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    • #4127
      jenny t

      I have so many thoughts and feelings right now as Im doing every thing I can to look after me and my 3 children.
      With my ex husband for 10 years. No idea he was a CG until I was 6 years into the relationship. I proposed (OMG my banner read CG take a bet on me, will you marry me Jenny T), How little did I know.
      He said yes and we started planning our wedding. I worked full time, him part time and each week I gave him money to bank. £7000 gambled as he blew it all.Also a few grand from my current accounts. Caught him on 17 december, one week before xmas, a few years ago. Cancelled the wedding and he sought help. 18 months of recovery and I married him. one year later, he gambles again. I go to counselling and I know there is no more chances after this one.
      I discover in April this year he gambled again. Had been gambling since October last year running up at least 30,000 debt.
      We had booked a holiday in February and I know we cant remain married but I also cant afford the holiday on my wage alone, so I pretend all is ok and I am in charge of his wages, feeling like his mum instead of his wife and putting on a brave face for my kids.
      I go on the holiday, but have caught him gambling in May, then June, then more lies in July.As well as gambling he is drinking a lot. The holiday was him drunk 9 days out of 12 and me and my kids trying to have fun on our own.
      The last straw, 4 weeks ago, he drinks a litre of vodka and loses it in my house, frightening both me and my kids. He has reached a new level, aggression, anger, being a victim and he won’t ever have the chance to frighten or upset my kids again. He’s out.
      It’s been a nightmare. I have seen him change,make threats to me.accuse me of breaking up the family, become selfish with no care of me or the kids, yet still manage his work, move in with his parents , be cared for while im off work with stress, emotional a lot and picking up the pieces with the kids, as well as the financial mess.
      I won’t ever go back but Im really struggling. Where did my husband go? His kids dont want to see him and whilst he is acting the way he is, I wouldnt allow him contact on his own anyway.
      I dont know how to deal with his texts. Some say Im sorry and then please tell my kids I am a waste of space. Hes told my 13 year old to have a nice life omg, shes just a kid and he makes no real effort to make things right. I don’t know if he is sorry or not.I’m exhausted.
      He also emails a finance manager, whom he doesnt know, asking her to meet him to mix business with pleasure. she doesnt respond as she is only trying to give him a loan. I keep the email .He minimised his behaviour, I feel so betrayed and stupid. I am very low.

    • #4128



      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 🙂

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      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!

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      The Gambling Therapy Team

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    • #4129

      Hi Jenny
      Welcome from me to Gambling ^Therapy.
      I am on holiday at the moment so my post to you will be brief but as nobody I am on holiday with is about at the moment– I have a moment to reply to you.
      I know the overwhelming feelings you are experiencing. I hope that between us and the other members who will reply to you, you can lock some of your whirring thoughts away in a dark recess in your mind, to be let out later when you are feeling less stressed.
      You are not stupid Jenny, you have been overtaken by a monstrous addiction that you neither asked for nor wanted – given strength you will see the addiction for what it is and not as something you cannot control. It is your husband who has the addiction, not you, you are tougher than you think you are and you will survive. You will gain knowledge of his addiction on this site and that will give you power over it – it is a slow process but it works – I know because I have done it.
      I think from, what you have said, you have control of your husband’s wages. Do you have accounts in your own name that he has no access to so that you can protect yourself and your children?
      The finance manager and the offer of business and pleasure set bells ringing for me. She has money at her disposal and what does your husband want to get his hands on more than anything? I don’t minimise this behaviour but I recognise it. The girl is wise not to respond – he is not offering pleasure, he is seeking enablement. As I said above, seeing the addiction for what it is does help but this does also not mean that he didn’t marry you for the right reasons. Believe in yourself, look after yourself, you are stronger than his addiction.
      I have a group tomorrow evening, Tuesday between 20.00-2100 hours UK time. It would be great if you could join so that we could communicate in real time. Nothing said in the group appears on the forum.
      I have to sign off as my holiday companions are now about but I hope some of this helps.
      Speak soon

    • #4130

      Hi Jenny
      I understand you perfect…I was/am in quite the same situation. The only change is that my husband went into a therapy for gambling and alcohol, and at least he stopped drinking. Anyhow with all hes efforts (as he says) I couldn’t understand his reactions after his last relapse and I left him. from the beginning of summer we leave separately . It was the first time when i spoke with our kid (9y) about “some” problems between us . All I felt before was like I had 2 kids not one, and the felling that I cannot stop working and doing everything because this can change our “balance”. After our agressive discussion from summer I decided to focus on my self first and think that all the problems will have a solution…maybe the solution will not be easy to handle but I decided to take any risk and let the things go in their way without my control. I am now much better , I fell positive or at least I don’t panic about what might happen. my advice for you is this ..let the things go and focus on your self, try and force yourself to do the things you like and don’t imagine that all is ok..but think that will be….you cannot change him and his behavior or what he is thinking but you can change your self and what are you think …this is a big problem, but you can inform him that either he will go to ask for help or this is the end of the story. It’s up to you and is your decision .

    • #4131

      Hi Sara
      If you come back to this thread I hope you will see this post and start your own thread.
      I don’t think it matters how much we read information, there is nothing as good as a personal message that is just for you.
      You say that you are/were in the same position as Jenny and that is a place that is recognised on this forum.
      I don’t believe that anybody wakes up one morning and thinks – oh good that unpleasant experience is behind me – it takes time and certainly in my case it took an awful lot of time, to really leave the horror of the addiction in the past.
      You are as welcome on this forum as anybody still living in the midst of the addiction and I hope you will write again so that you can be supported as you deserve to be.

    • #4132
      jenny t

      Thank you to everyone who has been replying to me. Thank you Velvet for taking time out of your holiday to offer support. That was so kind of you.

      Since my last post a few weeks ago, my ex husband got worse. He had been using all tactics of being nice, then angry, saying one minute he will give me money for our daughter then saying no he won’t because he isn’t getting to see her (since he was aggressive in my home and scared her). I tried not to get into any arguments with him and instead involved the child support agency so the situation would be dealt with and I also tried to keep getting through the days as best as I could, with a lot of tears and an acceptance that my marriage is over. However, i then received 2 suicidal texts from him and then a final one saying he was in the psychiatric ward in the local hospital. He has been there for the last 2 weeks.
      Why ? maybe because he has continued to gamble and stole more money from his parents who then kicked him out. He had been staying with them and told them he got a flat, guess what, the flat didnt exist and 500 pound deposit gone. Then he tells them he is getting a new car and they give him a deposit for 100. guess what, there was no car. Even worse his work gave him a car loan for 6000 pounds and he blew that too. He gambled his work’s money, got put out his parents house and then texts me suicidal stuff that I don’t respond to – but which causes me so much anxiety as I wonder if he is really low or is just trying another tactic.

      I phone his parents to ask if they know where he is and they become abusive to me saying I should have supported him more as he is now in hospital. They cause me so much distress that I hang up the phone. My daughters grandparents now acting inappropriately and I understand their upset but I am not to blame for my ex’s behaviour.

      I go to the hospital to see him as I want to know if he is hit rock bottom yet or please don’t think I am being callous, but did he want sympathy and a bed for the next few weeks in the hospital as with no family, parents, friends left and no money, what were his options – crime?
      He spends the hour of visiting time talking about himself. How broken he feels, how he cant cope and when I reply and say Me and the kids are not coping well too, his response is “this is not about you, this is about me”. He’s the one apparently feeling low but I don’t actually see genuine remorse. Why not? Has he not had enough?

      I make a decision not to visit him again and now he is in a psychiatric ward saying he has broken down, there will definitely not be any contact with his daughter just now or my other 2 kids. When I tell him this he reacts angrily again and now mr nice guy has gone and I get mr nasty again. Is he still addicted?
      I have also just discovered that as well as the gambling, and increase of alcohol, he was also using cocaine in my house. I am devastated and I can only imagine where his head has been as the husband I had, when he wasn’t gambling, would never have put me and my kids at risk.

      I don’t know who he is anymore.drugs, gambling, alcohol, nasty and nice and I wonder if our 10 years was based on a lie. I am heart broken and my wee girl is struggling. Addiction destroys families and I try so hard to understand it but I don’t want to anymore. It hurts too much and whilst I know that I will get stronger, there are so many days when the tears don’t stop.

      My ex now has his parents feeling sorry for him again as they are visiting him in hospital and he has told me they are going to give him money for his car insurance and road tax when he gets out. He will gamble it. I am powerless over his actions and behaviour but as I say the serenity prayer I am seeking courage to change the things I can.
      I still feel stressed and upset. I dont deserve this and neither do my kids.

    • #4133

      Hi Jenny,
      I wanted to write in an attempt to offer some words of encouragement and strength, although they are only words, but they are heartfelt ones. My heart goes out to you. But it sounds as if you are also being strong, have learned, and now see through the manipulation and misguided blame (both from your husband and his parents – who still lack the understanding that you have and can benefit from). I hope you can build on this strength. Your ex is deep in his addiction and feeling a victim and you aren´t the one who can help him. He is clutching at what he can to continue without looking for the strength to truly change. This victimhood wants to suck others into its whirlpool. You are focusing on yourself and your children and that is what you need to do. It is not the time to try to understand. It is just the time to think what you need for you, and for your children, and to do things that support yourself and make your days brighter. Step by step, day by day. I know it is so easy to do, and we all do it at some stage, but I think that thinking in terms of deserving one thing or another, and not deserving addiction in our lives, will not serve you at the moment. No one in this world wants to suffer or see others suffering. Sometimes we just have to face very hard situations, that often seem unfair. And to hopefully grow from them. I am sure that the years of your marriage were not a lie, that when your husband was not gripped by his addictions that he was the person you fell in love with and wanted to be with. But it seems that in the present the addiction has taken an increasing hold and he can´t be the husband you want and need. If you can focus on the positive, the bright parts, the little things too in every day, then this will give you the strength to leave the pain behind. Do you have friends you can turn to for support? What can you do to make your days nicer, for you? Grieve, for you are in a tough situation and to heal we need to acknowledge our loss, but also use all the support available to you and do what takes care of you.

      That is what you and your kids deserve 🙂

    • #4134

      Hi Jenny
      In the hope that you are reading the forum this evening, it would be great to meet you in the group at 20.00 -21.00 hours UK time this evening.

      I will reply to your post soon anyway but ‘talking’ in real time is often beneficial.


    • #4135
      jenny t

      Thank you very much for your reply. Your words gave me some strength today and I really appreciate that. I cried though as I read your words but tears are better out than in.
      My ex contacted me, not to say how are you or how are the kids but instead to tell me what he needs. Looking for my help as he needs a letter from me for the housing department so he can stay in the lovely hotel the council have put him in .
      I am shocked as i am so upset by everything and all he is interested in is himself again. I agree to write a letter so he is no longer linked to my address and so I can keep trying to move on. It hurts but I know I am doing the right thing as there is never any way I will allow him to return to my home.

      He gets my letter and tells me his mum has bought him new trainers, paid 450 pounds for car insurance and he also tells me he has a plan for his work not to find out he blew the 6000 car loan so he won’t lose his job. He advises he is telling his colleagues he has an illness but has not told them he is a cg. I don’t believe he is ill. he has an addiction.he made choices. nobody made him go into the bookies. Chrones disease is an illness, epilepsy is an illness, you don’t choose to become unwell with this . CG – an addiction.

      Whilst he talks about him and his plans I attempt to tell him that I had to meet our 7 year old daughters head teacher today as our wee girl needs support. she is wetting her bed and pants and is very clingy to me. Also not sleeping as well since he was aggressive and I put him out my house. He hardly listens. He tells me he feels guilty yet can’t accept the reality of what is going on. He also now blames his gambling on a car crash he had in March last year and said if it wasn’t for the car crash he wouldn’t have gambled again. Oh he is justifying to himself what he believes to be the cause and it is makes me angry because the cause is himself, his behaviour, his choices, his actions. I have been in a car crash before and as horrific as it was ( I was lucky not to have died) I did not choose to deal with this negatively by drinking, gambling or taking drugs. Using the car crash is just an excuse.

      I think I need to have no contact with my ex now, I go from being hurt to angry to frustrated and to having horrible thoughts about him that I never knew I could have. And I am a caring and loving person but also one that is being hurt by him.

      Its just so hard all of this. And so unfair that he is going to keep his job, with no consequences for his actions, get a new car whilst I still have the debt and not one payment been made on my visa for the car we had to buy when he crashed my car. He is due compensation of 10,000 that his mum is going to manage and I have 7 and a half thousand debt because of him, 3 kids and just one wage. How is that right?
      I apologise if you think I am feeling sorry for myself. Im not. I am just trying to come to terms with how wrong this feels and how he can still continue to carry on without a tear and behave as though he is the victim in all of it…. he has no family, no kids, no house aaargh HE CAUSED IT.

      Strength to cope with this, I definitely need more of and a determination to feel stronger than his addiction (something velvet said which I found helpful).
      I hope you understand my feelings and I am lucky to have wonderful friends around me but they don’t always get it and I know they feel helpless as they dont know what to say to me. I dont know either but I do have to keep caring for me and my kids. I just want to be me again. Wish I could get there sooner , it really really hurts.

    • #4136

      Dear Jenny
      You are in the School of Hard Knocks where everything hurts and the only way to graduate with flying colours is to care for yourself and your children first.
      Your ex has a selfish addiction, it takes everything and gives nothing back to those who love the CG and ultimately to the CG as well. It might look as though he is doing alright and living well while you struggle but the reality is that your ex is living a lie and those who are enabling him will feel the terrible backlash of his addiction given time. They will have to deal with it one day but in the meantime they are not your problem and on this forum it is ‘you’ that matters.
      Don’t concern yourself that you have horrible thought about your ex – I don’t think it is possible they are worse than the thoughts that I had. You will heal and you will realise that this addiction makes us think things that we would never have believed possible – it doesn’t mean we turn into nasty minded people.
      I suspect your ex’s addiction has recognised that it has lost its grip on you and the anger you are witnessing is its final sabre-rattling to unnerve and blame you. Don’t worry that your 10 years together feel like they were based on a lie; with all the anger flying around it is impossible to think straight – I believe your answer will eventually lie in your own words ‘the husband I had, when he wasn’t gambling, would never have put me and my kids at risk.’
      I wouldn’t be surprised if you were feeling sorry for yourself – a little self pity doesn’t do any harm, it is only when we wallow too long that we endanger our recovery. However, you are not wallowing; you are doing well, even if you don’t feel it.
      I hope you will pop in to a group one Tuesday; I am really pleased that you have first-rate friends but I appreciate that only those who have lived with this addiction can fully appreciate how it feels.
      It does take time to get strong, after all a lot of damage has been done but I have every faith that you will make it. I would be doing you a disservice if I didn’t say that there will be more ups and far too many downs before you heal – the road you are walking is one of the toughest but it does come to an end.
      Keeping a journal may help you – it is good to look back and see what you have achieved and what you have overcome.
      I can’t help but see the injustice of your ex receiving £1000 and you being in debt because of his actions. I admit I don’t know the legal answer but maybe the CSA would be interested, how about approaching the CAB – it seems the gloves have come off and you have nothing to lose by doing a bit of shouting. His parents possibly feel they have a right to it, to offset some of their son’s debts but his children must have priority I would have thought.
      Speak soon

    • #4137

      Velvet always says it so well! Life is a mix of fair and unfair and you are unfortunately in a run of unfair right now. But that will change. As Velvet says, it may look like your husband (and his parents) are doing well, better than you, right now, but they really are not at all, and in the future they will be less so unless your husband seriously changes. And no one can hold their breathe for that, least of all you ,-) It must be incredibly hard right now and you must feel so very sad and so angry too, but this will pass. It is all so understandable right now and you just need to try to lean into your feelings withouth analysing them (I wish I could take my own advice!) It is good to let out the anger, it comes from all the injustice you feel, and the pressure of being left to be responsible for so much, but it will pass as you take control of your life one day at a time. Love yourself, you really have to love yourself. You will see this through, with your kids. I am so sorry your daughter is struggling. I hope you can do some nice things together that she can have fun with. I was looking after my boyfriend´s 7 year-old daughter many years ago who started wetting the bed (and soiling her underwear) and it passed, but it felt difficult at the time. I guess the theme of this forum is self-care, it takes time. You can recover, you don´t have the addiction. Focus on you and your children. xx

    • #4138
      jenny t

      Thank you for your comments. Velvet , you do say it so well and all the responses I am receiving really do help.

      Unfortunately, I am not entitled to any of my ex husbands compensation money. He will receive £10,000 in the next few weeks and despite my £7,500 debt which was to buy a new car (after he crashed my one) because he will receive this as a personal injury claim, I am not entitled to it.
      I could take him to court but as I work full time I am not entitled to any legal help so my legal fees would be high. I sigh as it often feels like one step forward and ten steps back as I know what he will spend the compensation money on.
      I also contacted the child support agency again as I asked if I could use a collect and pay service which means the csa access funds from my ex and then pay them into my bank account. I have now been told today that they have spoken to my ex for 40 minutes and he does not want this to happen. The CSA then advised me to provide my ex with my bank account details and he will put money into my account on a monthly basis. Now I find my voice as I am just about losing the will as I inform the lady that my ex is a compulsive gambler and she wants me to give him my bank details, account number and sort code. Eh I don’t think so. All this energy and doing my best not to cry on the phone as the CSA advised that because my case is a new case, they have to allow my ex to pay first. I advise he is not likely to do this, He is a CG. I would like them to take money from his wages but nope, this is not happening and my ex has assured the CSA he will give me money for our daughter.
      I’m upset by this. I have spent the morning setting up a new bank account with no funds in it in the tiny bit of hope that he will pay but his first payment is not due until November. All responsibility left with me again. He continues to stay in his lovely hotel and still lies to people . Don’t know which emotion is best for me right now, anger or the tears?
      At least though I have made 2 difficult phone calls and have more information of what my rights are (not much right and lots of responsibility) but at least I know and I managed the phone calls without tears.
      I just do what I can to get through the day. I walk a lot with my kids and my wee dog. I try to smile, even if I am forcing it and I make sure my kids have a normal routine with lots of hugs, reassurance and love from me. Thats all I can manage right now and I guess I try to focus on the positives as I can go to my bed without worrying about where my purse is. Oh even as I write that, its awful. So many people would be shocked by that , that you can be married and have to sleep with your purse. I guess that was my last few months of living with an addict. Fear, worry, stress and tears. I don’t have the fear now but I do still worry and the stress and tears are there but that will get better as I keep talking and using the supports I have to make things easier. It will be a while before it is better but I find the support here of the most help. The understanding people have of my situation is helpful.
      So, a tough morning and more tears but I have to get stronger. My kids need me and I will try to focus on us, not my ex. It just gets so frustrating though and despite it all, I miss my ex, not the gambling one, the loving one and for that I will grieve. It still just really hurts.

    • #4139

      Hi jenny

      I too am the ex partner of a CG. I have read your posts and wanted to say I can relate to everything you say. You write so well and clearly and I too have felt such anger rage confusion desolation over the injustice of a gambling addiction. It’s absolutely exhausting!.

      The thing with a tough day is that it does come to an end. Days will come and go but as you have already been so strong and left the addiction days will become less dramatic with time. I too used to hide my purse in my house. If my ex visits our daughter in my house I always hide my bag. He is still gambling but behaving better.

      This site is so good because f&f completely understand. I have not told anyone else I hide my purse. I have not told anyone else that I spent time questioning my ex in case he left our 4 year old outside the bookies on her own. ! I found that on this site i was free to be honest about these things. The awful realities of addiction. As you say others would be shocked.!!

      As for rage I still could not write down the things I planned to do to my ex to make him suffer given the opportunity. I could not write them down because they are too awful to express. I don’t think these (in the main!) now but I realise but it has taken months to get there. This is nothing to do with my ex but I eventually stopped wanting to be dragged down by the addiction. I no longer wanted to cope. I wanted to live.

      You have had a very tough time. You are a good person who is trying to care for your children. My ex lives with his mother who supports and enables him all the time. My ex and his mom will continue to live with the same dramas and be stuck. Just as your ex and his parents will face one drama after another whilst he gamblers. Breathe a sigh of relief that you and your children are out of it.

      I am thinking of you and your family. Your 7 year old will be looking to you and she will see a woman with great strength of character. How lucky she is.

      All the best


    • #4140

      Hi Jenny,
      I would have also had a good cry after those phone calls, and then tried to pick myself up again and look for the strength to keep moving forward. It sounds as if they have no experience of cg ex-spouses and no processes set up for them. More work for the cg advocacy community to get involved in in the future! You can at least know that you tried and did your best on that one. Let´s hope other options, real ones, present themselves in the coming weeks and months.

      I also was hiding my purse and all my valuable items that could be be easily lifted and used as collateral/pawned and often it still didn´t work. And when I go back to Cuba, I will be trying to figure out how to safeguard things again. It is incredibly challenging and exhausting, and really such a relief when you are in a situation where you no longer have to do it. Blessings to count… 🙂

      It sounds like you are, despite it all being so hard right now, doing such a wonderful job of being there for your children and showing them that you are the person they can truly rely on and who bathes them in love and care. Although you are struggling so much, this must make you feel good. And the walks sound good (one of my therapies too).

      I can also relate to the anger, and the feelings of desolation (a good word to describe how I have felt quite often). It does all feel so unjust. While I try myself not to feel I am a victim, I do sometimes think…hey, wow, Life, I really didn´t see that one coming, you really did throw me a curveball there and you are definitely testing me now. I hope you are going to send me something nice after all this, and that I will appreciate it…well, sometimes I perhaps sneak in a thought like the last one.

      Although you are laden down by the debt now, perhaps in the future, Life will shower you with abundance. We never know. For now, you have your health, the love shared with your children, and you have started walking along the path to Freedom. The sweetest victories from the hardest thought battles, or something like that…
      A big cyber hug.

    • #4141

      I just read this in my inbox before heading to bed and it made me smile and I wondered if it would be useful to share, here on your thread, Jenny, but also for M too.

      It is all about the importance of self care. It might sound a little fluffy, but I like the words.

      “If you believe that you are a child of the universe, or a product of Love, and/or a global citizen, then it’s common sense that you care well for yourself. In fact, you’re honour bound to love yourself… Self care is taking the time to recover….It’s leaving. It’s investing. It’s asking for more. It’s being protective and tender and limitlessly compassionate with yourself.”


    • #4142

      It has taken guts and strength to do what you have done and a recognition I think that you know you are worth more than that.
      Just as a CG in recovery learns to accept or stop chasing their losses then in my experience so do we or risk being eaten up by bitterness. I accrued a fair bit of debt through my own enabling, which I have only recently finished paying off and in the end I tried not to think about it but just got it out of the way, I was daft enough to give it him after all, no point blaming him, or myself for that matter !! its gone.

      It must be aggravating seeing his parents continue to help him or more to the point continue to enable him whilst you struggle, but they too have to learn in their own way just as we have done – you won’t be thanked for telling them the end result of their ‘helping’ – best not to expect to be, although I guess we all know the end result until he seeks genuine help for genuine reasons.

      The authorities sound like they are a-typically as understanding and as much use as their usual chocolate teapotical selves – another source of disappointment just when you need them.

      My own experience led me to decide that the only person I could really rely on for what happened in my own future was me and that to dwell on anything else only held me back. I had fantastic support from here and close family and one or two close friends and I got back on my feet, luckily because I had or have three boys to support or all four of us would have gone down.

      Like you I don’t miss hiding absolutely everything of value or that which cannot be nailed down in case it is sold, neither do I miss having to try and work out whether I am being told the truth or a lie or wondering how long it will be before the next bomb goes off, none of it is my problem any more. I know that sounds a little harsh, but it’s true.

      I hope your life and that of your daughter continues to improve as mine has done, it’s early days, but it will get better, look forward and keep going, what’s done is done.

      Where the CSA are concerned, if he doesn’t pay make a formal complaint against the agency – that seems to spur them into some sort of action (still in slow motion ) how ever as we are talking about an active CG I suspect anything you get will unfortunately be a bonus.

      Look after you


    • #4143
      jenny t

      Thank you to everyone posting words of strength to me. It really helps.
      But I Thought I was doing ok and then boom, tears start again. Going through this is awful,
      I then thought Jenny pull yourself together and get your finances sorted. The mess my ex has left me in, I was looking at taking out one big loan to consolidate my debt and make month to month more manageable but I feel a bit stuck. My ex ripped off so many loan companies and applied to tons of companies and all in my address. I have letters still coming to the house saying debt collectors will be in touch. I will gladly tell them where to find my ex or give them his parents details as the debt he owes is not my problem, What I am wondering is if I apply for a loan, and it is one of the companies he has not paid, will this affect me getting this or being refused as my address will have been used by my ex before and probably on more than one occasion?
      I am anxious to apply incase I get told No as i have an excellent credit rating and my own bank have already told me they would give me a loan but their rates of interest are not the best on the market. I am stuck. Do I apply for a better loan but risk getting told NO because of my ex, does his CG affect me? do I go with my bank even though its not the best but at least I can sort out my financial mess.Why is it that I feel I cant make a decision today. I didnt sleep well last night so that doesnt help. I hate the mess my exhas left me with. How dare he do this to me again.
      I am also not sure what to do about my ex too as he still has a key to my house. He has had opportunities to give this back to me but he is still holding onto this,I have asked him and I get excuses. I don’t trust him and sometimes I think, what if he comes to my house when I am out or is that a risk for him? I then think, no he wouldnt do that but then I never thought he would become aggressive, threaten to call my work as he’s paranoid, or even threaten suicide so who knows what he will do.
      I have thought about getting my locks changed but then get angry as I think why should I have more expense and money I dont have. I have even thought i could maybe switch the barrels from my front door to back door as this may work and then if he ever tried the front door it wouldnt work. I guess though the best solution would be to get my key back but how do you do that with an irritational, deluded man at the moment. Oh I don’t know what I am meant to do today. I am determined his addiction wont have me beat but it is wearing me down as simple things like applying for a loan even feels huge today.
      Maybe I am just tired. Any advice would be appreciated.

    • #4144

      Hi Jenny
      I don’t think he will consider coming round when you are out as a risk, simply because he isn’t that logical or reasonable and a ‘risk’ is a ‘gamble’ after all. If it was me I would change the locks. I know it is additional cost but the peace of mind it would give should make it worthwhile. I think you are right not to trust your ex and trying to discuss the matter with him will almost certainly end badly. I am not sure about the legalities for you but for me the peace of mind would be more important.
      I am wondering if you can get the answers you want regarding loans from the CAB if you are in the UK – I cannot tell you what to do as I don’t know the answers and would be guessing just as you are doing. I do agree with you about giving the address of your ex to the companies he owes money to – the debts are not your responsibility and getting heavy letters demanding money on your doorstep is very distressing.
      I am so sorry you have felt down today – the group was lively and it probably got your brain working overtime – you are in a rotten situation at the moment. The F&F recovery is tough and goes up and down but given time I have no doubt you will come through this bad experience and turn it into something good for you and your children.
      I have to dash Jenny but I just wanted to put a few words together for you to let you know that I am thinking about you.

    • #4145
      jenny t

      Thanks Velvet for your help.

      As if my head wasn’t fuzzy enough, who do I bump into today at the shops. Yeah my ex and I am at one of my most vulnerable times as I had been to the dentist and needed an injection (my biggest fear is needles and I even got through child birth without them). Not only does the first jag not work, but I need another and I am a grown woman crying on the dentists chair as I face my biggest fear.
      When I meet my ex and he asks if I want to talk, I say yes and what a mistake as I end up listening as he goes on about himself.
      He talks about the support he is getting and how he has ‘broken down’ and how he listened to a woman from gamanon cry in front of others as she spoke about her marriage to her husband crumbling but how she knew he was very unwell so she stood beside him and helped him through it. He said thats what marriage is about.
      I told him some marriages also break up because there is no trust left and it wasn’t just gambling in our relationship, there was drink and then he admitted to taking drugs too. He seems to have minimised these parts.
      He then went on to say how I wasn’t perfect in our marriage. I never said I was but i have never betrayed him, lied, cheated with the bookies, stole, frightened our kids and been so selfish that I thought the world revolved around me.
      Why is he making me doubt myself? He also talks about me being over protective with our daughter and that I should just allow her to see him. She’s not ready and it’s not going to happen just now.
      I came away thinking, why on earth did I speak to him. On Monday he was saying he was going to call my work on me and now Im having a coffee with him (well he is having a cuppa because I have a swollen mouth with the big bad jags I got)
      My head tells me differently from my heart and just as I think I am feeling sorry for him, the anger comes back as he gives me self doubt and takes away some of my strength that I have been trying hard to keep.
      One good thing at least was that I got my house key back and that is a relief but he has made me feel sad again today.

      I tell myself that he is only interested in himself just now. He hardly asked me about the dentist and he doesn’t want to listen to how hurt we are. How can he as then he has to accept that he caused it and how can you look in the mirror every day and like what you see if you are someone who has tore your wife and children’s worlds apart because you choose to place another bet, knowing that it would spiral out of control yet not making the choice to seek help from GA friends or the many other supports around . I am realising that an addicts world is a selfish world and that it only takes from you, it doesnt give anything back.
      All I needed was a few kind words from him today and I couldnt even get that.
      I always used to tell myself that I should never expect things from someone because if you expect someone to do something and they don’t then you feel let down but it is better to have hope because if you hope they do something and don’t , then you are not as disappointed. I guess I don’t even have hope with regards to my ex just now but I do have hope that my world will not always feel like this and that I will heal and my children will too.
      I have had 3 bad days this week , out of 4 and its because of contact with him.
      They say in life you shouldnt have any regrets but I ask myself why did i ever marry him?My wee dad told me he would gamble again but I didnt listen. But the past is the past and I have to look forward, not back, because for now, it really is one day at a time.
      And for now, his addiction is still having an effect. I have to not let it and to not listen to his words as making me doubt myself is not what I need .

      I am still no further forward with a loan application as my local citizens advice bureau give me conflicting advice.One person said my address would affect applications and another said it wouldn’t as it was only your personal credit rating that would be in question.not the address.
      I will revisit that one tomorrow. I have done enough today.
      I just want to fast forward the months and be strong and me again. Why on earth did I marry an addict?

