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How do I find my own happiness, while he's busy self destructing?

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#1 Posted on:
Thu, 12/07/2018 - 13:53

He's trying

Joined:
2018-07-10

My name is Brenda from the USA. I am 44 years old. My fiance has a real gambling problem. He has not yet reached the point where he is thousands in debt, but he only recently started making enough money to make that even possible. I helped him build his credit over the past 7 years and now he's opening loans and using CCs to charge lottery and other gambling, or to pay for living expenses to free up cash for gambling. He says that I am sick. He says that I am controlling. He tells me that I need to figure out how to make myself happy and not depend on him for my own happiness. He tells me that I need Alanon, yet refuses to get any treatment for himself. He acknowledges that he is an addict, yet defends it because it makes him happy. I have family members who have struggled with addictions to drugs & alcohol and I am familiar with the downward spiral that he is on. He is 13 years younger than me, so it's difficult for him to understand the guidence I try to give him. Much of it comes from life experience that he hasn't had yet. I am lost. I am broken. I am desperate to find my happiness again. But I love him and want to support him and help him to find recovery. He is such a good man, beneath the demon of his addiction. I hate to lose him to this. But my hands are tied and I have no idea how to help him. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. 

Posted on:
Fri, 13/07/2018 - 14:24

bluescreen

Joined:
2018-03-13

Hi Brenda,

he's playing the blame game to make you feel bad, controlling, unreasonable, to make you doubt your own judgment. You are spot on though. He's in the grip of something that has more power over him that he'd like to admit. It's got him beaten, he just doesn't see it yet.
He doesn't want to stop and he wants you to leave him alone in his bubble.
I can tell you one thing though... it does a lot of things, but it for sure doesn't make him happy in any way.

He may not be in debt by now, but if he goes on like this he eventually will, that's for certain. It's progressive, it will constantly get worse. You unfortunately can't do much to make him stop, he needs to finally get there himself, but you can show him where your personal boundaries are. Don't take his mood swings, don't let him blame you for things beyond your control. You're not the one whose behaviour is unacceptable - that's him.

And... most importantly... saveguard your finances. He doesn't see the value of money. It's only tokens to feed his addiction, so you'd best take control of both of your finances. If he doesn't agree to that, make sure he doesn't have any access to yours. Don't give him any money and don't ever bail him out. His mess - his responsibility.

You can only support him if he wants to stop, but you can't go on like this either. Tell him clearly what you will and what you won't accept, what needs to be done. It takes two to have a functioning relationship, you can't be happy if he treats you like this. Stick to what you say though, letting a gambler get away with something sets them free to do it again.

As suggested before, you can get help for yourself at a GamAnon meeting. You are not alone.

This is a nasty thing to deal with and it requires a lot of tough love to get your point across through the thick fog that's currently clouding his brain.

I hope it's ok for you that I'm posting here. I wish you all the best and welcome to the forum.

Posted on:
Sat, 14/07/2018 - 13:31

He's trying

Joined:
2018-07-10

bluescreen, 

Thank you so much for your response. I appreciate you taking the time to reply. The funny thing is, I've worked in mental health for 20 years. I am educated on many different mental illnesses, including addiction. I don't really know why I even question myself. I guess my love for him clouds my judgement as well. I've allowed him to make me doubt what I already know is true about what he's doing and about the ways that I've enabled him to be so sick. I know that I've carried him, made excuses, and even bailed him out many times over the last 7 1/2 years, all in the name of "love" and "partnership". But I'm realizing that what would be support and love in a healthy relationship, is actually manipulation and tools for keeping his addiction satisfied in this relationship. I don't want to feed that monster anymore, and thanks to the many posts that support my truths and reinforce what I already knew to be facts, I have found some strength again. I had that hard conversation with him. I told him how sorry I was that he is sick and how very much I love him and want him well. But I also acknowledged to him out loud that he is manipulative, lying, and deceitful and that I will be taking all of the steps to find my own happiness. I will be working on my life and my happiness. I will be strengthening my foundation for when his crumbles. I have all of my finances split from him already. Thankfully, we don't own anything together. (lesson I learned in my divorce years ago) So, the real struggle is my heart. So much of me is wrapped up in him. He is AMAZING under that **** addiction. He has loved me like no other. I know he loves me, but I feel like his gambling is "the other woman". I'm tired of trying to compete and prove I'm worth more than "her". This is going to be hard, no question about it. But I am prepared to fight for me. I can't fight for us until he joins the fight. I'm not ready to let go and walk away, but even in this short time of trying to refocus, I see that he isn't. That effects me deeply and pushes me to continue to work toward an independant, strong, happy me. Even if it means without him. Wow! That really hurts to think about! Sorry for rambling. I get lost in the pain, plans, struggles. Have a blessed day and thank you again for sharing. If I may ask, are you a family/friend of an addict, or have you/do you struggle with the addiction?

Posted on:
Sat, 14/07/2018 - 17:56

bluescreen

Joined:
2018-03-13

Glad you talked to him about how you feel and what you want, and even though he didn't come to his senses, he now knows that you are being serious. You have put that quite well - you can't fight for your relationship (and for his wellbeing) if he doesn't join the fight. You don't have to rush it, you don't have to decide anything now. Just make sure you put yourself first. Work towards your own happiness and wellbeing and leave his bubble to him as long as he decides not to get out of it. Don't let this affect you, ignore his moods and / or sob stories. You don't have to compete with the voice of a demon inside his head, you count as much as he does and you deserve to live a happy life.

Yes, you may ask. I am from his side of the fence, as they say. That's why I hesitated a bit until I posted here. I somehow find it inappropriate to do so. I've come to see what this does to the people involved, not just ourselves, and even after a considerable time 'in the straight and narrow', reading stories like yours still fills me with guilt and embarassment, although my partner never knew what they were up against - yet another reason to better keep quiet, I guess...
In the fog of it I never thought about that. I never realized how much I hurt my partner. I isolated, I didn't come home for hours straight, and when I finally did, grumpy and moody, I just didn't feel like talking at all. I just couldn't take it. The shame of what I just did, yet again, was overwhelming. I never explained myself, said I was working or out with mates and went straight to bed. Lies, I simply didn't care. All I wanted to do was putting things right without asking for help. I didn't need help, only that big win that would solve all the problems. I'd stop there, all would be okay. Of course that never happened, every penny I ever won went straight back into the bookie's pockets, but I kept on telling myself the next time would be different. If they'd just leave me alone and stop asking me what the matter was... I'm fine... if I'd just be given the chance to put it right... when in fact all I needed was the opposite. I needed to stop.

Sorry for that wall of text, you probably know that anyways. When I finally stopped I had nothing left. I was evicted from my flat, broke yet again, up to my eyeballs in debt, alone, miserable and consumed by a deeply rooted feeling of worthlessness. Reading about other people who are heading in that direction or loved ones who see that coming and are emotionally harming themselves while trying to save someone who is in denial and therefore beyond help still is a horrible feeling, even after all this time.

I guess 'falling for it' is normal if it's about someone we love. My partner would have probably seen right through it if it wouldn't have been me. But they kept on thinking they did something wrong and I kept on making them believe so. Secrecy, manipulation and straight out denial... the struggle of 'survival' of a gambler in action. We need to keep going on, no matter the costs. We don't care, because we don't see it. It's just about getting the tokens (and opportunity) for the next fix. How dare anyone standing in my way? Leave me alone! It's not about money, greed or getting something for nothing. It's a complex mix of emotions, feelings, an escape from the the hopelessness, the numbness deep inside. Hard to explain, and even harder to leave behind, at least it was for me.

What starts with a harmless flutter at some later point becomes despair. The feeling of having no other options left. He might or might not get there, but the chances are high that he eventually will. Don't let him drag you down with him. It's hard because you love him and you want to help, but there is nothing you can do until he wants to stop. All you can do is help and protect yourself. It's hard to realize that, he doesn't deliberately act like he does, but as you said, his actions are controlled by a viscious addiction that takes everything and leaves only devastation. Regardless of that, the only one who can stop feeding that monster is him.

Oh dear... I never planned on writing that much, just got carried away a bit, I guess.
I am pleased you decided to look only after yourself from now on. It's a healthy decision. Not easy, but the best you can do here and now, and here and now is what counts most when dealing with this.

I admire your attitude, the strength and determination to want a better future for yourself, whatever that might look like.

Wish you all the best. :)

Posted on:
Sat, 14/07/2018 - 18:49

He's trying

Joined:
2018-07-10

Thank you, thank you, thank you for your honesty! I was actually hopeful that my assumption that you were in recovery was correct! I needed you to be straight with me about where you were/he is. I just felt like I was reading his story, written by someone else! It's rather scary how textbook so much of what I've experienced is. But it's kind of a relief to know that what I thought was unique isn't. What I felt so alone in dealing with is something that many others are feeling and dealing with. What you share also gives me hope! And man, do I need a little hope right now! I commend you for fighting for your recovery. I'm sorry that you were so sick that you lost so much before you were able to find the strength to face your truths and fight. I want to tell you not to feel guilty for those of us who are living with an addict, but the truth is, it's probably good for your recovery to feel that. Hopefully it will help to keep you focused on the NEW AND BEAUTIFUL YOU! Reinforcing that what you've done can not ever be repeated. You're words of experience and blunt truths are so very helpful to me and I ask that you continue to share your side with others like me. It brings me comfort to know that I have others who can relate to my pain as friends/family, but it brings me clarity and a better understanding of the person that I love and his struggles. Knowing the manipulations are exactly what I assumed they were really empowers me in how I see his approach to "us". Many of those things that I saw as "awww...he feels bad, he's really sorry, he's working on him and I'm making it impossible because I am so needy, and maybe just a little gambling isn't so bad" are actually manipulations that I've opened myself up to and embraced. It's time to pull back his mask and see who really hides behind it. Unfortunately, with every layer that I peel back, I find more of him that I don't like. That's so sad to me. How in the world can someone as observant and experienced as me not see all of this in him all along?! Why on Earth would I ever allow that to happen in my world?! I know better! I see it so clearly in the rest of the world, just not in my own home. That reality BITES! Better late than never though, right?! But now the truth is that I may be building toward the finale. That's a painful thought! My heart aches to think that he may always be this way and I may find myself alone and without him one day. That is a pain deeper than most. It feels like I've begun the long good-bye. All I want is for him to surrender to recovery. All I want is for him to beat that demon off of his back and battle back to me. I want him to be whole again. I want us to be whole. I want to look back on this as the time in our lives that we faced a huge fork in the road, but decided to take the high road together and live happily ever after. Much of what I've read and learned here leads me to believe that I am fantasizing and the reality is a very ugly one. 

Thank you so much, and please feel free to write as much as you like! I love to learn - and you're a great read! You should consider putting your experiences and advice in a paperback! I see a best seller in your future! 

