Pretty much all my other posts have been positive- how I'm 250+ days GF and feeling much better mentally. And that's true, but as I've been reminded today it's only part of the story.
My wife is clearly steel reeling from the revelations and the breakdown in trust. I get that, and I know there's no quick fix, if a fix exists at all. However, it's resulting in alot of arguments and negative language slung my way. I feel a bit like a punching bag at the moment.
Now don't get me wrong, I knew I'd have to 'take my medicine' and things would be rough. I'm in it for the long haul and I have two young children that deserve two parents. It just seems everything is my fault from not getting something on the shopping list to our youngest acting up and not wanting to go to school in the morning.
We'll often go days where things feel pretty normal and life is good. But dark times seem only a few seconds away. My wife deals with bad anxiety which has the effect of amplifying situations- I've always tried to support her with that and understand what she's going through although it's alien to me. However she doesn't view compulsive gambling as a mental health concern, just that it was me being deceitful and uncaring.
I feel like if she knew more she might actually be able to relate, but she's made it clear that gambling was my issue and I need to solve it.
I hope I'm not painting the picture of someone uncaring here, she's really not, but I'm struggling with the barrage of words knowing that I'll never have a decent response as I'll always get my gambling thrown back at me.
Just wondering if anyone else has been through this and has any advice?
My me, the past is done and I want to move forward. But I know it's not that easy for those I've hurt.
Hey SJ I'm glad you've posted this as this is one of the fundamental reasons why this forum works, why GA works. This is the place to talk to other compulsive gamblers about these issues and ultimately that the need to escape these feelings rears it's ugly head. Whilst everyone's relationship is different and none of us are qualified to give relationship advise we can say how we have navigated things. For me part of my gambling was tied up with my feelings about my relationship and how choosing to put staying in the relationship for my son and my desire to bring him up in a 2 parent family ultimately led to deteriorating mental health for me. But being found out and my recovery has put me on the front foot now and also addressing my mental health issues. For years I never fought back and don't get me wrong I took the inevitable recriminations on being found, out my behaviour was wrong and I said sorry and I will always be sorry and have regrets. I'm not suggesting that my approach will be right for you but one day after another round of a barrage of name calling even calling me a c** t which he never had before I flipped. I listed all the things he had done to me over the years, long and painful I didn't hold back at all. At the end I said we either go forward in a manner leaving both our mistakes behind or I'm done I can't do this anymore . I said I'm in recovery I'm living in the only way I can now to prove that I'm changing I understand that trust is not easily regained but I feel 100% I'm doing everything I can to address this and move forward. Our son is 16 now so I had that in my corner that another couple of years and I will have fulfilled my promise to my son the day he was born that he would grow up with 2 loving parents ,and no matter what our problems he has been a wonderful dad. Our relationship has improved greatly as has my mental health and the amazing thing was when we had finished arguing he said he was sorry as well, it was very healing. I had forgotten that home schooling our son was upstairs!! On going upstairs I was given a"fist bump" and a "well in mum " .......He knows , he sees and he has commented how much better me and dad seem. I understand completely how you feel bad that you are painting an uncaring picture and me too my husband has in a lot of things been 100% supportive. In recovery I have seen that trying to explain compulsive gambling as an addiction is really difficult I struggle to find the words to explain it, and we cannot make people understand it . That's part of the problem for your wife she doesn't understand and like my husband doesn't want to. She lashed out and tries to hurt you as you've hurt her. SJ we cannot control that...how they think and feel, but we can control ourselves and he lead down the path of using gambling again to escape ....which I did think about when we had the had arguement. At that time I was very glad of my good defences that stopped the temptation and gave me the strength to address the issues. SJ being guilty of being compulsive gambling does not define us ... What we do going forward is the most important and my hope for you is that is living your life in recovery will shine through to your wife, she hasn't forgiven you , my husband has now I'm 10 and a half months gamble free so I hope your wife will forgive you too. But more importantly forgive YOURSELF
i havnt been in your situation before as my ex didnt know through are 5 year relationship that i wa sgambling i understand its hard for someone who hasnt been through something to understand it i get it and for gambling when your not putting a substance in your body they seem to find it harder to understand and think it should be easy may i ask have you tried councilling ? sounds like a good middle man who will be understanding on both sides might suit you
Yes its difficult especially when you feel people cant relate to you and how you feel. The results of a gambling addiction will cause conflict because essentially what we were doing was a massive conflict of interests.