    • #4146

      I had a similar issue with finance and I was advised that although the bad debt did not belong to me, if I had ever had a joint loan within the last 6 years – his credit activity could be seen and associated with me thus adversely affecting my own ability to get credit even though it was not my debt, if that makes sense. I was sent a form which I copied and sent back to the major credit reference agencies applying for a disascociation (I can’t spell) and they removed any financial connection by name on my credit files. It was Experian who told me this and sent me the form when I did a months free trial with them. I also checked them all again and low and behold he had been removed !!

      I was also advised in the past to regularly get my credit reports in case my ex had taken out anything in my name, so it may be useful to get your credit reports so you know exactly what is on there and how if there is a problem, it is best rectified. Probably better to find out before you apply as if you get turned down or to many credit checks are done then this too affects your ability to get loans etc. It certainly worked for me. Definitely send back all his debt letters – the last thing you need is hassle from other people and I’m sure they’d love to know his address.

      There is no quick fix and no point questioning your past decisions, it’s all baby steps and one day you’ll look back and realise how far you’ve come.

      The conversation you had with him, seems like it may have confirmed your fears and did seem to sound a lot like blame and manipulation to me. Maybe it’s too soon for you or he’s not far enough into recovery (if at all). If he was in recovery I think he would be taking a little more responsibility for his actions but I am no expert, just heard it all before myself – several times. It is none the less extremely difficult when hearts are still able to rule heads from time to time.


    • #4147
      jenny t

      Thanks jenny for your advice re the credit report. Thats a good idea and one that I will check. My bank have agreed in principle to give me a loan so fingers crossed that I can sort out my finances with their help. Not the best rate but I am too scared to apply for a loan and get told No. My ex has caused that.

      You were also right Jenny about him not being in recovery. He has gambled again, 600 pounds this weekend and I know because he told me. His parents are away on holiday and he has no food or any other help until his parents get back.So what do I do, cry a lot as I am about to help the man who has caused me to doubt myself, took away some of my confidence, made me feel bad, hurt me, caused me to be anxious, angry and really sad and also treated me children in a horrible way by making them scared and not having any care towards them or me. So what do I do? I buy him food.

      I dont get it and I really struggle with doing this so I contact the helpline today to talk it over as I dont know what to do. I dont want him to think I am going to be there to help him out or bail him out, yet I am worried that he wont have any food. Did he worry about me and my kids when he stole my bank card and cleared out my account. No because I would sort it and have friends and close family that can help me so why on earth am I being nice to him?

      Because I still love him? of course i do and I dont want to. It hurts too much. all of this.

      I have been off my work for several months now because my gp knows I am stressed and I cry a lot. I told myself that I wouldnt have any contact with him so I could recover and then what do I do, meet him and listen as he tells me again that he has gambled. He then says he doesn’t want to anymore. That he cant handle having money as he knows he will spend it. That gambling is going to kill him. He goes on to say that he also needs to attend AA as he doesnt want to drink and when I meet him he hands me alcohol saying he doesnt want this around him. Thats a first. I tell him I wont ever help him out again. I cant. I talk about how im not coping that great and his response is that he is sorry and none of this was my fault.
      I wonder if he is being nice because he has lost again and would it be different if his parents were not on holiday. What does it matter . All I know is how I feel and its been another tearful day.

      I had to speak with my manager today also and I hate that. I hate that I am off work. I feel like I should be there but I work in a very stressful job with people who are abused and I am not emotionally strong right now to deal with that. I hate my ex for his addiction impacting on my job. My work have offered me counselling.

      I feel today that I am keeping my hurt going as I should have no contact with him, where has my strength gone?
      I know what I need to do. Its doing it thats the hardest bit but If I dont look after me, then the addiction has won.
      Im crying as I write this .

      I just miss him, hate him, love him, wish I had never met him, feel let down by him and know that I will never trust him again. I do have to remember though that I trust me. I trust me to get through this, to be a good role model to my children , to carry on and get back to work and to keep talking about all these thoughts because its too hard to keep them to myself.

      Moving on is difficult but living with an addict is even worse.

    • #4148
      jenny t

      Thanks jenny for your advice re the credit report. Thats a good idea and one that I will check. My bank have agreed in principle to give me a loan so fingers crossed that I can sort out my finances with their help. Not the best rate but I am too scared to apply for a loan and get told No. My ex has caused that.

      You were also right Jenny about him not being in recovery. He has gambled again, 600 pounds this weekend and I know because he told me. His parents are away on holiday and he has no food or any other help until his parents get back.So what do I do, cry a lot as I am about to help the man who has caused me to doubt myself, took away some of my confidence, made me feel bad, hurt me, caused me to be anxious, angry and really sad and also treated me children in a horrible way by making them scared and not having any care towards them or me. So what do I do? I buy him food.

      I dont get it and I really struggle with doing this so I contact the helpline today to talk it over as I dont know what to do. I dont want him to think I am going to be there to help him out or bail him out, yet I am worried that he wont have any food. Did he worry about me and my kids when he stole my bank card and cleared out my account. No because I would sort it and have friends and close family that can help me so why on earth am I being nice to him?

      Because I still love him? of course i do and I dont want to. It hurts too much. all of this.

      I have been off my work for several months now because my gp knows I am stressed and I cry a lot. I told myself that I wouldnt have any contact with him so I could recover and then what do I do, meet him and listen as he tells me again that he has gambled. He then says he doesn’t want to anymore. That he cant handle having money as he knows he will spend it. That gambling is going to kill him. He goes on to say that he also needs to attend AA as he doesnt want to drink and when I meet him he hands me alcohol saying he doesnt want this around him. Thats a first. I tell him I wont ever help him out again. I cant. I talk about how im not coping that great and his response is that he is sorry and none of this was my fault.
      I wonder if he is being nice because he has lost again and would it be different if his parents were not on holiday. What does it matter . All I know is how I feel and its been another tearful day.

      I had to speak with my manager today also and I hate that. I hate that I am off work. I feel like I should be there but I work in a very stressful job with people who are abused and I am not emotionally strong right now to deal with that. I hate my ex for his addiction impacting on my job. My work have offered me counselling.

      I feel today that I am keeping my hurt going as I should have no contact with him, where has my strength gone?
      I know what I need to do. Its doing it thats the hardest bit but If I dont look after me, then the addiction has won.
      Im crying as I write this .

      I just miss him, hate him, love him, wish I had never met him, feel let down by him and know that I will never trust him again. I do have to remember though that I trust me. I trust me to get through this, to be a good role model to my children , to carry on and get back to work and to keep talking about all these thoughts because its too hard to keep them to myself.

      Moving on is difficult but living with an addict is even worse.

    • #4149

      Dear Jenny
      You asked in an earlier post, why you married him, why did you talk to him and now why did you feed him. I try never to do ‘what ifs?’ or ‘if onlys’ because what happened has happened and therefore cannot be undone. I think ‘why’ is different because if we don’t ask ‘why’ we could make the same mistake again.
      Why did you talk to him? Well he asked to talk to you which seemed a perfectly reasonable thing to do. I would have said yes too – after all it would be good to get some answers – and you did get the bonus of the key back! Also he had had time to think so maybe…….. . However you found that nothing had changed, you got confirmation that his addiction was still active and so you knew you were right to distance yourself from him.
      Why did you marry him? I would imagine that thousands and thousands of people ask themselves that question which in quieter moments they can probably answer perfectly well. CGs are often gregarious jolly types on the outside – just think, if his opening line had been ‘Hi, I am a master of threats and manipulation, guaranteed to bring you pain’- I don’t think you would have gone out with him never mind married him..
      Why did you feed him? To me this is the simplest – because you are human, caring and kind, – although I hope it was beans, bread and milk, not caviar and champagne!
      He might have been nice to you because he had lost again, he might have been nice because he was hungry – on the other had he might have been nice because he actually did hear you through the fog of his addiction – it is one of the conundrums that keeps F&F going in the cycle – trying to work out what is good and what isn’t. Overall though Jenny he doesn’t appear to be making a real effort to change yet so I would urge you to not think he was nice because he had seen the light.
      Your strength hasn’t gone Jenny – getting over the experiences you have had take time, emotions rocket up and plummet down.
      I wonder if keeping a journal would help you – it did me. I used to write to myself and bang out on the keyboard all the painful incidents I could remember that had taken me to the sorry state I was in. I found that by putting the thoughts on paper stopped them going round and round in my brain. Whenever I felt overwhelmed I would go and bash away until the pain had gone – usually once a day. Having expunged the anger I would not read what I had written (indeed the foul language and misspellings would have shocked me) but I would print it off and keep it in a hidden file that was never meant to see the light of day. The file got thick as my mind grew lighter – I couldn’t destroy it as I was afraid the thoughts would return to my head.
      As I recovered my strength and it ceased to fail me I began to destroy the pages without reading them. I took a long time to destroy them all but healing does take time and it had taken years for me to be so broken..
      You said you ‘know’ you can trust yourself and that is terrific because it means your children can trust you too – you are already a wonderful role model for them.
      Shutting his addiction out is hard – it is easy to say but so difficult to do. I know you will be alright because I can read the strength building in your posts. I remember crying incessantly and wondering if I would ever laugh again but only a weepy film will get me crying now and I laugh every day. Dry your eyes today Jenny – you are doing well even if it feels like rubbish.
      Hoping maybe to ‘see’ you again this evening

    • #4150

      We can never really tell why things are said at the time they are, but it is odd that the things you describe seem to coincide with another gamble and another loss and again there is the stench of familiar manipulation tactics in the air.

      I found it and would find it even now virtually impossible not to feed someone who was ‘starving’. I think I would consider now whether that was actually true or not or try maybe to put it into some sort of context.

      Thinking back to my own experiences my CG was often hungry (apparently) but it was interesting how he did not employ the same enthusiasm into gaining the means to make a sandwich as he did to gain the money to gamble or even to get to the bookies !! Having said that if I hadn’t kept bailing him out – he might of done. Interestingly he never lost any weight either, in fact he put quite a bit on ! Although I obviously don’t know his parents there are not that many cupboards that are completely bare unless he is the son of old mother hubbard, whether they contain what he wants to eat or thinks he should be eating is another matter.

      I personally have never heard of a CG who succeeded in starving themselves to death and believe that they are way to selfish for that when of course the addiction is active but it is a ‘line’ which never ceases to tug at the heart string of a caring person such as yourself – if you feed him, try to make sure it is a no frills attached menu, certainly don’t give him the cash and consider ignoring it altogether if you can.

      Its very tough, the manipulation is clear but if you care it is not always to apply theories to practice is it ? we all have gone through phases of knowing that we enable and knowing why we shouldn’t, but getting to doing it or not doing it can be a long and difficult road because enablement does take so many forms.

      You are not weak and probably your strength hasn’t gone at all it is being sapped by an addiction of another, although I take your point about your job It seems a shame that you are off sick because of an addiction which serves you no purpose or benefit in any way shape or form and one that has drained the living day lights out of you instead of working with people who are clearly far more deserving of your time and care – these are the choices that we make before our own awakenings, they are things that we do when we allow the addiction to control us.

      I think as long as there is contact there is always the risk of manipulation and the knock backs at least to begin with, you are vulnerable, but you are learning and exploring ways of coping and that can only be a good thing. I have been separated from my Cg for a couple of years and even now would not underestimate his ability to manipulate me given half the chance. Velvet makes a very good point, which made me laugh but it’s worth answering, would we have even have gone out with our partners in the first place had they have told us what was in store ?

      I’d love to be able to say to you let him starve and suffer the consequences of his own actions, but I too know how unrealistic that can be.

      I believe your strength is there but it needs to be possibly kept for things that will help you, not further bring you down. if that makes sense


    • #4151

      Hi Jenny
      I appreciate CGs who are taking control of their lives and those who have taken control, writing on this forum because it is always good to get other perspectives.
      However, I think in the situation you are in at the moment it is better to get in touch with our helpline for the other perspective. We can feel for Marco but he is not where your ex is now. I know what it has taken for you to come here and write as you do and that is what Marco does not know.
      Please do not start feeling guilt as a result of this post – you are doing well, you are going the right way to protect you, your children and yes – your ex.
      If you want to know about help for your ex then it is on this site, the Helpline will give you any information you require. You already know that my CG went through the Gordon Moody Rehab and changed his life; this forum never holds back on telling members that it can be done.
      Hanging in though, just in case, is often not an option – just as it was not for me. My CG has told me that as long as I enabled he could not see the point in changing. When we finally became completely estranged he slept on the floor of friends who found me cold and heartless because I wouldn’t consider selling everything to help him – finally of course they turned their backs too. It was not until all hope had gone that he knew he could not go on. I would, through ignorance, have denied him the ability to get to that point – I know now that I gave him the chance to change.
      If Marco’s post has affected you in a derogatory way, please, please get in touch with the helpline, you can ask them for my email address if you wish and I will be happy to give it.
      Forgiveness is all very well but at the moment it is strength that you need.
      I don’t know what stage of control Marco has reached but your husband is definitely not at the same stage and shows no signs of getting there. The addiction to gamble can be controlled but sometimes that control is not reached in time to save relationships. The collapse of your relationship is your ex’s responsibility and one he will have to accept if he is to ever change his life.
      Keep talking – I am walking with you and I care

    • #4152

      Hi jenny

      It was good to see you in group last night. It was very busy with a few techical issues. I have been using the group for many months and always find it a great place to offload with those that really understand.

      I can really empathise with your situation , actions and guilt. I cried reading your post as I completely understand You have spent along time thinking of others and your CG. He has spent along time thinking only of himself. It is difficult to change behaviour. I didn’t realise I was stuck in a cycle until I came across the CG cycle and then f&f cycle posted by velvet on here. The penny dropped. I have started to change my behaviour in recent months , it is slow but it now means I seem to ‘live’ more rather than ‘cope’ or get through. I’m only telling you all of this to illustrate that things can improve. I was so low, tearful had been living with gambling for about 10 years . my cg had left me and our daughter (then 3) after an argument and gone back to his moms (he is still there)I didn’t know how to change. But looking after yourself message finally has started to get through and make sense!

      I completely agree that moving on is difficult but living with an addict is worse.

      Keep ur chin up

      M x

    • #4153

      Hi All

      Forums are in many ways one of the best ways of moving on and exploring issues related to a particular subject.

      In my opinion they should be places where the author in this case Jenny can talk openly and honestly about her journey, Jenny’s journeys are personal to her and in many cases painful, its taken courage and sheer determination to attempt to make the most of a situation that may well be causing her unimaginable stress and then post it for all to read, Jenny I applaud your courage

      Please when your replying try and be empathetic towards Jenny, She doesn’t need to be told how “x” has done this or that, or how a certain word may be objectionable to you, These are your feeling and emotions and . This is about Jenny and needs to remain purely to help Jenny walk her chosen pathway, she may well ask and seek help to determine that pathway but that is for Jenny to ask, not for us to offer our input as to what a compulsive gambler is and how they work.

      Empathy is a key part of the recovery all of all of us, we chose a pathway, we may ask for advice from our peers and professionals as to how a pathway may be formed, its then our duty as humans to walk alongside Jenny and hold her hand whilst she travels the pathway in the belief that in the end a resolution that can be sat with comfortably is found
      It’s unfortunate that I’ve had to delete posts and I wish I hadn’t had to get involved in this manner.

      Please walk with Jenny along her pathway, please support her.. but please do not use your own interpretation of what a gambler is its neither required nor beneficial to Jenny or any other friends and Family Member

      Kind Regards

      Harry @ GT

    • #4154
      jenny t

      Thanks Jenny. Your words really helped me, especially saying that my strength needs to be kept for important things and definitely not for my ex and his addiction. And also the comment you made about my work. You are so right. I work with very vulnerable people and I know I help to empower them and help them to feel safe and secure in their lives by just going through their journey with them. I really enjoy my work and my ex and his behaviour, manipulation, tactics to cause me further anxiety and the fact that he is illogical in his thinking and consumed by the addiction, is absolutely not worth me hurting anymore. Enough is enough.

      I had a really difficult time after someone called Marco and ***** commented on my posts. Marco made me feel guilty as he commented on my marriage vows and how it would be best to support my ex because he is sick. I felt really upset after I read this. It is not easy to walk away from a 10 year relationship and I did take my marriage vows seriously but to stay would have been to put my children through so much distress and I understand that Marco may have felt he was helping but it really made me question whether I had made the right decision. I had to keep reading your post Jenny and also Velvet and Michelles and all the other posts I have had from people ‘walking in my shoes’ to help me get back on track. More tears in the ocean that week. I even considered never writing on here again but I have found it helpful and if you got medicine from a doctor that helped to relieve your pain, you wouldnt just give it up because of perhaps a side effect.

      Harry, on the helpline was also a good support and I am relieved that the posts are gone.

      You were right Jenny about my ex and his manipulation. After I gave him some food , pot noodles, cup of soups, porridge that he just needed hot water for, he remained ‘nice’ for the week that his parents were away on holiday and was sending me texts of how sorry he was. I sent little responses, saying he needs to want to stop and that he is the only one in charge of his life.

      His parents come back on the Thursday ( a week later) and he is on social media telling everyone he is going out for a kebab, getting a haircut, doing great. Eh? I thought he was miserable, sorry, horrified by what he has done but No, he doesnt appear to be.

      I then find out the following day that he has been asked to leave the B+B he is in. So, thats our family home he has had to leave, his parents home, now a B+B because he has been causing offence to the other people staying there, disrespecting the owner and going against the B+B’s rules. smoking in his room and I am really not sure who my ex truly is anymore. obviously very addicted and you believed this to be the case Jenny. I know you wish you were wrong and that he was in recovery but hes not. What next I ask?

      I now have his parents back and they are contacting me a lot asking to see our daughter. Despite them being abusive to me, believing I have not supported my ex enough, not listening as I tell them I want my daughter to feel completely secure (which she is doing so much better since not having contact with her dad or his parents), they are not listening to me and I feel they are putting their needs first and not my daughters. I have asked them to give me space and my wee girl has now stopped wetting her pants and bed, which I am so relieved about as lots of hugs, comfort and tlc from me and my friends and family seems to have made all the difference to her. Now the in laws are ‘just not getting it’ and just as I was beginning to feel better, their contact makes me feel upset. They are also enabling my ex and so his addiction will continue.

      Whilst he is addicted, there will be no contact with his daughter as my job is to keep her recovering too and I am now at a stage where I don’t even care what he thinks about this or his parents as I know what is best for my daughter.

      I have been angry this week and have had to stop myself from texting him. Theres no point is there?
      My daughter attends brownies and they asked for money for her to go to a panto, then her dancing said they were doing a panto trip too and also a halloween party as well as a new costume that I was encouraged to buy. My ex has gave me no money for her since July. Not a penny. What he paid for his kebab could have went towards her panto trip. Am I being harsh?

      I now get what you and others have being saying Jenny. I can change what I do but right now he is still just looking after himself. and yes, he hasnt starved and he has actually put on a lot of weight too. Manipulation is powerful.

      I read on a blog that a CG put –

      An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life. “A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy.
      “It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.” He continued, “The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you – and inside every other person, too.”
      The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?”
      The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”

      Unfortunately, I know which wolf my ex is feeding right now and I so wish it wasnt the lying selfish one

    • #4155

      From the bottom of my hart I am sorry if my comments upset you it was not my intention
      I will make no further comments about your situation
      I wish you and your family well.
      Please keep coming to the forum for support.

    • #4156

      Hi Jenny
      I am so pleased to see you posting again – I had begun to think that you had read the ‘less-than-helpful’ posts and decided to leave. Over the years many of our friends from ‘My Journal’ have popped in to our forum with support and they have been and will be very welcome however, I am glad this episode is now over and we can move on.
      You are doing what is right for you and your daughter, you are also doing what is right for your ex husband but he will only see that when he controls his addiction. As my CG told me – I did everything wrong for all the right reasons, it was only when I changed and did things that didn’t necessarily feel right for me at first that anything changed at all.
      Pot noodles, soup and porridge were perfect for a starving man – well done. I don’t read his words on social media as you do; I find them very sad and lacking in hope. I think he is bolstering himself up by saying, ‘look at me – I’m doing alright’, when he must be feeling failure every day.
      Unfortunately his family’s unhelpful comments probably can’t be deleted. You can possibly ignore them or maybe tell them once and for all that they are not helping anybody – least of all their son. I think it is good to write down under headings what you are prepared to say when you are feeling good, stick to the script and don’t get involved in their needs and justifications, which do nothing for you, or in fact their son. Perhaps something along the lines of ‘when you are prepared to stop justifying Fred’s addiction I will be only too pleased to talk to you…………. but until then I will have to end this call now’
      Families often close your eyes hoping the problem will go away but you know it will not. Of course you are not being harsh when you feel your ex should have contributed towards his daughter’s costume, just as you are not being harsh refusing to communicate with his family as long as they are in denial and hurting you further.
      There are many lovely blogs such as the one you read. This one was also written by a CG but I think it works well for us too. I hope you like it and I hope I ‘see’ you tonight.

      One day a farmer’s donkey fell down into a well.
      The animal cried piteously for hours as the farmer tried to figure out what to do.
      Finally, he decided the animal was old, and the well needed to be covered up anyway
      It just wasn’t worth it to retrieve the donkey.
      He invited all his neighbours to come over and help him.
      They all grabbed a shovel and began to shovel dirt into the well.
      At first, the donkey realized what was happening and cried horribly.
      Then, to everyone’s amazement he quietened down
      A few shovel loads later, the farmer finally looked down the well.
      He was astonished at what he saw.
      With each shovel of dirt that hit his back
      the donkey was doing something amazing
      He would shake it off and take a step up.
      As the farmer’s neighbours continued to shovel dirt on top of the animal,
      he would shake it off and take a step up.
      Pretty soon, everyone was amazed as the donkey
      stepped up over the edge of the well and happily trotted off!
      Life is going to shovel dirt on you, all kinds of dirt.
      The trick to getting out of the well is to shake it off and take a step up.
      Each of our troubles is a stepping stone.
      We can get out of the deepest well by standing still.
      So dust yourself down and know that you are going right way – up.


    • #4157
      jenny t

      Thank you so much Velvet. I loved your response to my post and the story of the donkey. That is so true and it keeps me going.

      I recently watched an Oprah programme and there was a celebrity on it who had lost all his money, his home and belongings due to living ‘the high life’ until he ended up sleeping out of his car for several months and living in poverty to which he called his ‘rock bottom’. He said he wasnt telling his story to make people feel sorry for him but to help people realise that if you have a desire to change things then you can.
      He then went on to tell a tale of how he saw a light at the top of the mountain and how he had a vision of getting up there but first he had to pull his wagon up to the top as he had a strong rope around his neck and he knew the journey was going to be tough, but he also knew he wanted to get to the top. He described his friends getting on his wagon and helping him up the mountain by putting their feet outside on to the dirt as they pushed with their legs to support him getting up the hill. he spoke about others sitting on his wagon and happily enjoying the ride but without giving him much support but he then spoke about the people who tried to keep his wagon at the bottom of the hill by constantly weighing it down, people who were using up his precious energy to meet their own needs and who just tried to drag him down when all he wanted to do was keep going up. He said he had to put those people out of his wagon or he would never have felt the light at the top of the mountain.

      It made me think and i hope you know what i mean?

      The man did get back on top again and he got his wagon to the top of the mountain.

      I want to keep going up and its hard as my ex contacted me again today. a text saying please respond to this as i gave you my mobile phone and now i need it back. its left me anxious as he had run up a phone bill of 2000 pounds and i didnt know at the time, but had also failed to pay his contract. I didnt know he had one.
      Anyway, he gave me his phone in april and said his provider was cutting him off so he couldnt use it. he gave it to me and said it made sense for me to have it. I then took out a one year pay as you go monthly contact at a cheap rate per month but when my ex had gambled again and i was short of money, i sold it and downgraded myself to a phone that was just as suitable for me. Now after all this time, he has text me saying he still has a contract with his provider (although ‘bumped’by him) and he wants his phone back.

      Does he want his phone back or is it an excuse to contact me as i made it clear after he threatened me yesterday not to contact me again? am i in any trouble as i sold the phone?
      why am i feeling anxious when he is the one causing this? so many questions again. I guess i just have to tell myself that i did nothing wrong as he gave me his phone willingly. i did not steal or take it without his permission. if all this happened in april, why wait and ask for the phone now ?

      I have not responded to his text. I am going to keep ignoring him.I have to get to the top of my own mountain and i know the very person I dont want on my wagon just now, or ever if he continues to not give me space when all i want is to recover.

      shaking the dirt off velvet, thank you.

    • #4158

      Hi Jenny
      I would imagine after the threat he made that he is possibly trying to find out, using this implausible phone story, whether he has got away with it or not, with his history of violence on record, he is probably worried how you have reacted this time.
      He ‘gave’ you the phone, he didn’t say he was lending it to you – it became your property and you down-graded it because you were short of money and needed to provide for your joint family when he was not providing.
      He also might just want the phone back and with a memory that leaks like a sieve believe that it is his on demand. (If he is texting you I assume he already has one phone!) If it was me, I would have done the same as you but if you are worried maybe you could talk to the CAB or the phone company to set your mind at rest.
      Possibly it is just a matter of shaking the dirt off but in my opinion you will need a bit of extra help, a physical, visual, presence to push the cart up the hill, if he makes any more threats.
      It doesn’t surprise me that you are anxious, any mother would be in this situation. In my opinion it is good to read the texts but not respond – just as you are doing. Any text that you sense is menacing, report it and talk about it to those who care about you – do not shoulder this on your own.
      Its hard climbing a mountain and pushing a cart when your children are in the cart and need to be protected from harm but I have no doubt you will succeed, occasionally you need a bit of an extra hand and you should never be afraid to ask for help but you are doing great.

    • #4159
      jenny t

      Been feeling low today. My ex text me again as I did not reply to his message about wanting his phone back. He text saying “I knew you wouldnt give me my phone back but now I want you to provide your bank details so I can give you the money needed for our daughter”.

      He wants something from me.I dont respond. I put him out our home in August and he gave me no money for our daughter that month, or the next month and the child support agency told me they would be pursuing money from him on 1st Nov and if he failed to pay, they would go through his employer, Now all of a sudden he wants to give me money mmmmm.

      I then get another text the following day saying “I am going to tell the CSA that you are with holding your bank details” Really, seriously, he is going to ‘tell on me’. I am ignoring the texts as its a few weeks away until the 1st Nov and if he really wants information about my bank details, then all he has to do is contact the CSA and they will get in touch with me. I continue to ignore him , I think I am doing well.

      I am then on social media as my friend is on holiday and has asked me to see her photos. I then see a post from my ex husband saying he is at an airport in London going on holiday. I dont respond to any his posts either. The next day he has posted that he is in Barbados getting a sun tun. Now I am getting angry as I ask myself, where has he got the money? and he is off sick from his work yet seems to be doing ok. I wonder if his compensation money has came through. However, I still ignore him.

      The next day I get another text and now I am suspicious that he is telling lies on social media that he is on holiday, when he is not. Why would he do that? That is just mad. Pretending you are at an airport, then pretending to be on holiday, yet things are not adding up as he is texting me, despite there being a 8 hour time distance and he must have a lot of credit on his phone to use it abroad. mmm. I even find myself going to a B+B that I think he is in, driving round the car park to see if his car is there. Oh why am I even doing this and why should I even care. Guess I am just trying to find out if he is still telling lies. Big serious ones at that.
      No car and I tell myself, and remind myself, use your energy for much better things.

      The next day, another text saying “I dont want to fight but please can you send me your bank details”I want to give our daughter money. Why because you have a sudden change of heart, because you are in recovery (but i think you are still lying) because the csa will call your work?
      I am still not responding. I have got myself back to work yesterday and I was on top of the world. I was so happy to be back and of what I had achieved to get myself there and I did not want anything, well him, spoiling this.

      So a happy day but then followed by a low one today as another text saying please can i have the details. I thought “if I dont respond then these texts will continue”. So I send the details required and he gives me an email of the standing order that he has set up with the bank. wow, he did that here in scotland,not from Barbados. My instinct was right.
      I then receive a letter from one of his loan companies saying they are now going to send debt collectors to my home to recuperate their money or court action will be taken. I call the loan company and say he doesnt live here but I can provide his parents address and advise their letters are upsetting me (I was doing so well). The loan company say that without my ex husbands consent, letters cant be forwarded to his parents and could I contact my ex to get his permission for this. Em a big fat No. I come off the phone thinking his mess is still affecting me. I then have to get ready for work.

      I have then ran around all day, straight in from work, kids tea, brownies, pet shop for ill cat, supermarket for bread and milk , walk the dog, back to brownies, bath, supper,kids bed and oh my tea eventually at 8.45 pm (sorry to tell you my boring day) but I get irritated that my ex has left me with this, that his addiction and selfish behaviour has left me to deal with this on my own, yet I then cry because I still love him and I miss him (the husband I had before the gambling addiction took him away). It really is mental how many emotions you can feel in a day . Guess I am just having a hard one.
      Like velvet said, there are more ups and downs to experience and nobody said it would be easy to move on. I even found myself saying today that I could just take him back and support him and then it would be all ok.
      I know it wouldnt be. This is the guy who threatened me last week, who has hurt and devastated my kids, who has made me feel like I cant get out of bed because the hurt is too big and I have belief that I deserve and my kids deserve so much better, Its just hard when , despite it all, you want the nightmare to be over, to wake up and someone to tell you that all this never happened, that it was all just a dream. Unfortunately though, this is reality.
      Dont know where my positive thoughts have went today. I know i will get through this. I hope there is no need now for him to contact me. I have to keep moving on.
      A quote from Marilyn Monroe ““Sometimes things fall apart so that better things can fall together”
      ― Marilyn Monroe
      I hope so.

    • #4160

      Hi Jenny
      You were missed last night.
      I was concerned that he wanted your bank details and I am pleased that it seems he wanted them for a good reason, however, I do wonder whether it wouldn’t be a good idea to open another account that he knows nothing about. I may be over-cynical but I think it is always best that CGs do not have access to pin numbers but also that they do not know where any money may be saved. Keep the account open of which he now knows the details but don’t save the majority of your money in it.
      His lies on social media are totally in keeping with his addiction, I couldn’t begin to hazard a guess as to why he should do this but weird though it is, this behaviour does not surprise me in any way. Reacting as you did is understandable but I think, now you have recorded this behaviour, you will not fall for it again – it is so wearing playing the detective and it leaves you feeling down – don’t worry most F&F, in this situation, have done it!
      The other thing that I think most, if not all, F&F have done is to cry for the loss of their loved one. Even when all the bad stuff is heaped upon you, the memories rise up and the tears come, personally I think it is right that they do because you are grieving and grieving is painful and takes time – but does pass
      Your reality at the moment seems bleak but through it all you are successfully running your home and caring for your children, that is how you will succeed.
      It is sadly possible that bailiffs will call at your door, they are a bit ferocious, they have to be, but I have approached many doors with bailiffs and they did have hearts, they just kept them well-hidden. Do not let them in; they do not have the right to force entry but they can enter doors that are open or unlocked. It is their job to demand payment on behalf of creditors who want their money and although it is terribly embarrassing for you, for them it is all in a day’s work. Talk to your local CAB about this.
      Positive thoughts do desert us at times but hopefully they will soon return and life will be easier. Recording what is going on in your life as you are doing is great, you can look back and say ‘wow – I got through that – I can do this’. I already know you can do it Jenny.

