23 September 2016 at 8:12 pm #4961
my name is Stacey and I have been with my partner for 7 years, i have two children from a previous relationship and we have two children together.
He has been a problem gambler since he was about 12 so his parents say (he’s 31 now) I only realised how severe his problem was after about 8 months into our relationship.
I’ve stood by him, at times protected him, bailed him out, been to councelling with him, i could go on.
I’m at my witts end, today ive discovered that he’s taken my eldest sons birthday money, not for the first time and gambled his weeks wages again…this is quite tame for him i must add.
Right at this point in time I need to be selfish and talk to people who understand me and what I am going through instead of it all being about him and his issues and demons, sorry if that sounds selfish but this affects me big time and I dont know what else to do?
Thanks for reading
Stacey23 September 2016 at 9:06 pm #4962charlesModerator
Thanks for starting a thread in the Gambling Therapy friends and family forum. This forum will provide you with warmth and understanding from your peers.
Feel free to use the friends and family group, youll find the times for these if you click on the Group times box on our Home page. Now that you have introduced yourself youll find that many of the people you meet here have already read your initial introduction and theyll welcome you in like an old friend 🙂
If youre the friend or family member of someone who is either in, or has been through, the GMA residential programme please take extra care to make sure that nothing you say in groups, or on our forums, inadvertently identifies that person. Even if your loved one isnt connected with GMA, please dont identify them either directly or indirectly just in case they decide to use the site themselves.
Youll find a lot of advice on this site, some of which youll follow, some you wont…but thats ok because only you fully understand your
situation and whats best for you and the people you love. So, take the support you need and leave the advice you dont because it all comes from a caring, nurturing place 🙂
We look forward to hearing all about you!
The Gambling Therapy Team
PS: Let me just remind you to take a look at our23 September 2016 at 10:29 pm #4963
Not only is it not selfish for you to put yourself first, in this forum it is the right thing for you to do and I am glad that you have found us.
Have ‘you’ ever sought support from counselors or Gamanon, or has it always been about your partner? Do you have family and friends to support you or are you carrying this all on your own shoulders?
You are important Stacey, you cannot stop your partner gambling but by looking after you first and gaining knowledge about his addiction you will learn to cope and retake control of ‘your’ life.
Have you given up hobbies and interests because of the time you have spent worrying about your partner’s addiction? Doing something for yourself everyday in which you shove thoughts of gambling firmly to the back of your mind will help you cope better – 24 hours of worrying about someone else and what they are doing is soul-destroying and it doesn’t help you or your CG (compulsive gambler)
I have brought up my thread entitled ‘The F&F Cycle’ which I hope will help you to see that you are understood here.
I am away this weekend Stacey,I will post to you again on Monday but in the meantime I hope you will get other replies.
Speak soon, well done starting your thread
Velvet24 September 2016 at 1:53 pm #4964
Thank you for your message Velvet, its nice to hear that being selfish is not the wrong thing…I dont have a social life unfortunately, for a number of reasons, we just dont have the money for me to go out with friends and when i do, im always greeted by a barage of text messages apologising for ruining my night because hes managed to hack my bank account or got a pay day loan in my name (he cant do this any more as he’s sucessfully ruined my credit rating)
even going to work is a worry for me as it’s time on his own to pawn my things or presents i’ve bought him..
I have had some councelling for myself, but we decided in the end that it would be better to have have joint sessions as he wasnt being honest in his and with me there, he couldnt lie.
unfortunately i cant speak to my family because they quite rightly would be very protective and would not speak to him which would make my life so much more difficult, as much as I know he is ruining our lives, i know he doesnt do it intentionally and I just want to help him recover, getting my family involved would not help the situation…Occasionally, i tell his mother and siblings, but it doesnt really help, they read him the riot act and then continue life as it was before, im the one that lives with it day in day out, and i cant tell them every day, oh he’s gambled again because i actually feel that they get fed up with me being negative towards him and they end up just saying to me, he will never change, you’re better off witout him.
thanks again for listening
Stacey27 September 2016 at 6:32 pm #4965
I understand everything you have written, so many F&F give up talking to family and friends because of the feeling that people get fed up with hearing the same old complaints that inevitably comes with this addiction, hopefully writing here will give you an outlet for ‘your’ feelings and this forum doesn’t stop listening.
