21 March 2019 at 10:31 pm #6657
First, here is my story. I have been married now for 27 years. I am a typical white American man, and married a Vietnamese woman. When we married, I had maybe $50,000 to my name. All was relatively smooth for about the first ten years, then I started noticing problems. My wife worked the evening shift, which normally ended around 12 midnight, but frequently, she wouldn’t come home until way after 3AM and sometimes 7AM. I found out that she was gambling at the local indian casino(s), and later realized that not just her but half her ten bothers and sisters, and both her parents also liked to gamble frequently. I tried to talk to her and get her to stop. She came to me and cried about being in debt, having run up credit cards to get cash advances. I agreed to pay off her credit cards, and tear them up, and she would promise to not gamble anymore. This scenario happened every few years. At around twelve years (with no children) I was ready to give up on the marraige when suddenly, she got pregnant. At the time, we were not having sex very often, but the timing of the pregnancy lead me to believe I knew when it happened, since we did have a small vacation shortly before, and it was possible that she got pregnant at that time.
Since I was now convinced she was carrying my child, I decided to tough it out and stay married. I thought maybe with her new responsibility she would settle down and stop gambling. Over the ensuing years, I probably paid off her credit cards at least three more times. In the last two years or so, she started asking me for increasing amounts of cash to pay off debts, and said several times she won’t gamble anymore, but I know she still is. Also her elderly father and brother is living with us, and at least weekly, they bring home food from the casino, so I know it continues. My wife says when she retires (around 6 years from now), she will stop gambling permanently (yeah right!). She also refuses marraige counseling and help with gambling because she doesn’t have a problem!
Another twist to the tale is, our very smart and beautiful daughter (at the age of 15) wanted to explore her ethnic background, so we got her a DNA test. It turns out she is 100% Asian. I am 0% Asian, mostly Engilish/German, so it looks like SHE IS NOT even my baby. So now being her legal father, I’m hooked, whether I like it or not. It’s funny her mother was almost as shocked as me. She really thought our daughter was related to me, since she has similar skin tone to me but just little darker than me or her mother. Of course after this all went down, she confessed that she thinks she knows who the father is, some lowlife from the casino she met 14 years earlier. She says she thinks the lowlife is in jail now and hasn’t seen him for years, but no way I can prove that part, since I never met him. I don’t think he even knows about her. My daughter still calls me Daddy, even though she knows the truth.
To add yet another twist, I am approaching retirement age, and we have a net-worth of over 3 million dollars (mostly my own hard work). In our state it is no fault divorce, so I have to split 50/50 with my wife, who I feel contibuted maybe 10% to our total worth. I’m sorry for it to come down to money, but considering all that transpired over the years, I feel extremely abused. Now I barely love my wife, and can tolerate her, but the thought of losing half my wealth to an undeserving cheating woman kills me, not to mention her illicitly conceived child, who was going to inherit this fortune at our death.
So if I was to divorce, I would plan to not ever get married again, and would lose a partner, who does help out around the house, but getting more and more lazy in her middle age, so I wonder if it’s worth it. If I divorce, I stand to lose at least 1.5 million dollars plus some alimony. If I stay, the typical yearly loss is around 20 to 30 thousand dollars, so if I continue to tough it out, after about 30 years of expected life left, I would still be under a million in loss, so from a financial point of view, it is almost better to stay together.
Over the years, I would say she has lost over $200,000. I have kind of lost count. I have developed a breathing problem, which i think is largely caused by emotional stress.
I don’t really hate my wife, and she can still be pleasant to be around at times, and I even feel a little love for her, but my mental health has been stressed for a long time, and I don’t really trust her, until I see the requests for money start to dry up, if ever. We have no sex life at all, and the last time I tried, she was like a dried up prune, and couldn’t even take me. I also do care for her daughter, and feel obligated to help her through college, although I feel a bit like I was tricked into this situation. Her daughter is 16 years old now, and often disrespects me, so it’s hard for me to want to keep supporting her, knowing she isn’t biologically mine. She may be going through teen angst, so I’m giving her the benefit of the doubt.
