Get practical support with your gambling problem Forum Friends and Family I don’t know what tool to use, please help

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  • #5208
    prideworks
    Participant

    My name is Alma and I recently married a CG. My wife and I married shortly after the law changed in North Carolina allowing same-sex marriage. My wife had told me that she had one huge buying episode after the death of her nephew and that she liked to gamble but did not let it get out of hand. Shortly after we married she had a cardiac episode and was diagnosed with Congestive Heart Failure. Before this we would visit the small slot stores throughout our city on the weekends. It was fun, but we kept to a budget. After the CHF episode, that started to change. She started to play online gambling and suddenly we had a $9,000 debt. I asked her to stop, she did and for 4 months we did fine. Just after this New Years she was despondent and would not tell me why. I told her I could not help her if she was going to shut me out. She then disclosed that she had run up another gambling online bill of $25,000. I was overwhelmed and started to cry. She left the room. I later told her that I was not angry but that I am very, very scared and if she does not get this under control our lives will be ruined. I love her and won’t leave her but I’m terrified. I’m from a military medical background and have always been taught that family can always do something to help. But I don’t know what that is anymore. I need a plan that I can focus on so I don’t fall into a deep depression; I’m also a depression patient. Any help would be greatly appreciated. I waited so long to get married and now this….: <

    #5209
    velvet
    Moderator

    <

    Hello Alma

    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!

    #5210
    velvet
    Moderator

    Hi Alma
    Congratulations on your recent marriage.
    I assume and hope that you no longer visit the small slot stores – sadly joining a gambler gives a green light to behaviour that is unacceptable for an active (CG) compulsive gambler.
    The action of gambling causes excitement, a risk, the thrill of getting away with something, the possibility of significant loss or the opportunity for spectacular success. Your wife is making things happen rather than fixing things and/or finding solutions and she needs treatment to ascertain what it is she is avoiding.
    Abstention is not a cure and the 4 months you believe were gamble-free does not mean that she was not ‘dry gambling’ in her brain – CGs have to learn to manage their addiction rather than to abstain. She may have stopped betting for money for 4 months but that will not have stopped her making mind bets which is ‘dry gambling’. Mind bets are not uncommon and they are a way to ‘stay in action’ without detection, however, the addiction is still getting fed and as long as it is fed it will thrive until it becomes too much and behaviour such as you are seeing pours out again.
    It was ok to tell her that you were not angry and that you were scared but I’m sorry to say that your feelings are not enough to stop her gambling. She is the only one who can stop and to do so she has to accept her addiction and want to stop for herself and seek support.
    I am glad that you have started your thread and I hope you will keep posting because your mental health is important to you and your wife. She will not be deliberately hurting you and if her addiction succeed in bringing you down then neither of you will be able to cope.
    I think what you are talking about is ‘family intervention’ and this can work for some but has to be handled with care. How many members of your families know about the situation within your marriage and how many have been affected or enabled? The addiction to gamble is divisive, allowing it to gain enablement, so it is important that everybody is in agreement as to how to carry out an intervention. Gamblers anonymous (GA), this site and dedicated counsellors are terrific means of support.
    Keep posting Alma and learn all you can about the addition to gamble because knowledge of what is hurting your wife and yourself will help; you cope and make the right informed decisions.
    Try and not be terrified. Even if it does not appear to be so at the moment you are stronger than she is because you do not own her addiction and if you do not allow it to bring you down there is little to fear.
    Velvet

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