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

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  • #2956
    jenny46
    Participant

    The reason you are so calm James is because finally the addiction is beginning to leave your mind, and although you still question yourself, deep down you know that the decisions you are making are right for you.

    You now accept, although it worries you still that the likelihood is she will gamble all that money and that if she does, then those will be her consequences to live with, they will not be yours.

    She however is losing her grip and control, she has lost the ability to make you dance to her tune. The combative behaviour is in my opinion a very well used tool of the addiction – the content of her communication is without a doubt both manipulative and very typical of an addiction scorned. The thing is its no longer working !! and all credit to you for getting to that point, you’ve certainly been through it just lately. Never forget that this addiction is a first class manipulator, keep that at the forefront of your mind if you do really have to have a conversation.

    As for whether she is telling the truth or not? well that’s a hard one ! Do compulsive gamblers tell lies ? I think we all know the answer to that one. I found it easier to believe everything was a lie – just think of the pleasant surprise you’ll have when you are told the truth one day.

    I totally understand your need to be on your own and speaking from experience it can be the best thing going, giving your brain that chance to cool off. A chance to get it all in perspective.

    It may not feel like it James, but you are doing this and you are coping well. I think that not only do we develop a distrust of others but also one of ourselves and our own ability to be confident in us.

    You may still question yourself for sometime unfortunately, but it does go James, it will end eventually.

    Jenny

    #2957
    velvet
    Moderator

    Hi James
    Anger and the addiction to gamble go hand in hand. An active CG cannot walk away and therefore will always experience loss, leading inevitably toward a feeling of failure, which in turn generates anger. It is possible of course that her mother is angry that you are going through with the divorce but whatever is causing it, there is a lot of anger in the situation and it seems your child is being used as a pawn.
    It is good that you are getting support for you, I am sure that is what is helping you to deal more calmly with the chaos around you and long may it continue.
    I could not begin to speculate on what is causing your wife to say she wants to give up her child but, while it is so, I am glad that you are making a place of safety for your daughter because she is the saddest outcome of all the problems in your lives.
    Breakdowns in relationships where there are children are so difficult James and with your wife’s addiction in the mix it is even harder. Trying to work out whether or not you are being manipulated, or where she is in her addiction, will not help – focus on what is important – and that is you and your child.
    You are doing well
    Velvet

    #2958
    vera
    Participant

    As a CG , my guess is James that your wife suddenly realizes you are no longer there to “support” her and sadly she sees the child as an obstacle to her gambling.
    CGs don’t want to be tied down in any way when we are in the “active phase”.
    Having responsibility for a baby would seriously “cramp our style”.
    Ignore her threats. Look on them as “the sting of a dying wasp”! They mean she is feeling trapped. Do what is best for your child and yourself. Odaat!

    #2959
    jamesn
    Participant

    Thank you Vera, Velvet, Ell and Jenny,

    I also notice my recovery. I feel like I am normal again. Although the divorce paperworks and the ocassional arguments with my wife still make it stressful sometimes. My daughter is coping well and I hope this doesn’t have lasting impact on her. I still hope her mom stays involve in her life rather than running to another state to live. I am not sure that is the reason for doing that. I checked where she applied and there are a bunch of casinos in that area too.

    Yesterday my wife’s sister wanted to talk to me so we met at a cafe. She told me that there are two sides to any problem and my wife has been telling her family that I am a bad husband. My wife told her family that she only gambles her own money and that as a husband with a decent salary, I should be able to provide for the family and stop complaining. I told my wife’s sister that I rather my wife stays home not working and not gamble. It is not just the money but the lies and the depression and anger that go associate with gambling. My wife also told her family that she wanted to have a $3000 necklace but I didn’t buy for her. I explained to her sister that the last time I bought my wife a $2000 bracelet it ended up in the pawnshop a few months later along with the diamond wedding ring. Since then I told my wife that I will not buy jewelry for her again. I think I am far from perfect but I am not the main reason for her gambling. Her family also susggested that since my wife brings home over $3000 a month after taxes why don’t I budget $1000/month for my wife so she can gamble freely without hiding and lying. I explained to my sister-in-law that I thought about it already but this plan doesn’t work for someone like my wife just like a drug addict can never shoot up a little cocaine and hope to keep it under control.

