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

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Hi guys, I am new here and was referred by Problem Gambling Helpline.
My partner of 3 years is a gambler, for the first year, I was completely oblivious to the problem.
Pokies are the biggest offender, he does appear to love me, and his gambling has slowed in its regularity but if we have an argument that is his reason to go out and gamble, he says because he is frustrated and angry and that it helps him relax, but the problem is he wont stop until all money he is able to access is gone.
I feel as though it is all my fault and that if I could just be better, not argue etc then the problem would go away.
I am so angry that the local TAB and bars just sit back and watch people putting 1000.00's into those slots and do and say nothing!
I dont want to be a jailer, banker or mother to him yet that is how I feel, I feel sick every time he walks out the door heading for the pub, or if we have an arguement, I wonder what damage will be done.
I know that it would be childish to do so, but sometimes I wonder what would happen if I said to him 'right I'm off to the pub now'and went and took all the money out of our account and told him I gambled it all (he would probably drop dead, as since I became aware of his problem I avoid the pub and havent set foot inside it for over 2 years)and then came home and used his words 'sorry I had abit of a slip up last night'
I apologise to one and all if this does not make very much sense, I suppose I am just venting my frustrations, and looking for answers that I know are not there.
However I would love to hear any advice on how to cope, I feel like I am dying a slow death and wonder what on earth I did to deserve this!
alone
#2 Posted : Thursday, 4 June 2009 11:15:00 a.m.(UTC)
alone

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Hi Donethat,
I know how you are feeling and where you are coming from. I was with my partner for little over a year and it was hell. We are trying to work things out and start counselling in the new year, I am hoping! But I know that if he doesnt do something about this gambling and know matter how much I love him, I am prepared to just walk away. I know what it is like to be lied to and you feel like you cant cope. But be strong, it is hard work. But you need to ask yourself is your parnter willing to admit he has a problem and do something about it because if the answer is no, then you dont stand a change of getting through this. I know it sounds harsh but until your partner does something to change, the gambling will slowly destroy your relationship. You need to put yourself first and dont let his gambling destroy you as a person. Be strong and know that there are lots of people on this site who care and will be there for you. You arent alone, like I once thought I was
donethat
#3 Posted : Thursday, 4 June 2009 11:15:00 a.m.(UTC)
donethat

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Thanks for your post Alone, your advice is sound and mostly when I am able to be rational I know you are right.
The truth is I dont think he will ever change, in fact recently when I spoke to him about it, he said this is me, accept it, I cant promise I will never slip up again, and I enjoy gambling.
I have recently begun taking anti depressants on my Doctors advice, as I just feel so totally unable to cope. I feel so useless and out of control, I forget things all the time, and it drives me crazy I used to be a strong and competent person! These days I constantly question myself - 'is it my fault', his anger when asked about it is scary, yet he has an uncanny ability to make me feel that it is my fault when he gambles, I make him angry and frustrated he says, and he says gambling (pokies) help him to relax. So he goes out and blows money hand over fist, and I end up apologising for it.
I went to counselling for myself for awhile, but then I realised that it was of no use if we dont both attend - I hope that your partner will go with you in the new year Alone, and I wish you all the best with it.
Thanks for your post, and I hope that you have a wonderful and gamble free Christmas.
cookie
#4 Posted : Thursday, 4 June 2009 11:15:00 a.m.(UTC)
cookie

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morning donethat

alone is right if he doesn't admit that he has a problem gambling or that the relationship is on it's way down then there's nothing you can do for yourselves as a couple but the best thing you can do for yourself as an individual is look at putting things into place to keep you safe...

ask yourself...

is he going to change?
he's already said no, accept me as i am, i like gambling etc....

is it my fault that you gamble?
the fact that he puts the problem (which is exclusively his) onto you is a way to deflect it off himself (your not the only one he will have done this too throughout his lifetime, it's never his fault it's always someone elses).

will things ever get better?
not if he doesn't want it too, at the moment he holds all the cards, the only way to make a change is to make a stand and if that means putting boundaries in place the that's what you need to do...

