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  • #4398
    toyman1111
    Participant

    Help!!!!!! My wife is gambling. Lying taking money. Buying gift cards. I cant take the arguing. HELPPPPPPPPPPP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    #4399
    toyman1111
    Participant

    hELP

    #4400
    Dunc
    Keymaster

    <

    Hello

    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!

    Take care

    The Gambling Therapy Team


    PS: Let me just remind you to take a look at our

    privacy policy and terms and conditions so you know how it all works!

    #4401
    velvet
    Moderator

    Hi Toyman
    Welcome from me to Gambling Therapy – I hope you will soon know that you have come to the right place.
    The arguing is horrendous I know and sadly will almost certainly lack logic and reason. How long has this poor behaviour been going on?
    There is no instant fix I’m afraid but there are ways to cope. Although not recognised professionally the following is my favourite and used successfully by many including me:
    When next you feel an argument building, that you neither wanted nor asked for, imagine her addiction in the corner of the room snarling and wanting to defend itself. When her addictive behaviour feels it is being attacked it leaps from the corner and forces its way between you whereupon all reason flies out of the window as her addiction seeks to blame you and demoralise you.
    It is so important to remember that your wife is being controlled by her addiction but you do not have to be – you are therefore the strongest person in your relationship. The addiction she owns however is the master of threats and manipulation and this is not what you want to be.
    My CG (compulsive gambler) explained to me that it was like having a having a head full of sand, there was no room for the love and hope I offered, it couldn’t get in and he responded to my attempts to support him with lies and deceit because he didn’t have any other coping mechanism. With the right support some of that sand can be tipped out allowing space for good thoughts and rational thinking.
    I would not be writing to you now Toymaker if I didn’t know that the addiction to gamble can be controlled and wonderful lives lived.
    The Gordon Moody Association (GMA) now offers a fantastic Women’s project and I cannot recommend it more highly. My CG went through the GMA programme years ago and lives happily in control of his addiction. If you contact our Helpline they will be happy to give you details
    However your wife appears to be she is almost undoubtedly not happy, her addiction guarantees her feelings of failure and worthlessness. I cannot tell you what to do but maybe you could download the Gamblers synonymous 20 questions and leave them for her to see – I don’t suggest handing them to her as she will possibly rip them up and tell you she doesn’t need them. If she can have a time to read them, she will hopefully realise her behaviour is recognised and there is a lot of support for her.
    Toyman I have to leave it there for my first reply to you. I have a Friends and Family group on Tuesdays 20.00 -21.00 hours UK time and it would be great to communicate with you in real time – just get your questions ready and I will do my best – you will be very welcome.
    One final question – does your wife admit she has a problem?
    Well done writing your post – the first one is always the hardest
    Speak soon
    Velvet

    #4402
    toyman1111
    Participant

    Velvet

    Thank You for listening. Yes she does understand the her problem and she knows she needs help.
    The last 7 days have been horrable. Everytime i turn around and check an email, bank, credit there is money missing. I argue , plead , beg but nothing. I get I HAVE LEARNED MY LESSON, I WILL NOT DO IT AGAIN, but an hour later she is doing it again because she has money hidden somewhere. The worst part is she dont work so its really all the money i make. Yesterday morning it looked like it would have stopped cause her world was caving in. When i go home i found a card under my place-mat at the table. I checked it and sure as shit another $70 was played yesterday. I have had it. Its up to $950 in 7 days. I could have bought my truck i want, i could have bought something for myself. Ive told her a thousand times go buy yourself something. Im ok with that, but throwing it out the window kills me. I took the ipad and crushed it last night cause im at my wits end.
    I think I understand the addiction but I need to stop this freight train but dont know how. What are tricks i can use. Im ready to just jump off a bridge. WTF. I can understand if someone wants to continue to hurt themselves but when you constantly hurt me. Thats where i draw the line.
    Its amazing. I take it, take it, take it then when i explode its my fault, i get blamed for her addiction and its now all my fault cause i said something really harsh Is she crazy or am i? I need a game plan???????????????????????

