7 September 2013 at 5:32 am #1292adeleParticipant
Hi Shelly – The people on the gambling hotlines should know how to make him comfortable enough to get him to start talking. My husband finally got in to a chat group here last weekend – (actually, at first he sat next to me while I chatted in Community) then he registered and went in to the CG group by himself. He joined in on several today again, and I’m hopeful he will continue to do so. The Live Advice Helpline here is one on one, and I think your husband would get somewhat comfortable with it fairly quickly. Many ***** the facilitators are CGs in recovery so they have been where our CGs are, and I think this is tremendously helpful! He just ***** to get over the apprehension of the first time …
Hope this helps…
Adele29 September 2013 at 1:59 pm #1293
It would be great to get an update.
I hope your husband has contacted a helpline, those who have replied to you about this are right – he will be understood the minute he communicates.
Speak again soon
Velvet4 October 2013 at 5:21 am #1294
Things were going pretty good for a while, but I’m worried that he’s going back to his old ways. Last week he said he bought 2 scratcher tickets and this week he said he bought more. Of course I’m upset and very concerned. He’s leaving tomorrow to go in Vacation by himself and I would be lying if I said I wasn’t concerned about him gambling. After all he’s going to visit his Mom and she’s a pretty big gambler herself. If he does I will be very hurt and upset.
He still hasn’t called the helpline, but I will keep encouraging him to do so. After all he promised that he would, and I’m hoping that he will honor it.4 October 2013 at 12:25 pm #1295
Any gamble to a compulsive gambler feeds their addiction – it doesn’t matter if it is one scratch card or a million pound bet on the poker table the effect on the mind is the same – the addiction is being kept alive. Compulsive gambling has nothing to do with money it is all about the gamble and the excitement in engenders.
I have yet to meet a CG who controls their addiction without support and I suspect your husband is putting off facing his demons and hoping you don’t notice. Active CGs often lull the non-CG into a false sense of security so that they can carry on with their addiction unabated.
Unfortunately promises from active CGs are rarely reliable but are often the means to gain time.
Is his mother aware of your concerns? Does he have to go on this vacation with her? As he is not making any positive moves towards seeking recovery this vacation does not seem to be a good idea at all. If he testing himself to see whether he is a CG by staying with a person with gambling problem then he is not accepting he is a CG.
Perhaps you could print of the Gamblers Anonymous Twenty Questions for him. You will find them in http://www.gamblersanonymous.org It is good for a CG to realise that they are not alone and they can benefit from reading these questions and recognising the damage they are doing to themselves and their loved ones. Perhaps you could tick the yes answers too so that he can see how much he is affecting you.
Keep posting Shelly. Knowledge of the addiction will help you cope
Velvet4 October 2013 at 4:18 pm #1296madge456Participant
I see the last post and feel like I am in the same boat – does a little lead to a lot?? I agree with Velvet it is not the size of the bet, it is the action of betting/gaming. BUT, my question is where does this stop? My CG was playing the card game Hearts online. He seemed to me that he was doing something he shouldn’t by his guilty actions. He told me he’d take it off his phone which he never did and i caught him playing it again last night…But he said it wasn’t gambling so that it means it’s ok???- so does that mean he shouldn’t play any card games?? He said “what about bridge?” What about playing the card game “war” with our 7 year old?? He was trying to make me feel bad for what he was doing – put me on the spot when he clearly felt guilty for what he was doing… He then explained to me it was like “an empty bottle to an alcoholic” that he was keeping it around as something he could hold on to – now this sounds like addictive behavior – but where does it stop? No card games at all??
I ask all this bc I relate to your CG only 2 scratchers – it starts from there – but will it do the same thing with a game of Hearts?? I feel like I am going mad.
I am not sure if this helps but wanted to know I hear you and understand – they have to want to get help, don’t they???
M4 October 2013 at 5:29 pm #1297
I’m pretty sure that his Mom knows how I feel about this gambling. I tried talking to her about it and she just shut me down. I know that talking to her isn’t an option.
He wants to go there to see her, because he doesn’t get to see her that much. We live in different States. Plus she isn’t getting any younger. I don’t begrudge him going there to see her.
