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How long does it take for partner to accept what’s happened?  

 
Trying2move4ward
(@trying2move4ward)
I’m so sorry but this is going to be long! But I need to talk to people who understand how it feels to be the gambler with all the guilt and heartache that goes with it. I wondered if anyone here can help me with their experience of how long it can take a partner to recover from our gambling actions?
To give some background, I had a period of 5 months , destructive period of gambling. Strange as it may sound, my compulsive gambling was caused by a side affect of a prescribed dopamine based medication for a neurological disorder. When I eventually had a breakdown and told my GP about my behaviour, he knew immediately what I was talking about and said I needed to start coming off it as gambling is a recognised side effect.
As soon as I came off the medication, the impulses to gamble, excessively spend etc stopped completely. I have since learnt that patients should be warned directly about this possibility. Unfortunately I wasn’t. Now I can see the patient info leaflet  that comes with the pillls mentions it but as it isn’t a common side affect it certainly doesn’t shout it out. 
But prior to taking it I had never in my life gambled or even been tempted.
I don’t mean to sound like I’m making excuses as I truly understand that gambling addiction is an issue all by itself. I now so easily realise how people are sucked in. I’m also guessing that there is something in me which made me vulnerable to it and the pills unleashed it?
When I told my partner he was so angry with me.  I had spent a huge amount of my own savings, then maxed out credit cards and then also borrowed from family to try to pay off my overdraft. In total I had gambled a fortune. 
With the benefit of a clear head, my actions seem so bad. My husband obviously felt betrayed and hurt. He told his family who then told my family and the fall out was dreadful. My husband  and his family were so angry with me. I was called an evil manipulative b***h, weak, pathetic. It went on....
They simply don’t really believe that my medication is the route cause. Even though my doctor was willing to talk to them. But my partner wouldn’t listen. However he sort of acknowledges the medication had a part because he says that is the only reason he hasn’t left and he then paid off my credit cards. But he has never once offered me any emotional support. I do understand his feelings but his anger and rages at me continue.
If it hadn’t been for my counselling and my 2 adult kids I would probably have gone over the edge.
It’s been well over 100 days since I stopped gambling and have never had any urges to ever gamble again.
Unfortunately my parter still struggles to cope with it. He still gets angry at me and I’m beginning to think we can’t get over it.  I do appreciate his financial help but just wish he could show some level of understanding about it all. He says I need to be ‘punished, to pay penance and take responsibility‘. Those are his words not mine. He wants me to get a different job that pays more to pay him back, but then every job I apply for or suggest is not acceptable to him.
I just feel totally exhausted from it. I once heard him tell a family member that he only stuck with me because otherwise he would be even worse off financially.  He has since said he still loves me but I’m beginning to doubt it. I’m also beginning to think that I can’t stay anyway if things don’t improve.
Am I being unreasonable ? Is this a normal reaction from him. I wondered how others have found their partners react?
Sorry for rambling on. I’m just so low. I had thought things were improving but after another evening of him saying ‘don’t think your actions are being forgotten’ and how much I’ve ruined things for him, I’m wondering how I can cope going forward. Can our marriage survive? But maybe he’s right and it’s what I deserve.
One thing I want to say. I read people’s posts on here and I thank you all for them as you’ve helped me feel less lonely. 
Quote
Posted : 13th September 2020 7:06 am
SJAnon
(@sjanon)

Hi there 

Firstly I wanted to say on behalf of everyone on the forum you are not alone. Partners will find it very (very) difficult to relate as they will look at it logically. But a gambling addiction is like a disease of the mind.

Whether your medication caused the gambling or not might be part of the problem. When I got found out by my wife and tried to explain the impulses and how it was like a mental disease/condition she just said I was making excuses and not taking responsibility for my actions. It sounds like this might be the case in your situation.

However, from my perspective it's not about paying for mistakes and suffering - no one could have made me feel worse than I already did. What I needed was support, appreciating that understanding might be hard.

I'm sure your partner feels let down, as did mine. Money means different things to different people, but some of the most helpful stuff I read on here told me that what money I had lost was gone and I should try to move on. Any debt is a constant reminder of what has been done, but if you can move forward from this and not gamble again then that should be the endgame.

Mental health is fragile and I do worry from what you've said that this is going to take its toll. Communication is always going to be key here- letting him know how you are feeling and equally how words and actions make you feel.

Personally, and I appreciate I don't know your circumstances at all, I don't think your partner trying to punish you and fixate on getting the money back is going to yield the best results for your relationship.

Perhaps if he understood the problem more he'd be able to understand better? Often a lack of understanding can lead to toxicity as resentment can build.

Clearly your partner is hurt and feels betrayed, exactly like my wife did. But how was your relationship before? If everything was a garden of roses then I'd be confident you can move past this as all relationships experience speed bumps. However you need to judge how strong a unit you are as it often takes both of you to get through issues.

Please don't neglect yourself though and your mental health. Yes you've made a mistake and it has had large financial implications. But you can't carry that with you forever, you need to be able to move on - and perhaps if you could visualise and agree what that looks like then you have something to aim at.

Sorry for the long-winded reply - and I truly do hope you work something out. 

