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help for an enabler

I'm completely new to this forum and come to ask for help not as a gambler, but as the partner (maybe ex partner) of a gambler. I also want to say that I don't understand the need to gamble - I'm hoping I can learn more by reading through this site. I don't even buy lottery tickets, I prefer to save my pound for a guaranteed high such as chocolate <!-- sSmile --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_e_smile.gif" alt="Smile" title="Smile" /><!-- sSmile -->

We have been together for 7 years. Last year we split because of his increased cannabis smoking, his constant lack of money and always being in debt due to online gambling. I went to see a counsellor and learnt all about 'enablers' (Anyone read the book called 'Women who love too much"? - I identified myself in that book).

He also went to see a counsellor and managed to kick the weed habit and told me he'd kicked the gambling habit, so many months later we made a fresh start (with the warnings of my counsellor in my head that "him having just 6 weeks in one to one counselling would not stop his gambling forever", and me knowing how my 'enabling' behaviour had helped him to maintain his habits previously).

The fresh start was going well, though he started to smoke legal highs with tobacco. I didn't mind this because it didn't put him onto a 'zone' the way cannabis had, it was much milder. We moved in together last July though I have never tied my finances to his and insisted he had his own tenancy agreement (easy in a 'shared' flat as this one is). I have helped him with his continued debts , though tried not to be an 'enabler' by insisting he pays me back.. which he does but quite haphazardly. Its not helpful that he's paid different amounts of cash on a weekly basis and he has suggested previously that he turns over all his cash to me and I then take out what's needed for rent/bills/repayments etc and give him an allowance each week but I am reluctant to undertake this 'Mother/prison guard' role.

However he's slowly become more obsessed with smoking the legal highs and is spending about X amount on them (his disposable income which is for food and petrol etc is only just over this amount). We argued about it and I warned that he was going back to his old ways and that there was no future for us if he did.

Yesterday I found his bank statement which shows he's spent X amount over 2 weeks on online gambling. I also know he's spent X amount on scratchcards in 1 week and when added to the X amount legal highs he buys then he's living way beyond his means...And once again I've been subconciously enabling him! (I earn more than he does so I buy more food/petrol, I have lent him my car which he's used when his van has run out of fuel etc etc etc).

So now I'm torn!! We have argued and I eneded the relationship last night. I did also say that I would be happy to consider ways of working through this - but what they are I have no idea - so we're in a kinda limbo today where neither of us knows whether the relationship is over or not. I feel like an idiot not being able to stick to my threat - but where the heart is concerned I'm spineless! He is angry that he was "caught", he also says he now feels small and contrite and that I'm the one with all the cards so all he can do is wait for me to make a decision.

He claims his problem with gambling is controllable and his counsellor told him he wasn't as bad as other people - he seems to use that as a benchmark by which to continue. He says I'm unreasonable, - but then see's my point that I am not saying NO to gambling full stop, but I am saying NO to him not paying his way whilst he gambles. .. Am I fool? Is it like alcohol in that alcoholics should never have another drink again once they've recovered?

My head now says I need to use tough love with this guy and get out of the relationship, so he realises what gambling and smoking have cost him (i.e me and our relationship). My heart of course is screaming out for another solution, - this is the guy I still love and adore with all my heart. We get on in so many ways I have never had a connection like that with anyone, and I know he feels the same about me... I hope that HE will suggest attending GA meetings in an attempt to salvage 'us' (it won't be the same if I suggest it and then he agrees. I will feel he is doing that to appease me and not confront his problems).

So my question really is to the gamblers (and others) out there "Am I making sense?" Is it possible to allow my heart to rule on this one or am I ignoring huge warning signs? I'm certainly willing to take myself off to counselling again if necessary - I don't want to fall into my old 'rescuer' patterns again.

To those who have been through it, did your partner have to leave you before you changed your ways? How did they deal with it?

Thanks in advance for any replies.

Messages In This Thread
help for an enabler - by Guest - 19-05-2010, 11:57 AM
Re: help for an enabler - by Guest - 20-05-2010, 11:32 PM
Re: help for an enabler - by Guest - 24-05-2010, 08:28 PM
Re: help for an enabler - by Guest - 25-05-2010, 02:46 PM
Re: help for an enabler - by Guest - 26-05-2010, 11:50 AM
Re: help for an enabler - by Guest - 26-05-2010, 10:32 PM
Re: help for an enabler - by claire - 05-06-2010, 07:58 PM

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