It would be great if you could join me in the F&F group later tonight 20.00-21.00 hours UK time, you will be very welcome, nothing said in that group appears on the forum.
Does your partner say that he wants to control his addiction or is he blithely indulging it without appearing to realise the damage he is causing to his family?
If he wants to stop or if he has tried to stop and failed, so far, there is a lot of support for him, not least the GMA (Gordon Moody Association, our Helpline here, or our ‘CG only’ groups and GA.
I found your post very mature in that you have recognised the problem, you have realised the danger inherent in leaving him alone while you are at work, you know that he is not hurting you deliberately but you are seeking to help him recover, however I don’t hear you thinking you can save him. The only person you can save is you and the only person who can save your partner is your partner – you can certainly support him seek his recovery however and CGs who are supported are more likely to succeed.
CGs are not necessarily honest in their counselling and dedicated addiction counselors and therapists are aware of this. If your partner was seeing a general counselor it is possible that your partner was able to tie him/her up in knots because of the manipulative nature of the addiction. I know (because he subsequently told me) that my CG lied and blamed me for the first 3 months of his counselling but at the end of his treatment he was taking control of his addiction. GA (gamblers anonymous) works because most CGs who attend want to control their addiction but they also recognise when they are getting BS from other members.
I will leave this post here for now but keep posting because threads become like journals which give you the ability to look back and see how far you have come and you will progress because you want to do so.
Velvet28 September 2016 at 8:25 pm #4966
Velvet, once again thank you so much for your response!
I’m sorry I missed the group last night, I think it would have been very beneficial.
He has been to group GA meetings and we have both attended gambling counselling, the counsellor was actually a recovered gambling addict himself…It seemed to work for a while and then he came up with excuse after excuse as to why we could no longer attend…some days he says he hates it and wishes he didn’t have this and other days I get “I’m an addict deal with it or f off’
I can sympathise with hearing that you were the cause of the gambling, I get that all too often, I should have known he had money on him and battled to take it before he left the house or, I should have hidden things a little better or if I didn’t make him angry in an argument, he wouldn’t have stormed out and gambled..
He’s actually unbearable at the moment, he is so angry and has such a short fuse, I blame it 100% on gambling and frustration, only ten minutes ago he was shouting and swearing (even spitting) at me because I asked him not to take his anger out on the children…I got all the names under the sun thrown at me and then told to stop my self pity because it bought me to tears…the first thing I did was come to post on here so already this page is a great outlet for me…im so exhausted from crying and being given no compassion for what he does to me..
Stacey28 September 2016 at 11:16 pm #4967
It’s late so this will be a quick reply. I just wanted to tell you that I read you post so that you know you are being heard. I am glad that you know you can use this forum as a place to unburden.
Do you have happy times with your partner or are they outweighed by the unbearable behaviour.
I hope to get a fuller post off to you tomorrow and hopefully suggest ideas to help you cope better but for tonight I just want you to know that I’m thinking about you.
Velvet29 September 2016 at 9:20 am #4968
You don’t know what it means to me to have compassion and understanding, so again, I thank you for that.
Yes there are good times, I absolutely adore him and we are due to get married next year, it’s just when he’s bad, he is literally the last person I want to be around and when he’s nice, I forget the bad…sometimes he looks so lost and I remind myself that he isn’t the horrible person who spits and shouts, that’s what this awful addiction does to him and other times, I can’t see that anyone who says they loves me could treat me this way, it’s like living on a roller coaster, waking up each day wondering if today will be a good day or a bad day?
Stacey30 September 2016 at 2:14 pm #4969
I recognise all the different behaviours that you are describing – if there were no good times it would probably be a lot easier to make decisions.
I often use the following as a way of coping with the different facets of a CG, it isn’t professionally recognised but it has worked for so many that I believe it is worth hearing. If you can imagine your partner’s addition as a slavering beast chained in the corner of the room ready to strike when provoked it possibly will make it easier to talk to him during the good times. When you speak to him, I believe, it is good to be aware that his addiction is always poised and ready to strike but as long as you stay calm and don’t prod the beast it will stay in corner.
