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  • #4661
    LostandDespair
    Participant

    Hi, new to this site so please bare with me. A little background information, I was with my ex cg for 18 years prior to life as I knew it exploding and the total destruction to our family unit. We have an 11 year old son. We sold our dream house and separated at the end of December 2013. Over two years out and I am still reeling from the loss and he is still in complete denial that he even has a gamblng problem. I know him well and I know that he is miserable and yet still he refuses to acknowledge the problem and continues to blame me for his terrible life. I am exhausted emotionally and physically and have done my best to shield our child but am so tired of trying to put back the pieces of his destruction and addiction and so tired of the emotional toll that this has taken on me and my son.

    Upon serious reflection, I am haunted by what I have been through and no one seems to understand. It had been an ongoing problem for our whole relationship. He would gamble and then stop and swear that he would never gamble again, we would be up and then we would be down, we would be ok and then not. It was a never ending rollar coaster of addiction and abuse. I enabled him, I gamble with him to spend time with him, I spent family vacations on a cruise ship and in the casino with him, I hid the gambling and verbal abuse and was ashamed to talk about it with anyone, I shielded my child the best I could and to this day don’t know if my son knows that his father has a destructive gambling habit that can never be satisfied. There have been so many broken promises to my son and so many disappointments that I can’t even verbalize it.

    I lost who I was in the process and took the abuse and actually believed him when he verbally beat me down when he was angry and needing to blame someone. He wore me down, he broke me, he took my spirit and I am no longer the person I once was.

    When we separated everyone was astonished and didn’t know that it had been a problem that it had been escalating over a number of years. His mother is also a compulsive gambler and his father that abandoned him at a early age is also a compulsive gambler. It is in his DNA and there is no escaping it. He reconnected with his father after 30 years of estrangement and I now I realize that the man I once loved is the exact man he swore he would never become and the one who he loathed for his whole adolescent life for abandoning him and his brother in a life of poverty. He rose above it and was better then that or so I thought but in reality it was all smoke and mirrors and with multiple hairline cracks the mirror shattered into a million pieces. I have to break the cycle – it has to end with him – it can’t have my son and I will do everthing in my power to snuff out this terrible hidden life shattering addiction.

    In October of 2013, he had a full out break down, this was not his first time but it would be the last time that he held me hostage with his addiction and emotional abuse. He told me to take our son and run and that he wanted to end his life and all I could do was look at him and hate him for being so selfish.

    I begged him to get help, I told him that I would do everything in my power to help him, I told him that we could fix it but no more lies, we needed outside help and that he needed to acknowledge there was a serious problem and that he needed help. He turned on me and told me I did this to him, I made him feel this way and that I made him do this to our family, he didn’t have a problem it was me with the problem – I was the worst person on the planet and the cause of his misery.

    He would give me his bank cards and tell me that under know circumstance could I give them to him. A day later he would get angry and verbally assault me and break me down until I gave him his cards back or he would leave the house with a $1000 and leave his cards at home but would then call me within 1/2 an hour begging me to take an advance off our joint credit card and that the machine HAD to pay. In the month prior to Christmas he told me that he had spent everything and that he had no money for Christmas for our son. It was a living hell with both my son and me walking on eggshells as he descented into the very hell that he had created all the while blaming me.

    I have always worked full time and given all my money to the family unit. We had our dream home, my vehicle was paid for, we both had decent paying jobs with vacations and we wanted for nothing until he spiralled so out of control I had to look myself in the mirror and say enough, no more, if he was going down I refused to allow him to take my son and me with him. We separated at the end of December of 2013, sold the house by March as he was desperate and needing money (the week following our agreement to seperate he flew out to another country to see his estranged father and spent his entire $10000 line of credit in one night).

    Fast forward two years, I live in a two bedroom condo with our son. He sees his son every other weekend and lives with his family who continue to enable him. Our life as we knew it is gone and he is currently trying to sell his truck (the only thing left that is paid for) which I am assuming he is selling to pay gambling debts. He still refuses to acknowledge the problem and I just can’t understand how he could let go of everything and lose it all (he adores his son and I have to acknowledge that he means to be a good dad and would do anything for him or for me for that matter but that he just can’t). I am left wondering if there is a rock bottom all whilegrieving the loss of the man I loved and trying to recover from the emotional abuse that I have endured for a number of years. Please understand I am not playing the victim and I know that I am very fortunate and it could have been so much worse, but I am exhausted from the worry, fearing the next raging phone call, fearing that he will take his life, fearing that my son will grow up to be like his father and continue the cycle of destruction. I feel so alone and lost and there is just so much more that I can’t even type.

