4 October 2015 at 8:43 am #4361hope2014Participant
I’ve been on this journey with my husband who is a cg for about 4 years. In the beginning it was less than a hundred pounds and when I found out he swore he would never do it again he had many relapses and refused to get help. Last year I realised how deep this addiction really is, he started to take out loans, borrowing money, pawning his things etc our marriage wrnt through a very tough patch. At first his family showed to be supportive but then every time I went to them for help they would do nothing. We have been in so much debt, they have not helped one bit. He has even jeapordised our home by not paying the rent or bills. I found this out when I left him for a few weeks to clear my head. I came back to so much mess which again I had to clear up. He promised he would stop like he did a million times before. I left him many times before over gambling and always get sucked back in, in the hope of a better life. But he always disappoints , he promised he would go to the support group I even went with him the first time and he never ever went back . The last straw was two months ago he put himself in debt of a few thousand pounds, lost about 6k and I found out when the loan papers started coming through to the house and threats of bailiffs.. I’m so tired, drained and emotionally exhausted. I feel such deep shame living with this. Like it me or my fault, I kicked him out a month ago and he was only allowed back if he straightened himself out. He came back a few days ago, it was nearing payday , he kept looking for arguments, staying out all night until the next day, it never dawned on me what was going on until he approached me and said he needed his card back as he had things to pay for. I refused to give it back knowing we’ve been down this route several times and if I give it back he will just go and spend it all. He kicked up a huge fuss, and started banging on the front door for me to let him in. I couldn’t believe my eyes that he would really do something like that knowing we have neighbours, and everyone can hear him. It’s as if I had s flash of what my future could look like if I continued to stay, I gave him his cards and he left, he came back in the morning looking like death sitting in the corner with his face in his hands. I knew it all from just seeing him like that he spent everything. I feel so trapped, so confined, cornered, like I have such huge pressure on top of me . We’ve been together for 5 years, our bad times together dominated by gambling and its affects are all I can remember if I think back to it all. I’ve done the whole thing of taking my the cards away, being in control of his finances for one month andvthennyhe next month he will cause havoc again, I’ve left and said I will not come back unless he changes, I have done the intervention with his family who in my opinion don’t want to deal with this and rather have me dealing with it. Addiction runs in their family, their father is a alcoholic and they struggled do much with him, their mother is not around any more. I feel like I am sinking, he has so many debts, and I don’t have any. I have some money aside for myself, I have started to pack my things up in boxes. I am however very weak , my hands were packing everything up my heart is hurting so deeply my mind is full of doubt and in a tug of war. I also feel so bad for my young child who I’ll have to pull out of school, and start life again with. My family are very supportive , they tried to talk to him before but he just said he will stop and started again. They have said if I ever wanted to come back home I could. I guess I am looking for moral support something that will keep me going . I haven’t spoken to him for a few days and he is staying out of my way, sleeping in the spare room, going to work, coming back late , sleeping and then starting that again. I just need to go I believe and then my recovery will start I feel I have been deeply traumatised my this, I feel so deceived and hurt. I gave a lot to keep our family together but he was always taking pieces to break our unit down. Every time I say I’m walking he breaks down to get me to stay but time I have clarity at least not a lot of strength but clarity. I’ve packed everything and I’m just waiting for a few things to get sorted in the coming weeks and I’ll be going. I hope anyone who’s been there could offer me some words of encouragement and positive vibes. Thank you all xx4 October 2015 at 1:29 pm #4362michelle45Participant
At the moment you seem to be at a place where you don’t feel hope. I completely understand I have been there. I can relate to so much in your post, my ex is a compulsive gamber(CG) and have lived with much of what you describe. The pain of getting through every day can be so difficult and you mention your young child. I also have a young daughter. Remember you are the one making clear judgements to protect your child. Have faith in yourself. Children adjust to new situations.
I have been using this site for months. Over a period of time you will get stronger. Its small steps but you can get there. You understand your husband has an addiction and that it will drag you down and if you let it. You mention getting away and although separation is painful it does give you clarity. Living with a CG is so confusing , upsetting and painful. You are gaining knowledge. Your husbands family are probably also confused by the addiction as you are and sounds like tried to distance themselves. I myself have felt so I unsure and desolate many times.
Months down the line I am becoming stronger. It takes practice but refusing to listen to the addiction gives you strength. You are able to make rational judgements and start again to believe in yourself.
Your post suggests your ready to take action for you. If you don’t change anything nothing will change. You will meet velvet and others on here that have help me change my life but this is your journey. I am only telling you this because I have stood where you are now but am now moving forward. Freedom is there for you too.
Take care of yourself. Stay strong
MX4 October 2015 at 3:02 pm #4363Jilly1Participant
I know that feeling so well when all seems bleak and you look for positive words or comfort.
