14 September 2013 at 2:09 am #1249chedumParticipant
I joined and am posting because I feel I have nobody to talk to I’ve never dealt with something like this before and I just feel so alone.
I am 23 and my boyfriend is 29, two years ago he was offered a job outside of the US so we packed up and moved. I left everything behind friends, family, an awesome job, I left it all for love. Everything was great for a long time until June when he took vacation, he and I went to Las Vegas for a week; it seemed like a normal vacation we had tons of fun seeing all the sights and shows and playing a little here and there. HOWEVER, we got home and a week later he wanted to go back to Vegas, I didn’t so he took his father they went for another 3 days and came back then it started at home in our country now he kept fishing out every casino that has black jack he was online studying basic strategy playing online trying to ‘get good’ I told him it was scaring me and to watch it bc he was treading in dangerous dark waters. He said he was fine I let it go and went to the casino with him a few times all those times we ended up staying way too long him having too much to drink and sometimes even being kicked out of the casino. It got to the point where I felt I HAD to go bc it is OUR money he is losing and I felt at least I can control what he spent. After him wanting to go every night until dawn come home sleep a few hours and go immediately back to the casino I told him I was not going anymore bc I could not support such a habit. When I told him it is a problem he’s made the following excuses:
– its my FUN
-it doesn’t matter what I lose bc then I’m paying for a good time and free drinks
– its a business to me
-I’m starting a blackjack team
– its like the guys Friday night poker game
-I can’t deal with you right now
-we need the money (when we wouldn’t have needed it if he hadn’t gambled it away)
– and tonight’s excuse IM ONLY GOING TO RECOVER MY LOSSES
It’s tearing us apart and giving me stress and anxiety, last week was the worst he went out at 7pm stayed out until 4am went to sleep and woke up at noon jumped in the shower and went back to the casino at 2pm didn’t dome home until 6 am and when he came home he had one of the dealers a female in his passenger seat bringing her back to OUR home! I packed my bags determine to leave. But I cannot, this isn’t him it’s not the man I know and love and he needs help but he’s so in denial. When all this happened he cried ( none of his family will talk to him) I was hard on him and told him it wasn’t everyone else’s problem it was his he needs to fix himself he agreed to get help and we went to a therapist/ life coach that same day AND YA KNOW WHAT HE SAID he told my boyfriend he didn’t have a problem with drinking NOR gambling and at those were his own demons and he knows it’s wrong and to stop. Well my boyfriend took that as ‘see I don’t have a problem’ he stayed away from casinos for a week but was itching to go pacing back and forth telling me he couldn’t stand it or stop thinking about it until finally he cracked and went btw we just bought a brand new house and he has significant student loans along with day to day bills last night he blew our plans off left and spent ALL of the money we would have had left after paying our bills so now in order to eat and live we cannot pay our first mortgage payment or most of our big bills, oh and on top of all that he’s been off of work for a week and tomorrow is is first day back and he wants to call out.
This is REALLY affecting myself, his own family, and him. After he does it he apologizes up and down and I tell him I don’t want to hear it I want to see it. I can’t trust or believe anything he says or does anymore. I cannot talk to my friends or family bc it is embarrassing and they will just tell me to leave when I’ve invested many years into this man whom I love so much and I am the only person who is still here for him I fear if I am not he may go deeper into this dark hole.
I am very sorry for such a long rambling post I just really needed to get this off my chest and speak to friends, family members going through the same or similar thing. I can’t take the fighting, gambling, drinking, or any of it anymore it has to stop.14 September 2013 at 2:31 am #1250chedumParticipant
He’s been at the casino all day was supposed to be back at 6 it’s now 9:30 and I’ve been asking him how much he spent this time and he keeps ignoring the question or hanging up on me. We only have one car and currently no groceries in the house we had plans for him to take me to the grocery store today and blew me off I’ve been basically been eating bread all day. He said he was going to the pharmacy I asked how much he spent and he said well I have to spend money at the pharmacy and I’m like that’s not what I said your ignoring the question and then WHY ARE YOU STARTING FIGHTS WITH ME BLAH BLAH BLAH and then I get hung up on … Not only is he in a bad **** from the loss but I can tell he’s been drinking… I feel very overwhelmed .. I don’t think I can keep doing this with him.23 September 2013 at 7:30 pm #1251tootallParticipant
so sorry for you. just separated from my husband of 13 years. it’s really hard. i cry all the time. im hoping this will give him an incentive to quit gambling. didn’t know what else to do. I’m tired of the excuses— the same excuses ur husband uses. I just wish I would have done this a long time ago cuz now I’m 14 years older and it’s really scarey to be alone. I hate it.23 September 2013 at 7:30 pm #1252tootallParticipant
so sorry for you. just separated from my husband of 13 years. it’s really hard. i cry all the time. im hoping this will give him an incentive to quit gambling. didn’t know what else to do. I’m tired of the excuses— the same excuses ur husband uses. I just wish I would have done this a long time ago cuz now I’m 14 years older and it’s really scarey to be alone. I hate it.25 September 2013 at 5:53 pm #1253madge456Participant
My husband has similar (and more) issues – the CG always have excuses – they can’t see what they are doing and how it is hurting others. I can hardly give advice as I am in the same boat but wanted to say I hear you and you are not alone. The best advice I was given is take care of yourself – you can’t control anyone else or their behavior. It is hard to let go but it gets to be you or him, let it be him – you are worth saving – And he ***** to save himself.
