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Life with a recovering CG

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  • #1353
    berber
    Participant

    Dear all,
    I found it time to start a new thread. Since I found out about my husbands gambling about a year ago, a lot of other secrets also surfaced and I could finally add things up.We sought help and my husband has been ‘clean’ (as they call it) for 5 months now. This does not mean that he has become a pleasant, balanced person – all of the time – as it is still work in progress. I’m not flawless either, I know – also working on being more balanced myself.
    On a daily basis my husband is trying to regain my trust, which is sometimes quite a challenge. We were on a short holiday, which was nice (overall) with some ups&downs. He had a sudden attack of paranoia, blaming me that I would be cheating on him with a mutual friend (which is absurd, trust me). It hurt my feelings, as I am his wife, supporting him and our family and child(ren). I took a tactic Velvet advised me, asking him ‘why’ I would cheat? And ‘why’ he would say this? Finally he calmed down and admitted that if it were true, he would have a legitimate reason to be upset/angry.
    The clouds cleared and the skies were blue again. Let’s hope for some sunshine again today.
    With love,
    Berber.

    Nothing is impossible, the word itself says ‘I’m possible’!
    – Audrey Hepburn

    #1354
    berber
    Participant

    Hi!
    I have so much to be thankful for, yet the day seems to be weighing down on me today. It’s been costing me a lot of energy, being confronted every day with the ‘CG in recovery’ as I am the one responsible for all of our spendings, checking receipts he gives me and dealing with everything that has happened so far: trust is such a huge issue.
    As many of us, here on the forum, I too have put my CG and his ***** before my own on many occasions and I am trying to find myself back. Some days I feel fine and strong and other days I feel weak and hopeless. On those days my husband asks me for patience and to look ahead and at how well everything is going.
    It’s hard. Why should I always be the patient one? Why, after all that’s happened, should I be the supporting one – instead of him supporting me? Yes, I want our marriage to work. Things are going well, in general.
    I just feel so ‘tired’ of it all some days… I have decided to (finally) get help myself. Tomorrow I have an appointment with a psychologist (she doesn’t know me/my husband) to try and become balanced again. I hope it helps and I can slowly become ‘me’ again.
    X
    B.

    #1355
    adele
    Participant

    Hi Berber,
    Your mind, heart and body have been through so much for so long it is no wonder you are tired and frustrated!
    I think this is a very good decision for you to get help for yourself. I hope the professional you have chosen is a good fit for you.
    My husband has only just begun to test the waters of recovery, so I know we have a long way to go, especially when I see the challenges you and your husband are still facing so much farther down the path.
    With underlying issues of my own I think I may need to get serious about finding a therapist for myself soon. My general physician strongly recommended that I include yoga in whatever treatment I choose. Have you ever done yoga?
    The challenges we face are tough, no doubt about it, but I think I am growing as person because of them (more precisely because of HOW I have learned to deal with them), just as you continue to do!
     I love what Velvet said to you… "To make something good out of something so bad is surely one of the best things we will ever do?" I think you have handled yourself brilliantly Berber. Keep it up, I know you can…
    Adele
     — 9/2/2013 4:02:05 AM: post edited by adele.

    #1356
    velvet
    Moderator

    Dear B
    You have taken another big step and this time it is completely for you – well done.
    You ask “why should I always be the patient one?”   I suspect from our chats you know the answer deep down but the answer just gets up your nose sometimes!  There are many people in life B who demand our patience and whether we give it or not is really down to us.   He really isn’t finding it easy – his brain just doesn’t compute like yours, possibly never will – but it will develop – he is a work in progress and sometimes that ‘work’ seems particularly difficult.
    You say you have a lot to be thankful for and I know the expression well – it makes you feel ungrateful that you are not expressing more thanks – well forget it!   You have had a rotten time and ‘today’ has not come easily to you.   It is costing you energy to cope with your husband struggling with ‘his’ recovery while seemingly unaware that you have had a battle too and I think you are entitled to feel a tiny bit sorry for yourself.  Overall things are going well for you – but all of us, I’m sure, have days when we could do with a special bit of tender loving care – unfortunately just for now you are the only person who can give it to you, so apart from seeing the psychologist I hope that today you do something just for you – a ‘pamper B’ time.  
    I think all F&F long for is for their loved one to stop gambling and it is a shock that recovery for both takes longer than expected but it is a recovery and although slow it is not a further drop into the abyss.   Glance back for a second and see how far you both have climbed out of that hole but don’t keep looking back – today is what matters and today you are seeking help for you.  
    You child will grow up and never know the man controlled by an addiction because he determined to change his life but also (and every bit as important) because his mother is a really strong and wonderful person who wouldn’t give in to her husband’s addiction. 
    You have possibly seen the following but somehow I think it adds up what I am trying to say to you today
    One day a farmer’s donkey fell down into a well.
    The animal cried piteously for hours as the farmer tried to figure out what to do.
    Finally, he decided the animal was old, and the well needed to be covered up anyway
    It just wasn’t worth it to retrieve the donkey.
    He invited all his neighbours to come over and help him.
    They all grabbed a shovel and began to shovel dirt into the well.
    At first, the donkey realized what was happening and cried horribly.
    Then, to everyone’s amazement he quieted down
    A few shovel loads later, the farmer finally looked down the well.
    He was astonished at what he saw.
    With each shovel of dirt that hit his back,
    the donkey was doing something amazing.
    He would shake it off and take a step up.
    As the farmer’s neighbors continued to shovel dirt on top of the animal,
    he would shake it off and take a step up.
    Pretty soon, everyone was amazed as the donkey
    stepped up over the edge of the well and happily trotted off!
    Life is going to shovel dirt on you, all kinds of dirt.
    The trick to getting out of the well is to shake it off and take a step up.
    Each of our troubles is a stepping stone.
    We can get out of the deepest wells just by not stopping,
    never giving up! Shake it off and take a step up.
    As Ever
    V
     

