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Old 05-27-2013, 07:21 AM
 
Location: Deep Dirty South
5,192 posts, read 4,178,386 times
Reputation: 3811

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Forgive me. I haven't posted on this part of the forum before.

I feel like such a whiner. I know I have a good life; I'm just finding it hard to get through the days anymore. Sometimes it's not a matter of getting through the day, but getting through the next 15 minutes.

Often, every little thing seems to take so much effort. I feel constantly exhausted.

I have a decent place to live, a wonderful wife, two amazing teen daughters and a grown stepson. I realize this makes me a very lucky man, and even though we live paycheck-to-paycheck, we are better off than most people in the world.

But I feel increasingly out of control of my emotions and everything that is going on around me.

We recently moved back to our home state after several years away. It's good to be back, but we settled in a huge metro area that I can't stand. I used to love city life, but now the crush of people, traffic, noise, the hectic pace, etc. are really getting on my head. We have plans to move to a smaller town or more rural area soon, but I don't know how long it may take.

I feel my job is important in the community, but it is very stressful and I frequently end up having to work 12 hour days (I do not get overtime for this.)

One contributing factor is my pain. I had a terrible accident about 3 years back that wrecked the right side of my body. I can still walk, fortunately, but I haven't been pain-free since. Doctors have wanted me to start walking with a cane (I won't do it) or taking prescription painkillers (I cant function on them) but I just grin and bear it or maybe take some ibuprofen or acitomenophen here and there. It makes me so tired all the time just to not feel good.

Another thing is that my wife, who I love dearly, has become addicted to gambling. It seems to be the only thing that brings her enjoyment anymore. But it is bringing us to financial ruin. We barely make it as it is, and then every time I get paid she sneaks off to some casino and it's not unusual for us to lose $400-$600 per check, which we CAN NOT afford in any way. Any time I bring up the fact that this is a problem it starts a fight. She gets quite mad even if I am trying to be reasonable or show her how big a problem this has become.

I want to stress that my wife truly is a beautiful, wonderful human being. She has just developed this problem. If you had told me a few years ago this would be an issue in our lives, I would have thought you were crazy. But now she is sneaking around, hiding money, trying to hide gambling losses, etc. She then gets upset when we don't have enough money to go on little trips or a weekend getaway to somewhere pretty, or even to buy food and gas when we need it, and looks to me as if to say "Well, we need money. How are we going to make it? What are we going to do? You'd better come up with something." I have already pawned and lost everything I owned that had any value. I don' know what to do. She can't help it. It's beyond her control, but she apparently has no intention of stopping.

Also, my stepson and his family live 30 minutes down the road in a nearby town and for some reason every chance they get they want to spend the night at our place. They have a perfectly good apartment. To me this is strange. When I was 23 I didn't have a family of my own yet, but regardless, the last thing I would have wanted to do is spend the night at my parents' house. Moreover, he and his SO get into arguments very often and he has had a hard time holding down a job, so I feel as if there is a push there, or that there is some kind of inevitable outcome in which he, or perhaps him along with his SO and their son, will end up having to live with us in our small home, which will also bring us to financial ruin.

On top of that, my stepson also is addicted to going to casinos. He also spends (and most often loses) money they do not have. So nearly every month my wife gives him money to help them out, but that money more often than not ends up being lost at a casino. I'm not willing to subsidize my stepson's gambling, but all of the money shenanigans happen while I am at work.

I have told my wife that--in order to protect the whole family and try to get by month to month--I need to open a separate account that only I have access to. My wife says she will leave me if I do that.

I just don't know what to do any more. I remember being carefree in life, not really feeling stress. But the last few years I seem to have lost all zest for life. There are days when I literally hope to be the victim of a drive-by shooting. I at least have excellent life insurance, so my family won't be destitiute. In fact I am worth so much more dead than alive it's pathetic.

All I see ahead for me is endless work that I don't enjoy and which takes a big emotional and physical toll, constant stress about finances, my wife clearly being unhappy with me not knowing how to help, and expending all my energy just trying to move through each day like a zombie.

It seems so absurd and pointless. I'm not sure it's worth it. I reckon everyone would be better off if I was gone.

PS-- I have been on Welbutrin for a while. Doesn't seem to do squat for me.

