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chick22
#1 Posted : Thursday, 4 June 2009 11:15:00 a.m.(UTC)
chick22

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Hi I am new to the site, my mother is a compulsive gambler. She has ruined her life and our relationship. At one time, I worked 3 jobs to try to save her. I almost lost everything. I realized almost too late, that I cannont save or cure her. We live in Georgia and she says there is no GA close enough for her to attend. I am seeking help for her. She has admitted she has a problem. But its just like a drug addict or an alcoholic, they never stop til they're ready.
missy
#2 Posted : Thursday, 4 June 2009 11:15:00 a.m.(UTC)
missy

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Welcome to the forum chick22, I agree that a gambler has to want to quit. There is alot you can do to support your mothers recovery, gam-anon.org is a website for the loved ones of gambling addicts and offers fellowship along with suggestions for having a relationship with an addict without enabling them. I posted the web address for GA on the other site that you posted on. Your mother would be able to find help from that site. I hope you keep posting, we're all here to help and understand each other. Missy
ruth
#3 Posted : Thursday, 4 June 2009 11:15:00 a.m.(UTC)
ruth

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Welcome chick22 and hi missy. I have had a gambling problem for about close to two years but it is only in the past nine manths that I have admitted it to myself. Prior to that i just thought i was having fun and it was a social outlet because our children had left home. You are amazing to have worked to support your Mum. She sounds to be making excuses by saying there is no help in her area. i am sure that if she really wanted there would be somewhere or someone who could help her.Even if it is one more thing you have to do for her see if you can arrange an appointment for her to see a councillor, that way she cant make another excuse. But I tell you it is very hard to stop completely. If she can do it gradually that is her first step. You will realise that she is lying about the whole thing--how much she spends, where she has been,where she is getting the money from,this thing is huge but she is so lucky she has you to help her. You will go through anger, resentment, and you probaly do not understand why she wont stop. You also may need to go to a councillor,with her or alone. But keep posting to this site as there are many people who will give good advice from their own experiance.By the way my daughter hates it when I go to the pokies and I must say it used to be the casino but we hardly ever go there now where as it used to be at least once a week. trouble is there are many of the smaller outlets which I believe are worse than the big casinos as their jackpots are bigger and more enticing.
Good luck
missy
#4 Posted : Thursday, 4 June 2009 11:15:00 a.m.(UTC)
missy

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Hi Ruth, we have alot in common my children are grown also and I thought of gambling as a social outlet and harmless entertainment. I began feeling worse and worse about myself and still kept going until finally (I hope) I decided I'd had enough. I started posting on this site and reading the other posts and it has really helped. I haven't been gambling or played any slot machines since but it isn't easy especially on the weekends. Thank you for your post today Ruth.
ruth
#5 Posted : Thursday, 4 June 2009 11:15:00 a.m.(UTC)
ruth

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Hi Missy are you in NZ? You would think that with such a beautiful country we would have better things to spend our money on, wouldn't you? I had a bad slip yesterday, after being so good over the past two weeks--I knew I should never have gone to the hairdressers early--I dam well "filled in time" at a machine along the road and got no sleep last night because of the guilt. My husband left a very old photo of me with a note on our kitchen table 2 days ago. It read.MISSING PERSON This is the person i married and loved , but she is missing. Can you find her and tell her i love her and want her back.
Well that sure tore at my heart strings and i thought of all the others out there like me . It must have taken him ages to dig that photo out.
Chick 22 how are things with your Mum? Have you are plan for her?
Caring Girl, Sandy, survivor Taysh Fandango you have all been so quiet this week unless you have posted on the other site. I hope you are all ok aND anyone else I have missed
Survivor i have been thinking of you today and wonder what theoutcome has been with your husband.
Have a good weekend everyone.
missy
#6 Posted : Thursday, 4 June 2009 11:15:00 a.m.(UTC)
missy

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Hi Ruth, your husband sounds so sweet and what a heart-felt thing to do by leaving the picture and note! I'm in California, it's really amazing that we can be so far apart geographically and so close in problems and feelings isn't it? I live right on the west coast less than a mile from the ocean in a small town thats just beautiful. We have a lake less than 10 miles away and will have snow in the mountains soon that is less than 2 hours away and all I've done with my spare time is drive to a casino and play machines??? Absolutely insane! My thoughts are with you Ruth, progress not perfection! Just for today I will not gamble....Missy
ruth
#7 Posted : Thursday, 4 June 2009 11:15:00 a.m.(UTC)
ruth