    #4403
    Anonymous
    Guest

    HI Toyman, I hope I can offer some practical advice,I have suffered with a gambling disorder,although it is slightly different as I have always worked and was,for most of my married life the main bread winner.

    Your wife may well not gully realise she has a gambling disorder yet , and is hoping that she can win the lot back and get back to normal.
    However, once gambling becomes compulsive this is really unlikely, as people with a gambling disorder seldom have the control to cash out.

    If you could quietly explain this to her and show her the 20questions on the GA website. Everyone thinks they will have a big win!!! It seldom happens that way.

    I think smashing the ipad is a great idea . It is very difficult to put a gambling block on an ipad (although you could have sold it and got a little of the money back!)

    Apple devices are almost impossible to put gambling blockers on but please set up a gambling block on every other device in the house, including your wife’s phone. Remember she could be in the next chair actually gambling and you might be unaware.

    If money is scarce right now you could put K 9 on these devices but this is not foolproof .

    Take all your cards , ring and cancel them as the details will already be stored with online casinos. It will be easy for your wife to remember the codes On the back .They will send you out new cards. Keep these hidden (you may need to get them sent to another address ). You could maybe hide them at work.

    It is a sad fact that your wife is unsafe with cards, and may always be.

    I know you love your wife and that you are a generous man. If online gambling is the only issue , then these steps should limit her ability to gamble. Please remember that cash can easily be used to buy neteller and prepaid credit cards at a local shop, so you may have to limit that too.

    Someone suggested that you convert cash to gift cards for local supermarkets so that way your wife will not be handling cash for now. Some however, give cash as change , so buy small vouchers.

    I hope these practical steps help you to keep your money safe.

    As for your wife, I hope some non-gambling time will help her realise how crazy things had become. She will not be happy, and you may well encounter some abuse, but not only have the right to, but you must look after the welfare of your family .

    Try not to label her as a “cg” or any other disparaging label . I know this might be hard but trust me she did not chose to have this gambling disorder, but she must of course manage it. That is her responsibility .

    The things I have mentioned we call barriers . You have every right to keep the money for your family safe.

    I don’t think it’s helpful to get into a mine and yours situation although I can understand your absolute frustration at seeing your hard earned cash disappearing in such a frivolous manner.
    You are a team and for now she is unable to be an equal team member when it comes to cash. In fact for now it probably doesn’t feel like you are a team at all.

    Is there any reason why your wife doesn’t work? Perhaps a job would fill her time and give her focus.

    I hope these step are helpful.
    Your priority right now is to keep your money safe .
    Your wife’s feelings about this right now are not valid, as she is seeing the world through the eyes of a person with a gambling disorder.

    I hope you can get this sorted out now, but in the end you must put yourself first and and not allow yourself to be dragged down by someone else’s addiction.

    Hope this helps.

    #4404
    velvet
    Moderator

    Dear Toymaker
    Hurting yourself is definitely not the answer but I do understand why you feel as you do – all the members on this forum will understand every word that you have written. There really is life after the addiction however and you deserve that life, so please hang in – I will support you as much as I can and hopefully you will see your way through this nightmare.
    There are no tricks I’m afraid but your health and happiness count for a lot – so please believe me – you do matter.
    If I were you I would find a GA group in your local area. GA is Gamblers Anonymous and it does fantastic work with people struggling like your wife. A good time to encourage her to go to GA is in the aftermath of a gambling session when she is remorseful. Hopefully sitting with her peers she can open up about her behaviour and learn that there is a better way to live. Nobody understands a CG better than another CG and those who control their addition help the others to change their lives.
    Did you download the GA20 questions?.
    Gamanon is the sister group of GA and is for the families of those with this terrible addiction and I think it is an amazing organisation. Cyber space is great but sometimes it is better to sit round a table and feel the love and care of others who understand us – it was my salvation. With Gamanon you are talking in real time and CGs are not allowed to join (unless invited) so you can be entirely honest and share all your worries – believe me all the concerns you have spoken about will already be known in a Gamanon group..
    You are not crazy. Your wife’s addiction wants you to be confused because it wants you to feed it – but with knowledge of her addiction you will be stronger and able to cope. I cannot tell you what to do but I believe it is important to put all money and possessions of value beyond the reach of an active CG. Where is she getting her money from? Does she have credit cards? Is there a reason that your wife is unable to work?
    It is hard but in my opinion, the non-CG should take care of ‘all’ the finances, keep money in private accounts and hide the pin numbers.
    Exploding made no difference, so maybe it is time to try something different. When you wife is listening in a quieter moment, perhaps you could ask her to let you support her – explain that you will not replace the I-pad but that you are not punishing her – you are supporting her. Ask her to go to GA and talk to them about the I-pad and how she feels about not having one.
    Perhaps you could tell her that ‘you’ have sought support because you are taking the situation seriously and want to help her. Maybe introduce her to this site – our Helpline is terrific.
    Keep talking Toymaker – you will find your way through this.
    Velvet