    #4662
    Dunc
    Keymaster

    <

    Hello

    Thanks for starting a thread in the Gambling Therapy friends and family forum. This forum will provide you with warmth and understanding from your peers.

    Feel free to use the friends and family group, you’ll find the times for these if you click on the “Group times” box on our Home page. Now that you have introduced yourself you’ll find that many of the people you meet here have already read your initial introduction and they’ll welcome you in like an old friend 🙂

    If you’re the friend or family member of someone who is either in, or has been through, the GMA residential programme please take extra care to make sure that nothing you say in groups, or on our forums, inadvertently identifies that person. Even if your loved one isn’t connected with GMA, please don’t identify them either directly or indirectly just in case they decide to use the site themselves.

    You’ll find a lot of advice on this site, some of which you’ll follow, some you won’t…but that’s ok because only you fully understand your
    situation and what’s best for you and the people you love. So, take the support you need and leave the advice you don’t because it all comes from a caring, nurturing place 🙂

    We look forward to hearing all about you!

    Take care

    The Gambling Therapy Team


    PS: Let me just remind you to take a look at our

    privacy policy and terms and conditions so you know how it all works!

    #4663
    monique
    Participant

    Just another few words of welcome. I have read your post and can totally understand that you must be so worn out and deeply affected by all that has happened.
    But you have reached out here. I hope you will now begin to feel some compassion from others who have suffered similar things. No two people are the same, no two experiences the same, but there are many things that are shared and will be fully accepted and understood.
    The big thing for you now is to start really looking after yourself. It is a recovery path all for you – you are not the addict, but you have been badly affected by the addiction to gambling and all that goes with it. Now, try to begin to let go of trying so hard to keep it all together for everyone else and gradually start re-building yourself. Not so that you can go back to being someone you used to be, but so that you can be a strong, healthy, caring woman, who has been transformed by taking a terrible experience and using it as the basis to start something new and fresh. When you concentrate on making yourself well and strong again, your son will also know inside himself that his Mum is going to be all right and that means he is going to be all right too. He is not ‘predestined’ to gamble in the future; his past is one major thing in his life so far, but his present and future can be built up with different influences and he can live well, as you can.
    I hope this does not sound all too far beyond reach of where you are now. It all starts with one small step and bit by bit you will make a new life. It is not easy, but it will be worth it and you will be well supported here on the Forum and in Support Groups (live online), if you can make it to them.
    Keep posting and I wish you strength and courage as you step out to a different way of living your own life.

    Monique

    #4664
    velvet
    Moderator

    Hi Lost
    Serious reflection is fine but ‘what ifs’ and ‘if onlys’ get in the way of recovery –put your recovery first because you are important.
    I understand what you have been through but I also understand that those who have not been through it struggle to understand. There is no need here to hide anything here, the mental abuse; the ups and downs are all recognized.
    I don’t agree that it is in your ex’s DNA, I believe he has the capability to stop gambling if and when he accepts his addiction – although I agree it appears that he is not prepared to do anything about it at the moment.
    Everything you said to him in 2013 was right but I am sorry to say his reaction was not uncommon – he chose to blame you rather than accept he had a problem. In blaming you he was avoiding taking responsibility for his unacceptable behaviour.
    In answer to your question – yes there is a rock bottom – it is a mental state and nobody can determine when it will occur – enablement obviously puts the moment off indefinitely and that is probably what you are seeing now. You have refused to enable your ex which is the best thing and the most loving thing you can do for him, so well done. By refusing to enable him you have allowed him to fall and I know how painful and difficult this is.
    Sadly the threats of suicide are fairly common and I hope that by distancing yourself from your ex such threats will lessen. Maybe you could write down some headings of what you are prepared to say and what you are not prepared to say when your ex calls. Keep the notes by the phone and stick to your script – i know it is hard to think when the addiction is shouting at you, throwing confusion and fear into the conversation. If he rages then I suggest you say something like ‘I am going to end this call if you continue to talk like this, call me back when you are ready to talk calmly’ and be prepared to cut the call immediately.
    I don’t hear you playing the victim, I hear a person who is trying to make sense of the senseless. Is there anybody in his family you could talk to about them ending their enablement of him? You know they are feeding his addiction but they might not know it.
    I have a Friends and Family group Tuesdays between 20.00-21.00 hours UK time – it would be great to communicate in real time.
    You have done really well writing this post that I know would have been hard to write. Keep posting and learning about his addiction, knowledge will help you cope. It is OK and right to grieve but it is important to look forward – you and your son deserve a happier life.
    I have brought up my thread ‘the F&F Cycle’ for you to read which i hope will help you see that everything you have written in recognised and that you are far from alone.
    Speak soon
    Velvet

