3 November 2012 at 7:51 pm #2216
First I want to start off by saying something positive: I love my husband very much, he is – in many ways – the ideal guy for me and a great father. However…
After reading Emmy’s thread “How did you make it through the first few days/weeks?” I could really relate. My husband whom I got married to 6 months ago, is a CG – which I only found out recently. He does not ‘gamble’ – he says – but he strategically/tactically places bets on online football websites for (of course) huge amounts of money.
He admitted to me, that he ‘only’ bets on weekends, but actually – I keep finding out more and more. He hides/tears up receipts he buys at the gasstation (PayPal or something), that he uses to gamble. He spends over 50% of his paycheck on online betting. In retrospect, during our honeymoon and other vacations: he always HAD to use the internet. Whether we were on a paradise beach in Cuba or at a SPA resort elsewhere… now I understand why. He is spending money we do not have.
Since 1 month we are parents to our first child. I found out that he keeps up the betting/gambling. In the mornings/middle of the night, whenever he thinks I do not know. He keeps lying and hiding it. Whenever I tell him off – or we argue, the ‘beast’ appears (like Velvet put it in one post) and he turns into this mean manipulative person.
He says that I can NEVER tell anyone about his CG but I feel that I must speak to someone. Also, I believe his parents know about it (he’s 35) because his mother said to me, at the wedding: ‘well, you must handle things from now on’ (I had no clue at the time that they were hiding this big secret from me!) and I found a printed e-mail from his mother with addresses+phone numbers of therapists who specialize in CG.
I am still shocked by all that I keep discovering every day and I go through so many emotions… maybe also part of the hormones (post pregnancy) … it’s just so overwhelming I have so many thoughts and so much to say that I can’t even express it.
Looking forward to your comments.
*Berber*2 February 2013 at 3:46 pm #2217
I am glad you are back with us.
You are right of course that the amount your hb gambled matters not. As long as a CG gambles the damage to the mind continues. If he is ‘thinking about it’ that has to be better than not thinking about it at all. I hope to hear he does more than just think about it soon.
A good thread to read has recently been brought up to the top of the CG forum ‘My Journal’ – entitled ‘Anniversary’ by Colin in Brum. I think Colin’s post is worth translating for your hb.
It looks like we are leaving mother-in-law until we are in a group – pity about her denial. I think it is possible sometimes for parents to accept addiction and then later to deny it when they have wearied of it. I have certainly seen it with my friends and their obviously ********* daughter. They no longer communicate with me although at the beginning they couldn’t get enough information and support. It is their daughter I feel the most sorry for – their subsequent denial is doing her a great deal of damage.
I look forward to welcoming you into a group soon but in the meantime it is good that you are back with us on the forum
11 February 2013 at 11:36 am #2218
Again, bets have been placed: money is gone. I found out that my MIL is only in denial towards me, as she told my FIL how I brought up the topic without her son, my hb, the CG, being present and that it’s so disrespectful of me towards my hb to talk behind his back. I feel so stabbed in my back, it’s unbelievable. But it’s comforting to read the forum that I am not alone. Thanks for your support, all!1 March 2013 at 11:50 am #2219
Well done hb. You could be right that his addiction has been the most divisive part of your relationship with his parents – but as parents in denial of their part of enablement I think you need to keep your barriers up.
I know from friends that they hope that by ignoring their daughter’s addiction is will go away – in fact it doesn’t exist does it! They appear (on the surface) to be happily standing by, watching her with her new man because you never know perhaps it will be different this time! Unfortunately when she does go home there is always a bottle or two cracked open to celebrate and their daughter is an *********. Naïve to the nth degree but sadly, I think, not uncommon – they couldn’t see that they had to change. When I talk to the mother she tells me all the wonderful things her daughter is achieving – all told to her by her daughter, I just want to get away because I am sadly aware the daughter’s alcoholism is active and they are hurting her by not offering a safe haven that she can trust – she cannot talk to ‘them’. I was the one they turned to when they first found out their daughter had the problem, although they didn’t know that I had any idea about addiction. When I told them I had knowledge, they cried with relief and we spent hours together talking about how and why. Since that night it has never been mentioned again – in fact the conversation is strictly taboo and she never asks about my CG.
I am looking forward to hearing how your conversation went yesterday. I am hoping that it was calm and that your husband and you got the support you both need.
