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Wife goes underground to keep playing Pokies

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Wife goes underground to keep playing Pokies

Postby Bada » Thu Dec 22, 2016 9:57 am

About 6 months ago, I discovered the extent of my wife's past-time of playing the pokies, when she burnt through around $15,000 in a month, while 8 months pregnant. I was devastated, I researched so much and also thought it explained much of her other aggressive and emotional bullying that I lived with around the house. I urged her to get help. In hindsight, she gave it lip service and failed to see the impact her hobby has on me, our children and our future. Our new baby was born shortly after and she convinced me she would never touch the Pokies again. I wanted to believe her, and probably did.
Some time ago, things just weren't adding up with her activities around home. I suspected she was playing pokies again, and I found her car parked in the parking lot in front of a local club. I walked in and saw her playing the pokies. I asked her about it later that day and she tried to deny everything, was hostile and threw wild accusations back at me, and then threatened to belt me up (she physically assaulted me once before in a rage) for being so disrespectful in spying on her. I reassured her that I love her and just want to help and protect my family. She came around and thanked me for giving her unconditional love, care and believing in her. What this time showed me though was the extent to which she was willing to lie, cover up and play diversionary mind-games, that have often lead me to think that I am going crazy or lying.

Well, yesterday another bombshell came, but this one is even harder to deal with. I could see her behavior changing the last few days and knew something was going on, but couldn't quite place what the issue was. She was moody, distant, short tempered with myself and the kids. She made cases for why I need to give her money, and gave excuses for spending more on the weekly budget than usual.
I hated doing it, but I threw a GPS tracker on the car to see where she is going. I found my car parked at the back of some rough club that I am sure she thought I would never visit or see. The car was idling there for over an hour. The only thing in that place are pokies. After spotting the car in there I turned around and walked away. What I learnt later though, which makes me feel sick, was that the Nanny was not home that day, and she left our three kids in the car, in the carpark with the engine idling,while she was in there playing f'ing pokies!

I feel in a dilemma now. I want to confront her on this, also for the sake of our children, but can't feel I can let her know that I used a GPS on her car. I am deeply stressed and anxious by what I found out. When I asked her about her day after getting home from work, and also asked how she is going with managing her gambling urges (which we agreed to discuss openly) she turned the conversation around saying I was "Accusing her of leaving the kids in the car, playing pokies" and "How could I be so disrespectful and uncaring of her, when she is so busy looking after the family just before Christmas". I did not make any such accusation or even raise the topic of what had happened, but she basically came out and described exactly what she had been doing!! This time, I can't believe the lengths she will go to, to continue gambling and attempt to push me away through any sort of diversionary or manipulative tactics when her actions are in discussion.

I am so hurt and disappointed, I can hardly keep myself together around her. I don't want to spend Christmas with her. I feel her life is all a lie.
Very sad, and busy trying to keep myself together and work out what to do next to help her.
Bada
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Re: Wife goes underground to keep playing Pokies

Postby pamela » Fri Dec 23, 2016 7:41 am

Hi Bada I feel your pain I really do..your wifes behaviour is out of control and action needs to be taken before those kids get hurt.your wife has obviously become very addicted to put her kids in jeopardy..you need to take control of the situation..I understand the addiction and it can be hard to break but I dont understand how anyone could leave kids in the car to play..she needs help and so do you..try and get some counselling to see how you can help her .she has to want to stop but needs to know how serious her addiction has become..dont give her any more money..I really wish you all the best
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Re: Wife goes underground to keep playing Pokies

Postby Noah (facilitator) » Fri Dec 23, 2016 4:12 pm

Hi Bada,
I'm Noah, one of the facilitators here... sounds like a very difficult time for you and your wife. If you would like to speak to a counsellor to help you navigate this situation, please do not hesitate to contact Gamblers Helpline on 1800 858 858
Take care,
Noah
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Re: Wife goes underground to keep playing Pokies