So the question is, if you were in my situation, would you tough it out, or just get the divorce and take the financial loss? Technically, when her daughter turns 18, I am not legally bound to financially care for her, so my wife could pay for her daughter’s education out of her million dollars. I know this sounds really cold on my part, but I feel like I’ve been shafted for the last 27 years, and just want my fair share.22 March 2019 at 1:40 pm #6658
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Enjoyed your post. I can offer some advice and perhaps share what happened to me as a type of therapeutic response.
I guess you know a lot about your wife’s culture, having been involved so many years. What I have found from being involved with a Vietnamese woman for the last 3 years has been highly intriguing, to put it nicely. My girlfriend ‘Nguyen’ (now 54) was an enterprising business owner and physically: extremely attractive. All of her money was lost in casinos, every bit of it. She also had longterm boyfriends who were casino addicts. They struggled constantly because thousands were squandered playing cards. She could play for hours and hours, always playing until her money was gone.
She points to the large group of family and friends (tight knit) who own lots of homes and have successful businesses and gamble every day. So she’s just been unlucky, look at all these other winners!
Nguyen has a type of bi-polar disorder, wherein she could be very pleasant and understanding one day, then fly into extreme verbal abuse on no provocation. She was also a liar, would lie about anything, and lie all the time. This did cause me some breathing problems also. It seems she just could not get through a given 3 day period without engaging in a brutal argument then calming down. I was a punching bag for a long time. I believe the gambling addiction is related to some other neurological issues. Her style of communication is really abrasive even when not flipping out for no reason.
One thing I really enjoyed with her was just talking for hours about what goes on among her tight-knit VN community. The amount of extramarital affairs is really mind-boggling, at least among her group. She knows 0 people who haven’t been divorced. Men would move in on married women constantly, and there’s no shame in being promiscuous. Women take whatever they like, it seems. What happened to you is just par for the course. Prior to dating Nguyen I had no idea.
I have assets as well, similar to what you’ve built up. I’d suggest getting as much funds into cash over the next two years, convert to gold and hide it. Highly unlikely you’ll lose purchasing power with gold bullion, and it’s totally anonymous. Make sure you get at least the amount she lost in casinos, add 50%, and target that for your take. Totally do-able. Look at all the cash she dumped. You can rightfully claim similar losses, should it ever come to that. You should be able to figure out how to get there.
Don’t give up on sex. Such is the spice of life. Find someone. Distance yourself from her but stay married. Who cares about the paper agreement. Take a page out of the book I’ve come to learn. Almost every VN person in my girl’s community does not get paper marriage because they can get money ($30,000 is going rate I’ve been told) by marrying a person in Vietnam (fake marriage), bring them to US then divorce two years later. So you have couples who live together as husband and wife, both getting paid to bring legal spouses over. Perhaps your wife’s family and friends are not doing this.
You can work it out somehow. Look at it this way, the more she gets in the eventual divorce, the more she will lose gambling.25 March 2019 at 4:00 pm #6660
Thanks for your response. As you can see, I have been in this for 27 years now, so almost numb to what to do now. I am currently 58 years old, and ready to retire, but scared of my wife. You are only in it for three years, and sound like you are having some fun, so as long as you don’t get financially hooked, and you are having fun, just keep it at that level. If I were you, I would just pull the plug and move on.
In my case, my wife is not very pretty or sexy and a little fat, but she is a decent companion and does at least attempt to keep the house clean and cooks for me, so there is some benefit to staying together for me. I do miss the sex, but it is not a deal breaker. I am a bit old fashioned about extramarital activities, and try to follow christian principals. I am a bit of a loner by nature, so that aspect is not difficult to deal with. At this point in my life, I feel agnostic about existence of god, but still feel strong moral obligation to traditional marital values.