I suspect that whatever happens you will still need to keep a close eye on his mother, her controlling ways will be hard for her to change and she may think – why should she change when she has done nothing wrong, which is the hardest thing of all to accept.
I know you must be very proud of him but it is important not to over-praise. I learned this from my CG. He said that ‘praising him for doing the right and decent thing was not right – other people didn’t get praise for being ‘normal’. Praise comes in a different form I think with a CG – it comes in them realising that they can trust us and I know it hard for them to do so.
I like the fact his mother showed concern for you because you deserve it. It will be good to hear that in the cold light of another day they have accepted what they have been told and are acting appropriately.
Your FIL is one of a string of people I have heard say ‘I’ve always gambled but never had a problem’ and I always want to say ‘how jolly good you – unfortunately it is not so easy for others’. The friends I mentioned above like a drink, in fact quite a lot, so why can’t their daughter stop like they do? It is a long haul I think for those who love a CG to realise that unwittingly they could have enabled the problem and not been responsible. With knowledge, in my opinion, we owe it to a loved one to look at our own behaviour without thinking it is just them that has to change.
I hope all is well
1 March 2013 at 12:47 pm #2220
They never came ’round yesterday. We didn’t discuss anything and my mil+fil are in denial. I don’t think they really care about my family, or even in getting their son help. Ignorance?1 March 2013 at 5:19 pm #2221
Disappointed but I guess not surprised. He attempted to open their eyes but they chose to keep them shut – what an opportunity they had!
In Gamanon I met a couple who couldn’t get their heads round that they were not helping their son and they were back for their 6th year even though they had been given all the knowledge over and over again. I had no idea (or hope) that my CG would or could change at that time but I listened and opened my eyes so when he did talk I was able to understand so much more and most importantly to listen to what he said.
You are a positive in your husband’s life – you are the one he can trust. Parental feelings are not always unconditional love but …………….. maybe they need more time to think
V2 March 2013 at 8:58 pm #2222moniqueParticipant
I am sorry you are not seeing the right attitude in your parents-in-law, but I hope you and your husband can stay strong and united in the endeavour to see him into true recovery.
I wish you all good things and the resilience to keep going in the best way for you and your family.
Best wishes, Monique.Keep hope alive.7 March 2013 at 2:07 pm #2223
We are getting closer to getting my hb into rehab. I’m pushing him and it’s costing me a lot of energy! I do believe that it will be worth the effort though. Next week we are going to see the counselor to finalize things and sign contracts and I will be able to ask all the questions I have about the whole procedure.
Then, hopefully within 3 weeks he will travel to SA for the 9 week program. It is a big deal, a huge step and I can tell he is afraid – however, he still vocalizes that he is willing to go. My family supports him (us) and our giggling baby will benefit from this.
I’ll be with you in cyberspace this evening for the serenity prayer! My love to all XOXOX8 March 2013 at 3:19 pm #2224
I know this will be costing you energy. You may be surprised at your reaction when he goes – you could feel flat – i think it is the nervous energy being released to make way for good vibes – which will come. Be prepared for some bad behaviour between now and departure time but keep doing all you have been doing – you will have a nine weeks peace and in that time you will recover.
He will be terrified – CGs do not like the unknown – actually I suppose we don’t either! I am glad he is still saying he wants to go and really pleased that your family and the giggling baby are behind him. Let him know you are aware that he is doing this for all of you and that you will be alright although you will miss him
One thing I think it would be good to talk about before he goes, is the amount of communication there will be between you if they allow phones and mobiles. My CG was not allowed a mobile and we had no contact for 6 months. It gave him and me the freedom to really work on ourselves. I used to phone once a week just to make sure he was still there. I know that mobiles and phones are allowed in some rehabs. It would be a good idea, I think, if you talk about how much contact you want before he goes. In my opinion the less the better – it stops the questioning and allows you both to get on with what is important for both of you – a gamble-free life. Recovery is selfish – has to be. I’m not sure how you broach this subject but I think it is easier before he goes because discussions on phones when you can’t see each other are more difficult.
I am only going to do the Serenity prayer at the end of Tuesday’s group, at the moment but knowing you were there we did it last night too – specially for you.
