5 February 2017 at 4:02 pm #5484
Hello, As far as I can see I haven’t posted here for 7 years but I still remember so well my first post sent in desperation, crying while I was waiting for the reply. I still remember all the support I got from this forum and all the wonderful friends I made although I never knew their real names (Velvet, Looby Loo and Twilight to name a few). For those who don’t know me I am a woman who had the dubious accolade of having successive two relationships with compulsive gamblers one after the other, talk about glutton for punishment you might think!
I wrote under a different name back then but changed my details when my then partner went into Gorden House and I wanted more anonymity. I couldn’t access my old posts, too long ago I guess and in truth I am glad I can’t, I’ve moved on so it only seems right they have gone, the past is the past for me now and I don’t let it haunt me.
I thought I would leave a update as I look at things with very different eyes these days. Back then it was all black and white – now I see things as shades of grey. I understand better now a compulsive gambler will always a compulsive gambler either in denial, treatment or recovery but what I believe it is all about for F&F is what effect we allow our loved ones issues to have on our lives. It’s about the things we really need to be looking at when we make the decision to whether to keep a CG in our lives, take a break or cut them out.
Back then I felt my responsibility was to take care of my partner, watch his money, keep him from temptation, make sure his recovery was going well. It was the most stressful time of my life particularly as I had a child with my first partner who is also a CG so felt I had to deal with his issues too. So I put down strict rules for my then partner – Get treatment if you wish to continue the relationship, gamble again and your out. Well as it turned out he did get treatment, but he also gambled again and true to my word he was out. I was left heart broken and struggling to come to terms with losing someone I loved to such a horrible illness which is what I still believe CGing is.
I have got my life back on track however, I have learned to manage my dealings with the father of my child and they now I have a great relationship despite the fact he is still a CG in denial. I am clear in my dealings with him, if he is on a binge (which is his particular pattern) he sees my son at my house, if he is on a better one he sees my son at his. I don’t let his moods affect myself or my son, I have strategies for when things go wrong. I do not talk to him about his gambling or take responsibility for his behavior.
As for my partner back then, he continued his treatment, he applied himself better I think after we split up as he was doing it for him and not for me. We didn’t speak for the longest time but up until about 4 years ago I still got occasional emails to say how he was doing and I was pleased he managing his addiction for the most part and proud of him for the hard work he had put in.
Recently he was back in touch again and we have become friends, despite everything we still have the same feelings for each other we did when we first met. He understands now why I did what I did and I think I understand CGing a lot more and why my approach was fundamental floored. I realise now my focus was in the wrong place. I should of been taking care of myself (and my child), deciding where my boundaries lay, deciding what I needed out of a relationship, how to protect my finances, and of been looking at what things made my life easier and whether that included him or not. In short I should of taken control of MY OWN life not tried to take control of his.
It’s early days with our friendship, we have just spent our first weekend together for 7 years. He is still a CG, his recovery continues, but he manages it better and he knows his triggers and his limits. He looks healthy and happy, has a job and is respectful and understanding of my feelings, he seems realistic about his condition and takes it day by day. He came to see me to support me and yes, he is willing and now able to do that, he appreciates I was there for him when he needed it too and I respect him for taking control of his life.
Knowing he is now responsible for his own rent, his own money (and the management strategies he has put in place to mean he isn’t walking around with a big wedge of cash to tempt him), keeping his own job and his own actions frees me up to see him again as the person he is and always has been – a kind, loving, deeply compassionate and caring man who has one major issue he has to work on every day.
I am holding the reins to my life again and I know that is how it needs to stay, as long as I do that I can continue to enjoy having this amazing person, who happens to be a CG, as a part of that life. The proviso is though that I keep checking I still have a firm grip on whats good for me and necessary for my own life instead of allowing his ups and downs with the gambling to rule everything I do.
I think when you have a relationship with a CG you actually end up having two blurred relationships, one with the person and one with the addiction, separating the two (ie how you relate to person and how you relate to the gambling) has helped me see clearly where the problem lies, fact is some people would not be nice humans even without an addiction while others are lovely people with a long term illness that needs their management.
I hope sharing my own experiences may be of some use or comfort to others who are struggling with similar things now.
Lily x21 July 2017 at 2:00 pm #5485
As requested Lily
I think you have done the right thing
V21 July 2017 at 3:05 pm #5486
xx14 August 2017 at 12:44 am #5487
So I have been giving things a lot of thought after recent strains in my relationship made more difficult by my partner and I reading each others posts. I did say I wouldn’t post again(not for the first time either!) but you know what I am here for my recovery and also for the sake of my relationship and so I don’t have to share every little wobble with my partner and visa versa, so I can learn, so I can understand, so I can continue to become a more balanced person.