Madge28 September 2013 at 9:24 am #1254adeleParticipant
I know it takes a lot of courage to write that first post – so good for you having done so. I hope you feel you have come to a place that is right for you. Read the stories of others on this forum (Friends and Family) and you will see very quickly that you are not alone in the chaos life becomes while loving an active compulsive gambler (CG). You now have lots of people to talk to who truly understand.
You must feel like your life has spun out of control and nothing makes sense anymore. Your mind is filled with thoughts of your boyfriend’s lies and irrational behavior, and nobody understands how frustrated, frightened, angry and hurt you are. It seems you have been trying unsuccessfully to live with the emotional and financial damage your boyfriend’s gambling has caused.
The experience you had with the Life Coach sounds awful! Unfortunately not all therapists and counselors are trained specifically in compulsive gambling, some are not a good fit, and possibly some are just idiots (lol). Did you have any input in that session?
Gamblers Anonymous has a list of 20 questions that can help determine if someone has a gambling problem. You can find them – and tons of additional information – in the Resources tab at the top of this page, but here is a link directly to the’ 20 Questions’: http://www.gamblersanonymous.org/ga/content/20-questions
Maybe you could print them off and just leave it where he will see them. He might read them and realize he is not alone. And just maybe it will help him realize that you are seeking help and treating his addiction seriously even if he is not.
I did not recognize my CG husband either, and it was difficult to love him and want to be with him. My house was a disaster and my life was a mess. But things have been changing for the better with the knowledge and support I’ve gotten primarily on this site.
The first and most important thing I learned here is that we cannot make our CGs stop gambling: We cannot make them change. Trust me, I have tried EVERTHING, and my CG still gambles.
The second most important thing I learned is the only thing I can change is ME. I have taken steps against his addiction to protect myself and limit the financial damage, and I have developed coping skills that limit the emotional damage.
You have the ability to change too Chedum. You do not have to live with addiction controlling your life. Everything you need to begin your recovery you can find here on this site.
You need strength and knowledge of this addiction. With strength and knowledge you can develop better coping skills. With better coping skills you will learn to take care of yourself – financially and emotionally. And when you begin to take care of yourself you will find peace.
Although it is not recognized professionally, the following is an analogy whereby the addiction to gamble is regarded as a separate entity from our CG. Used early on, this coping method gives non-CGs something to point the finger at, something to blame and something to hate – and it allows us to continue to love and support our CG, which would otherwise seem an impossible task. In no way does this provide an excuse for or allow the CG to deny accountability for the poor choices they’ve made while active in their addiction.
You may have already read something similar in other posts, but here is my adapted version anyway:
Imagine your boyfriend’s addiction as a slavering beast in the corner of the room. As long as you keep your cool and don’t threaten the addiction it stays quiet … but it never sleeps.
Your boyfriend is controlled by that addiction – but you are not.
When you threaten the addiction with confrontation it comes between you and takes control of the conversation or argument. Suddenly you are confused, nothing makes sense, and you don’t know which way to turn.
Once riled and in control all you hear is the addiction – you no longer recognize the person speaking. This beast only knows lies and deceit and it will say and do anything to protect its stronghold, and to make you feel blame and demoralize you.
When you try to speak with logic and reason, the addiction distorts your words so that your boyfriend cannot possibly comprehend your meaning.
This addiction is the master of threats and manipulation. It enjoys your confusion and the chaos it creates around you. It thrives on confrontation.
When I first came here this concept really helped me to realize the futility in confronting and questioning my husband. It only served to further frustrate ME … he could carry on as ‘tho nothing happened!
I hope you will familiarize yourself with the Forums, and visit the live chat rooms in Group Therapy (under What’s On and When) where you can communicate with advisors and members in real time.
Keep posting on your thread – it is good therapy, and it allows us to offer you support and encouragement.
Adele29 September 2013 at 1:01 pm #1255velvetModerator
You have had a few great repl ies and it would be really good to get an update. It is very difficult to give ongoing support without feedback and we do want to support you.
Your boyfriend is showing all the symptoms of the addiction to gamble and ‘if’ the therapist did say that which your boyfriend reported back, then that therapist was ignorant of the addiction. I say ‘if’ because lying is symptomatic of the addiction and your boyfriend was possibly trying to increase his manipulative arsenal. The addiction to gamble is the master of threats and all words from an active CG are, in my opinion, generally subject to embellishment.
The apologies, tears and promises to change, are all part of the cycle of compulsive gambling. I am not judging because we are all in the dark, at the beginning, with this addiction but I am glad to read you are not accompanying him anymore.
I cannot tell you what to do but many F&F hang in bel ieving, as you do, that their loved one will sink deeper if they are not there for them. I will never tell you to go or to stay, all ultimate decisions have to be yours but you cannot save your boyfriend or stop him gambling – there is only one person you can control and save and that is you. It is possible for a person who loves a CG to keep them in their addictive cycle doing everything wrong for all the right reasons, unwittingly enabling the addiction. As I said I cannot judge – I unwittingly enabled for 25 years.
The addiction to gamble is not embarrassing or shameful – it is a condition that devastates those who own it and those who love them.
Please don’t cut your family out. The addiction to gamble unfortunately divides famil ies by feeding on l ies and secrecy. Unless people have lived with the addiction to gamble, their opinions can be very narrow and not supportive. Personally I think it is best to tell others as a statement rather than asking for opinions. You can gather information here so that you can make your own informed decisions with that knowledge but it is better to share – especially as your boyfriend is endangering your future as well as his own.
I am really glad that you wrote your first post, it is a lonely life dealing with someone with this addiction but on this forum you are among those who understand.
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