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lonelysoutherner
#1 Posted : Thursday, 4 June 2009 11:15:00 a.m.(UTC)
lonelysoutherner

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My husband is a gambler, more than 6 years ago he basically spent every cent we had and more on pokies. To get away from this all we decided to move to the other end of the country to get away from the tempations of the pub, since this time he certainly curbed his gambling but still goes back to it at various time. He has also replaced the gambling with playing online computer games and is drinking most days of the week (at least 1/2 a dozen beers at a time). I caught him again at the pub playing pokies last week (he didn't see me) and felt that all familiar feeling of having my heart ripped out. When I approached it with him he told me he didn't need a police man and to get off his back and he wasn't doing it like he was 6 years ago and I should get a life and a hobby and stop trying to control him. We have 2 young kids and I have had enough, I don't trust him (something I really want to have happen) and feel so alone. He went to councelling last week but I am pretty sure he still thinks I am to blame, he thinks if he is being accused he may as well do it. Please help me, does life get any better cause I don't see any light in a very dark dark long tunnel. The constant lies (unsure what is true anymore) are beating me down and I don't know how much more I can take.
davodevo
#2 Posted : Thursday, 4 June 2009 11:15:00 a.m.(UTC)
davodevo

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Hi Lonelysoutherner
There is definitely light at the end of that very dark tunnel. I am a compulsive gambler, which is what your husband is, and have been 'clean' for the past 4 years so it can happen for him too. It's not easy either. The first thing that must happen is for him to admit that he has a problem and has a desire to quit. Until he gets to that stage there is nothing you can do. In saying that there is support out there for families of gamblers. maybe you could get some 'help' for yourself. The councillor your husband goes to should be able to point you in the right direction. If your husband is open to it you can have sessions with both of you there. If you want to ask any other questions please feel free.
bgf
#3 Posted : Thursday, 4 June 2009 11:15:00 a.m.(UTC)
bgf

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Hi Lonelysoutherner, Probably the hardest thing for us compulsive gamblers to do is admit the hurt and harm we do to our loved ones. I say that as somebody who is preparing to admit my problem and front up to my loved ones. I know the pain that is going to cause but also know it is the only way to recovery. The joint counselling sounds a good idea to me. Good on you for sticking in there.
lonelysoutherner
#4 Posted : Thursday, 4 June 2009 11:15:00 a.m.(UTC)
lonelysoutherner

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Thanks for that, yeah I do need help for myself something I will do after he has gone a couple of times, that way maybe he might have a better understanding of how I feel cause at the moment he can't see what the big deal is and why I keep making a mountain out of mole hill. He has admitted his drinking and gambling are out of control but it seems he knows he has to quit it but is trying to jam as much in as possible. He was sick a couple of months ago and was given a blood test and the doctor wants him to have another test as his liver enzymes levels are high but even this has not frightened him enough to stop. Thank you for giving me the hope that it is possible for him to get better, I was really beginning to feel like I was running around in circles and it wasn't possible for him to change his ways.
daisy
#5 Posted : Thursday, 4 June 2009 11:15:00 a.m.(UTC)
daisy

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Hi lonelysoutherner. I see your post is a couple months old, but I wanted to let you know I am going through exactly what you are. My husband of 20 years is a compulsive gambler,and drinker. We have 3 kids. 1 grown. I didnt realize the extent of his problem until probably about a year ago, and even then, until real recently, didnt understand the grasp gambling has on some people. My husband just start GA, he admits his problem to me, and the groups, but no one else. Doesnt want friends, family, etc to know, so he goes 35 miles out of town, to meetings in another city. I personally feel he is not fully ready to recover, or he would realize it cant be a secret. Maybe I am wrong. Any input from actual gamblers, who are trying to quit, would be appreciated. I just think coming clean would be the way to go. NO more hiding and sneaking around, Have some responsibility and know your family cares and is going to be concerned if they see you pulling away. Compulsive gambling is way more of a problem than anyone can know, unless they love someone who has the addiction. I just dont know how much is enough. I am more than willing to stay the course as long as treatment is in the plans, even with fall backs. If no treatment appears to be the answer, I have be prepared to leave, the last thing I want to do. Change is only possible when the addict wants to do it first for themselves, and second for their family and friends.
markymark
#6 Posted : Thursday, 4 June 2009 11:15:00 a.m.(UTC)
markymark

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Dear Daisy,
Just read your post ...
How's it going?
Hopefully your husband is still attending G.A.
I haven't gambled for about 5 months now but it's still:"I am a compulsive gambler" because I know I am only 1 bet away from going back to a 10 year habit/addiction.

The first step is a massive one.
Before we admit "I have a big problem - and I'm hurting people I love" we are totally in denial.
I'd START arguments and use them as an excuse to go gambling then after I had lost money blame an innocent party!

Your husband is travelling 35 miles to meetings and he has admitted his problem to you... that is a start.Perhaps,one by one, he will talk to other family members?
He's lucky to have your support however you are absolutly right:
'change is only possible when the addict wants to do it for themselves, and second for their family and friends'
Some people start G.A. and quit right away.
Personally, I started and was gamble-free about 6 months, stopped going to meetings then went back
gambling.I went back to G.A. meetings.
It took about 18 months to finally let it go.
"Focus on the similarities" someone said.
I started to realise that as recovering gamblers our stories were similar (doesn't matter if its the pokies,horses,black jack,live or on-line etc.) and we all had the same desire ...
to give it up.
I'm not saying G.A. is for everybody but it is one strategy and it did help me.

Hopefully your husband is still attending meetings?
Some meetings are 'open' and partners can come as support.
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