Have a great day and thanks again! 

Posted on:
Sun, 15/07/2018 - 02:46

bluescreen

Joined:
2018-03-13

Thank you. Sometimes some encouraging words are very powerful. A virtual pat on the back for leading an ordinary life, something that actually should be taken for granted. It means a lot to me though.

He's in denial, he refuses to see it as it is. You can't get through to him in this state. He needs to change his mindset to let reality sink in, but he just doesn't do it, doesn't seem to want it.
It's toxic for everyone around him, yet it isn't him, he can do better, you know that, you remember those days. Hard to decide where the point is when it's time for you to stop trying and let go.
Me being the addict that I am, I am hoping for him to get there before it's too late. I really do, with all my heart.

It's tough, but achievable. Absolutely. All it takes to get there is his honest will to do it.

As for writing a book... you have taken a look around here. My experiences aren't that unique. Unfortunately there are a lot of people like me and my life is a textbook example of what not to do, of how to mess things up beyond repair. It happens thousandfold, all over the world and it drags so many people down, not only us. I can't even be angry at someone or something in particular, because at the end of the day it's all self-inflicted...

Yes, I needed to reach the point where things got unbearable to finally come to my senses. Enough is enough. Rock bottom, the card house collapsed, back to the wall, no way out, the point where the pain outweights everything else, where there is simply no other way than forward. This isn't uncommon either. A lot of people have to learn it the hard way, and for some this isn't even enough. The feeling of being fed up, the guilt and remorse all fade too quickly...
Complacency and selective memory, those two are the worst opponents in this life long fight for the upper hand and you are definately right about that feeling of shame and discomfort, there is a good side to that. It's a stark reminder of why returning to old habits can never again be an option for me. So it's good to sometimes remember that the voice of addiction, no matter how convincing it can sound at times (and believe me, it can be extremely persuasive), should be firmly ignored. It's a one way trip to total disaster, no matter how long I've managed to stay away. The moment I try will be the moment I'm doomed. Old habits die hard, and some will never die at all.

I have to see it as it is. A mug's game, designed for me to lose. I know that, I fell for it anyways, over and over again. Is there anything more stupid? Probably not. Hard to admit, but that's me.

I'm not even drunk or anything. Maybe it's just therapeutic to write things down for once...

Mhh... I might sound a bit negative here. There is hope, it can be done. It just needs to be treated with the respect it deserves. For me that means being one step ahead of myself at any given moment in time, and for loved ones it means not to shy away from asking questions or digging deeper when they feel like something is wrong, because you are mostly right on that one, obviously.

I hope he will start seeing it for what it is. A viscious, unforgiving addiction that thrives on secrecy and deceit and doesn't make anyone happy but itself, that leaves chaos and devastation in its wake and doesn't care about anything. It makes people do things they'd never even consider to be capable of, not in a hundred years.

Please, let him realize...

Posted on:
Sun, 15/07/2018 - 14:09

He's trying

Joined:
2018-07-10

There again, is my conundrum. How do I remove myself from the stress, anxiety, and anger and not be a part of his disease without leaving him? How do I stay firmly in the know, and not concern myself with what he's doing to himself? How do I work on my happiness and strengthen myself while continuing to dig deeper and hold him accountable for those things that I already know are happening? It feels like my only option is to leave him. That the only real option left for me to get him to seek help or me to a happy place eventually, is to leave. Is there no way to stay and support him and pray that he figures it out in the meantime? Am I ignorant to believe that there is hope for us too? Ughh.....so much ugliness. So much loss in all of those questions. I struggle with even hitting the save button, for fear of what answers may come. It's clear that this is all going to get way more painful before it gets any better. Whether I stay or go, that is for sure to happen. How do you stay focused blue? How did you find success in your recovery? What worked in getting you to that point? Is there a magic formula that I need to learn? If so will you share the recipe! haha! Have a great day! I was glad to see you had posted again. I appreciate you!

Posted on:
Sun, 15/07/2018 - 18:29

Cynical wife

Joined:
2015-06-23

At the moment, it seems that everything is about him or more precisely, about what you think he needs. If you move your focus away from him and over to you, (where it belongs) then your answers will become clearer to you. Less of what he needs and more of what you need. Ask yourself what you need from a lifetime partner. Someone to fix? You have that. Someone to have an equal life partnership with? Someone trustworthy who values and respects you as you value and respect him, someone who has similar values to you, someone who has your back as you have his, someone humanly imperfect but not inhumanly perfect? Do you have what you want in your life and in your relationship and if not, what are you going to do to achieve your own goals and dreams?

CW

Posted on:
Sun, 15/07/2018 - 18:51

He's trying

Joined:
2018-07-10

cw

Ughhh....just as I thought. Much of your response leaves me with only one conclusion. ****! ****! ****! Thank you for your response. I have never been good at the whole "think about your own happiness" thing. I've only ever taken care of those around me. In my personal and my professional life. I don't even know if there is something esle that makes me happy. I always base my happiness on being selfless and doing for others, helping them to be the best them that they can be. I take pride in my selflessness, but now everyone is telling me that the only way to find happiness in my relationship is to learn how to be more about self, which feels selfish to me. Only because I don't understand that reality. Am I a gluton for punishment or have I become blindly codependant?! I can't see my life without him in it when I picture my future. Yet I can't see us being any more than we are right now if he doesn't stop the maddness and get help. I want to tell him that I need him to choose me or his addiction and that I will support him as he works through recovery, but that I will not allow him in my life if he doesn't. But I'm scared to death that he either doesn't love me enough to fight, or he loves his addiction more and I will essentially be saying goodbye to him. I think I would die (not literally) if he left and stayed gone over gambling. My soul is torn! 

Posted on:
Sun, 15/07/2018 - 20:16

bluescreen

Joined:
2018-03-13

You can't stay in the know without getting involved in his problems.
You can't help him without him letting you.
In the end it's all up to him. That's why staying out of it until he comes to his senses is the healthiest way to deal with it. Everything else would be a fight you cannot win.

You can't have both without him cooperating. He either lets you know about things or he doesn't. If he decides to not let you know, all you can do is leave him to himself.

The moment he choses to face it, everything you are asking will be doable. It's tough as it is if he choses recovery, it's impossible if he doesn't.

Don't focus on him. Don't even focus on the relationship. At the moment he doesn't partake anyways. It takes two to make it worthwile and at the moment he doesn't contribute. Fixing him if he doesn't see the problem won't work.

Honestly. You don't have to fully understand him. Heck... not even I do, and I've been there. You know he's struggling, even if he doesn't admit it, and you know you can't help him if he doesn't face it. So move on to yourself.

As to that ultimatum... don't do that if you are not willing to stick to it. Letting us get away is never a good idea. It sets us free and gives us a free pass. We love that. See... all is okay. Let's go on, it's not that bad...

Yes, it's ugly. Seeing someone in that situation would be gut-wrenching. It wouldn't even have to be my partner to make me feel like that. Anyone. I know what it does and I know I'm helpless as long as the monster is firmly in control.
The first thing I read on here was the diary of someone, a complete stranger. He had posted here for years and it took me weeks to read through it. It was heartbreaking. I knew what was going to happen, every time, even before I had read his next post, it really made me physically sick. It left me speechless with a deep feeling of sadness for someone I've never met, yet I knew how he felt, what he was going through, what it did to him. I wanted to get there and shake him, make him come to his senses... lol... But there is just nothing anyone can do but him. The first time in my life I've come across a story like mine, another person behind a statistic. It's hard, it really is. I wouldn't wish that on anyone.

I can't go back. Ever.

What made me stop was being fed up. Fed up with my own weakness, my worthlessness, my lack of self-control. Living a lie to 'protect' and cover up for something that got me through the mangler over and over again. Fed up with sleepless nights of shame and remorse for what I did. No more being skint within 24 hours after payday and having to get through the month, keeping the demon and me both fed and pay the bills with an empty bank account and maxed out credit options, the stressful and exhausting struggle of survival...

I was lucky. For once I managed to stay on track, put blocks and measures in place before that feeling faded. For the first time in my life I really wanted it and for that to happen I had to be ahead of myself, make sure I couldn't act on impulse.
Don't get me wrong here, I had failed countless times before, the next day I had already forgotten what I'd sworn to myself sobbing and in tears the night before...

I shall never forget that. The memory keeps me on track. It would inevitably end there again and I wouldn't have the strength to make it out the next time, I'm sure of that...

I take every day as it comes. Small chunks. There are bad days and good ones. The good ones are a majority now. But occassionally my demon comes knocking at the back door. I won't let him in. I've heard his wonderful stories more often than I can count, they were never true. Why should it be different this time?

There is help available. Counselling, GA. He only has to reach out and want it. That is the hard part, admitting defeat, but it won't work without him facing it. No magic formula, just the honest will to end this **** once and for all and good measures to make sure it stays that way.

There is always hope. It's never too late. But it starts with him.

Posted on:
Sun, 15/07/2018 - 21:13

Amom

Joined:
2014-10-09

I am the mom of a compulsive gambler. He has been owned by this addiction for 11 years. Unfortunately I can tell you from experience you are never going to shame, bully, scare or love an addict into recovery. As CW & Bluescreen have said you need to start living your life for you and not as a manipulative tool to get your desired result... him to say OMG you've been right all along I have to stop this... It ain't gonna happen!

He has the best shot of living his best life when you start living yours. 

Get support for yourself as we quickly become just as sick as the addict we live with.

Cathyx

Posted on:
Mon, 16/07/2018 - 10:20

Merry go round

Joined:
2017-06-08

You don't have to leave. You have to change. Change reaction, stop helping. Tell him in a happy healthy relationship gambling is not acceptable. Find a gamanon meeting, work the steps. Be honest, what do you want? If you want him you have to find a way to get strong and set limits. I've never walked away, I've learnt to accept that the only person I can change is me. I'm married to a compulsive gambler so I found out what that means for me, what that entails. It's not easy but you have to face why you're attracted to someone like that and what is acceptable to you.

