1 September 2010 at 5:01 am #2696wheretonowParticipant
Hello all. I have never tried a forum before but feel so lost and sad that I thought I’d try to vent. I hope to get some responses from you out there. I have been with my husband for 11 years and married for 7 years. We have a 6 year old son and a 1 year old daughter. Part of that 11 years he has been a wonderful loving husband and a dedicated fun dad. The other part of it he has been a compulsive gambler who has gambled away our lives at the poker machine.
I am confused because I feel anger but also pity towards him. I feel stupid for marrying him even though I knew he had this addiction. I feel sad that my kids and me miss out on nice things because of his gambling. But I also feel sad for him because I know he loves us so much. I am spending my time reading up as much as I can about addiction and CG. I hope this will help me through the storm that is about to hit.
My husband has stolen money from me, his parents, my parents (which of course he lied and swore that it wasn’t him) and worst of all he has also taken the money from the kids piggy bank. In the beginning, I tried giving him an allowance to gamble (it was hard but someone said that might help), then I tried going with him (I thought then I could stop him when I wanted), then I tried being nice about it (maybe if he could see that I was such an understanding wife he might stop) and of course I’ve been so angry and upset. All in all I have realised that there is NOTHING I can do to change him. At the moment, I have all financial access but he seems to always find money faster than I can hide it.
We have no savings. We barely can make it to pay our bills in time. We use credit to buy groceries but last week he took $700 and blew it in 2 days at the pokies. He didn’t even tell me and he didn’t even look upset that night. It wasn’t until I checked my ATM that I realised it had all come back again. He then proceeded to take all the kids (and mine) birthday money that they received from my parents. But what he always says is “it’s not like I’m not going to give it back”.
I’m sick of the lies. He use to say that he gambled because of me. He said because he lost his friends when we met and that’s why he gambled. I use to believe all that. But now I don’t.
This time I feel like I’m ready to leave. I have on many many occasions threatened to leave but of course it was just me saying that hoping to scare him. I was always worried about the ‘secret’ coming out and people would know that we weren’t as happy as we pretended to be. I was also worried that my kids would become ‘dysfunctional’ if we separated. I know that them living with their CG father will cause more damage but this is something I struggle with.
At the moment we have not talked for over 3 weeks (yes it is possible even if you live in the same house). We don’t sleep in the same bed any more (something we are use to). I know what I need to do but it’s the 1st steps that are so hard. I want to tell him that I am leaving because I don’t want to just leave and when he comes home from work we’re gone. But I know he will try all the old tricks (promises, tears). He always says that ‘love is unconditional’ and that if i loved him I would stay. He says that if I had the problem he would stay. So does leaving make me bad because I am giving up on him? This is where I get weak…. I see the sadness and I give in. I know that I have to leave this time. I know that if I don’t, nothing will change. I am disgusted at myself for taking this for 11 years and now forgiving my children a dad who sometimes is AMAZING and other times is not.
I have no money. I have no family in this country. I am too ashamed to impose on my friends. So I am not sure how to leave. My husband has parents and brothers but I know he will never leave. In a month I will receive my tax which is enough for me to leave and get a place of my own. If I choose to leave him, should I wait till I receive the tax return? In the meantime should I just wait in this horrible sad place we call our ‘HOME’?
I hope someone reads this and replies to me. I’m sorry I have been rambling on and on. There’s so much more to tell.
Thanks for listening.
Waiting for help.
wheretonow1 September 2010 at 8:20 am #2697timParticipant
***** Wheretonow and a warm welcome to the Gambling Therapy Friends and Family forum.
Having found us you have also found a diverse community of other friends and family members who can support you on your recovery journey.
Here on the forum you can share your experiences in a safe, supportive and non-judgemental environment and by reading others stories am sure you will see that you are very much not alone in the difficult issues that you describe.
Please click here to see our services page, feel free to use all that this site can offer… It’s all free
To chat with others in real time you may wish to make use of the support groups, the ***** of these groups are advertised under "What’s on and When" or click here to see the weekly group schedule. Please feel free to use the Friends and Family and also the community Groups and weekend chat
Also to say when you registered we would have sent you an email with an attachment, this attachment will help you navigate the site and find yourself on-going support.
For one to one chat you may want to try the live advice helpline. Click "connect" when the Advice line is open
— 01/09/2010 08:56:03: post edited by tim.1 September 2010 at 9:58 am #2698velvetModerator
Welcome to Gambling Therapy.