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good girl missy as it is not easy being a Saturday.Great news about survivor as you can see there is a lot of really cool support from this forum. We are sort of starting our summer but having such cold winds. Last night our community held its annual bonfire night--always a week early but it was a great night for it as it didnt rain for a change. Our dog hates it so i took him to a neighbour some distance a way but he escaped and was found miles away from home, and it only took him a matter of minutes to get there. It indicated how disorientated he must have been to have run that far from our place as he would not usually cross our road. The poor wee man was so excited when we turned up.
Cheers Ruth
sickofit
#8 Posted : Thursday, 4 June 2009 11:15:00 a.m.(UTC)
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oh lets all talk about everything else except the REAL problem here...which is gambling. Come on guys switch back onto the problem at hand instead of all this small talk!! My partner has been gambling for 4 years now, and keeps saying he will stop...I am at the end of my road...promises broken, lies, feeling like I have been taken advantage of. I am the one providing the weekly income while he spends his money on the machines...lies, deception, loving behaviour to cover the guilt until found out when anger and defence come to the fore! Whats it all about, I am not a gambler, don't understand the mentality. I have tried, I have been patient, tried to help, tried to work out ways to work around it...all the while providing money for food each week and his cigerettes and petrol for work. Tell me honestly...I need to hear it...I am being gulible aren't I. All those endless promises that he will change, and not do it again...they don't mean anything ... I am just a means to an end to him at the moment. He can't provide anything for the household... not even food most weeks. I need to get tough, but it is hard to move on...I', asking for someone to please enlighten me as to a compulsive gamblers mind and what it would take to change them. I now know that he won't do it for me alone. I was naive to think that...any feedback appreciated.
a_caring_girl
#9 Posted : Thursday, 4 June 2009 11:15:00 a.m.(UTC)
a_caring_girl

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Hi Sickofit,

I am a wife of a former gambler, My husband gambled for at least 7 years and it developed into a huge problem he has now been gamble free for over 7 months, the one thing I learnt was they will not and cannot do it for you alone, they need to want to do it for themselves, I have also learnt gambling is a horrible addiction and the things they do, to get that fix can be horrific, but the lying and broken promises, are truly not something they mean to do, how ever you need to look after you, only you know your partner, for me riding it out was the best decision I ever made and our relationship is a much stronger and more genuine than it has ever been.

When your partner promises to quit what help does he get counselling etc, how open is he to you controlling the money? I found for myself counselling helped me to understand and how to get what I needed without babying or belittling my husband so I would strongly suggest you to speak to someone, depending on where you live there is lots of help out there, I do not think you are being Naive at all, obviously you love your partner and you want your relationship to work, but it is hard to work out that line of when is enough enough, and a decision only you can make. I hope some of this has helped and if you need to talk or have any questions I am only to happy to share my experiences with you, Take Care and good luck
sickofit
#10 Posted : Thursday, 4 June 2009 11:15:00 a.m.(UTC)
sickofit

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Many thanks for your feedback, it certainly helped to hear from someone who has been through it and come out the other end OK. I am so confused at the moment and the suggestion of counselling is a good one, although I am not really sure where to start looking? You hit the nail on the head about not babying or belittling them in their quest to get better...this is what I feel I have been doing and know that it really isn't helping me or him, it just causes more arguements.
When he does say that he will change, he says he will call the helpline and speak to someone, but he never does. I think that he thinks by just admitting something then it will all be right again. Unfortunately we know this just doesn't happen. I don't think he really sees the gravity of the situation because he always falls back on me to provide. I have decided that enough is enough...I do love him, but not as a gambler, and I don't have any energy left for the arguments, lies, deception that comes from this horrible infliction. Time to move on I guess.
thanks again for your words of support.
ostrich
#11 Posted : Thursday, 4 June 2009 11:15:00 a.m.(UTC)
ostrich