Of course it is hard to live with a CG (compulsive gambler) without having arguments because the addiction beast is an expert at creating arguments which give it an excuse to gamble. When you seek to talk to your partner about his behaviour, logic and reason fly out of the window while the addiction beast leaps between you and distorts your meaning, changing it to fit your partner’s personal perception. You are not the master of threats and nor do you want to be but your partner’s addictive beast is. It needs to blame others for its existence because the alternative is to accept responsibility for poor behaviour which is seemingly an insurmountable thing for him to face.
Your partner’s addition will have given him constant feelings of failure because he will always lose when he gambles, that is the nature of the beast. Feeling a failure every day leads to lack of self-confidence and no self-esteem – worthlessness. Your partner’s reaction to all this is to fight back with the only tools he has at present – manipulation, blame, lies and deceit but with the right support your partner can be given the tools to control his addiction, he can rebuild his confidence and self-esteem but he has to want to do so.
In my opinion it is almost impossible to get past the addiction beast by worrying and trying to push the conversation towards discussions on honesty and recovery. I believe that it is better to stand back and listen to the CG rather than to get involved in arguments. The CGs response to provocation is probably to gamble while the loved one’s response is sleepless nights, 24 hour-a-day worry and unnecessary feelings of inadequacy.
The way this works is that by stepping back it is easier to stay out of the argument that has no point apart from making you feel less in control. When you begin to try and put your side the addiction beast has something to get its teeth into.
This might sound negative but what the positive side is that it removes you from the centre of the addiction giving you time and energy to look after you. With this addition, the way to win is not to play the game.
I am going to leave this here and await your thoughts. You are doing well with our posts.
Velvet30 September 2016 at 5:15 pm #4970
It makes total sense and ive never looked at it that way, I will definitely give it a try and hope that I can change my behaviours and reactions to at least give it a go?
A few things that I struggle with are what words to use and how to talk to him, for example, he sometimes will hand his wages to me at the end of the week and then every now and again ask for will ask for it back bit by bit convinced that I don’t think he’s gambling it because it’s going to him in smaller amounts for petrol ( but the next day the car needs more) or cigarettes but then he never seems to have any, how do I approach these situations?
Another thing that frustrates the hell out of me is when I know he’s gambled and he swears blind that he hasn’t and comes up with a hundred and one reasons as to why he has no money left, this annoys the hell out of me because he knows that I know he has a problem, he knows that if he lies about it, it only makes it worse and he knows that all I have ever done is try to support him, so why not be honest with me and ask for help? I hate that he actually thinks that I am so stupid that I believe him!
Stacey8 October 2016 at 9:45 am #4971Hope1Participant
Hi Stacey, I am the mum of a CG which has been going on for Over eight years. I understand everything you are saying. Our son does just the same, in manipulating his access to money. He has his monthly salary paid into his account ( he won’t let me look after his finances) this month he has asked to borrow money as his bank card is bent and he’s waiting for a new one. He is very manipulating and has constantly pulled the wool over our eyes. Deep down he is a lovely sensitive person, but he lets the gambling monster control his life. Like you I feel exhausted, but what I want to say to you is that everything velvet says regarding protecting ourselves is so vital. I wish I had found this forum early on in our sons addiction, because the strategies velvet talks about have helped in ensuring we take action to protectt ourselves. Our son was in a five year relationship with a lovely girl who we have come to love as one of the family. There are no children involved, but she stuck with him. However, she can no longer cope with his addiction and has finished with him. As much as I was selfishly hoping they would get married as I would love her as. Daughter in law, I am glad she has finished with him, because if our son does not sort himself out she will have no life with him. Like your partner, he has stolen from her and us. Now he can focus on his problem and get sorted. So far he’s not doing that.
You are not stupid
D, you are a sensitive loving person who is trying to make things work. Like velvet says and I have had to take this on board, only we cN save ourselves and our cg’ s can only save themselves. I can believe in my son all I want, but he has to believe in himself S does your partner. Gamblers are very selfish people when it comes to their Addiction. My heart goes out to you. You will find constructive practical help here as well as emotional support. Take care. HOpe 18 October 2016 at 7:42 pm #4972
Your message couldn’t have come at a better time
And reading it has helped calm me…he is THE most selfish person I have met in my entire life, he thinks solely of himself, right now he is ordering himself his 2nd pair of £55 football boots in two days because he’s not gambled for those two day he feels he has every right to spend that money else where and on himself, I see it that he should be using that money towards out rent that is a week late, and when suggesting as such, he shouts at me…..