I feel the way forward is working on an understanding about addiction. You havent done it with an evil laugh to hurt your loved ones. If anything your delusional addicted mind thought it would help matters.
The sad fact is you would probably get more sympathy with a drink or drug problem. Gambling is one of the least understood addictions but it acts like a drug addiction in its own way.
I feel that your wife has to understand that you couldn't help yourself. Again I will say that its not a deliberate thought that you will harm the family when gambling...you haven't gambled to deliberately attack your wife.
I left myself with no food. I didnt even care about myself never mind anybody else. She simply has to understand that its a self destructive illness
She will have to understand this as an addiction and mental health problem or you wont move forward. Her shock is understandable but if she keeps thinking you have just been stupid and greedy its a real relationship problem.
I hope you can keep talking it through. I dont know you both or your relationship but your wife could benefit from more information from a gam anon group or counselling about gambling issues.
Its difficult situation though and I wish you all the best
I am married to a compulsive gambler so in some ways I can understand your wife's reaction.
I had no idea that my husband had been gambling for years, losing a huge amount of money. I was devastated when I found out and felt so betrtayed. My feelings alternated between rage, hurt and deep concern for him.
This forum really helped me as I had no real knowledge of gambling addiction. Reading posts on here was a turning point for me. I realised that he hadn't just been deceiving me and ripping me off, but that he had a really serious problem/illness.
Once the dust had settled and we decided we would try to get through this together, I made the decision that if we were going to move forward, I would never throw things back in his face or dredge things up in a negative way, and I never have done. It's hard. I still struggle to come to terms with the amount 9f money we lost and the missed opportunities. I know he has an addiction and I also know that he feels real shame. He is trying so hard to make amends and put things right and this proves to me that he wants to move on. We're trying hard to rebuild trust and build bridges and I don't want to destroy that by throwing things back at him and rakung up the past. It is hard at times though. I have dark days when it plays on my mind.
Would your wife read posts on here or speak to one of the advisors? Maybe if you chose a time when things are going well and she is feeling positive to suggest it to her.
Hopefully as time goes on and she sees you continue to abstain from gambling she will become more accepting of things.
Good luck to you both.
Apologies for the late reply. I just wanted to say thanks for all your comments - they are helpful.
It's clear there is a lack of understanding around a gambling addiction, but that's not surprising given I truly don't understand it. All I can say is it was like being in a fog and now I'm properly out I can see and think clearly.
I do believe things will get better and didn't expect it to happen within months. What doesn't help is my wife is prone to mood swings- so add that in with general anxiety and it can create volatile situations depending on the day.
I'm happy to take anything coming to me for now, but as Charlieboy and Jess said - there needs to come a point where a line is drawn under it and we move on.
Before this came out I had debt issues I had from her (about eight years ago now) so I think it's a combination of the two that have destroyed the trust.
Thankfully there's no real debt issue barring a small loan so our finances and future haven't been compromised and we are both committed to finding a new house. New beginnings etc.
I'll bear in mind what you have all said but I feel she needs to want to understand rather than me drag her into this.
Funnily enough things have been pretty good since I wrote the post but I do know there's another flashpoint lurking in the shadows and always will be until we can move forward.
Take care everyone
We are available 24 hours a day, every day of the year. You can also contact us for free on 0808 80 20 133. If you would like to find out more about the service before you start, including information on confidentiality, please click below. Call recordings and chat transcripts are saved for 28 days for quality assurance.