I am sorry for the long rant. It feels better to get some of this off my chest. There is nobody I can talk to about it. Thank you all for the free therapy session!
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Old 05-27-2013, 10:11 AM
 
13,010 posts, read 12,451,656 times
Reputation: 37273
No, everyone would NOT be better off if you were gone. Your daughters in particular would be devastated and irreparably damaged. You will also add to the odds that your children will commit suicide. You MUST remember this and hang on to it. Your wife is caught up in an addiction and will not take proper care of them - you need to fight this if only to remain in your daughters' lives. You must be their rock.

Please try this link: American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
And this one: NAMI: National Alliance on Mental Illness - Mental Health Support, Education and Advocacy

-Look, I have a lot of friends that are in constant physical pain (don't ask me why). You feel hopeless now, but you need to understand that things will get better - not back to the way they were, but better. Use the cane - there is no point in clinging to pride and appearances to suffer in agony. Your refusal to use a cane is actually probably hampering any improvement. Also consider using stronger painkillers when you are not working - at night when you need to sleep (good sleep is VITAL to pain management) and on days you do not have to do things like drive. You need to give your body a chance to rest and give yourself a refuge from the pain. Pain can make you irrational about things like suicide - I suffer from terrible sinus headaches on occasion and all I want is to die when I have one. I'm glad I don't have a gun in the house because of it.

-YOur wife may be a wonderful human being, but she is an addict. Her addiction will always come first. You need to offload her and save yourself and your daughters. She will have to manage her addiction on her own. Let her leave if she won't get help. You are drowning - you must save yourself and let her do the same for herself. Please look into groups that offer support to people in your situation:
Welcome to Gam-Anon.org
Gamblers Anonymous: Gam-Anon

GamAnon has been reported on in the NYT, so it isn't necessarily some fly-by-night thing. Please read this article: Treatments for Gambling Addicts and Families - NYTimes.com

Again, I urge you to remember that your daughters need you. I am a daughter, and I assure you that if my father committed suicide, I would have completely lost my mind. You must remember that you are important to them and that they need you desperately because their mother is not equipped to parent them.
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Old 05-27-2013, 10:26 AM
 
Location: Deep Dirty South
5,192 posts, read 4,178,386 times
Reputation: 3811
Thank you, thank you so much.

I have just felt so worthless for so long. I feel like I am to blame for my wife turning to casinos. We used to have so much more fun, but now I work all the time and we still struggle so much financially. She is up for a good job, so we may be sitting less precariously soon, and that will help.

I can't express how much I love my wife or how much she means to me. She could have done so much better. I don't believe I could live without her and I don't want to try.

"Drowning" is a good way to encapsulate what I am feeling. I just can't help but think at least if I were out of the picture my wife and the girls would finally have some financial security. It's hard for me to imagine that me being around is preferable to that, but that's my own psychological bullcrap. I know this intellectually, but from a practical standpoint I have to wonder.

It's just such a drag. I'm in my mid-40s now and haven't had the slightest shadow of a suicidal thought in almost 30 years. Now it rears its ugly head again.

I do appreciate your concern and kind words. And I will take your advice.

Last edited by Griffis; 05-27-2013 at 10:52 AM..
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Old 05-27-2013, 10:47 AM
 
13,010 posts, read 12,451,656 times
Reputation: 37273
yeah, I'm in my late 30s and I remember the suicidal thoughts of my teen years. Suicide seemed so... rational. I'm fairly certain the only thing that kept me around was the fact that I was worried about what would happen to my cousins and my father's mother who had no other grandchildren. Then later when my best friend died in my early 20s, followed by her mother a few months later, I just wanted everything to just stop I guess. My entire life felt hollowed out and hopeless.

Really glad I got past that because I'm really happy now. And ya know, not dead. LOL.

But seriously, I get a panicky feeling when I think about getting through my teens and 20s without my daddy and only my mother for support. He's not even a very good dad, but he's the dude who has my back no matter what. You're VERY important, no matter what it feels like to you right now.

Glad I helped a little.
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Old 05-27-2013, 11:24 AM
 
1,783 posts, read 2,530,654 times
Reputation: 2791
Quote:
Originally Posted by Griffis View Post
Forgive me. I haven't posted on this part of the forum before.