2008 is coming up and maybe that's the time to make changes for yourself, i hear the desperation and panic in your voice, you can't change him donethat, surely you must know this. your not the 1 in the wrong you aren't the cause of his gambling, you are a competent person, you are able to make good and conscious decisions for yourself, at the moment your just weighted down by someone who has a gamling problem and is not ready to acknowledge it and is throwing blame everywhere accept at himself...

hope i haven't been to harsh with you, i think that if you don't reassess your relationship fast you will also end up in some downward spiral as well, you really need to look after yourself if you want to survive this...

cookie
daisy
#5 Posted : Thursday, 4 June 2009 11:15:00 a.m.(UTC)
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Hi. This is my first time here. Glad I finally found a site that has a discussion group online for people like me. I have been married 20 years and have 3 children. I dont know exactly sure how long my husband has been a compulsive gambler, but I would guess around 4 years. He recently in the last year, has little by little let me know how bad it has gotten. We have not lost our home, or been delinquent on payments,(I do all bills) but he has sold things, loaned things to consignment stores for cash, and withdrawn $1,000's the last few years from our open home loan.... He has a great job, but is also an alcoholic, and overspender, so I was unaware of his gambling because he was always broke to begin with from spending. He recently broke down and called GA. He has been to the initial counselors meeting and 1 group meeting, (out of town, so no one knows him). He has not read through the paperwork he was given, 20+ pages~ and I have. He is not following the program like he promised, and doesnt even realize it because he has not taken the time to read it. That is his choice, making me wonder if he really wants help, or is doing this for "ME" which will never work. I dont want to be too critical because I do realize this addiction is compared to heroin.... which scares the crap out of me. I dont feel I can take on herion, but what choice do I have, unless I want to give up my whole life and start over. I want to give him a fair shot at recovery. I was wanting advice from those who have either been the addict or been the spouse of a person going to GA, how long should I wait before being concerned that it is not helping? I dont want to stop progress before it starts by being too critical in the beginning. I realize that anything coming from me, at this point, just makes him angry and very hard to be around. I am hoping that seeing so many other people going through the same or worse gambling problems as him, will wake him up to see how great his life has been and can be.
alone
#6 Posted : Thursday, 4 June 2009 11:15:00 a.m.(UTC)
alone

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Hi Daisy,
My partner has been a gambler for over ten years but we have only been together for a couple of years. It has been so hard and we have broken up a few times because of it. He said he wanted me to give him a chance and that in the new year he is starting counselling again because he doesnt want to lose everything. I am willing to stand by him and put my trust into what he says but I know that this will be the last time and if he doesnt do anything about his addiction then I am prepared to just walk away. I know it will be hard but I have to put myself first, otherwise if nothing changes he will just bring me down with him. He has to want to do counselling for himself and no one else but I also know that if he truly is willing to stop gambling then I too have to have counselling otherwise our relationship just wont work. Maybe you too should look at same form of counselling to help you understand what it is that you are going through because it isnt just the gambler that goes through an addiction. At least your husband has made a start by going to GA meetings, that has to be a good thing. But it also has to be an ongoing process or it just wont work. Try talking to him and find out if he really does want to stop and if he doesnt then you need to make a choice, stay or walk away. I know its hard but if nothing changes he could end up destorying your marriage and you as a person. Stay in touch and let us know how things go. Always remember there are people that care and will support you on this site.
Take care and be strong
daisy
#7 Posted : Thursday, 4 June 2009 11:15:00 a.m.(UTC)
daisy

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I dont know whether it helps or hurts me to see all the other people going through similar situations as me. It seems so unfair, like a never ending cycle. Addiction is an aweful thing, but it is hard for non addicts, me, to understand how someone can look you in the eye and lie, daily, and watch the family fall apart around the continued lies. Seeming not to care, although I have read that is part of the cover up of being an addict, and I know it to be true. That does not take away the pain of feeling used, and treated like the enemy when I am the #1 person there to help and hope things work out. The anger is also another very hard thing to be around, and like anyone with any addiction, be it food, alcohol, drugs, gambling..... the first few weeks of getting help, put everyone on edge. If you say how you feel, you know there will be a fight, and if you hold it in, it feels like nothing accomplished. One person should not have to take it and take it and take it. I dont call that being strong, I call it walking on eggshells, and it is not right. I really should see a counselor. The thing with that is my husband expects me to drive out of town to any meetings I chose to go to, so no one will know. I am not willing to do that at this point. The secret has to end, I believe, in order to start the healing. I guess this site is a first step for me. Thanks
donethat
#8 Posted : Thursday, 4 June 2009 11:15:00 a.m.(UTC)
donethat

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Hi Daisy & Alone

I like you both am finding this forum a God send, to be able to share thoughts with others having the same problems is helping me to heal myself by coming to the awareness that although I am often blamed, his gambling is NOT my fault. I too have spent way too much time walking around on eggshells trying to avoid arguements and thereby avoiding a drinking/gambling binge.

