20 November 2013 at 10:24 pm #1307
If your husband was an alcoholic you wouldn’t give him a drink – it is the same with money and a gambling addiction. When you say ‘we’ decide how much money he is going to take gambling you are enabling his addiction – I am not judging, I made too many mistakes myself. Forget feeling guilty when he needs more money – he needs it to satisfy something that is destroying his mind and for that there should be no guilt on your part when you refuse.
You do not own the addiction Shelly and therefore you are stronger than your husband who is controlled by it.
Any company worth its salt would never send a compulsive gambler to Las Vegas. If your husband wants to begin to change his life then perhaps he should tell his company that he has an addiction and cannot go.
I am not surprised you are not looking forward to this trip but I am sure your husband will be in a heightened state of excitement at the thought of going. Your husband is drastically changing reality to fit his personal perception and he needs the support of those who understand him Shelly – this addiction is destructive, it is sustained by lies and deception.
Keep Posting Shelly
Velvet21 November 2013 at 5:16 am #1308
Velvet thank you for replying. I really appreciate it. We had a talk tonight and it I got pretty emotional. He said he doesn’t want to stop gambling. He said he enjoys it. He thinks because he isn’t spending as much as he was that he’s doing better.
As far as the trip to Las Vegas his company has no idea that he gambles. He would never tell them that he can’t go because of his gambling, because he doesn’t think he has a problem. He’s going to go and he’s going to gamble and that’s the bottom line. It doesn’t matter that I don’t him to.
I’m so mentally drained tonight. I feel so blessed that I have place to vent. Thank you!!21 November 2013 at 11:27 am #1309
Probably most CGs would say that they don’t want to stop gambling but I think they would all agree they don’t like being addicted to it which makes them unable to walk away until they have lost everything which often includes their homes, marriages, families and self-esteem. They would like (and most would believe) that they can gamble responsibly. It is only when reality truly hits them that they are not free and that they are being controlled by an addiction that many realise they need to change if they want to live a decent life. CGs have little incentive to face their addiction as long as they have enablement and they are the masters of manipulation when it comes to getting that enablement
The addiction to gamble divides families as it feeds on lies and secrecy. Unfortunately unless people have lived with the addiction to gamble, their opinions can be very narrow and not supportive so personally I think it is best to tell others as a statement rather than asking for opinions. You can gather information here so that you can make your own informed decisions with that knowledge especially as your husband is endangering ‘your’ future and other who love you will probably only be able to see that far. Do you have family and/or friends to support you? It is better to share if you can,
I really, really understand that advising you to look after yourself first seems so lacking in positive help but I have read countless posts from people who had found this message less than they had hoped at the beginning but who grabbed it and applied it to their lives. In changing themselves and refusing the addiction control of their lives they went on to a freedom and happiness that they had given up on. I would never suggest that any member leaves, or stays with their CG loved one – all decisions are yours and all decision are understood and never judged.
I can hear you love your husband but I want you to learn to love you as least as much because you do matter, you are special and you don’t deserve to be controlled by the addiction of another.
You said ‘it doesn’t matter that you don’t want him to go’ – dear Shelly it does matter. Do something for yourself today, refuse your husband’s addiction to spoil your thinking and happiness for an hour or two. Each and every day give ‘you’ more time and allow yourself to regain the confidence and self-esteem that your husband’s addiction will have damaged.
I do know the addiction to gamble can be controlled and I am aware how difficult it is. You do not have that addiction – you can change.
In the final 5 minutes of a Tuesday group I say the Serenity Prayer for all members – there is a version that I particularly like and it is this.
God grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change
Courage to change the thing that I can
And Wisdom to know it is me.
Keep posting and when your husband goes away on his trip make sure you have plans for you to enjoy ‘your’ life – I would love to hear them.
