25 August 2015 at 12:50 pm #3962velvetModerator
I thought it was only me that can think I have done something physical when the good intention to act has never left my head – how great it is to share and find I am not alone!
I remember feeling comforted by others going through what I was going through but also being sustained by a girl whose husband had changed his life 15 years earlier after having done horrendous to her previously in his active gambling years. With those who were still heavily wrapped up with the addiction I shared my anger, bitterness, stories of betrayal and hurt until I felt less alone. With the girl who walked so far ahead of me I learned that guilt was something I should not be carrying.
I don’t know your mum and I appreciate she is isn’t well right now – but you are a mum and you will already know that no matter what happens you would rather share your son’s pain than have him cry alone – it is the nature of motherhood. I cannot speak for your mother but I would imagine she would not want you to feel guilt that you are sharing your hurt with her – it is what mothers do.
Feeling guilty that your son’s father is a compulsive gambler will not do any of you any good, it will only fester and slow your recovery. I don’t believe that when you tell others not to feel guilt you don’t believe what you are saying so you know it makes sense. ‘You’ are not to blame, nor is your son and nor is your son’s father. None of you wanted or asked for this horrible addiction in your lives. How daft it is to beat ourselves up over something that we can’t control – how much better to spend our time working on that which we can control – learning to like and love ourselves is time better spent.
In my opinion, families and friends hope that if they don’t mention the subject of gambling and addiction the problem might go away – why prod the sleeping beast? I know it doesn’t go away Michelle and I know it because I love a CG, which is why when I ask you how you are I understand why your answer is not ‘fine thanks’. This addiction, in my view, is still not publicised enough – I am still aware after living with an active addiction for 25 years and a CG in control of his addiction for 8 years that the subject of gambling will cause the eyes of most of those who know me to glaze over – I am still preaching to those who do not want to hear.
When a relationship become estranged or ends – and even when an addiction becomes controlled and life should be good, there will always be a mountain of pieces to pick up. You have lived with a terrible addiction that has damaged your ability to laugh and smile – it will have given you self-doubt, trust issues and mind-numbing pain. It stands to reason that it will take time to recover but recover you can and will. It might appear that your partner is apparently ‘enjoying’ a new life but I can assure you he is not – as long as an addiction is not treated and controlled a new life is merely a mask for a sad existence.
I know you will be alright Michelle because when the addiction had finished with me I was a blob without personality, opinion or hope and whatever anybody says about me now they cannot doubt that I have hope and opinions galore. I don’t doubt for a second your ability to come through this dreadful experience and turn it into something good.
Be kind to yourself – you are still the young girl you were 5/6 years ago you just have a wealth of experience you didn’t have then.
Velvet29 August 2015 at 12:04 am #3963jenny tParticipant
I totally understand the lies,gambling, going on holiday,stealing from your child and feeling like you don’t know who the person is.
I was with my husband for 10 years and I separated from him weeks ago but have now consulted a lawyer and have told my ex it is over. I can’t live with this addiction anymore. Gambling does not just affect the gambler.It destroys the family too.
Tears, I am heart broken and feel like my world fell apart when my bank contacted me by text at 3am on a Sunday morning in April to ask me if I recognised transactions on my account. As I said No, I didn’t realise my ex husband was downstairs online with the laptop, as the bank were texting me. He had stole my bank cards from my purse and was using these, clearing out my accounts. I was advised to contact the fraud team. I had no idea it was him.
That was the third time I knew of in 4 years .
The first time was £7000 from our wedding fund. Gone and I had been with him for 6 years and had no idea he was a CG. 16 months later, more gambling. And another year after that 30,000 debt with credit cards,payday loans, loans and my wages, including our children’s birthday money.
I realised I cannot change him. He has to want to stop gambling and attending meetings will only work if you take on the support and be honest in the rooms.But you have to want to quit and for my husband, he has still not hit “rock bottom”.Often what I have heard other CG tell me about when they talk about their stories/recovery. My ex still does not believe he is beat. Until then, I have to walk away as I too cant live with my purse under my pillow, the constant doubt, the losing my mind as he made me believe I was in the wrong, with his lies being very believable.