So much so that I have recently apologised to a couple of people that I have treated badly, people that, although I didnt realize it at the time, I was blaming for his problem, people who innocently not knowingly offered him a drink, or a tip on a horse - I now see that he has a choice then - he CAN choose to have A beer or two or get written off and he CAN choose NOT to back that horse.

I understand that he has a problem, but I now also realize that by my acting as jailer, banker, responsible one, I am also acting as his enabler, because I continue to accept his behaviour and fix the mess that his gambling/drinking causes.

And while I know that I should probably leave, I am not ready yet to do so, but I am day by day getting stronger and finally believing that I am not crazy - but that I have for too long allowed myself to be manipulated into thinking that I am to blame for his behaviour, and that the only one that can change things for the better is him, and I know that he until he wants to change there is NO hope for us, but I am still in love and wanting to try.
I thank all here for so honestly sharing their thoughts and feelings, and hope that your situations improve, but mostly that we are all able to help each other through this dark journey to a happy outcome for all.
donethat
#9 Posted : Thursday, 4 June 2009 11:15:00 a.m.(UTC)
donethat

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Cookie
Wanted to post to you seperately and say a BIG thank you for your words.

They were harsh, but undeniably the truth, heartfelt and well meaning.

As a consequence of his gambling, I too have allowed myself the luxury of blaming some of my behaviour on his gambling, when in reality although some of this behaviour was created by his gambling, I too have the choice on wether I continue to allow his gambling to affect me, (see post to Daisy & Alone) and your words gave me the shake up I needed, perhaps not to leave yet, but to start taking responsibility for my own actions.

I hope that these positive feelings continue, and thank you for your post
brian_g
#10 Posted : Thursday, 4 June 2009 11:15:00 a.m.(UTC)
brian_g

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I hope I'm not out of line posting here, as a recovering gambler with 6 months of abstinence, I hope I'm not intruding. If I am, please let me know and I'll edit out with an apology.

My fiance left me due to my gambling more than a year ago, and in retrospect, I gave her no choice. The lies and desperation and horror that I inflicted upon myself and those around me only ended when I sought help and stuck to it. What's unfortunate is that your husband/parter/lifemate won't quit until he/she is good and ready.

We're used to losing. We're used to losing our money, the trust our loved ones have in us, our reputations, our interests, our lives. When we're "out there," we lose all sense of what's important and rational. It's an incredibly selfish affliction, and recovery is an equally selfish process.

After about 2 months of abstinence, it hit me like the slap in the face that I'm sure has crossed your minds. Everything I'd done came crumbling down, I had regained a sense of myself and my emotions again. You see, compulsive gamblers bury their emotions to the point of numbness. The stress we inflict upon ourselves is far more than any human's mind and heart were intended to handle. It's a miserable disease, and I feel as though it's a cop-out to call it a disease, but that's what I'm told that it is.

Once I could feel the pain that I caused, and the pain that I felt, I was able to get better. Yes, 6 months. I have some nerve speaking like this, but I've also been doing unbelievably at work, been more loving and doting on my family, and have accrued savings while maintaining a payment plan to satisfy the debts I've incurred.

Of course, it could all come crashing down tomorrow. Wouldn't be the first time it's happened to a compulsive gambler. Relapse is common.

There's no one to blame. There's little to be done. Your partner will either seek help and get some abstinence together, or continue to put you through his misery. You'll either suffer together, or rebuild alone, neither choice is particularly attractive. However, an unrepentant compulsive gambler is worse than an untamed crocodile as far as companions go. An ultimatum is only the beginning. As humiliating as it sounds, you must take control of the finances, at least for the first few months.

Then you hold your breath and wait. And pray.