Velvet21 November 2013 at 3:13 pm #1310madge456Participant
I only have a minute but I wanted to say I have been following your thread and wanted you to know I understand. My husband did the EXACT same thing – no matter what business trip they sent him on, the first thing he would do is look around to see what casinos were near by (and near by meaning within 8 hrs??). He would even on purpose fly into another further away airport , go to the casino , then drive 3 hrs to get to the job site. I would beg him to not go – it became a joke because he would never listen to me and agreed to “not spend too much money”. And same thing as with you, since we paid our bills and have a roof over our heads, he thought it was fine and convinced me *sort of* it was fine. But not really. Once he had a meeting in southern california – he wanted to fly into Vegas on a red eye (from east coast where we live), gamble all nite then drive the 5-6 hrs to the job site!! That is crazy but he didn’t see it – I had to scream at him to not do this – but he DIDN”T GET IT! My point only is that until they realize and accept that they have a problem, they wont get it – and they wont stop. I am not sure if my husband has gotten it yet, but (according to him) he has been gambling sober since mid July – who knows if its true.
I am not sure if this helps but I wanted you to know I have been there and truly understand – the addiction makes YOU feel like the crazy one – and until he realizes he has a problem, Velvet is right that all you can do is care for you and make your own choices. Not enable his bad ones. It is hard.
I have the same issue in a way with my kids -our therapist told me I want “too much” for them to be happy – so I bend over backwards and do everything for them – and guess what? they are spoiled. And it is my fault. I need to be able to say NO and not feel guilty. Same with my husband.
**Wanting to take care of and help others at the expense of yourself helps no one**
I hope this came across as supportive and helpful – that is truly how I meant it. I am trying to rush out the door but had to comment on your post. I hear you and I am with you and support you. Go do something nice for yourself and let your husbands choices go.
with loving thoughts
M21 November 2013 at 5:04 pm #1311
Thank you for responding to my posts. I love reading them. I have nobody I can talk to. I could talk to my kids and my brother, but I don’t see how that would help. It might help me to get it off my chest, but my husband will still be the same. ‘
My husband has made some changes. I have control over the bank account. I put $100.00 in his account weekly. That’s supposed to be his spending money. Well I didn’t realize until a couple of days ago that he was buying scratchers with it. I told him that I was going to drop it down to $50 a week from now on. Or leave it the way it is and he has to use it for cigarettes too. He thinks that he’s doing so much better.
He said something last night that really didn’t sit well with me at all! He said I just won’t tell you when I gamble so that you don’t get upset. I told him that I don’t want a marriage like that. I don’t want to hide things from each other. I don’t think a married couple should hide anything from one another.
I will go back and re-read everything and read other posts, so that I can learn to help myself. Thank you again for allowing me to vent my feelings.21 November 2013 at 9:49 pm #1312
You are right to think the words don’t sit well. On one hand your husband is saying that provided you enable him he will tell you when he is indulging his addiction while on the other hand he is saying that if you will not enable him, he will still indulge his addiction but in secret – either way you do not have the marriage that you want and that is his manipulative addiction talking to you.
Enablement is difficult to understand. Giving money to a CG is enablement, as is paying gambling debts for the CG. Turning a blind eye and giving an active addiction freedom to grow in your life is also enablement and that is what he wants you to do.
How old are your children? Are they aware that their father has a problem? Children are often more aware that a parent is struggling with the addiction to gamble than is perceived by the non-CG parent. Your brother is possibly aware that you are not as happy as you should be without knowing the reason why or maybe he does know but is waiting for you to talk. I cannot tell you what to do but I do believe that sharing can be very beneficial although there are provisos such as I mentioned in my previous post. The title of your thread does suggest you could do with a physical shoulder to lean on.
Many F&F think that they have kept the secret of their loved one’s addiction because they have not shared it, in the false belief that it is something to be ashamed about. Siblings, children, parents are often only too aware that there are things that are wrong. Your husband did not ask for or want his addiction any more than you did. He would have placed a ‘harmless’ bet for a bit of fun at one time, like countless others, he was not to know that addiction would waiting for him. There is no shame; he needs support just as you do.
Your husband might be abstaining for a while hoping you ‘forget’; he might be paying you lip-service because the addiction to gamble is the most devious of addictions. I have yet to meet a CG who can control their addiction for any length of time without support.
I am glad you have control of the bank account so that you can safe-guard yourself financially.
You will get stronger, it does take time. Your recovery is important, your self-esteem and confidence will have been battered over the years. Keep venting your feelings, you are creating a journal of ‘you’ that you can look back on and that is incredibly therapeutic.
Keep posting – you are doing great
Velvet21 November 2013 at 10:33 pm #1313
Just want to say I have been following your posts and thinking of you. You have had some great messages with lots of useful information. As Velvet says, you will get stronger.
