Get practical support with your gambling problem Forum Friends and Family new to this, husband gambles on sports

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  • #2280
    aj9798
    Participant

    I knew my husband in highschool and he bet on games then.  a few years into our marriage he confessed he was down 2000 and thought I would leave him, but I talked him into getting help and we paid his debt together.  over the years I caught him here and there but he said no big deal….honestly, i didn’t think it would ever get that bad.  18 years into our marriage, I recently found he had 40k in credit card debt I knew nothing about and had refinanced our business without me having to sign anything at the bank and I am 75% owner.  He said the last year he just lost it and was trying to gain it back so I wouldnt think less of him.  I make good money and I think he has used that as a way out in his mind.  My credit is still in tact but we now have to sell the business so he doesn’t have access to money.  I have to cacell all cards take over all bills for home and business……..and watch him like a child.  I love him but feel such a burden, how can I hold him accountable if I am the one that has to do all the babysitting.  I have 2 older kids and we just adopted a baby last year that cost me 50k that i worked hard to pay for in cash.  Now we have a new baby in a messed up marriage and all the work I do daily seems to be for nothing.  I have lost interest in my job, I just want to stay home and cry.  I don’t want to face the work ahead of me…..Im angry at him and sad for him too.  Not sure what the future holds.  He drinks now too….seems to use it to get rid of anxiety.  where do I start??  any of you spouses have an idea what i do first??  I have nooooooooooooooo energy.  All i have is used to take care of baby and keep my other business going which is important since I now have debt to pay back thanks to him.

    #2281
    velvet
    Moderator

     
    Hi Aj
    Well done on starting your thread.   I didn’t mean for you to leave the group when I mentioned it – I just wanted you to know it was there. The F&F groups are always there for you and you will always be welcome.
    I wanted to tell you that I have heard you and nothing you have written surprised me.  I want you to know you are among those who understand you as others cannot.
    I wouldn’t be writing on here if I did not know that this addiction can be controlled but for the moment it is you that concerns me. Knowledge of the addiction will help you cope more fully.
    Below this forum is our Friends and Family Topic forum which helps us focus on different aspects of our involvement with the addiction and I hope it will help you – maybe you could to add to it.  Everthing will be replied to.
    Keep posting and reading and you will find your energy again and renew your confidence and self-esteem.
    Protect all your finances as much as you can in your own name.   Tell him you are seeking support and it is here for him too – on our helpline, in ‘My Journal’ forum and in the CG groups.  The helpline is there for you too.
    I am sorry this is so short but I have visitors arriving any minute but I will write again soon
    You have already done something positive towards your recovery by coming here
    Velvet

    #2282
    monique
    Participant

    ***** Aj
    Welcome to this site where I hope you will soon find a lot of support and help.  No one will tell you what to do but you will be helped to bear the pain and anguish you are going through and begin to feel you are not alone.
    I am a mother of a cg, which is also very painful, but different in the practicalities.  I really feel for you as you experience so much responsibility on emotional, practical and financial levels right now.  I wonder if there is anyone who can offer you any help locally too?  Eg anyone who can share some of the burden of the business or anyone who can help with domestic tasks – just for a little while, so you can get a little bit of space and build up a bit of energy?  I know it is hard to ask and I don’t want to urge you to do something that is not comfortable for you – but just want to urge you not to feel afraid or ashamed to reach out to others, if there is someone willing and able to share your load for a while.
    Sometimes we feel ashamed of the mess around us, even though it was caused by the gambler/the gambler’s addiction and not by any failing on our part – but there is no need for shame; we deserve support not blame.
    On this site, you will get a lot of emotional support – it can feel strange at first and maybe a bit ‘distant’ as we struggle through the practicalities on our doorstep, but I think in time you will feel strengthened by the love and care of this community and that will make it a little easier to find the courage to get through what you need to do.
    Looking after children, including a new baby, is a very demanding and time-consuming task in itself – you deserve help from your partner in this, but find that he is in fact another ‘dependent’ on you now.  We all appreciate how difficult this is; but if you can possibly do so, I would urge you not to ‘waste’ any energy acting angrily about this – you have every reason to BE angry, but for your own protection and sanity, I think it is wise to use your energy for coping as well as possible. 
    Your husband did not WANT to become addicted to gambling but, now that it has happened, he ***** to take responsibility for his recovery and his future, while YOU look after YOURSELF (and your children, of course).
    We usually care so deeply about the gambler in our lives, that we forget our own ***** and concentrate on ‘helping’ him, but in order to survive well and live a positive life from now on, we must attend primarily to our own *****.
    I hope this makes sense and I hope you will gain benefit from writing on here and also attending the live group sessions.
    Lots and lots of good wishes for your well-being. I reach out to you with hope and love,
    MoniqueKeep hope alive.

