I found out my boyfriend was a compulsive gambler in August 2019, he had got himself into a lot of debt and spent our holiday fund. I am very lucky in the sense of our finances are separate and we have no children together but I do feel very alone when I need to talk to someone when the situation is getting me down.
When I first found out I took my boyfriend to the Drs, started him at a GA meeting, got us both counselling, registered him on Gamstop, taken charge of all of his banking and done basically everything to keep him safe. He is doing so well in his recovery but if ever I want to speak with him he goes quiet and just won't join in to help me understand when I have questions or need a little help myself.
The GA group is somewhere he goes for his help but I feel left behind, I've looked for family groups but the one available is about 100 mile journey.
All I want is for help from him, I want him to talk to me about the man he is now and just have a little understanding that it has affected me too, our relationship is completely different, if ever we want to do anything I have to pay or we just do nothing, he works in a good paid job but has a lot of debt so we are very restricted.
Is there anything I can do to get him to listen to me?
Sorry to hear the stress and hurt you’ve been out through. I’m a cg myself so can only give perspective from your boyfriends point of view. I think for most of us gamblers, talking about our feelings and trying to explain to others why we have done what we have done is the most difficult part. I for one, tend to keep all of my feelings to myself and never share my real emotions. It could be a number of reasons he doesn’t want to open up like the emotions of guilt and regret at what he’s done, the longing for it to go away and be a past memory or that he is still very fragile in his mind. None of these are excuses for him not to talk to you as you deserve that much for the support you have given him and you equally need support.
I believe there is now a chat room on a Wednesday for family and friends of CG. It may be worth joining there so you can speak to other people in similar situations. Have a look at the chat room page which should give you the details like the time.
I’m really sorry you have to go through this and hope you get support for yourself.
Ironically enough the family chat room are on the same night as my boyfriend's GA meeting so this would work out perfect - Thank you.
I understand he would want to try to avoid the conversations but he does so well in his GA meetings opening up, I know because I've been to the 2 open meetings that they've held and he talks quite freely to everyone in his therapy talk, as he does it there I don't understand why he can't at home to the person who he adores, he literally has no one left in his life except for me so why can't he just help me a little, all I get is I'm bombarding him and then it's turned around on me as if I'm in the wrong and then I'm made to feel guilty but I'm never sure what I'm guilty of, then when I get upset he's so sorry for being the way he is with me. It's so hard.
I can’t imagine how hard it is being on the receiving end and he is lucky to have you supporting him. The only thing I can think of for him being open there at the meetings is maybe he believes they are the only ones who will truly understand this madness we put ourselves through. When I’ve talked to family, I have answered their questions but it is so much more difficult then opening up to a fellow cg because no matter how understanding they are, I’m not sure they really understand the destruction going on in our brain.
This does not excuse him from talking to you about it. If he expects your support then he has to offer something in return as you shouldn’t be carrying all of the burden. He needs to take responsibility for his actions and part of that is to be honest and talk to you. Also, you have absolutely no reason to be guilty and neither should he make you feel like that. You didn’t have any say or control over his decisions, you are just there to pick up the pieces and it sounds like you have been very supportive.
I hope you find the chat room helpful and get the support that you need and fully deserve.
Hi Emma, I'm sat here reading your post and it is literally every single thing I'm feeling and exactly what has happened to me and my partner. I feel lost like he is doing great in recovery and I'm just trailing behind picking up pieces and trying to put myself back together. When I try to talk about my feelings I Dont think he really wants to hear and I don't get the support I crave 😞😞 I feel very lonely