    #4665
    LostandDespair
    Participant

    Thank you for your kind words and understanding, I know I am one of many and have spent hours pouring over this site that to be honest I accidently stumbled upon in my search for answers and understanding.

    I know I will never have the answers or fully understand and in reality I am ok with that because I am healing although it seems to be a forever process and I can’t help wondering if I will get over it – and deep down I know I will but it has certainly changed me. Time does heal. Do we forgive (yes slowly because that is how we recover and how I see it heal). However, as previously mentioned I am haunted and struggle with forgiveness and can honestly say I will never forget.

    My son and I are in a pretty good place considering. Our life is what I make it and I am fully aware of that. I broke the cycle by walking away as hard as it was to do (I spent half my life with this man, it was all i knew and I never wanted my son to be from a broken home but believe with every grain of my being that I did the right thing for me and my son as hard as it was).

    it is up and down, I am better today, the other day no so much. My mother is terminally ill, I lost my grandfather the weekend before and my ex cg told me that he is not able to do our son’s birthday as promised (Just one more thing – I’m starting to think that I don’t have a breaking point) . He got my son soooo excited and a plan was in place only for the ex to turn around and say “sorry buddy we can’t this year” (and I can only assume it is mostly for financial reasons and because of his inability to not be able to stop dumping his paychecks into slot machines) I take issue with the broken promise and the hurt it inflicts on our son – this is when I struggle the most not to completely go off the rails because then I am put in the position of yet again making things better and picking up the pieces of the disappointment and saddness that our son feels. It is truly a hidden addiction and as previously mentioned my son knows very little of the monster that his father carries around and has to feed all at the expense of him. I have never discussed my ex’s gambling problem with our son. I am amazed how strong I am on the outside when I am falling to pieces on the inside. I am so grateful for my son – he is a big part of my healing and the reason I get up in the morning. I gave him his birthday party last night and it was a success and that is all that matters.

    With respect to his family. His mother is a cg, his father is estranged and also a cg. His brother died about 4 years ago and they were close which was the ultimate trigger and undoing of my ex. He finally spiralled and lost everything – his home and us. The enabling family member is the deceased brothers widow and that is a whole other story that I will post at a later date. I can say this – the inheritance that was left for the ex cg’s brothers children is gone,the life insurance money that was meant to help the children go to school and buy houses and make their lives a litlle easier (because their father wanted them to be ok and not struggle like he had as a young adult) is gone – it fed the addiction and sucked more victims in along the way. This addiction has far reaching consequences and will be fed one way or another until there is nothing left. It will be just another matter or time before that situation explodes and he either hits his rock bottom or moves on to find another enabler – Not really my concern but sad all the same.

    Thank you again Monique and Velvet it is nice to be able to be heard by people who understand. Dumping these toxic feelings is providing me with an outlet and the more I type the calmer I feel – like a release that I am grateful for.

    #4666
    monique
    Participant

    I’m glad you find some release in writing. Do you keep your own private journal as well? It can be useful as a way of getting what is in your mind ‘out there’ and also something to look back on to see how things do change over time. It is good to share your thoughts and feelings with those others who can understand too, of course – as you are doing here. A little feedback can help you on your way and most of all help you to know you are not alone.
    You are right when you say this addiction causes so much havoc and destruction – far-reaching consequences indeed. The addict did not set out to cause this and usually hates what is happening too, but he does have to start the process of recovery as no one else can do that for him. But you do not have to be destroyed, nor does your son. You will have struggles and some battles, but you can come through.
    I am so sorry for the other losses and sufferings you are having to deal with too. Do keep posting and maybe you will get to Velvet’s group, too, which will offer you more support.
    Best wishes,
    Monique