      Marilyn Monroe was right.

      Speak soon

    • #4161

      As a CG , Jenny , the last place I would choose to lie would be on Social Media.
      Maybe your husband is looking for attention or trying to impress somebody with the “good life” he is having.
      Most gamblers I have encountered, including myself , want to be invisible, not broadcast their whereabouts, but maybe Velvet has evidence to the contrary.
      Regarding bank details, I would be extremely wary of giving a gambler access to my bank account. I had a scare back in January with a suspected “scammer” after a sizeable sum had been transferred to my current account. I turned out to be my own “scammer” a couple of months later which proves my point that CGs cannot be trusted with bank transactions.
      ‘Nuff said!

    • #4162

      Hi Jenny T

      Thinking of you and hope you are managing ok.

    • #4163

      Hi Jenny
      I too have been thinking about you.
      It would be great to hear it you are nearing the top of your mountain and to be able to throw a rope if you have got stuck.
      I know it is long haul but you were a long way up when last I looked.

    • #4164
      jenny t

      thank you vera, worried mama and velvet for your recent posts. They are much appreciated.

      I couldn’t write my life right now if I tried. I got myself back to work and had been there one week , which I found tiring as my kids were finding it difficult to adjust and in 5 days I had 3 telephone calls from them, all fighting and not getting on and I found it difficult to cope with as I realise more and more, just how much a single parent I am and how more responsible I need to be. So a family conference and a few house rules and a hope that my work won’t be affected.

      Then I get a huge worry (I go back to work Monday, kids finding it difficult, then on Friday evening I get a call to say my mum (age 73) has been rushed to hospital). More bad news as my dad is also unwell and my family didnt want to tell me as I have been stressed.
      My dad’s hands had swollen and he couldn’t drive my mum to the hospital. I live 90 minutes away. I am in tears as I am very close to my parents and I cry a lot of tears.
      I take my kids (leaving my son at home to care for my dog and cat) and I drive to my the hospital. My mum is really poorly with a bowel infection, urine infection, temperature high and also e coli. I stay with my dad , who wont go to a+e as hes worried about my mum. I am stressed. but trying to be there for my parents.
      Im trying to be my family’s support but am struggling and my ex husband knows whats happening as kids post everything on facebook, so he contacts me. I can’t trust him. is this because I am vulnerable? he is now being nice.mmm.

      He tells me he has fallen out with his parents and he won’t be having any contact with them ever again. he said his mum accused him of using her email but he did not. mmmm. Is my ex husband called pinochio.

      He then tells me he has no money and little food. Despite how fragile i feel, i stay strong. I have my mind chattering and wonder is he genuinely concerned about me, my parents, is he just skint, a way in when I am low? Addiction is hard.
      He tells me he is here to help. Help? what can he possibly help me with? His kids don’t want to know him, he hasnt gave me any money for my daughter for 3 months, I can’t trust him and he saying he can help me. Any time I have attempted to talk to him before, he hasn’t listened. It has always been about him, how unwell he is, how he needs to now attend an addictions group, not just GA but AA, CA.
      And I am supposed to be happy for him that he is telling me he is in recovery when I have had a challenging week at my work with the kids phoning me, my mum really ill, my dad unwell too and my stress levels high as I try to tell myself, “it will be ok jenny t”.

      I then get the poor him texts again and he’s not my priority. he also says lots of sorry. he tells me he hasnt had a bet for 4 weeks. and? does he want a medal ? am i meant to say well done. I am all over the place.

      So I am back at work on the Mon (my mum goes to hosp on the fri, im with her sat, sun and drive back sun night). I am now asking my work for emergency leave and I am feeling guilty but my mum and dad are work give me 2 days off. I find myself exhausted and tearful and even text my now Mr Nice guy ex as for a split second, i do think he can give me support, Oh How wrong was I. he is still the victim. I cry so much on the sunday night as I am sooo worried about my parents and my ex truly has let me down.He is still coming first in his texts. when does the crying stop?

      so back and forward to hospital tues,wed and my dad at the gp and diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome. 8 steroids a day and a possible operation needed.
      on the wed night my 13 year old daughter provokes an argument with me. she’s been angry with her step dad (my ex)and hurt too but I am the person who gets her rage. She then does something she has never done before, and she runs away. I am now at breaking point.
      She leaves at 10.30 pm and I am frantic with worry. my friend comes to support me and my 14 year old son goes to look for her. she is eventually located at midnight but I let her stay the night with her friend to calm down.
      I am due back at work on the thursday so I go to collect her at 8am. She is still angry as she is a teenager and when she was in a fit of rage, I took her mobile phone. I have boundaries and whilst I understand the hurt and anger my daughter has, she still needs consequences for her actions. However, I am having to call my work again as my daughter is now threatening to hurt her brother and I just feel that my wee family is falling apart. I also havent slept. How can I go to work? My mum is also still in hospital.

      My ex hears about my drama and now wants to be the hero coming to the rescue as he contacts my daughter and he is trying to be her step dad. My daughter is angry with him, takes it out on me and her brother, and now he is contacting her again, not what I need. I am having to tell him once again, to not get involved. after all, hes not been bothered to parent her whilst he has been gambling, drinking and taking a bit of cocaine in the past year. What is he thinking?

      Finally, I get back to work (very tearful and tired but my acting skills are good). I also have no choice but to be there as I cannot afford to go on to half pay.
      At my work I am advised that due to my abscence, I need to have a meeting with management and procedures state that I could be facing a disciplinary. I just cant take anymore. In the 5 years of doing my job, I have not had any significant sickness. I go to work and was brought up with the values, that you need to be at deaths door to phone in sick. I now have to involve my union.

      I thought I was climbing my mountain but in the last 2 weeks i have had a huge worry over my parent’s health, my daughter running away and now being angry (to which I know I can guide and support her with but when you already feel fragile, it is so difficult), my kids having to adjust to me being back at work, my work causing me more stress and my ex just being Mr nice and I don’t know why.

      I think I am depressed.
      And that is not me as I like to think of myself as being one of the strongest women around who can cope with what life throws but this is now all feeling too much. I hate my ex for choosing an addiction and leaving me on my own to deal with all this and now he thinks because he has perhaps decided to properly recover, that he can just reappear and a wee sorry will fix it all.

      If only life were that simple.

      there has to be a break on its way. and I am not feeling sorry for myself. I just cant believe since i discovered my ex stealing from me in April, how hard life would be.
      I try so hard to stay positive and be grateful for what I have got. There are worse people off than me but I am just so low again. Too much stress and I have to keep going for my children. I just don’t know what to do with the biggest child and that is my ex.?

    • #4165

      Oh my goodness JennyT life has really thrown you some curve balls! I wouldn’t be surprised if you were depressed as sometimes everything just piles on and it’s more than we can handle. With or without an addict in our lives life can be difficult at times.
      I’m not sure what to suggest in dealing with your ex. He obviously has quite a few issues to work through and I think it is safe to say that the less contact you have with him the better. I don’t think he is in any position to be supportive to you so I would just not count on him for anything. It would at least end some of the frustration. Try and turn to people you can count on to help you through this difficult time… friends, other family members perhaps.
      Remember that “this too shall pass”.
      Take Care

    • #4166

      I’m sorry to hear you are going through a rough time Jenny. Combining Motherhood with a full time career is difficult at the best of times. It seems that you cannot rely on your ex at this time. Rather than helping to relieve your stress, he is adding to it from what you describe.
      Can you have a chat with your GP? Maybe get Certified Sick Leave for a few weeks to allow you to sort out your immediate problems. Maybe get counselling for your daughter too.
      Also, from past experience, I would suggest that you do not attend any meeting with Management unless your Union Rep is present.
      You need to have Professional Care Plans organized for your parents . They should be entitled to Home Help and visits from the Public Health/Community Nurse.
      Who takes care of your children while you are working Jenny? That of course is an added stress.
      Try to get some rest or you will burn yourself out!

    • #4167

      Dear Jenny
      I am not surprised you are overwhelmed and struggling.
      Your mum has a horrid infection and needs care but hopefully she will soon be back to health – I am sure if she knew how much stress you were under, she would tell you to look after yourself.
      Your father has a nasty complaint but hopefully now that his painful condition has been diagnosed matters should improve for him.
      Your children appear to be pressing all the wrong buttons at the moment so coping with them requires you to be fit. It doesn’t matter whether you are single or not, you are a mum and raising three children can be difficult and thankless at the best of times. I think many mums have felt at times that their families are falling apart (I know I did) but I have no doubt Jenny that you can survive this.
      It is not my intention to oversimplify your worries but I am only too aware how steep and impregnable the mountain can be and I know for certain that looking after you and your health is the most important thing you can do for ‘all’ of your family.
      In my opinion, the main worry that can be put on one side and left to stew is your CG who is selfishly only considering how life is affecting him. The addiction he chooses to indulge is his way of coping with life so for now Jenny, if it was me, I would ignore his texts and attempts to gain sympathy – and leave him to that addiction. He has proved he is not reliable and not fit at the moment to care for you or your children, as an active CG he is a liability that you can do without at the moment. You will not be disappointed by him if you do not expect any support, either emotional or physical, for now..
      I think I am only reiterating what Worriedmama and Vera have said in their posts but hopefully when you put them all together they will help a bit.
      Please keep talking, you are in our thoughts.
      God grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change
      Courage to change the things I can
      And Wisdom to know the difference.

    • #4168
      jenny t

      Thank you worried mama, vera and velvet for your comments.they were so helpful.

      I took your advice vera and I have got a union rep helping me with my work. My manager has been supportive of me, her manager is more formal and is following the work place procedure. Unfortunately the procedure is one rule fits all and I think that is so unfair but I now have excellent support from the union and they are hopeful that I won’t receive any formal warning.

      My mum got out of hospital but became unwell again. So I contacted her gp and spoke to him about my concerns. I also have my mum’s neighbour contacting me on a regular basis as he goes into see my parents every day and he is letting me know how they are doing. That has been a fantastic help. My mum’s gp has also been good and he prescribed my mum more anti biotics and will also refer her for further tests as she continues to need antibiotics to stop the infections. the worry is her body will become immune to them. But I feel better after speaking to her GP and setting up supports from her neighbour. Unfortunately my parents are not entitled to any additional supports from services/home care as they have savings in their bank and would need to pay for this. They dont have a lot of money but some and I guess this would cause them more stress if they felt they had to ask and pay for help. Very independent people so visits from me and neighbours, along with the gp, its a plan.

      My daughter has also been able to talk to me more but she also sent some texts to her step dad (CG). He responded but this time he was more supportive of her. She then asked me if she could meet him. I wasnt sure what to do.

      He then got in touch with me and asked if he could give me some halloween bags for all the kids, saying he knew it wasnt much, but it was for their halloween. So I spoke to my daughter and agree to meet him with my girls (my son doesnt want to see him) but only at Mcdonalds and only for 30 minutes. It is a good visit. He acts well and the girls are pleased to see him but I do not make any other plans as I am trying to get strong again.

      He then contacts me a few days later and tells me once again that he is sorry and that he is in recovery now. He also thanks me for letting him see the children. He tells me again he is attending an addictions group.

      A few days later I find out that the day I let him see the children, is the night he goes and gets wrecked. What happened to the recovery? a relapse but now with the drink and not gambling. Or has he been drinking all along and just telling me lies. Only he knows the truth.

      I get angry and I contact him by text to tell him I know he has been drunk. He doesnt deny it. wow thats a first in a long time. He admits it and says it was a mistake. He tells me why he done it and says he is really trying to stop doing it all, that he has lost everything and he doesnt want the bets, or the drink but to be “well” again. I dont know what to believe. What does it matter, well it does for his relationship with his kids. I said before, i think, that addiction is hard, now it feels confusing.

      Confusing that you can take a bet, then stop, then start, then drink, then stop that for a few weeks, then drink….That you can have money in your hands and not spend it but then have all your wages and blow it in one go. that you are paranoid, lie, hurt, steal, make threats and turn into a monster and then flip to being caring, apologetic, looking ashamed, sad and my thoughts are “Is it still just a manipulative act?”. Now he has me paranoid and confused, with questions I can’t answer.

      In my gut, I do think he has not placed a bet in the last 5 weeks and whilst that is good, it is only 5 weeks. He has told me that he is possibly looking to receive 13 thousand pounds compensation money for his car accident. I get angry and sad because that money could have changed our lives.and that will be a test of responsibility and temptation for him with all that money, where will it go? He said he will pay back the 8 thousand pounds to his work that he got for a car loan, so he will still keep his job and no charges will be pressed against him. When he last spoke about the car loan, he told me he owed 6 thousand. Have the lies already started or has he forgot he told me that? He said he owes his parents money, which he does and he said he will give me some money for the kids christmas. Will he though?

      I wont rely on it, and velvet you were so right when you advised me not to rely on him for anything, even the emotional support as that was causing me more stress, just being let down by him. So why, when he is being nice again do I forget some of the bad stuff he has just done?

      My wee girl also asked if she could see her dad, after meeting him at Mcdonalds, so I let her see him for one hour and I was with her. After all, he has been saying he has been unwell and my kids are my world so there is no way he would get to see her on his own .But seeing him makes it hard again.

      Just when you think the tears stop, they start all over again.
      It’s like he died, but then I have to see him again. That I never knew who he was for all those months, a monster, acting in a way that I never knew to now acting like the man I met. But is it really him cause we all know how clever addicts are.

      I have to see him again with my daughter and if he is super nice and in recovery then seeing him is hard. Oh I hope I am making sense. It is easier when he is being horrible. That sounds mad . I just feel low.
      I thought I would talk to you all as I know you understand. I choose not to support the cg when he stole from me again. I could’ve stood by him but I didnt. I wish I didn’t love him, I wish he wasn’t an addict. I don’t know if he will ever change, will he stop then start, then stop.what kind of life is that?not just for him but for all of us too.

      Where has that strong, I deserve better jenny t went.and why even let him into my thoughts in this way.So hard, so confusing, so destructive and addiction is so wrong.

      I need to remember to keep making it right.

    • #4169

      Glad to hear you are getting Union support, Jenny. Makes a big difference when a union rep is present at a meeting with management. The bullies change into pussycats. I laugh when I look back on it now….
      Glad your parents have a neighbour looking in. Means a lot . You will have peace of mind in that regard.
      It’s very hard to say what’s happening with you ex. As a gambler, I know a bit about the “CG”mindtricks and I would say CONFUSION is the outcome in many cases. I even felt myself becoming confused at times.
      I know it is easier said than done, Jenny but dwelling on what you could have done or on what he might or might not do won’t change a thing. If he has debts they are HIS problem not yours. Tough luck if he doesn’t pay up. Let him suffer the consequences. Passing his baggage on to you is part of the “game”. Don’t rise to the bait. CGs are clever. We can read minds. LOL! Stress and confusion go hand in hand. He seems to be manipulating you but I say that without judgement. Being nice to the kids and “getting wrecked” that night would make me VERY wary. It seems he is putting the best side forward but really hasn’t moved on at all. Would it be any help (just a suggestion now, in case anyone thinks I’m telling you how to conduct your recovery)if you drew up an agreement together to have no contact for, say six months? That would prevent the children being drawn into situations that might create confusion or disappointment , it would give you a bit of head space and give “himself” time to get his act together.
      Try not to deal with everything together Jenny. It becomes overwhelming otherwise.

    • #4170

      Dear Jenny
      It doesn’t sound mad that it is easier to cope with the ‘horrible’ person – you have built your barriers against that horrible person, not Mr nice Guy. However it would be naïve to suggest that this behaviour couldn’t be a ploy, his addiction is manipulative and so your barriers must remain.
      I promise you that the strong, I deserve better Jenny is still there – all the ups and down are to be expected after the experiences you have had. It is my belief that F&F build a backbone of steel when they learn about the addiction that has been hurting them and little by little it becomes a second protective skin. Most of the damage his addiction inflicted on you, was possible because you didn’t know what the hell was going on – now you do.
      I ‘know’ that Vera had her tongue in her cheek when she wrote that CGs can read minds but I also know that many F&F feel that indeed this is the case, so I want to assure you that he cannot do this. The addiction takes away self-confidence and self-esteem leaving F&F vulnerable and afraid which then lends credence to the belief that the addiction has an unnatural power – but you are gradually reclaiming your self – you have recognised that you deserve more and although you are a little unsure at the moment your strength has been building and will continue to build.
      I wish I had a crystal ball Jenny so that I could tell you what to do. I know that one drinking session is possibly not a relapse but possibly a slip that frightened him – I know that slips do scare CG who are really trying to recover and often they strengthen their resolve. Equally you don’t know if he is not drinking at other times and that is the dilemma F&F face when a recovery has been waved about as a possibility.
      The bad stuff is nearly always forgotten when the good person shows their face and yes the addiction can show a caring exterior to get what it wants but you won’t keep falling for it if it is just lip-service – you now have your distance, your barriers, your knowledge and above all you are stronger. I am glad that it has become easier for you now you have ceased to rely on him for emotional support – every little victory adds to your strength.
      I have no doubt that he also wishes he wasn’t an addict but he can change his life and that is the message I hope he is getting loud and clear. He can control his addiction; he can live the most fantastic life and strange as it may seem be a better person for having the addiction but having the strength to come through it.
      I don’t know what your outcome will be but I know that ‘you’ will succeed. I do believe that F&F can make a difference to a CG – they cannot save them but by being strong themselves and standing against the addiction it is the best thing they can do for the CG and gives the most support – even if the CG does not recognise that at the time.
      Maybe I will ‘see’ you later, I hope so although I realise that Brownies have a priority.

    • #4171

      Recovery from addiction is a lot of work … whether you are the CG in recovery or the one supporting the gambler. It is also not a straight line. In my experience there is a lot of progress followed by periods of regress. I think that is why we are told to try and develop some boundaries. The boundaries are not meant as punishment for the CG but things that we will not put up with … to protect ourselves. This also helps as we look after the things that we can control and “try” and let go of the things we can’t control. I’m certainly not great at this yet but continue to work at it.
      I agree that your ex did not ask for this addiction. I wouldn’t wish it on anybody. It crushes me to see my son struggle with this. Your ex may have just hit his rock bottom whereby he realizes his gambling is a problem,however, it can take time to see real change. Velvet is right… we develop an armour as we have been lied to and manipulated many times so its always in the back of your mind! We are terrified of being hurt again. If we get strong we are able to stand up to the addiction.

    • #4172
      jenny t

      Thank you vera, velvet and worried mama for your great comments.

      I get strength in reading them and I totally admire your courage and support as a recovering gambler (I hope I dont offend you as I write this Vera as I dont mean to) who gives up your time to help someone like me. It is so helpful to get your advice, as you have lived through my ex husbands world, therefore, you have an understanding of the ‘game’, lies,manipulation and it is helpful for me to ask questions and you give your opinion which I value. It also helps me to understand the addiction more. Thank you.

      Velvet, i would be more lost without your support and value of what my life and my kids life should be like and your genuine, caring, understanding of my situation.It helps to keep me strong when I feel so down.

      I never ever think anyone on this site tells me how to recover and that is a blessing as I know friends would tell me what and what not to do.only because they care but its very hard knowing what is the ‘right’thing to do.
      And when there are kids involved, it is so much harder.

      So, how am I feeling let down? well I let him see my daughter for a short time last week and it was a good visit. He asked if he could take her swimming this weekend and I said I wasn’t sure, it would probably be ok but only with me there. I wont let her go with him alone.
      He contacts me wednesday and I ask to meet him. I want to try and find out if he really is in recovery, is he going to let me and my kids down, is he being mr nice guy because christmas is coming up, or is he really wanting to change.

      I dont even know if meeting him alone would be helpful but as our last one hour vist with our daughter was positive, I think maybe this is a way forward and I can also ask all those questions that I need him to answer. We can also talk about contact, whats good/whats not, xmas, and maybe make a plan. He also seems more interested in us but I am wary at the same time. Manipulation is powerful.

      So, he phones me and I tell him I would like to meet with him.I do this on the tuesday so we can meet on the wednesday. He calls me on the wednesday and tells me that he cant meet as he is going to another meeting. He had been to a meeting Monday and Tuesday and now he was going to another. I am thinking, surely talking to me is more important than a meeting as he can go to these during the day, whilst he is still off work, as well as at night, but no, I am second best to the gambling again. He says he can phone me after the meeting but that would be late so I tell him No. It may be convenient for him, but its not for me.Plus my mind would be all over the place and I wouldnt get a good sleep.
      He offers me no other time to meet. Why not? perhaps i am being harsh because he could well be doing as many meetings just now to recover but it still feels like it is all about him, Not me. Would you not be doing everything you could, if you had caused someone so much pain and hurt, to help that person understand, to listen as they asked questions, to make plans for seeing your daughter? If i hurt someone, i know i would do everything I could to make it up to them and say sorry and mean it. yet No, not for my ex cg, as he has to go to another meeting.

      He then texts me telling me, “you are not alone.I am here to help you with just need to ask. if i can take our daughter swimming on Sunday, we can then have a coffee and talk then”. His terms of when we do things, eh I dont think so.

      I cried so much after talking to him and my kids saw me upset again. what am I doing? I dont even know what to do about sunday . Its easier to be stronger when i dont see him but how does he see his daughter without me facilitating it? oh this is just a mess. I still love him but I cant allow myself to feel any more vulnerable than I already do. to be swayed by mr nice guy.Because I dont really know what he is up to.

      So, i am feeling let down and still confused. I do think you are right vera about him showing his best side. all of a sudden, he wants to give me money for my daughter and now show an interest and i am not sure what thats about. Genuine or not? He also did get wrecked after contact with us and again, would you not be doing all these AA andGA meetings to help change that behaviour? He also isnt keen on me knowing things about him as he believes someone in his meeting is telling me things, I can assure you that they are not. I just find out things as the area we live in is not huge. So if he is still paranoid, surely that isnt good because if you werent doing anything, then you wouldnt have anything to hide?

      I guess I need to remind myself of what and who’s important and I seem to be getting tangled up again in what’s better for my ex, instead of what is better for me. If I am not ready to see him with my daughter then I dont have to, after all, his behaviour caused him to have no contact and there needs to be more than “I have not had a bet or gambled for 5 weeks” for things to improve.

      I know i am talking lots tonight and I know other people will probably have felt like me before so what are you meant to do? ignore him, meet him, dont meet him, ?

      I even felt myself telling a complete stranger at the check out in morrisons that i was now a single parent because of my selfish husband ‘s gambling and I dont ever do that. I was shocked when she said, my husband attends GA too, he lost us our home but I am still with him. I couldnt believe it. Talk about telling someone your problems who has experience of what your going through. the difference though, she stayed. I didnt.

      I need to get to the top of my mountain. im finding it difficult to move up because I am still allowing my ex to keep me down.
      I hate his addiction . I really do. And im dreading xmas.
      what a mess.

    • #4173
      jenny t

      i didnt meet my ex. he contacted me at 1am by text on saturday morning looking for a conversation about the horrible and tragic events in paris. i didnt reply.
      he then called me at 8 am and asked how I was. I replied I wasnt doing well and I was feeling anxious as his parents had asked to see my daughter and I agreed, despite their last abusive drunken contact with me, I decided not to use my daughter and be the better person by letting them take my daughter out for a few hours. I was still dreading it.

      My ex couldnt understand why I was nervous and I explained that whilst he was in the hospital, I had some difficulty from his parents. His tone then changed and he started talking about himself, saying at least his parents got to see his daughter. I quickly reminded him that we were meant to be talking about me and not him, he was back in victim mode and even stated that “all he did was gamble” and his parents didnt want to know him. He then hangs up the phone.
      I am upset and I need to call a friend for support.
      A few hours later, he texts me again and acts like nothing has happened, asking me what time will I meet him to take our daughter out. I tell him this isnt happening.

      The next day, today, I get more texts and he is asking for items from the house. He says he needs them and wants to come over. I say No and tell him I will only drop them off at his house, but that I am not staying or coming in. I am at the shops when he contact s me and texts to say he will meet me in the car park at the shops. Yes thats fine by me but No, he changes his mind again and tells me to forget it. I don’t get it. Is he playing games?
      I get on with my day and I get another text, which was sent in error to me. It is from him to a friend at GA and he is telling his GA mate that he had a great day out with the kids, he spent 30 pound, he took them swimming. I am reading this thinking “No he didnt”. My kids were with me all day so why he is telling lies again?

      I speak to a GA member that was his closest support and he tells me that my ex has distanced himself away from him. He thinks it is because he will know when he is lying. He tells me that he has stopped going to his base meeting, which is a very strong group and the GA member says this is because he will get challenged in this group and my ex is running away from this. He also thinks the ga member is telling me things about him and hes not, he has kept the confidentiality and i already know about the things he tells me as i have found out in the community. If you were in recovery, surely you wouldnt care what your wife knew, as long as you were making changes and getting the help you needed?

      I really thought he was making things better for himself but now I am not sure what to believe anymore, Still minimizing his behaviour, remaining the victim, not wanting anyone to question him and then pretending he has been out with the kids when he has not, is not being in recovery?

      Vera was right when she said games get played,to be wary when he got wrecked after seeing the kids the last time and I feel stupid as I had some hope that he was really doing well.
      It makes you feel like a fool and the energy I waste wanting things to be better, when they are not, keeps me feeling sad.
      I wish he would just grow up and whilst i know addiction must be horrendous, surely there needs to be a maturity that says, I have to stop now?
      I have ordered a book called ‘loving an addict, loving yourself’. Maybe that will help.
      More tears . More disappointment. More lies and manipulation. The thoughts I have right now, I cant even write.
      I am stronger than the addiction. I remember velvet telling me this in one of my very first posts. I am trying to tell myself this velvet, i am just so low. My ex breaks my heart.

    • #4174

      Jenny, I know that nobody can tell you how to conduct your recovery, but I really feel you are giving your husband a lot of power over you. As you say yourself, you are wasting energy wanting things to get better.
      Again, I would suggest they you might consider taking a six month break from each other. He is playing games with your mind. Phoning last thing at night and first thing in the morning to talk about current affairs seems like a game to me. And my guess is that text about taking the kids out was intended for you, not his GA friend. CGs thrive on chaos. You need peace of mind. You won’t get it by skipping to his tune. Back off would be my suggestion but of course the F and F advice supercedes mine. I’m only coming at this from a very personal angle. I can see that you are being tested to the limit. When I’m gambling I change plans often to throw “suspects” off! He seems to be setting traps. You seem to be walking straight into them. Why would you call to his place or even discuss his concerns when he is blatantly lying?
      Have you considered family counselling?

    • #4175

      Hi JennyT

      I agree with Vera… addicts thrive on chaos … anything to take the spotlight off themselves and get you thinking its your problem (sorry Vera if that sounds harsh – just my experience). It’s not that he is going out of his way to hurt you it’s just the only way to keep the addiction going.
      I actually blocked my son’s # from my cell phone as I couldn’t trust myself to not react. You will get played as long as you react and again Vera not to sound insensitive … CG are very good at spinning things and getting what they need.
      Maybe for now keep any communication to an absolute minimum . Leave him to find his way.

    • #4176

      You’re right, Worried Mama.
      CGs learn to play people like a fiddle, but only those who skip to our tune!

    • #4177

      Hi Jenny
      Your ex may be trying to confuse you, but equally he may not be able to understand your problem with his parents because it doesn’t fit in with his selfish needs – he probably thinks (and in all probability may be right) that he is the root cause of the problems with them and that is a responsibility he is unwilling to shoulder – yet.
      His call a few hours later suggests to you that he is just papering over in the hope his previous behaviour is forgotten but I also believe that he could genuinely have forgotten as his addiction distorted mind has moved on.
      Lying is symptomatic of the addiction to gamble and it is common for CGs to lie to each other – particularly when they are trying to convince them that they are not the one at fault. This is why I believe it is important to leave what he says in his meeting to the rest of his group and not over-analyse why he has such a problem with truth. Other CGs, particularly those who are really trying to change are not fooled by the lies of another CG. I know, for instance, that my CG lied about me for a long time after he went into rehab and although his lies were not believed, his lying was understood. This was one of the things he told me much later to help me understand. Please be careful about listening to any other member of his group and without judgement, never forget that the person you are speaking to is in that group.
      You are not a fool Jenny however much your ex’s addiction would like you to believe that you are. Things can be better and he can ‘grow up’ but to avoid more disappointments it is important that you get on with your life without allowing his addiction to spoil it.
      When you change it is difficult for those around you to accept the change – they are used to you being as always and there seems to be a human desire to bring you back to who ‘they’ think you really are. It takes time, energy and masses of determination to stick up for the person you want to be, the person you really are – the person who rejects addiction. I believe your ex is confused too – ‘what has happened to dear old Jenny?’ A couple of hours later he tries again but ‘stone the crows me she isn’t falling for it!’ An addiction doesn’t give up easily – it thinks it knows you and can bring you back with the right word here and the right amount of ‘look at how sad I am’ there.
      His addiction doesn’t know you Jenny, you really are stronger than it is – you are just a bit battle weary, actually more than a bit but however battle weary you are, you are definitely not down and out. You have a strength as yet untouched and it is getting stronger – you can win, you must win for your children, for you and ultimately for your ex.
      I know your heart feels broken Jenny but it is only being stretched to its limits; be positive; gird up your loins; just for today believe in yourself; this horrible time will pass – if it wasn’t true, I would not be here.

    • #4178
      jenny t

      thank you so much velvet. you are so helpful. you really understand what i am going through as it shows in your support. you help me to understand more too, the distorted mind, the lying being understood, the responses from one gc to another. It makes sense.

      I am going to bed now, tired after a very hard day but i am taking your words with me and i am repeating them to myself.’I am stronger than his addiction’. I know I am.

      Thank you.