We have agreed not to read each others personal threads any more and I have completely stopped reading My Journal now. I think if either of us did read each others posts then we really have no right to be upset by what we read as we both now fully understand we really shouldn’t be reading in the first place even if we are given permission or asked to.
My partner and I are back on track and things are good and moving forward. We are close, we always have been which makes it harder when things go wrong as we are normally each the person the other shares things with. The long distance between us does not help either at these times.
Although neither of us was in the best place when we got together all those years ago we have both grown a lot however self development is not a straight road of recovery, there are ups and downs and I think those down can be more intense when you have the specture of gambling lerking in the background no matter how much you believe in your partners recovery. Misunderstandings and things getting blown out of proportion can happen so easily from both sides, recovery is a fragile thing for anyone and old patterns are hard to change.
I value so much the feedback of the wonderful people on this site and it should not be about shaming a partner or to pass messages on to each other, or even about getting others opinions on your relationship, to me it is about venting about a moment, understanding yourself and YOUR recovery, learning about compulsive gambling and most of all it is about knowing you are not alone in your experiences. It is easy to slip into writing for someone else when you know they might read but it really should be about writing for you.
I recently spent a couple of days in the company of my sons dad at Legoland for my sons birthday he also a gambler but in denial, time i would never want to to spend with him again! Gambler or no gambler he is an abusive person on a mental level and it brought into sharp focus why I would fight for my current relationship, it also made me realise how far I had come as I could see straight through his games and I just could not tolerate it at all any more and this was a man I spent 6 or 7 years with. No idea how or even why.
In contrast all the hard times we have had the thread that runs through the relationship with my CG is one of love and care and always has been, any hurt he has caused me in the past has always been linked to the gambling in someway, which is why I joined this site and why I feel I need to keep posting and replying despite the risk of it being read and my comments being misinterpreted.
I know anyone who has followed my story willl know the amount of respect and love I have for my partner and no comments I make are never intended to put him down in anyway, I hope with time he will come to trust me enough to realise this too because I have to write for me and from my heart or there is no point in me being here at all. All threads are written as a snap shot in time, often at times when people feel at their most angry, vunerable and hurt and so it is very dangerous when partners read each others I think as that moment may well of already passed and the person feel completely different now.
Anyway enough of my rambling but I will just say thank you to all those who offered support during the recent difficulties. Lily x14 August 2017 at 1:28 pm #5488
I was on this site for 2 years before I read anything in ‘My Journal’. I was in Gam-Anon for over a year before I would venture with the others into a joint meeting with GA. I was always afraid of what I might hear. I took a course in addiction counselling before I felt ready to understand whatever was said (and why) on both sides of the coin.
It is always hard to put over that reading the words of a loved one in another forum could be damaging to one’s recovery but F&F and CG will not seek and find recovery in the same way. I think it is what the expression ‘eavesdroppers never hear good about themselves’ is all about. I will be forever glad that I didn’t know what my CG said about me when he went on the GMA programme and his addiction was not under control – I would probably have launched a full scale justification of ‘me’ wrecking what turned out to be 2 long term, happy, healthy, recoverees.
I am delighted that you are going to carry on giving and getting support and I think you are right to keep to the F&F forum where ‘you’ are understood.
V18 August 2017 at 12:40 am #5489
Hi V we missed you in the group tonight, I hope everything is ok? Thanks for the reply. This has been a stressful week so not been about much, I am house hunting as my landlord has given notice as he needs the house for a family member. It was all very unexpected. Lily x18 August 2017 at 6:40 pm #5490
That sounds really awful – how much notice has he given?
I will tell you next Thursday why I didn’t make the group, first time in years – I even do it when I go on Holiday!! I am fine and really sorry to have missed.
Keep posting and we will talk next Thursday
V19 August 2017 at 8:11 am #5491
Dear V, I know how dedicated your are too this site and the group which was why I was worried when you didn’t show. All was well and it gave Red and I an opportunity to get to know each other better which was great. I am sure if anyone else had joined then that would of been fine too. As you can imagine things are busy/stressful at the moment for me but if you don’t see me much on the forum i will do my very best to at least see you in the group on Thisrday. Never any need for you to say sorry when you do so much. Lily x14 September 2017 at 9:03 pm #5492RedareParticipant
Just want to let you know we miss you and hoping both you and your son are OK?
Thinking of you. Xx
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