    #4667
    velvet
    Moderator

    Hi Lost
    You have more than enough on your plate and yet you are here, writing positively; that tells me that you will get over it – and not only will you survive but you will turn this terrible experience into something good – the strength you are finding and the self-care you are giving yourself will stand you in good stead for your future and hopefully help you cope with the sadness of your mother’s illness
    The story of his parents, brother and sister-in-law makes for horrific reading but you have risen above it. You have recognised that ‘going off the rails’ is not an option and that your son needs you to be in control of your life. I am sure there will come a time when you will tell your son about his father’s addiction but I understand your reticence at the moment. You are a fantastic role model for your son and I am sure you will know when the time is right.
    As Monique has said there will be more battles but you are in a good frame of mind, you have the necessary knowledge to keep yourself safe and protect your son.
    I wish you well and look forward to hearing more from you as you successfully progress.
    Velvet

    #4668
    dadda
    Participant

    I want to say hello and let you know that you are certainly not alone. I was divorced twice from him and I only learned about the gambling problem when he filed for the second divorce. 5 years later, it still makes my head spin (in a sense) that so much could be going on that I knew nothing about, but actually, it happens a lot – the stuff that goes on before the gambling finally comes out – is what actually blows my mind.

    You are certainly NOT to blame; I heard all that too, and well before I knew anything about the gambling. I did take it to heart because when I met him and his family, years ago, they seemed “together” and healthy, from the outside, while my own family was a true dysfunctional mess. Like you, my ex’s “family” (my children and I were supposed to be HIS FAMILY) or shall I say, relatives, helped him continue and even take advantage of me and our children in the unnecessarily protracted divorce. Just know that it doesn’t in a sense matter what the outside looks like; on paper, I know I (now) look like an irresponsible mess but in reality I have faced and continue to cope with what IS more than one person should have to or maybe even can.

    Anyway, I learned I did have a breaking point (in 1998) after being terrorized by him and his brother for three months. It took me years and a lot of work (I NEVER had any “significant” mental health issues before) before I realized that, despite coming from a (more so at some times) “dysfunctional” family background, I actually had people who had brought me up to be responsible and accountable … but who were NOT cruel to me nor was I left alone to deal with the effects of a cruel situation that I did not create. I only say this because you likely are dealing with a lot; even now I sometimes have periods of “emotional shock” but I now recognize what is going on and can do things about it. For a really long time (back then) I was having very severe panic attacks that were not diagnosed; when I walked into therapist’s office during one, I saw a look of horror or something go across his face and “he can’t handle this” went through my own mind, so I pulled myself together. It took me a long time to figure out that they were panic attacks and how to deal with them, but I certainly should have felt confidence in a therapist! Main point is that you may very well have periods of confusion or strong emotions; having someone in your life that you can safely share these things with, someone who is not going to lead you astray, can be very helpful.

    And I hope I don’t sound like I am telling you what to do, just suggestions from what I learned and have gone through. Realize that you can’t be responsible for the whole tribe (relatives, and even his father). That will wear you out and if you “make nice” with things others are doing, it will sometimes end up so outrageous nothing can hide it.

    I made the choice to be HONEST with my daughters when I went back (he got custody of our children first time) and I am glad I did. My younger daughter got angry one night when I told her I couldn’t tell her “everything is going to be alright”. She was in her mid teens at that time – and I forget what the actual situation was – but I ended up telling her that if I didn’t know with at least 95% certainty, I wasn’t going to tell her that “to make her feel better”. I’m not holding that up as a model for others, necessarily, but I do know that when she was struggling with some issues that could have killed her, she was able to come to me and talk about them.

    One thing I learned about trauma, both through research and experience, is the better a parent is handling it, the better the child will (usually) do. That means you pretty much HAVE TO make sure you have emotional supports of some sort, some people or somebody who knows what you are going though. Plus not trying to take the whole world on your own shoulders or try to “make up” for a lost dream, etc.

    The whole experience is very painful, probably because so much of it is (at least a lot of the losses) preventable. But where I am, for example, there aren’t even any GA meetings within 100 miles … and for some reason, nobody seems to “get it” about the destruction wreaked by gambling problems. I know it took me a long time to find THIS site … I don’t even know of anything similar, especially for spouses/family, in the U.S.

