Get practical support with your gambling problem Forum Friends and Family Why I continue to tolerate my wife’s gambling habit?

Viewing 15 posts - 31 through 45 (of 74 total)
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  • #2926
    jamesn
    Participant

    Eventhough my wife has been a great mom so far with zero sign of neglecting my daughter, do you think it is alright to leave my daughter with an addict? My wife has a good support system with her mom and sister (who is in her mid 40s and probably will not remarry). I am so torn over this. Should I fight for custody?

    Should I fight for custody but have my mother-in-law take care of my daughter and find a place somewhere near her house to live? To do this, I have to drive an hour to work everyday which I don’t mind.

    Can I keep the house, fight for custody of my daughter and pay my wife for the equity and then ask my wife to move? I don’t think my wife can keep the house since she isn’t financially responsible. Sorry for the rambling, I just don’t know what I should do now.

    #2927
    jenny46
    Participant

    My children have lived with the legacy of a gambling addiction and the added impact of their dad being an alcoholic. I naively thought that the things I was putting in place would protect them from the effects of both.
    Not so, children pick up on a lot more than we think and the impact is without a doubt damaging. My ex partner who is a CG told me of a few incidents where he had forgotten to pick up his children due to the need to stay in the bookies and indulge his addiction and also financially priorotising his addiction over their needs etc.

    I can only tell you what I would do not what I think you should do and that is – I would never discharge my responsibility for my children to someone who is active in their addiction without a fight. I understand your daughter misses her mother, but without being of the age to make an informed decision with all the facts, I think it is fair to say that the responsible adult should be the one making a decision with as far as is possible – their head not their heart. Your daughter cannot possibly know of the capacity of the addiction to damage her, I don’t know what leaving your daughter in a potentially dangerous situation like that would say about you in the eyes of the courts etc, should things go badly wrong, although I get where you are coming from.

    With regards to having your wife thrown out of the casino, perhaps you need to do that to satisfy your own need to know that you have done all you can. I do feel that a CG who wishes to gamble however will find a way so it may be fruitless.

    I think your wife needs to be facing the consequences of her actions alone, losing a child through wreckless, childish, pathetic priorities is a consequence, financial ruin is a consequence, these are the things unfortunately she may have to experience in order to want to change – harsh as it may sound.

    There is nothing to say that arrangements cannot be altered if and when your wife decides to make some changes and turn things around but until that time comes perhaps concentrating on yourself and your daughters emotional stability will be much more rewarding.

    Jenny

    #2928
    twilight16
    Participant

    Hi James,
    Your daughter is only 2, what she cries about now she will not remember, but as the years pass and the older she gets, there will be a time when she will. Her mother’s addiction has not touched her yet, as there is a term called child amnesia. So really think about going back and forth with your wife. She needs help, but if she is not willing to get the help and stick with it. The skies the limit with this addiction and what it will do to your daughter.
    I know as a child of a cg, hands down my life will always have scars because of my father’s gambling.
    Twilight

    #2929
    jamesn
    Participant

    Jenny, Twighlight,

    Thank you for your comments and explaination on how an addict can impact their children lives. I think I will fight for my daughter custody. If this drags out for a while she will be close to 3 which means I can put her in pre-school. Deep down, I want to move far away from my wife. My fear is that staying too close to her, having some feelings for her, and with the well being of daughter in considerations I might succumbed to the temptation of staying with my wife if she again making promises. I really want to move on and start a new life without fear, anxiety, lies and financial distress. I want to provide my daughter a stable and addiction free environment to grow even if it means without her mom’s present every day. I also want to move far away from my wife’s family. Part of me wants my daughter to continue to have a good relationship with grandma and her aunt but part of me just want to get away as far as possible.

