18 October 2017 at 12:46 pm #5975timetogoParticipant
Am new here, so bear with me! I am sort of doing a brain dump of how I feel. I’d love to get some perspective from those who have been there, done that and come out the other side or at least one of the above !
My husband of 10 years is a CG. I knew this before we married. From the very early days of our relationship, I knew that his gambling was problematic.
We live in Ireland where racing is a big part of our social lives. I myself have always gone racing (my Dad is a CG.. now that’s another story).
I noticed early on that his behaviour and mood changed significantly when gambling was involved. while I wasn’t fully aware of the extent of his gambling, frequency / bet size, I knew it was something that had a negative impact on him.
I soon learned the extent of the problem and he came clean.
He admitted he had a problem, the extent of it and agreed to go to GA. I thought this was a major victory as I only knew one type of gambler, someone who was in complete denial.
Fast forward 15 years from the early days of our relationship and we’re married with 3 children. He has been on / off gambling more times than I can recall.
he would go long periods without gambling, attend meetings and then, behind my back , start again.
I’ve been living with the moods, the manipulation and lies for so long now that I don’t think I can do it anymore.
He came clean again in June and we’re essentially back to square one.
he is attending meetings again and has had some one to one counselling sessions. I myself, attended a counseller to get some stuff off my chest but to be honest, i feel I have so much resentment built up inside me that I don’t think I can ever fully trust him again. Not just that, but I am angry that he has lied and manipulated me for so long . I’ve had to deal with all his problems whilst trying to be the best mum I can be to our children. While I am lucky that I am not financially dependent on him, I’ve never been able to take my foot off the gas to take time out with my children because we’ve always been in a financial hole due to his gambling.
There is so much to say but the fact of the matter is that I really no longer love him. I want a future for myself, one that is happy, one where I don’t have to look over my shoulder, constantly in doubt as to his whereabouts, wondering where the money is going. He doesn’t treat me well, only when it suits him and he is very quick to turn and lay all the blame on my shoulders when things are getting him down. I’m at fault for our financial situation. He also manipulates situations to make space for himself.
When he is in a mood, he creates the worst atmosphere in the house and puts my self-esteem in the ground.
i could go on. I’m just sharing because I need to off-load and came across this site. Hard to discuss this with family / friends. I need to find the inner strength to leave him and build a solid future for myself and my children.
Thanks for reading 🙂18 October 2017 at 1:14 pm #5976
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 Team18 October 2017 at 4:26 pm #5977
You did really well writing your first post which can’t have been easy and I am glad you have brain-dumped, hopefully you felt better for doing it.
I often ask people if they love the person in their life who has a gambling addiction because very often people have forgotten to think about whether they do or not, they are just going from day to day, going round in ever decreasing circles and getting nowhere. Usually the answer is yes and from that moment rebuilding the relationship as well as getting the right support is important to both the CG and the F&F recoveries. You are saying, however, that you no longer love your husband and for that reason I am unable to talk about rebuilding your relationship,
I know all about the moods, the ups and down, the misery that accompanies the addiction to gamble, I also know it is sometimes difficult to tell who the CG really is and whether love has died completely never to return regardless of a true recovery.
In the periods between his relapses did you experience any happy times, did you ever feel hope?
I know how hard, sometimes impossible, it is to share what living with a CG is like, so I hope you will keep posting here where you are understood and hopefully you will find the right way forward for you.
Finding inner strength isn’t something one can do overnight but it is do-able and I think that sharing makes it easier.
I know all about being manipulated to make space for an addiction to feed and what it is like to be blamed for everything that has gone wrong but I am wondering what has made you write now when your husband is apparently trying again to control his addiction. Is he still blaming you?
I am not judging Timetogo, I couldn’t. I became estranged from the CG in my life and the actual estrangement was worse than anything that had gone before.
I do know from experience that the addiction to gamble can be controlled; I also know that some relationships cannot survive and some should not survive.
Please keep posting, what ‘you’ want is important.