    • #4179

      Hi jenny

      I haven’t posted for a while on here but I just wanted to offer words of support and encouragement. This is what we need most in the most trying and difficult circumstances and you have been having a real rough ride.

      You are stronger than the addiction jenny . you know that. It’s just so hard to work through. Just keep going!

      I hope you and your family are doing OK.

      Take care

    • #4180
      jenny t

      I am still feeling down, then ok, then huge amounts of rage, then more tears.
      I managed 12 days without any contact with my ex. He was texting me but I ignored him, He wanted to see the kids and he told me he had a day to start back at work, that he was doing better and attending meetings. He had some texts to my daughter and this was ok. Not fooling me though but my kids wanted to see him. So I let him take our daughter to the cinema and I made sure I wasn’t around to see him when he picked her up and dropped her off, That was better for me. I wanted to get stronger.
      The cinema went well and I was pleased it was good contact.
      how quickly things change….

      It was my son’s birthday on 27th nov and my ex is again texting me. He also has texts to and from my son and that is ok. He is 15 now so he can make decisions for himself, as long as I know he is not getting hurt. My ex says he has a present for him and also tells me that he has received his compensation money. Here comes my anger. 18 thousand pounds. For crashing my car, which is still on my visa, and for a personal injury which didnt last the time he claimed it did.
      Anyway, I struggle with the injustice of it all but try hard to move on from this news but it all gets too much and I cry again. My son also gets annoyed as he is aware that he has got compensation money and my son does something he has never done before and he punches the wall. A concrete wall. He is angry and sad and is crying so much and letting out all of the feelings he has kept to himself. I hug him and comfort him and I have to take him to a+e and he gets an xray, showing a fractured knuckle. Its such a difficult night. and its the night before his birthday.

      To make matters worse, my ex turns up outside my house, just as my son has broke down and my ex has text me to say he hopes I dont mind but he has some money for me. All of this is going on and I have so much rage that I have never experienced before,like I am going to explode.
      So, I go to the car and my ex gives me 1500. and then 100 for our daughters panto trips and a party outfit. He gets 18,000 and he gives me 1500. Should I be grateful? I lose it and I scream at him, I tell him his addiction has caused my son to punch a wall, to have an effect on me and my kids and I challenge his comments when he tells me he is ill. I go mental and I am now telling him that he has made destructive choices in his life and why are the medical profession not spending lots of money on addiction if it is a health problem, I tell him how I feel and I am sarcastic and horrible and not me at all. He just listens but gives a few useless comments and I tell him he is the master of manipulation and how dare he treat me and my kids in this way. I take the money and I slam his car door as I walk away, trying to then compose myself as I have to now go to the a+e dept.
      When I get home, I cry into my pillow. How did it come to this?
      I am upset on my sons birthday but my acting skills are amazing and I take my son out for the evening,just me and him. My son then asks if he can see my ex as he sees he thinks this may help, He has not had any contact since August. I agree and he meets him at Mcdonalds, along with our daughter. I dont go. I dont want to see him.
      Its a positive visit and my son has many feelings as he says he is angry with him, loves him, misses him, a bit like what I go through. He invites him to watch his football match the next day and I think that my son is perhaps giving my ex an opportunity to be back in his life again.
      Going well ? No, I drop my son off and tell him to ask my ex to return him to the house after the game. Imagine the disappointment when my son phones me to tell me he is walking home. I ask why and he says “He never turned up”.

      I am raging again, my son is hurt again, he has let us down AGAIN. I tell my son I am now making the decisions and that I will attend all matches now,my ex wont ever get the opportunity to do that to my son again.

      And its worse as my ex texts a day later trying to make out my son is to blame for not contacting him on the day of the football.My son never agreed to. he told him where he was playing, what time and my ex had agreed to go. I believe my son.

      All is quiet for a week and then a text saying that he is not going to his work and will not be there the rest of the year. He tells me has gp appointments and isnt doing too great.
      I have my suspicions of what is up .

      when he got the 18 thousand he told me he was giving me 1500.he did. he was giving his parents 1500. i know he did as i asked them, he was giving his pal 1000 he owed him and he was giving 8000 to his work for the car loan they gave him. he never bought a car.he gambled. so he had a lot of the money accounted for mmmm. will he put his plans into place, is he in recovery?

      Only yesterday I get a text asking if I have a petrol can. I ask why and he tells me his car has run out of petrol and it has been in someones drive in another part of our town. I worry about this as I know he needs his car to pick our daughter up and now he has got contact with her, no car means it will be more difficult to see her. So what do I stupidly do? I tell him I will get a petrol can and come for him so he can get his car back.

      I am so upset as I write this. what am I doing? why am I helping him when I know its the worst thing ever? I am curious though as I smell a rat and how can u just run out of petrol and leave your car.Because he is skint thats why,
      He has gambled all the compensation money and when I take him to get his car, it is parked around the corner from the drug dealers house. coincidence that.
      Anger, hurt, sadness, frustration, and my heart breaking. I just don’t get it?
      I put 5 pounds in the petrol can and I drop him off. He asks me for a loan of 20 pounds, he tells me he has no food or electricity or fags and he wont get paid for 2 weeks. I stay strong and give him nothing, I drive away and I am crying but I am angry at myself for even responding to him in the first place but at least I know, there has been no recovery.

      He tells me he is sorry, he texts me saying he hates his life. I tell him to change it then. I keep saying the serenity prayer. I am so upset right now. when does the hurt stop?

      He gambled all that money. more money to Mr Ladbrokes. that money could have changed my kids lifes. But its gone.
      Where is his bottom line?
      and will his work sack him? he says he is going to tell them he is a compulsive gambler but will he? why do I care because at least if he has a job I will get some money for our daughter as I have went through the CSA to collect this from his wages.

      I want to move away. start my life over and learn from this horrible destructive addiction that has caused me so much heartache.
      Please keep helping me to find the strength to do this.
      I cant believe all of this has happened.
      If only it was a nightmare and I could wake up tomorrow and he was there and this had never happened. If only ………….
      A long post, I am sorry.

    • #4181
      jenny t

      I wish I had more strength to keep backing off, and I dont think you are telling me how to recover, but you have been right in your knowledge of saying “it sounds like game playing to me, throwing me off and trying to blame others to take away his gambling actions, the lies and manipulation”.

      So why does he not gamble 100 pounds but gambles 10000.? Can he not look after himself, trust himself? and why not talk to your supports when you have the urge to gamble? and when I mentioned rehab, he just made an excuse about not being able to do this because of his job and house. what job? surely he will get sacked? or not.

      I sometimes wonder if I keep him going as I manage no contact for a while and then I give in. Do I make it easier for him?

      I dont get it.

      What I do get is the need to move on with my life. Its harder than I thought.

      Lots of questions again.sorry

    • #4182

      Jenny, I wondered what became of you…
      I really cannot emphasize enough, how powerfully a CG can use “skills” to gain our own way. We always pick on the person who is most likely to falter. The most vulnerable one.
      Money means nothing to an active CG. It is purely ammunition to keep the wheels spinning and because gambling is a progressive disease, the cash vanishes faster every time we gamble. I have no intention of judging your husband’s actions. I can only speak from my own experience. It stands out a mile though, that he is testing you and sadly , you are falling for every ploy.
      If he loses 10grand, that’s his tough luck. Not yours. If his car is out of petrol, why should you rescue him? Let him call somebody else or the AA. When it comes to his interaction with the children, it is far more serious of course. Family counselling would help , whether he agrees to go or not. Lots of free help available. Have you ever gone to Gamanon? Maybe they could advise you about help for your children. Do you think your son could be picking up on your anger and your stress? I have a lot of admiration for anyone who resists the tricks and learns to avoid the antics of a CG. I’m referring to myself here and I don’t or cannot say that every CG is the same.
      All I DO know is when I want to gamble I will stop at nothing to get my way. When I am not gambling, I am a totally different person. At times , I was scared by my own actions and feared for my own safety. Gambling knows no bounds. Can you imagine driving down a sttep hill and suddenly the brakes fail on your car ? Being out of control through gambling is far more scary than that. You have no idea where it will end or how to stop it. That is why, as a “bystander”Jenny, YOU need to jump back and pull your children to safety. The “driver” has absolutely NO control when moving at such high speed. Being terrified makes it more dangerous for all concerned.
      From what you describe, your husband is up to his neck in trouble and I hate to say this, but he seems to be making no attempt at recovery. His time will come and hopefully it won’t be too late. You cannot take one step for him Jenny or solve his problems, no matter how hard you try . The more you respond to him, by allowing him to “whitewash” his actions i.e “playing daddy”, offering money, saying he is paying debts etc , the less likely he is to seek help.
      CGs are the greatest bluffers when we want to be! Stay clear or he will pull you down to where he seems to be heading…the gutter! (I hope I’m wrong)
      Time will tell.

    • #4183

      I think we do unknowingly keep things going by giving in but as Velvet often says we do all the wrong things for the right reasons. This isn’t a quick “we know what’s wrong and so we will just fix it” situation Jenny. Everyone involved including your son has been effected by this. It is a learning process for all of you.
      I think one of the hardest things is when things are going well and we think everything is good and we’ve beat this. Then bam it happens again and we are so angry, disappointed, frustrated and feel we’ve been made a fool of.
      Don’t expect to much of yourself… just keep getting back on that horse and do your best!

    • #4184

      Dear Jenny
      I think I understand your last post – there is so much talk about what it is to be your ex and not enough about what it is to be you. I can remember thinking that nobody was listening to me – all the support seemed to be for the CG.
      Your ex is behaving intolerably but he is not in your home which is good, however, he is successfully causing division from without. Your children love him but they are also angry with him which is so confusing for a child.
      It is extremely sad but I would imagine that your children will be hurt again and nothing you can do or say will stop it. You cannot take all their pain away Jenny; you cannot change the fact that their father is an active CG. No matter what you do, in the end they will make their own decisions based on what they see – and they will make better decisions if they see that you are coping. Children are naturally selfish and rightly so – they didn’t ask for an addiction to ruin their lives; they may even blame you at some point but let that pain go because they are children and they cannot possibly be expected to understand when nothing makes sense – but if they can see that you are in control, it is one less worry for them. ‘If mum is ok then the world is not such a bad place – I can talk to her and trust her’.
      We can only save ourselves but in doing so we can help save those we love. You believe you should be able to ‘make’ everything right for our children but it is not possible in the face of the addiction to gamble when it is in full spate, however, you ‘are’ doing everything right for your children and that is what matters so don’t beat yourself up – children are resourceful and you, as the steadying influence in their lives, will, make a difference.
      It is so hard to believe in yourself when everything around you seems unstable – but you must believe in your own principles and trust them. My message is simple but tough – ‘you’ matter Jenny, your life is important and you really can change things for you and your children. Carry on hugging and loving them, fill their lives with laughter and hope especially when they are confused by their father’s poor behaviour.
      I have been writing this on and off for a few hours Jenny, trying to find the right words, I have written and deleted so much that I think I need to post it and wait to hear from you to know if I am anywhere near giving you the support that you need.

    • #4185

      Dear Jenny
      I am thinking about you and hoping that you are standing strong and doing ok.
      I haven’t heard from you for a little while but you are on my radar and so not forgotten.
      If you should chance to read I hope you will update.

    • #4186

      Great minds think alike, Velvet!
      I’ve being planning to post on this thread next…
      Hi Jenny.
      You and your family were in my thoughts and prayers over Christmas.
      I hope the New Year brings you peace and serenity.
      “When you sup with the devil, use a long handled spoon”
      (in other words, avoid conflict where possible!)

    • #4187

      So sorry to read you are still going through it and as well the obvious impact upon your children. You ask a lot of questions, just as I did of myself and of him and his rather obnoxious behavior, sometimes we just have to accept that we will never know the answers that we seek to find and even if we do, they rarely solve the problem, but we can certainly drive ourselves around the bend trying. The answers make no difference because we do not have the means to make someone else change.

      Well done for giving him a telling off, serves him right in my opinion, I think Jenny as F&F we tend to pussy foot around with what we say. I agree that there are right ways to support a person, when they are at the stage that they wish to be supported. We live in fear of not wanting to trigger an episode, walk around on egg shells, taking responsibility for the actions of others instead of achnowledging our own feelings and part in it all. As a result we push ourselves to the bottom of the emotional pile and forget who we once were. You can spout theory and text books until they come out of your ears on this subject and indeed many other subjects but in this process there is a tendency for you not to talk as you, talk as you Jenny, every time and if he doesn’t like it he doesn’t have to listen.

      You have passed on to him suggestions of where he can get help and support from people who are better placed to help him, it’s down to him to decide when he might want to go down these avenues – you can do know more, except to start as I did, behaving like the duracell bunny constantly banging the same drum until your batteries run out completely !!

      For now at least, this is the way he is choosing to live his life and you are free to respect his wishes.

      However what i’m not reading in your posts is enough about who you are and who you were before addiction touched your life, in fact there is nothing in there that says, who Jenny is, what does Jenny like to do, how does she look after herself ?

      I see a Mother who’s children mean everything to her and is desperately trying to protect her children from the impact of all of this and feels responsible for when they are let down. I know it’s not easy being both Mother and Father, god knows I did it for long enough, relatively unsuccessfuly ! Now I accept it is good enough for me just to be their Mother, it is good enough just to be me.

      I found that the more I planned to do nice things both with my children and with my friends and yes it was a major effort, with everything going on and with work etc when actually all I really wanted to do was wither up on the sofa ! then eventually the less time and more importantly the less inclination I had to spend time dwelling on someone else and their issues. The company of others who don’t want to take from you and want you for you and your company can be a very powerful drive in your recovery – when was the last time you laughed properly ?

      Perhaps it’s making it harder to keep trying to deliberately ignore him, it’s almost like putting more pressure on yourself and even testing yourself at times. Where as you could just say – yeah yeah yeah !! thanks for letting me know and expect nothing !! I know that was a bit flippant, but not to be spiteful but because you have other things planned with your lovely children and friends.

      Anyway I shall leave you for now as I’m in danger of writing a whole essay !

      Look after you


    • #4188
      jenny t

      I am so thankful for all the comments. I have struggled at times but also know I am getting stronger.It has been another rough ride with soooo much going on that I don;t know where to start.
      First of all my fridge broke before xmas, followed by my hoover on boxing day and then my laptop – which is why I have not posted.Got it back today. Definitely jinxy jen.
      I got through xmas day, unfortunately I was unwell with a 24 hour virus but my 15 year old son made me proud by making the full xmas dinner with all the trimmings, he is such a star, but I made all the effort I could,played 9 games (exhausting but fun) and shed no tears – until I was in my bed alone, where I cried myself to sleep. But so glad I did it and my ex husband did not contact me at all.
      All quiet – no. text messages on hogmanay saying sorry for the awful year but heres hoping next year is better but its been bad for me. Still talking about himself. And I found hogmanay and new year more difficult than xmas but with all my supports, I survived. My ex though called me and asked me to take him back. He brought up good memories of the past,he was playing ‘our’songs to me and he was promising me the world. It was sooo emotional and difficult for me but I did not give in, I told him to get more help and when he was in recovery, then he could have contact again with his daughter (as I stopped this due to my little one.age 7, saying she did not want to meet her daddy again as she didnt feel comfortable) and also because whilst he is still gambling, and drinking, then there is no way my kids will be subjected to that.
      My ex then told me he had attempted suicide just before xmas, swallowed 40 tablets and then lied about needing sectioned (which did not happen)He also told me he had been harbouring a criminal in his house, some guy that he met at an addictions meeting, knew little about but needed a bed . My ex let him stay and told me he had a warrant out for his arrest and the police were looking for him. so my husband helped him,and it was the guy who found him after he swallowed the tablets. I was shocked he would help hide a guy from the police and wondered what was in it for him. I found out the guy was giving my ex alcohol. He is not the man I married.
      So even though he has told me he has attempted suicide, I still say No to him meeting his daughter and No to us getting back together.
      So I have had nice, playing songs, telling me sorry, promises – when’s the nasty coming.
      It doesn’t take long. I ask him on a wednesday about his motivation to change, the opportunities he has had to stop and all the life lines thrown to him, yet his reluctance or not being ready to take what supports are being offered. Instead he talks about our marriage, how I let him down, how I never took him back, how his kids have acted towards him – what? he blocked my daughter from contacting her because she challenged him about his lies, my son was at a&e because he got so angry and punched a wall and my 7 year old was tearful and clingy as she is just a kid so yes, it was us, turning against him. Oh dear he really is delusional.
      I tell him I am not listening to him whilst he is in victim mode. proof he is not in recovery, i hang up the phone. 2 days later (a friday is becoming a prominent day now) he contacts me by text, whilst I am work and his texts are awful. Nasty, hurtful, slating what kind of wife I have been and I find myself at my desk in floods of tears. Im at work and crying. I dont respond. he texts more. I dont respond then I get a threat from him saying “tell our daughter that if she ever wants to know where her daddy is, then just look to the sky as he will be a star up in heaven”. I am now a wreck.Is he going to attempt suicide,is this manipulation again, why is he doing this – oh because I said no to him, what if he does hurt himself, I am at my work,Im an emotional mess.But I am not responding as that is what he wants so I get support from my colleagues, then manager, and I call the police. If he is suicidal then the police can respond and if hes not, then he will think twice about texting me threats of committing suicide as I wont respond, the police will. No more of this behaviour.
      I have to go home from work as I am too upset and the police call to tell me that hes absolutely fine. in fact they say he is in high spirits and when he is challenged on the comments made about being a star in heaven, he says this is because he was missing his daughter, The police are not impressed. I am then text, and text and he even calls my children to tell them the police are looking for me. (the police had promised me a call back to report on how he was – my ex failed to tell my kids that so they thought something had happened and I was in trouble.I have never been in trouble with the police, in fact in my job, i work alongside them).
      A few days later, I get a text to say hi, as if nothing had ever happened. mental. He is then offering to help me with child care and wanting to be my pal. I am gobsmacked. I don’t accept his help.
      Now the next Friday and he is calling me at work again. I ignore the calls. I am not leaving my work again.I eventually give in that evening as hes now text and at first we are having a decent conversation. Not for long as quickly I am accused of not being a supportive wife, not standing by him when hes had a mental breakdown (eh addiction) and again all about what I have not done as he is on his own (why is that), he asks about getting back with me, now I am upset as he has been horrible then tries to make me feel guilty, I say NO. I tell him not to contact me again, I tell him I will give him monthly email updates about his daughter. He has no reason to contact me . I cry but the time I spend crying is getting less. I am stronger now and would rather use my energy for my kids,not to be affected by him.
      Further texts, I ignore and texts on a sunday morning at 7 am, again its all about him and the victim he is. It is becoming a pattern of nice, sorry, nasty,hurt, guilt, pretend nothing has happened, nice again. No I am getting fed up with this.
      So my strength is returning but I am still wary, whats next?
      I also have contacted the csa again in between all this as guess what,he missed his payments and gave me an excuse.not good enough i tell him so tell the csa and not me,im nnot listening.
      Imagine my horror when the csa call me today and once again, I am upset at work {but then its nearly friday }his pattern emerging.
      the csa question me and I feel like a criminal as they want to know if my daughter has always stayed with me. Of course she has. I answer every question and I ask if by any chance the address they think she stays at is… and I give them my ex’s temp accommodation address. Yes thats what they have and also information from another government agency that my daughter is resident with my ex at times. My ex has attempted to obtain my daughters child benefit money and falsely stated that she stays with him. I am shocked and hurt that he has sank so low to try and get her child benefit money off her ;80 pounds per month. Not only do I get no child support, now we are telling more lies and I , as the mother, is being questioned. Again because of my profession and my honesty , luckily i am believed but need to produce evidence that my wee girl stays with me. so exhausting and I cried again. he must be so desperate to try and steal his 7 year olds child benefit money and hes told me hes in recovery, attending aa and ga meetings, seeing a pyschologist and returning to work. (oh his work have forgiven him for stealing 8 grand off them as he confessed to being a cg and has stated his poor mental health and break down of his marriage has caused this). Sorry my anger and resentment is starting to show a little.still no consequences for his behaviour.
      So, my emotions have been tested again, new tactics have been tried and failed as I have stood up against them and I am not going through another year of all this stress. I dont think it is over and some days i still feel low but not like I used to. Addiction might beat him but it most certainly, wont beat me

    • #4189

      Dear Jenny
      I am compelled to respond quickly in case you are reading today and I want to tell you that everything you have written has been heard.
      I am in no doubts that your ex-husband is suffering and desperate but I am also in no doubt why this is so. I won’t belittle his threat of suicide because I know how potent such a treat is and how distressing it is for you to hear – it is the ultimate threat and of course we have all heard about people who take their lives when they are alone and unhappy – but – however sad or desperate his situation is, only he can change it – nothing you could say or do would make any difference. If it was me I would not retaliate angrily over such a threat but say something along the lines of ‘I’m sorry you feel like this but the answer is in your hands and not with me’.
      I think the most telling thing about your ex is when the police called and found him in high spirits – not even just muddling along – and then by his own admission he says he has used his suicidal threats to get his way with you – it is hardly surprising the police were not impressed. I hope if there is a next time (and I agree with you it doesn’t look as though he is ready to control his addiction yet) that you will remember what the police found when they went to see him.
      Jenny there is no way of knowing how low your ex can/will get but your final paragraph convinces me that you will withstand his addiction. He is flinging everything, bar the kitchen sink, at you but you are seeing past his tirades, you are seeing his addiction dictating his life – he is sad, he is suffering and desperate but you cannot save him and you have three children to protect.
      Just imagine a company that would (or even could) write off £8000 with the economy as it is these days – I would need a massive pinch of salt for that one!! Listening to him is ok, filtering out what could be true is and not believing the stuff he says about you because you know it isn’t true, is more important.
      Keep posting – you are doing well – and however tough it gets, always keep uppermost in your mind – you are stronger than this addiction.
      Hogmanay is the big one for me too and here we still are
      Hope to ‘see’ you on Tuesday.

    • #4190

      Hi jenny

      I read your post and it had me in tears. In such adversity you are determined to not let the addiction win . He is trying everything to make you complicit and you are remaining resolute. What a great role model you are for your children Jenny. How much stronger you have become.

      Your words have really helped me and your actions are inspirational.

      Take care


    • #4191
      nomore 56

      Hi Jenny, it seems to me that you are a strong person and determined to rebuild your life without the addictions messing with it. Your kids and you are the most important persons now, what your ex does is his decision. Are you divorced yet? If so, do you have a custody agreement/order for the kids? Nothing is too outrageous for an addict to finance the addiction. It doesn’t surprise me, that your ex tried to get his hands on the benefits for the children. My hb stole our daughters savings right out of her piggy bank. Does csa know about his addictions? They should so that they know what is going on should he try something again.
      I noticed that many posts of f&fs mention the constant terror they are exposed to by texts, emails and voice mails. I am old enough to remember times where all you could do was make a call. If you didn’t want to answer, you didn’t pick up and didn’t even know who called. The new technologies are a blessing in many ways but can also turn into a curse. People can intrude on your life, your home, your thoughts and mostly your feelings uninvited and with you on the receiving end. Have you ever thought about blocking your ex’s phone numbers and email address? Not only would this provide you with some much needed peace and quiet for you and the kids but it would also send him a clear message that you are not willing to put up with his shenanigans anymore.
      I’m just brain storming here because I am finally able after all the years I spent caught up in my hbs insane behavior to approach the issue from a realistic and factual point of view. The more you can distance yourself from the distorted mind of your cg, the more progress you can make for you and most of all for your kids to live the life you deserve.
      It is a very painful road but every step is a step in the right direction. At least imho. Stay strong, you are worth it!!!!

    • #4192

      Yes, I agree with Nomore, Jenny.
      Blocking his calls and texts would solve some of your problems.
      But maybe you still need his attention?
      Just sayin!
      Women are like that. We don’t like to be ignored or rejected and even negative contact is better than none. It sort of keeps us in the loop.
      The time will come when things will move from your heart to your head Jenny. In the meantime, try not to allow him to tug on your heartstrings.
      CGs (as I said before) know how to play vulnerable people like a fiddle.
      If you do decide to block his texts let him know your decision.
      Then he will learn to stop barking up the wrong tree.
      Take control by setting boundaries. Don’t allow him to call all the shots.
      “What’s in it for me”, is the question you need to ask yourself regarding your reaction to contact from him.
      Breaking co dependent relationships is scary.
      Some part of you needs his attention if my hunch is right.
      If I’m off the track say so and I will delete this post. The last thing I want to do is upset or judge you. You have enough to deal with and you really are making great strides. Well done!
      I have a deep respect for “F and F’s”,
      ‘Don’t know if I could hack it.
      The less power he has over you, the easier it will be for you to get on with your life.
      Take back that power little by little, Jenny. It works!

    • #4193

      Hello. I am Alex, and my husband also has the same problem and i am looking for the people that can help me to recover and get through his gambling addiction.

    • #4194

      Hi Alex
      I hope you come back to this post soon so that you can get the individual support that you need.
      Please scroll to the bottom of the Friends and Family forum page and click on ‘New topic’. Give yourself a thread title, put your concerns in the box, scroll down and click on ‘save’
      Your post will appear in the Friends and Family forum and the support you want will be readily given.
      Unfortunately I cannot reply to you here, as I would like to, because this is Jenny’s thread but I hope to ‘meet’ up with you soon.
      I have a Friends and Family group tomorrow 20.00-21.00 hours UK time and I hope to ‘see’ you there.
      If you have any problems with finding your way round please don’t give up – our Helpline is available to you.

    • #4195
      jenny t

      Thank you all so much for helping me and No Vera, you are not upsetting me at all. I value your comments and a lot of what you say is right, and helpful.

      I went back to see my counsellor today, just for a wee top up. She is so helpful as I learn to ignore more of the addiction. I always find myself asking questions though and I have no answers , such as Why won’t he just change now? He has been spiralling lower and lower since October 2014 and he has not stopped gambling – despite him saying he has. What does it take to motivate the cg to change his life as it must be awful having no food, or electricity, or making up the constant lies and the sore head that must give you. I ask myself questions about choice as he always tells me he is ill. Then why is there no ‘treatment’ then and other people can stop when they want to? And he has his parents helping him again to manage his wages, surely this not enablement? He is a grown man and he says he can manage 100 pounds in his hands but not a 1000 pounds, why not if the temptation is to gamble with what ever you have, then why not blow it if you are not in control? But maybe you are in control because you have a choice what to spend your 100 pounds on.
      I have lots of questions and just need to write some of these down.

      I have remained strong and yes Vera keeping his number is my choice just now. It seems mad but I would rather know what he is doing, than not know, as he is unpredictable but I am having less and less communication with him as it is impossible to talk to him and have a conversation without him being the victim, or turning the conversation back to me and how I don’t help or understand his illness. It is still about him and when I show my strength, I get threats like he will take me to court for access to our daughter – so much interest when he cannot even pay for her.
      It has always been my dream to move to australia and I am already saving, have some jobs emailed to me and I am determined not to dream my life – but to now live my dream. He has threatened to not give me consent for our daughter to go – another battle ahead but I will always put the interests of my children,the opportunities they could have, and a better quality of life -( ahead of a man who has stole, lied, cheated with the bookies, threatened, hurt and caused so much damage to my children), first.
      He has shown little interest in our daughter, lied about being in recovery, is apparently back at work – he said his work are supportive of him because his manager suffered a mental breakdown too and also suffered from bulimia so she understands addiction. Who knows if that is true but he says as long as he pays back the 150 pounds a month for the car loan of 8000 pounds, then he wont get sacked.
      As for the CSA, when i first contacted them in august last year, i told them I would never see any money as he is a CG. They advised they have procedures to go through and here I am 6 months later, with my ex still in control of when he will pay the csa. He will face an earnings deductions order soon which means he will get money taken straight off his wages but this can take a few months. I do not rely on any money now from him. I cant. He is not responsible yet he wants to play the loving father. Have some play dates with my daughter. Ah if only being a parent was that easy eh.Oh now I sound bitter but I just get soooo angry sometimes.

      I get shocked too. Imagine how i felt when i received a letter to my address for 47 pounds worth of fuel that he had stolen from the local petrol station. and he tells me he is in recovery? letter was dated, petrol stolen, on 23 Dec 2015.
      Not even a responsible person, let alone a responsible father. And he wants me to agree to him seeing our daughter. When he is in recovery – yes, when he has better mental health – yes, when he has stopped blaming and has stopped using criminal activity – yes and when I know he is of rational mind and not gambling or lying. and I think i could wait a long time for this and I just don;t know why he wont just grow up and stop believing that the next big win is around the corner because he is losing his daughter because of his actions, his behaviour and his choices – not because of anything I have or havent done and certainly not because our kids were at fault either. I wont use my daughter as a weapon against him as the only destructive weapon that has been in our lives has been his addiction . But I will safe guard myself and my kids from any future harm, despite the love that I still feel but also with the feelings of hate too. 2 very strong and powerful emotions but I cant change what I am not in control of, I have to keep using the courage I have and this forum and supports to keep me getting through this and I have to empty my thoughts with people who truly know what I am going through. Thats the bits I can do. Sometimes though I am still left asking why I never saw the signs earlier, why he choose gambling over us and what is the reason for all of this happening.?
      All i do know is that break ups hurt but losing someone who doesnt respect and appreciate you is actually a gain, not a loss. Me and my children are worth so much more.