My biggest fear is when or if she retires, she gets bored and wants to gamble more. Her only other interest in life is traveling and watching Viet videos on the internet. She and her whole family are Catholic, but they don’t seem to follow the principals of the faith, so extemely hypocritical from my point of view. The interesting thing is, most of her brothers and sisters are very successful financially, most of them engineers, and they’re children becoming doctors. She sees her brothers going to the casino regularly, but doesn’t seem to realize they have much larger incomes, so can afford to lose more and still not crash and burn. I see they will need to continue to work for the rest of their lives if they want to continue this destructive habit. On the surface they appear to live great lives, nice houses, nice cars, nice vacations, It all really makes me literally sick. On the surface they are really friendly to me, but like to stay in their own culture/world. I’m welcome to family gatherings, but basically sit in the corner, because although they all understand english, will talk in Vietnamese, while I sit there, basically ignoring me, Maybe once in awhile somone will ask me a question in english, but largely it is a lonely boring time for me, but the food is good.
Yeah, so your suggestion to move the moeny somewhere would be noticed. My wife knows full well how much we have, about half our networth is in real estate, our home and one rental. The other half is in 401K and a couple stock acounts and some bank CD’s.
And since I make more then her, about $120K vs her $40K per year, I would undoubtedly get hit with alimony payments. I know that there is some provision in California law to get some compensation for a gambling spouse, but you need to provide actual proof of losses, which is very difficult to pinpoint total amounts.
I fully agree that if she got a big wad of cash, it would all dissapear in probably a couple years or less.
Interestingly enough her daughter is scared of her mother as well, and on my side with regards to money matters. She knows she will probably lose half her inheritance, and maybe more if we got divorced. So far she is very level headed, and since I warned her of avoiding getting the gambling bug (since it seems to run in her blood), she is just as disgusted as me about her moms habit. She does have some dreams of being rich and successful when she grows up, and says when she has made it, she will buy a house for me and her mom to live in (kid’s dreams!). I’m not holding my breath on that one, but I do see potential in her (straight A student in advanced classes). She is highly self-motivated.
So anyway, thanks for your ideas. I need to think about it for awhile. Right now, I see things at a slow burn, not a raging fire, so I have some time act. If anyone else has some ideas, i welcome other opinions.
Thanks26 March 2019 at 12:50 am #6661
Thanks — I was hoping you’d reply. I hope others chime in with other advice rather than just my perspective.
I can understand the frustration of going to social events and being surrounded by the VN language & left out; however, as a counter to that, my first wife of 23 years (from a different Asian country) was totally anti-social and we had a life of ZERO friends, family, social gatherings. Ever. Just the two of us. Frankly I’d rather be in your situation.
Regarding cooking and cleaning, again that’s a nice component of any relationship. My first wife was the worst cook, could spend all day reading and measuring only to come up with a barely-edible pile of luke warm food. Year after year never improved. I had to cook myself. On cleaning the house, she was worse than her cooking skills. Hard to believe how filthy and cluttered our house was, it was horrendous! I had to do it all.
My girlfriend Nguyen cooks the most delicious food and keeps the tidiest house.
My suggestions are:
Consider keeping her as your wife, take the good with the bad
Forgive her for getting pregnant with the other guy. She brought the gift of that daughter you raised and all the joy that comes with it, for you and the daughter. It sounds like for years she didn’t conceive a child with you. Perhaps you may never have had a child unless this occured. I see it as a blessing.
Is it possible to disallow credit be granted to a given person? LIke an opt-out system. That would really control the amount of money she can squander.
I’ve spent a lot of time perusing stories online about gambling addiction. This forum is a good one for sure. Most people tell a different version of the same story. A common thread is that when a person decides to leave a relationship with a gambling addict, that person sees a big improvement in their life, not having to deal with the mental tortue that comes with it. Another common thread is that the gambler never stops. They may for a year or so, but gambling addiction is super strong and seems to stay with every person until they die. A few lucky people can go to special therapy meetings but that seems to be a western ideology that isn’t congruent with Asian culture. So most likely your wife will never stop, only you can find a way to limit her access to funds.
If you do proceed with a divorce, I still think you can play the same game to your wife that she’s played to you. Everyone says that gamblers lie about money! So think creatively about how you can concoct a way to extract $300,000 from your assets so that she can’t touch them. I could give you ideas but you know the drill. Brainstorm as if you were addicted to gambling, and come up with something. Then divorce in two years and walk away 50/50 what’s left.