I was drawn to your comment about how you could talk to your kids and/or your brother but your ‘husband would still be the same’. I think this is an indication of how you may be focussing too much only on HIS recovery, ie the recovery that is not within your control. It is hard to believe that the person who needs the focus is YOU. But it does work – with time and patience. It doesn’t mean that you no longer care about the cg, but that you put the emphasis on looking after YOU. You don’t have to make any radical decisions about your marriage, but please do focus on improving things where possible for yourself. In small steps, one at a time.
And, as Velvet says, other family members probably know or at least ‘sense’ what is happening.
You feel alone, but I hope you will gradually feel that you are no longer so alone.
Monique22 November 2013 at 1:38 am #1314
Honestly being able to post here is really helping. I have to let this out. Just knowing that somebody else care really means the world to me . Our daughter’s are all adults in there 20’s, and they are aware that their Dad likes to gamble. They know that I don’t like it. My brother also knows and he can see it. He lives in another State so we don’t get to see him much. My husband’s family knows that he likes to gamble, but they aren’t concerned about it. He just went to Florida in October to visit his Mom and they went to a Casino together. He went to two Casino’s on Illinois and one in Iowa. He won money at the one in Iowa, so it just fueled his desire. Of course he get’s excited when he wins, but I don’t! I know that the Win will only make him to gamble again!!
After our talk last night he’s been pretty quiet around me. I already feel alone, and this doesn’t help. I guess this is part of the vicious cycle of gambling.
Today he stopped by grocery store to pick up some things he needed and he said he bought 2 scratcher tickets. After the conversation we had last night it really felt like a slap in the face. I’m sure in his mind I’m just being unreasonable and I don’t understand. I don’t understand that he really enjoys gambling. He thinks he’s making changes and it’s just not good enough for me. I just can’t seem to get him to understand how concerned that I am and how I want him to quit!! I then start to doubt myself and I think that it’s partially my fault. I start thinking that maybe I’m being unreasonable. I sometimes would like just runaway, but in reality I would never do that! I guess I just want a break from reality!
Thank you again for this group!!22 November 2013 at 8:47 am #1315
It really is SO frustrating trying to get a cg to really hear how you feel about the addiction – so frustrating, it probably isn’t worth doing. The cg will only hear, when he has changed inside himself. Velvet has some great descriptions which she has no doubt shared already about talking to a cg being like talking to someone with their head full of water! It is maddening, so I hope you can give yourself a rest from it – a little something that will release you a bit?
An escape from reality? – I imagine that is an escape from the reality of your husband’s gambling. But I would venture to say that that is not really avoidance of responsibility in the way we usually think of it – do not take on guilt about putting HIS addiction aside. If you can ‘escape’ into something you really enjoy, that will do you good, I think – what takes your fancy? What makes you joyful? Something you can get ‘lost’ in for a while? – music, dancing, a good book?? I don’t know, but whatever it is, have a go today, I suggest.22 November 2013 at 10:44 pm #1316madge456Participant
As i read your post, it sounds so much like things I have said/posted in the past – I can relate to being “slapped in the face” – you cant even believe what the cg did bc you *just* talked about it and they go and do it anyway. It is frustrating and makes you feel like you are going crazy. WHich leads me to your “doubting myself” comment – because yes, when they do something we said we objected to, the addiction tried to twist it around so we start to feel like we are the ones in the wrong “what could it hurt? it’s only a little money..” etc etc Making us feel bad (at least in my case) and some times relenting and giving in. This just makes everything get worse in the long run.
It is so hard to stand your ground but you must. For yourself. Last time my cg did something like this (2 days ago!) we talked about it and I told him I would not be treated like that. If he wants to disrespect me I can’t be in a relationship like that. I have gotten to the point where I have said if he acts this way he needs to leave. This is a big deal for me and surprisingly my cg is really trying hard to gain my trust and change himself. And I think that is partially due to the fact that I told him I couldn’t – wouldn’t put up with it anymore. My story is a little complicated (all in my posts if you want to catch up) but the thread is the same – they act out, we protest, they cajole, we feel guilty and bad about ourselves and confused. It is painful, heartbreaking and demoralizing.