    #2930
    twilight16
    Participant

    Hi James,

    I’d say do what you feel is right and if you feel moving far away, then do so. You are the sound person who is looking for your daughter. You have given your wife chance after chance and she can’t manage her gambling, her reasons are hers. Yet, your daughter should be given the best shot to live a normal life, not one controlled by the addiction, having to make sacrifices in order to bail her mother out, debts that certainly will have an affect on her. I think it is wise to separate this debt from you, so you won’t be responsible.
    Of course this is extremely tough on you, but never feel like you are breaking the family, or taking your daughter away from her mother because guilt and others will tell you to work on it more. Of course, it will be up to you, but if it were me I’d make sure to get my daughter out of harms way.
    About four years ago, I stopped my daughters from seeing their grandfather, they were 8 and 3. As I was estranged from him, after numerous interventions yet he kept gambling. My point is my youngest doesn’t remember the crazy things he said and did to upset me. However, my now 12 year old, the older daughter, still remembers what I went through.
    Take it easy, this won’t settle over night or even a month. It will take time for you, but do how you feel and if someone tries to pressure you to forgive your wife or gives you the spill how staying together is the best thing for your daughter, they haven’t live with an addiction as cruel and manipulative as gambling. It’s an addiction but doesn’t erase any of their actions and it should never be used as an excuse or crutch. Life is full of rules and consequences.

    Take care,
    Twilight

    #2931
    jamesn
    Participant

    I met with my attorney yesterday and her team is going ahead to help me to file a legal separation. They will serve my wife’s the papers near the end of this week. This can be changed to divorce if I wish. My attorney assured me that my wife’s gambling debts would be her responsibility and not mine. She suggested that I ask for custody of my daughter for the week days and my wife/grandma for the weekend. She also told me I need to come up with a care plan for my daughter so the court can see that I have a clear and solid plan before they can grant a move away. I will provide transportation for my daughter to and from her mom/grandma.

    My attorney also suggested that I sell the house eventually because I can’t rely on my wife making copayments.

    Staying away and starting legal separaton have been great therapy for me. Knowing that she is in the casino doesn’t drive me into a panic attack any more but it still makes me feel sad and sorry for her. Deep down I want to go through with the separation. My selfish self wants to enjoy life, do the things I used to enjoy, have financial freedom and no anxiety. I think I have given enough. However, part of me still longing for her to recover and our family whole, especially for my daughter.

    Thank you Velvet, Jenny, Twighlight and all of you for your compassion, advice and understanding.

    #2932
    jenny46
    Participant

    I don’t think there is anything selfish at all about wanting to enjoy your life, I also think you’ve given enough but it is good to hear you say it !
    I think we would all wish to see our loved ones recover but there comes a time where a line has to be drawn unless we want to go down as well.
    The balls in her court where that is concerned, just as your happiness is in yours.

    I’m sure your daughter will appreciate having at least one happy and stable parent in her life who in turn can support her with her future relaitionship with her mother, your learning will be a very key factor in your daughters future happiness

    You’ve done really well, keep your chin up

    Take care

    Jenny

    #2933
    twilight16
    Participant

    Hi James,
    You are a sweet man, only wanting what is best for you and your daughter and still your wife. Believe you are doing right for all, as you are the one seeing clearly.

    Move on with your plans, whether it is separation or divorce I don’t think there is much of a difference. The marriage has been touched by this addiction and as you have wrote, you have done all you can.

    As the years pass, your wife’s addiction will get worst, as it is no secret this addiction just keeps get stronger. Maybe she will eventually hit rock bottom, however there is also a chance that she will not and continue to gamble. As Velvet has written, what we think is rock bottom is not always the case for cg. My father lived in a car on and off for two years and he still gambled. This is sad, this addiction is sad, what it does to people is sad, but again the addiction is not holding the persons hands to gamble. The addict is raising their hand to gamble, they are driving, walking, taking a bus, hitch hiking, etc, to the casinos, or maxing their credit cards for online gambling.

    I think it is wise that you have what ever bank statements or credit card statements to show the court of her gambling, etc. This is just to show that your wife has a problem, as the courts always like to keep families together. I would have the years you have been married outlined, along with her gambling patterns and how much she owes to the casinos, etc.

    Remember to take care of you in this difficult time and remember you don’t have to justify your actions, you are really the only one who knows of the hell you have been going through.