And by the way your family seems a lot more sophisticated than Nguyen’s. They’re all “Nail Store” owners, dope growers, and there’s an odd real estate agent in the mix. That’s about it.
Good Luck! Keep posting updates.26 March 2019 at 3:22 pm #6662
In California, they do have a form you can fill out that is distributed to all California casinos that they call self banning. You fill it out and attach your picture, and then when you, the gambler walks into a casino, the casino security will identify you, and have you walked out. The only catch is, this has to be self imposed by the gambler. A spouse can’t tell the casino to stop serving their spouse. I’m sure you know about this. I read some of your other posts about Nguyen banning herself.
I gave my wife a suggestion about that yesterday, to ban herself, if she is really serious about quitting. She just sat there and nodded her head, but I don’t think she is really ready yet. I asked how much credit card debt she has now, since she uses her credit card for cash advances. She says around $5000.
The other problem is, even if restricted from casino, she finds other ways. She will give money to her other gambling siblings to gamble for her, with the hope that when they win, they share the winnings, but of course when they lose, which is more common, the money is lost. So I am dealing with not just her, but her network. The whole family is enabling each other. Only my wife seems to be struggling with money. The rest seem to have their gambling under control, mainly because they have good careers. Most of them have higher income than me.
I tried to talk to them before and told them don’t lend her money, and she tells me they mostly don’t, but she does have a couple of sane sisters who do not gamble, and they sometimes lend her money. Interestingly, her non-gambling sisters husbands also gamble, so it is insidiously prevalent in the whole family.
So the other issue is her access to credit cards. Numerous times, I had her cut up credit cards, but she always re-applies for new ones, and our fico score is 815, so never have problems getting more credit. It seems the only way to stop this is to damage our credit rating, or maybe there is a way to restrict credit access, similar to casino ban.
Other than that, I can see where you are coming from with regards to staying married. My wife is mostly very pleasant to be around. She doesn’t nag, and is just a little cranky sometimes, but I think that is largely age related. If not for the gambling, I have no problem living with her.
Her daughter is mostly great with me as well, and seems sympathetic to my situation, so could be a real ally in the future. She is going through a teen angst stage right now and kind of aloof, but I’m hoping she smooths out in a couple years. Mostly she is a bit snappy with me, and expects me to read her mind. I’m trying to train her to be patient and lower her expectations in general about life, have a plan b, etc.
Mostly, I am a bit dissapointed that I am not biologically related to my daughter. I am not the type that is interested in adoption, no matter how good the kid is. I didn’t really even want a child, but since I got one, I was happy to take on the responsibility of raising her, but given the choice, I would prefer my own. Since I found out she wasn’t mine (remember, I found out only last year), a piece of my heart was lost. I feel less connected to my daughter, and I feel she changed her attitude towards me as well. Before this happened, she was convinced she was half-white and proud of it, and felt special. Now that she knows the truth, she is more embracing her Asian heritage, and seems less sympathetic to my heritage. Her DNA test says she is about 15% Philipino, 10% Thailand, and 75% East Asian (most likely Vietnam). She actually looks Philipino. She says I have white-privilege and that’s why I’m successful. So as you can see, it’s a mixed blessing. I don’t mean to sound racist, but it’s nice to have something in common with your children, and I feel there is nothing anymore. I feel torn and conflicted.26 March 2019 at 11:08 pm #6663
I wonder if your daughter senses your unhappiness over the new-found truth that she is not your biological child. I am sure she would love to have a good relationship with you if she knew that you could still see her as you had always done.
She is innocent in all this Diego and although I know you are too, you hold an important key to her future.
Your wife appears to have an addiction that she didn’t ask for and certainly will not want – a compulsive gambler would love more than anything to be able to gamble responsibly but sadly, for your wife, this will never happen.