Posted on:
Mon, 16/07/2018 - 13:42

He's trying

Joined:
2018-07-10

Thanks Blue, Amom, and Merry go round. Blue - I expected you to share that formula with me. *****! haha. I know this isn't my battle to fight or win. I spent the last week trying to not concern myself with whether or not he was gambling, as long as he was paying me his share of the expenses and bills. But, something in me told me that the whole conversation that I had with him: where I told him I was gonna shift my focus onto myself and my own healing and strengthening and preparation for his ultimate failure, was interpreted wrong. Something told me that he had decided that I meant he could do whatever the **** he wanted and I was not going to be in his business anymore (FREE PASS). So last night I asked how he's been doing. To which he replied, I didn't gamble yesterday. I said: well on Monday you told me you would make an effort to not gamble everyday. So were you successful or is this your way of telling me you only didn't gamble yesterday (because the money is gone)? He started on the whole merry go round of twisted truths about what had happened, so I called that to him and asked him to show me his bank account to prove his words. When he opened it, he looked like he was shocked to find out that his truths were lies, even to himself! He had gambled away about $200 US of the $500 US of his weekly pay and around $200 US of his savings (savings being the $500 remaining of the $1000 LOAN he just took out last week). I was not surprised, as I knew what was happening behind the scenes. I know him. But I needed him to be accountable. I told him that he needs to be accountable for what he's doing with his finances. He kept referring back to the self-help book he got at the library that he hasn't really gotten into yet. That he is going to dig into it and I need to give him time. But just as I said, I know him. I know that book on the end table is another manipulation tool. I feel like he wants to stop for me, but has no desire to stop for him. I think he only tries to get control because everyone around him gives him grief about it. But in his "perfect world" he would never stop! Do I get excited and wait for these baby steps (self-help book and admitting he's sick) and pray he eventually realizes or do I see them as I have, as manipulations? Can you guys tell me what "turning the focus on myself" looks like? I've never done that. I don't know what that means (not joking). Can you tell me what it looks like for me to be focused on me and in a relationship with an active addict? Can you tell me what happiness looks like in that situation? I have no idea what I'm working for or trying to change to. Thank you all for your support. It means so much! ps. Blue, I think I read the thread you spoke of in your last post. That battle was brutal. Is brutal. So sad.  

Posted on:
Mon, 16/07/2018 - 15:29

Amom

Joined:
2014-10-09

You know that he is not in recovery. He is in addict mode, deflect, deflect, deflect. Anything to bring chaos to the situation.

Recovery for you is not giving him a chance to spew his BS while you try to catch him up in another lie... that is just a game that you are both playing. I don't mean this at all disrespectfully (cuz we've all done it) but what are you getting out of this? Why do you play the games? Are you addicted to the chaos?

That is what turning the focus on yourself means. We have to ask ourselves the hard questions and be willing to do the hard work to change. There are all sorts of groups you can attend... Gam Anon, Al Anon and I know CW also speaks highly of a codependant group. 

When we are no longer able to change a situation we are challenged to change ourselves. Victor Frankl.

Take care of yourself Brenda.

Cathyx

 

Posted on:
Mon, 16/07/2018 - 18:02

bluescreen

Joined:
2018-03-13

Sorry that I couldn't provide that magic formula. But if you ever stumble across it, let me know. ;)

I'm not surprised of what you found. Right in the fog of it he might not even have realized how much it actually was, but he for sure did at some point after that, when the hard truth finally kicked in.
First we gamble away our spare money, then our wages, our savings, our rent and bill money, our food money, then we take out loans to cover it up, lose them too, we start borrowing from friends and family and even work mates, acquaintances, juggling direct debits, robbing Peter to pay Paul, and after that we are getting 'creative'.
Every single step of that is a line I once swore I would never cross...

He is sick, just like me, and a self-help book won't help him, even less so if he doesn't read it. You are right, he is just trying to calm the waters to make you feel at ease, to make you think he's making an effort, without actually doing what needs to be done. That scares him, because he doesn't want to go without it. The addiction does that, time will only make it worse, it's obvious where this is heading.

You are turning around in circles. He is trying to sell you his fairy tales and you are proving him wrong. You know what's happening, he knows that you know, yet it leads nowhere. As Amom said, you can't force him to wake up. That's what you can change, not wasting energy on a charade. Easier said than done, I know. I can see where you're coming from with not knowing how to turn your focus on yourself. It may sound like the ultimate bad joke, given my past, but I also had to learn how to do that, and I'm still not very good at it.
I guess happiness in a situation like that is living your life regardless of what he is doing. Accepting the things you cannot change, not letting it affect your own life.
Going to a meeting, as suggested, might help you find a way to do that, and it would show him that you are prepared to fight it.

Not being willing to have an argument with that deceitful demon on his shoulder doesn't mean you are giving up on him.

Posted on:
Mon, 16/07/2018 - 18:55

Lethe

Joined:
2016-12-10

Are you the one holding the fort financially? If you're bailing him out and/or covering his unpaid share of the bills he has no incentive to change. If you're not acting as his safety net, your finances are secure against his access  and he's meeting his share of the household expenses trying to make him accountable for what he's spent gambling when he doesn't want to give up is a waste of energy and may even drive the existing deceit further underground.

Living with an active gambler involves endless chaos and drama if you let it. If your finances are secure you have a bit of breathing space to disengage and decide how you want to live and where your lines in the sand are. Once you've done that you can lay them out to him without discussion or compromise. Engaging with the madness blurs your focus and gives him the chance to manipulate you into tolerating intolerable behaviour.

Posted on:
Mon, 16/07/2018 - 21:58

He's trying

Joined:
2018-07-10

Thanks all. Lethe I feel like what you've said is going to be the least painful approach. I must admit that I've always "had his back" when it came to his short comings financially. I have kept my finances separate and he is paying me the rent he is responsible for. I have, in the past allowed him to skip paying for our weekly "date night" even though, for me that night is very important to our relationship and I consider it part of his contribution to our home. On the day that I became a member of this site, I did have the conversation with him about not bailing him out anymore. He actually tried to skimp on date night funds last Saturday and I held my ground. I won't be covering for him anymore with family and friends. If he doesn't have any money to do something that comes up unexpected, then he just won't be doing it. I won't make excuses or give the loans that I've always been good for. He always pays me back, but the truth is, I'm just extending his gambling abilities for another week by loaning him a get out of jail free card everytime he's in a pinch. I've also decided to be honest with our family members about it. No more keeping his secrets. They all know he has a problem. However, they have no idea how bad it actually has become. I'm not sugar coating anymore. I won't let him feed me bs anymore. When he's being manipulative, I'm calling him on it. When he lies, I'm calling him on it. Not in a mean or aggressive way, but just so that he knows I know what he's doing and won't tollerate it anymore. I won't ignore that he's gambling. I won't NOT ask him if he's gambling. I feel like he needs to own it. I feel like he needs to be accountable, otherwise he can just waller in his secrets. I won't fight anymore though. I'm done fighting over it. I'm simply going to state facts and leave it there. I find that since I've started just stating facts and asking questions that require proof and accountability, he's become quite aggitated and defensive. I won't let him get me fired up anymore or twist it around to my fault for nagging. No more! Until he is ready to get help, which I will ask from time to time, I will remain steadfast in this. I will also reassure him that the "happy" that he feels (and defends) from gambling can be transformed into a health happy that he has never felt before. And I'm gonna pray pray pray!!! I hope that he wakes up and reaches out for help. I want him to work toward recovery so bad. But I'm also aware that this road that I'm on is exhausting!! It's only been a week of holding my line and seeing the addiction clearly (thanks blue for removing the rose colored glasses for me) and I'm already tired. As sad as it sounds, I hope that if this is how he will always be, I eventually grow so tired of it that I am able to walk away from him without the tremendous amount of pain that I know I would feel if I left him now. Does this sound like a good approach, or am I making excuses to stay? I know CW will shoot straight with me, and I'd appreciate all of your honesty, even if it hurts. No need to ever apologize to me for shooting straight with me. I respect that in others. I know that the truth sometimes hurts as I'm a straight shooter. Am I making the right choices/changes or no?

Posted on:
Tue, 17/07/2018 - 07:50

Cynical wife

Joined:
2015-06-23

Morning,

It’s interesting that you say how your whole life has been about other people. That’s actually the root and cause of your problems. Somewhere along the line you’ve learnt the wrong lessons, picked up the idea that you don’t really matter and so you’ve become codependent and attracted to the chaos and drama of someone impossible who will be wonderful once you’ve fixed them. Except that as we all find out the hard way, we can’t fix anybody except ourselves. Take away the fantasy of how he and how your relationship would be wonderful if only he didn’t gamble and you’re left with the reality of trying to have relationship with a gambler who is in reality is impossible. And you’ve lost yourself along the way, you don’t know or have to think about who you are, what you think, what you value, what you want and need, what your goals are, all of this goes out of the window whilst you focus on how to fix Mr Impossible and everyone else around you.

It’s not about if you stay or if you go. It’s about you facing the pain of looking at you because if you don’t, the next man will be worse. And each one after that. Healthy attracts healthy, a healthy person would regard the intolerable behaviour of an addict as intolerable and wouldn’t be attracted by any notion of saving or changing him.

Start a GamAnon program (and AlAnon if he drinks) and also look at issues of codependency. The book that helped me was Robin Norwood, “Women who love too much”, also Pia Mellody’s “Facing Love Addiction” .

Above all, protect yourself financially then focus on you without being distracted by him.

CW

Posted on:
Tue, 17/07/2018 - 11:08

Lethe

Joined:
2016-12-10

I would add that my personal point of view is that I wouldn't maintain or even consider a relationship with someone who gambled even for fun if they showed no interest in stopping. That's my line in the sand if you like. Mr L is in no doubt that if he ever crosses it again I will walk.I can't and won't live that life ever again. Focusing on you and how you want your life to be is the key thing here. 

Posted on:
Tue, 17/07/2018 - 12:06

Merry go round

Joined:
2017-06-08

Compulsive gamblers are compulsive liars, no point asking they only lie. What difference does it make, you'll never hear the truth. Concentrating on you means stop thinking about him and what he's doing. The least painful way is not living with an active gambler. No point waiting if you are continuing to endure the chaos. The pain could get far worse. I totally agree with Lethe and CW, if you don't deal with this the next man will be worse. As I said to my husband 'you're not the first gambler I had a relationship with'! As a young woman I had no idea.

Posted on:
Tue, 17/07/2018 - 13:53

He's trying

Joined:
2018-07-10

Thanks all. I know I'm damaged goods. CW you are correct. I come from a broken man. My father was a verbally and physically abusive devil from the time I was born until the time my mother left him. He then refused to change anything about him for us and in fact turned his back on us when he and my mother divorced. He never attempted to make all of his wrong right. So yeah, I would say that probably has a lot to do with who I am. When I got into this, I was of the mindset that I wasn't going to judge him. We all have our crosses to bare. But the truth is, I was judging him for it from the beginning. I did want to fix him. I did want to help him see how amazing he "could" be. I've worked hard to try to stop being that person, but clearly this is not something that I can fix or even need to fix. That's for him. I just have to find the strength to make those hard choices for myself. To believe that if he doesn't think me worthy of fighting for, then someone else will. That's the hardest part of all of it! Have a great day everyone. Thank you so much for being there. 

Posted on:
Tue, 17/07/2018 - 15:41

Cynical wife

Joined:
2015-06-23

It’s not about whether he or anyone else thinks that you’re worth it. Change will come when you start to think that you’re worth it and think and act accordingly.

Take care of you.