    I think her family doesn’t fully understand my wife’s problem since they seem to point out that I am the problem. I don’t want to explain to them anymore.

    #2960
    velvet
    Moderator

    Hi James
    The short answer is – don’t try and explain to them anymore.
    Many people around CGs find denial easer to live with because to accept means facing hard truths.
    Unasked for, unconstructive criticism tells you a great deal more about the person doing the criticising. I don’t like the expression ‘there are two sides to everything’ which always seems to be said by someone wanting to score points in the blame game. If there has to be an assessment of the sides then – your wife is a compulsive gambler and you are not. You know that you have been a good husband and therefore there is no need to justify yourself to your wife’s sister.
    I know it is hard James to avoid things like your wife’s sister making her observations but she is not central to your life – that position is occupied by you and your daughter. You will probably have more unhelpful things said before everything is sorted out but provided you remain focussed on that which matters you will do ok.
    Just a thought James – you posted this as I was running a group, it would have been good to communicate in real time.
    Speak soon

    #2961
    jamesn
    Participant

    Hi Velvet,

    Thank you for your understanding and insight. I was a little shocked that they are putting some of the blame on me. I realized that they are my wife’s family and naturally defend her when possible. I posted my previous message with my phone during a break from work so I am unable to join your therapy group.

    #2962
    nomore 56
    Participant

    Hi James, I think you came a long way in a very short time and it looks like you are on the right path to create some much needed peace and stability for yourself and your little daughter. Addiction is a family disease and affects everyone. The addict is just the central figure in this and sometimes families have a hard time to understand and accept what is really going on with their loved one. It is so much easier to make excuses, to justify, to rationalize and most of all, find someone to blame instead of looking the ugly truth in the face. When I met my hb 31 yrs ago, he was already a cg. His family knew, I did not. So they could not blame me for his gambling really. But what they DID blame me for was his need for money. He always spent more than we had without telling me since we had separate accounts and never really merged our finances. I had no clue what was going on. Shortly before he went to prison for embezzlement, his sister gave him over 20 K to supposedly pay off a credit card. Never happened of course. Months later I got a nasty phone call from her, telling me that she had given him her savings and only for “my f…..g car and my f…g house” because he wanted to make sure “I get to keep it”. How is that for blaming? They ranted and raved about something they had done, not I. Their decision. And I never asked for Disney vacation or new cars, didn’t really care for all of it. The car was paid off, he borrowed against it. The house was in foreclosure but it was my fault that THEY kept enabling him. So don’t listen to anyone, just to your heart, your gut and your mind. Do what is right for you and your little girl. And btw, the necklace would have ended up in the pawn shop. Next thing you know someone might tell you that she gambled because the weather was bad that day. Hard to blame anyone for that though….I think you are doing a really good job and your daughter is very lucky to have her as a dad 🙂

    #2963
    jamesn
    Participant

    I want to update on my current situation. I am adjusting very well to my new life. My daughter is going to preschool and she loves it. I enjoy being a single dad and I found out that I am a very good father. Right now I live so free and happy. Somehow this even has changed my life for the better. I had general anxiety my entirely life and my wife’s gambling problems only made it worst. Currently I am able to focus and live in the present. I don’t spend excessive amounts of time worrying about the future any more. Not that I didn’t have moments of happiness in my life previously but now 95% of the time, I am so happy, calm and relaxed at home, at work and in social situations. I always admired people who are cool and composed. I think I am one of them now and I move through life with ease. I used to stress out worrying how people think of me but that somehow magically disappeared. Being alone also stressed me out but I don’t feel lonely anymore. I am satisfied with my life right now and I don’t need another person to make me feel happy. I think it is the combination of reading self-help books, going to therapy, joining Toastmasters and practicing yoga and meditation has helped me. I now have learned to enjoy life, being positive, and believe that I am entirely in control of my own happiness. I don’t blame my wife for making my life miserable any more. It was my decision to stay with her and now it is my decision to end my relationship with her. Before if someone cut me off on the road, I would be angry and curse. Now if someone cut me off on the road, I would tell myself “that person probably has an emergency” and whether that is true or not it keeps me from getting angry. The realization that I am responsible for my own happiness has changed everything. I am having much better relationships with people around me. I focus on the positive qualities in people now and that makes me a friendlier person. I realize that when I am happy, it is hard to hate people. I used to hate a few colleagues who were jealous of my professional success but I now feel sorry for them because I know they hatred came from their own insecurities and unhappiness. I am able to reduce the tension between us and when I don’t hate them anymore, I think they also recognize it. We can’t hide our disdain for people no matter how hard we try to fake it.