My advice is to look after yourself and your son. I know how difficult it is , honestly I do as I have 3 children too and they have all been affected.
I know some CG who have been bet free for years and others who relapse then try then relapse again. The support is there but you have to want to stop.
Ive often asked myself “Why wasnt I enough, our family, nice house, car but yet the gambling always came first”. Like an affair but with the bookies. Deceit, betrayal, compulsive liar and a hurt and pain that tears you apart as you blame yourself for not managing well enough or not doing enough . But you never caused him to gamble, you cant change his behaviour and you are not responsible for him. he is an adult and you deserve to live without anxiety and nervousness and not to be betrayed by a secretive addiction that has terrible consequences.
I truly feel what you are going through. Im there with you.30 August 2015 at 5:11 pm #3964moniqueParticipant
Hi Jenny. I just noticed you have posted and your message is in the middle of Michelle’s thread. I wonder if you have also got your own thread to share your story? Are you new to this site?
I ask because this post could get ‘lost’ where it is and therefore you would not get replies. It’s great that you are supporting another – the Forum is all about both giving and receiving support. But if you want to start your own thread, click on ‘New topic’ at the bottom left of the page and then we can share more with you, too. Forgive me, if you have your own thread and I just haven’t seen it.
Monique31 August 2015 at 3:27 pm #3965
I literally cried reading your reply and I could feel that horrible sinking pain in my stomach as u described the things that had happened to you as I kno it only too well. The tears have started just writing this response to you. I don’t kno when I’ll ever feel better or if I ever will but as you say we need to look after ourselves now, and hopefully out of that something better will become and maybe I’ll start to remember who I am again.
I guess none of us can change our cg’s no matter how hard we try. With every story although different I think it’s the one thing that’s common that none of us can change them until they want to change themselves. Just heartbreaking that it takes so so much and even when they’ve lost it all they still haven’t reached as u described so well their “rock bottom”. I’ve thought previously losing ur family and home and having quite literally nothing would be enough to make a change but it hasn’t been. Sometimes I swing between understanding and realising it just shows how much this addiction has a hold on him and other times I think he just can’t care because why would you throw it all away for something so worthless compared to ur partner, children and future. It’s hard sometimes as thoughts like that only lead to further depression.
“Why wasn’t I enough” – your words ring so much truth to how i feel and the thoughts that go thru my head daily. It’s something I’ve often screamed at him during the worst moments. I think I’ll always wonder why were we not enough. I’d put my life Infront of my child’s so how can he throw it away for this lifestyle. I kno really it’s so much deeper, but sometimes u can’t help yourself slipping bk into the feeling low and letting these thoughts over come. I can’t help him, and I almost know it’s not his fault, I just wish he’d be strong enough to have put us thru this and I wish this horrible addiction did not exist and we would not be feeling the pain n anxiety and depression that it causes.
I hope you are ok, we do not deserve this. I don’t know what’s next but I do know it has to be about us now. You sound like your at the same stage I am and have tried so hard but now know it’s time to let go. Thank you so much for your reply, I kno it would have taken a lot especially when you are going thru so much yourself. Please keep me updated with how you are doing.
Michelle31 August 2015 at 3:53 pm #3966
Again thank you for your reply. Your responses mean so much and your words always ring so much truth with how I’m feeling and almost puts my feelings into words for me to better understand this addiction. Reading them brings me to tears as it hits home so much.
To know there are ppl out there who have over came their addiction gives me so much hope. I hope to god I can say the same one day but it is very selfish of me to say that sometimes I get angry at the thought of him sorting himself after the addiction has taken so much of me that I fear I’ll never get bk such as hope, trust, love. I fear one day he’ll be happy and gamble free but I don’t think I’ll ever get over this, Ive lost him now, I know I can’t go back regardless so I’ve lost my love to this, I’ve lost hope of finding anyone else I’ll ever love and I doubt I’ll trust ever again as this addiction to me has been invisible whereas he knew what he was doing and when he had stopped etc, I was constantly living in fear daily. For him when he stops gambling his new life can begin, I’ll always be afraid of what I can not see. Even writing this I know that probably doesn’t make sense to anyone and is extremely selfish. I kno that, I want him to sort it out, I need him to to be the dad I need for our son but my heart still breaks as I kno I’ve lost my partner forever and eventually regardless of the addiction continuing or he wins this battle which I hope to god he does, I still have so much heartbreak to endure.