Good luck to you. My heart goes out to you more than it goes out to my fellow recovering degenerates. All I can say is that we're not bad people trying to get good, we're sick people trying to get better.
donethat
#11 Posted : Thursday, 4 June 2009 11:15:00 a.m.(UTC)
donethat

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Hi Brian_g
You are certainly not out of line, and it is good to hear your point of view, and I congratulate you on seeking help for your affliction.
I agree with you that this is a disease, and I feel saddened for thosse afflicted with it and those affected by it.
I still love my partner dearly, but I must admit I am finding it harder to forgive him when he has a slip up - although I understand this is normal, but I guess what I can't understand is why he continues to gamble when he knows not only how it hurts me, but also how it makes his goals and ambitions for the future that much further away, by way of his gamblings financial detriment. My partner is to be given his due in that he is a hard worker and has goals for the future.
In saying the above though, I guess I can relate to what you say with regards to the selfish nature of the disease.
I want to help my partner, truly I do, but it has caused me much hurt, humiliation and finally clinical depression, for which I am now taking medication. I just wish I really knew how best to help him.
I wish you well with your recovery Brian, and I know that most people firmly believe in 2nd chances and I hope that you will be given that, by those you have hurt during your affliction.
cookie
#12 Posted : Thursday, 4 June 2009 11:15:00 a.m.(UTC)
cookie

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hey donethat

thanks for the response to my post yup gotta admit after reading it again it was a lil bit harsh...i am a recovering addict myself, in no way am i perfect but i must say i'm finally at a point where i can see not only the damage i caused myself but the huge amounts of pain and horrendous hurt that i caused my partner...
i don't kid myself these days in2 saying that i don't gamble anymore becos i do i still gamble $20 maybe once a month $50 at the most extreme and i'm happy with that for sure it has to be better than gambling $1000-$2000 per week which was the norm at 1 stage there...
my partner is or has to be the most awesomest person around to have put up with all of my c***,for every lie i told and all the money that i took still she found away to believe in me and in us...the amounts of times that i reduced her to tears and made her feel as if she was the 1 with the problem? What the hell was i on?
There is 1 thing i must say tho...thru all the b******* and drama there was only 1 person who was going to be able to make that change and that person was of course me and you know what i did...i looked around me and saw what i had and what i stood to lose and i made the decision to take back my life....
these days i wonder what on earth i was thinking by putting myself in that mind numbing position in front of a machine, these days i can see what i looked like from a spectator point of view right down to the tilting the head cos i been in front of the machine so long that i can't keep my head up straight, quite disturbing really...
i still have damage control to do, my partner and i talk everyday now even if it's about silly stff important stuff, or whatever she would rather have the lines of communication open 24/7 than for me to regress back to my old habits...
keep posting and you will begin to find some form of healing in here for yourself...
look forward to reading everyones posts in the future
regards
cookie
daisy
#13 Posted : Thursday, 4 June 2009 11:15:00 a.m.(UTC)
daisy

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Hi Brian-Cookie, I was wondering if either of you would be interested in corresponding with me when I feel I have no one else to talk to. I think it "may" be better for me to hear an opinion/advise from an actual person who has been the gambler, and not only the spouse, simply because you know how it feels to be a gambler. As the spouse we just cant get it, it seems cut and dry. You may be able to actually fill me in on why gamblers do what they do and not be yelling at me, like my own husband who is in the middle of figuring out what it is that is important to him. He is just simply angry unless it is something that he wants to do or talk about, selfish is the perfect description of this problem. My husband is also a drinker, and basically just has an addictive personality. I feel it all goes hand in hand, but I am no psychiatrist. I feel I am a very forgiving person, but this is not just for me, we have children, 12,14 & 18. This affects everyone.... If I were alone, I would probably already be living somewhere else, at least for a time out, to think. Thanks for all your opinions...
donethat
#14 Posted : Thursday, 4 June 2009 11:15:00 a.m.(UTC)
donethat