    I’m not on here a lot, but I hope when I am, that I will see more from you and learn you are making it through. I guess one positive is that you will learn some strengths you never knew you have and there are others. But I too tried to talk with my spouse about reconciliation, facing the issue and so on. I think I have read that something like less than 10% of those with gambling problems go into treatment.

    I wish that my ex had been willing to face his issues but I can live with the fact that he chose not to. It’s not a reflection on me; I know I was a good wife and mother. But I don’t think he even saw me as “a person” … I was either “giving him what he wanted” or I was “worthless”. One is being an enabler … and the other … is the realization that you are not willing to enable.

    I hope you are finding supports where you are and are, a little at a time, being able to make more sense of things and how you can get through all.

    #4669
    LostandDespair
    Participant

    Thank you Velvet, Monique and Dadda for your kind replies you have no idea how much it helps to know that I am not alone in this maddness.

    Shortly after my last post, I am at my son’s sporting event with my mother and my ex cg approaches me (which is not uncommon) with his family watching on and the conversation ends with me telling him to walk away. Next morning I get a text from him and he said well since you mentioned split custody yesterday I would like to sit down and talk about this (Me: ummmm what????). My anger simmers and about 6 hours later reaches that calm boiling point. I respond to his text unleashing everything that I think of him and how I cannot believe that he wants to bring more conflict to my and my son’s life and upset everything that I have built for the past two years. He responds the next day “I will never forgive you for the things you said to me” (always the victim – everything I said was on point and although I was angry don’t regret a thing I said) and I think we need to talk about our child support agreement” I am stunned yet again (you would think I would get used to it by now) and spend two days writing a boundary email to him and have a coworker read it before I send it to him and tell him that we should revisit child support that HE set because I was so traumatized by my son and my life exploding and I agreed because I was scared about what the future held for us. I told him that I could not respond to him by text and I would not take any phone calls from him and that he needed to respond to me by email so that there were no further misundertsandings. My phone rang which I sent to voice mail and then the rapid texts start coming. I respond to him telling him I will need his income disclosed to me and he is back in threatening mode and trying to break me down again except this time I am not having it and I keep telling him he needs to respond to my email (and that he can still maintain his regular schedule with our son but I will no longer talk to him and that his access to me is denied) A week of back and forth and he relents and sends me his income amounts for the past two years (which for the most part are blacked out) and I send him a text stating you raised the issue and can’t even do this without conflict and upset (after he told me he would). He is back to his usual tactics of threats and abuse and then I look at everything and he has been paying me child support based off half his income but has always refused to disclose his income and I am beyond devastated yet again. How nice of him to buy our son boots and snowpants (out of the bottom of his heart) and apparently I am the one with the problem and don’t appreciate anything and should be grateful for his charity while he is gambling away all six figures of his income and doing everything that he pleases while not paying a mortgage and living off his family. Clearly, I am the one with the problem.

    I respond by email and block him on my phone because he won’t stop tormenting me while I am at work and then I print off and pour through text messages and everything else that has occurred over the past two years and relive it all over again. I can’t even talk to him, I am scared and cannot believe the position he has put me and his son in. I agree to meet with him in a public place to discuss these issues (and know I am setting myself up for further verbal assault and abuse and threats) but make an appointment with a lawyer for the day before the meeting at a rate of $350 per hour and can’t believe this is happening but feel that I have no choice but to cut my contact and hand it off to a third party because not only am I emotionally bankrupt but I am bracing for what is coming. Figure out that he owes me close to $10,000 in back child support and am now facing substantial legal costs and am filing for custody and the proper amount of child support and know that he will not go quietly into the night but I can’t even bring myself to look at him litlle alone speak to him. I cancel my meeting with him and have instructed the lawyer to proceed – so tired and haven’t slept properly in weeks and am now looking at counselling at a further substanial costs in therapy because I can’t take it, wrap my mind around it and don’t have the emotional capacity to keep dealing with him all while trying to keep my son’s life as normal as possible. My lawyer told me it was time to have a talk with my son and that although I have been hiding the issues from him I need to discuss these things with my son and yet I can’t bring myself to do this although he sees me crying night after night, I just keep telling him mom is sad and now I have to wait for the courts to decide because I see no other way to bring it to an end and have him be accountable to someone or something and feel so beat up all while trying to keep it together. I know he loves our son but at the same time I feel like I have to fight because if I don’t he wins yet again further feeding his sickness and there is no end to this other then calling his bluff and rolling the dice and gambling my son’s future and upbringing in the process but know that he will never stop as it is all about control which he lost a long time ago and will never stop even at the expense of our son all while blaming me for this.

