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Question for Spouse/Partner of CG

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  • #1990
    readytowalkaway
    Participant

    I wonder if anyone could/would share if their actions of leaving, divorcing, separating, no longer providing support to their spouse or partner with a gambling addiction forced the CG to get help?  My husband is very angry at me for the plans I am putting into place to file for divorce, knowing that I am at the end of my rope.  I am curious if the steps I take will ultimately end in him getting into counselling.  Right now he tells me that if I just hold off on leaving he will go to a GA meeting (if that’s what I want him to do).  It just doesn’t seem like the right way to start off on a recovery, but if it gets him on the path, who cares how he gets there…right?

    #1991
    readytowalkaway
    Participant

    *****.  It’s been several months since my last visit to this site, but have found myself back here again.  I decided to "walk away" in a manner of speaking.  I divorced my husband in May.  He did not put up a fight at all, it was almost as if he did not really care, I was giving him his freedom to do as he pleased, spend as he pleased…until he realized that he no longer had a roof over his head, but simply a couch in his mother’s home.   The problem was (and is) that I still love him very much and miss him when I am not with him….WHEN I AM NOT WITH HIM.  When we are together, I remember how his gambling has affected our marriage.   After the divorce I felt like I could handle a relationship with him as long as there was not a financial risk for me.  I guess I thought (and still think) that I could gradually accept that it was over and that over the course of time I would be able to move on and not love him so much.  Well, by doing that, by accepting that kind of relationship with him post-divorce, I found that if I wanted to spend time with him, I would have to do that by accompanying him to the casinos.  Now, I can’t deny that I have always enjoyed the entertainment at the casino and never found myself really wanting to go back, or thinking about my next visit or my next win.  In fact, I just could not understand my husband’s addiction, his compulsion to go back over and over until he was broke and had nothing.  In a sense I believe that I set out on these "dates" with my ex-husband to prove to him that you can go to the casino and have fun and not ruin your life.  However, I found myself distracted from my depression and sadness over my failed marriage and loneliness by the stimulation of the sounds and lights and overall energy of the casino floor.   I noticed that I was beginning to look forward to going back, look forward to being in that state of bliss, with no worries, no recollection of my problems for those few moments.   Suddenly I realized that my biggest enemy had just become my best friend and I am not at all proud to admit that I allowed myself to put a pretty ugly dent in my savings.  I attended a few local support meetings BEFORE, when I was looking for support as a spouse, but never heard anyone mention that they too felt an urge to gamble.  I have not yet attended a GA meeting, but have looked into when/where they are and I have discussed my worries with my own counselor and am putting steps into place to keep me on a safer path.  But, I was very curious to know if there are any others out there that found themselves in this predicament?  As always, thank you for the support and advice.

    #1992
    velvet
    Moderator

     
     
    Hi RTWA
    I am glad that you knew you could return and find a welcome and understanding.
    You have something that most CGs do not have when they find themselves up the creek without a paddle – you already have a paddle and you know how to row for shore.  
    In ‘My Journal’ (which is our CG forum), Kathryn’s thread entitled ‘Believe’ has expressed her concern about her husband’s gambling in recent months.   She is gamble-free and has been so for a few years and her thread is inspirational to many.   I think it would be good for you to read and I know she would reply to you if you posted on her thread.
    Please do not think I am judgemental when I say that I will never gamble in any way again as a result of the addiction to gamble being in my life.  My CG who is gamble-free has told me that he has no problem with me gambling but he knows he cannot.   The choice I have made is mine and because of this I have avoided the ‘possibility’ of being caught.
    Before anybody jumps on me and says this couldn’t happen to me, my answer is that I don’t know why it happened to my CG and I don’t know why it didn’t happen to me – but it is a fact that the addiction was there for him but not for me.  
    I am aware having talked to many CGs over the years about the attraction of lights, noise and energy.   As a non-CG I don’t fully understand but what I do know is that all these ‘tricks’ to entice are designed by clever corporations to entice people to part with their money and the potential CG is an unfortunate pawn.  
    Gambling is as old as the hills – it will not go away.   You are completely correct when you recognise that it is you that has to walk away and more importantly, stay away.   In this forum we come to realise that the addiction to gamble is not just about loss of money – in fact that becomes the least part.   It is what it does to the mind of a loved one that hurts – it is the lack of empathy and the lies which stem from guilt and misery.  
    This addiction has taken your marriage away from you and I think that is quite enough.   I believe that F&F and CGs are not on different sides but are the other half of the same addiction because without enablement it starves.    Like all CGs you have found out the hard way that gambling is not something that you can do recreationally – it is poison to you.    In my opinion there is no responsible gambling for a CG – this site believes in abstention being the way forward. 
    I think your username is now sadly more apt than it was before.   I urge you to walk away, to join GA, to read Kathryn’s thread, to join our community groups where you can talk to other CGs.   Have you said out loud yet ‘I am RTWA and I am a compulsive gambler’ – sometimes it shocks to hear it even when you know. 
    You were never going to change your ex-husband by threatening him; you are never going to make a scrap of difference to him by joining him in his addiction.  Turning your life around and living gamble-free, I believe, is the finest way you can show him how to live and it sure as **** is the finest way for you to live.  You do deserve better.  Get off the roller-coaster now for both your sakes.
    Well done on coming back – I wish you well and I hope for an update soon that you are living in control of your life again.   You are able to see this addiction from both halves – use that knowledge to help others and make something good come out of the horrendous experience you have had.  
    Velvet
        
     
     
     

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