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Should I be patient until he has finished his counselling sessions?
I wish that I had found this forum twenty four years ago when I first found out about his gambling but I was naive and unaware of the impact it would have on our lives then so I kept standing by him. He was horrid to me most of the times through it all and slowly and slowly, I lost my confidence and felt worthless and inadequate. We always ended up arguing when I asked him anything and he was very strict that I wasn’t able to tell anyone about this or it would be the end up of our marriage. So I kept quiet and worked hard to provide for our family including him.

When I lost my dad, 15 years ago, I hit an all time low and decided to change my career. As I started to do well in my new job and earn well, I started to regain my confidence. For once, I did not feel a failure because my cooking wasn’t to his standard or that the house wasn’t spotless or I had reverted back to size 14/16 from size 10. He refused to take me out as he said I didn’t make any effort with my appearance and would rarely have people over as our house was ‘messy’. It got to a point where we rarely went out as a couple and I was selective with family invites as he generally created an atmosphere where we would have an argument before or after. The funny thing is I was still so desperate to have my happy ever after that I buried my real feelings or the real problem which was his gambling, his secrets and lies and his unreasonable behaviour towards me even leaning towards ‘emotional abuse’. Whatever I did was never good enough but as long as I wasn’t interrogating him, as he said, we could get on and even have a half decent relationship. So I played his game as I was able to maintain our family financially myself and anything he gave me, I put towards a holiday. However, some months ago, he stopped paying me any money towards the bills again and at the time, I still didn’t ‘intrrrogate’ him but I did say that I had enough and recently he agreed that it was a serious problem for him and has started counselling. However, this has initiated a bit of research on my part and now I feel that I understand the scale of the problem which I guess that even I had refused to acknowledge myself.

Through my own counselling, I realised that I was never ‘OK’ with this but actually I was very frustrated and angry but hid this deep down so that my children could have a loving environment to grow up in and our elderly parents would feel that we have a happy marriage. I also wasn’t sure if I would meet anyone else now seeing my divorced friends who have been throwing various bad dates.

I still have a lot of questions which still remain unanswered and when I ask, we still have bouts of silence or arguments. He has money go out with friends but still isn’t giving me anything towards the bills yet I found a withdrawal receipt for a substantial amount last week . I gave him the receipts hoping this would start a conversation. But nothing. So my dilemma here is do I back off and give him the remaining six weeks of counselling to sort himself out or do I mention to him about the lack of effort towards repairing our relationship or the wall of silence which is still there now?

To be honest, I feel absolutely emotionally drained and have been spending a lot of time crying recently. I know that divorce isn’t going to be easy for eithr of us but I am not sure if I can go through another 24 years of this. If we did separate, would he have any claim on our house since he has hardly paid anything towards it. He has two credit cards which I pay off the balance every month.

Any advise would be welcome.
Hi Jane,

Thanks for sharing...apologies as my experience on this isn't great, but i did want to ask has he considered GA meetings as part of his recovery? I did counselling as well as GA, being honest, handing over stuff etc....

Maybe have a look at my journal and a few others if you'd like a few more suggestions??

thinking of you

Smartie xx
Hi Jane,

Thank you for sharing, is he going to GA meetings as well as counselling? From my own experience the only reason I got angry with my wife interrogating me, was because I always had something to hide when I was gambling, without gambling, I have nothing to hide and there are no arguments and no questions unanswered.
As for what to do, only you have the answers for what is right for you Jane, I wish I could be more help there.

Kind Regards

One day at a time.  My last bet was 15/03/2016 and I hope and pray each day that it stays that way.
Meetings help, but meetings are only a small part to how GA works....

GA is a 12 step organisation that offers the program that keeps me in recovery...

I took family members to some of the open GA meetings, this not only helped me support wise, but I felt it helped them seeing the program in action, and what its about. I also found that it can be easier to open up in that type of environment too, as was my case.

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