I know I shouldn’t feel guilty as I know none of us should, I know it’s not our faults, i know this is an addiction but sometimes I just need to let those feelings out, my head tells me a different story, I can be very logical with it all and understand as much as I possibly can but sometimes my feelings just don’t match my head and I let them all out on this page especially when I’m having a low day like today.
“Why prod the sleeping beast” – exactly. This has been the very attitude of the family and I can understand it. Why prod indeed. I know it’s human nature to ignore the issues as long as it isn’t affecting their life’s. I told his family years ago stupidly thinking I would be thrown a life line, it’s only caused me more disappointment as I’ve felt so let down and had not only no support but going behind my back to enable him which I can’t quite understand. It enrages me. It’s one thing to ignore and hope it goes away and to be so ignorant to the addiction but to enable it when the person themselves has said do not give me money under no circumstances is another. Just Saturday night there I was met with pictures of them at a casino. I almost feel like they r taking my face and rubbing it into mud. this is their brother who has left me devastated and in debt and left our son without his father in his home and they think it’s to to take him to a casino knowing this very addiction is the root of all our problems. I just find it so disrespectful as I sit in the house heartbroken and struggling to pay our debts, yet they act like they have done not a thing wrong. This addiction isn’t publicised enough at all and there so many Ppl out there who aren’t aware of how much it grips onto ppl and ruins life’s. I continuously preach to those who r lucky enough to be ignorant to it too but often it’s met with an uncaring response but I never let ppl brush it off as nothing as ive met so many ppl who do not believe it can be an “addiction” – lucky them.
Im so glad you found yourself again. I’m so glad you cg has the addiction under control. I’m so glad ur on here to point me in the right direction and to give me hope that one day I’ll at least remember who I am. Thank you
Michelle1 September 2015 at 11:15 pm #3967jenny tParticipant
I am very new to this site and have only made one comment, that you saw to Michelle.
I don’t have my own thread as when you advise to click on New topic at the bottom left of the page, I cant seem to find this.? Maybe its easy and im just finding it difficult to find. I am really stressed just now with all that is happening for me.
Support would be good just now. I am not doing too great. Thankyou.
Jenny t2 September 2015 at 7:57 am #3968
https://www.gamblingtherapy.org/en/node/add/forum/871 I’m not sure if this will work for u Jenny but try this link. I hope you are ok and look forward to speaking to you more. Hopefully this link will work for you to add a new topic xx2 September 2015 at 1:02 pm #3969moniqueParticipant
I see that Michelle has provided a link for you. When I said New Topic option was at the bottom left of the page, I should have said ‘bottom left of the Family and Friends page’, the page that lists all Family and Friends (F&F) posts – not the page where you are reading an individual post. Make sure you choose Friends and Family (and not F&F Topic). You can start a new thread and receive comments specifically for you.
It is indeed very stressful having a cg in your life, but I can assure you that people do learn better ways to live with this, whether or not their cg moves into a true recovery. Recovery is what we want for them, but the cg must be ready to make the right choices him/herself – that is the one thing we cannot do for the gambler. But we can do a lot for ourselves, in terms of looking after ourselves well, meeting our own real needs, taking the focus away from the other person, etc etc. This may all sound like ‘pie in the sky’ at the moment, but I recommend that you aim to give yourself some space and attention and, at your own pace, let things change for YOU. There is no miracle cure – for you or for him – but you can make genuine improvements in your own quality of life.
Tell us more and we can support more.
There is a live helpline available at certain times of day, if you wish to use that – see on the Home page of this site. There are also live support groups, where you can communicate in ‘real time’ with others, including a facilitator – these provide another useful way of learning and helping yourself.
Some groups are for F&F only, some for cgs and some for both. Click on Support Groups at the top of the page and find what times they are on and see if you can make it to any. Velvet runs groups for F&F and I have a mixed group at 20.00 hrs (UK time) on Weds nights (tonight). You will be made welcome at any of the groups; you may find the F&F particularly helpful.
Do start your own thread and I hope you will find the help you need.
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