    #1357
    berber
    Participant

    Dear all,

    It’s been a while since I posted. Things have been going so-so, ups and downs. May have to do with my pregnancy hormones as well, and the fact that my hb has started taking meds/ritalin. He still sees his counselor (approx.) once per week, sometimes every fortnight and he’s still gamble free. The other day he snapped at me after both of us having a bad night’s sleep (yes, the baby is teething still!) and accused me of ‘sneaking off’ to work early and basically taking ‘me time’ instead of hanging around until the baby had breakfast and fell asleep again, and me having to rush out the door. I was so hurt by that comment; especially because I do SO MUCH for our family every day that those 30 minutes ‘me time’ should have been granted to me, times 10! All day it took me to get over it, I had the worst negative thoughts ever, even feeling quite depressed and thinking ‘what a sad life I have like this’ which is very unlike me.
    Anyway, that day passed and the weekend came which was nice.
    Hope to chat in a group soon – time flies and somehow I remember too late about group sessions. Have a great day!
    xxx
    B.

    #1358
    velvet
    Moderator

    Hi B

    I hope when we meet in a group, as I know we will soon, that you will be able to tell me the painting is going well – is it oils, water-colour, pastels, or what? My husband goes to art classes and has not advanced much, to date, but he enjoys it and I look forward to the day I can hang something on the wall that he has done – instead of trying to guess what it is!

    I go dancing every week and I really think it stimulates. I do country dancing (well I live in the country what do you expect?) and to say I am good would be very far from the truth. The caller always runs through the dance before we start but as soon as the music strikes up my mind goes blank – the only good thing is I can see the same bewilderment on some other faces too. I come home exhausted and bruised but refreshed and regenerated.

    This might be cyber space but you have put your intentions in writing and they have been noted, so excuses will have to be brilliant if the intentions have not borne fruit.

    I hope the Ritalin makes a difference, now that he has entered a gamble-free life; he will have more space and time to deal with his other problems.

    Please don’t be hurt by his thoughtless comment because that is all it was – the comment of someone who was not thinking. It was a selfish remark and you know it wasn’t true so no need to defend yourself or let it fester – unasked for, unconstructive criticism only tells you more about the person who is criticising you.

    Teething is tough, pregnancy is tough, recovery is tough and you are living with all three. Give yourself a gold star. You are doing well

    V

    #1359
    berber
    Participant

    Dear all,
    Since a few weeks my hb has been taking ADD medication and it seems to help him calm down and concentrate on tasks ahead. He has less mood swings (and so do I!) and I am feeling much happier than ever before in our marriage. We just found out that we will be having a baby girl in March and are totally thrilled about that.

    Our son is doing well also, he’s a little rascal and fills my days with joy.

    I keep seeing a therapist every 2-3 weeks for approx. 30 mins to an hour. She asked me last time if I was angry. I said “well, I’m not. How can I be? My hb has not chosen for this illness to happen to him and nor have I.” She said “Well, I can imagine you still being angry. It doesn’t have to be his fault but his actions have hurt you. It would be perfectly understandable if you are angry.” So I just thought, well, I’m not – I’m not an angry-type person so I can’t be.

    Turns out: I realized a few days ago that after that session something happened in my head. I had in fact been angry! And now I could accept that of myself and let it go. On my previous thread I remember writing (in July of this year) that I was not angry lalala..but.. in fact. I was. I was furious with the injustice that had been done to me. But now, that I can let it go…I feel relieved.

    It’s been about a year since God guided me to this website (I have no other explanation) and I feel very greatful! Thank you all for helping my family move forward.
    Hope to chat again soon!
    xxx
    B.

    #1360
    velvet
    Moderator

    Hi B
    I was coming to look for you today if you haven’t clocked in, si I was glad to see your post.

    What a difference can be made in a short time when each day is taken one at a time and different management skills are tried.

    I think we would be strange creatures if this addiction did not make us feel red-hot anger.

    When you are not an angry-type person I think it is hard to recognise it amongst the mess of emotions that come with living with the addiction to gamble.