    #2283
    aj9798
    Participant

    thank you so much for responding. when I look at him its like he is not there….he is in a physical way but now that I know he is a ****, in my heart, half of him is gone. I dont know on a every day basis to just act like it hasn’t happened and just move along while we are all in therapy??? I have a 14 and 15 year old, do they need to know?

    #2284
    velvet
    Moderator

     
    Hi Aj
    I don’t be***ve it is possible to move on as though nothing has happened as a great deal has happened.   It is important to gain from the knowledge and experience and not lose more than you have already lost.   Moving on with knowledge will make things different for you and that help you cope.  
    Your husband tells ***s to protect his addiction and as time has gone on, his ***s would have become more and more fanciful.   I cannot tell you what to do but I think it is best to not trust anything he says because he cannot trust himself.
    Every *** he has told to cover unacceptable behaviour has built upon a previous ***.   After years of ***** the CG(compulsive gambler) is so riddled with ***s that truth is totally lose – your husband’s ***s have become his truth and it is all he he remembers. It is the addiction at work which has drastically changed his reality to fit his personal perception and it is extremely sad for him as well as you.
    We have discussed telling children in our Friends and Family topic forum (just below this forum), please have a look at it and perhaps write in it – you will be answered.   I think it would be better for you to gain as much knowledge as you can before you can make your informed decision for ‘your’ children.
    Does your husband accept that he has a serious addiction?   Does he want to control his addiction and if so what has he done so far towards getting help for himself?
    Your husband’s head is messed up but your marriage does not have to be.    In my opinion, it is better to sit tight and learn as much as you can, until you are ready to make ‘your’ informed decision on what you want to do with your life.   To do this you need to regain your confidence and self-esteem, which is in your power alone to do.   Your husband is like a 4th child.   For a long time you will have been bringing your ‘4’ children up and you
    have managed because you are stronger than your husband, as you are not controlled by an addiction.  
    Is your husband’s work ******* up in your businesses?   It is important for a CG to accept their debts from their behaviour and to rectify them without enablement from another.   Obviously if your husband is being paid out of your business this is more difficult.  
    You are already doing well by removing your husband’s access to money. Cash to a CG is the same as giving an ********* a drink.   Unfortunately you cannot make your husband stop gambling – he ***** the right support and it is to be found on this site and in GA. Dedicated addiction counsellors and other CGs who are living their lives in control of their addiction will understand your husband and support him. 
    It is important to realise that your husband’s addiction is not your fault and not his either.   Neither of you deserve what has happened to you.   It is ‘you’ that you can look after and it is ‘you’ that you need to look after.  Every day make sure you do something for yourself.
    As Monique has said – anger is so understandable but it wears you out.   Don’t threaten your husband unless you are 100% sure that it is what you want.   His addiction is the master of manipulation and if you don’t carry out a threat the addiction sees it as a weakness and a green light to carry on.
    It is not the professional way but many of us have separated the addiction from our loved one as a coping mechanism.   When you talk to your husband, it is good to imagine his addiction as a slavering beast in the corner waiting to leap out if you threaten it.   When the addiction sees anger, threats, pleading it comes between you and you and distorts what you say and the twisted rep***s you recieve are the addiction talking.   Keep that addiction in the corner, confuse it by not behaving as it expects.  It will always be looking for a reason to blame you.      
    I will wait for your rep***s and then talk further
    Velvet
     
