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Hi Tosca
Please, please don’t feel disloyal – you were writing as you see your situation in exactly the same way as I would have written 12 years ago.
There are many reasons why husbands feel differently to wives about children who develop the addiction to gamble and that is why I think it is important for a couple to keep talking but also to do things together, things that are not gambling related in any way. In the middle of the confusion is an angry, unhappy child who is handling each parent individually because of an out-of-control addiction. I never thought for a minute that your husband wasn’t trying and I am sorry if I implied, in any way, that he was to blame for not getting it right.
We are not given a book of instructions when our child develops the addiction to gamble, there is no crystal ball, we struggle and try to help as best we can. In seeking help we learn that things we tried were perhaps not the best way forward but it is important not to beat ourselves up over what has gone before. .
When your resolve is worn down it is understandable that parents feel that maybe the other one could have done more or done things differently but who is to say, certainly not me. I made so many mistakes and I too felt my marriage threatened by the situation. It would be great to ‘talk’ to you; your husband would be welcome too, in the privacy of an F&F group.
I never thought that your husband wasn’t trying to help and I never thought for a moment that you were being disloyal. It was mis-placed feelings of loyalty that kept me from opening my mouth in Gam-Anon meetings for many weeks but when I found my voice I let it all out – and ‘yes’ I would have said that my husband and I were trying to get it right in different ways and probably that his way was less helpful; the understanding was fantastic and the relief was amazing. Withholding bits of how we feel stops us getting to grips with the whole problem. 12 years on my husband and I could not be happier so don’t despair.
So keep reading and keep posting – I probably wrote for far too long yesterday and didn’t express myself as well as I should.
Thank you for coming back at me