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two married codependants w/kids
May 11, 2007
11:17 pm
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dad2twins
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Good Evening...

Just for some background...

I am now a recovering compulsive gambler. I wiped out some retirement savings and caused major credit card debt for us. Wife just discovered this and is filing for divorce, but she is a codependant. She has no interest in my recovery....house is going to be sold and her and our kids are moving into an apartment.

We have twins who are 4. I am now treating in GA and with a counselor weekly...made major changes to life...no gambling, diet, spending habits, etc. I feel better than I have in years.

I am also codependant....

Wife is also codependant as this has been going on for years. She feels she has been lied, deceived and financially ruined. I agree, but she is not willing to look at the future.

I desparately want to save the relationship, but she is so angry about the gambling and lying, she can't see straight. She is so focused on the pastshe can't think about a future for the kids. I have strong beliefs about sanctity of marriage and that the kids are going to be harmed if this ends.

We've had some of our best conversations in , years since this came out....but most of them are about how the divorce is going to play out as I have agreed to not fight any terms to save any harm to the kids.

I'm helping myself.....I need help with my spouse. Is there anything anyone can do to reason with her to not make any rash decisions and to get her the help she needs to understand my illness?

May 11, 2007
11:57 pm
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bevdee
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Hi dad2

Is it possible that since your wife just found out that her retirement has been wiped out, and y'all are now in debt because of your gambling it might be difficult for her to look toward a future? Did she just find out her "future" is not what she thought it was?

How long have you been in recovery for the addiction of gambling? How long ago did she find out about the gambling and how long ago did she find out about the money that's gone?

She might need a little time to make the adjustment to this new reality?

May 12, 2007
11:09 pm
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dad2twins
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This just happened about a week and a half ago....I am still living at home...and she is pursuing a dissoulution of marriage no fault in our state and we write the terms of the settlement.

We are young...in our early 30s...we have 25 years to retirement. The money will come back.

I believe she is seeing someone now as well, further complecating things.

I want this marriage to work...I am changing my life....I am in couseling and at Gamblers anonymous meeting weekly.

I want to understand the disease and what it did to me and why acted the way I did toward her, but she won't go to a meeting or read anything about it with me.

May 12, 2007
11:26 pm
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bevdee
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dad2

Well, this is my opinion. And it is my gut reaction to your post last night and tonight. 10 days is not a long time to adjust to what I would see as deception and betrayal. I'm not speaking for your wife, of course.

And if it were me learning the truth I would have alot of trouble coming to terms in such a short time with what you dad done. You've been going to Gamblers Anonymous- that's good that you are doing that. It may take some time to prove yourself to her. From what you describe, it sounds like she has been through alot in the last few days.

You are right, money comes and goes, but trust is fragile, and that may be what she is grappling with.

May 12, 2007
11:51 pm
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dad2twins
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I'm sure it is...but also, most of her friends are handing her a bunch of bull this divorce won't harm the kids....

I believe all marriages can work....Yes I lied...but she is now by not telling me the truth time and time again so far...

If she would start to understand the disease, she would see that now the gambling is gone, so is the anger, self pity, and insecurity.

May 13, 2007
12:04 am
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bevdee
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In 10 days?

May 15, 2007
10:07 pm
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dad2twins
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I have now confirmed that since I came clean, she is now having an affair with a man who works for her at her job....what do I do know....?

This is a mess!!! I am so upset that I know she is now cheating I can't see straight.

May 16, 2007
11:08 am
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nappy
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Hello Dad2twins,

I can hear in your voice the fear. The fear of the unknown, the fear that if you had a chance you would change everything but you can't. You have to accept this and you have to accept the way your wife is behaving.

You can not expect her to just run into your arms and say baby everything is alright. It is not going to happen. You have hurted her but I don't think that you really know how long you have been doing that.

Trust is the key factor in a relationship. It is the glue that hold it together, when you let the glue burn. What does it do? It melts.

Now your fear is that since you have been doing something that was not right, your mind is going to play with you because now you is expecting your wife to do the same to you. And that is to hurt you but I don't think that she is even thinking about that because right now she have to think about herself and the kids. You wipe out some saving and cause some major credit debt. Come on now, that is real big because you are messing with your family lives and future. She is in title to be upset, who wouldn't?
Sometimes we hurt ourselves with the choices that we have choose and 10 days is not enough days to say that you are heal. NO WAY, NO HOW.

Your addiction is something that you are going to have to work on for the rest of your life. The only magic is that you work the program and get help for yourself and your kids.
Sometimes the damage can be so great that you just can't get back what you once had.
Nappy!

May 16, 2007
11:47 am
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glittered when he walked
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err..well..from what i know about addictions...the addiction to gambling will be there forever. An addict is an addict until the day they day...then they finally win freedom from it. i hate to say this..but your gambling isn't gone...all you have is today...and you should know that. just for today...one day at a time

Look..these are support threads...so I should be posting things in support of you, but as my stbx is an addict it is admittedly difficult for me to be objective about this.