Velvet19 October 2017 at 11:40 am #5978timetogoParticipant
Thank you so much for taking the time to read my post and share your perspective. You are right, it is hard to talk to people about what living with a CG is like. I think writing it down actually helps, as it’s only when you see it before your own eyes, you realise just what you’ve been through.
I think I have reached the end of my tether and I just don’t know that I can continue in this marriage. I do know that CG can be controlled and people can change, I just don’t know if my husband will ever truly be free.
He has had a lot of opportunities to change and relapsed so many times. I also have this nigggling doubt because I don’t think he has ever truly admitted to himself what the real impact of his gambling is.
When, and I saw when, because this is a recurrent theme, I find out, he is very sorry, wants to do right and make amends.
As time goes by, he starts to distance himself from the gambling and the behaviours and makes it out to be quite trivial. He says things like, “I’ve never stolen” , “I’ve never gambled the mortgage money”, “the kids have never gone hungry”…
While literally none of this is wrong, I have been the one making sure there is enough to pay the mortgage, I’ve made sure the kids are looked after, I’ve had to give him money month in , month out.
I make more than him, so I would expect to pay more etc but we should be in a position where neither of us have any debt and have savings, we actually don’t because of his gambling. We’ve been in this vicious cycle, everytime I feel like we’re getting somewhere, he falls off again.
I also find that he has tried to isolate me from people I love and care about and know care and love me. It’s like he wants to weaken me as much as possible and when he has me where he wants me, he can just lash out, call me names, humiliate me and make me feel really bad about myself.
I don’t know how to love someone like this anymore and like you say, hard to know the real person from the CG. I used to try and separate the two, but I can’t do that anymore. It’s hard to see any goodness in him towards me. It’s like I am the enemy and he just has to keep me weak so he can get away with what he wants.
I find myself looking forward to the times he is not around. I am so much happier and calmer, which makes me more patient and better with the kids.
I know if we are to separate, I’ll never truly be free of him. He is still my children’s father but he won’t have control over me and can’t hurt me anymore.
I am so much better than this hell I’m living and I do deserve happiness. I fear that as long I am with him, I’m totally at the mercy of his moods, his impulsiveness, irrationality and selfishness.
I know if this is the path I chose, that it’s not going to be easy. I don’t know how long it’s going to take to feel normal and look forward to the future again, right now I don’t 🙁
Thanks again for reading, helps getting this off my chest.20 October 2017 at 1:15 pm #5979
I am concerned that your husband has tried to isolate you from those who care about you, the addiction to gamble is divisive in families to obtain enablement; I hope that knowing this will help you seek the support that you deserve. I think it is best to just tell those who love you that your husband has an addiction as a statement, without inviting opinions which (in my experience) generally tend not to be very helpful.
I obviously can’t answer whether you love your husband anymore but I know it is possible to feel great anger and even loathing towards a CG who is wrecking your life and then later in recovery to find love. Only you can know or guess the likelihood of loving him if he entered a true recovery.
You are right that separation doesn’t bring freedom from the CG when there are children and of course this makes the actual separation even more unpleasant. Having said that some relationships create atmospheres that are not good for children and sometimes it is better to follow a different dream from the one you had. I was left with 3 very small children many years ago (nothing to do with gambling) and it was devastating for quite a long time but when I look back with hindsight I have no regrets.
Put yourself first Timetogo and don’t allow your husband’s addiction to control your happiness – every day give yourself time to do something that is good for you and ignore any barbed comments. Obviously if your children are very small this is more difficult but even taking them for a walk and seeing nature unfold around you or playing a game can blow the cobwebs from your mind. . Come out from the shadow of his addiction which is diminishing your life and allowing fear take over. See family and friends just to laugh about something that has nothing to do with gambling. Visualise a successful outcome of what ‘you’ want and your confidence will increase.
Keep posting Timetogo – getting the pain out in the open is a great way to find your recovery and know what is right for you and your children.
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