    I want to share my success story with you and hopefully help you to overcome your problems like I did. Sometimes in the midst of codependency, we don’t see a way out but happiness is possible if we take responsibility for our own happiness and believe that we deserve to live an anxiety free life. Good luck to you all and thank you every body for helping me.

    #2964
    san250
    Participant

    Well done James and thank you so much for sharing. Codependency sucks and to see you have come out the other side is truly wonderful. Take care and good luck to you and your daughter. She will appreciate the break you made in years to come. Best wishes San x

    #2965
    jenny46
    Participant

    Fantastic news !!

    #2966
    monique
    Participant

    Hello James. That is a wonderful post. I am so glad you have been able to come to a decision and that you are doing well in your new life. No doubt, you will have your struggles along the way, as we all do, but you have found the resources within you to live in a peaceful way with a generous spirit towards others. That is worth so much and is a good foundation for a meaningful life with your little girl.
    Thank you for sharing this.

    Monique

    #2967
    velvet
    Moderator

    Hi James
    Two things stand out in your post for me – one is that you are living free and happy and the other is that youI don’t blame your wife for making your life miserable any more.
    It is my belief that to truly move on in freedom and with happiness, it is important to leave blame and guilt behind. You have obviously worked so hard on yourself – the only person you could change – and what an amazing job you have done.
    Your post reflects a man in control of his own life and what’s more – he knows it – your daughter will benefit from having such a terrific role model in her Dad. I wish you both well.
    I am sure other who read your post in the future will gain from your words. I am glad you took the time to return and write such a positive message.
    Thank you
    Velvet

    #2968
    jamesn
    Participant

    Hi again everyone,

    I want to give an update to my situation. The divorce was finally completed last month after many delays. My daughter is doing well and love going to her preschool. She spends two weekends per month with her mom. My ex still goes to the casino regularly and sadly she takes my daughter there to have dinner at the buffet sometimes. Most of her friends hang out around the casino. Legally I have no right to prevent her from doing it. I told my ex to leave my daughter with grandma (her mom) if she wants to have dinner there. She agreed but I know she still take my daughter to the casino for buffet dinner. I worry that she may forget about my daughter one day. I told my ex that if she is busy, I am OK with taking care of my daughter. She took the offer immediately, my daughter supposed to be with her during this July 4 holiday weekend but I am with my daughter now. I need a break sometimes, but am OK with that.
    Besides this, my life is going very well. I have a girlfriend. She is single, never married and 10 years younger than me. We have many similarities and common interests and we are getting serious. I am dealing with some trust issues but my girlfriend is extremely patient and she understands about my situation and what I have gone through. I received another promotion at work and financially I am secured. Overall I am happy with my life. I know that I made the right decision for me and my daughter.
    Many thanks for reading and for your advice. I hope my story gives some of you hope. I have learned so much during the last year and mentally I am much stronger.
    J

    #2969
    velvet
    Moderator

    Dear James
    The forum gains so much when members return with updates that prove that life, when the shadow of the addiction to gamble has been lifted, is good.
    Of course the best outcome for members must be the control of the addiction but sadly it will not always be so, however, I hope one day your ex-wife appreciates the effort you made to maintain a good relationship for her with her daughter. In my opinion, she should not be taking your daughter into casinos and maybe that is something you need to keep your eye on with her grandma’s help. Hopefully she will make better choices in the future.
    It is not surprising that you have trust issues with your new girlfriend but it is important to remember that your wife did not choose her addiction and did not deliberately hurt you; you were both the victims of a terrible addiction and as such it is very important not to let it spoil any more of your life. Use the experience and turn it into something really good and positive.
    I wish you, your daughter and your new girlfriend every happiness, you deserve it. Thank you for returning and updating
    Velvet

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