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Looking for advice

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  • #1716
    looking for answers
    Participant

    My husband is a cg. He has gambled his whole life. Card games, online sports betting, casino betting… He is a wonderful man, a loving daddy, and very intelligent and strong willed. He was raised in a very poor family that didn’t see any value in saving or paying bills. It is all about instant gratification.
    A few years ago he decided it was a problem and banned himself from our local casino. He was much better during this time, and I let my guard down. The ban has been lifted for a year or better now. Still, I didn’t see any signs, we are happy and in a great place. He is not disappearing for hours like before. He has been open and honest, at least that is what I thought.
    He recently got a new better job. He has more flexibility with his schedule. He has really enjoyed it and has worked hard, or so I thought.
    Two days ago I opened a piece of mail. It was a bank statement of a small account of his. It had withdrawals from the casino. When I questioned him he said that was his account and he was not taking away from our family. (lie) So I got online and checked out joint account. Then he said he had only started when we got our tax return. (Another lie) I can go back six months,far before out taxes came, and he has been going and gambling a lot of our money. When I totaled it up he was shocked. He said he knew it was a lot, but had no idea how much.
    Now I know that he has been going to the casino during work hours, after he finishes with his clients. He is getting his work accomplished, but when he is left with free time, this is what he is choosing to do. That is why I had no signs like before.
    Now he says it will stop. He says he will not go anymore. He says he is sorry and he knows it is a problem. He refuses to get help, and he wants me to forgive him and not talk about it anymore because he can’t change the past. He says he will ban himself again from the casino. He said if I check the bank account balance everyday, then he won’t do it if he knows he will get caught. He even said he will give me his debit card.
    I don’t want to be a parole officer, I want to be a wife. What should I do? Should I trust him, and wait for it to happen again? Do I monitor the bank accounts daily? Do I take away all his access to money? I fear our family will end up with nothing. He has never sold things to gamble or taken loans to gamble as far as I know. He doesn’t value updating or buying new thing, but I do. He doesn’t see that we need to save to take our kids on vacation. I fear that every chance we have to get ahead will be blown gambling. What I you suggest?

    #1717
    looking for answers
    Participant

    I have another thought that I would appreciate some help with…
    If he agrees to stop, does that mean he ***** to stop everything… Like a friendly family card game, lottery, bingo… Is cg like acholism..l no drinks ever of any kind….
    I think I know the answers, but he is going to tell me I’m over reacting, I just want to see others thoughts please.
    Thanks for the advice in advance!

    #1718
    adele
    Participant

    Dear Looking,
    I am copying my post to Porkpie here with only a few modifications – because I know you need to hear back from somebody. I’m sorry I’m not the best one to respond to your questions, but here it is….
    I am in a very bad place with my cg at the moment and have not posted here for several days.
    But I just read your post and see that no one has yet replied so I am compelled to respond – even tho I am not capable of giving you the answers you seek. Our advisor for this forum – Velvet – is away for a few days or I am certain you would already have benefitted from her comforting wise words.
     
    There is no judgement here, so it is difficult for me to word this properly since I am vulnerable right now, and I am fairly new to this site myself.
    However, I can speak from my experience and what I have learned from reading many stories here, and utilizing the resources provided by this site. You can read Family and Friends stories in this forum, or CG’s stories in the My Journal forum, and look in to the Resources tab above, and get in to one of the live sessions to the right – the Live Advice Helpline is one-on-one. It has been most helpful to me.
    I can only tell you that I have been married almost 25 years and our love has survived many challenges in that time. I have never seriously considered ending my marriage until this monster addiction appeared in our lives 2 years ago.
    I have come to know that it takes much more than love to overcome this thing. I know if I choose to stay in this marriage that my husband’s addiction will be the biggest challenge we have ever faced in 25 years! It is something we will fight and live with for the rest of our lives – that no matter what barriers are implemented to prevent his gambling, he will find a way if he does not whole heartedly commit to pursuing recovery for himself. And even when and if he does make that commitment (which he hasn’t), I will never be able to let my guard down completely for this addiction can return suddenly at any time. Our relationship is changed forever.
    If you love your CG very, very much and want to make a life with him, you must be ready to immerse yourself in to gaining the knowledge about his addiction that you will need to take care of yourself and your children and to protect your finances. You will only unwittingly enable his addiction without this knowledge (as will your families and friends), and your life will be filled with lies, financial troubles, broken dreams and heartache. If you read my thread you will see all the barriers I’ve put in place to prevent my husband’s gambling – he has no cards, no checks, his SS number is constantly monitored and his name is not on my new checking and savings accounts –  and still he finds a way.
    Velvet speaks of many success stories – including her own. So I know it is possible to do this. But it will be a long, bumpy, sometimes jolting road Looking. Know that. Your CG cannot tell you he will stop and then do it – because he simply is not capable of doing that without help. No matter how hard he tries to convince you of that – it just is not possible.
    And it is my understanding from what I have read, that anything – friendly poker games, lottery, bingo – anything that has the potential for providing the adreneline rush of a win must be banished from your lives. It is a difficult concept at first, but I think it is crucial to accept that gambling, in any form, simply cannot be a part of your life.
    Please – read Velvet’s post titled the "F&F Cycle". And, on my thread and many others, you can find her post about the "Slavering Beast". Read, read, read Looking. That’s the best advice I can give you. And hang in there, Velvet will back in a few days, and I’m sure others will post here that have much more knowledge and experience with this than I. Weekends apparently are "slow" on this site.
    My heart goes out to you, for I truly know what you are feeling. For me it’s like this shivering electrical shock that starts at the top of my head and races down my body each time I discover another deception. Then I’m angry and hurt, and eventually I just feel numb and foggy.
    I have found hope here, and I am trying to find the tools to take care of myself, no matter what I decide. I sincerely hope you will do the same.
    Keep posting.
    Adele
     "… should I give up or should I just keep trying to run after you when there's nothing there?"  Adele