I feel like such a whiner. I know I have a good life; I'm just finding it hard to get through the days anymore. Sometimes it's not a matter of getting through the day, but getting through the next 15 minutes.

Often, every little thing seems to take so much effort. I feel constantly exhausted.

I have a decent place to live, a wonderful wife, two amazing teen daughters and a grown stepson. I realize this makes me a very lucky man, and even though we live paycheck-to-paycheck, we are better off than most people in the world.

But I feel increasingly out of control of my emotions and everything that is going on around me.

We recently moved back to our home state after several years away. It's good to be back, but we settled in a huge metro area that I can't stand. I used to love city life, but now the crush of people, traffic, noise, the hectic pace, etc. are really getting on my head. We have plans to move to a smaller town or more rural area soon, but I don't know how long it may take.

I feel my job is important in the community, but it is very stressful and I frequently end up having to work 12 hour days (I do not get overtime for this.)

One contributing factor is my pain. I had a terrible accident about 3 years back that wrecked the right side of my body. I can still walk, fortunately, but I haven't been pain-free since. Doctors have wanted me to start walking with a cane (I won't do it) or taking prescription painkillers (I cant function on them) but I just grin and bear it or maybe take some ibuprofen or acitomenophen here and there. It makes me so tired all the time just to not feel good.

Another thing is that my wife, who I love dearly, has become addicted to gambling. It seems to be the only thing that brings her enjoyment anymore. But it is bringing us to financial ruin. We barely make it as it is, and then every time I get paid she sneaks off to some casino and it's not unusual for us to lose $400-$600 per check, which we CAN NOT afford in any way. Any time I bring up the fact that this is a problem it starts a fight. She gets quite mad even if I am trying to be reasonable or show her how big a problem this has become.

I want to stress that my wife truly is a beautiful, wonderful human being. She has just developed this problem. If you had told me a few years ago this would be an issue in our lives, I would have thought you were crazy. But now she is sneaking around, hiding money, trying to hide gambling losses, etc. She then gets upset when we don't have enough money to go on little trips or a weekend getaway to somewhere pretty, or even to buy food and gas when we need it, and looks to me as if to say "Well, we need money. How are we going to make it? What are we going to do? You'd better come up with something." I have already pawned and lost everything I owned that had any value. I don' know what to do. She can't help it. It's beyond her control, but she apparently has no intention of stopping.

Also, my stepson and his family live 30 minutes down the road in a nearby town and for some reason every chance they get they want to spend the night at our place. They have a perfectly good apartment. To me this is strange. When I was 23 I didn't have a family of my own yet, but regardless, the last thing I would have wanted to do is spend the night at my parents' house. Moreover, he and his SO get into arguments very often and he has had a hard time holding down a job, so I feel as if there is a push there, or that there is some kind of inevitable outcome in which he, or perhaps him along with his SO and their son, will end up having to live with us in our small home, which will also bring us to financial ruin.

On top of that, my stepson also is addicted to going to casinos. He also spends (and most often loses) money they do not have. So nearly every month my wife gives him money to help them out, but that money more often than not ends up being lost at a casino. I'm not willing to subsidize my stepson's gambling, but all of the money shenanigans happen while I am at work.

I have told my wife that--in order to protect the whole family and try to get by month to month--I need to open a separate account that only I have access to. My wife says she will leave me if I do that.

I just don't know what to do any more. I remember being carefree in life, not really feeling stress. But the last few years I seem to have lost all zest for life. There are days when I literally hope to be the victim of a drive-by shooting. I at least have excellent life insurance, so my family won't be destitiute. In fact I am worth so much more dead than alive it's pathetic.

All I see ahead for me is endless work that I don't enjoy and which takes a big emotional and physical toll, constant stress about finances, my wife clearly being unhappy with me not knowing how to help, and expending all my energy just trying to move through each day like a zombie.

It seems so absurd and pointless. I'm not sure it's worth it. I reckon everyone would be better off if I was gone.

PS-- I have been on Welbutrin for a while. Doesn't seem to do squat for me.

I am sorry for the long rant. It feels better to get some of this off my chest. There is nobody I can talk to about it. Thank you all for the free therapy session!
Here is a very good web site for spouses of gambling addicts. It also gives other links.