    #4670
    ThreeTimer
    Participant

    Im praying for u and me! I read your story thinking omg this is my future possibility!!! Im in process of leaving a cg common law partner and we have a 4 year old son…..i hope to god you fond some releif and feel better. I wouldnt wish this upon my worst enemy.

    #4671
    velvet
    Moderator

    Hi Lost
    I appreciate that you are finding it hard to keep your emotions in check and I wonder if the following coping method, that I successfully used, would help.
    I used was to write letters to myself, addressing my words to my soul; I typed all the painful incidents, committing each terrible memory to paper which I then filed. I found that by putting those thoughts in a kind of external hard-drive I stopped that particular bad memory swirling round and round in my brain with no outlet – the file held it so I didn’t need to. Whenever my thoughts were overwhelming me, usually once a day, I would go and bash it out on my keyboard until I felt it had left me. I wrote angrily, aggressively, tearfully – I didn’t care about grammar, punctuation, being politically correct or even making sense, I used capital letters, underlining, different colours and expletives that I would never actually say – I smashed the words out to clear my brain and stop it exploding. As each page was committed to the file I would say aloud that I was releasing myself from that particular pain; I remember feeling exhausted but relieved every time I finished a letter. I hid the file well because it was never meant for anybody to see – it was private, it was mine. The file was quite thick in the end. When I started my recovery I kept it for quite a long time feeling that if I destroyed it I would have to retake the memories back into my head. My CG did turn his life around sometime later and I gradually destroyed the pages without reading them BUT it was not his recovery that gave me the greatest impetus to ‘live’ without pain – it was mine.
    It would be good for you, in my opinion, to keep a journal anyway, recording what your ex-partner has said or done so that a lawyer can see the events without you having to relive them.
    I hope some of this helps – keep posting, you are being listened to and understood
    Velvet

    #4672
    LostandDespair
    Participant

    What is it with this addiction and manipulation? I know I have made the right decision and yet I still ALWAYS feel bad for him, after all that he has done to my son and I, how is it that I fell bad? I continue to refuse any phone contact with him, or see him in person, these are the boundaries I have had to put in place and still he tries to manipulate me through email. I have never cut contact with him since our separation of over 2 and a half years ago but I am finding that with me not having to speak to him, it has done wonders for me and over the past month the only thing I dread is the ding of my email going off on my phone which has tapered considerably. I am hoping that he is having the realization that I will no longer tolerate his actions or him disrupting our lives, but in all honesty I doubt it. It is terrible and I never thought it would come to this but in the same breath, I wish I had taken these steps sooner. He is not a bad father – he was however a bad partner who was selfish and continues to be.

    He has our son every other weekend and when he does have our son he schedules poker nights with his friends and thinks that if one of his friends brings his child over to entertain our son, he is fullfilling his fatherly duty. No idea why he couldn’t book his poker nights on the weekends that he doesn’t have our son and then turns around and texts me that he misses his son and would love to spend more time with him. Really??? He also consistently drops our son off at his parents house when he has time with our son and I am pretty sure I could count on both my hands how many times in the past 2 and a half years he has actually spent one on one time with our son.

    I am obviously the bad person though who wakes up every morning at 6 to get our child ready for school, fed and then dropped off to school to go to my fulltime job, to leave work, pick our child up and take him to his activities after school, homework, bathtime, bedtime (repeat) and I wouldn’t change a thing.

    I have to have some contact with him due to our child but I find myself in a place where I can’t even look at him, little alone speak to him. How does someone do this? How do they not realize what they have done and what they continue to do (and feel justified in doing it).

    It amazes me that you can spend half your life with someone and not really know them at all. We are complete strangers now and I am a lot different then I was even 2 years ago. I am no longer as scared of the future holds because I now know that no matter what happens I can and I will be ok (and so will my son).