You are amongst friends here who care and who understand everything you say without judgement.
You are married to a man with a compulsion to gamble that is manipulative. It is the master of manipulation, so please don’t issue any threats that you do not intend to carry through. Each time we say we are going to do something and not do it the addiction rubs it’s hands together – it has won a stay of execution and it is an addiction that lives very much for the minute without any thought for tomorrow.
You have tried so many ways to help your husband and I know them all x. Unfortunately your friend who said to give him a gambling allowance was incorrect. A compulsive gambler cannot gamble responsibly and it is what the gamble does to their minds that is the bit we cannot understand. You feel that the worst thing he has done is ***** from his children and I am not excusing the addiction but the addict does not see to whom the money they ***** belongs – it is purely the tool that their addiction demands. Compulsive gambling has everything to do with the gamble and not the money.
His addiction has been getting away with it for some time and it is now time for you to take the gloves off. Keep posting and learning about the addiction. In my opinion it is better to do nothing hasty but wait until ‘you’ are ready and in control of your life again and it does come with knowledge, strength and positive thinking. I would not be writing on here if it were not true.
Are you considering taking your children with you and if not what is that going to do to you? On this forum it is ‘you’ that matters and I would be letting you down if I didn’t push thoughts around with you. What you do in the end will be entirely up to you. I cannot tell you what to do and I will never judge your decision.
Leaving an addiction is never bad and that goes for the CG and non-CG alike. I hear from your post that you love your husband and I believe that that ‘love’ is unconditional but you do not and cannot love his addiction and is the difference.
Don’t be disgusted with yourself. The addiction would be pleased that you are and you don’t want to give an inch to this compulsion because you do not own it and you have decided to separate yourself from it. I lived with the addiction in my life for 25 years and I am not disgusted with myself. I am proud of the fact that I do not and will not live with it ever again. I hope that by sharing you will learn to love yourself because you are so important and unique and special you have just had the rugged pulled away from under your feet so many *****, you don’t feel it.
I have to open a group now but I know that others will write to you. If you read this in the next hour the F&F group is open – just click on connect and we will be communicating in real time.
So for now I send you my love and belief that ‘you’ will overcome because you are ready.
1 September 2010 at 11:13 am #2699velvetModerator
You have not told family and friends because you are ashamed and you don’t want them to know that you are not as happy as you look. It is what I did too and it is wrong. There is no shame in this illness – your husband didn’t want it in his life. By keeping it’s secret we cover for it and allow it to fester unrestrained whilst putting an immense strain on ourselves that can overwhelm us in the end.
When I was in Gamanon (which was a good one x) the girl who gave me back my sanity said ‘walk down the road and you will pass CGs and never know – they don’t fall over and they don’t look spaced out’. In a garden 18 months ago I realised that the person talking to me had a worry and her words sounded familiar. I nudged a bit and sure enough it was her son. We talked and I gave her as much information as I could and directed her to this site. I met her again this year and she has possibly nipped her son’s addiction in the bud. He has a problem with gambling which is bordering on compulsive and would be so if allowed to run unfettered. If I hadn’t talked maybe she would not have had that outcome. The other thing I have come to realise is that there is no such thing as a perfect family which I believed mine was.
The addiction seeks to isolate the enabler and it divides families. It doesn’t want itself to be known. Your friends will almost certainly not understand. It is generally felt on this forum that unless you have lived with the addiction you cannot understand what it is like to live with it. What they can do though is support you as a human being with sadness in her life. If they do look down on you then they are the losers – they haven’t learnt not to judge and that to me is one of the saddest things of all.
You are gaining knowledge now and it will help. It is when we realise that this addiction does not have to control our lives that we realise we are the stronger. Your husband may laugh but it is the addiction you need to look in the eye and tell ‘it’ that you will not live with it.
Thank you for your company. By the way what is said in a group stays in a group – you are completely safe.
Loads of Love
1 September 2010 at 11:06 pm #2700lilyParticipant
Hi Wheretonow, the situation you are in is familiar to me as they will be to many reading. I am please to see you have already had excellent responses from Velvet and that you have visited the group. Please don’t be hard on yourself for marrying the man you love or for having kids with him, we can never know the way things will turn out. Compulsive gambling is a horrible illness that clouds every judgment and makes the suffer manipulative and secretive. When a compulsive gambler takes money the addiction convinces him he will repay it because of course he is going to win. Unfortunately there is no such thing as winning for a Cg as they can not walk away even when they are up, they spend their life chasing loses and it is a vicious circle.