Gambling Addiction & Recovery Recommendations at DailyStrength: Spouses of Compulsive Gamblers

It's so easy to give advice, such as: you need to lay down the law, no matter what the consequences. Well, much easier said than done, I know. However, I do suggest that you really need to get to a group for spouses of addicted gamblers. You will start to get your life back. It sounds to me like your wife is controlling your whole life.

With that said -- I was in pain for over three years. Debilitating pain. Like you, I wouldn't take pain meds. I finally started seeing an acupuncturist. In three days, she had me out of pain. (This all just happened very recently, so I'm still amazed every morning when I wake up not in pain.) If you have medical insurance, a lot of policies allow X number of visits annually. Take a look at your policy.

Also, if you're over 50, and I think you are, you need to start taking a B Complex, along with Vit C. B doesn't work very well without C. Do not underestimate the difference this can make in how you feel mentally and emotionally. I take 2000 mcgs of B12, under the tongue, everyday -- with my MD's encouragement and support. Go to a health good store -- not a big box store -- and get a good brand of B12 and Vit C AND a B Complex.

While I think that suicide can be a very rational decision -- and that everyone has the right to choose -- I strongly advise against it. As someone once said, "Suicide is a very final solution to a temporary problem." [Or something like that.] So don't do it. Sounds like you're still relatively young. All these situations that you're in are not going to last forever. As a suicide help line said to me long ago, when I was in a similar position to yours: "You don't know that life won't be good again -- in another week or another month or another year. Will it really hurt to stick around and see how good life can be again?" That was about 20 years ago. And altho' life hasn't always been 'fun' or 'easy', I'm very glad now that I stuck around.

I wish you well. Now -- find a group for spouses of addicted gamblers. Click on the link I gave you and READ the whole page.

Last edited by Fran66; 05-27-2013 at 11:25 AM.. Reason: Addition
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Old 05-27-2013, 03:42 PM
 
Location: Canada
3,676 posts, read 2,485,292 times
Reputation: 4737
You are headed for bankruptcy if you don't take action. Only you can prevent it. I understand you love your wife, but you are enabling her to destroy you and your family. Please don't let that happen. She's brought you to brink of suicide and you've allowed her to do so out of fear of losing her.

Your choice is open a separate bank account (don't defend your action to her) and risk your wife leaving OR face almost certain bankruptcy. Perhaps leaving and realizing she doesn't have your money to count on for her gambling habit, may end up give your wife the reality check she needs to seek help.

As far as the pain you're experiencing, if you have medical insurance, you could seek an evaluation from a physiotherapist who deals with low light laser therapy. The therapy really helped my lower back pain.
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Old 05-27-2013, 04:08 PM
 
130 posts, read 177,306 times
Reputation: 124
Usually when I try to offer my advice, I like to give pros and cons of leaving/staying. This is just one person's opinion, but I really think your situation is pretty dire. U really need to do something drastic to show your wife that #1 that money is yours and if u need to use that to get a motel for a few days, or stay w a family member, friend or co-worker who understands your situation for a little while I would suggest doing that. #2 U need to do something drastic to hopefully wake her up from the gambling addicted fog she's in. Being addicted to gambling is VERY serious, it's no different than a drug addiction and is often more expensive to maintain. The common sense side of your brain is screaming "mayday mayday" and the person u r, probably a very good, and loving family man is saying "As the man/father/husband of this household there must be something I can/have to do to fix this and make it better. There is nothing u can do w love or common sense that will get someone to stop an addiction. See her problem has become your problem...when she blows your money, it becomes YOUR problem. There really aren't any/many consequences for her, so why would she stop? She gets to have all the fun, then when the money is short she looks at u and says "well where's the money at!!" Unless her problem becomes HER PROBLEM she will never stop... She needs help my good man, and I know u know that, but she's your wife, u just want to help her; u r in love w her...it makes sense. The only way this will work is if her problem becomes her problem. Don't giver her money...if u need to leave, if u need to open your own account, U MUST DO IT!!! I know this might not be what u want to hear, and I'm sorry about that. It's not fair for u to be severly depressed. If she has to take responsibility for what she's done, than she will see what she has done to u. Then, and only then, will she stop blaming/threatening u w leaving. I will pray for u my good man...keep us updated on your situation please. I wish u the best and good luck brother...hang in there...
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Old 05-27-2013, 06:58 PM
 
9,458 posts, read 15,025,607 times
Reputation: 15429
OP---I truly feel for you. Have you considered counseling? I'm generally negative on counseling, we've found it to be intrusive with our children, but ours is a different situation.

