30 June 2014 at 4:47 pm #3394
I have been strong.. and now feeling weak. I saw Craig yesterday, he looks awful. Admits to constantly gambling. I really thought he would of stopped.. divorced now for 7 months.. and I wasn’t enough.. how is that possible? Our car is in repossession because he has it and hasn’t paid.. the bank keeps calling me. I saw Craig for the first time in months, talked to him.. and now feeling guilty. He says I was his only happiness and I kept him from getting this out of control, he said he lives in his car.. the car looks like he does.. clothes etc in back seat. He then text me that he cant live with the guilt and hope is remembered for being a good dad and not a loser gambler. My mind is so mixed up today. I am scared he will finally go through with his threats of suicide.. and actually feeling that during the 20 years of marriage.. maybe I didn’t do enough… I know I did though… please help me get my self back together.. falling apart again..30 June 2014 at 6:31 pm #3395LuParticipant
It is heartbreaking but you know you did everything you could to help your husband and it is not your fault that he has made the decisions he has and you should not be made to feel guilty. I separated from my husband 3 months ago and am feeling just like you. I also feel guilty and receive text messages to make me feel guilty. I also worry he may suicide. It is unfair that despite walking away that our pain is still the same if not worse. Stay strong and cling onto why you walked away. I tell myself the same thing everyday.2 July 2014 at 4:45 pm #3396jamesnParticipant
Last week I saw my wife and she looks so sad and I was also wondering if I have tried hard enough in the last 10 years to help her. The thought that she might kill herself also crossed my mind. I think you [and I] have done everything we could already. Now I have to constantly remind myself that I have no control over any of this. I don’t think you have any control either. The only thing we can do now is to try to live a healthy life. I am sorry about the financial problems that you are facing. I wonder if you can declare bankruptcy where you live and start from scratch. My situation is not as dire but if I stay with my wife we could be in that situation at anytime. The first time I left my wife 4.5 years ago she also told me like what your husband told you. I was the only thing that kept her going totally out of control. However, the personal costs to me was tremendous. I lived in constant fear and anxiety of my wife gambling again, of not knowing how much debt we have, whether she is at work or at a casino, and calling her repeatedly to check where she is and if she doesn’t pick up the phone I would have a panic attack, I gave up my hobbies, friends and stayed home to “watch” my wife. I realized that it is not a healthy lifestyle. We made to many sacrifices already and it is time for them to be responsible for their own lives. I hope you stay strong and wish you the best.2 July 2014 at 5:25 pm #3397
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Velvet3 July 2014 at 10:17 pm #3398
thank you for writing.. I didn’t think I would need support still.. but still feeling I need it.. I had to go to court yesterday.. I finally said he cant do this to me. I filed contempt of court against him because he has continued to gamble and not pay adequate child support. I was in a court room with my ex-husband…20 years married.. asking him to please pay for his children. He stood up said he had paid some, but not all, and he suffers from mental illness, and gambling addiction. I said nothing, my lawyer was with me. The hearing was over.. he walked out behind me.. not a word spoken between us. How has this happened.. I then get a text 3 hours later, it said he is sorry that it has come to this.. and maybe our marriage was a lie .. and again he writes Im sorry. I have been heartbroken , crying since yesterday.. what is wrong with me.. why am I not just angry . I am disappointed in myself. I feel like my life is surreal.. in a bad way. He chose to gamble.. walk away from treatment.. and Im here feeling guilty, I text me he want his life with me, this is my fault, he wanted to grow old with me… well I wanted that more than anyone.. please help me get stronger.. I was doing so good.3 July 2014 at 10:18 pm #3399
addendum: feeling like maybe I should write him, but is it worth it ? Tell him my heartache and how I feel again.. but really is it worth it?4 July 2014 at 12:41 am #3400twilight16Participant
I know how it feels to be in your shoes as I was a few years ago in a similar situation (court). Actually three times for different reasons.
The first time I felt like I was going to throw up, shaking like a leaf, just a few feet away from my father, to see the person who should have never allowed for his daughter, to do what I had to so he wouldn’t further destroy my life with his gambling. Still he was trying to be nice, please what a con. Was pure evil and the most awful thing a parent can do, to see their child suffer.
Your ex is doing the same thing to you, he is playing the victim, the hurt one, now he says he has a gambling problem I feel more out of convenience , for the court’s sympathy; to save his behind. A role that many cg in denial play real well to get enablement. The minute you start feeling sorry for him, start feeling like you haven’t given your all, is the addiction getting through your wall and I would change that frame of thinking real fast or you’ll do something you’ll regret.
Continue on your recovery, don’t communicate with him, this includes writing a letter which he will misconstrued to think there is hope between you two. The best thing I feel you should do is let him live his life, let him gamble, let him take care of himself. He is not your husband anymore, it is time you let go.