    There are many light bulb moments I think in our recovery and I believe that each one teaches us more about life generally than we had appreciated before. You now know you felt anger and you can recognise why others feel it – that to me is the education we can take to change us and therefore gain something good from something bad.

    I am so pleased you were guided to this site – so many have gained from your presence on its pages – not least me.

    You sound like a butterfly that has broken loose from its chrysalis and is ready to fly.

    It would be good sometime to see you in a group and share a glass of cyber wine with you and hear your progress. Cyber wine is of course absolutely safe with pregnancy.

    I wish all 4 of you all the joy in the world

    V

    #1361
    monique
    Participant

    Dear Berber
    Of course, you feel anger about the injustice of it all – and other things, no doubt. Anger denied is often more destructive so it is very positive that you recognize your true feelings and can ‘own’ them. They are less likely to control you, then, because they are in your conscious mind and you can actively think about what is going on, what you need and what you can do.
    It is lovely to hear about your little boy and the little girl to come in 2014. I wish you all every good thing.
    Monique

    #1362
    berber
    Participant

    Hi!
    Just a short note to give you an update. I have started pottery classes which are superfun, inspiring but unfortunately very difficult to fit in my/our schedule. I hope to continue but it’s not sure yet. I made a hollow Lemon which I am going to paint and bake, I like the saying how “when life throws lemons at you, squeeze them and make lemonade” … Teeheehee

    My husband has been picking up his studying really well… Working on assignments for hours and hours (sometimes even into the night) while I have no more time to myself. I want to see it as an investment, that he passes his courses, but,.. in my opinion he’s exaggerating. He looks stressed and cranky and it’s almost as if he’s back at his compulsive behavior. Except with gambling, he’s now devouring books! Not sure what to do about it, but I think it’s time we sit and talk about this. Soon!

    Have a good afternoon all.
    X
    B.

    #1363
    velvet
    Moderator

    Hi B
    It is so important once communication has been opened that the door is not closed.

    The usual disclaimer: I cannot tell you what to do BUT if I were you I would not compare his reading of books to his gambling addiction. He has controlled his gambling and that will have taken a supreme effort as you know. Implying he has transferred his addiction could possibly trigger an unwelcome reaction. As someone who buries herself in a book, shuts the world off and can get irritable at interruptions but is not addicted, I would resent the implication that I am. I would not (and do not) have a problem when it is pointed out that my company is missed elsewhere.

    It is difficult I know not to harp back to the gambling addiction and see it reproducing in a different medium but if it is not happening then, in my opinion, it is dangerous to raise the ghost at the feast.

    Talk to him B but don’t forget to listen. Do it very soon and don’t let it fester. Remember you can always suggest he talks to others, such as his GA, about what is worrying you – reinforcement from outside the relationship is terrific.

    I love the hollow lemon – so much better to make them that to have them thrown at you – not much good in a gin and tonic though!

    Good to see you again

    V

    #1364
    monique
    Participant

    Just a quick note – perhaps it is easy to see potential obsession/addiction being transferred to other activities, when we have had to be so wary of this kind of tendency for so long. But, as Velvet says, we all need to be able ‘to lose ourselves’ in something – a good book, a film, sport, learning a new skill, reaching a new goal, etc etc.

    None of us is immune from danger, but I tend to think of ‘obsessions’ (in the very widest sense of the word) as good, neutral, dangerous etc – ie on a spectrum. So if we get a bit obsessed by something that is at worst neutral, it can meet a need within us, whilst not harming either ourselves or our loved ones. Some obsessions are inherently dangerous or destructive, others are not. So I hope maybe you can relax a bit about these things as you look after yourself and allow yourself some freedom to ‘get lost’ in some enjoyable pursuits at times?

    Of course, even good activities can be a problem within a family setting, if they mean we neglect other responsibilities and I am aware you carry a great weight of responsibility in your situation. I know it is not easy, but stay focussed on what is good for you, as well as your family.

    I continue to wish you well.

    Monique, Gambling Therapy Team

    #1365
    madge456
    Participant

    Hi Berber
    After reading your posts again, I felt “hey, maybe that could be us?” You seem to be doing so well and I am so happy things have worked out for you and your family. It has truly inspired me.

    It has only been less than 4 months since I found out about my hb gambling, etc and when his other addictions spiraled out of control. It seems like SOO SOO much longer..So keeping in mind that it took longer for your family to heal, maybe I need to be more patient for our healing? I guess until I re-read your posts, it didn’t occur to me that it hasn’t really been that long since I found out about my hb lies…certainly less time than he spent lying to me (3years + sneaking to casino during work). So your posts made me feel like since you had success, maybe we might too? Is that silly? I don’t know..

    I just wanted to say bravo for hanging in there (and with a baby and one on the way!) and working thru all these issues. You have been very brave, strong and honest with your feelings. You made me feel that *maybe* recovery is possible for my family too..

    #1366
    berber
    Participant

    Thanks Madge, your post made me feel all warm inside! Sending you a big hug.xxx

    #1367
    madge456
    Participant

    Sending love and encouragement, every step of the way…

    XOXO
    M

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