I am glad things seem to be moving forward
9 March 2013 at 1:01 pm #2225ellParticipant
I m reading your post and I need to say berber , you are so close now, you can do it , I understand that this costs you a lot of energy but please don’t break now…Try to find all your power and the rights attitudes and words for your cg …Your birth time is coming 2-3 weeks more and then everything is possible to happen. You are in my thoughts , with all my love, ell
12 March 2013 at 6:30 pm #2226
A lot has happened the past two days and I don’t know where to begin. My parents in-law came by to visit us yesterday and, with the elephant in the living room, the chit-chat about the weather made me tremble and anxious. Finally, *I* brought up the subject.
My hb (CG), MIL and FIL were sitting there and I said "Please, let us discuss the journey that your son will be going on soon". I had everyone’s attention and we took it from there – a lot was said and needless to say we were all super-tired afterwards. I hope to elaborate on chat.
Nutshell: His parents *do* support our decision to work on this and also him travelling to SA. Today we (my hb and I) went to sign the contracts with the rehab facility he will be travelling to in a few weeks – we feel confident this is a good move.
I’m feeling really low on energy (bad night’s sleep, accusations from CG yesterday and today) but you, my GT friends, are lifting me up. Hope to still be awake in an hour and a half to chat. HUGS ***13 March 2013 at 11:03 am #2227
It was great to get the elaboration.
Hope you had a better night’s sleep
V Velvet2 April 2013 at 6:56 pm #2228
CG’s departure date for his treatment is rapidly approaching and we’re experiencing different emotions. On one hand I’m a bit anxious – although I’ve prepared his suitcase and documents for him, it’s a big step. He, on the other hand, seems at peace now to be going. I can tell that he is very self-absorbed, more than usual. It’s irritating because I could use a hand every now and then.
Anyway, the other day his parents came over and we spoke about his departure. Some silly things were said – his parents keep thinking that he can control his addiction perfectly fine. But, during the conversation he gave me the biggest compliment I’ve had in a looooong time by saying to his father […] ‘I’m happy that I have a wife who does not back-off and pushes me to become a better person’ […]
I guess my nagging is not always annoying him.
XOXO4 April 2013 at 12:36 am #2229nomore 56Participant
Hi Berber, I read your post and I love how you express ur emotions with the smileys! From my own experience it is very normal how your cg reacts I think. It must be very scary for him since he does not really know what to expect. And I also think that part of the anxiety has to do with losing the “crutch” of gambling emotions and problems away. There will be a gap to be filled with new stuff, which is at this point still unknown. The same goes for you. Things will be different, at least during the time he is gone. And hopefully different in a positive way when he returns. The relationship will change for both of you. And there might be the fear on your part that it will not work, at least that was the case for me. Just wondering, why did YOU pack the suitcase and prepare the documents? The compliment he paid you sure was great! Enjoy it, you worked hard for it! As for his parents, addiction is a family disease and they might also be a little afraid of what is coming after treatment. I know loads of people who still think that cg is a behavioral problem and can be overcome by willpower and just not doing it. They will come around. My hb’s family knew more about his gambling than I did for many years. They distanced themselves from him over the years and have only lately grasped how very different he is as a person now in recovery. I wish you well, both of you. When the day of departure comes, do something nice for yourself and take a deep breath, or 2, or 15….And you are not nagging, you are doing the right thing. 🙂5 April 2013 at 10:53 am #2230
I have been thinking about you and know that your feelings will be all over the place. I look forward to speaking to you soon.
I did not wonder why you packed his suitcase and prepared his documents – in my opinion you did exactly the right thing.
It is important to look after yourself when a loved one is in rehab. This time apart is great for you to find yourself, regain lost confidence and self-esteem and solidify your determination not to live in the shadow of the addiction to gamble – it works miracles. When you are reunited you will both benefit from the effort of the other.
I know you will be in a group soon so I will await your update with anticipation. As far as his parents go – make your decisions on what is right for you and your child during this precious time, as soon as possible. As a controller, his mother will be very determined but I believe that the terrific Berber, who has stood up to her husband’s addiction is a match for her. Putting yourself first, isn’t selfish, it is the right thing to do with this addiction. You have shown your love for your husband by being strong. He seems to have recognised your real support, in the strength you showed, even before he went away, which is hopefully the wonderful sign that the green shoots of recovery have taken root and are ready to flourish.
Parents do not always come around – some are too fixed and remain blind. If they force choices upon you, your husband in recovery, will know what to do because he will have learned that, in control of an addiction, he has a choice too.
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