    #4405
    worriedmama
    Participant

    You are not going crazy Toyman! You are living with an active CG and it can be incredibly frustrating and chaotic.
    Talking and trying to reason with your wife at the moment is probably useless. As you have said she will undoubtedly tell you she is done this time for sure. I believe she really does mean that and doesn’t go out of her way to hurt you but it is an incredibly strong addiction and it usually gets its way.
    I agree that gaining control of the money is your first order of business. This means all the money. Until they have some recovery behind them any access to money can be to tempting . She will not like this at all and it will hurt both of you but it really needs to be done.
    This helps with abstaining from gambling which at least gives everybody time to breath but if she is to find true recovery it is up to her to seek. As Velvet says perhaps you could get her to go to a GA group and see if thats something she may be interested in. I know where I am there are meetings for woman only which is also another option.
    It’s HARD toyman but there is help and support for both of you when you’re ready.
    Cathy

    #4406
    toyman1111
    Participant

    Let me first say Thank You so much for the support.
    I am happy to say the beast has went back to his cave-for now.
    We are at the remorse stage. Doesn’t matter my guard is still up.
    This is my thoughts.
    Im not convinced that a ga group will help. I think a personal shrink is the best bet. One on One. An addiction comes from somewhere. A dramatic event in life, an abuse, wrong lesson taught through childhood. A person is missing something or cant cope with everyday life.They need to numb themselves. She confessed that the reason for this was a discussion between her and my son and she was hurt by the conversation so she escaped.
    Unfortunately her entire family is riddled with, addiction, bipolar, alcohol, drugs. (5) siblings, mom and dad. Thats alot. Is that even clinically possible that an entire family has this????Hmmmm or was is the way they were taught. There is more to this puzzle. They need to find the root of the problem first and I think at that point they can tame the beast after. She knows she has a problem. I see it. She gets frustrated over minor things. She needs to be complimented if she conquers a small task. A task to me or you without an addiction is small an normal or an everyday action.
    This is my plan.
    She opened a checking account for work, Why I dont know, Just a ploy to get to the money im sure. That was before the gambling outbreak. At this time our joint account is overdrawn and i have know choice but to use hers. Not a good position I KNOW….. But…. The law is, i monitor her account, I want a receipt for every dollar spent, If cash is withdrawn she needs backup, If the kids are given money they need to tell me mom gave them something. If one dollar is off or i catch a lie. Its done, I take control of everything. I know you are asking why i dont take control now is because of my busy job and the kids always want 5 or 10 at the spur of the moment cause i need to meet my friends- Got to love that-LOL I remember doing that to my parents. groceries. Emergency money. For now thats my plan. It worked well yesterday as she had proof of every dollar spent. I sign off on the receipt and put it in a folder so there is no chance of a trick. I an going to be a great accountant after this LOL. The final law is i dont ever want to hear that i am controlling her. Truth is she cant be trusted.
    The strange parts is how i see that she is actually exhausted. I can actually see how she was overtaken by an entity during this ordeal. She is actually exhausted and bitter, I ask why bitter cause what she did I would think she would need to be as humble as a bird cause of what she did. She stated that she is pissed at herself for what she did. I so see how she was overcome by another force and she was just the host. Amazing….
    I have been down this road before but never for 9 days straight and the amount of lies and deceitfulness. I am beside myself this time.
    Let me know your thoughts

    Thank You Again

    #4407
    toyman1111
    Participant

    Let me first say Thank You so much for the support.