Like Monique and velvet said, taking care of yourself, finding support for yourself are very important. It sounds like a silly pollyanna thing to say, but it does really help. I have found posting and replying to others posts very therapeutic as well. It is nice to be understood and not judged.
I just wanted to say I hear you and encourage you to reach out to anyone (real or in cyber-land) who you think could be supportive of you. Just talking to a friendly ear is cathartic in so many ways.
M23 November 2013 at 5:24 pm #1317
sorry Shelly I was writing a post to Madge and put it on your thread by mistake. I can’t seem to get rid of my footprint though.
V15 January 2014 at 5:10 pm #1318
Life is like a rollercoaster with it’s ups and downs. Living with GC can really suck. Just when you think that things are getting better it goes downhill. I just need to get over being mad and sit down and talk to him. Not that it does any good, but I have to have some hope! Everyone tells me to not get mad, but I can’t help but feel that way. I feel ANGRY , MAD, HELPLESS, and depressed. I just want him to know that and acknowledge how much he hurts me!15 January 2014 at 5:38 pm #1319
Yes, life with a cg ‘can really suck’. I hope it has helped expressing your feelings here, where they WILL be heard and understood.
I think it is a really difficult one to grasp and then to put into practice, but it is worth it for your sanity – that is, the acceptance that it can be just plain useless trying to talk rationally and sensibly with your cg and to have expectations that he will ‘take in’ what you say and how you feel. He SHOULD do these things and you deserve to be heard and understood, but whilst addiction is active, these things don’t happen. In early recovery, a cg is also usually unable to ‘give’ to others.
So it is to save yourself further anguish that people advise you not to get mad etc – your feelings and thoughts are completely valid and understandable, but it’s just that a cg is not the person who can meet the needs you have right now. If you don’t expect this support from him, you will, hopefully, not feel so frustrated and angry??
Instead, go back again to what YOU can do for YOU (and also go back to other sources of genuine support and understanding, of course). Separate yourself and your needs from him in your mind and look after YOU. How can you do that? What things, unrelated to him, will help you right now? What do you want to do, to enjoy etc, just for you? It doesn’t have to be anything big but just something(s) for you.
Wishing you well,
Monique16 January 2014 at 5:26 pm #1320
I imagine you feel as though you are on a piece of piece of elastic bouncing up and down, day in day out, year in year out – every time you feel better you bounce right back into the mire of addiction again – it’s enough to make anyone angry and mad.
I fully appreciate that being told that looking after yourself doesn’t seem a fantastic answer to your problems – but it is.
I remember one member who came back and told me that she had never believed that looking after herself would make an iota of difference. When she last posted she was a changed person, she was feisty and strong and living ‘her’ life as she wanted it to be, doing the most amazing things. She is far from alone in the success stories on this forum but I remember using the elastic analogy with her and she recognised that, that was how she felt and she resented her husband’s addiction having that pull over her. I remember her particularly because she said that she had really believed I was wrong and I thought it was great that she came back to tell me.
Being bounced up and down by an addiction you do not own will make you feel helpless but cutting that elastic and freeing yourself will give you control of ‘you’ and take away the feeling of helplessness.
I wish I could say that ‘just’ sitting down and talking to your husband would make his addiction listen but if he doesn’t want to give up his gambling then all the tears, pleading, rational discussion, love in the world will do nothing. You want him to know that you are depressed and acknowledge that he has hurt you but he will only be able to do that when he changes his life and he won’t change his life if he doesn’t want to stop gambling.
Keep posting Shelly – I know it seems you are hitting your head against a brick wall but chinks of light will appear.
Velvet25 April 2014 at 4:34 am #1321dairyklimyParticipant
i read this thread and it talks about the gamblrr when he engages in gambling the partner should disengage and shut him out. in my case its the reverse. my gambler is shutting me out. im not sure if he is still playing because he does it secretly and we do not live togther. but he tells me that he feels pressured and stressed in my presence or just even beginning to talk to me. and we have not even started a topic yet. i feel like he has a lot on his head. he has not been contacting me. thats why im confused. he is the one shutting me out. iv tried all ways yo compromise with him just so we could work out a relationshp. but all he tells me is how he wants space.. anf i guess that means having zero contact. i guess thats his way of working on his recovery. which i really dont get. abd cant get. whats making sure we talk even for just once a day…. i feel so left out and alone.
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