Just reaching out for a bit of support if I can. I started counselling this week and it was awful. The counsellor asked some very difficult questions and told me I was enabling my husband in his GA. She blamed me for making her angry, saying my actions were frustrating. She said 'when he leaves you in more debt than you can handle, your house is re-possessed by the bank and he is living with someone else, what will you do then?' I found it all overwhelming, but still I am not angry and can't cry.
I feel one day like I am in control -been to the bank to have him removed from the joint account. The next minute I feel so down I hardly recognise myself. I'm facing a disciplinary at work due to sickness - I have a bad back after being in a car accident in January, the pain I feel physically is immense at times and I can't drive to work, nevermind care for my patients.
There seems to be no control in any area of my life. My workplace is horrible. I have confided in a couple of senior colleagues but they don't care. My backpain is unpredicatble. My finances are no longer my own, I'm constatly worrying about money, work, health.
Work has started a HOPE course, which I am going to but I don't know how much it will help and then people I work with know I'm attending (It's during work hours) so I feel like I now have a label of 'mentally unstable'. A colleague told me to 'f**k off' the other day, withiout provocation. I have put in a formal complant but nothing is being done.
I feel totally out of control. But I desperately feel I need to control everything. Neither if these emotions are me. I'm usually quite balanced. Is this just a bad patch? Has anyone else, as a f&f, tried counselling and was it worth it?
I didn't go to counselling and if it's always like that it was the right decision. Blaming you for 'making her angry' isn't on. Blaming someone else for 'making them gamble' is exactly the kind of manipulation some gamblers excel at.
What makes her think you are still enabling your husband's gambling? Does that have any bearing on her further comments about the future?
I go to two Twelve Step Fellowships and I have had counselling and I am in a better place. Not that I’ve arrived, but I’m not where I started.
There’s a saying along the lines of when the whole world stinks, you’re probably the one who needs a shower.
Did you see a rogue counsellor who allowed herself to be triggered by you and then went on to blame you for her bad feelings? Or did the counsellor merely give you a reality check about your situation and ask you some searching questions in painful areas that you didn’t want to probe? Like what will become of you if you chose to stay where (and how) you are? Like what exactly made you rush in and rescue him to the tune of five figures? Like what has actually been going on for the rest of your relationship? Addiction doesn’t happen in a vacuum and it’s not realistic to think that the dysfunction begins and ends with him. Is this the first example of bad behaviour from him that you’ve taken on the chin or is it the latest in a long series of abuse?
You mentioned that you have patients that you’re struggling to care for. Is it the case that you’re so caught up with fixing the unfixable (him) and caring for others, at home and at work, that you’ve completely lost yourself? Is it really everyone else at work that’s out to get you and not you at all?
The help is there but only when you become willing to accept that your way (being the rock, fixing everyone else, solving the world’s problems) simply isn’t working any more. Go to CoDA, regardless of the effort needed to get there. And there is a lot of useful if painful self help literature out there, I got mine from that famous on line river of retailers. “Women who love too much” by Robin Norwood, “Facing Love Addiction” and “Facing Codependency” by Pia Mellody.
Try viewing the pain as a positive motivation for you to change.You can recover but it’s as the adage says: It works if you work it so work it you’re worth it.
Your life is in your own hands.
Thanks both. I don't know what the answer is, but I know it's going to be painful to find. If I am a fixer /the rock etc how do I stop and what else do I become? How do you become what you are not?
Also, this sounds petulant but, I understand that I should take control of the finances, to protect myself. If I do this, I am fixing again and being 'the rock' ,sorting it all out. I feel if I don't take control it will be financially worse (he will gamble again and not pay bills/debts, but if I do it, I'm fixing). It's all so confusing.
I'll take a look at some of those books CW, thanks for the recommendation. I've tried googling CoDA but can't find what you mean (keep getting Coda music or a deaf adults website).
Our relationship is............. well, I love him, he loves me but he is very selfish. Other women, gambling, drinking. Other women not for a couple of years and the drinking isn't out of control. The gambling is the new demon. I don't want to be without him, but that seems to be what everyone else thinks I should do (friends, that counsellor). My family don't know and I can't tell them beacuse they will say it's all my fault.
I'll keep going, no choice really, but it's so hard some days. I am trying to put myself first but then I feel guilty. I have a get out plan in case I need it but I don't want out. CW - you seem to have been able to stay together so I know this is an option, irrelevant of what other people think I should do. This is the one bit of my life I do have a choice in and I know what I want, so does he.
Arrrggghh - I hate my life at the moment but I don know this is temporary, just need to keep moving forwards. Its just so hard with no map and no sense of direction.
