11 November 2013 at 10:37 pm #2973butterfly80Participant
I am a wife of a compulsive gambler. He left again on 11/1. He picked up all his belongings and just left and he is now sleeping in the car. He has done this before which is usually provoked by some argument we had. He did this earlier this year and was in the car for a good 2 months. I don’t get how someone can live like this. It’s so stupid, immature, irrational and crazy. Last time he did this he dug himself into a deep hole financially. He stopped gambling for about 2 months and then it changed to 1x/month and he stopped again but now he is gone and of course will continue to gamble. He has stayed outside the house a few times probably be he feels safer here.
He goes to feed his addiction but somehow blames me for the reason for leaving bc he doesn’t want to be controlled, he wants to be at peace and doesn’t want no one to tell him anything. Sometimes I’m mad at myself and I do blame myself too bc I know I was difficult at times. I did have a lot of trauma and I would become annoyed and irritable at times. I wish I was not going thru this again. I love him and don’t want to lose him.
What’s really difficult for me other than letting go is that I have fertility issues. I have had 2 miscarriages, one in late May, and I have been seeing a Reproductive doctor about this. We are supposed to be on this journey to become parents. I know it may sound crazy that I want to have kids with a CG but he is my husband and I chose him as my partner. I am willing to be a single parent if I have to, and I know I need to get better and stronger emotionally, but I want to be a mother and have kids with him. This is what my grief is about. I’m not worried about his gambling. I worry that I will lose him forever as my husband. He says he is not coming back and that he “ran away” from me. I don’t get how we seemed to be ok and then in a snap it all changes so abruptly.
He wants to act and be so hardcore and say he is at peace living in the car. It’s like he becomes someone else, a monster, someone I do not recognize. I don’t get how cold and rude he becomes with me. Like this morning I asked him for a ride and he questioned why someone in my family couldn’t take me. He was rude! He told me that he isn’t coming back and that he can’t take me here or there. What an ass and I cried later. I just saw him onFriday and he we hugged and kissed. He kept telling me that he wasn’t coming back. He says this all the time, and evidently it’s not true as we have reconciled before, but I wonder what about this time, what if he really means it? I know I can’t worry about it and I can’t worry about the future. I do feel stronger this time but I have to vent about this. He later text me that he was sorry and he was “running away from me so I should ask my dad or brother for a ride”
All I can do is surrender to God. I want to do things different this time around. I don’t want to worry about his whereabouts or go spy on him or call and look for him. I’ve done all that in the past. I know I need to work on me and heal. More than the gambling I worry if he will be unfaithful. He chats online and admitted he was and he denied wanting to do anything beyond that.
It just hurts to think that this could be the end. He has been to therapy with an addiction specialist before and he has been able to do most of what I have asked him like not have back accounts and access to money, but he never fully committed to a recovery program. And I know I was also not continuing my own work. It’s like we are in this cycle; I get better, I detach but then I get stuck in my resentment.
I have to gam anon before and I don’t feel up to going again and that’s partly be I feel bad that I didn’t continue to go and work the steps. I’m going to therapy, church 2x/week and I’m taking care of my reproductive health by continuing my visits.
It’s hard to have no contact at all with him. I don’t understand how I become invisible to him. Has anyone been estranged from his/her CG like zero contact and how did you cope?
Thank you for listening11 November 2013 at 11:31 pm #2974velvetModerator
Welcome to Gambling Therapy. I am glad you have found us.
Unfortunately I have come across your post just as I was closing down for the night and I would be doing you a disservice if I write to you when I am too tired.
I wanted to tell you that you have come to the right place and that you have been heard.
Your experience with Gamanon has given you a lot of understanding which is reflected in your words and I hope we can now give you the support you need.
I look forward to getting to know you better and will write again tomorrow.
Velvet12 November 2013 at 1:08 pm #2975janey1Participant
Thanks for starting a thread in the Gambling Therapy friends and family forum. This forum will provide you with warmth and understanding from your peers.
Feel free to use the friends and family group, you’ll find the times for these if you click on the “Group times” box on our Home page. Now that you have introduced yourself you’ll find that many of the people you meet here have already read your initial introduction and they’ll welcome you in like an old friend 🙂
If you’re the friend or family member of someone who is either in, or has been through, the GMA residential programme please take extra care to make sure that nothing you say in groups, or on our forums, inadvertently identifies that person. Even if your loved one isn’t connected with GMA, please don’t identify them either directly or indirectly just in case they decide to use the site themselves.
You’ll find a lot of advice on this site, some of which you’ll follow, some you won’t…but that’s ok because only you fully understand your
situation and what’s best for you and the people you love. So, take the support you need and leave the advice you don’t because it all comes from a caring, nurturing place 🙂
We look forward to hearing all about you!
