really going on in my life. You see – something is changing in me and I don’t know if it’s good or bad. I don’t think about the addiction all the time and, sadly, I don’t really think about and worry about my husband nearly as much; and I don’t experience that tugging ache in my heart every time I do think of him.
With so much focus on all that we’ve needed to do for Mother’s estate sale and to get her house ready to sell, I’ve sort of “buried my head in the sand” and become somewhat immune to the normally invasive and painful thoughts. I am hoping that the “sledgehammer of truth” has finally knocked me off the damned rollercoaster and this numbness I feel is me getting my “sea legs” back.
The Last 3 Weeks
The last time I saw him was on the 21st. He had come home late Friday night before the last day of the estate sale on the 20th, so we didn’t do anything – plus I was upset that he had gambled his last $600. All weekend he was unfazed by my indifference, wanting to chit chat about the sale, etc., but he did not offer to talk about this setback or about his out-of-control gambling problem, and what, if anything, he was going to do about it.
By this time I had read all of your posts many *****, except for the last one you wrote V, and the words had been swirling around in my head: The sledgehammer was pounding away; … there is no magic spell … CGing is not about money … he is gambling with our marriage … I am doing all the work … I cannot save him … don’t be so quick to forgive and forget … if I don’t let go – if I don’t give up, his addiction will continue … nothing I do or write or say to him will wake up his conscience and snap him out of this … he has to want his own recovery … stand back and let him find his own way … face the horrible truths …
When he was ready to leave on Sunday the 21st, he came over to me expecting the usual consoling goodbye hug and kiss and reassuring “I love you too” from me – even though I had gotten absolutely nothing from him! As he stood there it hit me – this is what was expected of me! This is exactly how I allow the addiction to continue, how I accept and tolerate the gambling!
The truth is that standing before me was only a shadow of the man I loved; the form my husband’s addiction has assumed and that I have been foolishly chasing after. The truth is – the man I married and committed to spend the rest of my life with is no longer there and I don’t know if he’s ever coming back. The truth is – this shadow of a man cannot take care of me or care about me: He cannot be there for me or be with me.
I became so angry that he was once again going to leave me frustrated and wanting that instead of an embrace, I dismissed him with a very firm “Goodbye” and went on with whatever I was doing. He stood there for a moment looking stricken and alone, and finally walked out the door without another word. I have not spoken to him since.
Unbeknownst to him, I still have online access to his bank account because I had utilized a “quick sign-on” feature on my iPad that only requires the PIN before he changed his password. So I saw that he had gotten a $1500 payday loan on the 26th. He paid $500 on his Advancial account and probably intended to leave the rest for the draft payments that were coming due on his account. However, sometime later that day he withdrew $650 cash. I’m sure he thought about that money just sitting there about to be drafted by his creditors and convinced himself that he could win enough to pay all his debts. Sometime later that night he withdrew the rest of his balance before any drafts could hit. As I watched this struggle, I kept thinking about Jamie’s story and how his addictive thinking would work on him until all logic and reason was gone. It is a vicious and unrelenting grip this addiction holds over its’ victims isn’t it?
We didn’t speak or text until he texted me on 8/2 to let me know he would be home on days off the following Monday. He called me “Dear”, said it was strange to go 2 weeks with no communication, hoped I was doing ok, and put a “love you” at the end. I asked him if he’d seen the counselor yet. He replied that he hadn’t – still relieving supervisors – new ones coming out of training, blah blah blah. (From now on until he is getting help and I see consistent, positive change, when he opens his mouth I’m going to assume it is the addiction speaking – blah blah blah – taking a page from Ell’s book.) I texted him back suggesting that he make an appointment with the counselor instead of coming home. He said ok he’d do that and that was basically that. I don’t know if he saw a counselor or not, but I made a note on my “To Do” list to make an appointment with one for myself tomorrow.
The gloves are off Velvet and I think this is me taking my stance. I had to dig deep for the strength to tell him not to come home, but I know it was the right thing to do for a change. I don’t know what he (the addiction) thinks about it, but I have a sad notion the spiral has begun. While he was on his days off he got another payday loan for $900 and withdrew $750 cash the same day. Insufficient funds charges by the bank took care of the rest.
Although it has been difficult, I have come to realize the truth is I am very much alone in this marriage right now and I think I’m actually coming to terms with that realization. I’ve noticed that I think and speak more in terms of “me” and “I” instead of “us” and “we”. I am exploring the idea of being single (in terms of a separation until and unless he finds his way to recovery) and what that might mean for me. It became very clear to me when I read your words Ell that, like you, I do not want a relationship with an addiction! I want to refuse to live with it.
I am socking back as much money as I can in case the addiction talks him into keeping his paycheck one day. If that happens I’m afraid it will be over for us. So I am trying to “apply myself” a little better to (translation: “give a **** about” lol) my thankless part-time job with the federal government in case I am forced to amp it up and take on more work.
We’ve just about got my mom’s house ready to sell, and I think I’m going to start on mine next – take advantage of a really strong seller’s market out here. Then I may move to where my mom and sister live. It would mean being further away from my granddaughters, but I can just make lots of trips back here to see them.