All the best 

SJ 

ReplyQuote
Posted : 13th September 2020 10:14 am
Forum admin
(@forum-admin)
Admin

Dear @trying2move4ward,

 

thank you for sharing what you have been through. It sounds like a very difficult time for you. It also sounds like you are already struggling with physical illness before we even take the gambling episode and subsequent fall-out into account. 

It is normal that partners get angry. However what is happening for you from your husband unfortunately sounds like abuse. It is crucial for the recovery process to feel good about yourself again and it is important for sustainable recovery to be kind to yourself and have support from the people around you. What job you take should be just your decision, and if he agreed to pay off your credit cards any repayments should have been agreed in advance instead of being 'blackmailed' to pay it off months down the line in a aggressive manner.

I would very strongly urge you to contact the National Domestic Abuse Helpline https://www.nationaldahelpline.org.uk/ and get some advice from them as well.

Also I would strongly urge you to call us so we can arrange additional support for you. We are here 24/7 https://www.gamcare.org.uk/get-support/talk-to-us-now/ .

I am glad to hear your GP is supportive and your children are supportive. Please make sure you keep yourself safe and keep reaching out because it is possible this situation might get worse.

Wishing you all the very best,

Eva

Forum Admin

 

ReplyQuote
Posted : 13th September 2020 11:39 am
Trying2move4ward
(@trying2move4ward)
Posted by: SJAnon

Hi there 

Firstly I wanted to say on behalf of everyone on the forum you are not alone. Partners will find it very (very) difficult to relate as they will look at it logically. But a gambling addiction is like a disease of the mind.

Whether your medication caused the gambling or not might be part of the problem. When I got found out by my wife and tried to explain the impulses and how it was like a mental disease/condition she just said I was making excuses and not taking responsibility for my actions. It sounds like this might be the case in your situation.

However, from my perspective it's not about paying for mistakes and suffering - no one could have made me feel worse than I already did. What I needed was support, appreciating that understanding might be hard.

I'm sure your partner feels let down, as did mine. Money means different things to different people, but some of the most helpful stuff I read on here told me that what money I had lost was gone and I should try to move on. Any debt is a constant reminder of what has been done, but if you can move forward from this and not gamble again then that should be the endgame.

Mental health is fragile and I do worry from what you've said that this is going to take its toll. Communication is always going to be key here- letting him know how you are feeling and equally how words and actions make you feel.

Personally, and I appreciate I don't know your circumstances at all, I don't think your partner trying to punish you and fixate on getting the money back is going to yield the best results for your relationship.

Perhaps if he understood the problem more he'd be able to understand better? Often a lack of understanding can lead to toxicity as resentment can build.

Clearly your partner is hurt and feels betrayed, exactly like my wife did. But how was your relationship before? If everything was a garden of roses then I'd be confident you can move past this as all relationships experience speed bumps. However you need to judge how strong a unit you are as it often takes both of you to get through issues.

Please don't neglect yourself though and your mental health. Yes you've made a mistake and it has had large financial implications. But you can't carry that with you forever, you need to be able to move on - and perhaps if you could visualise and agree what that looks like then you have something to aim at.

Sorry for the long-winded reply - and I truly do hope you work something out. 

All the best 

SJ 

Hi SJAnon, thank you so much for your kind words. It helps hearing others experiences. Yes, my husband definitely thinks that saying  the medication caused impulse control is an excuse. That hurts me as I know it is genuine but to be honest regardless, whether it is or isn’t I still needed help emotionally. 
For me, whilst the financial losses are hard, I know I need to accept them and move forward.  Financially , although we aren’t rich, we could be ok if only he is willing to accept things. He was very badly affected financially in his divorce from previous marriage and has always been a bit ‘precious’ over money in our relationship.  It’s always been his money or my money, not ours. So this has hit him badly. 
Thank you so much for your post. I honestly don’t know how things will go but having emotional support here means a lot. Especially days like today, when I’m feeling vulnerable.

 

ReplyQuote
Posted : 13th September 2020 1:25 pm
Merry go round
(@merry-go-round)

Hi trying 2 move forward. I’m the wife of a cg. Unfortunately most partners don’t see the problem as anything to go with them. 
I've had lots of counselling and attended my own meetings.
We all play our part.

Even if the meds didn’t make you gamble, there is obviously a problem. Your health and his previous relationships.

my experience and counselling have been really helpful. Money is power. Unhealthy relationships with money. These were all ‘eye opening’.

The money is gone, the gambling has stopped. What does he want you to do? When is it ever enough? What is your punishment? These are all unrealistic expectations and as said, abusive.

Follow Eva’s advice and get some help and support.

I would seek out a relationship counsellor who can help you with how you’re being treated. 

ReplyQuote
Posted : 13th September 2020 3:27 pm
Trying2move4ward
(@trying2move4ward)

To Eva at @forum-admin)

thank you for your support. I have had counselling through GamCare and it was fantastic and helpful.

My husband also had some. He had a few sessions and it did help him.  They did indeed suggest to him that we had relationship counselling. As of yet we haven’t... If we do it’s down to me to sort and right now I’m not strong enough to face it.

