How to trust the gambler

I will be honest with you – it will be very hard for you to trust the gambler again, but it’s not impossible. It takes a lot of time, good communication skills, dedication and effort. 

One of the things that helped me and my partner were sessions with a therapist. In one of the sessions, we ended up having a fight. (Embarrassing, right?) However, even tho it was so embarrassing for both of us, it helped, because the therapist pointed out that the language we used vas very aggressive. We were verbally attacking each other, almost without hearing what the other had to say. There was no compassion, just judgement. After that session, we started paying attention to the way we speak and slowly (to be more accurate: super slowly) our conversations started to feel less toxic.

What can also help you is to remind yourself that gambling addiction is a disease and no one chose to have it. I would advise you to try to understand how “naked”, lost and fragile a gambler, who has revealed her/his gambling secrets to you and hopefully is on a journey to recovery, feels. It’s not easy for a gambler either. It was a huge step for them to realize and admit there was a problem. 
Having said all of that, I would like to point out that you need to listen to yourself and your thoughts all the time. I believe it is important to tell a gambler what your needs are and what would make you trust her/him. Maybe you would like to be informed or get an access to his/her bank account or maybe you would like to know  what recovery plans s/he has.. If you want to get the trust back, you both need to work on it. If you see that some things don’t add up, that s/he is still being dishonest, or is not trying to make things work, well… that’s a great lesson too. You will then know if it’s worth investing yourself in that relationship / friendship.
I would like to share a memory that might shed some light on how we feel and how we think while and after a gambling session with a hope it will also help you understand us better. At first we feel excited and then so guilty. We know it’s wrong, but we have no power to break our bad habits by ourselves.

As for the memory, I would like to share how I felt when I would go to, be at and leave Casino. There was a particularly stupid feeling in front of the casino – you’re fighting with yourself. You know very well how these things will end, but then you convince yourself it’s the last time “just this time and I’ll never do it again”. 
Then, since it’s the last time, you go inside, take your cold beers and quietly start “milking” the appliance (I like to name this process milking). But the machine “milked” me instead. As always, there is a little euphoria when the machine “gives”, the cold beer gets sweeter and you loose you morals at the right moment – the moment when you should have left. The fact that credit has been maxed out and the monthly salary is “stuffed” into the machine is especially hard to take. Out of self-pity, you make another desperate try for the last money and it’s all over before you know it.After Casino I was almost always completely mentally broken, drunk and so angry – why am I being slapped like that? I was disappointed by the fact I did this to myself again.  If any gambler is reading this, try not to overdo the drinking. Try to stay clear-headed if you intend to gamble. Take only money that you can afford to loose. 

Recovering gambling addict is going to have many challenges. One of them will be sharing finances with a family or partner. This is an issue that I’m dealing often in my home. My partner makes the majority of our income, but I try to make some extra money doing side jobs. When it’s time to pay our bills, I often find myself short on money. Especially now with Covid-19, there are not many jobs available. While I’m giving my best to earn as much as I can, I still feel lots of quilt not having enough money. Exactly this guilt is making me feel like I don’t want to disappoint her and so often urge to lie surface.To avoid lies, my partner and I talk about our finances once a week. We take a look at our budget to see how we have been spending our money and identify any areas where we need to cut back. This also gives us an opportunity to discuss any other issues related to our money, including upcoming expenses, possible income opportunities, and problems we have with our current spending.

I learnt that being very open with my partner, helps both of us. This is the best way to prevent and resolve any finance issues. Have open communication. If you feel guilty for spending money because you make less money than your partner, talk about it. Plan how you are going to deal with the differences in your salaries.I remember when I was hiding purchases from my partner. I felt guilty for buying myself something even tho money was mine, but it was meant for something more meaningful than e.g. clothes. She would always notice new clothes and she would be so hurt and disappointed in me. Even tho there is no one else to blame for my lies, I realized with a help of my therapist, that I need to understand myself better. I need to dig into my past and try to understand what made me lie. Is it only gambling or I was lying before too? If so, why was I lying, what triggered me? 

What helped me was that my partner encouraged me to talk about all new realizations about myself, so that we both can understand my problems better. Only when we feel like we won’t be judged, put on a wall of shame or laughed at, we can start our recovering process.Gambling ruined 4 years of my life. However my recovery has been slow and I am still learning more about my real true self every day. For this purpose, I have developed a platform,
where you can find sincere advice from ex-addicts and also share your story or to reach out for help. I would like to recommend you to read an advice from Justyn Larcombe (embed the link to his name) on this subject.–

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