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    • #2045

      Hello forum members,
      I am new to this site, I haven’t posted on a forum before but I have spent time reading other stories which has been helpful. I am just at the end of my sanity so decided to try and find help for myself now, maybe some advice from others that have been in a similar situation.
      I have been in a very serious relationship for 7 years and this year we got engaged. However my fiancé is a CG and has been since we first got together. It started with casinos, we would go socially and have a good time on a weekend, however he started going alone in the week and then the online poker tournaments started and it quickly got out of hand. He would stay up all night on his own and he withdrew from normal life. This was going back some time now, eventually he hit rock bottom and lost everything. His family took him in and really helped to nurse him back to normality. Slowly he started to rebuild his life, I have always stood by him, each time something would happen, the rent money would be gambled or he would ask for money from me for bills or to pay debts off ect and then I would find evidence of gambling, confront him, argue, cry and then forgive him. Gambling usually comes hand in hand with drinking so i would be a very volatile situation. It has been a vicous cycle for years, absolutely heartbreaking and soul destroying. The depths of despair seemed to intensify in 2012 and he admitted that he had a problem and needs help. He would say that with me by his side he could beat the disease. He would be so positive and convincing, or maybe i just wanted to believe it so much. However when it came to going to GA something would come up and then he would not gamble for months and I would be fooled that he was on his way to recovery. I look back and blame myself. I gave him so many warnings, he never followed through and I would just ‘let it go’. I would take control of his bank cards, driving license, anything which he could pawn and things would improve again and I would start to feel settled.
      Before Christmas we were so positive, it was the first Christmas that we didn’t have gambling hanging over us like a pair of handcuffs. However there has been a succession of hints that’s something is not right over the last few weeks. If you have lived wi a CG for years, you can see the signs – even if they ste subtle. You learn to look out fornthem, almost like a sixth sense. Wages have disappeared, he is protective about his phone and some of his expensive personal items that I was looking after have gone missing. I know he has pawned them for money and I confronted him about it, he lied at first and was just making me feel like I was paranoid. He laughed at me, just saying i was being silly.mI got more and more angry as I know for a fact that he has done this and just wanted him to admit it to my face. For 3 days now he has not spoken to me, I have gone mad at him, crying, shouting, uncontrollable anger and he just shuts down. Last time something like this happened I gave him a very clear ultimatum, I told him if I found out he was gambling behind my back that our relationship will be over. Now I fear I have to follow through with this and I am so scared that if I do he will go completely off the rails and I will loose him forever.
      In the same breath I am loosing who I am. I have got so paranoid, I go through everything searching for evidence and I am so sick of being the ‘responsible one’. I don’t like the person I turn into when I find out about his lies and gambling, it makes me feel stupid, sad, lonely, angry, depressed, worthless and guilty all at the same time.
      I have made arrangements to see one of his family members tomorrow as they think he is recovered, I have not told them about the last 18 months of gambling. I think protecting this disease is not helping him or me but I feel terribly guilty. I feel like I am betraying him and I am putting a lot of burden on his family member. The things is, I know know he will not recover on his own, he may go 2 months and not gamble, but he will do it again. He will find ways and means of carrying on and I don’t want to live my life like this anymore.
      I guess I am hoping that I am doing the right thing? Is he going to resent me? Am I going to regret taking it that one last step and telling him to leave until he finds proper help?
      I love him so much but I am beginning to resent him myself. I am a intelligent person, but I am just acting like I have no self respect.
      I feel a little better venting my frustrations. Thank you for listening and if you have any experiences or advice, please share it with me – I would find that really helpful.

    • #2046

      Welcome Goldenharp,
      It is very good that you are here, reading and now posting. GT has been my rock understanding this addiction and the support I have received her theses last few years in my recovery as a child of a cg. As you have already seen this addiction just doesn’t go away nor does it want to. It just wants to grow making not just the gamblers’ life a living **** but the family and friends attached. There are many strategies to place barriers so they cannot gamble but again that only works if they are firmly placed. Also, you cannot enable the cg in anyway, ex: if he cannot pay a bill, you cannot help him. He can shout, cry, threaten until he is blue in the face and still you will not bail him out. But most importantly, he has got to want to quit. He has to want his recovery so bad that he is willing to do what it takes.
      In my case, my father never admit to his gambling problem and it did ruin his life. However, there are those that are living gambling free lives, they are happy enjoying the simple pleasures it life. This addiction can never be cured per say but it can be controlled. You really need to think about your situation. He gambled again after he said he wouldn’t now the ball is in your court. You are freer than you think, you are not married not do you have children. Look after you and do what is right for you and never feel guilty doing what you feel.
      Twilight(I believe we get our greatest strength from the hardest obstacles)

    • #2047
      stan’s girl

      Hi Goldenharp,
      I am a compulsive gambler.  I have a boyfriend that has been through virtually the same thing you have.  I’m so sorry that you’ve found yourself in this position.
      Here’s what helped for me/us:
      1.  Stan confronted me with a list of his boundaries and requirements. He made it perfectly clear and there was no wiggle room.
      2.  He told me that I will not have any access to his earnings.  He began protecting himself and looking after his interests. My pay was deposited into our joint account and immediately transferred to his account.
      3.  He demanded all of my credit cards and debit cards.  He provides me with money in a joint account (not the household bank account) a little at a time.  Basically, no cash.  So, if I tell him I need grocery money.  He asks how much.  I give him a figure and he transfers that money into the joint account.  He then goes online to ensure I used the money only for groceries and asks for a receipt.
      4.  I was to ban myself from all casinos and provide him with documentation that I’d done so. You can also put blockers on the computer so he can’t access gambling websites;
      5.  He asked for a list of all debts including banks, family, payday loans, pawned items, anything and everything I owed.
      6.  I was to get counselling.  It was my choice what I thought would work for me, but the options were Gambler’s Anonymous, indivdual counselling and online support.
      7.  Honesty, honesty, honesty!  I needed to work on being honest with him about everything.
      8.  He made the consequences very clear and told me that if I couldn’t get this under control, I was to pack my bags and get out.
      Stan and I are deeply in love and this is working for me.  It’s not perfect.  I have gambled a little.  Some call it a slip.  I call it a ***.  It’s way better now because he and I are communicating and working on this together, but truth be told…this is MY problem, not his.  This is my responsibility, not his.  He’s being a great support, but being an addict means people do many dishonest things.  So, the fact that you don’t trust him is completely understandable.  ***** use it to make you feel guilty, but that’s what addicts do.
      The best advice I can give you is to protect yourself and learn what being an enabler is all about.  I know it’s harsh to think of yourself as an enabler, but unfortunately, that’s what you’ve become.  Seriously consider attending Gam Anon or get individual counselling.  Focus on you and not on him.  You won’t change this and you can’t.  You can support him, but it’s all up to him.  Oh, and it’s virtually impossible for an addict to "cure" themselves.  He ***** help, period.
      All of this is working for us and we keep refining it.  For example, I figured out how to get money without Stan knowing and gambled.  I confessed and we blocked that option.  Even though I banned myself from the casinos in my area, I went anyway and didn’t get caught.  Once again, I confessed to Stan and then called the casinos personally and told them to burn my face into their minds and not to let me in again.  So, it requires modification as you go sometimes.  We as compulsive gamblers are very sneaky and much like a puppy locked in a backyard can find the smallest hole to escape.
      Please take whatever you think will help you here and just toss the rest.  Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions and I wish you all the best with this most horrible situation.
      CrystalLife isn't that difficult…people make it difficult.  It's simple, let go and move on OR hold on and stay stuck.

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