27 years is a long marriage and I am sure you have enjoyed a lot of happiness alone the way – unfortunately you now have 2 seemingly insurmountable problems on your hands and only you can decide what you are going to go about them. Personally, I feel that the child needs you to be the father she has always believed you to be, the rock in the middle of what is a very turbulent life, for her, (and you) at the moment. My husband raised my 3 children who are not his biologically. He is he the most amazing Dad and adored by his children. They want to be like him, they want his approval they love him totally. We have had our ups and downs – the teenage years were hard but then growing up is not easy, however, the effort he put in over the years has paid off a million times over. The relationship between them is amazing.
You sound a decent man with a good moral compass – an excellent role model for a daughter whose mother has an addiction.
Finding out about your daughter has obviously knocked your confidence. – If it was me, in your situation, I would give myself time to think before I made any life-changing decisions. As you said, your daughter could become your greatest ally and that could be very special.
I do agree that you have had a raw deal and it is, therefore, important that you make the right decision for your future. Only you can make those decisions and I hope that sharing on here will help.
Velvet27 March 2019 at 8:52 pm #6664
Thanks for writing back. It does feel good to share here, as I have been simmering over this for quite some time, and need an outlet. I feel sometimes the best thing to do is just do the status quo. My wife is well aware of how much i hate her going to the casino, and she tries to shield it from me, and insists that she will stop after she retires. At her current age, that is about another six years. Her yearly loss has been around her take home pay, so essentially, she is just blowing through her income. The last year or two, she seems to be ramping up a bit, and starting to borrow from me to pay off her credit card (so she says).
I know it is mostly wishful thinking, and she will have a hard time resisting the urge. Generally, if she knows I will be home, she doesn’t go. She works the night shift now, abot 11PM to 7AM, so usually goes after work until around noon. Since I work 7AM to 5PM, this makes it easy for her to sneak out un-noticed. When I finally retire, which may be in the next year or two, I will be home a lot more, so she will have to find more creative ways to sneak out, or just give up.28 March 2019 at 10:41 pm #6665
Most compulsive gamblers will find a way to gamble even when everything is against them so if your wife it choosing not to go to the casino, when you are home, then she sounds as though she is trying to control her addiction.
It is always more difficult when a culture of gambling is involved. It appears that your wife is surrounded by gambling which will make it much harder for her to control her addiction – but not impossible.
Does your wife accept that she had a real problem? Is she aware of the support that is available for those who accept their addiction and want to change their lives?
Please keep posting, it is much better for you than simmering.
I wish you well.
Velvet6 April 2019 at 8:58 pm #6666
Thanks for your messages. I didn’t have time to respond and wanted to think about it. For the most part I think just sharing with you some of my own experiences can help us both in dealing with this poisonous addiction.
As far as your situation is concerned, I would suggest same as Velvet and think about your daughter as your own (as she is). She may act differently to you but you’re the one she loves and she loves everything about YOU. Millions of couples (I think millions!!) would love to have a child but don’t get that chance. Just saying what I think.
As far as Nguyen goes, she is the most severe addict in every sense. I have been observing her more closely. I even think I have some mental issues of my own, for carrying on with her, but I do. I explain it away as a physical attraction (there is nobody in the world that sets my heart beating than when I simply look at her she is absolutely the most gorgeous woman on earth to me) and her cooking of course. We get along so well together too. But she goes into raging moods of terrible ranting and raving at no provocation, and cuts into me with insults, it’s really bizarre how I can keep taking it. Then she’s back to normal. Last week we had a particular episode.
She got caught by me wasting tons of time and thousands of dollars at a casino near her home, and admitted that her self-ban had lapsed so she could go anytime. So November through March she was a raging player again and lost all the money I had helped her with to stay afloat.
One thing I noticed is that I had given her about $1000 to pay bills and she disappeared for 5 hours then called me and went into a raging assault of what a jerk I am. Now I know the cycle. She loses in casinos then takes it out on me. Rotten!