CW 

Posted on:
Tue, 17/07/2018 - 17:21

bluescreen

Joined:
2018-03-13

Sorry that it all sounds so negative. It's an awful feeling when things are beyond our control. But sometimes it's just better to see it as it is than struggling and exhausting ourselves in a battle we cannot win, and that noone else wants us to fight in the first place. As you said, it's only a week and you already feel it's toll.

You sound like you hope that one day you will be fed up enough to leave without it hurting as much as it would now. My partner once did that, so I will refrain from giving my opinion on it, I'd be biased if I did and I only know his side of the fence. But... is that something to look forward to? Something to actually want to achieve? A goal to set on your way to a better life?... Waiting until you're fed up enough to leave?

What I want to say is something along the lines of: Live your life, enjoy what you like to do. If he doesn't have money for a night out, go with a friend. Move on. Along the way you can decide wether you want him to be a part of your future or not, no rush on that, you don't need to make that decision now. As long as he pays his part of the household expenses and other things you agreed on, you don't have to argue with him in any way. You don't have to put up with his bs, don't have to listen to the distorted truths of his very own parallel universe.
He might eventually come to his senses or he might not... don't stand still waiting for reality to dawn on him.

You're worth it. It doesn't matter what he thinks, his mind is blurred anyways.

Posted on:
Tue, 17/07/2018 - 18:24

He's trying

Joined:
2018-07-10

I'm so glad I found you guys! Thank you so much!

Posted on:
Wed, 18/07/2018 - 04:57

He's trying

Joined:
2018-07-10

So tonight he asked for a link to this page. He's reaching out. I pray he finds something that works. Fingers crossed! Note the incognito name...

Posted on:
Wed, 18/07/2018 - 07:01

Cynical wife

Joined:
2015-06-23

Sorry to be harsh but how does him extressing an interest in GamCare change your project to work on you?

He may well be trying (I find coping with addiction very trying). I hope he does find recovery but you need to heal and recover as well.

Focus on you, take care.

CW

Posted on:
Wed, 18/07/2018 - 08:33

Cynical wife

Joined:
2015-06-23

Comment about spam now deleted.

Posted on:
Wed, 18/07/2018 - 08:42

Merry go round

Joined:
2017-06-08

That's funny! How do they get here?

Posted on:
Wed, 18/07/2018 - 13:53

He's trying

Joined:
2018-07-10

CW I'm not sure how me noting a name change was to try to protect my privacy and my thread was NOT about me. If he asked for a link to a page that may help him to open his eyes and realize just how badly he needs help, is it not my responsibility to try to help him find his way? I get the focus on me thing, and NO that has not changed. But if he needs supported while making positive steps to get into recovery, isn't that what we are supposed to do? The reason for the post was to inform those who I have been finding support and strength with that I wanted to try to protect my anonymity from HIM. I don't even know that he will be in this section of the forums, but I'd like to continue to share my feelings and thoughts private from him. That's all. Am I wrong? What is that comment about spam being deleted? and How funny! How do they get here? I'm confused. I hope I am making sense. I hope you all still post and give me guidence. I appreciate it and meant no offense by doing this. I feel there is a wealth of knowledge and support here. I think it would be a disservice to anyone who needs help to deny them this connection if I know how powerful it has been for me. Have a great day! 

 

Posted on:
Wed, 18/07/2018 - 14:36

bluescreen

Joined:
2018-03-13

I'm at work right now, and some people here seem to leave their brains at home every day, I guess that's what a six figure salary does... "I'm entitled not to think on my own, because I'm great!"
Sorry, I am slightly annoyed.
I can't post much at the moment obviously. Just wanted to say that those comments referred to a spam post advertising love spells from an internet guru. This post has been deleted by a moderator by now. It had nothing to do with you.

See you later.

Posted on:
Wed, 18/07/2018 - 17:18

Cynical wife

Joined:
2015-06-23

Hi,

Just saying that what you need to do doesn’t depend on what he does or doesn’t do, either positive or negative. Apologies for any  offence.

CW

Posted on:
Wed, 18/07/2018 - 17:21

He's trying

Joined:
2018-07-10

Thanks for bothering with me during your busy work day Blue! CW, no worries. I'm still very much focused on me. 

Posted on:
Thu, 19/07/2018 - 00:01

bluescreen

Joined:
2018-03-13

No worries, it's actually quite easy going most of the time, but unfortunately our receptionist is on sick leave and I, being the yes person that I am, agreed to taking her phone calls. I really don't know how she manages to put up with this level of stupidity every day. It requires stoic calm and patience... she has neither, and now I know where her regular rants stem from... :P
Anyways. It was my last day and now I'm on annual leave.

Good to hear he's reaching out. It starts with facing reality and actively doing something about it. There's lots of good advice on here, let's just hope he didn't only ask because he thinks it would make you feel at ease.

Wanting to stay anonymous, especially when it comes to things like this, is okay. Thoughts, feelings... it's very personal after all. I for sure wouldn't want anyone I know to make the connection between my username on here and me. Some see it differently, but I'm not sure if I'll ever get there. If you want me to delete the start of my first post, I will, btw.

It's absolutely okay to help him if he asks for help. After all, that's what it's all about, and when really wants to beat this he will need every support he can possibly get. Taking some serious steps in that direction is the key though. Half hearted attempts simply don't work. Don't even bother as long as he is not taking action.

Good night (or is it good morning for you?) :)

Posted on:
Thu, 19/07/2018 - 15:10

He's trying

Joined:
2018-07-10

Hahaha your posts crack me up Blue! It is now 9:42am as I'm reading this. I have a late work day today, so I slept in TOO LONG. Your work description was a good start to my day. (giggles) I work in mental health, and with some of the most severely mentally ill people in our area. I don't think I need to tell you that my days can be a real roller coaster! It never gets boring that's for sure! But, I was born to do what I do. I just need the vacations (or is it annual holiday in your terms) that I get desperately. I get 3 weeks a year (could use 1 a month). Unfortunately, he never looked at the link. I made an observation the next morning, and asked the question "Have you overspent your budget on gambling this week"? To which, he answered "yes". Which is when I politely and without agression stated, "Oh, I see. That's why you were talking about how you needed to get some help last night. You always do this when you are on a losing streak and end up broke (I think you guys say skint)". I said it matter of factly and without threat and turned away to continue what I was doing. I won't pretend to not know his manipulations anymore. I'm going to leave him to reflect on his reality. Me - I'm going to continue to do whatever it is that I need to do to separate and strengthen me. Yesterday, in the art program at my agency, we did Faces Of Recovery masks. They are paper masks that people in recovery from mental illness and addiction paint and decorate to represent the mask that they wear to hide their addiction or mental illness, or to represent what hides beneath their everyday mask. The masks travel all around our state in a traveling art show to bring awareness to mental illness and addiction. I decided to join my members and create my own. I must say, it was a very deep and moving experience to reveal my truths on this mask. I spend so much of my time helping everyone else sort out themselves and try to heal that I rarely ever reflect on what lies deep in me. It's kind of scary in there! haha! Anyway, I'm proud of how it turned out and I'm proud of me for accepting the truth about me. But I must admit, it's draining and frustrating to try to sort out what is healthy and not. So much of who I am is not healthy for me, but I've helped change countless lives by being the selfless person that I am. I don't want to ever stop being the person that people can count on and that will go the extra mile to help those in need. I'm proud of her. But in my personal life, I really do need to realize my worth and expect more from my partner. That whole worth thing is the hard one. Ughh.... Blue, I don't think you need to worry about editing any comments. I'm not so concerned with that. If he takes the time to read so many posts that he finds this thread and realizes, good for him. I have no secrets here. I'm not ashamed of what I've written and I will own my truths. I just like to have my privacy to share my thoughts without provoking him or arguing or hearing him be defensive. I would love for him to get on the forum and read what other addicts have written. I think it would help him to really see more clearly if he realized that your stories are so alike that I have a hard time separating one from the other! And I mean that Blue, much of what you have said was like you were standing in my livingroom journaling our daily activity! You candidly telling on yourself and revealing yourself so truly has helped me so much! I know others can agree. Please never stop. Have a great day my friends from far away! Your support and listening (or reading I guess) means alot! 

Posted on:
Sat, 21/07/2018 - 02:28

bluescreen

Joined:
2018-03-13

It's close to 4 am local time, I am on holidays, sitting on the balcony. I don't like unusual surroundings and I don't like being a tourist, but some of my partner's mates are here, they do that every year, and so we joined them. Before, I've always made excuses not to go. I hate flying, the feeling scares sh*tless, but meh... I survived... at least one of the trips. :P Now everyone sleeps and I have some time to read a bit, when we arrived on Thursday I fell asleep the moment I hit the pillow.

Compared to your job, mine is quite dull, I work in administration for the sales department. I have five weeks of vacation. Some of my collegues have more, depends on how long you have worked there. It's not the worst place to work, but they somehow are stuck in the 80's and some of the sales people have a special sense of entitlement. I admire people who work in healthcare. Be it mental health or otherwise. My mother was a nurse in for a long time before she changed her job. It was very exhausting. She worked at A&E, in mental health it must be even harder, but you have a purpose, at the end of the day you have helped people. I am just helping a company to sell machines, noone would notice the difference if I wouldn't do it.

Yeh, hiding it, functioning, going on, the grip of an addiction is a really dark place to be. Not only the past, your own behaviour and the way you are acting towards situations or other people are affected by it. Life in that bubble was hell, but for a long time it was all I ever knew. Hard to unlearn. We all have different ways of expressing that, I guess. And it affects a lot of other people who innocently get sucked in aswell.

See. He didn't even look. At the moment he doesn't want to stop gambling, he just wants to stop losing. As soon as that feeling of being fed up faded, all good intentions went out of the window.
Never again is what I swore the time before...

True, people's stories are different, and yet alike, it all heads in the same direction if we don't stop it, and there are so many.

There's nothing wrong with being kind and supporting people who need help. There must be a limit for that though - the moment it affects your own wellbeing.
Self-worth is a whole big project in itself... that's true... lol. It's good to focus on it, though. Not easy at times, but healthy. You can't always give... and you for sure don't have to, especially not to someone who doesn't even notice.

I will not be around much for the next days. I'm busy doing nothing at all with people who are enjoying live as it should be lived, but I hope all is going well for you. As we use to say on here: Stay strong.

For yourself, that is. :)

Posted on:
Sat, 21/07/2018 - 08:37

ODAAT

Joined:
2014-11-10

Hi HT, just wanted to jump in here with a couple of observations...

 

In relation to the work that you do (which is incredible by the way), don’t underestimate the stress that looking after people who are less able to look after themselves can bring.

 

I also want to reference what must have been @ the very least an uncomfortable childhood, (if not always, then @ times) & say that working in mental health isn’t the same as working a recovery program.