Managing the finances has a few purposes. It can give you peace of mind to have the family money required for living in your name out of harm’s way. It protects you. If the CG wants to stop, it can support him but that’s secondary. What managing the money cannot achieve is to prevent the gambling.
He loves you but whilst loving you there’s an issue with drink, other women and now gambling. What sort of love is that? And more importantly, why do you feel that this an appropriate brand of love for you? Does it fulfil a need for drama? Why do you have such a need?
None of this is an instruction to get out and if you did, you’d gravitate towards the same again, only worse. But it’s worth asking yourself where you learned your life lessons and then working on unlearning them and learning new ones. So that the cycle is broken and the next generation can see what healthy looks like.
Nothing changes if nothing changes. It’s up to you to help yourself to the help you need to help yourself.
I learned how to set boundaries for myself (outgoing ie what goes out from me) and incoming (what comes at me from others). If there are no boundaries and I accept any behaviour towards me, that’s dysfunctional. It’s not being loyal or taking my marriage vows seriously, it’s accepting the unacceptable because I don’t know or don’t want to know any better. There’s a difference between choosing for myself and trying to act based on what I think others might expect of me.
Looking after the finances isn't fixing things for them, it's reassurance for you. If they want to gamble, they will and they can be very creative in finding ways to do it.
No-one can advise you what to do but this man is getting away with some appalling behaviour. It could be worth analysing why you're putting up with being treated like this.
Hi Amanda taking control of money is for you. You have his debt in your name, you need his money to pay that debt. Alternatively he should call stepchange and sort out a repayment plan including the debt on credit cards. Taking control of money is like removing alcohol from an alcoholic. Why would you give a gambler money? Why would you make it easier for him to get credit? Go back to basics. They are incapable of making rational decisions in the midst of chaos that is addiction. As cw and Lethe have said look at why you think this is acceptable. Once you take control you will feel better because you are doing something, not just sitting waiting for the next time. I don't agree with a lot of what my counsellor said but it did help to offload. This is a mental health issue, would you let your kids play with the medicine cabinet? Blocks of any sort are effective and removing money is a block. Hoping this will go away and when he's not there there's peace, is sticking your head in the sand. Sometimes we have to hear things we don't like to make us realise what is really going on. I have a problem too, I'm married to a compulsive gambler with bipolar 2, but it's manageable once you admit it and take action. I can assure you they do not mean to leave us destitute but that's where they are heading whilst they continue to gamble and we ignore it.
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Well done for being open to sharing peer support on the forum and considering the perspectives that others share with you, while you are also opening up to receiving support at work and attending counselling appointments. It sounds like you are experiencing challenges in various areas, so it is great that you are finding places to receive support and finding your own voice too.
Sometimes people may have views about what they think you should do, or feelings about what you do, and it is worthwhile considering the thoughts and feelings of others, while also allowing yourself time to listen to your own thoughts and feelings, and to arrive at your own ways of understanding and choosing your own ways of proceeding, which may turn out to be along the lines of advice you've received or maybe a more bespoke creation that you have tailored to fit you better. Finding your own way forward isn't a willful or contrary direction, it can include considering your own boundaries and values, preferences and interests, and respecting your own autonomy, value, safety, empowerment, assertiveness.
If you found your counselling session difficult, you could give your counsellor specific feedback about that if you like. Sharing feedback can raise awareness and potentially help in finding ways of working that suit you better.
If you need more support, you can call us on 0808 8020 133 or contact us on the netline.
Sadly most people go in to marriage with emotional baggage.
Just be getting married will not mean you will happily ever after.
I am the addict which only indicated how emotionally vulnerable I was.
Sadly being the addict caused myself and my partner further pains and fears.
Once I took my recovery seriously abstained and started to heal it did not mean that my partner had the same privilage and was often angry with out even knowing why.
I am able to heal my pains yet sadly I am not able to heal my partners pains.
My partner no longer fears me, my partner no longer feels like I betray her,
Am I more nurturing and encouraging towards my partner today.
Am I more patient and tolerant with my partner today.
Once both people heal only then can they have close intimate relationships
Each pain and trauma I went through in my life caused fears in me that I did not face or understand.
How much do I love myself today.
How much do I respect myself today.
I use to think that the highs and lows were between happiness and depression.
Sadly the highs were risk taking and living in unreasonable expectations of people life and situations.
By me having unreasonable expectations of people life and situations I was hurting myself.
Accepting serenity helped me reduce all of my unreasonable expectations, which reduced me causing myself further pains.
Love and peace to everyone.
AKA Dave of Beckenham.