Your unhappiness is not because of anything you didn’t do, it’s because you tried so many times and your ex just kept gambling. He is the one who made the choice to gamble, to live in his car and the only one who can get himself out of the mess he created, not you or anyone else.
Twilight4 July 2014 at 7:11 am #3401san250Participant
I can’t recommend this enough to anyone who wants some relief and release. It’s turned my life around. This event is free and could change your life too. http://www.melanietoniaevans.com/thankyou-step2.html
Time to get your power back? This will help. Wishing you all the best. San x4 July 2014 at 8:18 am #3402
Thank you for writing. I needed that . I am letting his addiction beat me down. I watched him act like the victim in court. Your are exactly right he was looking for enablement, he is so good at that. I just constantly ask myself why .. why .. why was our family not his bottom line, I would ‘of bet ‘ before to anyone that we were his bottom line. The pain is exactly like you said because I tried so many times and he just keeps gambling. So hard to understand why he makes those choices over keeping his family. I need to rebuild my wall and try to look forward.. or you are right again.. Im going to regret it.
thanks for listening and responding , Sheryl4 July 2014 at 8:23 am #3403
Thank you for writing, what you wrote has helped me refocus. just so hard to understand how we have made the sacrifices for them and it wasn’t enough. I know I too lived in constant fear and anxiety of him gambling again, had lots of panic attacks too.. I don’t miss that part. Im hoping to stay strong and hope you are doing okay as well
Sheryl4 July 2014 at 12:47 pm #3404
I cannot tell you what to do – whether you write to your ex husband or not is up to you.
My CG told me, once he had turned his life around and controlled his addiction, that he had seen rejection in every word of the letter I had sent him telling him my feelings. In spite of that I don’t regret sending it.
What I don’t think would be right is to enter a series of texts or emails which can lead to misery on behalf of the sender and hope of enablement for the CG.
This is a really dreadful time for you at the moment but it will pass – you are doing everything that is right for you and your son so don’t feel guilty; you have nothing to feel guilt about. It is sad that sometimes we have to accept that there are CGs we cannot save – some who are unable for one reason or another to have the strength of character to control their terrible addiction and many who feel that they don’t want to do so. You were the one that had to draw the line because you do not have his addiction.
I think the hardest part for me was accepting that my love was not strong enough to conquer everything with someone I loved and finally after 25 years letting go. I couldn’t believe that the loss of everything would not be the bottom line but it wasn’t. The change when it came had nothing to do with me and everything to do with him but I don’t think it would have come without estrangement, so my suggestion is for you to keep moving forward because you are the person you can control. Live a full life with your son and family, doing things that please you, things that were probably put on hold when the addiction was filling your thoughts. Put up barriers and don’t be afraid to feel angry or cry – the tears will stop.
I rebuilt myself Sheryl and I know you can – the best bit is that in the rebuilding you can put in extra strong bricks that were not there before – you can take the terrible experience and make your life better for it.
It would be good to chat in real time in a group sometimes.
Success is not the result of spontaneous combustion. You must set yourself on fire first.5 July 2014 at 2:34 pm #3405twilight16Participant
What really helped me was keeping my heart and mind separated, for example, I could care about him but this did not take away from the gambling he did and I was not going to enable his gambling.
Things can be amicable between you two, however, don’t let this be the gateway for him to ask favors or bailouts, these are his, and if he crosses the line wanting help, just back away. You have spent the last twenty plus years, believing and trusting him, but he kept gambling.
It is time you live your life, your ex is where he is because of his choices, his denial of the monster addiction in him and if he were to change, he has to do this by action, and not by just saying I have a problem. This can be a good start but doing nothing about it, is just really nothing. It is not a big deal and should not be rewarded.
Your son is lucky to have a mother like you, who is standing against this awful addiction. It is hard, it is probably the worst thing you will do in your life. However, in the end, your efforts will be rewarded by a healthy life, one free from stress, anxiety and sleepless nights.
Somewhere along the lines your ex will have to face his addiction, it may be years from now, but he will and maybe then he will do something about it. Any enablement by you or anyone is not going to help him and prevent a possible rock bottom. It was when I completely shut the door on the addiction did my father’s life start crumbling down to where he eventually got the help he needed. Still my life was who I was trying to save and my children’s, not so much my father’s. He had made a clear choice that he was going to continue gambling and this was enough for me to move on to a better life.
Twilight6 July 2014 at 3:29 am #3406
Twilight and Velvet ..thank you so much.. I keep reading your post.. and hoping to pound your words into my head.
Sometimes I think Im the one with issues
While at work he called me today, said sorry for everything, his insurance was up to date and he wishes he changed but he hasnt and cant handle things.. so now what..I wait for the phone to ring thinking maybe this time it wasnt drama, but I know I did everything I could..
I still let him play me. How and why?