The Gambling Therapy Team12 November 2013 at 11:39 pm #2976
It is best that you get support for yourself as you are dealing with many issues and I hope my honestly about what you have written will make you think about your life. I don’t want to seen grim, but I don’t see how your life will change if you don’t change.
For some reason you have this urgency to want everything now; almost like you want it to happen so you can’t change your mind, or maybe you really know it is not right. I do understand your desire to have children as I had my desires to, but at the right time and in the right situation. Your situation is too unstable now, and I believe deep down you know this too, of course I don’t mean to hurt you by writing this, but my stomach churns just to think what a distaster it would be to have a child in your current situation. Bringing a child in an unstable enviroment and unhealthy family unit is giving them a huge setback in life. Of course, no one or family is perfect, but to have a husband who rather live in a car than be home is saying alot. Just think of your child seeing daddy sleeping in front of the house because he likes it better. I think this is a blessing that your husband is living in the car and giving your space, you should take this time to reflect on your life and not just pleasing him and begging him back. We are all here to be happy and to live our lives to our fullest, this does not mean that we are a puppet to someone else.
Raising a child with two parents at home is difficult enough, but for you or anyone to think it it can be done alone, if needed, just shows how you don’t know how difficult it is. Of course, not only should a child come to a loving family, but there should be means to raise a child. Will your husband be able to provide or will you have to get a job and get the baby what it needs? There is alot to think about.
Love isn’t suppose to hurt and it is not just one sided. GIve your husband some breathing room and take this time to focus on yourself. Helping yourself is in ways helping your husband, but again you are the one who is important.
You say you are not worried about his gambling, which is scary as this addiction only gets worst with time. It demands more and if your husband hasn’t been serious about his recovery than you can only expect the worst. Also, think of the children, they will be dragged down by this addiction. Please don’t think your husband will change once a child comes in the picture because nothing will ever make them change. If anything you will be in a worst spot and a child’s wellbeing in on the line.
Hope you can see that I am writing not to hurt you but for you to open your eyes to what you are really dealing with. You deserve a good life and once you let go of the idea that he is the only person that can give you this, you will see that you are the one who can only do this. Don’t jump into something that will be very difficult to get out of. Your future children deserve more.
Twilight13 November 2013 at 3:14 am #2977butterfly80Participant
Twilight, thank your for sharing and no offense taken. You are right in that I feel an urgency. Anyone with fertility issues feels this urgency to become a parent and pregnant. It’s horrible to be in a situation like this with fertility issues period and I know the gambling problem and marital issues complicates it even more. I get what you say. There’s a whole lot of grief that I am dealing with and all I can do is turn to God and work on me as you say and as recovery programs recommend.
I know a child won’t make him change and that’s not my intention either. I don’t expect anyone to understand and I have discussed it in therapy. For now I can’t worry about the fertility issues or him. I do think and cry about it and what I am practicing on the daily basis is praying and talking to God about everything.13 November 2013 at 11:53 am #2978moniqueParticipant
What a lovely name. I wonder why you chose it and also think you are probably not feeling like a beautiful butterfly right now, but there is a beautiful butterfly within you, needing to be nurtured and released?
You have had a very direct and honest reply from Twilight and I think she has shared some excellent thoughts for your consideration – and your reply shows that you have been able to receive them well.
You obviously have a faith in God and you are handing things over to him. It is good if this gives you a sense of relief and strength to cope with the pain and disappointments in your life. I appreciate that fertility problems can be huge in any woman’s life and not fully understood by those who have not faced them. The possibility of a marriage not working out is also traumatic. And the addiction of a partner truly complicates everything you share or might have shared.
But, I think you have taken in the importance of looking after yourself and, hopefully, we can help and support you on the vital journey towards greater well-being for YOU. None of us knows for sure what that journey will be like in detail as each individual is unique, but there are many common principles and it usually helps just to know people ‘listen’ (read) and care about you and how you are getting on.
Welcome and I hope you find what you need.
Monique14 November 2013 at 11:21 am #2979
Good morning Butterfly,
So glad that you responded and that Monique reached out to you, too.
Letting go and focusing on you are the best gifts you can give yourself. When you really come to terms that there is nothing you can do to change your husband, and that it is not your job to do so not as a wife or person you will begin to see the beauty in life. We are not here to make someone else’s life better. During my recovery, I turned to God many times, I thought of wise words a friend said. “Why are you trying to fix everything, let God do this. That is his job.” And as a person who father has a gambling addiction, I was pretty much programmed to do this. However, I realized in my recovery that I was the one who gave myself that job and that I had to be the one who was going to stop trying to fix anyone or person.
Embrace this time for you, don’t be afraid of being alone, believe me being alone and happy is much better than being married to the wrong person.