I suppose I should think myself lucky that as im not a blood relative I could always walk away, but I know i won’t….
I feel for your situation and I sympathise so much with your daughter in law, one of my biggest fears is that one day I will give up, he will then finally get the help he desperately needs but it will be too late for us, he will then go on to get a new girlfriend who will reap the benefits of the 7 years that I have suffered trying to achieve….does that sound strange? That’s the way my mind thinks. Some times I just want to lock my self away and scream!12 October 2016 at 11:49 am #4973
I don’t find it strange that you feel that one day somebody else will reap the benefit of the 7 years you have suffered trying to support a CG into turning his life around but you haven’t got to that point and I would never suggest that you get to it or not. I firmly believe that it is possible for both CG and F&F to gain from the experience of living with the addiction to gamble and to make it work for a better future.
Scream by all means but never lock yourself away because that would mean the addiction had won and that must never happen. You are stronger than your partner’s addiction even when you feel it is winning and that strength will be growing. Your children will gain from that strength and you will be an excellent role model for them.
The idea that he has a right to buy something for himself because he has not gambled is not unusual but 2 days abstention is not recovery and was, as you so rightly say, another selfish act. However, I doubt his addiction wanted to hear your reasoning that the rent should have gone first as it was still full on and demanding attention.
Finding the words to deal with an active CG standing in front of you, seemingly much bigger and more aggressive than usual, is never easy and I have made every mistake in the book. I think that the best thing to do when you are floored for a response about money being demanded or an answer to a nasty comment is to refuse to respond in a way that allows for further manipulation. I think it is good to have phrases ready, perhaps jotted down in a quiet moment, such as ‘I will discuss this only when, you have calmed down/sat down/stopped glaring/I have had time to think’. The thing about a manipulative person is that they know what they are going to say, they know what they want, but you don’t – so caught by surprise your answer is more likely to be open to further manipulation.
Take the frustration out of knowing that when he gambles he will swear blind that he didn’t by accepting that he will not tell you the truth so there is little point in the confrontation. I doubt very much that he thinks you are stupid. He knows he has gambled and lost, so his addiction will want to confuse you into backing away. Confusing him by not responding in a way that he doesn’t expect is more effective – perhaps calmly saying something like ‘we both know you are lying but we will leave it at that’ and then carry on with something that you want to do.
Once again I hope some of this helps but please keep posting and hopefully drop in to the group where we can ‘talk’ in real time which is often easier.
Velvet13 October 2016 at 11:00 am #4974
And once again thankj you for taking the time out to message me back, I see all your posts on his site and the compassion you have for so many people is truly astounding, I hope you feel how appreciated you are because I certainly appreciate every word you take the time to write as I’m sure everyone on this site does…..
I’m feeling a bit more positive today and trying to look at things from a different angle and trying to deal with things differently so that I don’t let it affect me quite so much, let’s see how it goes!
Had a bit of a blow yesterday, our car needs some expensive work carried out and it’s times like this that I start to think about all the things the money he has gambled could have done to help us, but I’m not dwelling, it’s happened, I have to deal with it and get on with life, sulking will not make the situation any better (let’s hope I still feel like this tomorrow) after the school runs with no car and four children in the cold!
Hope you have a good day19 October 2016 at 6:40 am #4975AnnieCParticipant
I’m new to this, so I hope you don’t mind me interjecting. I understand how that roller coaster is. How your CG is truly a sweet wonderful person, fun, sensitive, intelligent. You hold them when they cry. You laugh with them. But the addiction has a hold so tight that it’s nearly impossible to predict what you will get day to day. You forget the bad times so easily, right? I know – I get that sort of amnesia myself! 😉
All I can offer is that you are not alone. Also, I am trying to work on myself right now. That’s all I can do. Listen, love, and support. But you are doing the right thing by protecting yourself. For your sake, monitor this abuse so it doesn’t move into physical (although emotional, financial, and psychological abuse is legitimate as well). I will be sending positive thoughts your way! Believe me, I’m working through my situation and trying to be mindful. Peace to you!
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