    #4673
    nomore 56
    Participant

    Hi Lost, I have been in a very similar position years ago when my hb’s addiction was at its peak. He used to call me at work, on my cell phone and sent me nasty emails. His way of getting to me because he knew how much it bothered me and raised my already insane anxiety level. Even worse, we used to live in one apartment at the time because we couldn’t afford another household.
    Addicts have a 6th sense for what gets to the people in their lives and what bothers them the most. You might want to consider to change your email address and/or block him from email and your phone as well.
    As for your son, can you in any way limit the visitation or link it to certain conditions? I don’t know if you have a private agreement for this or if it was court ordered. Anyway, it doesn’t sound like he is really interested in seeing his son because the addiction is much more important. I think your son is old enough to understand that and it might hurt him more then seeing his disinterested father less. Personally I find it outrageous that parents bring their children to a poker game especially when they are a cg. If the children are not properly supervised, all kinds of things can happen, heaven forbid it does.
    I am glad for you that you found a way to get better, even if it involved a separation!

    #4674
    velvet
    Moderator

    Hi Lost
    I hear a very strong person in your posts and I am relieved that it is so – your son is in a very vulnerable position and he needs a strong role model. You said in an earlier post that you didn’t know whether or not your son was aware of the seriously destructive nature of his father’s addiction and I wondered if this was still the case.
    Addiction is discussed in schools and in the media and maybe your son is more aware than you think. You also said that your CG adores his son and means to be a good dad but you know he isn’t remotely fulfilling his parental responsibility. The behaviour that your son will be witnessing at the poker games cannot be healthy for him.
    It is very possible that the hassle you are getting is not designed to upset you but to fulfil a need in him to show you that he is doing alright, that he knows what he is doing, that you don’t understand and you’re wrong – because that is what his addiction is telling him and that is the belief he is hanging on to.
    Keep going as you are, you are doing well and I am sure he will tire of trying to prove to you he is ok especially when/if the truth sinks in to him that he is not.
    Keep posting Lost
    Velvet

    #4675
    LostandDespair
    Participant

    Hi, just wanted to update and let everyone who provided me with their insight know that I am grateful for this site and the people on it . Many of us walk alone in having to deal with a cg, due to shame and no one undrerstanding the terrible impact that gambling truly has on family – not only for the person who can’t beat this but for those who are the collatoral damage to the compulsive gamblers habits.

    Maybe because I have been out for a few years I can provide some insight. I had to sue my ex for child support and never in my life did I beleive that it would have to come to this. I am no longer broken and am certainly not drinking the kool-aid that he wants me to drink.

    I sued him and begged him to get a lawyer – I wanted him to enter into the issues with respect to child custody and child support with eyes wide open. He did . . . First on the agenda is his lawyer telling my lawery that the gambling clause to our proposed agreement is “too restrictive” because he takes cruises with our child that have casino’s on board. Soooo . . . Needless to say, I know full well where his priortities are.

    I received my court order and the child support amount that he should have been paying for our son (the one person he claims matters the most to him) and have chosen the high road because in the bottom of my heart I know that he will never change and that although he has not hit rock bottom, I have though with respect to having anything to do with him. He is angry and upset with me and I am okay with that. Hopefully he can recover from the betrayal (because I am sure that is how he sees it) – I did, I never thought the man I loved and who I spent half my life would ever do this to me or our child.

    It makes me sad for our son, bitter sweet so to speak. I am good and it will only get better. I have not spoken to him in over four months and that was my healing period that I needed to say “No more – this is not acceptable and I will not tolerate it in my life anymore.”

    It was fantastic that he decided that it was in our son’s best interest to have his enabling mother text me and run interference for him. Needless to say I can hardly handle my ex and his gambling – insert enabling mom here. I have no interest in having anything to do with ex cg and his family who continues to enable him.

    I will burn the bridges and not look back because I am not going that way.

    I have decided that all that matters is me and my son and i will not back down to the manipulation or the enablers that feed his addiction anymore.

    I am no longer lost and in despair and no longer hope he can beat this for his child, I am a mother to a beautiful child – hear me roar. I am not that person who he told me I was and I will never back down when it comes to our child.,

    “Sometimes you must hurt in order to know, fall in order to grow, lose in order to gain, because most of life’s greatest lessons are learned through pain>”

    Thank yout to all on this site who heard my desparate cries to be heard and understood, I am forever gratefule.

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