8 January 2017 at 10:14 pm #5228Vicky985Participant
Hello everyone this is my first visit to this site /Forum, I am the wife of a CG and would very much like some support /help. I have been with my partner for 14 years, married for 9 months and he has been gambling for the past 2 years. I first found out he was gambling when he said in conversation to his friend he was placing a few £5 bets, he assured me it wasn’t anything big an was just for Fun.. I believed him.. The next thing I knew was I was having transactions on my bank and credit cards for online gambling sites, he was using all his wages and my money to fund it.. And it has gone downhill from there, he has stolen from me, my kids and others. He has lied and conned his way to get money, he has put our home in jepordy and our kids health and well being.. Yet I stay with him because I believe he can overcome it. BUT it is so so hard, I am trying to be supportive but I know that’s what’s is enabling him to carry on. He says he wants to stop an tells me he is going to but never does. He has attended GA but was actively gambling whilst going and says it’s not for him (I know he only went to get me off his back -his words).. I am struggling with the pure nastiness of this addiction, I am holding onto hope that the man I have known for half my life will come back and will beat this but I know he has to fight it himself. I have nobody who understands what I am going through? The distrust and the hurt,anger, pain I feel like I am the one with the problem,. Today after a lifetime of promises that 2017 will be different he has gambled again, he is open an always tells me when he has done it but I struggle with how I should react now it has become the norm. I expect him to do it so I don’t have the disappointment as bad. He has no access to our finances, I feel like a jailer as I have to keep tabs on everything. It’s got to the point I don’t know if I’m doing more harm than good buy trying to keep him a float and keep his life in order, for the sake of our kids when he seems hell bent on destroying it. He says I will never understand what he is going through, which is right I never will but will he ever understand what I am going through? Just because I don’t have the addiction does not mean I don’t have the pain?.. I am hoping somone is going through or has gone through what I am and can offer support or just someone I can talk thing through with.
Thank you8 January 2017 at 10:31 pm #5229velvetModerator
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 Team14 January 2017 at 3:21 pm #5230velvetModerator
I think it was perfectly reasonable for you to believe your husband was just placing a few £5 bets for fun; after all it is what so many people do without any addiction arising from what seems a harmless pastime.
The anger, distrust, pain you feel is understood here, as is the nastiness you have encountered and I am glad that you have started your thread. I have had trouble with my computer or I would have replied sooner and I apologise for the delay in you receiving any replies to your first post.
Many F&F have felt like jailers and detectives and long for a life when such feelings can disappear. Many F&F have heard that they will never understand how the CG (compulsive gambler) feels and you are right that this works both ways. Having said that it is important to know that ‘you’ do not have his addiction, you can think reasonably and logically whereas he is befuddled with addiction – therefore you are stronger than him even if you don’t feel it.
Your husband’s addiction has hit upon the notion that telling you when he has gambled is a way of gaining your trust. I hope the following will help you cope with what he is possibly/probably doing because although not recognized professionally as a coping mechanism, it has worked for many, many F&F as they struggle to cope with deceit.
Imagine your husband’s addiction as a slavering beast in the corner of the room. As long as you keep your wits about you and don’t threaten his addiction it will stay quiet, although it doesn’t sleep.
Your husband is controlled by his addiction beast, which is a master of manipulation and it has found that if he tells you when he has gambled, you back off. The addiction uses confusion, lies and deceit as it seeks to blame and demoralise you. Equally what you say to your husband is controlled by his addiction distorting truth to fit his personal perspective.
This was explained to me by a CG who lives in control of his addiction that whilst you are telling your husband that, for instance, if he didn’t tell lies and was honest, your lives would be better; his addiction is telling him that what you are saying is not true. Your husband owns an addiction that makes him feel a failure and worthless so how could ‘you’, someone who is successfully managing her life possibly love him and understand him and what he wants. Believing himself to be a worthless unlovable failure, his addiction fights back with the only coping mechanism he has – lies and distortion of truth.
