21 May 2017 at 7:20 am #5696
This may be long but I really need some insight, I’m feeling very confused.
I think my husband has a gambling problem, he thinks that I am overreacting.
He had a problem about 10 years ago and stopped gambling for a long time. About 18 months ago he started going to the casino with friends (or on his own). It progressively became more frequent. He could easily lose a couple of thousand in one night. He would be gone for hours without telling me where he was. I talked to him about it, that I was very concerned, I was told that I was overreacting etc. He didn’t see it as a problem as he had some good wins initially and was still up. He agreed that he shouldn’t stay out all night and vowed to come home earlier. Yep, you guessed it, he still stayed out for hours. In the past couple of weeks he has lost 10k. Last week he told me he would ease up. Fast forward to last night – he said he was going to church, after that he ended up at the casino.
I am furious. We had yet another talk about it today, which turned into another argument. He said that the money wasn’t an issue as really he was only down 7k over 18 months. A hobby would cost that much. He said that he shouldn’t be staying out and not telling me but that I wasn’t helping him (??) and that my reactions were not helping and again that I blow things out of proportion. The argument got worse until he said in the spur of the moment, that if I felt that way then maybe we needed a break! I know that it was said out of frustration, but it was devestating.
I guess I am trying to get some insight as to if I really am overreacting? He goes once or twice a fortnight to gamble. We pay our bills on time etc and he doesn’t have credit cards wracked up. He lies about his gambling but says that is because of my reactions.
I’m sorry this is long, but is this really me? Am I overreacting? I feel lost, hurt and anxious.21 May 2017 at 12:23 pm #5697AnonymousGuest
I am a CG (compulsive gambler). I don’t gamble at all now, but after ruining my life for 35 years +, I think I’m probably qualified to say you are not over reacting.
Hopefully you will get a few more replies throughout the day, in the meantime it might pay you to read some of the other threads in this F+F forum, I’m sure you will get a bit of an insight as to what you’re probably dealing with.
I’ve just finished a very long night shift, but I will reply in more depth tonight if nobody else replies, the forums are quite quiet at the weekends.
Sorry I can’t be more help at the minute.
Geordie.21 May 2017 at 1:25 pm #5698
Thank you Geordie. I have had a little browse of the site. It is a bit daunting. I am doubting myself. He is generally a good husband – helps with everything (washing, kids etc), but I feel completely baffled that he can’t see this as being a problem. He thinks that it is under control. Do CG really have to lose everything for it to be a serious problem? He says it relaxes him.
Thank you again for your insite. I really appreciate it.21 May 2017 at 1:50 pm #5699veraParticipant
10 k is a lot of money for a CG to have access to!
Is it “his” money or the families ‘ money?
A thought struck me as I read your post…how would your husband feel if YOU were out all night , losing huge sums of money?
I’m not being smart when I ask that question. You see I WAS that CG who used to be out all night gambling but thank God not today/tonight.
Another thought…Because of the large sums being turned over, I would say , brace yourself for the discovery that may be to come that your husband had indeed credit cards and possibly other debts as well. Gambling is THE most expensive addiction. It is also progressive. I have never seen a gambler coming in to a meeting saying “I’m here because I won xxxx amount” but I have heard many saying “I lost the house, car , job but the wife doesn’t know YET”!!
This addiction knows no bounds Jessiecau.
I would say you are UNDER reacting.
Tie up your finances and check all bank accounts to make sure your mortgage, bills etc are up to date.
Don’t let any of this scare you. You are not alone. Help is available but you need to put on your own oxygen mask first.
Your husband sounds like someone who is coming to the end of his tether. Keep the communication open.21 May 2017 at 2:07 pm #5700
We have just sold our house and there was a fair amount of money sitting in our account. I have asked him how he would feel if I was doing the same thing. He doesn’t give much of a response to that.
I think we are both coming to the end of our tethers. We have a large family and we are both worn out and frustrated. His gambling has had a huge impact on me, which I tried to tell him but to him it’s just me overreacting. He apologised (by sending flowers and a text message) for going out the other night. He acts like that should have fixed everything. Because flowers fix everything right??21 May 2017 at 2:21 pm #5701veraParticipant
I hear you Jessica and I know gambling is not all about money.
Your husband is not a bad man Indeed, he sounds like a very thoughtful man but he has a very serious problem.
Sadly, nothing you can do will stop him gambling.
All you can do is stop enabling him.
Starting with the flowers…I would see accepting the “peace offering” as a form of enabling. I used to borrow money to buy outlandish presents for my family to give the impression that all was well. Inside, I was a mental wreck trying to juggle debt repayment, arrange a loan for my next “buzz”, think of excuses to be away for hours on end.
The pressure a CG lives under is unreal.
Remember that there is always a limit to how much money a CG can get, how much stress we can handle, how much pressure we can bear.