Compulsive gambling is treatable and although it can never be cured, many CG’s do go on to have happy fulfilled gamble free lives. They have to want to have that treatment though and that is the issue. As Velvet has already said a gambling allowance will not help, gambling tends to get worse when not treated and gambling in any form is a complete no no even if it is for very little or no money, it keeps the addiction alive within the person. Has your husband ever sought help? Would he be willing to try? When you talk to him you could try separating out the person for the gambling then when he says things like ‘if you loved me…’ you can say I love you but I can not live with the gambling. I found that put me in a psychologically stronger position.
The addiction thrives in secrecy and you need support, it is nothing to be ashamed of, you have done nothing wrong so if there are people you can confide in then take the opportunity to do so. Take care of yourself and your kids first always. You are doing the right thing taking charge of the finances even if that is not working 100%, it can be so hard to stop a CG getting hold of money when they are in the full grip of the addiction as your husband seems to be.
Only you can know when the time has come to walk away, it is something you will feel within yourself. Spending a lot of time with a CG leaves you feeling really weak and beaten down so you will be stronger than you think. If you are not yet ready to make that break urge him to seek help, make him understand this is the only hope for his life getting better and your relationship surviving. What ever you do decide make sure you are very clear and 100% committed to what you say you are going to do, any backtracking will be seen as weakness by the addiction and will lead to more manipulation. Ultimately you must do what you feel is right for you and your family, what ever path you take you will always find support here. Lil x
Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending. (Maria Robinson)2 September 2010 at 12:48 am #2701twilight16Participant
You cannot look back to the past and regret anything you have done. It is what you believed to be right then, of course when we are looking back we seem to think we know the right answer now and it isn’t true.
I am a child of a cg and I have lived the misery of it, though I will say there were good ***** but I mostly remember the bad. If you feel like leaving then do so. Listen to your gut, it is telling you this for a good reason. There is so much power in a desire and if you don’t act, it is as if you are not trusting yourself.
Your cg husband isn’t going to change one bit. Yes, he will tell you when he senses he has to, to save the marriage, he will be his true intentions are just to save face. Don’t bother trying to rational anything with him either because his mind is really twisted, the gambling really takes a toll on anyone who lives and breaths it.
The advice I learned here was to do for me and not worry about what the cg will do, stop the enabling and living my life. It was difficult but just like with anyting you start, it is hard but you have to keep on plugging if you want any change in your life. Do not stay in a marriage because you think it is the right thing to do because it will only break you down the road.
Best of luck to you and know you are really the one who has any control on how you live your life and if you are going to be happy.
Twilight2 September 2010 at 2:23 am #2702wheretonowParticipant
Thank you all so much for your response. Also thank you so much Velvet for the 1 on 1 last night. It was nice to chat to you. I followed your advice Velvet, and I showed my husband the 20 gambling questions after I got off from you. We ready it together (as I told you he did laugh but apart of him took it seriously too) and he realised he was answering ‘yes’ to majority of the questions.
So after that, we sat down and have a “talk” (we have had plenty of these ‘talks’). I asked him if he admits that he is a CG. His response was “sometimes”. I said there is no ‘sometimes’… just yes or no! He reluctantly said yes in the end. We carried on talking about the things I have learnt so far about CG. I asked him if he would get help. He said he doesn’t need help and can do this on his own. (he says that he hasn’t gotten help in the past and the gambling is “getting better” because he has had access to money and ATM cards over the past 4-5 months and only last week relapsed). Is that true? Is my CG husband getting better because he went from gambling every week to now only relapsing after 4 to months?
He asked if I was leaving him. I just couldn’t answer him. I thought I was strong and determined this time. I even wrote to myself about why I need to leave this time. But I just couldn’t say YES! By the end of our talk, we didn’t solve anything. He asked “what are your expectations of me”…. I don’t even know any more. Years ago when the storm blew over, I use to feel better and lighter but this time I don’t feel any better. I still woke up this morning with a heavy chest! Still here, still lonely and still sad. 🙁
So thank you again Twilight (I liked hearing from you because you are a child of a CG and I think about my little kids all the time and what they are going through) and thanks Lily, Velvet and Tim for welcoming me to this forum and responding to me so promptly. I hope to hear back again soon.
Where to now
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