    I am happy to say the beast has went back to his cave-for now.

    We are at the remorse stage. Doesn’t matter my guard is still up.

    This is my thoughts.

    Im not convinced that a ga group will help. I think a personal shrink is the best bet. One on One. An addiction comes from somewhere. A dramatic event in life, an abuse, wrong lesson taught through childhood. A person is missing something or cant cope with everyday life.They need to numb themselves. She confessed that the reason for this was a discussion between her and my son and she was hurt by the conversation so she escaped.

    Unfortunately her entire family is riddled with, addiction, bipolar, alcohol, drugs. (5) siblings, mom and dad. Thats alot. Is that even clinically possible that an entire family has this????Hmmmm or was is the way they were taught. There is more to this puzzle. They need to find the root of the problem first and I think at that point they can tame the beast after. She knows she has a problem. I see it. She gets frustrated over minor things. She needs to be complimented if she conquers a small task. A task to me or you without an addiction is small an normal or an everyday action.

    This is my plan.

    She opened a checking account for work, Why I dont know, Just a ploy to get to the money im sure. That was before the gambling outbreak. At this time our joint account is overdrawn and i have know choice but to use hers. Not a good position I KNOW….. But…. The law is, i monitor her account, I want a receipt for every dollar spent, If cash is withdrawn she needs backup, If the kids are given money they need to tell me mom gave them something. If one dollar is off or i catch a lie. Its done, I take control of everything. I know you are asking why i dont take control now is because of my busy job and the kids always want 5 or 10 at the spur of the moment cause i need to meet my friends- Got to love that-LOL I remember doing that to my parents. groceries. Emergency money. For now thats my plan. It worked well yesterday as she had proof of every dollar spent. I sign off on the receipt and put it in a folder so there is no chance of a trick. I an going to be a great accountant after this LOL. The final law is i dont ever want to hear that i am controlling her. Truth is she cant be trusted.

    The strange parts is how i see that she is actually exhausted. I can actually see how she was overtaken by an entity during this ordeal. She is actually exhausted and bitter, I ask why bitter cause what she did I would think she would need to be as humble as a bird cause of what she did. She stated that she is pissed at herself for what she did. I so see how she was overcome by another force and she was just the host. Amazing….

    I have been down this road before but never for 9 days straight and the amount of lies and deceitfulness. I am beside myself this time.

    Let me know your thoughts

    Thank You Again

    #4408
    velvet
    Moderator

    Hi Toyman
    I believe that learning to cope and do the best thing for everybody, once there is an awareness of an addiction to gamble, is the right way forward for those whose loved ones have a problems with gambling, rather than trying to establish a cause.
    I am not disabusing your wife’s assertion that she escaped into gambling because of a discussion between her and your son but I am concerned that this assertion tends to imply that you son was in some way responsible for your wife’s gambling binge whereas it was your wife choice to gamble – your son was not to blame.
    Busy jobs do make it difficult for non-CGs to monitor finances and I understand that your children ask for small amounts here and there but unfortunately cash to your wife is the same as a drink to an alcoholic. I don’t know how old they are, but are your children aware that their mother has a problem with gambling? If they are aware they could be encouraged to only ask you or another trusted family member for cash.
    It is possible Toyman from what you have outlined in your posts that your wife has a problem with gambling and is possibly not fully addicted in which case pulling her back from the brink would be fantastic.
    Talking to CGs who have controlled their addiction, or who are trying to control their addiction, is considered by many CGs to be the best therapy available and often the only thing that made any difference and changed anything – it works for those with a problem over their gambling too. Please do not overrule GA – anything to support your wife has to be worth trying. For my own part, I saw counsellors, a psychiatrist and doctors because I believed the problem in my home was down to me losing my sanity. I explained everything that was going on in my home but not one of them ever suggested that another family member had a compulsion to gamble even though I now know that everything I was saying clearly pointed to this fact. It was only in Gamanon that I found the support that I needed.
    ‘If’ you still consider that your wife should see a physiatrist first and she would prefer that to going to GA, please ensure he/she is qualified in the addiction to gamble – I have heard of CGs who have convinced the psychiatrist that they do not have the addiction and then having got their ‘get out of jail free card’ they carried on indulging their addiction with alacrity.
    You say you have been down this road before – is that recently? Has your wife used gambling as a means of escape many times before?
    Your wife’s exhaustion is understandable whether she is compulsive or has a gambling problem. A CG cannot win, the addiction to gamble is one of failure and constant failure destroys self-esteem and self-confidence.
    I will wait to hear from you again but in the meantime I wish you both well.
    Velvet