     

    #2285
    aj9798
    Participant

    Velvet, thank you for the words.  My husband does admit he has a problem.  he has been seeing a councelor 2 ***** and is starting ga meetings.  he was to go to his first one a few days back and called me from the hospital saying he coudln’t find it….its frustrating because he should have looked up the information prior to going to make sure he had the location right.  Now this week he is to go again and i don’t think he has looked up the location and I honestly think that he ***** the intiative to do that himself.  He relys on me for everything.  I know below it says I shouldnt pay off his debt, but his bookies were on him and I had to pay $500 (or so i thought $500)….he told me today that it was $5000 and I dropped the wrong amount off.  What the heck??  now he wants me to drive 30 miles one way out of my busy day tomorrow to drop off another 4500 because his job doesn’t let him take time off of work?  I have to work all day, do this **** for him, throw 4500 dollars away and come home to my kids, get them fed, go to a pre school activity…..and Im assuming Ill come home to see him on the couch drinking after he gets off of work.  he has been sick for a week and a half due to heat exhaustion (he works outside in the 100 degree heat)….and he lays around every minute he gets.   I read below that I am not to make threats to him I can’t keep and I agree, but I am i supposed to just not be ******??  I would think that would make his recovery harder to do, but I dont think he should just get a slide because he is a sick "addict"??  I started off so sad about all of this, and I am just getting more and more mad.  I don’t want to work, I have lost all interest in life.  I dread everything and my kids dont desearve this kind of mom.  im lost, just going through motions and my work life is falling apart.

    #2286
    jenny46
    Participant

    Hi AJ
    Oh i’d be mad alright but so mad that I would have to think very carefully about how my anger could work for me rather than against me in dealing with what was before me. I agree that someone who is serious about seeking recovery would have found out where their appointment was to be held and certainly made sure for the second time, but that is someone who is serious about recovery, it would be interesting to see whether he does attend if you provide him with the information at least then you know he knows and there is less room for more ‘mistakes’
    I would be so mad at the expectation that would have to pay off this gambling debt at all, and after being told i had dropped off the wrong amount and then being expected to take time out to deliver yet another even bigger amount of my own money, I think I would be past seething!! I would probably be more angry with myself for shouldering the responsibility and feeling an obligation to do this. I have felt in the past AJ that I should pay off debts and have indeed done so and resented every second of it. Why do you feel that you have to do this when you do not ? I do not believe it is possible or right to give a CG a clean slate it gives free lisence to carry on running up more debts safe in the knowledge that you will keep clearing them for him. That really is giving him a slide. He is a sick addict and by paying his debts for him will only serve to make him sicker. Perhaps you can get angry enough to say NO to his expectations rather than let his addiction snigger at you in the background as it gets away unscathed.
    Why run around after him when you and your children are suffering as you are, his ***** are not more important than yours and your children do deserve a mom who is not unhappy and stressed. Let him face the consequences of his gambling, if he has the bookies on his back and doesn’t like it then good maybe he will eventually reconsider his actions the more inconvienenced he is by his own behavior the better it is for him.
    Choose your battles AJ, reconsider what it is that you feel you have to do for him and why. The best changes are the ones that we can make to ourselves, those that give us the confidence to take back control of our own lives and begin to rebuild the person who has become a shell.
    Jenny
     
     We see things not as they are, but through how we are today x

    #2287
    aj9798
    Participant

    Jenny, thanks for replying.  I agree with everything you have said.  If I don’t pay these bookies, what then??  they come to my home with my children??  He has a job but his check goes right into our bill paying account so even if he paid, it is really coming from me anyway……….he works 60 hours a week and we also have the business that we both work at and hope to sell so I can’t even fathem him working another part time job to pay this.  UGGGGGGGGG!!!  So frustrating.  I know I can put my heart into helping him recover and to get through this, but I know if he does this again, I will be out.  I am on pins and needles already about the "next time".   I thank God he hasn’t touched my credit.  Too bad when we sell our business, the 45k in debt he accumulated will be paid by his share of the proceeds.  what a waste