 

Focusing so hard on everyone else’s problems (read...judging EVERYONE) meant I never had time to even accept let alone face my own!  Recovery has been a real eye opener & coming to terms with recognising, what I’ve considered for years to be my strengths are in fact character weaknesses (who knew being a highly entertaining (if I say so myself) angry Bird was so unhealthy) has been somewhat of a challenge!  Being a people pleaser is great for everyone around you, who rely on your good nature & I imagine, take advantage of it, but it’s not healthy for you to be so far down the pecking order in your life! 

 

I completely identify with you saying you don’t know what makes you happy...Whilst I have successfully put down my addiction after some 30 years, I am still really struggling to figure who I really am & what makes me tick.  I’m no expert but I think you raise a valid point about your co-dependency & hope that joining in with the mask exercise has given you much needed strength to encourage you to push through for you!  There are going to be uncomfortable times ahead, in your mind & probably your heart but the sharp shooters all come from a place of love...Regardless of which side of the fence or what side of the water we are all here striving for a common purpose.

 

I haven’t seen much evidence from people using this site alone as a recovery tool but I have heard many stories of the comfort of recovery & for me, the little effort I have put into the 12 Step program so far has been more rewarding than I could even start to explain.  

 

Sounds to me like you’re embracing change & already on the right track, you definitely do need to work on your self care!  Keep it up, it’s progress not perfection - ODAAT 

 

P.s: My name’s Kelly & I’m a compulsive gambler!  If anyone had tried to tell me I’d ever be writing that down when I 1st came here, I would have cyber punched them clean out (& that will be my over active imagination again...probably more likely I would have laughed in their diary)...Addiction is progressive but so is recovery!

Posted on:
Sat, 21/07/2018 - 14:33

He's trying

Joined:
2018-07-10

Have a great holiday Blue! I hope you don't read this until you've finished, so that I'll know you spent the time doing exactly what you had planned, NOTHING! Kelly, thank you for sharing your observations. I think it's funny you put "judging EVERYONE". When I am helping to enable him, he tells me how much he appreciates my selflessness and how generous I am with my time and efforts to help everyone. But when I respond negatively regarding what he's doing or don't give him what he needs from me to be okay in his sickness, he calls "judgy". "Why do you have to be so judgy"?!  "Don't judge me"! Haha! You can't ask me for my help or expect me to take care of everything you need and not get my observations of what you're doing, or better yet not doing, to improve your situation for yourself. I can't alway be the fixer. I can only show you or tell you how to take another path, and let you try it. But in the end, I always end up being the one who gets let down. My expectations have always been too high for him. I'm done focusing on his excuses to continue to fail and lose. I'm not expecting anything anymore. I'm just going to try to refocus on me in those times and find my own healing. I want to put some of the expectations on me now. Especially since I know I'm "a doer"! I won't let me down, well not nearly as much as others have that's for sure! I'm glad you are in recovery Kelly. I'm sorry that it was 30 years that you were in the grips. That's such a long time! I hope you are embracing and enjoying your new life! Have a great weekend!

Posted on:
Fri, 27/07/2018 - 04:58

bluescreen

Joined:
2018-03-13

Doing nothing is quite exhausting... lol...

Not my cup of tea. I'm somehow glad it's over. Enough socializing for now! Especially if that includes greeting and chatting with every bar owner in the area, which means being drunk before sunset on the first day, with a week to follow. One of my partner's mates has lived there for a few months back in 2011 and knows literally everyone... -.-
Apart from that my neck and shoulders look like a well done steak from a scooter trip to the hills on our second day. Great... ever heard of sun cream???

But at least I managed the flight back without catching the attention of a flight attendant worrying about the possibility of me passing out from a panic attack. That's definately an improvement. The next time will be a walk in the park. :P

Well... absolutely true. Selflessness isn't helpful in dealing with him, it isn't in your own interest to help him, to have others unload their burdens on you. This can actually be a negative trait when it comes to your personal wellbeing. He has to change, but so have you. You're working on that, and I'm really pleased to see that. My partner is just like you when it comes to wanting to help, the worst case scenario should I ever decide to do something incredibly stupid. Noone would benefit from that, neither me nor them. Only that devil on my shoulder, it would be jumping for joy indeed... and I'd do as it would tell me... taking advantage of the good intentions whereever I can... Been there, done that, a quite unpleasant memory.

Of course he expects you to 'help'. That's what partners do, right? For the good times and the bad ones. Only that his bad times are actually self-inflicted and caused by something he isn't even willing to see, cruel world, poor him, he's trying to hide the big elephant in the room behind his back, and the help is only good if it's material. Please leave out all that talking bs, who needs that? No 'judging', no lecturing. You're being unfair. It's just a harmless pastime, what harm could possibly be done? Btw. could you lend me a tenner? It's my turn to buy milk and coffee for the office and I accidently left my wallet in a drawer at work... oh, thanks, I'm at the shop, see you later...

Great post by ODAAT. She has a good way with words, and she's of course right, a website won't get him very far, it takes much more than that. Recovery is an ongoing process, it doesn't suddenly stop somewhere and then there will be happily ever after...
But it always starts with facing reality. For everyone involved. That's not easy, but well worth it.

These are probably more words than I've actually spoken all day, good that I don't have to work. Have a nice day and take care.

Posted on:
Fri, 27/07/2018 - 14:18

He's trying

Joined:
2018-07-10

Hahahaha! Welcome back! That's funny that you got snockered. You know there's a country song that I'm fond of that says sunrise, sunburn, sunset repeat...Sounds like you've got the idea. Well we must add (snockered) in there somewhere. I did the same on Friday. BAD IDEA! I don't drink. Maybe once or twice a year I will partake, and then regret it for several days to a week and remember why I don't drink. Well, Friday was my once this year. I literally started crying while reminiscing with my brother about past hard times and I cried for 3 solid hours! I think all of my emotions are just raw right now. I honestly didn't know I could produce that many tears! I'm not really sure that I would have cried even close to that much, had I been sober, but none the less, I did. Bad night! Worse next 3 days! OH THE AGONY OF HANGOVER!!! 

I have been sticking to my guns. I'm still calling bs when I hear it. Not aggressively, just stating that it's not fact, or that it's manipulation, or that I don't accept his twisted truth and I move on with my day. I've also had the opportunity to see myself as the enabler that I was before this awakening and to STAND UP and say NO! He has a family gathering for his cousin's baby shower coming up soon. He asked me to get online and shop for her and he would pay for it. So I was busy shopping away and talking to him about how much this, or that, would be. He decided that he would like to get her some diapers that were most of his budget (or the budget that he told me he had when I started shopping) and asked if I would put some money in to add to the pot and get her something in addition to that. NOPE! (the old me would have offered half of the total cost, even though he pays nothing toward the things that "we" buy for my side of the family) I explained calmly, this is your side of the family. You pay for the expenses for food contributions, gifts, and that kind of stuff. I pay for the same for my family (only I'm not cheap so I spend more with my family and he "we" look way more generous to them). So I stuck to my guns. Then, he says to me "I don't have cash for that. I could use my credit card". I said, OKAY! The old me didn't realize that was one of his manipulations. I am such a stickler about wreckless charging on a cc that I would have said - NO! I WILL PAY FOR IT NOW, AND YOU PAY ME BACK (your half) LATER. This time, I ran his card and left it on him. I know his balance is growing higher and higher, but fighting with him only makes me crazy. If he must completely fail to realize that he's sick, then I must let him. 

I was so proud of me. Hardest thing I've ever done! I don't do well with watching someone I love head down the road to self destruction. I want to be on the edge of the cliff pushing him back away. But I can't. I get it now. I'm just going to pray for him and continue to move forward in life focusing on me and my responsibilities and happiness. Someday....maybe he'll see. Maybe.  

It's good to have you back Blue! I missed our chats. I check the forum every morning when I sit down to have my coffee (before I go on fb and get lost in Candy Crush mania). It brought a smile to my face to see you back with another silly story. You really are a bright star! Keep shining your light. Have a great day, and aloe helps alot with sunburn.....

Posted on:
Sun, 29/07/2018 - 04:05

bluescreen

Joined:
2018-03-13

My partner might have read my posts on here. Isn't this ironic? Well... who knows. No point in deleting them. I thought about that all day, but meh... so be it. I'm done with running away. It would be too late anyways.

Someone suggested yogurt to me. That's a bit gross. Strawberry or cherry? I couldn't really get myself to try that out. Aloe sounds much better. :P

I also usually don't drink. Those times are well in the past. Before my holidays, the last time I was drunk was in December. Some mates of my sister-in-law came to visit, we were out and I stupidly thought keeping up with them would be a good idea. It wasn't, obviously. Not only did I experience the worst hangover since my mid 20's, but someone also suggested we could go on holidays together.
"Have you ever been to the US?"
"No. I don't know if they'd even let me in."
"We could go. Why not?"
"Uh-huh. It's a big place. Where do you want to go?"
"Vegas."
"Really? Why would anyone want that?"
"It's fun."
"Sure..."
They were quite enthusiastic about it. I didn't really want to discuss that and hoped they'd forget the next day, but they didn't...
I managed to turn it down, btw. That trip won't happen. I said it would probably be boring as hell, I don't want to fly for more than ten hours for THAT. My partner would have done it, if I had wanted to, but wasn't really keen on it either, and even less keen on partaking in any kind of discussion "As you wish. I don't mind." Great!
I've read on another thread about a gambler's girlfriend being worried about going to a holiday in Vegas and it reminded me of my last drinking episode. Not saying no straight away got me into a whatsapp discussion that lasted for days. I spoiled the 'fun' for them, but it probably saved them from finding out that this can be the exact opposite for people like me. It's a no-no. No matter how good her boyfriend's or my intentions might be now, how determined we are, how strong we feel, the risk is too high. We can't do that. I really wouldn't want to rely on my willpower, and I for sure wouldn't try. It's best to avoid any kind of temptation.

I don't get emotional, but I tend to talk too much and it gets me into situations I don't want to be in. Luckily it doesn't happen very often nowadays. My limit for this year is definately already reached aswell.

I don't like fb, it's somehow confusing. Information overflow. I really don't care what others are having for lunch or what their pets are doing. No telly, no social media, for about two or three years I didn't even have an internet connection. I'm a weirdo, lol, the most boring person on the planet.

My partner is a real family person. Visit here, visit there. Except of their older sister they all aren't well off (same goes for mine). They tend to buy them things just for the sake of it, and on birthdays or other family events it's even more. But they can afford it and I don't care. In their opinion money is there to be spent. I sometimes contribute, especially when it comes to the parents. They'd do the same, so I don't mind. There isn't a straight line in our finances after the fixed monthly outgoings are paid, we have seperated bank accounts though. I insist on that, for reasons they are not aware of (well, they might be now -.-). Spontaneous spending is something I can't do, I made sure of that, this occassionally causes a bit of annoyance, but I'll stick to it regardless.
Some might think I'm tight with money - I'm not. I actually don't care much about it, I just need it out of plain sight. It's a strange thing really.