Postby Bada » Thu Jan 05, 2017 4:51 pm

Yeah so things got harder again today. I sensed my wife was continuing to gamble because of her moods & aggressive conversations with no other logical explanation.
I felt bad for doing it, but started trying to find out where she was gambling or where she was going. After a couple of days I worked it out and found her gambling at a local hotel's Pokie lounge. I saw her in there but felt sick and did not want a confrontation at the hotel and left. I then waited in the carpark by her car, contemplating what to do, when she saw me. An awkward moment in the carpark and headed home.
Since, she has said she will break up, take the kids & move out, but I need to pay for a new place for her to live... that it is not worth staying with someone who 'spies' on her.
Her denial continues to be unbelievable. She will manipulate, including using the kids as pawns, to get what she wants. I know she will not move out... if she does, she will only be spiteful, controlling and take some sort of revenge to take whatever she can in the process.
I feel torn with the need to look after and protect our kids. I love her and would be accepting and supportive of her recovery every step of the way, if she would admit there is a problem and get help. I don't know what I can take away from her, or what consequence I can give that will prompt her to get help.

Bada
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Re: Wife goes underground to keep playing Pokies

Postby annnie » Fri Jan 06, 2017 1:02 am

Hi,

Your'e in such a difficult position & need professional help in dealing with this. As your children are involved they need to be the priority. If she feels that leaving is her only answer at present., then let her go, ( with an understanding that you will support her recovery from a gambling addiction , but you will no longer support the gambling and have the children be involved whether by them being left in the car or in the home environment as it is.) you have to put the children's best interest & safety foremost. there comes a time when the line is crossed and this has occurred. No one wants a situation like this to happen but this is real and she is not in the real world whilst continuing to gamble.

You must feel like you are walking on egg shells all the time, perhaps if you write her a letter offering to help get her life on track & give her your understanding that the continued gambling is an addiction/disease and that you know that's not who she really is ,maybe she will take up your offer of help & support rather than let this horrible addiction tear your family apart.. If you are prepared to work with her , let her know but also list your options so she can see the position you are in. Conversations can easily turn into arguments but a letter may get through somewhat. When something is in writing it is harder to ignore & I hate to say it but it may be of benefit for you to have a copy.

Saying that was easy, easier than what you are going to have to do. Please talk to the help line and get advice on how to deal this. Don't stress about a place for her to live, (, it may do her good to find a friend to stay with until things can be worked out )) at this point you have to stand firm on putting the children first and from what you have said any professional would say that she is not capable of providing a safe environment for them at present. Have a chat with your doctor and tell him/her of your concerns for your wife ( in regards to where her head is at )

if you would like to pm me please do .

Wishing you all the best.
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Re: Wife goes underground to keep playing Pokies

Postby pamela » Fri Jan 06, 2017 9:01 am

I really feel for you but I agree that the childrens welfare comes first..I think once your wife appreciates that you are only trying to help her you might be able to work through her problems..I would certainly seek professional advice but I personally would not finance her ..dont be drawn into the web of deceit we gamblers spin..remain firm but understanding.do you have family you could go to for awhile ? show her you will no longer tolerate her behaviour ..sometimes something drastic has to happen before you make the decision to stop..I wish you all the best
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Re: Wife goes underground to keep playing Pokies

Postby Bada » Fri Jan 06, 2017 9:06 am

Thankyou. After confronting the issue, and after the angry outbursts faded, my partner finally came forward to acknowledge she has a problem and promised to get help. I expect her to do that and will support her with this challenge. I also gave her a letter as you suggested and made it clear where my boundaries are on the issue, especially with respect to our children. I hope the first steps are made of getting real help and wanting to change.
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Re: Wife goes underground to keep playing Pokies

Postby blastoise (facilitator) » Fri Jan 06, 2017 1:19 pm

Hi Bada,

Thanks for sharing your story, sounds like you have really been through a hard time.