    Take care,
    Twilight

    #2934
    nomore 56
    Participant

    Hi James, I have been reading your posts and agree with each and every reply you got. I think you and your attorney came up with an excellent plan. There is just one thing I would like to suggest to you when you design your parenting/visitation plan for the separation. Your daughter is still very young and I don’t know how responsible your wife is with her. But since she seems to leave work to go gambling, it might be a good idea to include a paragraph in the agreement to not allow her, to take your daughter anywhere alone. At least not when it comes to driving around. I know it sounds paranoid and even silly maybe but there are unfortunately a lot of cgs who let the addiction just run amok and forget about their kids. Leaving them in the car is very evidently here in my state. Happens all the time. I also don’t know how your mil handles her daughters addiction, is she is realistic and supports you or if she is minimizing it. This addiction is very dangerous and it wouldn’t be the first time that a cg puts others in harms way. Better safe than sorry is what learned over the years. I don’t want to add to your worries but since you are calling the shots right now, it might be the right time to prevent something really awful. I wish you luck!

    #2935
    jamesn
    Participant

    Hi Nomore,

    I haven’t thought about the possibility of my wife leaving my daughter in the car and gamble. She has been a wonderful mom so far and I don’t imagine she will do that but it could happens if her addiction gets worst. I will definitely mention this to my attorney.

    thanks,

    #2936
    jamesn
    Participant

    Twightlight,

    I am sorry about your father’s problems and what you went through. I am determined to minimize the problems my wife may cause to my daughter. The more I read about this addiction, the scarrier it gets. A friend of mine told me a lady who has a successful business, lost over a million dollars, two husbands, and still gambles. This gambling lady told my friend that sometimes she can’t sleep because all she can think about is gambling. Sometimes she would gamble away the salaries of her workers. I have a distance aunt whose husband walked away because of her gambling and left two children with her. Sometimes she doesn’t have money to buy foods for her children and sometimes the utilities get cut off for non payment. I didn’t know about this until my family told me yesterday. Now with a little clearer mind, I think it is possible that my wife will get in similar situations and the reason she hasn’t is because I was always there to bail her out.

    Thanks,

    #2937
    velvet
    Moderator

    Hi James
    I agree it is important to minimise any problems your wife’s addiction may cause your daughter but in my opinion it is not necessary to imagine she is definitely going to turn into a child abuser, she has an addiction to gamble that does not seek to cause pain but does so in its blind need for enablement.
    Baby daughters grow up into fearsome young women and strong-minded adults and they ask questions about parental actions and decisions taken on their behalf when they were too young to argue so I think it is important to look at your situation in a balanced way because one day she will want to know why and how you made your decisions.
    What is your wife’s relationship like with her child now?
    Have you had cause to worry about your child’s emotional or physical welfare as a result of her mother’s addiction thus far?
    It is possible that your wife’s addiction will deteriorate but it is also possible that she will change her life for the better, maybe her parents could be instrumental in directing her to the right support, especially her father who did change his life and therefore knows the courage it takes.
    It is possible that you have prevented your wife from getting deeper into her addiction so far by bailing her out but bailing out is enablement and enablement has the opposite effect in that it feeds the addiction and allows it to grow.
    You have listed extreme cases of the addiction and of course they exist but has your wife shown such extremities so far?
    By all means James put all you are hearing to your attorney but I do hear that you still care about your wife and I think that suggesting she seeks treatment rather than condemnation is important.

    #2938
    vera
    Participant

    I take Nomore’s point about mothers leaving children outside the casino….I have often seen very young children open the door to the “no go area” for them, calling “Mammy, will you come out please!” I know my “children” who were in their teens when I started gambling heavily did not like me going. My youngest, now in his 20s would get very angry. My older son said he “didn’t mind!” (He hates conflict) !When I went to counselling there were six sessions available free of charge for any family member affected by my gambling. All refused to attend.
    I guess I” protected “them well!!!
    The memories that haunt me though are those when my cell phone kept ringing and ringing and I kept knocking it off to prevent the caller (always my youngest son) from hearing the casino sounds in the background! I still feel sick when I think of the nights I left my sons waiting at various pick up points for hours in the dark and in the rain. I don’t know why that still haunts me but it does.
    I remember sitting beside a woman who was nine months pregnant , barely able to balance on the stool, thinking “Her gambling days will be over soon!”. Six weeks later she was perched on the same stool with all her cronies congratulating her on the birth of her baby girl and her husband pleading with her on the mobile phone to come home and feed the baby. I must say it did baffle me to hear her tell him to “give her the soother, I won’t be long!” Proves that gambling has the first call on a CG. ALWAYS!
    I hope and pray James, that your decision to move out/on will serve as a wake up call to your wife and bring her to her senses.
    She, of course has her own side of the story to tell. Some CGs gamble to escape unhappiness and loneliness in their lives.
    “Gambling runs lives”is the only FACT we can state with certainty. Every one has his/her own story. Some have a happy ending. Some end in tears!