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Hi Cookie - Brian

Thanks for your posts, as Daisy states above your insights are truly valuable and help me to try to better understand my partner.
Cookie, what I dont understand is - you say that you still gamble small amounts and you are happy with this, what I dont understand is I tried this with my partner, we figured into our budget $50.00 a week each, which we may do whatever we like with. I dont mind if he wishes to gamble that $50.00 a week - it is his discretionary spending and he is free to decide how to spend it, and I have never once complained if he has gambled it. But even this is not enough, it goes along ok for awhile, then be it stress caused by work, me or my teenage son, something seems to snap and he will just pick fights, and then storm off and he wont come home from the pokies till any money he is able to get his hands on is gone.
Like Daisy above - I believe my partner has an addictive pesonality, he also drinks, and just never knows when to say enough is enough, and like Daisy's partner, if I try to talk to him, he just goes off the deep end, all hostile, yelling and angry and that just causes another binge - be it gambling or drinking and usually both.
It is so hard to love someone, that seems intent on destroying you and themselves,
in closing I really hope that you continue to share your thoughts,opinions and insights here,
regards to all,
donethat
markymark
#15 Posted : Thursday, 4 June 2009 11:15:00 a.m.(UTC)
markymark

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Dear All,
I fooled myself that I was able continue gambling in a 'limited way' and it didn't work at all.
It was hard going to G.A. meetings and hearing similar stories and having to admit that 'my life had become out of control'
Logic would tell you that if you admit that life is out of control and unmanageable then you can't reasonably expect to gamble.
Part of my solution was to self-bar at the local where I used to waste most of my money.
I don't know maybe some others can go back to $20. a night - but not me.
I know that another $2. coin in those machines would be the start of that slippery slope...
daisy
#16 Posted : Thursday, 4 June 2009 11:15:00 a.m.(UTC)
daisy

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Donethat~ would you be interested in private email, since we seem to have so much in common. I could really use a friend that knows exactly how I feel on a daily basis. If not, thats ok, I just sometimes dont want to write every detail of my life for the whole world to read. Thanks.... And yeah~ it was a bad day, he was drinking for sure,all day, I always find out about his gambling later...... never ending. I am a fool to think it will!!
donethat
#17 Posted : Thursday, 4 June 2009 11:15:00 a.m.(UTC)
donethat

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Hi Daisy

I would be interested in talking to you privately, and am sorry it has taken me so long to get back, been cruising along nicely - but today he gambled again, and for the first time I reached out and told his sister, what a mistake that was! I am so confused as when confronted he just yells and screams, and then at the end of the day tells me that he likes it (gambling) so I guess I like you may be on a hiding to nothing, and am probably the biggest fool to think it will ever change!
Let me know how you think you would like to proceed, re: private emails etc, being so new to this site - are we allowed to give out our email addy's on here?
Take care of yourself, and take whatever small comfort you can in knowing you are not alone and I do understand how things are for you, look forward to hearing from you
anonymous
#18 Posted : Thursday, 4 June 2009 11:15:00 a.m.(UTC)
anonymous

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To protect your privacy, we suggest you create a temporary email address in hotmail, gmail or yahoo and then let Daisy know what that is by posting it on this forum.

Daisy can then email you at that address and you can provide your real email address to her once she contacts you and stop using the temporary email address.

You will need to be certain for yourself that it is Daisy who has emailed you.

GH team
daisy
#19 Posted : Thursday, 4 June 2009 11:15:00 a.m.(UTC)
daisy

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Donethat~ do you know how to create a temporary hotmail account? I already have a hotmail account, so I dont know if I can do 2. I may still have an old email that I dont use anymore. Let me check and get back to you. If I do, then you can email me there, and I will give you my current address.. I sooooo know how you feel..... hang in there. Maybe we can help each other to at least feel we are not the crazy one! :-) I will try to get back later today or tomorrow to let you know if I still have an active old account. Until then,here is a peice of advice I got from a friend that was married to a major alcoholic, and now a recovered drug/gambling addict....... stop tracking, calling and or checking up on your husband, if you do? It just torments us, and we KNOW when we have to wonder/confront them, we already "know" in our hearts what they have been up too.... so why torture ourselves? Just do things that make you happy, spend time with your kids, friends, etc.... and spend time with your husband on your terms, when things are going well... We CANT change them, we cant even think like them, so therefore we have no way to get through..... hopefully in the long run, love, and maybe rockbottom, will create a way for us to keep our marriage. :-) Take care! Chin up....
daisy
#20 Posted : Thursday, 4 June 2009 11:15:00 a.m.(UTC)
daisy

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Donethat~ my temporary email is daizy_2008@rock.com Email me, and I will send you my other email.
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