Thank you for understanding what I’m going thru. I gave him the number again to the Gambling hotline and asked him to please call. I sure hope he does. Thank you again!!!4 October 2013 at 6:34 pm #1298nomore 56Participant
Hi Shelly, I also wondered a lot what my hb could or should not do once he started his recovery. He told me that for example playing solitaire on the computer would be a huge trigger for him. The same goes with anything that has only the slightest indication of winning anything. Like a sweep stakes, or the many “review our services for a chance to win a shopping spree” offers. He will not even buy a raffle ticket for a good cause. No monopoly either. I like to compare it to the many challenges an alcoholic faces in recovery. Eating gravy containing sherry or wine can do the trick. Madge, you said that he tried to hide playing a game of hearts and seemed to feel guilty about it. Yes, that is addictive behavior.
I also agree with Velvet that it is a bad idea at this point in time to visit his mother who evidently avoids or minimizes his addiction. By going there he puts himself in danger and at the same time escapes the “pressure” he feels at home right now to address his gambling. The fact that his mom also has a gambling problem is a huge red flag in my opinion. That is almost like one alcoholic spending his vacation with another one while trying to quit drinking. Try to take care of yourself while he is gone because there is nothing you can do to prevent anything that goes on with him. That is his decision and his alone. Hang in there!15 October 2013 at 5:43 am #1299
My husband is heading back from Florida. He went to the casino twice while on vacation and he bought a few scratcher tickets. He promised me that he would call the Gambling Hotline. He finally did today while traveling and he said it wasn’t very helpful . He said the lady that he was talking sounded like she just woke up. I don’t think he got much out of the conversation. I told him that he should consider joining this group. He needs support and help.
Thank you!15 October 2013 at 11:39 am #1300
I sincerely hope it was not our hotline that gave dissatisfaction but please email in if this was the case, we will always take constructive criticism very seriously.
When a CG makes a positive step towards facing their addiction, as opposed to making promises to do so, it is always a massive step in the right direction. Promises are meaningless and are often churned out to gain time or side-step the issue. Making a positive move implies that the CG is accepting, or is capable of accepting, that their addiction is governing their behaviour and they want to take retake control of their own life.
It is by far from unknown that family members can keep CGs, who may want to change, locked in to their addiction by actively joining them in the gamble. You are very lenient in your criticism of his mother but by not begrudging him his visits you may possibly be giving him the support he needs. He has to open his own eyes; you cannot do it for him. and criticising a mother-in-law is difficult.
I don’t know if I have said this to you before but I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t know that the addiction to gamble can be controlled. We have many CGs on the site who control their addiction and who will offer your husband support as only another CG, who understands, can.
My CG, like Nomore’s hb would not enter a sweep stake or buy a raffle ticket. I remember we had a big discussion on the site once about ebay. My husband, who is not a CG sold a car on ebay and the excitement he displayed, as the auction came to an end, was enough to convince me that if he had been a CG his mind would have been totally out of control. Each CG in recovery has to make their own decisions but they do need the support and experience of others to help them.
You are doing well posting but you are not saying much about how you are doing and you are important. Living with the addiction to gamble takes away self-esteem and confidence. How do you feel ‘your’ recovery is going?
Velvet15 October 2013 at 1:02 pm #1301
Thank you for writing. I have really learned a lot since joining. I have a lot to think about including how I feel.16 October 2013 at 5:13 pm #1302adeleParticipant
It is so difficult to examine our feelings when we are in the throes of our cg’s addiction. Our emotions are all over the place – reacting to this, worrying about that, expecting one thing and being disappointed in what we get instead.
I think the most difficult thing for me to accept is that I cannot say or do anything that will make him want do whatever it takes to stop gambling and save our marriage. I’ve been married many years too so it would be difficult to walk away, but that’s what it will come down to in the end for me – gambling or marriage because I refuse to live with this addiction in my life.
I have a long way to go yet, but some time back, it finally began to sink in what everyone meant in saying “take care of yourself”. And when I began doing that – thinking more about ME and what I feel, and what I want and what I don’t want – instead of constantly allowing my husband’s gambling addiction to monopolize my thoughts, I began to change. I began to feel stronger and more able to stand up against his addiction. And he began to notice a difference in me.