Credit cards are wonderful, aren't they? I used to use them a lot, obviously. Maxed them all out. A few loans on top of that... who cares? I'll pay it back later. Exactly what I needed. Who cares about tomorrow? I will find a way... I was good at convincing myself I would and noone would have succeeded in telling me that it's a downward spiral that ends in a solid brick wall... until I hit it.

Today I am quite the opposite. I don't own a credit card and I would never buy anything I couldn't afford straight away. I despise ĺoans in any form. Our latest financial dispute was about my partner wanting to buy a car and me refusing to take out a loan for it. It ended with me handing over all my savings and them borrowing the rest in their own name. Which lead to the next dispute... the delayed payment. I don't have immediate access to my savings and I can't transfer that much at once. I guess the phrase I heard the most during that time was "Why? I don't get it!"

No wonder your emotions are raw and sometimes it's just good to let it all out. To talk to someone. I'm more the introvert kind of person, this is something I definately have to work on, I just find it hard having a conversation about what I feel, most of the time that isn't much anyways.

I used to do that aswell, saying that I can't pay, but I could use my cc, which made my partner say "Nevermind, I will do it". I knew that in advance, and I also knew that my cc was maxed out and I had no way of paying anything. So yes, this is one of those dirty little games. Knowing other's reactions and getting the desired result without asking directly. I guess the correct term for that would be 'manipulation'. He probably doesn't even think about it too much, let alone realize it's not normal. Addiction is viscious, and it's got much more than that in store...

Yeh, it must be hard seeing that coming, but most of the times people only learn from experience, no matter what others say. I'm glad you are keeping your distance, that for sure isn't easy, but anything else would just prolong his downhill slide and more importantly, stop your own progress.

Enjoy your Sunday. I hope it's as sunny as here (if it is - stay in the shadow. :P)

Posted on:
Sun, 29/07/2018 - 13:54

He's trying

Joined:
2018-07-10

I'm assuming you're concerned about your partner reading your posts here because your gambling problem isn't something you've shared? I don't want to misunderstand. That's how I understood what I read. If so, I'm sorry that you have to worry about your posts being read. But, I must say that you being open about your failures as well as your struggle to overcome is inspiring and says alot abour your character. I think if you were as open with your partner as you are here, you'll find it's a good thing. Allowing your partner to support you as a partner does can't ever be a bad thing. Loving someone who has a gambling addiction has been a challenge, because he is actively embracing it. But the truth is, under the addiction lies an amazing man! He's loving, caring, helpful, loyal, and attentive. He has great worth! So do you! You have beaten that monster off and are successfully moving forward with your life. I would venture to say that  you are a wonderful person (from what I've learned about you) and your partner may be more understanding than you think. 

The truth is, we all have a past and mistakes that we'd like to hide from the world forever. But for every mistake there is a lesson to be learned. As long as you have learned from them, they are what molds us into the person that we are today. Our scars represent our truth. They represent battles fought and won. They respresent a journey of learning. Don't be ashamed of your scars. Just because yours come from a different battle, doesn't make them any different than mine or anyone elses. We all have them! 

Instead be proud of you! Own your journey, struggles and all. It's what makes you, you! 

Vegas - NO! He's asked as recently as a couple of days ago if we could book a trip there (we've never been). It's been on our list forever, but we always manage to find other things to do. I feel like a trip like that would make me an enabling hypocrit. Even though I would love to go and see the lights and the shows and say that I had the "Vegas experience", I know that it would feed his addiction and encourage that behavior. I'm trying hard not to do that! But on the other hand, I feel like I'd be shorting myself of something I've always wanted to do, to shelter him from himself. That's a tough one! 

I hope by now you're healed. I hope your Sunday is full of blessings and I hope you find a nice shady spot to enjoy it in! 

Posted on:
Mon, 30/07/2018 - 01:20

bluescreen

Joined:
2018-03-13

We were visiting my in-laws on Friday. I volunteered to walk the dog (not too unselfish, I admit, getting out for a bit to clear my head was definately in my own interest) and forgot my phone on a chair in the garden. My screen isn't locked, never was. Unlocking it every time annoys me, and I don't have anything to hide anyways, do I? I usually don't care, but this tab was still open. When I came back my partner had it in their pocket, probably to just bring it inside the house and most likely didn't even look. But still... kind of ironic that this happens shortly after I post something personal that can clearly identify me to someone I know, I've never done that before. There it was again, that awful feeling I haven't felt for ages. Shows how much I still dread the possibility of someone knowing, of being found out. By now I'm quite sure they haven't read it. Why would they? And even if they did... there would have been a wall of text to read before they'd get there anyways.

So yeh, I have never shared my struggles... -.-
You see why I'm a hypocrite? Honesty? Secrecy? Easy, ain't it? Thing is... I never came clean myself. Doing the talk but never walked the walk...
It kicked that nasty thought process back in gear. Do they know? And if they do, how do I wind my way out of it?
Ridiculous really. They'd probably just shrug it off, wouldn't really know what that actually means. For me, and in a worst case scenario also for them. There wouldn't be anger or anything, just confusion, and yet I never told them what really caused all this **** back then, what drove me to treat them like I did for years. Selfish, I know, but... it took ages to rebuild my relationship. People might say my partner has a right to know it, to know what comes with that, what to look for, but I want this time to stay where it is... in the past. Little did I know back then, and now that I do, I just want to live my life as best as I can. I keep on telling myself that as long as I keep out of trouble, I have by now earned my right to have my own peace of mind, and there is no need to burden others with some demons of my own making.

It would have made things easier if I had just said that I can't go to Vegas because I'm sick, I'm a compulsive gambler (there, I said it) and I couldn't handle it. They wouldn't have completely understood, there would have been questions, but noone would have tried to pursuade me any further after I explained it. The explaining part is the problem though. I mean actually looking someone in the eye and trying to say what it did to me back then, what would happen if I tried again... ever...
Yes, it's all about shame, guilt and weakness, about falling for a mug's game... it still is.

Recovery, eh? If only...!

So... you really shouldn't think of me as the good example of how to do things right. I'm definately not. It was the only option left for me, that's all.
I'm not wonderful or lovely. People say that I'm stoicly calm, clinically distanced, unsociable, introvert, sometimes lethargic, lack of compassion and empathy, never raise my voice and that it's next to impossible to have any kind of argument with me, I just smile and ignore it or literally walk away. That's the general perception, I've heard that very often: Who cares? I don't know, but it for sure isn't Blue.

Sorry, I didn't want to make this about me. Compared to what you are going through right now, this was a minor inconvenience. Moreso, discussing it here is absolutely inappropriate. My apologies.

You should go to Vegas if you want to. Maybe not with him, he really shouldn't, and if he would be reasonable, he would know that it's not an option, but you could go with some friends or family. Another thing you shouldn't worry about, don't let that stand in your way. Life is too short to focus on others, you need to move on and your own dreams are important, more than anyone else's personal battles.

It really was a great Sunday, thanks. We went to the seaside and had a nice barbecue. Now I'm too full to even think of sleeping. -.-

Maybe I should buy a diary to reduce the traffic on your thread. :P

Posted on:
Mon, 30/07/2018 - 13:30

He's trying

Joined:
2018-07-10

If I may, you dear have a very negative self image! You're right, I don't know you like everyone else (in your world) does and all I do know is what you have shared here. But, there is nothing that I've read in any of your posts that say you are uncaring or that you lack compassion and empathy. If you spoke as bluntly and openly about where you've been and where you are now to the world, I think you'd find it empowering. I think the shame, guilt, and embarassment would soon turn into triumph, praise, and encouragement. I live in the recovery world. I see everyday what owning your victory over addiction does to people. It's beautiful! 

So, you share openly with me from your perspective, so I'm going to be open about mine regarding your little secret. From the other side: I would be sad to learn that you had carried that secret around for our entire relationship and never felt confident enough in our partnership to share that with me. I would be angered that I have been with someone for ....long and didn't actually know the whole person. But most of all, I would be relieved to know that you had opened up to me with your truths, both good and bad, so that I can support and encourage you in whatever way you need. I think complete honesty and trust are the foundation of a strong relationship. It is the lack of those 2 things that is greatly impacting mine now. My fiance has a reason to hide, he is sick and in the grips of his gambling. You have no reason to hide - you have conquered your demon. Stand proud and shout from the roof tops. Be that inspiration for the next person who needs to see hope for recovery. Let your partner celebrate with you and for you. We live for our partners happiness and celebrate their victories! That's what a relationship is all about. This world is hard and dark. You were lost in the darkness, and found your way out. That says AMAZING things about your character and strength. 

Now, do with all of that what you wish. I just wanted to share from my view of things. Since that is what I appreciate about you most, your perspective. However you deal with it, just know that you are worthy and it's ok to have made mistakes in life. We all have! It's the lessons learned from them that matters. I have made many regrettable mistakes and if I could go back and undo I would! But, the truth is, I'm pretty proud of who I am today. All of those lessons are responsible for that. 

Please don't feel like you need a diary. I appreciate your shares and I hope that in some way I can mutually support you as someone on the other side of that fence we both peek over. I know you are an addict in recovery, yet I think you are worthy of support, trust, friendship, encouragement, and love. I promise the rest of the world will say that too! I challenge you to start turning those negative thoughts into positive ones. As each of those thoughts come into your mind over the next week - think of a positive attribute about you to respond in your head with. Literally every time! You have to change those negative thoughts into positive ones. You have to know your worth. Your 1st response, courtesy of me - "I can, and do, help others because of what I learned from my past mistakes". 

Have a great week Blue!  

Posted on:
Mon, 30/07/2018 - 16:51

bluescreen

Joined:
2018-03-13

18 years. We have been together since I was a teenager. We had a break that lasted about a year, maybe a bit more, then slowly rebuilding what I thought I had destroyed for good. I'm so lucky on that, I really am. I had been given a chance I didn't deserve and the only people ever reminding me of those times are others who knew me back then. Sarcastic jokes about me being absent, nervous and restless on every occassion, sometimes giving sad excuses and disappearing for hours. Towards the end of my episode one of them always said "My PC is upstairs, you know that. So do whatever it is you need to do and relax, for god's sake!"...
I can laugh about that today, because it really is pathetic, but back then such comments hit home. Not for long, unfortunately, but still...