    #4409
    Anonymous
    Guest

    HI Toyman, what an intelligent man you are.
    It amazes me that someone without a gambling disorder could come up with the analogy of a “host”.
    That is exactly what it feels like …like your mind control has been taken over…you correctly understand that when this happens there is little choice involved ..it is compulsive .

    There is a video clip on the national geographic website about Zombie snails. These snails become host to a virus which “asserts mind control ” so that the snails ( which normally stay in the dark) will climb right to the tree tops and into the sunshine so that they can be eaten by birds !!! Gambling feels a bit like that to me.

    The “choice” we have is in having barriers in place so that when the host decides to take over there is nothing to feed it.

    I think you have made some great decisions but please put blockers on all your devices. K9 is free, easy to install and uninstall. You get a password and can set it just to stop gambling websites being accessed. You just have to google k9 to download it. It is not fool-proof but quite good nonetheless.

    I cannot speak for your wife but I know I developed a gambling disorder after having a very traumatic experience, so perhaps your wife’s experiences could be contributing to her disorder. It is a great idea for your wife to get some form of counselling therefore.

    These is lots of research which indicates that some genes need environmental triggers to be expressed, and without these they will remain dormant. It could be so with gambling. It may be a mixture of “nature and nurture” but research hasn’t reached that stage yet.

    GA was not for me either, and I made it Into recovery without it. I believe everyone of us is different, and will succeed with an individualised approach. I do not like the idea of GA for two main reasons
    1. My gambling disorder was triggered following a very traumatic event, which I certainly would not feel comfortable discussing in front of a room full of strangers
    2. I really only managed to control the disorder when I stopped labelling myself a “cg”. I know I am so much more than that . It made the disorder seem smaller, more manageable. This is what worked for me, . Your wife may feel differently . ..but recovery does happen without GA.

    You are not controlling your wife. You are only controlling the finances to protect your wife and your family . This is not a decision you have taken lightly, and it does not come easily to you, as you are naturally a generous person. In time your wife will be grateful for this .

    If I can comment on the issue between your son and your wife. Your son may well have upset your wife. Children do that to us sometimes …she may have used gambling to escape from this upset (it’s really good if she can identify triggers…I never could ). This does not mean that your wife is blaming your son in any way for her gambling disorder, which I think you know anyway . It could mean she is using gambling to escape from uncomfortable stuff.

    What can I say Toyman , you are an amazing and supportive husband . You are hardworking and also now have the burden of trying to monitor your wife’s gambling disorder. Read all the advice you are given . All of us on this site are either people with a gambling disorder or the friends and family of people with a gambling disorder.
    We will all carry our own baggage and this will influence how we respond to each other.
    Take on board what you feel will work for you and your wife, and disregard the rest.

    One last thing . There is a supplement which helped me and some other people I know. If we are to go with the genetic link theory , we might well be deficient in something we need to be healthy
    This supplement has been researched and has been found to reduce urges to gamble in some people with a gambling disorder. It is called NAC. I bought mine in a local health food shop but it is much cheaper on line. It does interact with some other drugs and also causes some side effects like nausea but might be worth checking out. I only took it when I was caught up in the cycle .

    Hope my post has been helpful to you Toyman. Praying for you and your wife…

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