    #1719
    Anonymous
    Guest

    LFA,
    I am new here as well and have no great answers. I can only tell you how I have decided to move forward.
    Money – I monitor our account daily, as I have not had the time between work and kids and banking hours to take his name off of our account. Next Saturday will be a “fun” day as we plan to go to the bank together to remove his name from our account. Even if have his banking and credit cards he can still walk into a bank and get money from our joint account. So no more joint account. He has agreed, however we’ve not made it to the bank yet. The way I look at it, by the time I see he has taken money it’s too late. I know this seems like you are treating him like a child but I don’t know if there is any other answer. My HB will need cash for lunch at certain points and I’m sure for other misc items. So he has to bring receipts and change at the end of the day. I am trying to hold myself to the same standard so any money I spend, I will turn in receipts as well. Honestly I wish I could have done this sooner. I am currently trying to get a loan modification on my mortgage. If I am not able to do so I will loose my home. I guess learn from my obliviousness.
    Honesty – More than the money, even considering where we are financially, it breaks me heart and has me on the verge of tears most of the time, because I can not believe a word that comes out of his mouth. I even question when he tells me that he loves me. In stead I wonder if he is just using me. Even though this is the hardest for me. I don’t believe a word he says and I have turned into an expert investigator. I double check everything he tells me.
    I feel your pain. I wish I had great words of wisdom but I do know this site has been an outlet for me…reading and writing. Velvet told me to take care of myself first. Common sense tells me that is correct however I have not figured out how to do so.
    Look forward to hearing more from you,
    BB

    #1720
    nomore 56
    Participant

    Hi Looking, good for you that you took the first step and joined this site. That means that you are about to take some steps to take care of yourself. When you read all the f&f stories here you will see that even though the cgs come in every shape and color, the way the addiction works, manipulates and takes over is basically the same. It took me a long time to understand that it was nothing personal and had nothing to do with me that my hb gambled. He was just a shell while inside of him the addiction ran rampage. Cg is called the slippery slope cz it is a downward spiral. Once you have started, you go down faster and faster. That goes for both, the cg and the f&fs. I read what you hb came up with and frankly, it is all just white noise to be able to keep on going. I look back on over 20 yrs of broken promises, blaming, deceit, scheming and total financial destruction. I know pretty much how you feel and others her can also connect with you in the same way. Right now you cannot believe anything he says really. He cannot do this alone, he ***** help. GA meetings would be a great start, maybe a counselor that is trained in gambling addiction. Willpower is not the way, it is destined to fail. Here is what I would do: take away all access to money, no matter what and how much. Make sure all accounts are in your name only, if possible take his name of any car titles as well (I speak from experience). You should be on none of his credit cards and vice versa. If necessary, try to install some red flags on accounts so you get notified if something happens there. Pull BOTH your credit reports and install a monitoring service so that you will be warned should there be an application for any kind of card or loan. If your hb is willing to work on a true recovery, if he acknowledges that he has lost control, he will not object, to protect himself and the family. He should only have enough cash to buy necessities, like gas or lunch. He ***** to bring home receipts and the change. If this causes him to get angry with you, it is a sign that he is not ready yet. Not gambling includes not buying any lottery or scratch tickets, not entering any sweepstakes, basically nothing that costs money OR includes the chance of winning something, no matter it it is money or something else. I understand that you feel like a probation officer, I did too. I hated having this burden on my shoulder on top of everything else. But I understood that that is the ONLY way to work this. Our marriage did not survive, too much pain and hurt and loss. But my hb is finally in recovery,has been for over 3 yrs now and is a changed man. We have arranged the finances in such a way that I have most of the income and he has just enough to live off it. We talk about extra expenses he might have and he will always give me proof without me asking. It sounds really brutal but that is the way to give you some peace of mind and the opportunity to take care of yourself, which is what the addiction hates most. It doesn’t like to be ignored. Some casinos ban for a lifetime here (WA) but there is always another one, just another way to keep feeding the beast. Trust ***** to be earned back, it is not a privilege once the lies and the manipulations have become part of your life. For me, gambling addiction is like a contagious cancer of the soul. It grows and spreads until you can’t breath anymore. It will not stop until everything and everyone is destroyed. It is hard to hear all this and you might be weary of all the stuff you are supposed to keep in mind or to do but it will get better if you take the time to get better yourself first. I wish you luck out there in Indiana 🙂

    #1721
    looking for answers
    Participant

    Thanks for the advice. I am trying to take it all in and learn as much as possible! I feel numb right now… My husband is acting like everything is fine. I don’t need to worry because he isn’t going to go anymore, I took his cards so he says he doesn’t have access to our money. He is not a cg that will have to bet or play everyday. He has never been like that. But I know it will happen again…just when….how much this time… My mind is reeling with questions and worries! My world was rocked and he acts like nothing happened! Does anyone know if I can put a block on my checking account for casinos? Will banks do that?

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