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My husband has relapsed

Posted: Fri Mar 07, 2014 11:52 pm
by Chris10
I first found out that he was a compulsive gambler just before I gave birth to our daughter 10 years ago. The usual disbelief and horror that someone you love could lie to you and steal from you. He had pawned my engagement ring and some other stuff. He promised never to gamble again.

Then, just when I found out I was pregnant with our son 7 years ago, I found out that he was gambling again. This time he had hit the credit cards and personal loans and had us approx $60,000 in debt. That time I threatened that if he didn't get help then we were finished. He was declared bankrupt and attended GA for a good 12 months. I told him that it didn't matter if he stuffed up and gambled again...what mattered was if he stuffed up and gambled again and lied to me about it. I told him that as long as he trusted me enough to be there to support him if he did stuff up, then we would get through anything.

Well, last week I found out that he had been gambling for the last two years and lying to me. There had been two odd things that had happened within the last two years and I asked him to his face if he was gambling again. One of the times he swore on our childrens lives that he wasn't gambling again. He has taken out another personal loan and I don't even know what else he has done.

I am beyond devastated....We had the most perfect relationship and I just can't believe that he made the decision to walk back into a TAB and start gambling again. I understand that it is a sickness and an illness but at what point do I throw my hands up in the air and say that I can't do this anymore? The problem is that I still love him intensely....but he has broken our relationship and I can't believe he would do this to us.

He has moved to a friends house and we have told the kids that he is away for work. I think he has contacted a gamblers counselling support place but I can't talk to him about it. I feel so sorry for our beautiful children - they had the most wonderful family life with a Mum and Dad that adored each other and adored the kids and now they're going to be the product of a broken marriage. They did nothing to deserve this.

I just don't know what to do. Everything I read suggests that more people never recover from this than are able to beat it. I have to look after me and our children but I know he is going to try to guilt me into helping him again. Its so hard when someone you love so much hurts you so badly.

RE: My husband has relapsed

Posted: Sat Mar 08, 2014 10:00 am
by Scott1
That's awful Chris, I feel for you and your family. Full props to you for your continued support though - the fact that you're still wanting to help provided he lets you in is a huge testament to your character. Unfortunately though, as much as we want to help somebody, they have to want to help themselves first.

Perhaps a meeting with a counsellor and both of you present could help? He needs to understand the strain he's putting on you and how it's affecting you. He needs to know that the loving relationship you have between each other and as a family with two children is being jeopardised by his actions and dishonesty. Seeing the pain he's causing should hopefully be the big wake-up call - he needs to know that you're fast approaching the end of your tether. It's a tough one, because loving somebody means being there for them through even the worst of times, but there's only so much one can take before that love starts dissipating.

True rehabilitation comes from within ourselves, his problem will never be cured with you or anybody else carrying him through it - as much as it is your natural compassionate response. Once he see's the hurt he's causing, hopefully it inspires him to take the first few steps.

I hope you're able to crack this together, for the good of both your relationship and your children's futures.

RE: My husband has relapsed

Posted: Sat Mar 08, 2014 10:46 pm
by Chris10
Thanks for your reply Scott....I think we will need to have counselling - both together and separately. I'm just trying to get through each day as it comes for the kids. Its hard being nice to him in front of the kids, but I know its the right thing to do.

It was good to write everything down - it kind of clarified things a bit for me.

RE: My husband has relapsed

Posted: Sun Mar 09, 2014 7:43 pm
by Michelle3
Good Luck Chris,

This is tough to take, Gambling is a horrible addiction that causes lies and deceit, I know I am ( was) a gambler. Scott gave good advice, I take my hat of to you that you stick by your husband and have compassion and understanding, good on you, you have a amazing heart and strength. My partner dumped me like a hot potato after 20 years...I only wish with all my heart I could have a partner that had your strength, understanding and compassion. In saying that your husband has a part in all this gambler or not....he must trust in your relationship like you have and be honest...sometimes relapse are part of recovery...but be honest about them ... this will only strengthen your relationship and his recovery.

All the very best of luck to you and your family Chris...I hope it all works out and that you live to a ripe old age together gambling free.

RE: My husband has relapsed

Posted: Tue Mar 18, 2014 2:02 am
by Tam
I know how you feel Chris. My husband told me about his problem right after we got married and a few weeks after we found out we were pregnant. I have been supportive and tonight I found out he had relapsed. I dont know what to do - im laying here crying because I feel like I didnt do enough and I dont know what else I can do for him. I feel lost. I have been getting support from counsellors on here which has been helpful. He has given me access to his accounts which is how I found out about the relapse and he was shocked when he realised how much he blew tonight. I though we were over the worst of it but now I know we arent. I love him more than anything but Im feeling like I cant rely on my own husband. I thought when we married that it was like omg finally, someone I can rely on and I dont feel like thats the case anymore. Im disappointed and I cant even get angry because I know its an illness and theres no point in getting angry. Im scared of what i am bringing this baby into. I never knew the depths of gambling and addiction and alcohol and drugs until I was around people who were suffering from this until I was an adult. And now the gambling world is this world I have been unwittingly thrown headfirst into. It makes me feel sick. I dont know how much more I can take. My mum and dad are both dying at the moment and they may not be around to see the baby born, my husbands problems and addictions... jesus Im emotionally spent.So I guess in saying all that Chris, I kind of understand how you feel. Hang in there chick. Xx

RE: My husband has relapsed

Posted: Tue Mar 18, 2014 8:46 am
by BriM
Hi Chris, Tam, Michelle

Nice to see you on here . Welcome to the forum Chris and Tam

I can imagine how distraught you're feeling right now. Chris, as you say, it's not just about about the gambling, it's about the lying and stealing. You must be questioning how can you maintain a relationship with someone, even if you love them, if there's no trust there.

It's good that you've both reached out for support, it's so important to take care of yourselves right now. Especially you, Tam, with a baby on the way. I'm wondering , have you called the Gambler's Helpline to speak to a counsellor verbally? They will be able to offer you some advice on where you might be able to go from here

If you don't feel comfortable doing that, we are always alive and kicking on here


RE: My husband has relapsed

Posted: Tue Mar 18, 2014 1:29 pm
by Tam
Thanks Bri. In all likelihood I will burst into tears if I actually speak to someone about it, but the online chat has been helpful. Life is never easy! But hey its another curveball I didnt see coming and I need to step up and get this sorted to a point where my husband can see headway being made and take over from there. I am going to get the counselling happening tonight when he comes home.Hope the day is looking a little sunnier for the rest of you too xx

RE: My husband has relapsed

Posted: Tue Mar 18, 2014 2:13 pm
by BriM
Hey Tam

I can only imagine. Crying is totally fine though, just so you know

Sounds like you've got a plan of action for tonight. How are you going to approach talking to your husband?

Please let me know how it goes


RE: My husband has relapsed

Posted: Tue Mar 18, 2014 3:56 pm
by Tam
Im just going to get the laptop out and tell him to talk to an online counsellor. Plain and simple. And then when he is done, i will give him a cuddle and tell him he has made the next step. He made the first one months ago which was admitting he had a problem. I think he will do anything I ask of him at the moment - he feels terrible about it all. I will keep you updated.

RE: My husband has relapsed

Posted: Wed Mar 19, 2014 5:08 pm
by Noah (facilitator)
Hey Tam,

How did it go last night? It sounds like you are remaining so strong and looking after your husband.... are you finding ways to look after yourself too?