    #2288
    velvet
    Moderator

     
    Hi AJ
    I wrote a long reply to you earlier but I was not happy with it and in retrospect I am glad I saw your latest post first.
    In answer to one point in your previous post – I took my CG to GA – because if I had not done so he would not have gone.   I ultimately took my CG to the rehab because if I had not done so, he would not have gone.   By doing these things I was not enabling him but setting myself up for my future.   If he made the effort I would support him.   Your husband doesn’t want to find the GA group because he is probably afraid
    It is frustrating when it feels as though the only way for a CG to clear debts is through joint monies.
    You have decided to put your heart into helping him recover and I will keep my replies to you with that in mind.
    Anger is fine, anger is normal; anger is there for a reason.   Controlling and channelling that anger by turning it into energy for you is good.   I hope that by remembering that the addiction likes your anger because it gives it an excuse to gamble will help you express it in a different way.     Let him know that you are seeking help, that you need support, that his addiction has hurt you but try and say it without anger. Compulsive gambling is a selfish addiction and you need to be selfish in your recovery.   
    Your husband has relied on you for everything and that includes enablement.   Taking responsibility for his behaviour is the second stage of his recovery after acceptance of his addiction.   
    I cannot stress enough that the best way to support a CG is to look after yourself.   It is foreign behaviour to most non-CGs who tend to be the caring, trusting, loving ones but it is essential, in my opinion, that you look after you and don’t allow yourself to be a victim of this addiction because as a victim you are impotent. Put yourself first and you will be the mom your kids deserve.   Don’t let the addiction hurt your work because that is for you and ‘you’ cannot afford to let it fall apart.   The stronger you are the more the addiction struggles.
    If your husband wants to control his addiction then the greatest support you can give is to be strong and not be part of the wreckage he will have to face.  
    Keep posting.  
    Velvet
     
     

    #2289
    jenny46
    Participant

    Hi AJ
    I am not sure what part of the world you live in ? so things may differ as regards for any liability for debt but maybe the helpline could advise you on this? But as I see it you are not responsible and if you do decide that paying it is the only way out then maybe you could think about how you can recoup it from him by withdrawing some of his non essentials perhaps if that is possible. Better still if they do turn up make sure he is the one to deal with them or if alone tell them politely to get lost (making your new found anger work for you!!) If they cause you to be frightened then report them immediately – please do not live in fear for anyone.
    I would urge you not to put your heart into sorting out his recovery but more so your head at this stage !! For a while at least just sit back and think about your position and what you want for you and your children. Velvet made an extremely good point regarding ultimatums – they really do not work unless you are really truly prepared to carry them through, if you have thought it through then there cannot be a next time and if there is one then the addiction only draws strength from that. If you are really going to be out next time around, then lay it on the line to him very clearly and mean it – if you cannot then perhaps it is not the right time yet for you to do so.
    His share of the business is a waste to you and I – but as yet not too him, his addicted mind is more than capable of not seeing it quite as we do just yet, hang on to that AJ he is not thinking with the mind of a rational person. I felt my problem was often that I could not rationalise the irrational when i accepted that I was able to stop trying and life became a little more simple. He is the one that is based placed to understand but i doubt that he can either. But if I could just understand it maybe it would be different ………. Guess what I still don’t understand and my acceptance that I never will keeps my sanity these days at *****.
    Keep your heart for you and your children, you are the one that is deserving of it at the moment and it too ***** to be looked after. Use your mind and your intelligence to learn all you can so that you make the best choices for you, if your answers are not yet coming fluently then I suggest that you need to look after that heart just that little bit better than you maybe doing. I should not be trying to tell you what to do but if i was!! I think I would say read everything you can on this forum within all of its dimensions so that you can learn whatever it is that you may need to know to keep you safe within a time of indecision. Keep reading, keep posting. I would love to read a post from you where you will be telling us that you have done something nice, for just you or you and your children that does not involve the revolting G word !!
    Jenny x
     
