26 May 2016 at 9:18 pm #4706Becky1977Participant
Hello. I can’t believe that after so long reading others posts that I finally posting my own.
I have been married to a CG for 15 years and with him for 3 before that. I had no idea of his addiction before we were married and found out just after we were.
I had given up a lot to marry him. Initially my family were against it, this was mainly because of me changing my religion to be with him, but over the years my family grew to accept him. He has a lot of charisma and charm and made everyone laugh. Unfortunately though, they did not know the massive secret we hid and are still totally unaware.
I cannot even make a dent in telling you about the damage caused over the years. I wouldn’t be surprised if he has lost over £250,000.
He has stolen, lied, used emotional blackmail, been awful to live with at times and been quite an absent father to our 4 children.
I have caught him out so many times one way or another. He gambled in casinos, bookies, online, you name it.
Many times he has come to me begging me for help because of the debts he has accrued. I’ve borrowed from family and taken loans from family in an attempt to clear them and ‘start again’.
Six years ago we both filed for bankruptcy as our debts were just too much and there was no other way out. It gave me hope though that we could wipe the slate clean even though it killed me inside. But, of course, it started again and so have our debts.
I have no assets, he has stolen and sold everything of value I’ve had aswell as thousands from his family and family business.
I have talked to his family about it over the years but to be honest I feel like a broken record now.
I have thrown him out a few times. I would start out so determined that this was it, the start of my new life. If course he would worm his way back in somehow, with his sob stories of how much he loves me and how he can’t get better without my help. He assured me he was now a changed man and made me promises for our future. Basically told me what he knew I wanted to hear.
I could go on and on about events and that have occurred but I really need to get to the crux of why I am posting.
Two nights ago he came to me crying that he again has got himself into debt. He says £15,600 but I think he is being modest with the truth. He assures me he hasn’t gambled since last November (which is the last time I caught him out), but again I don’t believe him.
I can’t deal with this anymore. I can’t take on his debts and sort it out. I’m tired and I feel dead inside. I feel he has taken me totally for granted, I feel used and an feel like an absolute idiot for keep giving him chance after chance. If I had just been stronger years ago then perhaps I would be happy now, and my children would have dealt with the separation. As it is now, my eldest is now 13 and becoming very aware of what is going on around him. I have put so much effort into protecting the children from the awful truth about their dad, and they have remained totally oblivious (or so I think) to what has been going on all these years.
I resent him for hurting me when I gave up everything for him. I stood by him when everyone else turned their backs. I forgave him time and time again in the hope that the man I first met 17 years ago would reappear.
I’m so tired, emotionally drained. I cannot contemplate spending the rest of my life this way. Surely I deserve to be happy? One minute I hate his guts, the next I’m feeling sorry for him. Why? Is it normal to feel this way?
If he just disappeared I think I could cope. But having to see his face and hear his excuses makes me weak. I really have come to the point that I don’t care if he loses his job, or gets more into debt. Which is a massive change, as before I would panic at the thought of it. Not now. I think I’m done. I want out, but worry where he would go or what he would do if he didn’t have me and the children around him. His family will not have him and he would be totally alone. But I cannot have him around me any longer either. I need to get some strength back, but I don’t know how to do it.26 May 2016 at 10:56 pm #4707velvetModerator
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, youll find the times for these if you click on the Group times box on our Home page. Now that you have introduced yourself youll find that many of the people you meet here have already read your initial introduction and theyll welcome you in like an old friend 🙂
If youre 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 isnt connected with GMA, please dont identify them either directly or indirectly just in case they decide to use the site themselves.
Youll find a lot of advice on this site, some of which youll follow, some you wont…but thats ok because only you fully understand your
situation and whats best for you and the people you love. So, take the support you need and leave the advice you dont because it all comes from a caring, nurturing place 🙂
We look forward to hearing all about you!
The Gambling Therapy Team
PS: Let me just remind you to take a look at our
27 May 2016 at 3:25 am #4708daddaParticipant
Hi, Angela! First of all (and I say this KNOWING that some of my PTSD is “popping up” again and I am EXHAUSTED), a lot of the negative things you are feeling about yourself are distorted. I will share something more about that in a minute. I was talking with my daughter this afternoon. We lost two of our pet cats when the CG’s brother bought house to avoid settlement and threw me out immediately. So I was saying similar, that if I had been “stronger, smarter … a better person”. But logically, I CAN’T blame myself. I was having to figure out to repair cars and all sorts of things. I did not only the best I could, I did my best to figure out what else I could do, etc, etc. That’s good stuff for a crisis/emergency and people can sometimes do heroic things in a crunch, thanks to adrenaline and so on. But NOBODY is designed to live like that, 24/7. It would kill you.