    #2939
    velvet
    Moderator

    Hi James
    I agree it is important to minimise any problems your wife’s addiction may cause your daughter but in my opinion it is not necessary to imagine she is definitely going to turn into a child abuser. Your wife will not deliberately cause hurt but she has an addiction to gamble that causes pain with its blind and selfish desire for enablement.
    Baby daughters grow up into fearsome young women and strong-minded adults and they ask questions about parental actions and decisions taken on their behalf when they were too young to argue so I think it is important to look at your situation in a balanced way because one day she will want to know why and how you made your decisions.
    Have you had cause to worry about your child’s emotional or physical welfare as a result of her mother’s addiction thus far?
    It is possible that your wife’s addiction will deteriorate but it is also possible that she will change her life for the better, maybe her parents could be instrumental in directing her to the right support, especially her father who did change his life and therefore knows the courage it takes.
    It is possible that you have prevented your wife from getting deeper into her addiction so far by bailing her out but bailing out is enablement and enablement has the opposite effect in that it feeds the addiction and allows it to grow.
    You have listed extreme cases of the addiction and of course they exist but has your wife shown such extremities so far?
    By all means James put all you are hearing to your attorney but I do hear that you still care about your wife and I think that suggesting she seeks treatment rather than condemnation is important.
    I am not seeking to excuse the addiction or the CG who owns it. Ultimately the responsibility for your wife’s behaviour rests solely with her. We have hundreds of female CGs on this site, many of who are mothers who probably feel unable to join in a discussion such as this because they are here to control their addiction, not to carry the guilt for others but they include many who have changed their lives and who live in control of their addiction with their children’s lives intact, having said that I see that before I could send this post, Vera has made a valuable contribution.
    I believe you are working on a balance James and I wish you well.
    Speak soon
    Velvet
    .

    .

    #2940
    jamesn
    Participant

    Currently I am seeking to have custody of my daughter Mon-Thu and my wife Fri-Sun. Whether my wife agrees to this or not is another matter. I proposed the idea and my wife seems to resist. I hope we don’t have to fight in court over this. Right now my wife has my daughter and I miss my her terribly. I miss the moment when my wife drives her home and I go out and pick her up from the car seat and she would smiles at me.

    My job, my family and my friends and basically my hometown is a little more than an hour away where my house is right now. I have been driving this far to work for a few years and my desire is to move back here to be closer to my family, job and perhaps getting away from my wife. If I live in my hometown, I get out of work at 4:00 and have a lot of time with my baby. I can take her to swimming lessons and other fun activities.

    I have another option that I am thinking about. If I win main custody, I can buy my wife out of the house and stay close to her and her family. I would drop my daughter off at grandma’s house in the morning [or school when she is older]. My wife would stop by her mom house to be with her for about two hours before I pick her up for the day. My wife then can have her for the weekend. This way she will see both of us on most days.

    Do you have any suggestion? I realize that it will be up to me but I am so confused. I really want to live close to my family and support system. My fear is that by staying too close to my wife I may come back to her. Also, with living too far from work and driving 2.5 hours a day. I don’t have much time to spend with my daughter anyway.

    I told my wife that if our daughter stays with me on Monday to Thursday in my hometown. I will set up cameras on our big screen TVs so she and my daughter can have face time on those days. I think this will help all of us and hopefully reduce my wife’s resistant to letting me have my daughter from Mon – Thu. I have found a wonderful and inexpensive church based preschool program for kids 2 to 6 for my daughter. Hopefully I can enroll her here. We are buddhist but I am open to the idea of my daughter being exposed to the church’s teachings.
    http://www.stwilfridschurch.org/#/preschool/our-program

    many thanks for your advice.

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