(South Wales UK)
My husband is a compulsive gambler. I have known for about four weeks. I cannot be sure of the exact date; time for me has stood still. I am stuck in a vacuum, sucked of my entirety and dreams – who I was, who we were, what I would be, what we would be. I am frozen, unable to move forward or go back, unable to crawl out, consumed with newfound pressures of which I did not consent.
The hurt and pain is like nothing I have ever experienced before or wish to experience again. I am me, but I am not me; I have changed. I have been violated by the very person with whom I trusted the most in the world – my husband, my best friend, the father of my children. Outside I may look okay, but inside I am dead. I am barely functioning – a shell of the person I was a month ago. It is bitter sweet that the compulsive gambler also looks fine, there are none of the tell tale signs or permeated characteristics that so often belie ‘an addict’, yet he is an addict, an addict in the most depraved sense.
I am on an emotional roller-coaster, whizzing around and around, uncertain and scared of what lies ahead. How did I end up here? Why did this happen? What went wrong? How can I fix it? The how, why and what questions keep coming, yet they are in vain. There are no answers, no answers for me and no answers for the compulsive gambler. He does not know why he did what he did, he cannot change it, he cannot wave a magic wand and make it better, he must own it – own what he did and repent. His road ahead is long, an uphill struggle – he cannot be trusted, he is a liar, a thief, an abuser! Yet there is a glimmer of light ahead, he can see it! He must get better for himself, his word means nothing – the respect I once had for him dampened.
Only time will tell what will become of us. Presently I am in damage limitation mode, overwhelmed with the destruction he has caused but knowing that I will support him in his recovery. I hate him with every fiber of my being - he has had no respect
for our marriage vows, our friendship, our family or our dreams. My anger bubbles under the surface, it rears its ugly head without warning. I am out of control, drowning, yet I must stay strong. Part of me begrudges him for owning his illness- he is free of the anxiety and stress that led to him hitting rock bottom, I am not – my journey and living hell has just began. I am also proud of him for seeking help, this for me is hard to acknowledge. I do not want to be proud of him right now; he has lied, deceived and caused us untold pain. I do not know if I will ever trust him again or be able to love him unconditionally. I have erected a shield around my heart, he will not hurt me again, I will not allow it. I think only about a future with my children, I do not know if he will be part of it, I will not be pressured into deciding. I am not ready, I may never be ready. I will retain this bit of control until I have navigated my own demons and feel ready to decide. This is my decision, he must make his own.
I am trapped inside my own head. I am bipolar, not in the literal sense, but emotionally. I can go from smiling to crying within a moments notice, numb one minute, crying uncontrollably the next. I am hurting and I do not know how to repair it. Today started off being a wonderful day, my husband and I spent quality time together without the children. We woke up late, we laughed, we smiled, we were carefree, that was ... until the volcano (that is me) erupted. I cannot forget, I will never forget. Angry, vindictive, venomous words slid succinctly off my tongue. I HATE WHAT HE HAS DONE, I HATE HIM!!!!!!. I honestly don’t know at this stage whether I will ever forgive him. I still question his motives to recovery; does he want to get better? Does he really think he has a problem or is he playing a game? – a game he intends to win. I mean how I can trust him, he’s a pathological liar, I no longer know my husband, the truth be known I never knew my husband, as he does not know himself.