Let that be your consolation because , believe you me it will all go belly up for your husband soon.
In the meantime look after YOU.
Try to plan things to distract yourself from constantly dwelling on his problem. I know its awful that you have to suffer like this . Believe me, your CG is suffering too.
You will get lots of replies from other F and F members to support you . I’m just popping in because the weekends are quiet on GT and some people feel ignored and never post again if they are left waiting too long.
May I ask why your house was sold?21 May 2017 at 2:34 pm #5702
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!
The Gambling Therapy Team21 May 2017 at 2:47 pm #5703
We sold our house to help reduce our rather large mortgage. We had a fair amount of equity in the house. We bought something cheaper. It had nothing to do with his gambling.
His gambling seems to go in waves. At times he seems to be able to go a month without gambling, other times twice in a matter of days.
He won’t get professional help, I have already suggested it. He has too much pride, and he would have to admit that there is a problem. I have no idea what else to do as I watch him slowly self destruct, but he doesn’t seem to realise? Or is it just a really good front.21 May 2017 at 4:31 pm #5704
How often we think we don’t belong because we don’t understand what it is that is hurting us. I remember entering a Gamanon meeting for the first time and being overwhelmed to find I was not alone and I hope that is what you will feel in this forum. Gamanon is the sister group of GA and it might be worth your while looking it up in your area – it is great to sit in a room where you are understood.
I would say you husband definitely has a problem with gambling and you are definitely not overreacting.
Maybe you could have a look at the 20 questions on the Gamblers anonymous website and possibly download them for him to find – handing them to him will probably only result in another argument. Many CGs (compuslvie gamblers) do not recognise they have a problem but the 20 questions might help him to realise he is not alone in what he is doing.
I think your husband is probably putting up a good front because being a gambler with a problem is not a happy experience. Constant losses cause feelings of failure which result in loss of confidence and self-esteem and that is tough on anybody. As long as he keeps the good front up though he can continue indulging his addiction without coming to terms with it and doing something about it.
It never seems to amount to much as advice but looking after yourself is the best thing you can do, not only for you but also for your husband. He is being ‘cared for’ by his addiction but you are the one watching and hurting. While he continues gambling he will not have the time and the energy for you, that you deserve, so please keep in touch with your friends and family and do things that please you and have nothing to do with gambling.
I suggest you protect your finances and if this means being secretive so be it. My CG told me he would have taken me all the way to the bottom ‘if I had allowed it’.
You mention arguments and being furious but these things only hurt you; so although the following is not a professionally recognized coping method it has proved an excellent way for many to cope
Imagine your husband’s addiction/problem as a slavering beast in the corner of the room. As long as you don’t threaten it, it stays quiet and listens.
When you threaten your husband’s addiction/problem, the beast leaps between you and manipulates the conversation causing arguments which give him the excuse to tell you that you are overreacting. Once the beast is between you, you will only hear his addiction/problem speaking and because it only knows lies and deceit, it will seek to make you feel blame and demoralize you. In turn, when you argue back, your husband will only hear his addiction’s distorted perception of your words. Never issue ultimatums that you do not mean or do not fully intend to carry out.
It is better to listen than to argue, so perhaps you could come here and write down what he has said. His addiction/problem will be confused with the lack of argument which is good for you. This might sound negative but the positive side is that it removes you from the centre of his problem giving you time and energy to look after you.
Allowing a loved one to fail and fall is tough – falling with them is tougher because there is nobody in control. Your husband is convinced his addiction loves him and will come right for him in the end but CGs always lose because that is the nature of the beast.
Do you have good support in family and friends?
Keep posting and hopefully pop in to the F&F group on Thursday between 20.00-21.00 hours UK time.
Velvet21 May 2017 at 9:54 pm #5705
Thank you velvet. I will look into all your suggestions. I have looked at the 20 questions and he certainly ticks several of the boxes.
I have great family and friends but only one of my friends knows what is going on, and she certainly doesn’t know the extent of it. I am thinking of going to a counselour just to help sort my feelings out.
Thank you for the support.22 May 2017 at 12:43 pm #5706
The addiction to gamble thrives on secrecy so don’t be afraid to ask for support from family. Although I believe it is impossible for those who have not lived with the addiction to gamble to understand, those you love can give you support by listening and understanding when you feel low. Now you are asking for support in the right places you can gain all the knowledge you need but it helps to have a united front in a family against an addiction to gamble, for everybody’s sakes, including the CG.
When you are looking for a counsellor for yourself please make sure they have a good knowledge of the addiction to gamble – I went to a general counsellor and spend weeks barking up the wrong tree while she went into ‘my’ childhood – I came away more confused than ever! With Gamanon, as with dedicated counsellors and this site there is no such danger because everybody understands, so time and money are not wasted.
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