And though some people sometimes tell me, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”, I disagree. First, I never signed up for any strength contest or training. Second, what doesn’t kill you can sometimes cripple you or hurt you in other ways. I’m sure most people mean well and might even be helpful, if they knew what is needed.
I know not supposed to get into agendas and all that, but “the situation” is TOTALLY abnormal and UNHEALTHY. You and me and everyone who is carrying more than their weight is being unfairly burdened. If our partners had drug issues, etc, well that can be tested for and people DO seem to “get it” in terms of that sort of thing creating bad environment.
If you can keep it in mind that in abnormal and very difficult/stressful situation, you are maintaining … well that sort of helps me keep perspective.
I ran across something a while back I read as a child (and just checked to see if a link is okay, for this sort of purpose). It’s a Norse story about three of the gods who have an encounter with giants. They are challenged to a few contests that seem very easy, but they all fail to complete them. The lead giant, Utgard-Loki (or Skymir) takes them out of the giant kingdom and tells them the truth, ending by saying, “Had I known how strong you were, I’d have never let you inside in the first place. You were nearly the end of us all.” If you are interested to read it (it’s short) it’s here: http://www.hurstwic.org/history/articles/mythology/myths/text/thor_utgard.htm
All of the tasks were completely impossible; the fact that the gods were able to accomplish what SEEMED meager and foolish were actually valiant achievements, when the context was fully revealed. I like the story and find it to relate, because there is PLENTY of illusion going on.
In reality, you have strengths that likely, you might not even be aware of or appreciate. You know, stuff that “comes easy” so it’s normal to you but impossible or hard for someone else. The whole situation can shake one’s self confidence and that is where the toxicity of the situation needs to be remembered. You were not designed for tasks that are impossible; it’s like being on a hamster wheel and never having freedom to explore, change, accomplish. To LIVE. Those of us with children are necessarily and often legally more tied into the situation and for an often lengthy period. I’m going through rough patches right now, but I KNOW things CAN and do get better. That doesn’t necessarily mean the CG will, but that option is always there for them if they decide to take it.
I hope some of what I write is encouraging; I know there are a lot of encouraging people here. It helps me to remember some of this through writing it out.
And one thing I can say in all honesty and from experience (having gone through two divorces from him and not even knowing about the gambling til about 5 1/2 years ago), most of my own frustration and negative feelings comes from KNOWING, without a doubt, that happiness and building a pretty good life after is possible (speaking from the viewpoint of going on alone, though I am sure that recovery and going on together that can happen as well).
I’m wishing and hoping the best to and for you as you go forward!28 May 2016 at 2:02 pm #4709velvetModerator
That post must have taken a lot out of you to write and I’m really glad that you had the strength to do it – well done.
I would say that feeling sorry for a person with the addiction to gamble and then hating their guts is probably a very normal reaction. I think it is also normal to hope they will disappear – anything in fact that doesn’t involve more of the same cycle of events.
You sound numbed by his behaviour but you are wanting to change and I think you are in the best place to talk about how to go about making that difference to your life – certainly you are in the right place for support for you. I agree, full-heartedly, that you deserve better.
Resentment for the sacrifices you made will not help you recover. I know it is difficult not to say ‘what if’ or ‘if only’ but I know from experience that no ‘what ifs’ or ‘if onlys’ make a scrap of difference, you are where you are now and it is what you do know that matters. I believe that it is possible to turn the experiences that have hurt you into something constructive for your future and for the future of your children – I wouldn’t be writing to you now if this wasn’t true.
Please put aside any thought that you sound like a broken record because you are not. I appreciate you say his family would not have him which implies they have also suffered from his addiction but do you think they have completely washed their hands of him – do you have any allies in his family at all and if so would they support you in making a joint real stand against his behaviour?
Has your husband ever accepted he has an addiction or sought any help?
I will leave my first reply to you there Angela and await your replies. I have seen many outcomes in this forum over the years and I don’t know what yours will be but your recovery is paramount here and I am determined you will survive this.
You did make a dent in explaining the damage your husband’s addiction has inflicted on his family and I have a pretty good idea how devastating the rest of the wreckage is.
You are no longer alone. It would be great to ‘meet’ you in the F&F group on Tuesday between 20.00-21.00 hours UK time.
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