The next thing she did was last week, she is a really hard worker and very sharp in every sense, and we were rebuilding some things at a rental property I own. She was such a pleasure to work with, always cooking and really helping a lot. Well I had given her $400 to pay for groceries or whatever, so that was a lot of cash burning in her wallet. Out of nowhere she started talking bad things and really ticked me off. We engaged in a fight there because I was just sick of her rotten words. You know the rest of the story right? She walked out the door and said she will go see her brother, who lives not far, and she’d be back in two hours. 6 hours later she was back and the wallet was empty. So what I am dealing with is someone who simply can NOT hold any money otherwise she barks like a dog until someone kicks her and she runs off to the casino. I can’t think of a worse level of that addiction. She’s feeling really down about what she did and I’m thinking of ways to keep her on solid ground without ever letting her hold money. She did self-ban again in her home town but I’m in a different region.
Well anything you want to share is appreciated too. Take care.11 April 2019 at 10:42 pm #6667
Hi gvralis, You said it very well. Living with a CG is poisonous. You are lucky in the regard that you are not financially tied down to her. I know you feel a strong attachment, but if you can see past her beauty, you might come to your senses some day. For me, I am conflicted between sticking it out, or taking a huge financial loss in a divorce settlement. I have gone through the numbers, and with careful planning and moving to a cheaper part of the country, I could easily retire on half, but I would prefer to stay where I am, so that would be a hard pill to swallow.
Although I do feel some obligation to my daughter, I sometimes wonder if she is playing similar games with me that my wife is playing, acting really nice and friendly when she wants something, and kind of aloof and moody when she doesn’t.
Another thing that is affecting me is my health. As I mentioned earlier, I have this breathing problem, which I suspect may be heart related. This is a problem I have had for a very long time, so not fatal so far.
The first time I experienced this feeling in my chest was with my first wife. At the time I was around 24 years old. My first wife was American and we were only married a little over two years. While I was married, she would frequently go out to local bars at night and have multiple affairs with other guys. She was also an alcoholic. When she got a tattoo on her chest with another guys name, I decided to call it quits. At the time I was having the same breathing problems, probably from stress and worry. After the divorce, my breathing went back to normal, and I was single for five years before I met my present wife.
About five to ten years into my marriage with my current wife, I started getting the same breathing problems I had before. So there is a connection to being in a bad relationship. I have been dealing with this health problem for close to 20 years now. I have been checked out several times by different doctors, and they can never find a physical problem, so prescribed anti-depressants. After research, I am convinced anti-depressants can cause more harm then good, so I try some natural approaches to dealing with my stress and anxiety. So to make a long story short, I am dealing with this, but I feel sick and tired (literally) most of the time. I feel that if I ever do get a divorce, it may solve my health problem.
My wife is always complaining about feeling tired, and she is always saying she will die soon, but I suspect she will outlive me. Her father is in his 80’s and is a smoker, and still healthy enough to run to the casino on almost daily basis. Her mother is in her late 70’s and still healthy, so I don’t see her going any time soon. Her grandmothers died in their 90’s as well.19 April 2019 at 10:28 pm #6668
Yes Nguyen says the same thing. I’m going to die. She also said that for years she has thought about killing her self. I suppose it might be a manipulation tactic.
I can see your point about your daughter. I can relate. My dad is a really nice guy but he has some skeletons in the closet that just came out and I’ll be darned it’s the same type of thing I’ve done too. Apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Your daughter has the scheming mom and dirt bag biological father. How will she emerge as an adult ?
Interesting comments regarding your first wife. I guess you can try to see the humor in it. She was really loose. Look how far you came from all that. Well done.
You might consider Mexico specifically Lake Chappala or other such locale. Excellent weather and fine social scene. Very inexpensive. You owe it to yourself. You may not agree with my advice but I’d consider going your own way but remain married on paper. Put as much funds into your control by any means. Legal divorce at ideal time for you.
Nguyen is still absolutely drop dead gorgeous and the best cook I’ve ever imagined. I can’t seem to move on but now I’m planning a trip overseas with my son. Maybe I’ll get my head on straight. My first wife was super honest and gave me three very good kids but she was clueless on how to accomplish anything. Like I had to babysit her. Zero affection. Worst cook too. Obscenely bad in the kitchen. Then she got fat and wanted to live out her life like an 80 year old. From that background I found Nguyen and I’m weak. Everywhere I go I’m with the prettiest girl on my arm. It’s hard not to live for the day.
Keep posting updates.
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