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sickofit, Hi I am the wife of a gambler who has made a recovery (so far).
Yes you need a good dose of tough love. The only person he can stop for is himself and he won't attempt that until you back away and show him it is up to him.
You need to start being selfish and thinking of you.
He needs to get outside help and he needs to make that step for himself. My husband goes to GA meetings.
My name is Ostrich because for years I stuck my head in the sand like some dumb bird and refused to see what was staring me in the face.
There is counselling available for you too in NZ. It is free.Just look up in your phone book. Also call the helpline yourself and they can direct you to local services.It is so helpful to help you understand your self and you are not alone.
It takes a long time and is a huge road to recover the relationship and get over the lies. The whole relationship needs to start again on a new footing. we are getting there slowly but until I put my foot down and said "no more" nothing really changed.The cycle would just repeat itself.
I fugured out that I was miserable as hell with him. I was miserable as hell with out him BUT at least I had a future. With him my future was a downward spiral of gambling and lies.
I wish I could give you a hug as where you are feels like a lonely place but you have the power to change that.
We can talk if you like. Tell us about his gambling, about your life.
Oh and just for the record, my biggest breakthrough came when I stopped trying to understand the gambling thinking and accepted that I never would. So be reassured that we will never have that insight but that is ok.
eltigra
#12 Posted : Thursday, 4 June 2009 11:15:00 a.m.(UTC)
eltigra

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Hi, Im still not sure why Im posting, Im not usually the sort of person that opens up to people and usually rely on myself to pull through anything, but here goes....

My wife and I moved to Wellington about two years ago for better job oppertunities for her. She moved here first and I was eventually able to transfer down after about 10 months. I travelled down to see her during that time and although it was hard we got through it and as far as I thought things were going well.

I had noticed during the time we were in different cities that things werent adding up in our savings account. I knew she was spending the money but I thought that was ok because she needed cloths for work and big city expenses, I didnt really check on things like i should have.

Then in August last year while we were saving to bu a house she told me that she had been gambling since she arrived in Wellington and using our savings to do it. I couldnt believe it, when i got over the anger and shock I found out that the money she had wasted went into the thousands. She had also put us into debt maxing thousands on our joint credit cards. Needless to say I was hurt, angry and did I mention angry...

I felt betrayed because I thought she was the one person that I could trust and woudnt hurt me. I was able to get over the anger and wanted to work through it with her. Like a fool I believed and for a while it seemed we were back on track. She had been to see a cousellor and talked about GA meetings.

Then she came to me about a month ago and admitted that she had slipped up and gambled 40.00 at the pokies. I was angry but I loved her so much, I forgave her and believed that it was just a one off thing, a bump in the road.

Last night she went out to get a few groceries but she returned about an hour and a half later. It didnt add up and I asked to see the receipts for the shopping which showed the time of purchase, which was about ten minutes before she got home. I asked her where she had been and she came up with a lame excuse. My alarm bells started ringng and I kept pushing. She made out that I was the one going crazy and that I was an idiot, but i didnt give up and eventually logged onto the bank accounts to verify her story.

Before I reviewed the statment screen I asked her for the last time to tell me the truth. She broke down crying and said she had just lost 140.00 at the pokies and that she and been gambling on and off since the first time she admiited it. Her credit cards are maxed several thousand and she has an overdraft on her account.

The rage I felt is undescribable, it felt like all the anger, hurt, betrayal and pain had come back and been magnified because I had believed her. I want us to get through it but Im so angry. We are both going to see counsellors and after reading your thread im taking steps to protect myself.

However when I said Im taking control of her our finances totally she says Im punishing her and that its not helping. Im lost as to what to do. I know I have to protect myself but when is enough enough?. I love her to bits and i know I can never understand her addiction but my heart wants to help her however my head is saying dont be an idiot again.

Im going with her to the counsellor today, i suppose its one day at a time......
a_caring_girl
#13 Posted : Thursday, 4 June 2009 11:15:00 a.m.(UTC)
a_caring_girl

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Eltigra ,

Well good on you posting, I know what you mean though cause I was in shock when I posted I thought god I am not a chat room kinda person what am I doing, but the truth is It was the best thing I ever did, mainly because the whole stigma of gambling it is not exactly something you can talk about to anyone cause most people do not understand, but here they do and they have gotten me through some terrible times. because you will go through the confusion of listen to your heart or your head.