I think that maybe it would be better to say something like ‘I’ve sought support and although you have told me that you have gambled, don’t expect me to believe that you are trying to control your addiction’ and leave it at that – no further discussion, just a simple bald statement allowing him the knowledge that this method of manipulation is wasted.
I believe F&F waste valuable time ‘wanting’ to believe that the CG they love is telling the truth and that ‘this’ time, maybe, he/she is different. If you can stand back a bit, rather than entering the fray, and listen to what your husband is saying, it becomes easier not get caught up in an argument that has no point apart from making you feel less in control. Once you begin to try and put your side the addiction has something to get its teeth into.
This all sounds a little negative but the positive side is that it removes you from the centre of the addiction giving you time and energy to look after you.
By looking after you first you will become stronger, you will reclaim your own life and be able to cope with your children and make the right decisions for your relationship.
You are right that your husband can control his addiction – if he couldn’t I would not be writing to you now, however, it is quite possible that he doesn’t believe he can change his life but spends his days trusting in an addiction that basically hates him.
I would never suggest to anyone that they leave or stay with a CG – but I do not believe that staying with him, on its own, is enablement. What do you mean when you say that you are trying to keep him afloat and his life in order?
I will leave this reply here Vicky as you have been left too long without one but please come back to me if there is anything you disagree with or want to know. It would be great to ‘meet’ you in the F&F group on Tuesdays between 20.00-21.00 hours UK time – nothing said in the group appears on the forum – you will be safe and understood.
Velvet5 February 2017 at 2:55 am #5231White TaraParticipant
Hello Vicky, I think I can relate to some of what you are going through. I see your husband has only been gambling for 2 years that you know of.
I just left my husband and he’d been gambling for the whole of our relationship. He had his first gamble of the new year 6 days (new year new start) in and I was gone the next week. I was a broken woman on the verge of a breakdown. It was coercive and it was abusive and it was a dirty secret.The first time he stole some jewellery to pawn, I called Gamblers Anonymous and they told me to get him out as fast as I could. I never did and have paid for it ever since. I had some time away from home for some of last year and I felt like I was on a detox. When I got back I didn’t see him gamble (online gambling) for 6 weeks. After that it was back to the same old same old. But it felt like I’d had a relapse and that I was the one with the problem. I came to a realisation I wasn’t helping him and I had to protect myself. It’s a horrible feeling to know that you can no longer trust the person you love. It sounds like you are probably doing stuff for him that he is quite capable of doing himself, which takes time and energy away from looking after your own and your children’s needs. Unfortunately, while your husband may well feel guilty and shameful and says he knows what he’s doing to you and the family, the gambling monster will always put its needs first, it really does not care about you and while it controls your husband, he will never be able to love you the way you want. I sincerely apologise for being so blunt and direct. But I’ve been where you are and then some, but I don’t have children. Only you know what the right decision is to make and perhaps you need extra support to make an informed decision. You may have done this already but have you contacted Gamcare (you can be assessed for counselling by them) or the National Problem Gambling Centre? I hope you find the help and support you need. Do you really want to be doing this in 10 years time?5 February 2017 at 3:02 am #5232White TaraParticipant
Vicky you are not the jailer, gambling is the jailer. The gambling is making you have to change your behaviours to fit in around the gambling. If your husband is gambling online, can you use the room where he is gambling? Does he become aggressive when he’s chasing a losing bet? Has he always got a good hunch? Has he threatened and coerced you into giving him money? The days that his score line has come in and he hasn’t had any money on it, does he take it out on you or the kids? Has he destroyed property?Does he verbally/physically/emotionally abuse you as a result of the gambling. I can appreciate you have 14 years of your life invested with him but the last 2 sound like they’ve been hell and you got married during that time. I’m not being judgemental just wondering if there were any promises to give up gambling….I’ve become really cynical, so please forgive me.
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