    • #4196

      Hi Jenny
      You will never get the answer as to why he can’t just stop despite gambling bringing him down to levels he hates and your CG possibly will never be able to tell you – that is addiction.
      If his parents are ‘managing’ his wages and not giving him money or clearing his debts then it is unlikely they are enabling. Treatment includes learning to handle money but it doesn’t come easily as money is a mere tool to gamble with.
      I don’t understand his £100 – £1000 distinction – gambling with £1 is the same as gambling with a million – it activates the gamble-brain and it is that which causes the poor behaviour and helps the addiction grow.
      Nobody can judge you whether keeping his number or not is right; you are gaining knowledge, you are ahead of him in understanding; you are making your choices and that to me is your recovery.
      Australia sounds a big step but I loved it when I went there and would have probably emigrated if I had gone when I was younger. There probably will be a battle if you decide to emigrate but from my own experience I know the courts put the child first and if you are acting in their best interests then I think you will have a good prospect of success. I think it is important to keep an accurate journal of your CG’s behaviour towards your daughter for anything to do with the courts in the future.
      Break ups are terrible Jenny but you do get over them and you can live a better life because of the experience. Make the bad times work for you or time is wasted.
      Keep posting

    • #4197

      Lots of questions, Jenny.
      Some will be answered in time. Some, NEVER!
      I could answer “What motivates a CG to stop gambling?”but for now , I will reserve my comments.
      I may, however be able to throw a bit of light on the £100 versus £1000 issue.
      For me, carrying a hundred would not really be a temptation to gamble because it is far too small an amount in gambling terms. Having a thousand, however would make it worth my while entering a casino because it would allow me to indulge my weakness for a couple of hours (Having said that it could vanish in 20 minutes). Once again, I will reiterate that I am only talking about ME. CGs , in recovery avoid mentioning monetary sums but since you mentioned those amounts I’m answering your query. Maybe that’s what your CG was trying to explain.
      And no Velvet, I am in no way “judging” Jenny’s decision to retain her CG’s number. I think the word “judging” is often misused.
      Every word I say, is meant to help others, not undermine or shoot them down. Writing about these experiences can bring back a lot of pain so please don’t be too hard on CGs who are doing our best to stay on track one day at a time.
      Stay strong Jenny.
      Your children need a stable parent and a peaceful environment to see them through their lives.

    • #4198
      jenny t

      Thank you both velvet and vera for answering my post.

      I have had a few difficult days and dont know what to do. My 13 year old daughter was off school with tummy ache on Thursday (11 feb) and I got a call from her, very upset , at my work. (I am so glad I have understanding employers).
      She said there were 2 men in suits banging on the door and then looking in the window. She was scared and was hiding behind the door. She said she didn’t know who they were so she took a photo of them on her phone and of the car they were driving (clever) but she was really shaken up, Then an hour later she said another man came to the door and was also chapping but she ignored this as she was on her own and didn’t know who it was.She also said the men were going round all the neighbours asking them questions.

      My 2 neighbours called me and said they were being asked questions about my ex husband. one said they didn’t know him and the other said i asked him to leave in august.
      I felt anger, embarrassment and shame but i also told them my ex is a cg. I guessed the men were debt collectors.
      After reassuring my daughter, I came home. There were 2 letters. One from a debt agency and the other from sheriff officers. I broke down in tears and phoned my mum. I am a grown woman yet I was so upset again and his addiction still in our lives.

      I did nothing else with the letters. One if for unpaid parking fines.

      The next day I called the debt agency and said my ex was no longer living with me, that he is a cg and that i am trying to recover so don;t need any further distress. The woman said there was a lawyer looking to serve papers on my ex but she would advise them I had called. I did not give them my ex’s address.

      Then I call the sheriff officers. I leave a message asking them to call me back. Again I am doing this whilst I am work.
      I don’t know what to say? Do I tell them my ex’s address? or not? He needs to face up to the consequences of his actions but I am worried he will know I have told them where he stays so what will he do next? Use this against me and make sure I definitely get no consent to take our daughter away.

      I can’t believe I am so blurred again in my thinking. I don’t want any more sheriff officers coming to my door. I have not done anything wrong. He has not registered his car at his new address so the dvla still have my address. That is why I know he stole petrol 5 weeks ago, has no road tax (why because he is working apparently) and also now has a parking fine., which has now got costs of sheriff officers added to it. Did he think that the debts were just going to go away, that he is invisible and the companies will just forget about the thousands and thousands owed to them (my last count of his debt was £60.000

      I feel stressed again. I haven’t told his parents anything. I haven’t spoke to the sheriff officers yet as I really don’t know what to say. To tell the truth of where he is staying or not?If I dont, I am then covering for him, I don’t want that either.

      I know he is still gambling. A few nights ago he liked virgin games online and this is a gambling site. He posted on social media that he liked this. He should not even be looking at sites/games if he is in recovery so I question if he is. He is also still being the victim and I have done well not to have texts/calls with him lately. Even though I have been tempted, I have called friends first.

      My son also had been keeping a secret from me as he told me he has been throwing all his letters in the bin before I get home from work, He said he didn’t want me to be stressed. My poor son, keeping all that to himself. Another effect of his addiction affecting my family.
      I reassure my son that he is not in the wrong but I would rather deal with the letters than ignoring them. So putting on ‘not known at this address’ would be better than them going in the bin and then more debt collectors turning up at my door.

      I also find myself feeling like a fool again as I think about when I met my husband and the signs were there. I didn’t realise it but he has just been to the bookies with his pals and had a big win, when I went to his house it was quite bare with the minimum furniture and I remember he never had any food. Not even a bag of frozen chips (as I remember being a little drunk one night and asked if he would make me chips and cheese. I wouldn’t believe him when he said he had no food so I checked his fridge and true, it was empty) His excuse was he lived on take away. I believed him.

      Then he had rent arrears and also lost his job. Told me he got paid off as there was not enough work. He got sacked for never being there. Oh I believed that lie too.

      There was another time I gave him £50 for food . I was a single mum to 2 kids at this time so £50 was a lot. He gambled it. Another sign but I was naive. I didn’t realise.

      His parents and him told me at a much later date that he was a cg but only when he stole 10 grand from me. He had tried GA 15 years ago and now it feels like nothing has really changed. Other than he maybe managed a few years as he met me, moved into my house, was a great caring guy and took on my 2 children who were only 3 and 4 at the time and I had no knowledge of him gambling. 6 years together and a daughter of our own and then boom, my world crashes when he steals off me and who knows if this was the first time. How could he have been absent from gambling for 6 years with no ga support? How did he manage this if he is a CG? oh I am asking questions again. Is it because he choose not to.?

      Gambling or your wife and kids – he choose gambling.

      Some days it is hard to get over that.

      One of my friends sent me a quote. ” You can’t start the next chapter of your life if you keep re-reading the last one”.
      I can’t change the past, only what I do now.
      I just have a feeling there are more worries to face.

      I need to keep posting, I have lost a wee bit of me again and yes Vera, I do need to keep strong. It is just so hard when the reminders are still there. and the knocks are at MY door.

      If he was thinking about us in any way and properly in recovery then he would be sorting out his mess, that is why I am almost 99% sure that he is still a gambling man. No CSA money, no responsibility, his parents supporting him with his wages whilst he keeps his cash in hand job, delivering chinese. and no remorse. He really has lost it all but will never realise it whilst the addiction and beast is still alive.
      Thank you velvet for helping me understand that.

      Perhaps you can provide your thoughts, and anyone elses too, on what I say next to the sheriff officers as I really do feel stuck.

      Thank you.

      Still emotional at times but getting there. And a more positive quote to finish on –
      “I am a strong woman. I don’t sit around feeling sorry for myself, nor let people mistreat me. i don’t respond to people who dictate to me or try to bring me down. If I fall I will rise up even stronger because I am a survivor and not a victim. I am in control of my life and there is nothing I can’t achieve”. I have to keep reminding myself that I can keep doing this. his addiction can’t affect us forever or continue to bring us down.

    • #4199

      Dear Jenny
      I hope it helps you to know that there is not one word in your post that I cannot relate to – the big difference for me is that it took me a lot longer than you to got anywhere near writing your final paragraph.
      Sheriff Officers and debts collectors have a job to do and if they were to pussy-foot around they would never get the justice that creditors deserve BUT they really are (in the main) very human with homes, wives and children. Unfortunately when you phone such offices etc you may find yourself speaking to ‘Jobs Worth’ – if that happens demand to speak to someone else – there is understanding for the genuine, don’t give up until you find it and never be afraid of being emotional when you speak to them. You may even end up talking to someone who knows exactly what you are going through – it happens!
      Your daughter is amazing, I know these men don’t come round wearing fluffy jumpers and carrying skipping ropes, they look incredibly tough and when they get the bad boys they can be really mean but I believe and hope that I am right that they would have been mortified to know they were scaring a 13 year old child on her own.
      Would I tell the debts collectors where my CG lives if I was in your position? My answer is that I would ‘now’, knowing what I know now. Possibly not the most helpful answer but of course decisions on your life must come from you, I made mine and they were often not right.
      There is a strong possibility that these men may return because they have nowhere else to get the debts paid for their clients, your daughter or son may be alone again, each visit is terrifying no matter what age we are. I think you are absolutely right when you say he is still actively gambling and the only thing you can do is protect yourself and your children.
      I cannot tell you what to do Jenny but I believe it is safe to say that giving your CGs address to the people he owes money to will never affect you getting consent to do what you want to do with your daughter – you are doing the best thing for your children – that is what matters.
      You were not a fool when you fell in love, how could you possibly know about this addiction without it being in your life or in the life of someone you knew well – I didn’t believe it even when I was told over and over again and the truth was staring me in the face, Many people can’t handle money – they don’t have to be CGs. We were naïve and ignorant of addiction but not foolish.
      The CSA can take money at source, maybe they need to know where your CG lives – how you make your own decisions, however, determines your recovery and whatever you do will be understood in this forum.
      I agree with your friend’s quote. I do use the past here and in my life but for reference only – I will never live in it again, I cannot change it but I can and hopefully do make it work for me.
      Just a quick final word – Are you watching Mr Selfridge? I Know it has now become more fictional but his gambling is well documented and well portrayed– a man who had it all and lost it all. I find it uncomfortable to watch but interesting all the same
      As Always Jenny – thinking about you

      Keep posting

    • #4200
      jenny t

      Thank you so much Velvet. Your reply has truly helped me and made me feel better about myself. Your words are sensitive and powerful too, often I can feel a hug. May sound silly but your support and virtual hugs help as I hear you say “it’s ok jenny, you will be ok.Keep moving up that mountain and each time you fall down, I and others will remind you of your strength to get back up again”,I am crying as I type just now. better out than much hurt at times.

      So I did call the sheriff officers and I told them everything. I thought about what I am in control of, what I don’t want for me and my kids and what we deserve and being disturbed by debt collectors and others for something we have not caused, is not right. So I will await my ex’s response whatever that may be but I won’t be afraid anymore. So today I called the sheriff officers and the debt company who also came to my house. I provided my ex’s address. he can deal with his mess. I also called the DVLA and told them he is using my address so they will now deal with his fines/no road tax/non payment of fuel at his address. It is not my problem and my recovery is hard enough without constantly being drawn back to what he is or isn’t doing. So there is strength there. I have used it today, but it is so awful making those calls. I did it though.

      Then I see on social media that my ex is trying to sell his car – the one the sheriff officers can seize if they find it. CG’s are clever, always trying to be one step ahead. He wants a quick sale.I wonder why.Then he also posts selling some speakers and a tv box and again is looking for money and he will offer a good price. I believe he is skint and something feels uneasy. My instinct has been worth gold before so I will guess its not legal.Recovery? what recovery?

      Then he contacts me and he has paid a payment to the CSA. Well he had no choice really as the csa are now set up to collect and pay from him and if he defaults on this, they will contact his employer and arrest his wages. He doesn’t want anything affecting his work now or his image but for 6 months my daughter has not received any maintenance from her dad.That’s a shame but I made sure she was ok, infact more than ok because that’s what you do when you are a parent, you provide, nurture, care and protect your kids from any distress and harm – even if it’s their father that is causing it.
      So now he has made a payment, he texts me today and asks “just so I know, am I going to get regular access to our daughter? hope everyone’s ok”. I don’t reply. I explained before that when he had stopped gambling, had better mental health, was back at his work and doing better within himself, not drinking, being a responsible person, taking responsibility and making efforts to put his kids first, then I would consider contact again. Plus my daughter, aged 7, is getting weekly support at school from the assistant head teacher as she is speaking about her daddy to them and tells me she doesn’t want to see him.
      I won’t do what is best for my ex anymore and I do believe he is hurt and is missing our daughter but he had choices and supports and how he lives his life is his decision but if his behaviour has any impact on his kids, which his addiction has, then I will make the decision to put the interests of my kids first, regardless of what he says, does, or thinks about me. If he can’t or won’t accept that then I will prepare myself for what comes next.
      So I don’t respond . No communication. Then I get a post that he has got a new car. That will get my attention and it did. I was hurt, angry but mostly suspicious. Where did he get the money for that? But I am still not replying. I don’t want to react anymore. what’s the point when all I would get is the victim story or maybe a lie or denial and I am tiring now of hearing this. Because I don’t need to. Moving forward has to be about taking the steps away from him and as difficult as it can be, I hear the comments on this forum asking “what about you Jenny T, what do you want, how are you looking after yourself?” and I now really understand that. No more hurt, no more. My children are happier, my son did well in his exams and made me proud, my girls are fun and caring and we are much closer now than ever. we look after one another.

      Writing this post tonight has made me realise that my gut is probably right, my ex is up to something and that he will have to face up to the illegal activities that he has done but that is his life now and not mine. Not my kids life, my life, not even my wee dog needs to hear the lies anymore.

      An old song came on the radio today by the pop group M People, I smiled as I sang the lyrics “I’m moving on up, I’m moving on out, moving on up, nothing can stop me”.
      I didn’t realise how significant that song was until now and I started this post crying and now I am feeling better.

      I don’t doubt there is more to come but to everyone here helping me, thankyou. I hope you all have a song that helps you too.

    • #4201

      Hi Jenny
      Making the calls is awful – it is something you would never imagine having to do but having done it I hope you feel relief – people do listen and they do understand. It was new to you, along with all the other experiences that you are coping with so well, but the people you were speaking to would have heard it all before. Maybe a tick box would be in order – collect the ticks and move up the mountain 10 paces.
      If your ex has a new car I am sure the sheriff’s office will be very pleased to see it although it will of course depend on the name it is registered in! Keep following your instincts, I think you are fine-tuning them now and doing brilliantly.
      The only negative I could see in your post was thinking that you were not doing what is best for your ex because I believe you are. I don’t believe in ‘what ifs’ for the past but how about a ‘what if’ just for today. ‘What if’ you didn’t give his address to those people he owes money to – your children would almost certainly be subjected to more unpleasant people looking in the window and possibly hear things they should not have to hear – while his addiction revels in its ‘good luck’ because he hasn’t got to part with gambling money on old and forgotten (by him) gambling debts. ‘What if’ his parents have bought the car so the Sherriff cannot claim it – his addiction will thrive but his debts will be mounting up, there will be creditors banging soon at their door. ‘Enablement’ however small opens a door for an active CG, such as you describe, to dive through and carry on without looking back. If he doesn’t look back he can’t see his daughter or hear her crying but turning his back on debts and his child is not going to bring him happiness, ‘protecting’ him from facing responsibility is not going to bring him happiness – facing up and sorting himself out will be tough but in the end he could be the man your daughter wants as her father. He has his mountain to climb but it isn’t yours.
      Your non-reaction is pulling you up that mountain faster than you would have done listening and reacting to his addiction or trying to reason with it. Does ignoring him feel good? No it bloomin’ well doesn’t and I know that only too well; Does getting closer to the summit feel good? Yes it does.
      I hear in your posts a person who cares for her CG but has recognised that her caring has to change from that which is considered ‘normal’ by society. The most wonderful word I have ever heard was when I eventually left my CG at a rehab and he said ‘thank you’. All the time I was trying to give him what I thought was a better life he would feign sorrow but he never thanked me like he did that day – it was only when I toughened up and behaved in a way that was foreign to me that he found his rock bottom and eventually changed his life.
      There are so many songs that make me happy now that I couldn’t choose just one but I love the one you have chosen as your anthem.
      Well done Jenny and well done to your children for doing so well at school

    • #4202
      jenny t

      Thank you Velvet for really helping me again. I have had to re read my posts as I have just felt flat this week, Not anger, not sadness, just flat.
      I had been doing well and I seem to be getting invites to fund raising nights, birthday parties and hen nights. I have not been out to social events in a while.I found it too hard. But I decided, say yes Jenny T. You can do it. So last night I went to a friend’s 40th party and I wont pretend it wasnt difficult, walking in on your own, no husband by your side, but I did it. My daughter posted that I was out on social media and well, the texts from my ex began. “you have won I can’t do it anymore” Eh, what is he talking about. I ignore it.
      Another text at 3am – “my daughter wont ever want to see me again, being around you, it must’ve been real bad living with me for 10 years, treat each day as if it your last”. I don’t respond.
      In the morning, more texts and he tells me “instead of trying to work out our marriage , you left me to rot, why do you think i lost it”,omg, he is blaming me, so i now respond but not with anger or annoyance as I won’t react this way but of concern. I tell him there are no winners in any of this, it is not a game he is playing it is peoples lives – mine and his kids. I tell him I could not stay in the marriage that was not trusting as when I found out in april last year that he gambled, I did let him stay in the house but then in May, I discover he is still gambling and I get more lies. The holiday was not long after and that was a disaster as the gambling was replaced by alcohol misuse and I was left to look after our kids in a foreign place, on my own, whilst he got drunk. and then he loses it in my house in August, making my kids and me scared so I say no more and he is out. So which part have I left him to rot? What was I meant to do? just keep accepting the lies and dishonesty, spending money, having me and my kids affected more and our self worth being grinded down by him. No, I was not accepting the addiction and all the behaviours that go with it in my life anymore.

      Reading your supportive comments velvet has helped as you mentioned the debts/money spent that he may have forgotten about.or does not want to acknowledge because to admit it, means to feel the shame that goes with his actions and that must be an awful place to be. So why is he trying to make me feel bad?I did not cause this or want it in my life. What is the matter with him?

      Then he tells me he has not been gambling for 3 months now. So I ask why is he not paying off his debts and why did I have sheriff officers at my door for unpaid fines as well as not paying for petrol,road tax, along with everything else. His reply was that he had no money to pay for petrol or pay his debts cause he was skint. He said he didnt steal the petrol. On 23 December, he fills up his car, fills in a form with an excuse and then never goes back to that petrol station.In my eyes, that is stealing as it is taking something and not paying for it.maybe he sees it differently.

      So i tell him it is good that he says he is not gambling but recovery is not just about staying off the bet. For me it is about responsibility, accepting what you did and trying to make changes in your attitude/behaviour so that you start to like who you are again, getting out of the shame pit and being the better father that the kids need u to be.It can’t be about staying a victim, blaming others for what went wrong and to still tell lies. So I guess my ex is not in recovery.

      I stopped texting back as he then told me he was going to move away as there was nothing left for him here, and also that i never told him I loved him or wanted him back. My fault again. Oh velvet, i lost some of those counters that were getting me up my mountain as texting back was not the right thing to do. why am i trying to reason with a CG?

      Ironic that he texts me whilst knowing I am out. but it won’t stop me as I won’t stay behind closed doors and not have my life anymore. His addiction nearly destroyed me and I can’t go back to the way I used to feel,I need to keep being strong.

      it is his 40th birthday coming up and I guess that must be affecting him,but it is not right for him to blame me. I could not stay in my marriage, so why is he making me feel bad?

      I am sure that maybe one day , I will look back on this chapter of my life and make more sense of it because just now I still get cloudy days. Hopefully the sun will come back out again.

      I am crying right now. This still hurts.But best to keep letting go of how I feel and talking to people who understand. thanks for listening.

    • #4203

      Dear Jenny
      Walking in to any social event alone for the first time is hard but it does get easier because next time you will know that you can do it – I hope you enjoyed some of the evening because every smile, every laugh and every conversation that doesn’t include gambling is one step up the mountain.
      I don’t think his words are intended to make you feel bad Jenny, I think his addicion is trying to make you feel responsible because he is resisting the truth that the responsibility for his mess, lies with him.
      I agree that his recent behaviour does not suggest a person in control of their addiction for 3 months – in the eyes of the law what he did would be classed as stealing – again he is not willing to accept responsibility.
      I don’t think you lost any counters because you sent a text or texts back to your ex because you have worked out for yourself that maybe it wasn’t the best thing to do and that knowledge is a step up. I thought your words “So i tell him it is good that he says he is not gambling but recovery is not just about staying off the bet. For me it is about responsibility, accepting what you did and trying to make changes in your attitude/behaviour so that you start to like who you are again, getting out of the shame pit and being the better father that the kids need u to be.It can’t be about staying a victim, blaming others for what went wrong and to still tell lies’, would/should/could have given him food for thought if he is the remotest bit receptive.
      If he asks again why you think he lost it maybe you could just turn his question around and suggest he asks himself the same question and leave it at that – get him hopefully, to think.
      Birthdays with a nought in them are often considered to be pivotal points in a life and it might see an increase in his texting. If you cannot resist a reply, keep it positive and as short as possible, read and re-read what you have written before sending so that you don’t inadvertently give him things to chew over and twist. In my opinion, wishing him a better future on his birthday wouldn’t be wrong whereas ‘happy birthday’ would open a whole can of worms!
      I ‘know’ that one day you will look back at this chapter in your life but I don’t know if you will make sense of it. For me there is still no sense but there is understanding and that brought the sun out.
      I think that writing how you feel is so important, confused thoughts that have no outlet turn into nightmares. I will always be listening and I can hear you chipping away at that rock and finding footholds.
      I hope the children and doing well and that with them you are getting fun and laughter.

    • #4204
      jenny t

      Thank you Velvet. You really help to keep me strong as you speak with such knowledge about addiction with a caring and genuine understanding of how gambling affects you. And i am grateful for your comments.

      So, I continued to receive text messages over the weekend and I answered a few but ignored a lot however, he really does want to get my attention so he posts on social media, a photograph of him, in his new car (wonder how he got that?) with a receipt. He is holding the receipt which is a Labrokes betting slip. With a long list of bets. He also posts a photo of bottles of alcohol and I guess that is for his sunday session. Alcohol and betting and Sunday being a betting day. Also mothers day. awful.

      My daughter sees it and takes a copy of this as within half an hour of posting his photo,he makes it disappear. Are CG’s magicians too. I should not mock but sometimes the feelings I have are really bad. guess the addiction makes you feel this way.

      So he has posted himself with his ladbrokes receipt and now got what he wants as he asks in his post “what are my chances”. I reply and tell him that the biggest chance is loss. And I am gobsmacked by his response and denial as he lies once more and tells me – Oh that was not me in the photo, it was someone else who sent it to show that betting is a mugs game. Wow, it is his arm holding the receipt, in his new car and now he is in total denial – trying to do what abusive people do – make you feel that you are going mad or make you question your own thoughts and doubt yourself, even though you truly know that you are correct and it is the very clever and manipulative cg that is wrong.

      Oh and that morning I had a text from him saying “happy mothers day” signed with a kiss. So his pattern on Friday – he knows I am out so I get the texts, all about him, how I have won,messages at 3am, blame on me. Then I get how much of a victim he is on the saturday and he is trying every tactic for communication. I am understanding this now. Then I get Mr Nice wishing me a lovely day and when I still don’t respond, he provides evidence of gambling by holding a ladbrokes receipt. What a silly man.

      He has had no thought for my daughter seeing this, she is always on social media, no thought for me over the weekend, other than to blame me and make me feel bad, then tries to deny he was in the photo so I will doubt what I saw. Manipulative and abusive and now I do feel that he should , in his words, “rot”.

      When my instinct said he was gambling, i was right. I gave him an olive branch a few weeks ago when he asked me about the kids and I encouraged him to write a letter to them, being a start to re establish contact and mend some of the hurt. He never sent any letters, he has no interest in his kids, it is all about him. What a shame but it just gives me more evidence of where he is at, and he still obviously believes that he can continue to bet. Not at his rock bottom, not in recovery,still gambling.

      So if that is where he is at, he can get on with it. And again, I need to get that focus back on me and my kids coz that is what is important.

      You were so right Velvet when you said there would be more ups and downs and now I experience them, but with some strength. In a better place than I was before, using this as a support, singing my songs and nearly at the finishing line. Hopefully when I more ‘recovered’ myself, I can give something back to other people on this site.
      Using what has happened in your life, can benefit others as I can truly empathise and understand what is happening, although their experience will still be unique to them. I have also learned so much about myself through this awful journey. The best thing is – I know I can look after me, practically and emotionally and I have an inner strength to change this negative into a positive as again I hear your words Velvet, the pain and suffering I have experienced has not been for nothing.

      Nearly there I think. more better days but still some hard and confusing ones too. And there is an army of people on this site, michelle, jenny, vera, worried mama, and so many more, that I can hear right now saying “keep going jenny”. and your believe in me too Velvet, that I can get through this. I am stronger than his addiction.
      Thank you so much.
      Again, upset at the start of my post but stronger at the end.
      Keep going Jenny, keep going.

    • #4205

      No, Jenny. CGs are not magicians . Just bluffers. And some are cowards who prefer to project their own weakness on to vulnerable people who allow themselves to be treated as punch bags or scapegoats. That is why you need to PROTECT YOURSELF, Jenny. Gambling is only one of your ex’s problems from what you say. What he is doing is blatant bullying . In my book, every bully is a coward but we aren’t supposed to judge, so what I’m saying carries no malice. It is intended only to help you protect yourself.
      Is there any way you can avoid exposing yourself to his cruelty and abuse? I don’t use Social Media because a lot of what I hear about it is anti social and in my opinion it often cuts out real communication and can be used as a tool to abuse others. Can you report this to the Site owners? I really don’t know how that works Jenny but some “Whizz kids” can flash their wares , then disappear by the sound of it. A great outlet for cowards isn’t it?
      It certainly could not be good for your daughter to be exposed to it either. Can you limit her visits there?
      I have started to attend GA and I really have great admiration for the young guys there. Some are fathers who have lost their “partners” and are trying to win back their trust. If your ex ever comes to his senses, he might find himself in a room with “real” men where he can talk out his feelings instead of targeting the vulnerable in cyber space from the protection of his hidey hole! Sorry, if I sound hard on him Jenny but I don’t want to see every CG painted with the same brush . There are genuine people out there and here on this site who live with the “disease” called Compulsive Gambling and who are aware of the hurt and damage we have caused. Don’t give up hope that your guy will, one day, be among the group who are on the road to recovery.
      In the meantime, avoid “toxic” contact and MIND YOURSELF!

    • #4206
      nomore 56

      I agree with Vera on this one. Your hb (or is he officially your ex?) is in your head it seems. Looks to me like he is running your life, your day, your emotions, your thoughts. As long as you reply to his texts, answer his calls and react to what he does or doesn’t do, you cannot take good care of yourself and your kids. Of course this is just my opinion, based on my own experience of more than 20 yrs with a cg. The addiction and everything that goes with it is his, not yours. He is like a shadow dimming the sunlight you so much deserve in your life. As for social media, if you and your daughter are using Facebook, it might be a good idea to “de-friend” him and allow only people on your page you want to be in contact with. That way he will not know what you are up to and what is going on in your life. He doesn’t need to know where you are going and what you are doing. It would be better for your daughter as well I think if he has no access to her page as long as he is treating the kids as he does now.
      Last but not least I think that as long as you are giving him mixed signals, he will try to mess with your head, your heart and consequently your and your kids happiness and peace of mind. Maybe it is really time to either get a new phone number or block his? Like I said, just mhop but based on my own painful journey.

    • #4207

      Hi Jenny
      I agree with Vera regarding social media as I believe it is used too often to further unhealthy thoughts and activities – the sort I prefer to avoid. I have recently been aware of someone who misjudged the motives of another and who then passed on a prejudiced narrow-minded opinion, which has caused a family to be blown apart.
      I don’t ‘do’ Facebook so I defer to Nomore when she says it might be a good idea to de-friend your CG because certainly, at the moment he is not your friend and what you are doing is definitely not his business.
      I hope that no CG, on this site, will feel that F&F tar all CGs with the same brush – with knowledge of each other it is clear that CGs are as different from each other as F&F, with differing levels of understanding, tolerance, delusion, denial, self-will on both sides. Your mountain of recovery has got more than its fair share of awkward rock faces and devious crevices that require different crampons and stronger ropes than some other mountains so just keep posting as you see it and that way you can be given the right tools at the right time.
      The most important thing is that you and your children reach the top of your mountain because while you are climbing you are vulnerable to slips and avalanches – you know you cannot save your CG and for now, at least, you cannot spare the energy to worry about him. From the top you will be able to see so much more and then you will know what it is that you want, where you want to go and how you are going to get there. Hopefully there will come a day when your CG will take control of his addiction but until then look after you and your children because it is the best thing for all of you.

    • #4208
      jenny t

      Thankyou for the comments. I have been low at times, strong again, fragile and then determined. So many emotions and feelings and sadness too.

      I still keep in contact with another CG, whom I met through my ex. He is a lovely guy and has been in recovery for 5 years now. He managed to save his marriage and lives with his wife and kids. I am happy for him and also one of my neighbours, who just moved in a few months ago, has also told me that he recognised me from a social GA event. he has also been in recovery for a few years and stays with his girl friend. He told me he knows my ex but my ex has stopped going to his main meeting.apparently he goes to another one. This neighbour then said my ex is used as an example of what can happen if you keep gambling – you can lose your home, your wife and your kids. He told me gambling addiction can be over come, which I know, my ex is just not ready to stop yet. So, I know that not every GA is the same, just some of the behaviours whilst gambling are. I dont want you think Vera that I am tarnishing every one being the same. I just get so angry and the emotions you experience when you are the person affected by the addiction, are emotions and feelings that you never knew you had. It is horrible but I appreciate all the comments I get back and the support whilst I am on my own journey to ‘get there’, to not being affected and to not be sad or hurt anymore.

      Still difficult when I go out with friends for a meal and come home to my son being upset. I ask him what has happened and he tells me he has received a phone call from the police on his phone, he doesn;t answer. My son has never been in trouble with the police in his life and he is a good kid. I guess it is to do with my ex. I call the police and they have my son’s number as they are trying to get unpaid fuel back. The 47 pounds of unpaid petrol that my ex filled a form out for. Then ‘forgot’ to go back and pay. I tell the police his details, the sheriff officers at my door, the upset me and my kids are still experiencing and the police are very supportive. They now advise they will be making contact with my ex and won’t distress us again.
      My son was so worried. guess my ex didn’t think about that. awful.

      The next day I decide to request a meeting with my ex’s parents. I am trying to stop debt collectors, lawyers,agents,police and more surprises coming in to my life so I decide to tell his parents every thing that has been going on for us and the effects his CG is having on my kids. I was so anxious as his parents have not always been my number one fan but I am speaking to them to help me and my children and that is worth doing. They are shocked. They tell me they have not been managing his wages – ex obviously lied again – and that they financially helped him by getting him 6 months road tax for his new car. I talk to his mum about enabling and about this forum but she advises she has a book and that helps her. I tell his parents I will not cover for him and i will now tell every person looking for him, where he is. Not because I want to hurt him because I don;t. But because – you are right vera – I need to protect myself. My kids don’t deserve this too.