I am getting ready for work, so I will write later. Just wanted to reach out and enourage you to really give your recovery a good shot. You will be amazed at the happiness that follows.
XXTwilight14 November 2013 at 2:45 pm #2980velvetModerator
I am glad that you heard from Twilight. She is an amazing person and speaks for all children of active compulsive gamblers including those as yet unborn.
You can return to Gamanon even if you feel you are not working the steps – many F&F take years to work them and for a CG it is a life-time, there should be no judgement among the members. I struggled for months with ‘Willingness’. I could not see that my behaviour needed any tweaking and I resented the implication but nonetheless my Gamanon welcomed me. Recovery is hard.
The addiction to gamble is irrational and it does get worse, unless it is treated.
Monique and Twilight have given you so much support and I am very aware that you have a wealth of knowledge from Gamanon already. You did mention that your husband has taken to his car this time as a result of an argument and I would like to focus on that as it is common for those who love CGs to find themselves in the middle of an argument without knowing how they got there.
It isn’t recognised professionally but the following method of coping has often been used successfully by many F&F.
Imagine your husband’s addiction as a slavering beast in the corner of the room. As long as you keep your cool and don’t threaten that addiction it stays quiet, although it never sleeps. The addiction likes an argument as it gives it an excuse to gamble and someone to blame. Your husband is controlled by that addiction but you are not. When you threaten that addiction, it comes between you and controls the conversation or argument. It is the master of threats and manipulation and you are not. Once it is between you, you will only hear the addiction speak and because it only knows lies and deceit, it will seek to make you feel blame and demoralize you. When you speak the addiction distorts your words and your husband cannot comprehend your meaning.
My CG explained it to me by saying that when I told him (for instance) that if he didn’t lie to me but lived honestly he would be happy; his mind however, distorted by addiction, was telling him that I was lying because he truly believed that he was unlovable, worthless and a failure. Lost in addiction he fought me because he didn’t have any other coping mechanism. The addiction breeds a sense of failure; it has no love for the addict or those who love them. However much your husband convinces you that he is in control – he is not.
You can surrender to God but you cannot make your CG do so. It is important, I think, to accept you cannot save him and to know that his addiction will drag you all the way down if you allow it to do so. The control of your husband’s life lies in his hands only so live in the middle of your life and not on the periphery his.
I can hear and read the strength of Twilight’s post, the strength that has at last come, as an adult with children of her own, from resisting her father’s addiction. When she talks of the well-being of a child of a compulsive gambler she is speaking with experience. She has written a book ‘Please Girl’ by Jeannie Kraft which certainly made me think.
Nobody can or should tell you what to do; you have to make your own decisions. This forum is here to support you as you make your informed decision.
I think, as women, many of do understand your desire for a child but on this site and with so many different experiences and situations behind us, we are more aware than most of the danger the addiction to gamble poses when it is in your life. It consumes the unwitting mind and makes fools of us all.
I am writing to you in the certain knowledge that the addiction to gamble can be controlled and wonderful lives lived as a result. Your husband has to tackle his addiction if he wants that freedom, it is not easy but it can and is done daily, by thousands. He already struggles with responsibility of his own life and he isn’t coping well with the responsibility of his marriage. He will definitely struggle with responsibility of bringing another life into the world.
Twilight is right – embrace the time while your husband shares his car with his addiction – use it to rebuild your strength, confidence and self-esteem which will have been dented by your experience. Learn to love yourself again – because you matter and you are not invisible. Your husband cannot see you because he is blinkered by a powerful addiction, not because you are not there. You can’t be invisible, too many of us now know you are there and we recognise you.
Velvet15 November 2013 at 2:55 pm #2981
Velvet’s words and guidance are what pulled through me the very dark days I was living a few years ago and I love her for it. It was definitely the turning point of my life; I had to change and face the addiction for what it was and face what I was really dealing with. I could no longer just turn the other cheek that his compulsive gambling didn’t matter because it did. Yes, he is a good person, he has admiral qualities and of course I loved him and he was my father.
But this was not enough to forgive him for his careless and selfish ways when gambling. I think it is very important for those who love a compulsive gambler to be fully aware that this addiction will not just suddenly go away or that you can handle or even control the gambling, because you cannot. I did this for years and years and years and the addiction only snowballed to this huge mountain that almost destroyed me and my family. I did the easy thing for countless years, I never fully acknowledged the addiction within my father and it was what dragged me in a horrid and unfathomable state I experienced the last few years that I was on the edge knowing the bubble was going to bust.
This year marks the first year that I have really, really lived a life of joy, love and I am so thankful I did. This journey/recovery has to be all about you. Get to know yourself, have a relationship with yourself, treat yourself, don’t think of him, just let him take care of him. When we let go magical things happen to us….
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