I can only talk about my situation and I am very aware everybody’s situation is unique and so is everyone’s solution.
I was in a similar situation to you 4 years into my marriage but it was another 24 before I got anywhere near resolving anything.
I wouldn’t want anybody else to suffer the consequences of gambling for that amount of time.
I think you are doing the right things. You have tried to take financial control (although I can see he has got round that and so did mine). You went with him for support but he did not stick at it. You told his family but got no support from them.
I understand the shame by association. I felt I ashamed and that I had to cover things up and compensate for my husband’s behaviour. It helped me whenever anybody said ‘this was not your fault’. So Hope….your husband being a compulsive gambler is not your fault and the fact that he has not stopped is not your fault either. Be sure to let that thought sink in.
I worried about what people would think too and eventually the neighbours heard everything as my daughter stood in the garden shouting out all to everybody who was passing!! I have risen above all that and mostly now I worry only about what I think and know to be true and that is quite liberating.
You have found yourself in a situation which you did not ask for or deserve.
I am saying that because in my experience CG’s can make everybody feel responsible for their problems but most of all the people closest to them.
There is a pattern to a cg’s behaviour and by writing down here or in a notebook what is happening you will start to recognise that pattern which I think will help you to deal with it more effectively. It sounds like you have some clarity and it does require you to step back or away a bit to get out of the fog. I would have glimpses of clarity but then as soon as I had verbal contact with my CG the fog would descend and I would lose all sense of direction.
Observe the patterns and the actions but try to let the words slide off you as they are easily said.
It is not always healthy to look back but when I do, I wish I had taken more proactive steps sooner. I had young children and felt a bit paralysed by that desire for them to grow up with 2 parents etc. I feel differently about that now, partly as a result of what my children have told me now they are grown up. I think for us it would have been better if I had taken a stronger clearer line. Even if it had meant leaving my husband while he sorted himself out. I think it may be better for the children to have had 1 strong parent than 2 who were sinking and struggling. It is not as though he will not still be around and involved and it is not as though you are saying it would be a final separation. You just want him to get himself sorted and then you would consider rebuilding your relationship.
It is probably a healthier solution for you all.
Children do settle quickly as a rule especially if they have a happy mum. It sounds as though your family will be very supportive of them too.
Generally addictive behaviour gets worse and my husbands did. It would have been better for us all if I had managed to take more protective action for myself earlier.
Something has to change otherwise you will experience more of the same and possibly worse.
You have an advantage over me in discovering this site much sooner in your journey. Read everything you can, talk to everyone you can including the compulsive gamblers over on the forum. They are a brilliant resource. Arm yourself with all the knowledge you can and your path will become clearer in time.
It is a really hard path to take and even now I still have very down days as a result of everything that happened but I never ever regret finally taking action.
Never ever give up hope.
Jilly4 October 2015 at 6:15 pm #4364velvetModerator
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, youll find the times for these if you click on the Group times box on our Home page. Now that you have introduced yourself youll find that many of the people you meet here have already read your initial introduction and theyll welcome you in like an old friend 🙂
If youre 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 isnt connected with GMA, please dont identify them either directly or indirectly just in case they decide to use the site themselves.
Youll find a lot of advice on this site, some of which youll follow, some you wont…but thats ok because only you fully understand your
situation and whats best for you and the people you love. So, take the support you need and leave the advice you dont because it all comes from a caring, nurturing place 🙂
We look forward to hearing all about you!
The Gambling Therapy Team
PS: Let me just remind you to take a look at our4 October 2015 at 8:20 pm #4365velvetModerator
Ultimatums to a person with the addiction to gamble are a waste of breath, it is important never to threaten something unless you mean to carry it through. Your husband’s addiction is the master of threats and manipulation, if you make a threat and don’t see it through his addiction will grow stronger as it senses a chink in your armour.
Nobody should try and tell you to leave or to stay because it is ‘your’ life and decisions must come from you. Living with the addiction to gamble destroys self-confidence and self-esteem so making an informed decision is often the first step towards healing. If, after all your deliberations you decide to stay we have masses of information to help you cope – if however you decide to leave there will be no judgement here because it is sad fact that some gamblers do not change their lives unless they are allowed to fall all the way on their own.
Your thread is entitled ‘hope’ and I offer you this – I would not be writing to you if the addiction to gamble could not controlled. The gambler in my life did change and has since told me that as long as I enabled he could not see the point in facing his terrible addiction so estrangement was necessary for him and for me.
This forum will offer you support for as long as you want it and likewise in the group on Tuesday evening 20.00-21.00 hours UK time you will be welcomed and understood.
There is not always a good outcome for those who love gamblers and sometimes it is hard to know which way to go but to use my favourite quote by Mahatma Gandi, “You may never know what results come from your actions but if you do nothing there will be no results”.
I wish you well – keep posting
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