You are doing now exacly what you shouldn't do, btw. All the things about your fiancé apply to me aswell.
I'm fine. I don't have to stay on my own if I don't want to. It's my choice to keep it a secret, to bottle it up and hope it won't burst one day. Not only coming clean to my partner, but also other things I could do to better handle it, to tackle what got me there in the first place. I know the danger, yet the only one who can change that is me.
When I got here I was in a state of (someone on here described it as that, I think it was geordie, and I found that very fitting) 'a constant feeling of impending doom'. You know, like, if something doesn't significantly change, it would only be a matter of time. Reading about others going through what I have fought so hard to leave behind helped, although it wasn't pleasant.
So... I know what I should do, but actually doing it... I'm still good at deluding people, most of all myself these days.

For the last sixteen years I have been fighting a battle against myself, a struggle noone in their right mind would actually understand. I didn't unterstand it myself. I'm now in a state where I could try to change that, to reach out, where I have the knowedge I didn't have back then. A part of me still refuses to do this. I sometimes wish I had stayed where I was and kept on going forward, just occassionally wondering what the heck was wrong with me: Come on, Blue, get a grip!

Realization isn't always a blessing.

So well... don't worry about me. I know what I have to do and how to do it. All I need to do is swallow my pride, or that little bit that's left of it.

You are right, we learn from our mistakes and failures. I had more than my fair share. On top of that, my life lessons were really expensive. I left that behind a while back. I wouldn't be where I am now if I didn't. Some things are easier to shrug off than others though. Money? It's gone and can be replaced. Opportunities? Well, I'm not where I could be, but still better off than most, jobwise and in my private life. So it's okay. I can and did work on those. Next would be the most important part... dealing with my own underlying issues and making my peace with the people who were there for me when I needed them, who didn't let me down even though I pushed them away, who stuck to me regardless, to put some clarity where now is only confusion.
In both cases I'd have to start with ripping open old and long forgotten wounds... is it really worth it, I wonder?

It's a situation I have put myself in and deep inside I know the only way out. But it's the same: Noone can help me but myself.

Thank you for your kind words. I also appreciate your input. It helps me seeing things from the point of view my own mind tries to constantly ignore. My partner didn't know what they were up against, and yet they (again) supported me unconditionally as soon as they saw I was making a change for the better. It's not fair to leave them in the dark, to make them doubt their own actions. To have them think they did something wrong. Not anymore, mind, they now see it was me who behaved like ****, but back then they definately blamed themselves.

Thank you for listening. I never wanted it to get here, to be about me. It shouldn't be.

Treat yourself to something today. Forget about all those people out there. There is only so much you can do anyways and you don't owe anyone anything.
Yes, you can be proud of yourself. You're doing well. :)

Posted on:
Mon, 30/07/2018 - 22:37

He's trying

Joined:
2018-07-10

Blue, this is as much about you as it is about me. Support is a mutual exchange. I don't like to always be the person taking in any relationship, be it friends, coworkers, lovers, siblings, or just citizens on the same street. For every blessing we are given, we need to try to be one to someone else. Please don't regret sharing anything being about you. I learn and grow from everything others share with me. I am a very empathetic person, so I appreciate being able to see the world from other people's eyes. It's keeps my perspective fresh. There's nothing worse than a closed minded person who only sees the world from one perspective. There's so much more to learn and see! Thank you for opening up. I never intended for the words I wrote in my last post to offend or put you on a defensive side. I was just offering my support and encouragement. This is very much your life. You decide who, what, where, when, and why. I was just trying to show you what it looks like through my eyes. 

As far as teh rest of the people out there, I can't forget them. It's in my nature to want to help others. It's the fuel that feeds my soul! But as far as a treat - I think a nice Reese Cup ice cream sunday sounds great! (was that what you meant when you said dairy?) Maybe you implanted the idea! haha! 

 

Posted on:
Tue, 31/07/2018 - 01:11

bluescreen

Joined:
2018-03-13

You didn't offend me in any way. Quite the opposite. What you said about how my partner might feel... I deliberately refrained from commenting on it because you hit the nail on the head and it feels just wrong if you try to cheer me up, that's all. I won't take any offence from someone who shows me what I'm missing (or ignoring). I just sometimes seem to knock down the shelves when I try tiptoeing around my own feelings... I liked what you said, it made me smile, but it still is wrong.

I didn't want to encourage you to turn this into something it shouldn't be.

I didn't want to come across as rude. I know you never intended to tell me what to do. The point I was trying to make is that I am a hopeless case on that front and I am not good at dealing with any kind of positive feedback. It's hard to take that in from someone who knows what I am capable of (and have done).

You can be blunt, you can tell me what you think. I can deal with it. In fact, I even appreciate it. We sometimes need a little reminder here and there to get us grounded.

As for giving and taking... people tend to tell me a lot of things. I don't know why that is, it has always been like that. I'm not good at giving emotional support or advice, I actually really don't like situations like that, and I never hide my reluctance, but yet they do it. Maybe they think I don't care anyways and so wouldn't bother to tell anyone else... who knows?
If someone calls me though and needs actual help, something that requires any kind of action I can do, I'll do it, anytime. So well, my skills on that front leave a lot of room for improvement...

Can we now get back to something more comfortable? Sunburn or Facebook maybe? At least those are things I could handle without words failing me... -.-

And... the focus on yourself thingy still stands!

Reese's sounds fabulous. Unfortunately I still have that extra portion of 'stored memories' from my holidays to deal with, and that barbecue also wasn't helpful, so I have to give that one a miss. Better for me to look like a well done steak than a stuffed turkey. :P

But yeh, I thought of something along those lines... :)

Posted on:
Tue, 31/07/2018 - 13:47

He's trying

Joined:
2018-07-10

You say you're not good at giving emotional support or advice, yet you are doing it (and doing it well I might add) on every forum post you make. I have found great support and advice in you :) You're correct on one thing for sure, you do have a terrible time at seeing yourself in a positive way. It's ok, I'll continue to throw some positives in to remind you every now and again, eventually you'll get it! :) 

Oh no! Your scale is winning?! I hate that *******! It's such a buzzkill. Takes all of the fun out of life! I however, have lived on the fluffy side of life for my entire life. Now in my 40s I am battling that too. It never was a real issue, aside from the teasing from other kids or my #@%*# of a father. I was always able to do everything that the other kids did, many times even better. I had no problems with dating. Heck I rocked fluffy! Now....along comes the 30s and the back started hurting. And then the 40s and everything hurts! My body is definitely tired of carrying all of me! I've lost 40 lbs (sorry I don't know the weight conversion) but I have so much more to go. It's a constant struggle.

And food, yeah, that's my addiction. Always has been. I recently found the book the Easy Way to Quit Gambling for my partner. I read about it on some other threads, told him about it and he was interested. I actually did buy that one as a gift for him on audiobook, so that he could listen to it at work. I think I may get the weight loss version of it and give it a read. It's a constant battle. I too have my vices. Like I said, we all have our crosses to bare.  

Right now, for me though, it's about the healing and strengthening of my soul. I've been so empowered by the choices I've made and the separation from his addiction! Seeing my life from a totally different perspective is an adventure, that's for sure! I am still fighting the battle of the bulge, and I won't surrender. But for me, finding my peace and happiness is far more important so it will stay at the front for a while. Once I have succeeded in remembering that I am perfectly capable of standing on my own, whether my partner wins or loses (pun intended), I will be better equipped to face the fluffy issue head on. 

There's so much of me that needs work! Lord have mercy! One day at a time though, right! I feel like I've burned some calories just typing all of that mess out! 

Enjoy your day Blue! I hope something beautiful happens for you today that makes you smile :) 

ps. I didn't get the ice cream....but I did eat about 8 mini reese cups! oops.... 

Posted on:
Wed, 01/08/2018 - 01:49

bluescreen

Joined:
2018-03-13

Today I spent about two hours at the hairdresser's. I'm still off work - have to go back on Thursday, so I decided to get a long overdue haircut. This usually takes 5 to 10 minutes (the shorter my stay the better, I somehow don't like the chatty nature of those places), but for some reason unknown to me, the place was stuffed. They still promised me I wouldn't have to wait long, an obvious miscalculation.... but well... my partner is back to work and so I've got plenty of time to read rubbish boulevard magazines full of heartbreaking stories about the health issues and infidelities of some wannabe aristocrats I've never even heard of. :)

I read about that book aswell... lol... about two weeks ago I also thought about buying it. Easiest way would have been to buy it on amazon. Thing is, I can't do online purchases. I have access to my partner's kindle account, I can buy ebooks in their name and give them the money later, but the libraries are also connected, so it would be visible (and readable) for them...
The only option would have been to physically walk into a book store and get the paperback version. They might not have it in store and I'd have to have them order it, which means I'd have to return the next day to pick it up. That aside... I would feel stupid to hide a book so that noone sees it... so I dismissed that thought...

I've had massive weight fluctuations for the last 20 years, since I was about 14. When those bad times started I gained weight and looked like a pudding. This changed for the opposite in the process. At the end I looked like a skeleton in a zombielike state, I probably scared a few children off the streets, but... you have to set priorities, don't ya?...
This went on for a while even after I stopped. Getting back to normal wasn't so easy. You have to relearn what others don't even have to think about. Now it's okay (well, I admit, a bit above 'ok', but I'm fine with that :) ). I'm getting older though, and gaining weight happens much faster these days, and since I've long ago found out that walking about in hole riddled trainers and ragged clothes three or four sizes too big isn't exactly the norm, I have to look after my outer appearance, at least a bit, being an acceptable member of society and such... :P
There's a saying that goes 'From the age of 30 you occassionally wake up and your back hurts, by the age of 40, if you wake up and everything is fine, you are most likely dead'. I'm slowly getting there... lol.

For me there is a difference between writing some words of encouragement to someone on an anonymous internet forum who is in a situation I have been through and whose struggles are well known to me and actually having to deal with someone who is sad, angry or upset for other reasons and who is sitting right next to me. In cases like that I feel absolutely helpless... because whatever I say, to me it always sounds like some cliché of any kind... empty phrases. How should I possibly know what to do? I always try to support people, but there are situations where I simply can't help. That always makes me feel really uncomfortable.

My father also wasn't the best role model. There were times when I didn't even have his phone number, let alone knew where he lived. I didn't care much though, except when my grandfather died and noone had told me. I wasn't at the funeral, so of course, typically, as always, Blue didn't even deem it necessary to attend, that was to be expected. A few weeks later my sister asked why I didn't turn up. I was shocked when I heard that he had died. Turned out that everyone thought my father had told me, because he planned it and invited everyone and even after they started bickering about my absence, he didn't even mention that he hadn't informed me in the first place. He obviously didn't have my phone number, but he could have just asked my sister. At some point after that things got weird because he completely changed his attitude, somehow remembered having a family and suddenly started to organize meetings. So during the previous three years it got better, at least we see each other now once or twice per year. In my family there aren't many gatherings of any kind, we all live along. My partner detests him with a passion and isn't very good at hiding it. To cut it short: I got a text today if we'd like to come visting in two weeks. My partner doesn't like it, but would go regardless, because they think I would want them to. I don't get it. I can see where the aversion is coming from, it's absolutely understandable, I thought so myself before I decided to leave the past behind, so why would I want them to do something they don't like doing? I could make an excuse for their absence and everything would be alright. At least my sister and her kids will be there too, that will make things easier.