Thanks again everyone for your advice, your care and concern, and your continued support. I know I will get through this with your help.
"… should I give up or should I just keep trying to run after you when there's nothing there?" Adele12 August 2013 at 11:17 am #1826moniqueParticipant
That is a wonderful post – you are so clear-headed and strong now. I admire your perseverance and courage and wish you well as you continue. Monique12 August 2013 at 11:26 am #1827jenny46Participant
Your recent replies have been tough but already your learning is obvious in the way you are now writing – I see a new and stronger Adele emerging, one who will question how she is being treated or allowing herself to be treated. the addiction is tough and will remain a step ahead whilst untreated. We can be tougher by trying not to keep up with it if that makes sense ?
I would think he is gathering his thoughts Adele (not that I am a mind reader!! of course) His addiction is experiencing different responses and unpredictable responses from you and may feel quite unsafe with all of that – it may decide to change its behaviour in order to try and illicit the old Adele like responses – be ready for this if you can.
Its horrible watching the addiction take so much from a person as you say, even though we know its within that persons own control it doesn’t make it any the easier. However at least now hopefully it will no longer be taking you down with it as well. Where you are now and where you can be puts you in a much better position to give the right support to him if that’s what you want to do. You should be nearer to the top of your own priorities and it is good to read that you are, difficult when you find a new way of being or get in between, the old and the evolvement of the new.
Whatever choices you make Adele are ones that will be right for you at that time, I think it does feel like being alone in a relaitionship with this addiction and consequently it is little wonder that we begin to make choices or think along the lines of being alone, as we already are. He could change this if he so wanted Adele, I hope you never lose sight of that in the future, with what ever decisions you make.
Any way what’s wrong with single !! I love it, not that I am recommending it as a course of action for anyone else, I would rather of had it the other way but it wasn’t to be. I remember the ***** when my thinking started to change and indeed it still is and the insecurities of not knowing even if the knowing brought worse problems, it still brought security.
With the benefits of a couple of months with no addiction in my life, would I go back? I think I could say even if I wanted to then I couldn’t (thankfully). Big changes in you Adele and ones hopefully that will turn into some positive changes for both of you. I think its great!
We see things not as they are, but through how we are today x12 August 2013 at 4:54 pm #1828
It is good to see you back again and with such positivity.
Things ‘changing inside us’ can be scary. I suspect you are afraid that with change you might not like yourself. I think it is a bit like us turning detective. Trust has been an integral part of our lives and snooping is something that is foreign to us – I hated it. It is great that we have this site where we can realise that we are not alone with this behaviour but more importantly to realise that this behaviour passes – we do not spend the rest of our lives mistrusting and digging around looking for something bad. Free of the addiction, trust can return, unless we want to hang on to mistrust thinking it a better way to live – I don’t and I know you won’t!
How well I remember the sledgehammer of truth and the way I fought it tooth and nail. Numbing is exactly the way I would describe the transition between old and new behaviour. Like an anaesthetic it will wear off and you will feel confident again.
You are not thinking about the addiction all the time, or your addicted husband so much because you have sloughed off the need to save him – that is not the same as stopping loving someone. Your husband has two ways of dealing with what has happened – he can either change his life or carry or regardless but without you picking up the pieces all the time. Both ways are changes with implications for him. My CG rode off into the sunset more determined than ever that he was going to prove me wrong – his addiction was going to bring him a life that would amaze everybody.
I would imagine that it is terrifying when a CG flies solo with an addiction that is so holed it keeps crashing – every crash must hurt but determination to prove the addiction is airworthy drives the CG back into the pilot’s seat, blind to the fact that they are not in control. The addiction can struggle on crashing and winching itself up with more bits of wreckage flying off, with the CG constantly struggling to control the inevitable hoping someone will throw them a life-line and keep them aloft.
Without you as his co-pilot you have given your husband the freedom to try and prove his addiction cares about him. You know it doesn’t, I know it doesn’t – you can only wait and pray that ‘he’ will learn soon that it doesn’t. It would appear from his last communication that he is hoping you are still there to save him when he crashes again.
In the meantime you have chosen to live without the addiction in your life. It is a choice I have made and it is unalterable. Something changed in me and I believe it was good and necessary – I have no regrets about the change and I am not hard, so don’t be afraid. You made your informed decision and that is all any of us can do. You have re-taken control of your life and you have allowed him the chance to take control of his.
Recovery for you will be up and down. There will be ***** of doubts and despair, there will be the inevitable ‘what ifs’ and ‘if only’. I can only ****** you that I do not do ‘what if?’ or ‘if only’. There comes a plateau – a peaceful understanding – that you did the right thing for the right reason.
I sincerely hope, along with you, that your husband will change his life but in the meantime I will walk along with you for as long as you want me to because ‘your’ recovery is so very important. I know you will get through this. I love the way you are dealing with your situation. There is no harm in exploring the idea of being single, you have been single for some time already without knowing it and now you are tightening up and protecting your relationship with yourself. Nothing is final; nobody should ever tell you what to do.
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