I was getting so strong.. now Im not6 July 2014 at 12:35 pm #3407Mred321Participant
I am the son of a CG. I am a CG . I wish I had the magic solution to all of your pain. let me tell you some about myself. I gambled and bet on stuff until I was around 35. I am now 50 and still have problems not going back to the bet.That was the first time I tried to stop when I was 35. I would disapear for a few days at a time. I would drive to the race track and then sleep in the car until they opened back up again.. This was before they turned it into a casino now they stay open all night. I would do this until I ran out of money sometimes it would take 3 or 4 days. Then I would crawl back home and promise I would never do it again. That would only last until I could somehow beg borrow or steal more money to bet with. Whan and only when I could not get more money from anywhere. My cards were all maxed out. The bank would not give me more money. That was when I even dared to think about really stopping. MY relatives the ones that would still speak to me all cut me off. My wife threatened to leave me .Now that I look back upon the situation. she should have left me and kept on running. She thought she could straighten me out somehow. To this day she is still trying. All I do is make her miserable and make her worry about what I am up to. I was fine for a few years until my mother left me some money and it started all over again. I am on the slow road to making myself a better person. I go to meetings for GA they help out . The thing is your husband must try to help himself. You must not fall for all the stuff he may be telling you. I kept lying about little stuff even after I stopped gambling. I have stopped gambling for a few months now. I can only thank God my daughter does not have the disease or will ever not get it. She is 25 now and doing very well in life even though I did not have much to do with that. I thank my wife for doing her best to raise my daughter. Hope you have the courage to resist your husband until you can see that he is actually getting better. Remember it not your fault . you do not take him to the casino or wherever he goes to gamble. You are a good person. Thank you for being here It helps those of us who need reminding of the damage we do to others . Thank you for taking the time to read this I hope it helps . Remember try not to blame yourself It is he that has the problem not you.6 July 2014 at 1:18 pm #3408
You will be getting stronger even if you don’t feel it. Once understanding comes of what you are dealing with, you begin to put mental barriers in place without realising it and given time they grow. The F&F recovery is very hard – it takes a long time to lose self-esteem and it takes a long time to win it back but you will. I know I am further down the road but the way I cope is to know that I can live with my CG in my life but only if his addiction never hurts me again – and to that end I live with the mantra that ‘I will never live with the addiction to gamble again’ etched indelibly in my brain.
I think every person I have ever spoken to who has lived with the addiction to gamble has ended up thinking that they are the one with issues and in the end I think it is impossible not to have some – but the F&F issues are woven around ‘how’ and ‘why’ and in time can be overcome as the realisation grows that you never stood a chance – you didn’t know what it was that was that was confusing and hurting you because the addiction was thriving on a secret you were never meant to understand; you were and are trusting and caring.
I believe your husband is sorry but at the moment I suspect he is still sorrier that his addiction has been exposed.
I cannot tell you what to do but I think it is good to have notes beside a phone when you are waiting for it to ring and you are not sure of your resistance. Headings that remind you of what you want to say and bigger headings that remind you what you don’t want to say – the words that help his addiction get under your skin. For instance ‘I’m sorry’ is meaningless without positive action that proves sorrow – so perhaps you could say something like ‘call me and tell me you are sorry when you are taking steps to change your life but until then don’t tell me you are sorry. Later on (and only when you are ready), this can be developed into ‘don’t call me unless it is to tell me you are changing your life’. In reply to ‘I can’t handle things’ maybe it could be said that ’you can, I have had to seek support for me and now I know support is there for you if you want it enough’. Control the call and don’t allow the conversation to deviate from that which you have prepared.
Avoid lengthy discussions – his addiction likes wars of words and is a master at manipulation, whereas you are not. A method not recognized professionally but which has helped many cope is to imagine your husband’s addiction as a slavering beast lying beside him on the other end of the phone.
Your husband is controlled by his addiction but you are not. When you threaten his addiction, it comes between you and controls the conversation. Once it is between you, you will only hear that addiction speak and because it only knows lies and deceit, it will seek to make you feel blame and demoralize you. When you speak the addiction distorts your words and your husband cannot comprehend your meaning.
My CG explained it to me by saying that all the time when I was telling him (for instance) that if he didn’t lie but lived honestly he would be happy, his addiction was telling him that I was lying because he truly believed that he was unlovable, worthless and a failure – he was lost and fought back the only way be knew because he didn’t have any other coping mechanism. The addiction to gamble only offers failure to those who sadly own it.
I think you feel you are still ‘letting him play you’ because deep down you want to believe that this time he is different. In my opinion it is good, although difficult, not to ‘try’ and believe him because in doing so you become receptive. If you can stand back a bit and listen to what he is saying, it becomes easier not get caught up in an argument that has no point apart from making you feel less in control. Once you begin to try and put your side the addiction has something to get its teeth into.
I hope some of this helps.
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