Yeh, one day at a time. I did that too, although back then I hadn't even heard of that phrase. Dealing with today and then seeing to tomorrow when it comes. It's easier to not let yourself get intimidated by the pure amount of challenges that are still laying ahead of you, and when you finally get there, they will only be half as bad as you had previously imagined. :) One thing after another, managable chunks. I have always been smoking, always wanted to stop, but it took me until the end of 2016 to finally give that up for good aswell. So be it. Trying to tackle both things at once wouldn't have worked. By sorting out the important things first you get into a better mindset to handle all other issues. Getting things back on track is an adventure, that's for sure. But well worth it. Life should be fun (that pun was also intended), being content with who we are, what we have and do should be top priority, though it sometimes takes some effort to get there. Healing and recovery take time, yet there is no need to be afraid of that. Reaping the benefits is wonderful indeed, believe me.

I actually smiled today. Hearing that old lady at the hairdresser's having a rant about the bus timetable, a lazy husband, her neighbour's noisy dog and too much damp heat made my day. If people's problems look like that, the world is a good place to live in!

Come to think of it... I loathe peanuts, they taste like slightly crunchy salty old rubber... given the high percentage of chocolate to mask that taste, I might have eaten those mini cups anyways... :P

Posted on:
Wed, 01/08/2018 - 14:19

He's trying

Joined:
2018-07-10

Haha! That hairdresser visit sounds like it was an adventure! I'm a people watcher. I would have loved listening to that old lady moan and groan about all of the annoying things in life. Matter of fact, my sons (grown now) tell me all the time that I'm turning into that old lady! Haha! I do find that in my neighborhood I'm the one everyone waves too and says hello to, but I'm also the one sitting inside saying 'I can't believe they have their music up so loud today, I'm trying to enjoy my AFTERNOON."! Or, "Did you see the new neighbors? They have a truckload of bad kids that we'll have to worry about running around screaming up the neighborhood"! HAHA! I have to laugh. Sometimes I even shock myself that I've become the old lady on the block. When did that happen?! Who stole my fun-loving, dance when you hear the music, give the kids a popsicle side?! Then I step back, and smile. I guess it just comes with age. Pfft! I don't want to be her! So I work to be the old, young me! One day at a time for that too :) 

I think limiting the amount of stressors in my life as much as possible helps me a lot with not being the grumpy old lady on the block. For a long time I have been overburdened by the weight of the world. That's exhausting! In this new journey, and it's not been long, I am working to release that worry to the universe and not carry it as my own personal responsibility. I have to accept that there are things that just simply aren't fixable. There are people who simply don't want to change. There are situations that can be someone else's trouble instead of mine. I've always accepted the blame, jumped first to volunteer, and allowed everyone to leave their worries on my doorstep. Literally, I have watched people come to me saying "Help me, help me, I don't know what to do"! And leave me smiling and content that they had solved their problem, simply by casting it onto me, because they knew I would take care of it. My fiance and his immediate family are all procrastinators. So bad that they don't know how to do basic do-it-yourself stuff that we've all learned in life. To the point that many times I have wondered how they've survived this long! (not even kidding) His mother calls me "the Do'er". Because something comes up that needs done, and I Do it. When I start a project, I'm committed until it's finished, and finished well. It used to feel like a compliment that she called me that. Now I realize that it's somewhat of a character flaw. 

I am proud of myself for being an achiever. I am proud of myself for not ever relying on anyone else to lift me to my feet if I should stumble or fall - lesson learned from my mother, after that #[email protected]&* of a father abandoned us. Wow She Was Strong! 

I am a survivor. I am strong and determined. Those are strengths. But I am also loyal, empathetic, supportive, giving, and loving to a fault. Many have taken advantage of that in my life. But today - I am working to find balance in all of that. I want to alway be those things, but in a balanced life. I need to figure out how to allow others to carry their own load. I don't mind to help, but first I need to see you attempting with all you have to do it yourself. That's something I never waited for. Oh you have a heavy load to bare - let me pick that up and carry it for you. Never allowing those in my life to know the struggle that it takes to build that same character and strength that makes me who I am. I am strong because I was conditioned that way through a life of struggle. A life where I had to pick up the load and carry my own. I don't wait for someone to help. I HATE to ask anyone for anything. I don't want to be a burden on anyone. Why then have I always allowed myself to be burdened with everyone else? *Sorry, I think I just got lost in my brain. I'm rambling as I work through my own stuff.* 

Anyway, you see where I'm at now. There's a bazillion thoughts running through my head and I'm only now learning to reach for one, sort it out, and then reach for another. This juggling act I've always done is tiring! 

Sheeewwww...I'm tired now! I only just woke up and that share made me feel like I need a nap! haha! 

I'm so glad you managed to smile! Life is so full of bs! We must try to always find the funny in it. That helps as we trudge through it, to keep us focused on the fact that we're moving forward and not on the fact that we're mired down in stinky, thick, hot bs. YUCK! THAT IS A HORRIBLE ANALOGY!! You know what I mean! :) 

Wishing you another smile for today, maybe shoot for 2! Be blessed! :)

Posted on:
Thu, 02/08/2018 - 01:19

bluescreen

Joined:
2018-03-13

Apart from my father-in-law, my partner's family is the same. They just couldn't survive on their own and don't even try to help themselves. To be honest, I despise that, I couldn't say that aloud though, it would cause a minor incident at my home front. I too have learned a lot from my mother (who also wasn't an angel, but she knew how to take care of things on her own). My partner couldn't even drill a hole in the wall, but would never admit that. Things would only get worse if they tried, that's why I have to do such things when I'm alone on my own.
My sister-in-law is worst of all though, I won't start on that, this would just get too long. Let's just say that by the age of 34, she still can't do anything on her own and constantly blames others who tried to help if things don't go as she would have liked. Me and my partner wrote her bachelor thesis (yes, all of it, although neither of us had a clue about the topic at hand and we had to first educate ourselves on that matter). My partner got annoyed once when, after she'd been told to contribute at least a bit, she wrote a half hearted attempt about half a page long that didn't even include any kind of punctuation, let alone actual content. She eventually passed with an excellend mark. It was only at the final hearing that she got criticized for having a font in her power point presentation (written by my partner) that was a bit too small. Just a short remark afterwards, it didn't change anything. Instead of thanking us, she rambled about us not having considered that, having put her in that situation. Her parents nodded along, I didn't say a word, but my partner was speechless. I had to bite my tongue not to say "Ungrateful selfish little brat, what did you expect?" The fact that their parents are somehow overprotective and worrying about her 24/7 doesn't help much either. "Do you think she's okay?" It makes me want to scream "Yes, she is, she's not a baby, and if she isn't ok, she might for once learn something from experience!". She never grew up because she never had to.
So well, my partner was brought up in a rosey little cotton bubble, and then there is me..

I also won't start on this one, let's just say it was slightly different. Just to be clear, I don't want to blame anything or anyone, I'm just trying to show the different pespectives and perceptions of my partner and me. We come from completely different backgrounds, some things are just beyond their imagination. A lot of the events of my childhood and especially teenage years are things I also never shared. I had a strong personality back then regarding my own points of view and what I would and wouldn't do, people accepted that and this probably kept me out of the worst of trouble. Ironically it didn't save me from creating my own downfall a few years later...

My major problem is probably quite similar to yours. Not saying no when I should. Not doing things for other people when I have enough to deal with on my own and letting others take advantage of that. I'm improving on that front though... I might even deliberately screw up her master thesis when it's due in about a year. :P

No worries, just ramble on. I've done my share of that aswell on here (see above), it's good to get things of our chest, I find. Never thought I'd once say that, but it really is.

I also sometimes see those old lady traits in me, especially when it comes to that family dog going on a barking spree the moment any of the neighbours turns around the corner. There definately have been times when I was much more relaxed! I guess I have a lot of things to work on though, so this definately has to wait. First things first.

Be proud of what you have achieved. It's what drives us forwards in the first place. Allowing others to carry their own load is a healthy decision, you can't solve all the problems, and in cases like my s-i-l any kind of support is a waste of time anyways, but I do it regardless, probably because my partner would expect me to.

I see where you're coming from regarding asking for help, oh yeh, I do. It makes me feel useless, a burden. I've always been like that. Better trying to juggle things on my own than asking for someone to help. But, in hindsight, an attitude like that got me deep into the worst kind of **** I could ever imagine. Reaching out, admitting defeat might have spared me the worst time of my life. So sometimes, maybe, swallowing our pride can be a good thing, a first step.

Hehe, I got that analogy. Yes, finding our way is tiring and overwhelming at times, but the best way to go.

I overslept today. Was off work, but saw that coming, so I set an alarm, but turned it off. Now I get what I deserve for that, I can't sleep and have to work again at seven. Minor annoyances these days. :)

I hope you slept well. I will be even less fun to work with, that's for sure!

Posted on:
Thu, 02/08/2018 - 14:42

He's trying

Joined:
2018-07-10

Wow! I overslept too. Well, for me it was. My alarm actually woke me up today. I'm always up about a half an hour before my alarm and drinking coffee, already posted here, and playing Candy Crush by the time my alarm goes off. Today, I realized I skipped the forum and started Candy Crusing first. My schedule is now all screwed up! haha! Damn that Candy Crush! Damn that long rest! But, I did remember in time to check in and read your reply. 

It's so funny, we are worlds apart, yet have so much in common.

One definite difference though, is I would have cussed that s-i-l out about that thesis comment!!!! How dare she! My younger sister is so much that way, except she has a good "excuse". She's an addict with mental health issues. But she refuses to get help. For 25 years she has blamed everyone and everything for her shortcomings, as well as her addiction. Rather than accept that she is sick and accept help, she instead embraces her life in shambles. I have raised her children for her, while she took 2 trips to prison over the past 25 years (all drug related offenses), yet when you speak my name to her - I am satan! It's funny, when she was in prison and I was driving long distances to bring her children to visit and writing her and supporting her, I was the best. But she comes out and rather than continue in a program and fight back against her need to use, she immediately returns to old behaviors and those same friends. I refuse to help her as she undoes any progress she's made (while I'm busy raising her children for her) so I become the hated one. Now her kids are grown. I haven't talked to her in over a year. But one of her children recently told me that she's in a sober living facility! I do pray for her every night. So I'm hoping this is prayer answered! 

Oh my - look at the time! I have to run. I'm going to get back on schedule today, I'm sure of it! Probably right around bed time this evening. haha! 

I hope you get some rest and peace in the middle of this hectic day of catch-up-with-yourself!  

 

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