      His father tells me that my cg will always blame others for his behaviour and actions and that they had no idea what I was going through. I am glad of their support and feel better that I have told them. It is such a burden carrying things, especially when you are not responsible for them.

      So, if I am getting stronger, it changes how I do things but it still feels awful and makes me sad. I wish my ex could have been the guy that I spoke about earlier who saved his marriage and got his wife and kids back. My ex choose not to do this and then blamed me for not telling him I loved him or wanted him back. Or blamed his parents for his upbringing. and it is not even about blame anymore.i do believe that my ex is sometimes accepting for what he has done and can take responsibility . I have heard his apologies.
      It is just not enough.

      I am low today. got to get over this rotten day and remember how far I have come. Can’t change the past jenny T but you can live with your kids in a gambling free environment, safe in the knowledge that your hard earned money will still be in the bank at the end of the day and that there will be no need to hear about the lies. Then why do I miss my husband ? Because I am still grieving for the man that I used to have but I know the addiction has took him away. You are right velvet, I will never understand that.

      Thanks for listening.

    • #4209

      Hi Jenny

      I read yours and others posts on the site and although I do not post very often now I do use the support group. I just wanted you to know that I always completely understand what you say. I first posted on this site a year ago and in some ways I have come a very long way but do really struggle at times with the moving on. I understand it . I get it but it’s difficult practically and emotionally to do. When you write your posts I often feel you are describing my emotions.

      You have come a long way. It took great strength to talk to your ex husband’s parents . To challenge the addiction. I am glad they were receptive. You are striving to do the best for your children despite your own emotions.

      I understand the low days too .I understand the frustration. I understand the lack of comprehension . But remember you are doing well. As you say you are much stronger than you were and you and your children are safe in your home away from the addiction.

      Take care

    • #4210

      Hi Jenny,

      Hope you are feeling better today. I just read your thread and I must say I felt pulled back in the past of how things were with my cg father. It was a constant one step forward, then two steps back, rocky relationship, because I struggled with the “but he is my father” guilt trip holding me back. And because of it I let years pass, looking the other way hoping he would stop gambling.
      As you wrote, ” I wish my ex could have been the guy that I spoke about earlier who saved his marriage and got his wife and kids back.” I, too, desperately wished my father was one of the father’s that finally committed to his recovery, and not just said it because he got in a financial jam or got caught, because I was going to be there for him. I was going to be the one to help him finally kick this addiction out of water. But sadly he wasn’t. He wanted no part of recovery.

      This realization ripped my heart into million pieces, but surprisingly it was my wake-up call, or what I like to call now my saving grace. I had to change; it was me that had to make my break. I knew I had to stay on the yellow brick road of recovery, it wasn’t easy, there were plenty of hiccups and bumps on the road, and many times where I cried myself to sleep feeling utter helplessness and stricken with stomach sick anxiety, but I stayed on my path. I couldn’t let the addiction take anymore of me.

      I feel you are doing the same thing as you continue to walk on your own road of recovery; you did all you could and more. If you feel like crying do so; I have shed so many tears of hurt and pain that I believe were aching to come out, trapped. Whatever you are feeling now, embrace it and let yourself continue to heal. Be kind to yourself. I like to think that the best is yet to come, and I feel this is the case for you and your children.

      Take care,


    • #4211
      jenny t

      Thank you Twilight for your comments. i appreciate that and your heart felt reply about your dad.I am sorry he couldn’t be the dad you needed. That I understand, as my ex wants no part of recovery too.

      My head has been all over the place in the last few weeks. I hit a low and fragile period, feeling physically ill and rundown, having a virus and dealing with stress at work and being tired running after my kids. and who was back on the text being nice? yes,my ex. I thought he was being genuine as he was asking about the kids and although that instinct of mine was still there telling me he was still gambling, I wanted to believe for a wee while that he was “the man I used to know”. So, I took my daughter to the park and said he could come and see her there but only for 30 minutes. The last time I allowed contact was in December and I still haven’t forgotten that he has made no real effort to let his kids know he is the dad they need him to be, no letters,no cards,no positive contact/effort. But I am low.

      He comes to the park.It is positive.I tell him it is baby steps as I am very protective of my 7 year old.He says he will do what it takes to be in her life. Easter Sunday he asks if he can give the kids easter eggs. I meet him but only for 15 minutes as I am feeling unwell and I feel he can’t wait to get away. (It is a Sunday, a previous betting/drinking day).
      Still all is ok.

      BUT – it changes. He asks me if he can take our daughter to the cinema,on his own.In the last 3 months he has only seen her for 45 mins. AND I am approached by a very reliable friend who asks me if I have met my ex lately. When I say yes she advises me I need to be careful, she is not one to gossip but she is genuinely concerned for me. I ask her why and she tells me he has a serious COCAINE ADDICTION NOW. Oh i am gobsmacked.

      I find out he had a 500 pound debt to drug dealers and now it makes sense, he advertised his old car for 500 pounds. I thought that was for gambling. He was on facebook trying to sell items, drugs now, cocaine is expensive. I am told he has debt to drug dealers for 600 pounds and he also has items in a pawn shop (it was his birthday in March and his sister gave him a lovely watch, is it now being used for money?) I am shocked.

      I contact my ex and I am calm and ask him when did he last use cocaine.He lies. He tells me January. He was in the dealers house a few weeks ago and also was trying to get cocaine an hour before I called him. I tell him I know about the drugs and I am concerned for him but there is no way I will allow contact now. I have no trust and I also ask him if he gambled. He says No but again he has been seen going into the bookies and there was the post of him with a ladbrokes receipt. His reply astonishes me “Yes I did go into the bookies but I wasn’t gambling”. He is a CG.
      He then tells me I am a liar and I am just calling him to bring him down. He totally changes and becomes aggressive, shouting at me and calling me a liar, saying I just want to hurt him. I am gobsmacked. And what did I expect, the truth?

      Now I have a different man, angry, argumentative, threatening to take me to court, to never allow me to take our daughter to Oz, to “wait as you will be hearing from someone pretty soon”.Why? because I said No or really because I caught him again.Because I now know.

      I am now giving him a clear message to stop or I will involve the police. I am very upset. What on earth was I thinking a couple of weeks ago? Hope that he could be there for his daughter when now he is using cocaine, drinking alcohol, gambling, working 2 jobs and still functioning.How is this possible. His head and body must hurt.

      So, I spend time with friends and I tell his parents again of what has happened. They are angry but concerned. They try to reasssure me that he won’t go through the courts but I really don’t trust him.

      All this happened on Saturday and I wake up today and find a text message sent to me at 12.45 am which is abusive, calling me poisonous and saying he has took 95 aspirin as its the only way. I am upset. i have never been called poisonous in my life. I wasn’t shouting or being horrible to him. I now have that physically anxious sick feeling that he has done something stupid.I wonder if he has, he has threatened before. I am a mess again and I am meant to be getting ready for work.

      I call a friend for support at 7am, I then phone the police and ask them to check he is ok. And guess what, he is.I am deflated. He obviously wanted a reaction. I have now blocked his number.

      I go to work.Little concentration. His parents tell me the police went to their door. Does my ex consider or think of any of this? the effects his behaviour has? I am done. I haven’t protected myself enough.

      Vera once posted something that was helpful to me and it was about being in a car, with the brakes failing and I had to pull myself and my kids to safety or we would all crash. I feel as though I have just been in that car crash. Dazed, emotionally battered, confused, shocked, hurt but still got some strength to walk away.

      You know what the hardest part is – I feel that I have now totally given up on him and that hurts me. I am a caring person and I thought maybe seeing his daughter again would help, us talking without any negativity would help, but really I forgot that the only person that can help him, is himself.

      It hurts.It really hurts.

      Need to find that strength again. Now I have made that final step to block his number,my worry though is what next?

      Sorry for the long post. I have been keeping all of this in and it has took a lot for me to post again. I know other cg’s have commented on my posts before and I have never ever wanted to offend anyone with anything I write. I hope anyone reading this is not upset .
      Thank you for taking the time to read this.

    • #4212

      Hi Jenny
      I am so pleased to see you posting again. Your thread, this forum is for ‘you’ and your feelings; you can be safe here in the knowledge that all you say is understood. I have never read anything offensive on your thread written by you, so please continue posting and getting the support that you deserve.
      I am glad that you have had the strength to pull yourself out of the car as it careered and crashed out of control because in doing so you are saving yourself and your children. Crashes hurt but you are alive; you are bloodied and bruised and suffering unwelcome painful flashbacks but you have crawled from the wreckage and gradually the realisation will dawn that the tangled, twisted wreckage is behind you and cannot hurt you anymore – you will begin to feel alive and you will be breathing freely again. If you were not a caring person it wouldn’t hurt.
      I think you did the right thing calling the police – calling someone’s bluff when they are saying they are actually committing suicide is frightening to say the least. Unsurprisingly your ex was fine but you could not have known that. Well done blocking his number.
      The threats and intimidation are just that Jenny – they are designed to get you to react. What you are now describing is a man who has gone further into his descent into addiction and needs help but he is not asking for it and even if he was, in my view, it is not for ‘you’ to even begin to feel that you are responsible for him, or that you can give it.
      My remit is to support you with your ex’s gambling addiction, I cannot comment on his abuse of cocaine but as a mother I am completely behind you in your belief that he is not responsible enough, in his present state, to take your daughter out alone.
      It is obvious to me that you are a caring person and I am sorry that you feel you are letting yourself down by giving up on your ex. Some relationships become toxic and one side is not automatically to blame for the other. Your ex is displaying forms of addiction that only he can control and it wouldn’t matter what you did it would not make any difference. Sometimes it is only distance that gives us the ability to see things clearly.
      In my opinion Jenny, in the future, if your ex cleans up his act, I am sure you will hear about it – the world is a surprisingly small place. With his head straight you can reassess any contact you want with him or that your daughter might want with him, at that time.
      I am glad you are including his parents and that you are talking to friends because it gives you strength and I think you need a lot of on-the-ground support. As you know I cannot tell you what to do but I believe you know what should be done, the hard bit is doing it.
      I hope to be able to talk to you again in the group soon

    • #4213
      jenny t

      It has been over a year when I found out my ex had stole from me again and yet there are still many ups and downs.

      A few weeks ago, the police are in contact with me for “fuel drive off”,and I contact them to tell them my ex does not live with me.I ask why they don’t know that as it wasnt long ago when I reported suicidal texts from him. But different departments and I guess just my exhaustion at having to deal with the police – again. They tell me it was for fuel drive off on 31st dec and I give them my ex’s details. No more police I hope.

      My ex contacts me on a private number, which i answer.(I thought it was the police again as that is what is displayed on my phone when they have called me) He tells me he doesnt want to argue or lie (mmm) and tells me that he doesnt have a cocaine addiction but I was right, he has been using negative coping strategies.He tells me he is sorry and he will give me space. And he does. wow. I have no tactics for a bit and I can get some strength back.

      He contacts me again and asks to see our daughter. He understands this will be supervised and I wont let him be with her on his own. He does not push me into a decision and this time, I get some respect. He also gives me the number of one of his mentors and says I can call him to find out how he is doing, I am wary, we are being Mr Nice but I go along with it. I am not pressured into anything and most importantly, for the first time in over a year, I believe there is a genuine interest now for his daughter.

      Still feel a big BUT as I am so wary. I just dont trust him but then I feel more in control of what I am doing now and I dont have to prove myself to our daughter, he does. He asks to see her and I agree to a 30 min visit in mcdonalds. My daughter is super excited about seeing her dad and it goes well.
      He has asked to see her again and also my son wanted to meet him too. We arrange a brief meeting at the toy shop and again all is well. he even gives me 100 pounds as my daughters birthday is near and although I have still not received any child support money, I take the 100 pounds.

      He doesnt talk about himself, his presentation is well, he wants to know all about the kids and my kids are pleased – but I am still very protective and know that this may not last. The difference for me is I dont expect it to, I just hope it will. I wont expect anything as then I will get disappointed.

      So the ups and downs are still there as I still feel confused and never know if I am doing the right thing. Contact for our daughter will only be minimal as he has to do a lot to make things right, if he can, but I will stop this and pick up the pieces again if I feel my daughter is going to be affected by him in any way.

      I wonder where the addictive monster has gone? That sounds harsh but I dont know if anything has changed, if he does still take drugs, when was his last bet, and am i doing the right thing seeing him with my daughter and son? although it is for a short time,I just dont know.

      Addiction causes me doubt but I understand more now that the man I have seen and the behaviours he has displayed, has been an active CG.When he gambles, he is like the beast in the room. I get that now Velvet. When he is in recovery, He is the caring loving man. So different.

      I have experienced abusive behaviour, manipulative tactics, a selfishness and some of the most anxious, depressing and lowest moments of my life – and all caused by compulsive gambling and the real, damaging effects of this. I have lived with a ‘stranger’ and if it wasnt for this forum, I would not have understood what a cg is and how self care is the most valuable thing of all.

      I feel I am still learning, I am still wary, I am feeling a little bit stuck just now, I am trying to keep out of the car crash but also allowing a little contact between my kids and my ex. Only his behaviour and trying this will tell if it is good for my kids or not. It is not about what he wants anymore, but what my kids want.

      It feels hard. I am just going to rely on my instinct and I know this has not let me down before.

      How will I truly know though if he is not gambling again or not using drugs? These are questions I dont know how to answer,

      I just need to keep doing what is right for me and the kids? but I am trying to work that out just now.

      Different emotions again but I feel I am coping better, although I had a few days of tears again. I now know that my ocean is becoming a river, the tears are less but still there.

      Maybe one day the tears will dry up altogether, but until then, I will just keep talking. I just feel wary, and hope that my ex can continue being nice but most importantly, trying to repair at least some of the damage that he has done to his kids because if I rely on my gut, I know he will never be able to repair it all.
      very small baby steps, and with caution. Oh even when the CG is not in your life, he still is. I dont know if that makes any sense.

      Thank you for listening

    • #4214

      Hi Jenny
      I think ‘Oh even when the CG is not in your life, he still is’, makes perfect sense to me. As the father of your daughter he is inextricably in your life but with the knowledge you have gained, his addiction is not – I hope I make as much sense as you!
      I believe that you have all the tools you need and the sixth sense to know what is right for you and your children although I agree the learning process is still going on.
      I know your tears will dry up when you see the view from the top of the mountain – it is a fantastic view but I think it is far too early yet for you to concern yourself about whether you will know if he is gambling again – I think the barriers have to remain high and in need of constant repair for a very long time. Self-care should remain a priority for ever in my opinion.
      I think you are right not to trust him but I think you can trust yourself. I look forward to reading that you are in control not just more in control but that takes time and you are doing well.
      I suggest the addictive monster is still in the corner but ‘possibly’ becoming a little confused if its owner is indeed going to GA and learning how to render its claws ineffective. Monsters like that don’t like being thwarted though and they should never be underestimated – but then you are aware of that.
      Keep posting Jenny and if Brownies finishes early I look forward to seeing you in the group
      You have earned a big gold star for effort – well done

    • #4215

      Jenny, I was reading through your story and after everything you have been going through, I was glad to see your last post. It sounds like you have a really good grip on reality of things, despite emotions :-). I think that will do real service to you now and in future.

      And yes, your last comment makes perfect sense. My ex had the children after our first divorce (which was why I ended up going back). I didn’t know about the gambling back then, either. But having the children meant that he was there and sadly, he abused the power of that. The level of genuine love and concern became apparent after this last divorce; he did not pay one thing the Court ordered and after terrorizing us (and terrorizing our 19 year old out of the house to effect fraud), I see an occasional post on FB to that daughter. Yet he has never released the title of what is her car nor apologized. He dumped us when we were of no further “value” to him, but even now the girls are grown, he keeps the tentacles out (as he can keep track of whereabouts via the car registration address).

      On your behalf (and children’s) I’m just so glad for you that you have your head on straight and have a lot more knowledge than I did. There was a time I was tempted to just run off and try to start a new life (after the first divorce) and try to explain to my children later. I couldn’t (hardly) take the stress I was being put through or not being able to see our daughters (I lost lots of time with them). In retrospect, I am glad I didn’t run off. I did end up going back to him, under what I now know were his false pretenses (he was actually afraid he would lose the children’s money, as I was doing so much better and made a new career, etc while my attorney told me I’d never get a custody change, even to “joint”). I figured the stress I was under was horrible, but HAD to be harder on our children. So I went back.

      I just hope and wish all the best for and to you!

    • #4216
      jenny t

      Thanks velvet and dadda for your helpful comments.

      I am so glad you didnt run off dadda. Although it sounds like you were being tested to the limit, your kids needed you and you were there for them. It’s very tough I know but FB messages are not real love – your in your children’s lives – where is he? Shows your strength. I appreciate you sharing your story with me and for your comments too.

      But – I am once again so very tearful and I feel like a fool again. Why ? Phew…..

      I allowed my ex to see our daughter on her birthday and that went well. Then I let him see her again for a short time and it was a gorgeous day so they went to the park. all positive. then he goes out with my son to the golf and is also making an effort with my teenage daughter too – giving her 15 pounds for her birthday (100 pounds for his daughter, my youngest one and 15 pounds for my teenager – promising he will give her more when he gets paid..mmm…)

      He is making a real effort and I even go for lunch with him to talk about what the kids need, the baby steps we are taking but also the realisation that I cant forget what has happened but I dont want to feel the anger, hatred (which I really felt at times) and resentment. I would prefer to get on, there used to be good times but I am reminding myself along the way of what I don’t really know about him. what is the truth, what is lies?so i remain wary.

      I even let him come to the house for dinner which went well but I am anxious in my house. I am wondering where is my purse, where is my kids banks, what if he takes something, surely he wouldnt? I can’t believe I am so on edge but at the same time, glad for the kids, it feels a bit ‘normal’ but its not, and I also enjoyed him being there.

      That is mental. the guy who hurt me, has taken drugs, become a stranger to me, broke my kids hearts and I enjoyed him being around. I hate that. I hate feeling that.

      So we have 2 weeks of positive contact, him wanting to help and I have thrown him an olive branch yet again by giving him a little of his family back.
      Now I feel a fool as I was suspicious that he was too nice. and on friday at 8.30 am, whilst I am getting ready for work, he calls me (I unblocked my number again). His words “I just want you to know I am going to get murdered”.

      I can’t believe what I am hearing, but I am calm, and he explains that he has drug debt and guys chasing him and he has to pay 200 pounds by 9.30am or else. I ask him where his money is, he got paid on Friday – he replies “Gone, I have gambled it, all of it”. And never kept any for the dealers who are after him mmmm. I tell him I can’t help him. Tell him to sell something to raise the cash and he tells me he has nothing left to sell. This part I believe. I tell him to call the police if he believes to be at risk but he advises this is not an option. The police are after him for theft and he tells me he was trying to steal a petrol generator (I dont even know what this is) so he will be arrested. well, a weekend in jail or beat up by dealers? Again, I remain strong and tell him I cant help and need to get to my work.

      I am physically shaking. Inside I am a mess and anxious. Is this a tactic (wow a really rotten one if its not true) or is he at risk?either way, I am anxious.

      I leave for work and have driven for 10 minutes when he texts me and says “oh you are on the same road as me, my car is right behind you”. I look in my mirror and there he is.has he followed me?he is really desperate.

      I stop the car and he invents a story of why he was on the same road as me. So, I invite him to talk and now we get more information.

      he has 2000 rent arrears and he has been served with an eviction notice, so he will be homeless again soon and what do I have – a lovely cosy house. He has not asked me if he can stay but is this is motivation to be nice, who knows.
      He tells me he is going to lose his job soon. he has pawned his works computer but they dont know yet. he is also being chased by the police for crime.
      he now has no money and what do I have – money, I also just got paid. But it is MY hard earned money and although he doesnt ask, he tells me again about the risk to his life. My head is all over the place.

      But I give him nothing. I just feel like a total fool for letting him back into my kids lives. Nothing has changed for him. in fact it has got worse.still gambling, about to lose his house, possibly his job and now he says he needs to go bankrupt as “its the only way”. I then hear sorry and he tells me he cant manage his wages. I encourage him to seek help from ga and to seriously consider rehab.

      I get to my work and I break down in tears. It is too much. I am so upset and annoyed at myself too. My work are brilliant.

      I contact one of his GA mentors (the only guy I know that is still trying to support him) and I tell him everything. He advises that he offered to manage my ex’s bank/wages, help by taking him to meetings but my ex always gave an excuse. He thinks he is in control of the gambling but he is not.

      So, I am upset again,crying as I post. Friends are annoyed that I was in contact with him, all have an opinion, my kids are let down again. just feel like my head is going to burst.

      When does it get better and all just go away? I thought and hoped he was getting somewhere but no,not even the kids is enough motivation to stop. still not at his rock bottom,I struggle to understand it but i am not a CG so I wont ever understand.

      I hate this addiction so much. and all the thoughts and confusion and once again, hurt. but at least i didnt give in, he didnt get my money, but he did knock me back down. Guess I need to find a way back up again.
      so upset right now and just cant stop the tears.i am glad i can write. i have been ‘wound up’for days and just trying to pretend i am ok. I will be. i have to be.

      thank you for listening.sorry for the long post.

    • #4217

      Hi Jenny
      I am glad you can write too and I hope writing that post gave you some relief.
      I think each knock back gradually strengthens the barrier and it is that which will protect you and take you on and in to the world you want to inhabit.
      Your ex, it seems, is not fully embracing recovery (if at all) and as such he will almost certainly keep trying to drag you back into his cycle of addiction – he doesn’t want to let go. You on the other had have proved over and over again that you can survive and although the latest behaviour is a wee bit different it is in essence the same with the lip-service followed by the emotional blackmail.
      Your ex has rebuffed his GA mentor with the ‘I know what I’m doing’ line which tells you that other CGs recognise he is not accepting his addiction.
      If you asked me ‘how did he manage to make you feel a fool again?’ my reply is that it doesn’t surprise me – you are not made of stone and the addiction that your ex owns depends on you being compassionate. So how do arm yourself against it? It’s the same old answer I’m afraid and I reiterate my earlier words – this knock added to all the others will make you stronger – you will never be stone but you will be safe.
      You want to see the good in your ex and I believe there is probably a lot of good in him – you would not have married him if it were not true. I understand you enjoying his company over a meal following his apparent progress with your children – the shared interest in them naturally keeps you hoping for the good, however, I think it is best, although difficult, not to look for the good because it leaves you vulnerable. I believe that, when your ex changes his life, the anger, hate and resentment you feel now will dissipate, so maybe you are trying too early – especially when he really isn’t trying hard at all – yet.
      I cannot fault anything that you have done Jenny. You tried, as a loving mother would, to support the relationship of your children with a father/stepfather who has lost his way – he let you down and you battened down the hatches in the face of yet another threat but still you took the time to tell him to use GA and rehab.
      You know the way up again
      Keep posting – posts like this are like mile-stones – when you find yourself being tested you can look back and say ‘yes I was there a few days or weeks and I wasn’t happy but I took this path and it was a good way forward’.

    • #4218
      jenny t

      It has been a rough couple of weeks and I know I am stressed when I start to have nightmares again. A sign for me that I am all over the place again.

      So my ex gambled his wages about 6 weeks ago, told me he was going to be murdered – all a lot of nonsense and a lie when he was in desperate need , yet the feelings of anxiety it created in me was very real, unfortunately he doesnt see that, or wants to.

      He understands my reluctance to have him back in my kids lives but he tells me that his mentor is helping him manage his money now. I speak to his mentor and he confirms this. He then makes some contact with my 15 year old son as my son has text him and they are talking. I remind my son to be wary but I trust my son more than my ex.

      So we are positive again. My son asks him to his football. I am there too and we dont argue.we are there for my son and it is friendly. My ex is Mr Nice. I am keeping my barriers up.
      My ex asks if he can talk to me and I agree to telephone contact. This is minimal and he tells me he doesnt want to gamble now. I tell him actions speak louder than words,we will see.

      My ex then says he has a new flat and needs to start from scratch as he has nothing for it. he uses gumtree, he gets some free items but he really has nothing. I remind myself this was his actions that caused this and i end up doing something that I cannot even tell my pals about – I buy him a microwave. It is not too expensive and I know I dont have to do this but I help. He didnt ask me but I feel guilty about a comment he once made and I end up buying him a microwave as I know he doesnt have a cooker. He asks my son to help him move a couch he has got from a friend, a fridge he has got for 20 pounds and my son tells me he doesnt even have carpets or blind s and the flat he has moved in to is very poor.

      Why am I helping? What proof do I have that anything has changed? I tell myself it is better to be kinder with care and compassion than with anger and resentment but my pals would be angry with me for helping him after all he has done. I have kept this to myself and I have felt guilty as he once said “You put me out the house and all I took was a tv” (which he sold). But I try to remind myself he may not have taken any material things with him when we split but he did steal 10 thousand the first time he gambled as well as so much more.

      So he is not asking for anything, he is telling me he is doing the right things, his mentor confirms it and he wants to see his daughter.He writes the kids a letter and tells them he is sorry and he takes the blame for what has happened.He is just wanting us to be friends and it all seems good.mmm,

      He tells me he has declared himself bankrupt and he tells me
      his job is still at risk. I have still received no money for our daughter and now have a wages arrestment in place which is due to start in August. He wants to see his daughter and I once again agree. But – I suggest he takes her to the local cinema which is very close to my house and there is a morning show which costs £2. He is working 2 jobs, one wage that has been half pay and his mentor is helping with and another cash in hand job that he has 3 nights per week delivering chinese. He says the cinema would be perfect but he cant afford it. What ,£2 pounds each. Really. So I end up having to pay for him to take his daughter out. I shouldnt have, but I didnt want to let my daughter down.

      But – there is this feeling that makes me question where his money is? He smokes cigarettes and can afford a packer of fags, but not £2 for his daughter. He has not had any more contact taking her out since that one visit, I am not paying for any more outings.

      So I have felt like I have falling into a trap again, where the addiction is maybe there or maybe not but still taking as opposed to giving and all this Mr Nice is hard.

      I have felt more tearful again, questioning myself a lot and the ‘support’ I have gave him with allowing my son to help him move, buying a microwave and just trying to get along, which is what is happening – But I just dont trust him. I still believe he has a hidden agenda, that sounds awful but I have been up and down so many times. I miss him, still love him, wont ever be with him again but I know I could be as he would jump at the chance to move back, but I deserve so much more.My kids deserve it too.

      Kids do keep the bond there.But I know so much more now, although I have not been seeking out my supports for fear of how pals will judge or be angry with me, only cause I know they care, This is my “safe”place to talk.

      It still remains hard all of this.what to do, what not to do, what to believe, the lies he can still tell, my son wanting contact, then helping him manage his feelings too as his dad has let him down so many times before.

      He is still in our lives. His addiction is not or is it? I dont know.

      Just know this is another part of this experience and I will keep getting through this. More learning. It has not even been a year since we split up and so much has happened, with his addiction trying to take the control. I need to remember that was then, this is now and the only one in control of me, is me.
      God grant me the serenity to accept the things i cannot change, Courage to change the things I can and wisdom to know the difference… The serenity prayer helps in more ways than I ever imagined.

      Thank you for continuing to help me on this forum. I am emotional again. Gambling breaks your heart.

    • #4219

      Dear Jenny
      I see many positives in your post such as your ex recognising your reluctance to have him back in your children’s lives – active CGs generally don’t have such vision.
      You told him that actions spoke louder than words – excellent reply.
      You recognise that it is your ex’s addiction, not you, that has brought him to his comfortless flat. You bought him a cheap microwave, (you didn’t give him money to buy it) and you bought it because ‘you’ wanted to do so and not because he manipulated you in to doing so. You allowed your son to help him move – again no money changed hands and it was your choice and your son’s choice.
      For every few steps forward though there are (and will be for some time I think) a step back. Why feelings of guilt? –it was not you that gambled uncontrollably and ruined your relationship, you are not to blame for the situation in which he finds himself, you put him out of the house because of his unacceptable behaviour which could and did endanger your children,
      I agree that your pals probably only want to support you but it is easier for them to condemn him and consign him to the gutter than it is for you who love him – they don’t see what it is that you see and for that he is a very lucky man.
      Cigarettes often seem more important than water to those who are struggling to survive and I don’t understand it either but smoking is an addictive behaviour and one he will hopefully control later– as an ex smoker or many years, I am not the best judge of those still who still smoke.
      I don’t hear someone falling into a trap, what I do hear is someone aware that the trap still exists and someone who is not prepared to fall into it again – maybe this is true of all of us who survive the addiction to gamble. If we were not aware of it we would, in my opinion, be very naive and we would have learned nothing. As I have told you before the CG in my life told me years ago that he will always be a CG but he chooses to live in control of his addiction and with that I am content.
      It strikes me, Jenny that your ex is saying the right things but like you I wouldn’t trust him. He gambled everything again only 6 weeks ago and he was still frightening you with his paranoia about being murdered – little there in which to place any trust! Is it his mentor that is giving you reason to hope or is it your ex telling you what his mentor is supposed to have said?
      If he is really wanting to manage his money, have a relationship with his family and control his gambling, I can think of nothing better than that he applies to the Gordon Moody Association for support and to do it sooner rather than later. He ‘sounds’ low enough. I suggest giving him the details and/or talking to our Helpline. It works for those who want to live in control of their addiction and he has your amazing support (yes it is amazing) which is so invaluable to those who want to recover their lives.
      I will be here for you as long as you want me to be here, gambling broke my heart but I know it can be controlled and broken hearts can be mended.

    • #4220

      oh my goodness that sounds awful. I won’t say that I understand how you are feeling, but i’d like you to know that you’re not alone in this. There are other wives out there who are going through similar things and would be more than happy to help. My husband and I divorced 3 months ago. I won’t lie, sometimes I miss being in a relationship, and having that extra person in the house, but i know it would be better for myself and my child now that i’ve divorced him. Dear, take care of yourself. I don’t want to recommend divorce because i’m not in your situation and I don’t know what you need, but if you do decide to get one, there are plenty of tools online. Ones similar to will give you an idea of how things will be split. Make sure you get all the help you can get. Don’t be afraid to ask for help! Keeping you in my thoughts.

    • #4221
      jenny t

      A lot has been happening in the last 2 months. To start with the positives – my son was having contact with my ex as he was taking him to his football practice and this appeared to be going well. His mentor was in touch with me and telling me my ex was doing better and his bankruptcy was in place.
      My ex asked to see our daughter and after hearing from my son and his mentor, I agreed.