Pamela and Annnie make valid points I think and I agree that being supportive of recovery is important, but ensure that there are boundaries like the others have mentioned - your priority is yourself and ensuring that you have support, and then your kids. I guess there is a bit of concern when you mentioned she has assaulted your previously and the 'walking on eggshells'. Combined with the threats and blackmail, I really encourage you to speak to someone, you have been patient and understanding, but she sounds like she is in denial and somewhat ambivalent that it is a problem, which makes it really hard to make her see the error of her ways.

Given the circumstances, you (and possibly the children) are eligible for Gambling Counselling which is covered by the Government because it is an 'affected other'.

If you call Gamblers Help, and give them your postcode, they will find the funded Gambling Counsellors around you. If you are worries about finances and the fallout of what may happen, also ask them for the contact number for a Financial Counsellor, and look up the state trustees.

Keep us posted on what happens Bada, and if others have any suggestions let Bada know

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Re: Wife goes underground to keep playing Pokies

Postby annnie » Fri Jan 06, 2017 7:48 pm

Hi again,

Sounding hopeful that the first steps are being made. Your story touched me and was still up early in the morning trying to find the right words for you. Thankyou for having the courage to post your story , every word on the forum has the ability to help others whether the gambler or the affected family & friends.

Encourage & help to put in place all necessary support services, work together & remember who you both were before this horrible addiction took hold. The addiction has the control over your family until your wife manages to regain the control and recover, she has an illness and her self esteem will be down. Even though you have been going through absolute hell, be kind to her and yourself. As the letter seemed to have an effect, continue with written words , nice words of love and hopes for the future . Maybe the odd bunch of flowers or a massage voucher ?? Take it slow you need to look after yourself too.

From withdrawal there will be tough times for both, it doesn't just go away. We all wish it would but that's not how it works. I am sure you have read many other posts and have become familiar with the effects of problem gambling whilst we are in recovery.

Today you regained some control, stay focussed , on guard , keep the boundaries in place & take control of the finances until later..( organise a card with no cash withdrawals ) Make gambling a non negotiable. Hoping over time things work out well for your family .Hang in there you are doing a great job , many others have just walked away.

Keep in touch & take care.
annnie
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Re: Wife goes underground to keep playing Pokies

Postby Bada » Thu Feb 02, 2017 2:44 pm

I appreciate everybody's words of support, but just when I want to believe things are heading in the right direction for my partner and family, things get harder all over again.

My spouse goes to exceptional measures to access and find cash. I learnt she continues to divert into local pokie places. Only things in her purse at the end of the day are notes contianing my visa card numbers and bank withdrawal slips. She told me she got rid of all ATM cards, yet refuses to share accountability for her bank account which once upon a time had 50,000 in it. It would have much less than that now.
She has started seeking support from a counsellor, who she holds in high regard and I am thankful for, but she will still look me in the eye and reassure me that she is making amazing progress and never touched the pokies, when in fact she has.
I am told that the counselor helped her identify why she gambles, and it is because of apparently how i treat her... her gambling (and now drinking) is apparently my fault!

Last night, after arguing all day, and gambling, she then proceeded to tell me she is sitting on the balcony and planning to drink a bottle of Bourbon until sun-up. The house was a mess, the kids were up running around at 10pm, but when I tried to help get them to bed and clean up I was told that I am insulting her and making her feel bad by accusing her of not doing the housework. She verbally abuses and threatens us.
When things got too hard to take and I was concerned about an verbal or physical abuse in front of the kids, I departed the house to avoid verbal confrontation only to receive phonecalls and text messages telling me I am weak, gutless and not supporting her.... always 'running away from my problems'.

I have been sleeping in my office at work on the floor, in my car in a carpark and am exhausted. I want her to leave but she threatens to extort me for money, take away the kids and get thugs to harrass me. I am exhausted and pretty well at wits end. I wish she could just see the damage, stop attacking and manipulating those trying to help her (including her counsellor).
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