     
     We see things not as they are, but through how we are today x

    #2290
    aj9798
    Participant

    you guys are too good to me, I always feel like a burden when I need someones help…I sit in my couselors chair and feel guilty we are not talking more about her too even though I am paying her to help me.  I love this man, or I wouln’t be helping him like I am…I can’t imagine my life without him and I don’t want to.  My support group is tonight and I am excited to meet others that can relate to this, and I am thankful to have found you all!

    #2291
    velvet
    Moderator

     
    Hi AJ
    You are not a burden.   I have lived with the addiction to gamble and I know it’s terrible capabilities but I also know that I will never live with it active in my life again.  
    With that knowledge I hope to take your burden from you because I have learned how to lay it down.  
    I am glad that you have said that you love your husband – it is a question I often ask.   It means I know the route you need to take for you to survive while you support him.
    I hope your support group is good.  
    I am glad that you have found us too
    Velvet 

    #2292
    aj9798
    Participant

    I went to my first support meeting and unfortuantly there was only 2 of us….its the only one in my community and people just don’t use it.  Im bummed about that as I know there are people out there that could benfit.  I did go to my own couselor today though and had a good session.  I am having an attorney draw up a contract that if we were to get divorsed that he will take responcibility for the 40k in credit card debt that he has….this will show him that I am serious and wont take on his debt.  Its all hard, I think about this every minute of every day.  Today one of my employee quit so that adds an additional burden to my already heavy plate.

    #2293
    velvet
    Moderator

     
    Hi AJ
    Groups of people will always vary and one week can be so dissimilar to the next.   I hope you will go again, maybe others will be there.   The other person who was there must have been glad to see you – did you find support in each other.  Did you have literature to help you make the most of each other.   If not, contact GA and ask for some.  Meetings are best structured – chatting to another who understands can help but structure produces positive thinking and action. 
    The group that I went to was thriving but I owe my salvation to just one woman – she was the right person, with the right words and experience and she started me on my road to recovery.   If only that one woman had been there when I went I could not have asked for better.  
    It is, I believe, a fact that the non-CG living with an active CG does think about the addiction every minute of the day because it is an invasive and corrosive addiction.   It is something that you can change and change deliberately.   The non-CG brain, I think, spends a lot of time in the ‘why’s and ‘wherefores’ of yesterday and the ‘what ifs’ of tomorrow.   I cannot tell you what to do but I do believe that when we learn to deal with ‘today’ and make time for ourselves ‘just for today’ we make progress.  
    I think it is good that you are having an attorney draw up the contract you mention and I am glad that you are taking legal advice as your business is so closely involved with your husband.   You are being practical when you handle your situation like this and that is good for ‘you’. What is good for you is ultimately good for your husband.  
    It is easier to say that a life and a job are irrevocably entwined and in a mess than it is to take them separately and deal with them.   Business and work are one thing, your home life, your mental state, your children are another.   I think you have taken a big step by dealing with one piece of the giant jigsaw that is ***** fragmented and daunting in front of you.   Continue as you are doing and take one piece at a time and when you have put that one piece in it’s place, take another, continue on until you can see the whole picture clearly.   When we allow ‘everything’ to worry us we become engulfed – keep going as you are.  
    Has your husband ‘found’ his GA yet?  
    As Always
    Velvet
     

    #2294
    aj9798
    Participant

    he went to his first GA meeting.  He came home in a good ****, but he did say that others seem to have it worse than him.  I told him that its not true, they are are struggeling the same way and just express differently.  most of them are on machines and my husband does games sports so  I hope he sees that is all the same.  I am proud of him for going, he got his first metal?  not sure what that is? 

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