      This was not too much and I believed my ex wasnt gambling.well, you can never be sure.only the cg knows if they have placed a bet.

      So, some contact and it was going well.even my other daughter said she wanted to see him and he took all of my kids out for a few fun evenings, spending his money and telling me he was trying to getback the year he had lost with them. I was glad of the support.

      Then he asked if we wanted to go on holiday for a few days and he would pay for it. I don’t know what i was thinking but I said yes and whilst he did not pay for all of it, (he paid half), me any my girls and him spent 2 overnights at Scarborough and Flamingoland. I told him we would only be friends and would no be getting back together and he accepted this.
      It was “just like old times” but I knew in my heart that it could never be that way again because of everything he had put us through, however, we were both focused on the kids and that was positive.

      Then a few weeks ago, my sister in law died and I also had to my best friend, my gorgeous wee dog, to sleep. My sister in law died on the Monday and my dog, on the Tuesday. I fell to pieces and I asked my ex to come to the vet with me. It was his dog too and I would never have forgiven myself if I did not allow him to say goodbye to our amazing wee dog, my family.
      He was supportive. I was glad we were getting on.

      So I am low, dealing with grief and had so many tears. My GP signed me off work as I have not been coping well but I am wary that the person trying to help, is also the person who broke my heart too . And I have angry friends who hate him and cant believe I have given him contact or even spent time with him again.

      So – the cracks – My ex is coming to my house and always appears hungry when he comes to get our daughter. I offer him food and he accepts this. I am also starting to help him out more, just little things I notice but make me wary. I have a set of drawers that I offer to him as he is still building up the materials in his flat. He accepts and I call him to say I can bring them round (as I have waited several weeks waiting on him collecting them and they are taking up room in my livingroom).He tells me when I call that he is still at work, Little does he know that I had just passed him in his car and my son was with me, so telling me he was at work was not true.
      Then he asks me if he can take my shopping receipt as he needs this for his bankruptcy accountant. I ask him why he can’t give them his receipt for shopping and he replies that he doesn;t do a lot of shopping.Why Not? He then tells me all
      his debts are being dealt with as now he is bankrupt yet I am still receiving letters to my home, from companies saying he owes them money.
      So, I am getting suspicious and why am I having to live with this again as we are not together and I really dont know for sure what is going on.

      So, I am aware I am low and fragile, aware that he has been a good support with my wee dog and my grief and also trying to establish a relationship with the kids again, BUT, I am feeling on edge. I decide also to make it all about the kids and “pull back” on my time spent with him. I decide I won;t feed him, give him anything and that it is better for me to reduce my contact, after all, its his kids he wants to see? Right? I am also not trusting hhim as something just doesnt feel right but i have no proof.

      Anyway, I tell him he can see his daughter but I will have her ready for him at the door. I realise I have made a mistake being too nice and I am angry with myself for even going on the holiday now, even though he was on his best behaviour and the kids had fun.

      I tell him I also want to go to my son’s football and that he doesnt need to be there when I am there. I don’t want to see him as I need to get stronger again and having him around , when I now have suspicions again, is not good for me.

      So he has told me he has changed, has not gambled for 3 months, is doing well and comes to collect his daughter to take her out for one hour. she is ready and waiting and he comes in briefly, with me telling him I dont want him to go to my sons football this week. He replies we can all go together and I tell him No, I dont want that. And wow – he changes.

      I have told him No and rather than respect my decison, he starts to shout at me, in my house, saying all sorts of negative things, how I am trying to control him, when all I want is to not see him and just want to take my son to his football. My eldest daughter comes downstairs and asks him not to shout at me, He gets angry with her. It is awful. He leaves me house, shouting and swearing and has now reverted back to that person he was when he was gambling – threatening to take me to court for access to my kids, threatening to stop me going to australia, and I am left upset and shaken. He also doesnt take my daughter out (which I would not have allowed due to his anger) but she was excited and now is upset. And this is a man who has accepted responsibility for his actions, has changed and is wanting to be respectful.

      I then get horrible texts messages and I ignore these. But I spent the day in tears.

      I feel like such a fool. I should not have saw him, helped him again, believed him. He has got to me as I am low just now. I really thought he could have been a supportive dad but he was getting access to me and if you take me away, and what I can give him, then where is his incentive to be a part of his children’s lives. I thought he wanted too.

      I am soooo very low. I did listen to my instinct again and I guess I had to live through this again to come out the other side. I keep learning and going through the process but I now have to stop. It didnt change, I thought it did.

      I need to find strength for what comes next. and I need to post again because that helped me so much before. I just dont want anyone to judge me for letting him back into my life again. I feel like such a fool now because I got it wrong again.

      I honestly thought the beast was gone, He wasnt. He was just sleeping

    • #4222

      We all make mistakes, Jenny.
      “Fool me once, shame on you.
      Fool me twice , shame on me”!
      Let this be your motto from now on.
      Ask yourself what’s in it for you?
      I think you have answered all your own questions.
      Once again, you will have to pick up the tab.
      CGs are VERY clever!!!

    • #4223

      Hi Jenny
      Nobody could judge you for wanting to believe in the person you loved once Jenny – if it was easy there would be no need for this forum.
      It is the behaviour that accompanies the gambling that hurts those who love CGs and your ex’s compulsive gambling behaviour is still too near the surface making it too easy for it to bubble up.
      It appears to me that maybe he does want to control his addiction but abstinence alone is not recovery.
      I am not surprised you wanted someone to support you when you sister-in-law died as well as your lovely wee doggie – at such times many of us turn to shoulders that maybe are not the best ones.
      I’m going to stop there because it is time for me to open the group but I hope to write more to you tomorrow – I just wanted to get a quick post off to you.

    • #4224

      The point I am making to Jenny, Velvet is that I “mangled” the people who allowed me to, during my “active” phase.
      CGs are gifted at setting scenes, taking cues and planning plots. All we need are vulnerable players.
      Learn from this mistake Jenny.
      You deserve a better life.
      Condolences on the loss of your sister in law.

    • #4225

      Hi Jenny
      I only had enough time to read your post before the group and I wanted to get something off to you quickly just in case the Brownies overran so I hadn’t read the post written prior to mine until now. I am not sure why there is a reference to me with regard to this post’s content but having now read it I am in agreement with it although I believe that the addiction to gamble is cunning rather than clever.
      You have experienced so many let-downs that I am sure you will soon be in no doubt as to what you should avoid but I know it is easy to forget and be befuddled. The desire to want to believe that a person is good tends to make fools of us all – I think too that we can naively believe that by being generous in spirit we will help our CG see how much better it is to be kind but the active CG perceives kindness as a chink in the armour, an opening for enablement. Only you can stop this roller-coaster Jenny – even if he changes his life, you can make your own decisions and determine the way it is going to be.
      You know the right thing to do but of course the hard bit is doing it and that is why this forum is here, to support you while you are making painful decisions that are right for you and your children.
      I am glad that you are posting again and I hope the Brownies will allow you to come to more groups.
      Don’t beat yourself up – you tried again and you got kicked in the teeth – it’s a learning curve but you will get there.

    • #4226

      Just to clarify, Velvet.
      When I re read my post it could have been taken that I was passing judgement on Jenny’s reaction to her ex’s “attention”. I thought you were referring to my post.
      On the contrary, I was trying to support her by pointing out what an active CG is capable of.
      I am speaking from my own experience of course. I took advantage of the people who were kind enough to allow me to fool them…….Maybe these weren’t her ex’s intentions at all but it seems he was being manipulative and deceitful for his own ends.

    • #4227
      jenny t

      Thank you both Vera and Velvet. Your comments have given me a bit of strength and understanding again. I have lost sight of that by being “befuddled” (thanks for that word Velvet, I love that) and love and my caring heart does get in the way of forgetting some of the horrible behaviours of my cg.

      However, my eyes are open again (and very puffy from all the crying I have done recently ) but I know the only way to protect myself is to actually do it. and that means to stay strong, stay out of my cg’s way and NEVER be fooled again.

      I know there are more difficult times ahead as my cg is unpredictable, He may take court action and attempt contact via the courts with our daughter or he may just be threatening this and not to do anything at all. Either way I am not in control of his actions and I can only prepare myself for more stress but with support again, I will get stronger too.

      I don’t know who my ex is anymore. I never imagined that he would do and say the things he has.But it really helps Vera to have your comments about how deceitful and manipulative CG’s can be as whilst this is one part of who he is, it is the most active and damaging and there are no winners from the behaviour he displays. Just that clear message, you once told me, going down the hill in the car – with the brakes on – and the only way to protect you and your children – is to pull yourself from that car before it crashes with you in it.

      I don’t want to be even near the car crash again, This addiction has exhausted me and took so much of my energy and tears that I am not ready to have no contact at all with my ex. I wasnt ready before but I know now that I want to recover. I can only do that with no contact at all from him. He is like a dark cloud hanging around my neck and each time I thought the sun was coming through and we had made some progress, the cloud just got heavier again and shut those rays out. And it’s a tiring and emotional game.
      I really want no part of it as you are right, What is in it for me?

      He isn’t ready to be the father he needs to be for the kids, he is still looking out for himself and his needs above all else and financially I had to get a court order for Child Maintenance, otherwise I would not have had any money for our daughter. So right now, all I am getting is the negatives of stress and tears but also a lot of guessing, suspicion and lies, which I do not need to have in my life anymore.

      And I am a bit fragile just now due to dealing with grief and perhaps my weakness is a strength to the cg who needs things from me.

      I know that nobody is judging me on this site as people really understand. It is friends and family who dont but they have not lived it and I guess they are just protective as they have watched me get hurt. It just is sooo difficult at times. To see the ‘beast’take over someone and change them so much that it breaks your heart because you can never have imagined that the man you loved, could be that way and that his addiction could be more attractive than you. It is like an affair, an affair with the bookies, being cheated on, lies and suspicion but with huge financial effects and an emotional damage to me and my children.

      But now I have to fully recover. My children too. And be prepared for what happens next. For this forum, I will always be grateful as my posts and reply keep me stronger – a little again, day by day.

      I cry as I write this post but my tears are going to help me cope. as well as the help from those who understand.

      Thank you so much.

    • #4228
      jenny t

      Re read my post and I said “I am not ready to have no contact with my ex”. That is a spelling mistake as I meant I am Now ready to have no contact with my ex. Now is my true meaning. It has taken a lot of time but I am now finally ready to stop all of the contact, whatever the cost.

    • #4229

      Hi Jenny
      I have read and understood you post, I knew you didn’t mean “I am not ready to have no contact with my ex” – ‘not’ and ‘now’ are the words I worry about muddling up more than any others!
      Now you have said you intend to stop all contact between you and your ex who appears to be actively gambling I can tell you that I agree with you that it is, I believe, the best way forward for you.
      Write a note to self:- ‘when tempted to buckle re-read my posts -’ I think you will find in those posts all you need to remember to keep you safe and they were written by you.
      We will speak again soon

    • #4230

      Hi Jenny

      When I read your posts I often think that I could have been writing very similar words. As you know,. It is not you that is manipulative or unreasonable and I can relate to your reactions and why you believe. What kind of person would you be if you didn’t believe your CG could change ? The point is he could if he choose to. You just wanted to support him.

      I also understand how much energy dealing with a CG takes if you let it. This site was my lifeline when I found it. I agree it takes so much time to build up the strength to stand up to the addiction. You are getting there step by step. Look how far you have come! I also agree that you need space to focus on yourself and your family.

      You know where to come when you want support. I personally could never judge as I have walked alongside you. Repeating the same actions that got the same results. Velvets words always stick with me ‘ you will only change if you really want to change’ that takes time and energy. Vera posted on my thread when I wrote regularly and her words helped me get to grips with what was going on. Difficult though it was.

      I still use the group but don’t post really now. I read your posts and wanted you to know more than anything that I understand. Your friends and family could not understand the addiction unless they have lived with it. I still can’t understand much of it . My ex is presently doing well. But I am still very wary.

      Above all believe in yourself . You are challenging an awful addiction. Remember you are stronger than the addiction.

      Have self belief and take care !!
      M x

    • #4231
      jenny t

      Thanks michelle for your supportive reply, it really helped.

      My GP has continued to sign me off work as I have been really low. I have had no direct contact with my ex for just under 2 weeks and that has helped but imagine my shock when I have started to find out about more lies he is telling and now they are about me.

      So, I have stayed away from social media, I have not text or called my cg, I have been serious about my recovery and doing what I can to move on – which still hurts when I think about this last 18 months of devastation, deceit and lies, lots and lots of lies.

      And now I have found out that he is absolutely making things up about me as he told someone that I had got him arrested, that he was chased down the street by the police, that he spent time in jail because of me and the reason is because I told the police that he tried to break into my house, and I feel like screaming as I write this as it is soooo untrue. I have never got him arrested as he has not tried to break into my house (I would call the police if he ever did cause me fear or alarm) but he is making out to others that I am this nasty, spiteful person when I have not done anything wrong.

      He has also played the victim card and told people I am not allowing him to see his daughter because he rejected me.Oh I am so shocked by this – he got angry in my house 2 weeks ago, shouting at me and my 14 year old as I did not want to spend time with him, I did not want him to come to my sons football with us, because I was trying to back off from all the contact he was having as I was wary and suspicious again of whether anything had actually changed for him (debt letters continued at my door, asking me for shopping receipts, his presentation, my gut instinct saying ‘something wasn’t right’, yet he is saying he is being Kept away from his kids and he does not know why. AArghhh. He was nasty and horrible in my house and my kids witnessed it all. He let his daughter down, who was meant to be going swimming with him, she cried when he left and I was left to pick up the pieces -yet again.

      He also has people from his work feeling sorry for him, saying how much of an honest and genuine man he is and he does not deserve to be kept away from his children and their advice is to take me to court. Oh I cannot believe who my ex husband is. Who is this man? this victim? Really.

      I want to tell them all and show them the real, manipulative liar he is and all the evidence I have to prove it. It is so hurtful and frustrating that people are being ‘taken in ‘by his lies.

      I feel like I have been totally conned by a man that I have loved as he has absolutely ‘played me like a fiddle’ and now when I think of the last few years, I have lived with a split personality – yet the addictive, lying and cunning one has been there a lot longer than I thought.

      His acting and victim card is an award winning oscar performance as I was taken in by him too and I have realised that if he doesn’t get anything from you and there is nothing in it for him (which laterly I was doing by backing off from him and not helping or giving him anything) then you are no use to him.

      I believe he is gambling, I know he tried to score cocaine again, he owes a friend money and he is living in a make believe land (who tells people they were chased by the police when they weren’t, has the drugs gone to his head or do the lies just come so naturally to him and when they are out, he believes them?)It is not right.It hurts me as I am one of the most genuine and caring people who never wanted him to be out of his kids lives but his behaviour made that happen, his shouting, his gambling, his misuse of drugs, his lies – yet now I am this horrible ex wife according to others.

      Why can he not take responsibility for his actions? Be a man and tell people the truth.

      I am so determined to keep him out of our lives, but i have the fear of a court battle – if he actually chooses to fight to see his kids but I dont believe he is that interested and he is just trying to look good and play the doting father card and keep himself in the victim, poor me role.

      Oh I am sorry if I seem angry tonight. I have just been hurt by finding out even more information about what he is doing and saying and how this is affecting me again.As it is about me and I can’t do anything about it.

      I just feel like a fool for believing in him, for thinking it could change, that he could be that good dad, think about his kids rather than himself but when you are an active addict, you are selfish, will use people, tell convincing lies and do whatever it takes to get what you want
      – If only he knew how much that hurts me .

    • #4232

      Dear Jenny
      Your ex is certainly putting you through the wringer and I am not surprised you are angry and hurt.
      In my experience a lot of what you are putting down to being a CG could equally apply to many embittered people when a relationship breaks down but of course, your ex has a terrible addiction thrown into the mix which is making it very much worse. The expression ‘hell hath no fury like a woman scorned’ can equally apply to men. You have rightly scorned his addiction and called his bluff for the sake of your children and yourself. You have refused his addiction and rather than taking responsibility for his actions he is trying to lay the blame for his life being out of control at your feet – however cowardly and selfish this is, it is sadly not uncommon.
      I believe that behaviour such as your ex is displaying will be seen, for what it is, by more people than you realise. The people who work with him may feel they have to listen to him to maintain a working relationship and some may even think they have a right to interfere on his behalf because there will always be those, Jenny, who don’t want to see truth for reasons of their own. These people do not know your husband in the way that you do but it is quite possible that their eyes will be opened in the future. I think it is best to tell the truth gently and openly with those who matter – and the people he works with do not come in that category.
      I’m not convinced that you were conned; I believe that people can change for the worse just as they can change for the better.
      What you do is of course up to you. I think that keeping a journal of events is the best way forward so that in the future, if/when your children ask ‘why’ you can tell them as it was and likewise if you seek legal redress you will have the information at your fingertips.
      You ‘know’ you haven’t done the things he is saying so don’t let his words bring you down. I know that is easier for me to say than for you to do but one day, hopefully soon, this will all be behind you.
      Is there a reason why you are afraid to seek closure legally when you don’t believe that he is genuinely interested in the children? I would never suggest that anybody leaves or stays within a damaging relationship but sometimes legal closure is the only way.

    • #4233
      jenny t

      Thanks Velvet. I have re read your comments and veras and michelles so many times just now and they give me strength.

      All I ever wanted was for my ex to stop gambling and be the father he needs to be, putting his children;s needs before his own but now I know that unless he attends rehab and gets serious ongoing and intensive support, nothing is going to change.

      I gave him all the information before but he always made excuses as to why he didn’t ‘need’ more help, that one meeting a week is all he needs and that he knows what to do to stop gambling. I wished so hard that he would become a better person and accept the right supports available to him but on reflection now, I could have prayed, wished and willed for him to do something when in fact, the only person who can change him is himself.

      I am less angry today.I found out why he has told lies about being chased by the police and me getting him arrested – he owed a friend’s mum money and he didn’t have this. He had to tell another lie, a convincing one, to aviod paying back the money he did not have. and I honestly was sooo angry that he was using me as the excuse and blaming me for things I have never done but if I look at his reasons why and the addiction again, it makes sense. It is not right and sometimes I feel there is an ‘injustice’ in all that me and my kids have been through but your right Velvet, his work colleagues are not important to me, those who matter know that I am not a liar and I cannot concentrate on what his actions are anymore as it would just drive me crazy, make me angry and resentful and hurt and I don’t want to be that person who becomes bitter. There is enough hurt and sadness that more arguments, battles and ‘fights’ are not worth it . That requires energy and I just don’t have any left for him or his behaviour anymore.

      It really is a process of getting to this stage where acceptance becomes reality. And this journey has been exhausting and heartbreaking with so many ups and downs and feelings of every emotion, some I did not think I was capable of (the extreme anger I have felt at times) but now I am done.

      I am continuing to have no direct contact with him, because I don’t need to. I don’t owe him anything and my own health and recovery is more important than him now. I never imagined I would say that but the past is the past and I just want to concentrate on a stress free, peaceful time for myself and my children.

      Whilst he continues to be in denial about his behaviour, continues to ‘duck and dive’ through using who or what he can to keep his addiction alive, and acts with dishonesty, then it will be a longer process before the trust will even slightly resume and the access to his kids will be longer too.

      He did contact me by text a few days ago stating ‘it has been 3 weeks or more since I have seen my kids.can you let me know if I can have access please’.

      I went round and round not knowing what to reply, cried most of the day, beat myself up thinking I would be a terrible mum if I said No when I’m sure my daughter would love to see her daddy and maybe this would help him. Then I had to stop and reflect on ‘how positive would the contact be, would he have taken any drugs the night before, if I believe he is gambling, how does that change him and how would I even manage contact as I am determined not to see him at all’ I also wondered what his motivation is as I have stuck to my ‘no contact rule’ and when I have buckled a little, I have re read my posts as you advised Velvet and this really helped.

      My ex, I believe, does love his kids in his own way but my 2 older kids don’t want anything more to do with him. And my youngest is 8, and will just need to trust me that I am making the best decisions I believe to be right at this time.And it is often so hard to make decisions when you doubt yourself.

      So I replied to my ex with a line saying ‘ No. I can’t give you access at this time’. I have heard nothing since.

      It hurts that I can’t trust him, that I can’t see him and that he is missing out on being with his daughter but he is in control of his actions and the choices he makes and when these have a detrimental effect on me and our kids, then I have to protect myself and my kids and say No. Even if he is my ex husband.

      Legal costs are the only reason why I haven’t pursued anything. My lawyer said I am in no hurry for a divorce as I am not getting married again and because I work full time, I am not entitled to legal aid due to my salary. It costs 550 pounds to lodge an application for divorce in the scottish courts, plus lawyers fees and agreement of this.
      I don’t require any legal orders for the kids as he is not contesting that they live with me. My worry would be if he seeks support through the court for access to his daughter and for me to defend this, would financially cripple me. But he has no money just now and I hope he would not force his daughter into a position where she needs to meet him at times when she doesn’t want to. I will prepare myself for court should it happen but I cannot give myself all the worry for what may or may not happen. I will cross that bridge if it comes to it.

      They say when you are dealing with addiction, then the addict needs to live ‘one day at a time’.I never realised just how important that is for me too.

      Live for today, cope with what I can, allow myself to recover and take it ‘one day at a time’. and stop giving myself a hard time for what has happened. I never wanted gambling in my life or any one of us to hurt but life gives you many difficulties you never knew you could survive.

      And all I want is to survive and thrive, learn from this experience and move on with my life with no more tears and surprises along the way. ‘One day at a time Jenny T, one day at a time’

      Thanks for listening. and a few tears as I feel sad but lighter as I have talked to those I know who completely understand. Thank you.

    • #4234

      Hi Jenny
      You are showing tremendous strength in the decisions that you are making and I suspect you are on the top of the mountain although maybe still puffing with your exertions. Dig deep and enjoy the view but beware of those surprising little side-winds that can catch you unawares.
      I could only support you and make suggestions but I couldn’t tell you what to do, or tell you that if you ‘did this it would definitely work’ or ‘don’t do this because it will hurt less’. You have done the work and you should be proud of yourself, as you ex-husband hopefully will be in the future when he recognises the strength it took for you to refuse his addiction.
      I understand what you are saying about the courts – I agree that they are a last resort if closure cannot be reached any other way to secure your daughter’s safety.
      I believe that learning to live one day at a time is one of the big lessons F&F should take out of living with the addiction to gamble. Worrying about what will happen if we ‘this or that’ can stop us making decisions that are right for us. All the ‘ifs and buts’ I had about tomorrow, are long gone, swallowed up in hundreds of tomorrows and they didn’t make a scrap of difference, they only made me exhausted and unhappy..
      You ex is missing out but that is not your problem. He knows what to do if he wants to be a father to his daughter and a friend to you – the time when this could happen lies in his hands and his hands alone. Sadly it is your daughter that will feel the loss more keenly than her father because it is not in her control to change the way things are, which makes your role all the more important but with the strength that you are showing I believe you will do really well.
      Your text was great. You said ‘no’ but then you tempered it with ‘I can’t give you access at this time’. It was very strong message but it didn’t signal finality, you offered him hope for the future and now it is down to him.
      I am pleased you found the reason for your ex to invent his police chase story but moreover that you recognised it for his addiction talking and not a personal attack on you. Of course it is unjust but I suspect the friend and his mother, whom he conned, will not be so keen to enable him in the future.
      When my marriage ended, many years ago, I remember my father saying ‘don’t let bitterness ruin your life’ and I have always made sure that I carried out his wish. Bitterness is soul-destroying, it wrecks the person who feels it and not the situation that caused it. It is to be avoided at all costs because quite apart from anyything else it gives you unattractive furrows in the brow, a down-turned mouth and wrinkles where you don’t want them.
      Listening to you is easy Jenny, it is you that has the hard work of rebuilding the damage caused by your experience with your ex but you are doing really well and your children have cause to be very proud of you. He can’t seen it yet but I hope one day your ex will realise how lucky he is to have had you in his life – you haven’t abandoned him but you have supported him in a way that if and when he chooses to live gamble-free will help him to be the man he wants to be. You can do no more.

    • #4235
      jenny t

      I have missed posting. I never thought I would need to talk again but I am all over the place – although I am stronger and definitely not the woman I was as I have learned to cope with so many things – on my own but here goes –

      My ex’s parents told me they were back in contact with him and said he was doing really well. I was surprised as I knew how much he hurt them too but that is their son and if they believed he was making changes, then maybe he was? They asked me if he could see his daughter, they would help, and he did not want to go to court or cause any trouble, he just wanted to see his kids. So, I had kept to no contact with him and it really helped me.I was definitely getting on with things. So, his parents intervention worked and I agreed to him seeing his daughter for a tea visit with them. This worked well and my daughter was soooo happy.

      I then allowed him to see her on her own – no direct contact with me – and again this went well. I was glad, all I wanted was a better and safer dad – not one who was drinking, gambling, taking drugs or making threats to take me to court. Do we have a way forward? mmm.

      So he is making all the effort and he contacts my older kids too. He gives my son money for his birthday, he gives them money for xmas, he goes back to my sons football and I allow him to see his daughter, in my home, on xmas day. He stays for a little while then leaves to go to his parents for a xmas meal,

      Too good. But I am glad I am getting help and the kids are still wary but glad they have seen him. He has a better presentation, he is not letting the kids down and he is trying. I know you are asking when is the big but coming?

      BUT – he tells me he is off work as he is under investigation for ‘stuff’he done when he was gambling. I ask for more info and he tells me he got a loan of 8000 pounds for the car but then ‘bumped’ this.(I already knew this) He also made illegal claims for his mileage, stating he would calculate the wrong mileage so his work would pay him more when he was apparently doing home visits to clients houses, he told me he was using his works internet in the evenings and weekends and that he also pawned his works phone and also one of their computers and finally, he said he was not working his hours and was falsifying his time. Wow, that is a lot so he tells me he is off sick and stating he is using his mental health as an excuse to be off,mmm,lying again.
      He tells me that he is seeking legal advice as he doesnt want to be sacked and then shows me a report from his work about everything he has done. He denies some of it but he has clearly been caught, he will get sacked – just as I was starting to get child support and some money for our daughter. No job, no money and back to me being the only responsible parent.aaarggghh.

      So I have listened to his woes about his work but he is still making every effort with the kids and thats more important.
      I then get a puppy (we were all so devasted at losing our wee dog so I know the love we have for another wee guy will help. He is gorgeous and we name him Buddy – your buddy helps you in times of need and you help your buddy too).We are enjoying him and my ex offers to help too.

      He takes Buddy to his house whilst I am work and kids are at school and it goes well. Then he has some work getting done to his flat and says he can look after the dog in my house. I am very very wary but I tell myself he wouldnt be stupid to steal anything as I would call the police. However, I do take all my bank cards, files with all my paperwork/bills and laptop to my work. I can never trust him again. So it goes well. I get help, he gets more time with the kids and not with me as I am at work.

      So, now here is where I need to talk. In the last 2 weeks I have noticed ‘changes’. He is looking very tired.he tells me he is not sleeping well. he also tells me he is struggling financially, (he is working whilst being off work sick, delivery driver, 3 nights per week) where is his money going?he tells me he has not had money to pay all his bills and says he is on half pay and half sick pay. He then asks me one day to put petrol in his car as he can not drive to get the pup or take the kids to school if he has no petrol mmmm. So I am very reluctant but i give him a fiver.Oh i am hating that. Then he comments that he needs his work phone out the shop as they dont know its there and he could get charged with theft. he asks me to make a payment of 27 pounds to get it released. I say NO. (and I get angry too as 2 days before, he made 60 pounds, but told me he bought a bottle of vodka, fags, petrol, phone card and some food when his priortiy should be his works phone).

      He then is eating everything when he is at my house, he appears hungry and on some days he is very ‘skint’, not even managing to produce one pound from his pocket. Where is his money going? he is helping with the puppy, kids, even doing my washing BUT please dont think I am not grateful, but he appears to be gaining a lot more than me – warm house, food, electricity, my internet (as he has none as he didnt pay his bill). I have also noticed he has been using my printer/paper/telephone and I am now feeling stupid as I ask myself “What are you doing and here are some signs that make your tummy have a nervousness”

      I also find a letter he has tried to copy, but left behind, and it is from his work, saying his full time sickness will now reduce on 14 feb (but he told me he was on half pay)- great big lie, Why?mmm.

      So I need a break and dont want him in my house as I have that distrust feeling again. So I am trying to come up with a plan for my dog and my daughter is ill so I tell him I dont need him to help as my daughter will be at home. He then phones her (i am at work) and asks her if he can come to the house to use the internet as he is applying for a new job. Does the library not have internet? aarggh. He arrives and stays for 3 hours (came at lunch time appropriate eh). she contacts me and I have to send a clear message for him to go. I just feel as though he is taking the p..s. He doesnt like my message but does leave my house.

      And it gets worse. He tells me he has forced his work into a settlement so he can avoid the sack. If they say No, he will use his mental health and discrimination and take them to court. I cant believe what I am hearing as he totally screwed them and he got caught, now he is a victim again. His work agree and tell him if he hands in his notice, they will give him his holiday entitlement and one months salary and he will walk away with 3 grand. OMG. ever heard the saying – fall on shite and come up smelling of roses..He has done soooo much to his work and gets away with 3000 pound. really!

      I tell him he should get a new tv as he has a very small old one and he becomes defensive. He tells me he needs the money to get his car fixed as he needs to sell it. It wont cost 3 grand to fix his car. I ask why he needs to get rid of it. He tells me he got caught, and jailed, a few weeks ago for being 4 times over the legal limit (drink driving). He has to go to court but he is pleading not guilty.omg – the police have evidence. He is then planning on driving when he does get banned as he will need to do his delivery job. He tells me has a big problem and needs my help. His car insurance is up and he needs me to insure his car every month and he will give me the payments (Ha I am laughing as no way in the world am I doing any of this – is he desperate?).He says if I insure his car, if the police stopped him, he would get away with it. He is still trying to break the law. Again he said he was the victim as the reason he drove his car was to get out a party where a guy punched him and he didnt want to stay. My ex is a big man in size and it would take a brave or stupid man to take him on so again I just think – more lies.
      His parents know none of this,and he has no road tax or mot either.

      So what was I thinking? Is my suspicion right about him possibly gambling again? Where is the changes? and I feel like a silly fool when I said I would NEVER be fooled by him again.
      The difference is I dont have the same empathy or sadness now as he nearly destroyed me and I know I no longer am in love with him or ever want him back. I look at him now and think he is a crook. He is a grown man, in his forties and he is being held in police stations for drink driving and still committing crime. thats not a man in recovery.