This is a long, hard, painful and exhausting journey Shelly and I don’t think anyone here would tell you different … but you know by now you are not alone. What you may not know yet is that you can get through this by TAKING CARE OF YOU. Keep reading and posting, you’re doing well.
Adele20 November 2013 at 4:21 am #1303
Sorry I haven’t written in a while. I just had an argument with my husband about gambling. It seemed like things were getting better. I found out today that he’s been buying scratcher tickets. Then I found out today that in February he’s going to Las Vegas for work. I really thought that is time he was going to change. I guess in reality I had doubt. It’s hard to believe someone who has made so many broken promises over the years. Is there ever going to be an end! I do love my husband with all heart and soul. I just wish I could magically make this thing go away! Thanks for being here to listen.20 November 2013 at 11:19 am #1304moniqueParticipant
It is good that you took time to write on here – I hope it helps to express your current feelings and know that they will be heard and accepted.
I think everyone who loves a cg family member – partner, son, parent – would recognize that mix of feeling within you. You have great love for your husband and you desperately want everything to be all right for you both – if only there was a ‘magic’ solution we could tap into!
Instead, you have had to bravely face your sense of disappointment and betrayal. And perhaps this underlines for you what you also know deep down – that your husband must truly choose to stop gambling and that you cannot, in spite of your love, make this happen, nor be in control in his life. So, can you come back to the one person you can ‘manage’? – yourself. Can you think again of the ways in which you can protect yourself (emotionally as well as practically and financially), take really good care of yourself and maybe even enjoy yourself?
Sometimes it feels impossible to do those things when our loved one in choosing a destructive path, but ultimately it is the only way for you to survive well and, in the long run, the only way for you to be able to support him, when he becomes ready to make good choices.
I’m sure I am repeating things you know, but we often need to find courage to pick ourselves up again after disappointment and get ourselves back on our own recovery path – I hope you can find the inner strength to get straight back on yours.
With best wishes,
Monique, Gambling Therapy Team20 November 2013 at 11:55 am #1305
It’s good to hear from you again but sad to see that your husband still seems hell bent on feeding his addiction.
Does he have to go to Las Vegas or did he volunteer? A CG in control of his/her addiction would not risk themselves in the gambling city of the world.
In reality I think it is best to doubt and not trust when there are so many on-going broken promises but the nightmare can end and that choice lies with your husband.
I appreciate you love your husband but that does not mean you have to love his addiction and you can say ‘no’ to it. Saying ‘no’ is difficult but when put yourself first it is not impossible. You cannot make your husband stop gambling but when you put yourself first and learn to love yourself you become a more formidable enemy to his addiction.
You asked your husband if he thought he was a CG and he said ‘yes and then you asked if he wanted to change and he said ‘yes and this was probably completely true. When you asked him if he meant it forever, he gave you an honest answer when he said ‘no’. Forever is – well it is for ever and CGs struggle with the enormity of it. I did too when I realised my CG had to give up his way of life forever.
Your husband is not really accepting he has an addiction –if he did he would not test it with scratch cards. You said he had approached a helpline but hadn’t got the support he needed and I did say that if it was this site that had failed him we would want to know. If you ask the question again ‘do you want to change?’ and he says ‘yes’ then let it be known that it is only one day at a time and nobody will ask him for anything more. We all need hope – controlling this addiction takes an enormous amount of courage and determination. The support is there for him and you will support him the best by looking after you first and foremost because he needs to see that you are strong.
Being here and listening is the easy bit. Looking after yourself with an addiction in your life is hard but you can do it and we will walk with you every step of the way while you try.
Pop into a live group sometime and chat in real time. At the moment we have 3 Friends and Family Only groups and the times can be found when you click on ‘Support Groups’ at the top of this page. It would be good to meet you.
Velvet20 November 2013 at 3:13 pm #1306
Thank you for your advice. It always makes me feel better and encourages me. I asked him to get on this site and check it out.
He has to go to Vegas for work. It’s a big Education Fair for his job. He’s been there in the past and we usually decide how much he’s going to take for gambling. (Usually over $1000.00) In the past he burns thru in a couple of days and calls home wanting more! I usually feel guilty and give him more. One time I didn’t and he took out a cash advance on our credit card. To say I’m not looking forward to it is an understand statement!
I asked him to sit down with me tonight so that can talk. Thank you again for all the advice and encouragement.
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