I to have been where you are being in shock at the extent of the gambling problem, the lies the feeling like you are going crazy, but I have learned nothing my husband did was directed at me, deliberately, it is great you are going to go to GA together and I am sure the counsellor will help you work out the money stuff I think you need to keep communication lines open, Give her time to digest it all too, because for her at the moment I think she would be feeling like she has been busted and her defence will be up, I mean deep down she probably wants to stop gambling but the final commitment of handing all finances over to you may take her a few days to realise, sometimes tough love is needed, You tried it her way and now she needs to try it your way try to stay calm and get her to talk to you.

Hang in there and if you need to talk about anything know people are here to listen.
kath
#14 Posted : Thursday, 4 June 2009 11:15:00 a.m.(UTC)
kath

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Eltigra,

My heart goes out to you it really does. You sound so much like my husband when I told him for the second time that I had'nt stopped.
It was a lot worse for him the second time as he felt he should have known, learnt from the first time. He felt like an idiot and as though I'd made a fool of him.
Let me tell you, no matter what you know, a gambler is real good at hiding and lying and doing what we need to do to stay under the radar.
Blaming yourself is pointless, blame is pointless. I applaud you for going to attend counselling with her. My husband swore he never would, but 6 1/2 months later he will tell you it's the best thing he ever did, we ever did.
So keep an open heart and spirit. Make yourself heard cause your wife needs to hear what this is doing to you.
Good luck and stay in touch.
ostrich
#15 Posted : Thursday, 4 June 2009 11:15:00 a.m.(UTC)
ostrich

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Eltigra
You have obviously read a lot on the threads and that will help you understand.
I went thro the constant slip ups as well. What hell it was.
Nothing changed for us until my husband realised that he had to give up gambling for HIM. Not for me not for anyone else but HIM. Sadly he realised this because I had kicked him out. The first time we broke up it was because i left. He still didn't really get the picture then because nothing had changed for him. It wasn't until I moved him out that he realised he had his whole 'life' at stake. Home, family, everything. Then the light suddenly came on and he earnestly worked at stopping. He had to do it for himself as I had taken away the back stop and his comfort zone.
we are back together. He hasn't gambled since May last year and he no longer sees me as an enemy to his gambling but an aid to help him giving up.
Good luck and my heart goes out to you as it is not a nice place to be. It is the one time in your life that being a little selfish is THE only answer.
eltigra
#16 Posted : Thursday, 4 June 2009 11:15:00 a.m.(UTC)
eltigra

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Thanks for all your support and advice.

For the first couple of days I couldnt speak to her about anything without it ending in an argument. My anger just kept coming to the surface and no matter what she had to say I didnt believe it. I eventually calmed down enough to the point where I could finally speak about the problem without blowing up and we got a few things sorted.

My wife has been to see the GA counsellor and we will both be going to see her next week. Im coming to terms with the anger and Im trying hard to be positive. My wife is also going to GA meetings every week with a friend i know and she has turned over all access to our accounts, cards money to me.

Im making her accountable for the money that she gets and although its been hard Im taking ownership of all our finances. Im fully supportive and want her to recover from the addiction however after reading some of the threads Im being carefull and wary.

Three days after my first ever posting Im feeling better and am still willing to put in the hard work to get our lives back on track dealing with the gambling.

I know its not going to be easy but I feel thats its better to have at least tried than to walk away now. Thanks for your support, I know that talking about it with people who know has made a difference and really helped.

3 Days gamble FREE and counting......
ostrich
#17 Posted : Thursday, 4 June 2009 11:15:00 a.m.(UTC)
ostrich

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Hi Eltigra
Well done.Yes you must be wary all the time and don't get complacent, ever.
Now that you have cooled off. I think another important thing you can do is help work on your wife's self esteem. It will be at an all time low as she realises what she has done. If you can help her by being positive and work on the recovery and not the history it will help her immensely. My husband and I both know we have a big debt from his gambling but I never refer to it as that I always refer to it as 'the mortgage' to allow him to put it behind him as well.
So pay a few compliments and re-inforce things well done as it will help her to 'find her other self' again.
jobob88
#18 Posted : Thursday, 4 June 2009 11:15:00 a.m.(UTC)
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Jobob88's post and link have been removed as it is advertising. The rules state that there is to be no advertising on the forum.

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