      Oh I am sighing, getting upset, getting frustrated and writing this has helped my head. I have been sitting with this for weeks.

      Now I have to decide what to do next? and I think i know but am not sure. All I know is that this addiction and his lies and deceit are not my problem anymore, but somehow I feel as though he is trying hard to make it mine… Advice and support would be very much appreciated.

      Thank you for listening.

    • #4236

      Wow, first I will say you have come a long way. You are clearly foolproof, sensing quickly that there is something not right in this picture. He is hiding something and it can be one of his addictions. Doubts should not be ignored even if you don’t know why, they are protecting you. It seems when the cg is at the time of desperation of not having much they risk big and get themselves in a hole, like your ex. He is trying to wiggle his way back, hoping you will give in. Since he is being nice, hoping you will cave in to the victim card. Tough times don’t last, but tough people do. So he has to man up.
      I would not not enable him in anyway, that contributes to his gambling. No giving money or helping our with the car insurance. If he can’t pay, its not your problem and may he suffer the consequence. Unfortunately, the cg plays with the heartstrings and I feel that is what he is doing. Don’t feel sorry for him. I would just say, that he has to take care of his issues and that you cannot help. As you said, “…this addiction and his lies and deceit are not my problem anymore…” This mentality is what got you to this place in your life, so stick with the plan.

      XXX Twilight

    • #4237

      …is the selfish question you have to ask, Jenny and you know the answer already.
      He has played you like a fiddle in the past. Now he is manipulating his parents, the children and even the dog.
      WAKE UP, Jenny.
      Time for you to kiss this “baby boy” goodbye, at least until he grows up
      You don’t need to be pulled into his illegal quangos. You are enabling him, even by listening to his ROT. You have a lot to lose. He has nothing to lose. He doesn’t seem to care about asking you to collude with his illegal activities. He might involve you as an accomplice, especially if he has access to your IT equipment. If he has cheated his boss etc , how do you know you won’t be implicated? From what you say, I would suggest taking out a baring order on this lad. You are taking a risk having him in your home. He could use your address for purposes you are unaware of. He sounds quite dangerous to me. He has crossed the line too often. Look carefully at the signals he is picking up from you Jenny. CGs don’t miss a trick.
      Good to hear from you. I was thinking of you during the week.

    • #4238
      White Tara

      Hi Jenny,

      I’m White Tara and new to the forums. As a way of an introduction before I make comment, a month ago I ended an 11 year relationship with my CG. I learned more than I wanted to about gambling and have been taken to all the emotional highs and lows I never thought possible. LIke we all have. Done things I never thought I would do, stupid, stupid things, some I daresay fraudulent. I had been dissociating for the last couple of years (my cg and I were not in a romantic relationship or married or had kids,but we did love each other and lived together in my house ). Everything came to a crisis point and I had to take direct action to protect myself. I sought help from Gamcare and the National Problem Gambling Centre and Women’s organisations.As a result I do have a 12 month non-molestation order too protect me now. Today I feel the safest I’ve felt in a long time. I am getting to know myself again as I was swallowed up into the black abyss of an enabler. I used to say there were three entities in this relationship, me, the CG and gambling!! I have cried everyday but each day is getting easier. When I feel myself feeling sorry for him or remember some of the fun times, I bring myself back to the reasons why I had to take the actions I did, to protect myself and my future. I wanted a gambling free future no matter how much I loved my CG. He was always in denial….I eventually learnt I had to put myself first and I don’t regret it.

      So I read your first post and saw it was written in 2015. So I scooted down to the last couple of messages to see where your at now.

      In all honesty I read your last post and I felt such anxiety and sickness. Like Vera says WAKE UP!!! and I’m saying HE HAS WORKED HIS WAY BACK IN!!!!! Look at how far he has pushed you, look at how leaky your boundaries have become and in a short space of time.

      Now you have to go back to where you were previously and make up a story as to why he can’t see the children. Your head is spinning!!

      Have you checked out his browsing history on the internet? or has he cleaned it?

      Maybe it is time to think about getting some kind of legal protection for yourself especially if he’s using your name and got access to inside your house when you’re not there.

      Ultimately, you know what you have to do.

      Love and Light



    • #4239
      jenny t

      Thank you all for your comments.

      I guess when you asked vera “whats in it for you ” I can answer that by saying “I got a bit of help for a little while”. I dont want anyone to feel sorry for me but sometimes it is sooo hard being a single mum, working full time in a very emotionally draining and stressful job, running my kids to all their clubs, trying to keep on top of the housework and feeling exhausted at the end of the night. (My family live 1 and a half/2 hours away so they are not on my door step to help).
      So what does the CG offer – Help, a break, some of the burden, but I know, I ask myself – but at what cost? I guess my barriers went down and I have been in the dark about what he is up to and I guess I will never know unless it has been illegal or I just havent found out yet.

      He is in a mess, still being fraudulent, illegal, and not changing his ways. He is now going to claim illegally by deceiving the benefits agency saying his mental health is sooo poor when he is just manipulating and telling lies so he can get his rent paid for him, his council tax paid for him and lots of money because he is apparently very very anxious all the time and he cant leave his house without support. What a lot of nonsense.
      He even turned up to take my son to his football game and was slurring his words and I thought he was drunk (driving his car again). He refused to come up the garden path to see me and when I told my son there was no way he was getting in the car with him, he swore at me and drove away. He has since said sorry but I dont care anymore. Sorry is just a word. He was going to put my son at risk in his car and his explanation “I was hungover and had taken too many anxiety pills”. No excuse. He could have killed someone. His behaviour is awful.

      I am keeping him away now. He is not coming back to my house. He had “more of me again” but now it stops. Sometimes people have to go through things again in order to “wake back up and smell the coffee”. I guess I just had blurry glasses on and I havent been seeing things clearly.
      Thank you all for reminding me.

      I am making new arrangements with one of my neighbours kids who can help with the dog.It will cost me financially but I will just need to manage that and it wont be forever as he wont be a puppy forever. At least I can focus on my recovery again.
      I remember saying on my wedding day to him “my love for you will never end” but each time you go through more of this addiction, the love gets crushed more and more and there is little left. Gambling and him destroys it. But he cant destroy me as you are right, I was much stronger before. Now I need to focus on myself and my kids and get there again. (I am crying as I write this as sometimes it hurts soo much)but I promised myself that I was going to have a happier year, no more tears and definitely not allowing the CG to make a fool of me, tell me lies or affect me and my children in any way. But he has.And he is not worth it.

      His parents dont even know again and they have been supportive of him again. Why wont he stop being the victim, stop manipulating situations and live in the real world with responsibility and maturity, especially when you are a dad?
      It must be exhausting being him with all the fake bits. and yet, he never stops and carries on. I would not like myself if I were him.

      So, all my energy needs to be kept for people who are deserving of it, my kids, my friends and family – not listening to my CGs ROT as the posts said .And doing what I can to move on again. I cant change the past but I am in control of what happens next and one thing for sure is that I dont want gambling to be a part of my life ever again. For that, I know for sure

      Thanks for supporting me. I really appreciate it

    • #4240

      Hi Jenny, you are doing so well, there is such strength in your post along side the sadness. What it boils down to is it is hard to let go of someone you love but I found it easier to say I was not supporting the addiction, I refused to have a relationship with it, I would not be dragged in and let it claim another victim. This may not work for you but I found it helpful. You need to keep protecting yourself and your kids which you seem to be doing a good job of.

      You are obviously a strong capable caring woman who is doing her very best in a very difficult situation. I get exactly what you say about being a single mum, sometimes just having someone to talk about worries with your children or a tough day at work can be worth its weight in gold however there are other places you can get that. In my case I use a counsellor but there are lots of mum’s groups or other social groups where you can make that network to have support around you and you don’t have to tell them everything (I know it can be hard when you have a cg in your life and worry about being judged) even letting out the everyday stresses helps enormously as it gives you space to deal with other things.

      Keep on keeping on you are doing great, Lily x

    • #4241

      Hi Tara, you haven’t posted in a while and I wondered how you were doing? Lily x

    • #4242
      jenny t

      hello, I have not posted in a while, I have been doing what I should have done a long time ago – Ignoring my ex.

      A lot has been happening. I limited the contact with our daughter (a couple of hours per week) but even that did not feel right. My ex was claiming benefits, telling me his latest victim story and he got a 16 month drink driving ban in April.
      He could not pick our daughter up, I saw signs he was “skint “again, cupboards bare and when he was meant to have contact with our daughter , he could not buy her dinner as he had zero food in the house, not even a toilet roll and not even a pound for a sausage roll from the bakers. I had to but food so he could feed our daughter and something in me just snapped – No More.. I really did not want this anymore.

      I reached my line as my gut told me he is gambling again. I told him he could not offer our daughter anything, could not pick her up, could not afford bus fares to see her, could not even supply a toilet roll in his house, and once again his addiction was more important so now I have ended it. Everything. No contact with his daughter, no contact with me and No more Gambling Addictions affecting my life.

      I am the strongest I have ever been. I have had no contact with him directly, nor seen him, since April. I spoke to our daughter and she was absolutely fine. She surprised me by saying I am not bothered about seeing him mummy as I would rather be at home with you. So today we are living our lives completely gambling free and it is really good.

      BUT – If only life was that easy. I have realised that when the CG is ‘playing you like a fiddle’, getting what he wants, and getting something from you, then all is good but the minute you say NO, I have had enough, I am not allowing my kids to be let down again and again, It is Over then wow — His anger, his threats and that ‘monster’ appears again.

      So now he has no job, on benefits, lots of time on his hands and an anger at me (when he was the one who could not provide for his daughter, choose to have no money, choose to drink drive, choose to break the law on more than one occasion, choose to lose his job)… and he is threatening to take me to court. He wants access to our daughter, he is entitled to legal aid ( I work full time and I would have to pay a lawyer at a very expensive cost) and he has been issuing me with lawyers letters.

      I have been stressed, I have cried, I know what I am doing is right and not out of bitterness or revenge as I could have done a lot worse in the beginning when I had feelings I cannot even write about here because that addiction was turning me into someone with horrible thoughts.

      I am protecting my daughter and me from more hurt, let downs, criminal activity and a gambling addiction that he wont admit is destroying him.. I have given him so many chances with our daughter but I wont be bailing him out anymore,making excuses about why daddy has no money, cant drive, can’t even buy a loaf of bread and give her a sandwich. So I am having to keep all my strength to fight.

      It is the last piece with my CG. It has to be.

      So a lawyers letter was sent to me with my ex as the victim again. I represented myself, I wrote a lengthy response back outlining the facts and he denied it all. My wee girl is upset, been clingy to me, has wet pants again and does not want to go to her dads. it is also affecting her relationship with her grandparents as she went to their house and although they know my wishes, they let my daughter have contact with my ex in their house. My ex has them truly manipulated again and they see me as the bad one.

      I know in my heart I have stopped contact for the right reason. I know having a CG who is continuing to tell lies, to gamble, to be skint, to be involved in criminal activity and to be in denial – is not the right father figure for my wee girl just now. I have willed so many times for my ex to stop but I honestly believe he wont.

      I am staying strong. No contact with him has been good. I wish Vera, I had done it earlier, I perhaps wasnt ready . Now there is nothing in it for me. And when there is nothing in it for him I see his true colours – anger, more lies and him still being the victim. When will this man grow up?

      So, armour is on. If court takes place then I will fight with everything I have and I will be honest . My biggest strength is my honesty. I even phoned the benefits hotline and reported my ex for claiming PIP falsely as I think it is so awful that you can pretend to have a disability and be awarded for this when genuine people need help more.

      I never ever thought I would say that my boxing gloves are on. I have never wanted to fight but I never wanted to be on my own, with 3 kids and have lived a life with the devasting effects of living with my ex’s awful addiction, I wasn’t in control of that but I AM NOW.

      Thank you all for listening and always helping me. I am glad I have been able to post again.

    • #4243

      Dear Jenny
      I have thought about bringing your thread up many times but held back knowing you would write again when you were ready.
      Your self-will and determination to protect your children is your armour strengthened further by your commitment to be honest. I think is so much easier to be honest – your ex’s lies and confabulations (such a lovely word for distorted memory) will surely become apparent to anybody in authority.
      I know you never wanted the fight but sadly some active CGs make it impossible to do anything else and I firmly believe that at times like this the only course is to make a stand. In my opinion, his messing around with your daughter’s happiness is a step too far and the sooner she is stabilised the better. How sad that his parents are not able to see the truth or, as is probably the case, ignoring what they see because that is easier than facing their son’s poor behaviour.
      I know you will be doing this already but this is the time to double up the joy in ‘your’ home so that your daughter (and your other children know they have security. When she is older, hopefully you can discuss the ins and outs but for now all that matters is that she looks forward to each day as a child should.
      As Mr Bumble said in Oliver Twist ‘the law is an ass’. You will hear things that will hurt you and worry you so stick to everything that you are doing now because you are doing well. Lawyer’s letters can be intimidating but behind the letter is a human being who is only stating what he/she has been told and those facts will be blurred when presented by an active CG.
      I also hope you will start posting again more regularly through this unpleasant period because there is an understanding here that seems to be lacking in your ex’s parents and I suspect they will be putting their unhelpful oars in.
      It is possible that a complete break will bring your ex to his senses but that is in his hands, not yours, we can only hope that ‘one day’…..!
      I am still on the top of the mountain Jenny and I know it has been a hell of a climb for you but you have never given up. A life free of the addiction to gamble is precious and worth a fight – it is within your grasp, as it is and always will be, for your ex.
      As Ever

    • #4244

      Jenny, I haven’t much time to write just now, but when I read that you child is going on visits to her dad, where her most basic needs are being neglected, it strikes me as being tantamount to child neglect. No child should be exposed to such an unsettling environment. She deserves better. Her dad seems irresponsible right now.
      Gambling, as I recall is just one of your “Ex’s” problems.
      Have you considered contacting the Social Services? If you are referred through them, legal aid should be free.
      You are coping very well, Jenny.
      Keep posting. I think of you a lot. X

    • #4245
      jenny t

      It is the early hours of the morning and I can’t sleep. Lots going on.

      My ex sends me a letter from the legal aid board as he is going to progress to court action so he can have lots of contact with our 9 year old daughter (who does not want to see him). legal aid would pay for his court case because he has no job . I have to take time off work as I need support. I have to speak to the legal aid board, I need my own legal advice and I am soooo worried about him getting to see our daughter again.

      You see, Vera had stated that gambling was just one of my ex’s problems and she was right. I made a decision to go to the police one week ago and report domestic violence that had been in the last few years of our relationship.And as I spoke, I recognised a pattern. When he was gambling, he was drinking, he was more abusive and there is never an excuse for hurting your partner, but it makes sense now. Being ‘thick in the gambling’ changed him .

      He physically hurt me on 2 occasions and one incident involved threatening to stab me with a knife. I have 7 witnesses for that incident but I was too scared to tell the police and also he came up with a story that I believed, he was on medication and that caused it. At that time he was also gambling and being secretive a lot. I was scared.

      I have now recognised that his gambling , in the last 2 years, got worse. So did his behaviour and I worry as he does not know I have been speaking to the police. So far I have spent Sunday at the station for 2 hours, Monday for 4 hours and the police want me to go back again as I still have not finished my statement.

      I have been to my doctor as I have not been sleeping well, I have not been to work in 2 weeks due to all this stress and I have made a lawyers appointment and been told I have to make my first court fee before the 30 August (and it is £120 just to say I am defending his court action). Not just because he cant provide for our daughter, because I am almost sure he is gambling again but because I feel that our daughter has been through enough and saw frightening incidents caused by him.

      I cant afford a legal order for protection as it costs 1000 pounds (because I work full time) crazy eh, I have the police helping me and they will investigate what I have said and then look to charge him. Then it gets scary, as I believe he will deny everything, put me and my kids through giving evidence at court and really this is not about loving his daughter or doing the right thing by her, this is about me.

      Oh vera, you were so right and I wish I had listened and been ready when you spoke about CG’s being manipulative and about having no contact at all with him. Also others saying before if I had considered support from women’s aid. I honestly thought it was all to do with the gambling but other people are CG;s and they dont physically hurt their wives.

      I know its all going to get messy. I will have a child contact court going on and a criminal court case going on and my children and I will need to be strong. I have a lot of amazing support though and I know going to the police to report crime and violence towards me and also threats to me and my children, it was the right thing to do. I am just scared of the consequences and how my ex will react.

      I never used to mention being scared on these posts but I have been. I just put it all down to his gambling addiction but he totally fooled me.

      What matters now is that me and my kids have had no contact with him since April and I need to pay for my lawyer to help me now. Police will also interview my kids, along with social services but that will be ok because we never caused this. My CG did. I just never saw the signs that others did until I was out the relationship but even then I continued to be manipulated and used by a desperate man whose only thoughts were for himself.. and I have a strong feeling that its going to get worse before it gets better.

      I just need to be brave and deal with this. I just never thought that I would be on a forum for gambling addiction and also writing about domestic abuse.. I just could not have predicted any of it. I want to be safe and free again and to not have him in our lives..His CG behaviour is not the one I am most worried about right now, it’s the other abusive behaviour that he may show. I will call the police..I wish I had done before.

      Thanks as always for listening.

    • #4246

      Jenny, it sounds as if your ex is resorting to bully tactics.
      With his record, he stands little chance of gaining access to your daughter. I doubt if he will follow through. The law is not on the side of a negligent /inconsistent dad.
      I would strongly advise you to document EVERYTHING. Time, date, place and incident. Positive and negative. Contemporaneous notes are vital for legal cases.
      Can you contact the Social Services to request free legal aid for your daughter? Even if you are not entitled to FLA your daughter should be while she is still a minor and the subject of her dad’s actions.
      Keep a cool head.

    • #4247

      Dear Jenny
      Never forget that you are a fantastic mum and role model for your children. Every post you have ever written has come across as being from a woman of strength and determination; your attempts to stand by your CG have been more than he deserved but now the gloves are off and I believe you will fight this final battle with courage.
      I was divorced many years ago and it was scary, I was afraid about the lies that would be told and indeed were told; I was afraid for my 3 small children and it felt as though I didn’t have a voice big enough to be heard. I fought for my children with a strength I didn’t know I possessed and I was heard and so were my children. ‘Your’ children have a right to be protected Jenny, use the posts you have written here to act as a record of events.
      If you are not happy with you lawyer then change him/her, don’t be bamboozled by anybody. Recommendations are always good at times like this.
      I am so pleased to read that you have a lot of amazing support – that is worth its weight in gold – use it. Keep talking and sharing with friends and family and of course this forum. Perhaps you could pop back into a group – it’s on Thursdays now.
      Have you contacted a Woman’s aid group, they would probably be able to give you the name of a solicitor who deals with cases such as this?
      My battle was over many years ago now and it is only a hazy memory. I have never let it define my life or make me bitter and I feel certain you won’t either.
      My thoughts are with you and that is not idle words.

    • #4248
      jenny t

      I have been all over the place as I have fought, cried, got angry, been anxious and have seen more devastating effects my ex’s behaviour has been having on my kids.

      So I had to go to court and I looked through every single post I had written on here and could not believe that this was me. I then prepared a chronology of dates, times, incidents, when sheriff officers came to my house, when he gambled, what he stole, his abuse towards me and when I put it all in order and looked at this timeline of my life with him, well it was sad and really concerning that me and my kids went through this. I am so glad I ended our relationship.

      I then presented my evidence of events in court and the sheriff would not grant him any contact until an independent court reporter interviewed my kids. And what a stressful and awful time it has been as the reporter has spent only 30 minutes each with my older children, 20 minutes with my youngest and 40 minutes talking to me. He has also spoken to my ex and his parents and now I have to wait until Monday 20th November and find out what this reporter recommends to the sheriff about whether my daughter should be forced to see her abusive, unreliable, still gambling, dad. I have no control over the court process and the lies he is telling is just sad and nasty.

      I have cried more tears and I have had been back at work, then off work, then back then trying to manage and support my children.

      And gambling still effects their life. My 9 year old came in from school and told me she was crying in the classroom. I comforted he and asked if she could tell me why. She said the teacher was reading a passage in a book which said “for the grace of god”. She said the teacher was trying to explain what the grace of god meant and said to the class “if you were a gambler and you placed a bet and lost all your money then you may say “for the grace of god” and believe god should have helped you so you would not have lost the bet”. My daughter said she started to cry and the teacher spent time with her as she told her “my daddy is a gambler, he stole my mummy’s money and he lost all his money too, do you think if he said “for the grace of god” and god helped him, then he would not be a gambler and I would have a better daddy?”. Oh my word. I broke my heart that night and see that gambling does not have to be directly in your life, to still have a damaging effect.
      Lots of cuddles and a meeting with the teacher to explain our situation more has helped. I am not ashamed of what has happened for us because we did not cause it.

      I also found myself getting angry as I watched the news and a famous footballer came on to say he was a CG and how awful his life has been. I wanted to shout “What about your wife and family, how awful do you think it has been for them”.

      I also went to a new hairdresser and she was talking about this footballer and addictions and told me she is part of a charity called recovery kidz. She said she helps parents and their children go on outings, do activities and when I asked who attends she said people in recovery from drugs, alcohol, shopping addiction, food addiction. she has 70 families . I asked if any of them were there from gambling addiction. Her reply was No. Why not? This addiction may not be seen by others (no physical signs like drugs/alcohol) but the devastating effects are the same.

      Oh perhaps I am just a little bit down just now. My ex is telling lies, my kids have been interviewed by a formal lawyer type court reporter, been questioned, and contact will be decided by someone who does not know what my family has went through and how compulsive gambling and compulsive lying seem to go hand in hand with my ex using a court system because I will not allow him to be in our life anymore. It is all so wrong and going through this process has been tougher than I thought.

      I just want it all to end. I am crying again. Gambling still feels like it is in my life when it is not. I just want it to be in the past and I know I will never make the same mistakes I made again by loving someone who could never put me or my children first because his bets always got in the way.

      It only destroys you if you let it and some days are harder than others but it is hard to still be ‘fighting’someone who is still focused on their needs and not the needs of their children. I split with him 2 years ago and he won’t go away. I really want to move on now with my kids. I want to not hear his lies anymore or be questioned through the courts but I have to tell myself its temporary as this won’t last forever. I am only dealing with the civil court stuff just now as the police are still looking at my gambling logs and other evidence I have provided. The police officer cried with me when she read back my statement. she said my story is so real. That’s because it happened. I really wish it hadn’t.

      So for now I will keep going and get the strength back to show my kids that it is ok to talk to others, tell their story and get support, just as their mum is doing here.Most importantly, I tell them to tell the truth. If only my ex had done that when we met, I would not be where I am today.

      God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, COURAGE to change the things I can and wisdom to know the difference…

      Thank you for listening. There are lots of tears just now.

    • #4249

      Dear Jenny
      How I long for the day I hear that your tears have stopped. I know they will but this is so tough for you at the moment and all I can offer is my thoughts.
      Do you have a date yet when custody is to be sorted out? I had a Guardian ad litem appointed to see my 3 very young children and I remember the sick fear when she spoke to them alone. I knew I had said nothing that was untrue and I had never run their biological father down to them but it was so very scary. The report when it came out though was so accurate – the bio father had done the damage all by himself and it had not taken her long to establish this.
      I remember my father saying ‘please don’t get bitter over this’ – he knew someone whose bitterness had shown in her face and in her life and he didn’t want it for me. I can honestly say that I have not been bitter and my children and I went on to better things – as you will.
      I am so glad you are encouraging your children to talk to you and others. Misunderstanding accrues when thoughts have nowhere to go.
      I seldom cry anymore because I believe that F&F can always come through and out the other side no matter what but I felt such pain when I read about your 9 year old daughter talking to her teacher.
      How glad I am to read that you kicked ‘shame’ into touch and through all your tears you have written the Serenity Prayer with the word Courage in capitals. It does courage to get through and it does take acceptance. Your long period of suffering has not brought you to your knees – you are amazing.
      I think all F&F would agree with you that it is dreadful that there is not more done for those who suffer from living with the addiction to gamble and I would include those who own the addiction in that as well. I remember being told by a member of GA that the ‘anonymous’ bit meant that they didn’t publicise the problem with gambling to protect anonymity – I don’t know if this is still true. I know how difficult it was for me to find anybody who understood what I was saying and yet I can spot it now (and have done so) with friends and acquaintances. The only upside appears to be slightly more mention these days in plays and discussions on radio and television.
      Life is dreadful for families who love CGs and life is dreadful for those with the addiction.
      On this forum, however, our main thrust is for the families and on here you are unique and special.
      I don’t know if you spotted that I am now running an F&F group between 10 and 11pm on Tuesdays as well as 8 – 9pm on Thursdays. I really hope you will pop in so that we can catch up in real time. I promise to have the tissues ready and a large glass of cyber wine or a cup of cyber tea. Your seat in the group will always be ready for you.
      As Ever Jenny – my thoughts are with you

    • #4250

      Just touching base, Jenny to let you know I’m thinking of you.
      I hope you had a peaceful Christmas and that Santa came?
      Give us an update when you can.
      Happy New Year!

    • #4251
      jenny t


      It has been several months since I have been here but I wanted to let you all know how me and my children are doing.

      My ex started sending me lawyers letters in April last year and we attended various child welfare hearings but I would not give up or be bullied by him so I continued to tell the truth to the sheriff and my children were interviewed too.

      In November, the Sheriff agreed with the reporter and did not award my ex contact with his daughter. She told the court reporter she did not want to see her daddy as he stole money and got drunk and was scary. I cried when I read her words but know they are her words and not mine as telling the truth is so important and I have always insisted on 2 things my children don’t do – tell me lies or disrespect me, we have our moments but they know I hate lies.

      So my ex has only been allowed to send our daughter letters and well, he has been doing that every single month and I strongly believe the letters are not a sincere way of getting in contact with our daughter, but it is instead , a way of keeping the contact with me. I have not shown my daughter all the letters are it upsets her and when I have asked her again if she still feels the same about seeing her daddy she told me recently “my daddy needs to regain himself and I don’t want to meet him because I have a good family and my daddy hurt us” oh my. a clever young girl but again, made me cry.

      So, I re read the serenity prayer over and over and used the word courage to change things as I have felt like my ex just won’t ever leave me alone so I walked into a police station and I disclosed all the incidents of domestic violence and abuse against me, I had previously told the police and court about the gambling, debt, effects, my words on this forum…I was now needing help from the police to keep my ex away from me.

      He has been charged with 4 domestic abuse offences against me, he pled not guilty (despite me having 8 witnesses for one incident). He appeared at court and pled not guilty again. He is now putting me on the stand, along with my childen, and I am facing the criminal court in 2 weeks. He once lied and lied about gambling. Now he is going to lie in court about assaulting me and I am having to face another court process again. I do have protection in place just now as the police have granted this and I am grateful as I am extremely anxious about how he will react.

      I am so very scared as I have never been a witness before and to re live traumatic incidents is causing me to be unwell as I am not sleeping well, am very anxious and I know how lawyers can twist the truth, especially as they have my ex’s version of what happened. However, I will tell the truth. I had injuries,his parents seen bruises he gave me but I remember clearly his dad asking me “how do we know you did not do that to yourself?”oh it is exhausting.

      My 15 year old has needed extra support and I have referred her to counselling through the school. It has been over 2 years since her step dad was asked to leave the house and she has , for the first time, wrote an essay at school, all about gambling , the increase of his alcohol and what we went through. She called it “the girl in the mirror” and wow, was it powerful. 2 years later and now my teenage daughter is talking and when she could have written an essay about anything, she did her own life and the effects gambling has had on her childhood. Writing and gaining support has been my therapy. I am glad she has been able to write too.

      My son, aged 17, is having to testify against his step dad too. I wish I had the power to stop that but my son witnessed a lot that he should never have but it is not often until you are out the relationship that you see just how bad it was. Surviving is the word.

      I feel as though I am still surviving the now and want so much for it all to end soon. My daughter writing about gambling just recently brings memories back, I am now in a criminal court process because I chose to do the right thing and stand up against the bully and tell the truth.There has been a heavy rope hanging around us, keeping me from moving on, as I try to forget about the addiction, the abuse and the lies and reach the top of my mountain.

      Nobody said it would be easy, they just said it would be worth it. And I really hope so because I am tired of the tears, of the anxiety and fear.

      I used to be frightened of the letters coming through my mail box, of the knocks on my door, of the unknown (until I worked out my ex’s games and lies and deceit) and now I am frightened of his reactions, unpredictability, his lies in his court but I have support, some strength and a determination to move on with my life. I just can’t believe how tough it still is but one day at a time jenny t, still one day at a time.

      Thank you so much for listening.

    • #4252

      Dear Jenny
      I thought of pulling your thread up last week but I knew that you would do so when the time was right for you – and here you are.
      You have come a long way since you last posted and you are still doing well in the face of adversity.
      I have given evidence in a criminal court and it was a little bit daunting but provided you tell the truth and believe in yourself and what you are doing you will be fine.
      Barristers seek to find the truth and although their methods may seem gladiatorial it is merely a way to establish the truth, they are paid to do a job and there is nothing personal in what they do. Be cool, take a second or ten before you answer and tell the truth. You know your ex will lie because to tell the truth is to admit he has abused you, so no surprise there!
      I know that reliving your experiences will be traumatic but I know you can do it because you are the mother of three great children who need you to be strong for them – we can move mountains for our children Jenny and you are no exception. I also know these difficult times pass and there is a whole lot of great life ahead for you and your family.
      I think your daughter is fantastic writing about her experiences – I can think of no better way to put her ghosts to bed. Your son will be a man when he stands up in court but equally I am sure he will have the resilience of youth.
      I think your climb has been harder than many but you are far from being beaten by someone telling lies about you. You scaled your fear of the knock on the door and mail coming through the mail box by recognising that they were just games, lies and deceit. Now it is time to dig your crampons in again and pull yourself up to speak in court.
      Your ex has gambled on not being taken to court and he has lost; you have proved over and over that you are stronger than the bully he is.
      No this isn’t easy but it is scalable and you have the will-power, determination and true grit to see this through. I still have the champagne at the top ready to pop when you arrive – and you will soon. This is just another wee hurdle Jenny.

    • #4253

      Keep protecting your children. He just wants you to support his addiction. Don’t do it.

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