You do know you hurt her right? and very deeply...you violated her trust. and don't take this as judgment...I'm just trying to get you to understand how deeply this likely has affected her. It's not just money...addicts value money as a means to an end...to others money is seen as security...no, it's not everything...and yes it comes and goes, but it's the idea that an addict would take away someone else's secuity is upsetting to some...and rightfully so. yeah, it's a addictions are a sickness, but dammit that sickness has ramifications that sometimes don't disppear with "i'm clean now and working a program."

you can't make her do anything..just keep working your program and if it's meant to work out then it will.

May 16, 2007
11:53 am
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AQueen
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It sounds like you're wife is doing what she needs to do for her to be healthy right now. You are very very very early in recovery. You cannot expect her to take you seriously right now. ACTIONS speak louder than words. You're just talking the talk right now and starting to walk the walk but you've only been at it less than a month! Come on. I don't think people should stay in a marriage that isn't working, where there is no trust, and if one partner is not happy due to the actions of another. Children need to be raised in a healthy environment, one partner or two it really doesn't matter. I don't think staying together for the kids isn't a good idea most of the time because the children sense things are off and usually there is a lot of manipulation in a household like that. My Mom stayed with my Dad so I would have two parents and it wasn't a good idea. I know things would've been better living without him because of his issues.

I think it's really selfish of you to basically demand that she "understand" you addiction. That she stay in a marriage that she isn't happy with. I'm sure a bunch of her dreams have been shattered and she's probably extremely upset. I would be too. I would be even more upset by a person demanding I understand what they are going through when they are so unwilling to see what I'm going through. How their actions have impacted my life. It always amazes me when someone shouts about being clean and how they're changed when it's been days since their last drink/drug/gamble/act of violence/whatever.If you are serious about your recovery you will focus on yourself and continue getting the help you need. Keep up the counseling and the support groups. Let her see the change. Maybe in a year or so she might reconsider, maybe not. Congrat's on your clean time, stick with it. Time will tell if you're serious. Like someone else said, you are thinking your wife is up to something because you were up to something. Paranoia. Even if she is there is nothing you can do about it. You cannot control the situation, it is out of your hands, let it go. In recovery we learn about taking another persons inventory. Don't do it. Focus on you, you are the only one that you can change. Good luck to you.

AQueen

May 16, 2007
12:20 pm
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Dad2twins,

Just wondering why you labeled your wife as "codependent"??? Her actions do not sound codependent at all. She sounds like a woman who is doing what she feels is right for herself and her children in a very difficult situation. Very NON-codependent if you ask me!!

I'm not saying that divorce is the answer in EVERY situation, but it is certainly the ONLY answer in some.

We do not have all of the details so it would be very difficult for anyone here to say if it is the right or wrong decision, but it is HER decision right now. Your only option is to accept it and do your best to work YOUR program... and be the best Dad you can be to those children.

Best of luck to you.

TC

May 16, 2007
12:27 pm
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thedogsmom
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First let me say Congratulations on recognizing you had a problem- an addiction and working on your recovery. That is not an easy thing to do and it sounds like you are taking the necessary steps and work to get healthy again- and in doing so it will certainly affect all areas of your life in a BETTER way! Congrats.

I am sorry that your wife is choosing to leave and to divorce. I recently left my husband who was an addict and I did NOT leave because I stopped loving him..or because he did drugs..or because I thought he cheated on me...or because he didn't help with the bills... I finally had enough of the LIES...the DECIEPT and the LACK of TRUST... caused me to lose trust in EVERYTHING .including his feelings for me.

I got very ANGRY at HIM and at MYSELF for believing and being CONNED by his lies and deciept! I feel he didn't care about our future or our retierment and security! This LOVE and TRUST and SECURITY for the future is what I wanted when I agreed to have him as my husband. And his addiction-- and the multiple lies that came with it ..took ALL of that AWAY!.
The anger is there for your wife - it seems. the betrayal and deciept she feels.. She was probably suspicious for some time and held it all in...and got disappointed time and time again... and was HURT for many years??? and NOW you expect her to just try again.. and give you that last chance to make things right...and she is still in her ANGER stage.
I don't know what the future will bring you. I think you still need to focus on your own recovery and health. If nothing else- you stated you feel better already because of it. If you continue to stay clean and focus on yourself... perhaps her anger will fade and she will see IN THE FUTURE..that you are serious and that your ACTIONS meet your WORDS.
Good luck to you.
TDM

May 16, 2007
3:20 pm
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bevdee
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dad2twins

I wondered if you have tried to understand the impact your emotional unavailability has had on your wife and children? That's real hard on the people that love an addict. Your mistress is gambling and you put that before your family's future. Whether you were honest with her about your problem or not, she had to know that you were not available to her emotionally.

Did you go to her and tell her about your addiction or did she discover it because of the debt you had incurred?

All I glean from your posts is that you want advice on how to get your wife back- and not how to face what caused her to look elsewhere for love and affection. I wish you luck in accepting responsibilty for your choices and actions, and in facing the consequences and how that has and will affect your family.

Thrusting the responsibility at your deceived wife, using the sanctity of marriage and the family unit as your excuses is really unfair, in my opinion. If I were looking at this from the receiving end of betrayal and financial ruin, I would havae to ask what you did to uphold the sanctity of my marriage -with the lies, deceit? Stealing my kids money?

Do you have a sponsor in your recovery program that you can talk to about this? A therapist?

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