Things had improved and we had gone weeks without anything blowing up. Unfortunately a few days ago he had an outburst which upset me dreadfully and set me back. Ironically it occurred the day after my final counselling session. 
I have to say that my husband would never ever consider that his behaviour is abusive. He thinks he’s fine! It’s strange because he changes back into being ‘normal’ after one of his moods.  It’s like living with 2 different people. Thankfully I’ve never felt physically threatened. But it is often like living on eggshells. So tonight I feel stronger again but am aware that things need to change.

Gamcare is an amazing organisation and all of you are so good xx

ReplyQuote
Posted : 13th September 2020 6:33 pm
Charlieboy
(@charlieboy)

Hi tryingtomoveforward, I remember when you first posted a few months ago. I'm sorry that you are still struggling with all this. It was a really bad side effect that you had and it happens there have been 2 other people on here since you first came on same thing. And like you when different medicine was tried it all went away. I hope things settle down for you, my husband was obviously very angry at the start and you expect that but we are working through it some ups and downs but that's life isn't it. Keep coming on for support helps you cope better when you know you're not alone in this. Take care of yourself

ReplyQuote
Posted : 13th September 2020 8:17 pm
Trying2move4ward
(@trying2move4ward)

Hi Charlieboy

thank you for your input. I have felt better for seeing everyone’s comments. And I do think there are probably issues in our relationship which were there prior to my gambling period which somehow now have become blurred. Eg he’s always had bouts of bad moods which have been difficult to live with but it’s almost like I feel my gambling experience has now made it acceptable. So I think I need to address how I deal with things as well moving forward. 
Charlieboy, I have seen your comments to others and like several others on here who post you seem to take the time to respond to people with kindness and constructive advice. It’s wonderful that you reach out to people. You have also clearly been through difficult times and are doing amazingly well in your own fight.  
I also want to say that whilst I can pinpoint my experience of compulsive gambling to the effect of my medication, I do have to recognise that there must be something in my brain that allowed this horrible habit a way in. I’ve always had anxiety issues and 2 recent bereavements have added to it. My wonderful counselling has helped me understand how that has probably played a part. I need to accept that I mustn’t ever become complacent. 

ReplyQuote
Posted : 14th September 2020 6:09 am
Charlieboy
(@charlieboy)

Totally understand what you're saying. Me and my husband are working at things however he is also v moody and can be a bully. Like you I was often walking on eggshells, I'm trying not to make excuses but I often gambled to escape periods of unhappiness. After the initial period of upset after he found out about my gambling we started talking more openly and I felt like I really didn't have much to lose with regards to my marriage so from somewhere deep inside me everything came out. I told him no more if we go forward I'm not prepared to put up with it, he was gobsmacked , so was I because I always put up with it and tried to make him happy mainly to protect my son from his moods. Through the counselling through gamcare which I also found really helpful the counsellor talked me through self care which I realised I wasn't doing at all really. So I'm 54years old now our son is 16 later on this year and I've set myself a goal of before he becomes a man I'm going to be concentrating on getting myself as good as I can be. This comes on to your kind words about me helping people, I worked for 30 years as a nurse and loved it I had to give up 4years ago as the years of nursing messed my spine up and during that time I lost my way a bit, finding this site and trying to help people and the same with GA has given me some of the purpose I felt whilst nursing back. Does that make sense? I am a lot happier now and I also know now that I cannot make my husband happy it has to come from inside him. I really hope that you find a way forward as I can feel what you're going through, look after yourself and hopefully he will settle down he is still punishing you at some stage he has to let it go. I wish you all the best post let us know how it's going

 

ReplyQuote
Posted : 14th September 2020 10:45 am
Trying2move4ward
(@trying2move4ward)

Thank you Charlieboy. 
its good to hear your story in more detail. It sounds like you are in a stronger place. And great that you can use this site and GA to focus your new energies to help others.  I have a strong desire in the future to campaign for much stronger controls around online gambling as it seems such an easy way for people to get sucked in. I strongly believe that if people were checked out more when registering for online accounts, a bit like credit checks, it could help reduce the extent of gambling. And questioning why do banks allow huge numbers of transactions in gambling accounts without checking on their customers welfare? Yes customers can now put blocks on but surely that ‘ closing the stable door after the horse has bolted’

But that’s maybe for the future as I need to get my head together first and be in a stronger place.  I will update on another post before long as I often wonder what happens to other people on here when they have posted and sounded very low.  I’ve often been concerned and just hope they are ok. Eg  I know you chatted with KevtheKev who clearly had been struggling and was doing his best to get help. I’m hoping he is ok. 
Anyway let’s hope we all stay strong and continue to support each other 

ReplyQuote
Posted : 15th September 2020 7:39 am
Charlieboy
(@charlieboy)

I too am concerned about kev, he wanted my email address and I asked the forum to send it to him, I presume that this happened. I haven't heard from him and it is bothering me as he has had issues with harming himself so I'm just hoping and praying he's ok and that he just reappears on here one day. You are being very proactive in how you're going forward and that's good

ReplyQuote
Posted : 15th September 2020 9:04 am
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