Hi, I'm Gavin new on here- I've been a gambler for between 5-10 years and have a obvious issue yes but another issue is when I get into relationships and none more than recently that a 3.5 year relationship with my partner has come to an end because of my addiction, all through it she has been aware of the problem and has always said shes support me through it all though tbh hasnt really felt like she has, we had a breakup in 2019 and I went massively into winning her back through promises and going to counselling sessions which I did even started going to ga sessions but the the covid outbreak came and of course the brain tricked me into thinking I was fine which obviously i wasn't and so carried on gambling throughout gambling, we weren't living together and the last time I saw her was at xmas as she lives with her kids and I live with parents where the rules were that you couldn't mix households and my parents rearated that rule, so in march this year my girlfriend messaged me to declare that she couldn't trust me and also that I was emotionally unavailable which of course was because of the gambling and now that I've stopped as of the 29th march I have soo much guilt knowing that I have broken up the relationship which actually isn't what I wanted- I love her to bits and she is my everything but now she has blocked me on all angles and has just gone pure cold on me. Knowing that if I had done all what I have done in the past 6 days towards quitting gambling like putting gambloc in place, Zoom ga meetings and physical ga sessions had I of done that 2 years ago I wouldnt be in this mess now. It is really painful knowing this and I'm finding it really hard, does anyone have an advice as to what to do as tbh the gambling issue is definitely being sorted now in regards to recovery but the relationship issue I just cant shift. Thanks in advance
Firstly I just want to say well done for taking these steps to quit gambling. You should feel very proud of yourself. It’s not an easy step but you’ve started.
I cannot tell you how many times I attempted to quit and sat there ruminating as to why I didn’t quit sooner or why I didn’t do this or that sooner. But that really caused me to spiral. So if you truly are committed to quitting I urge you to let go of the could or should haves.
At the time 2 years ago, you obviously wasn’t ready to quit. But the fact that you are now is what matters. Or else you could be writing here in 2 years time saying how you wish you had done something in 2021.
As far as your girlfriend is concerned, you probably understand that you have betrayed her trust. That’s a very difficult thing to get back, but not impossible. In her mind, how is she meant to know you mean it this time, when you didn’t mean it all those other times?
Working on yourself and doing everything you can to block all avenues of gambling is important for you and overall pulling your life back together. Once you trust yourself not to gamble again, then it might be worth reaching out to her, as she has you blocked then you might need to write a letter to post to her. Let her know everything you’ve been doing, let her know that you understand why she has cut you off and that you would like to show her as a friend that your life is very different now.
Instead of approaching her for a relationship, I think it might be best to ask her to open the door to friendship first. So that she can trust you again without having to put her heart on the line.
But before you even consider reaching out to her, you need to ensure all your gambling avenues are locked off. You need to have trust in yourself and have actually made noticeable life changes. And more importantly first spend time thinking about how she feels, why she doesn’t trust you, how much it’ll take for her to trust you again.
Approaching as a friend may well be the best thing you can do.
I do wish you all the best, I hope it works out. But I cannot stress this enough, if she decides there is no way on earth she’s taking you back, you still need to commit yourself to quitting gambling. Because you’re doing this for you not her, and you don’t want your addiction wrecking another relationship.
You need to quit for you, commit to recovery as stopping gambling is no use unless we analyse and change our behaviour. Before I started my recovery through GA, I was of a similar mindset to you, I was always focused on what might have been if I had done such and such, or what I could do if I win this or do that. In other words I was always living in a fantasy land in my head rather than focussing on the issues I had.
Now I focus on things one day at a time, if you do the same your life will improve. It will be a gradual process but it will. As compulsive gamblers we always want things instantly but real recovery and change takes time and effort.
If you do change you become a better person, and others will benefit from this change also. Your current relationship may be over but there are future ones to come.
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