Have you considered a pain management doctor? They are willing to prescribe more pain meds, along with anti-depressants, sleep aids, etc. Being in pain is NOT a sign of weakness, nor is seeking help. You need the right kind of help. You need a professional who is non-judgmental and can take a wholeistic approach.


I don't wish to rehash all the advice given here on this thread, however, one thought did occur to me. Have you considered moving to an area that doesn't have gambling? I know that's easier said than done, just something to consider. Please continue to reach out as you are doing, you are stronger than you think! Take care..............
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Old 05-27-2013, 08:36 PM
 
4,787 posts, read 8,761,139 times
Reputation: 12592
OP:

You're going to have to take control of those aspects of your life you can control.

Set boundaries . First with your son in law & his family No more sleep overs - ever. This is just silly. That's just more stress and expense on you. Politely tell them the hotel is closed permanently. Then mean it. If he can't hold a job, do not make this your problem. He & his family are going to have to learn to manage on their own. Do not have guilt over this. You need to put yourself and your daughters first.
They are adults- you are not responsible for them. They do not need to live in your home.

Set boundaries with your wife. It doesn't matter how nice she is. She's a gambler. It's an addiction. As with all addictions, the next fix is all that matters. You and your daughters no longer come first in her life. Get yourself to Gam-a-non and learn what you do to help yourself .

Set up a separate household account in your name only. You take charge of all bills and all money. You cannot permit her to go through $400-600 per paycheck of yours on gambling. This is on you. If she wants to leave, let her. She'll be back, she has no way of supporting herself. Even if she gets a job, she still won't be able to manage on get own- every penny will go to gambling. She may have to hit bottom before she is willing to admit her problem and seek help. You can't make her get help and neither should you enable her addiction.

Just removing some of the financial stress from your life will help with your phsyical pain. Mental stress makes the body tighten up. Tight muscles create pain on top of existing pain. Take the good advice of other posters on how to help with your pain.

But just keep in mind. No one is going to save you- you have to save yourself and your daughters. You and they will fine on your own, without the added stress of all the others in your life.

What you can't do is to continue on the way you've been. If you need the help of a therapist to understand this, then seek professional help. Yes, I realize you want to give up. However, your girls need
you. To help them, you'll need to learn to organize and get your life under control. That means not making excuses or having guilt over the people in your life who are dragging you down financially. ( wife & step son & family). It means setting goals to put a little aside every paycheck so you can move to a quieter location in time. Put yourself and your children at home first, last and most.
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Old 05-27-2013, 08:41 PM
 
130 posts, read 177,306 times
Reputation: 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by JrzDefector View Post
No, everyone would NOT be better off if you were gone. Your daughters in particular would be devastated and irreparably damaged. You will also add to the odds that your children will commit suicide. You MUST remember this and hang on to it. Your wife is caught up in an addiction and will not take proper care of them - you need to fight this if only to remain in your daughters' lives. You must be their rock.

Please try this link: American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
And this one: NAMI: National Alliance on Mental Illness - Mental Health Support, Education and Advocacy

-Look, I have a lot of friends that are in constant physical pain (don't ask me why). You feel hopeless now, but you need to understand that things will get better - not back to the way they were, but better. Use the cane - there is no point in clinging to pride and appearances to suffer in agony. Your refusal to use a cane is actually probably hampering any improvement. Also consider using stronger painkillers when you are not working - at night when you need to sleep (good sleep is VITAL to pain management) and on days you do not have to do things like drive. You need to give your body a chance to rest and give yourself a refuge from the pain. Pain can make you irrational about things like suicide - I suffer from terrible sinus headaches on occasion and all I want is to die when I have one. I'm glad I don't have a gun in the house because of it.


-YOur wife may be a wonderful human being, but she is an addict. Her addiction will always come first. You need to offload her and save yourself and your daughters. She will have to manage her addiction on her own. Let her leave if she won't get help. You are drowning - you must save yourself and let her do the same for herself. Please look into groups that offer support to people in your situation:
Welcome to Gam-Anon.org
Gamblers Anonymous: Gam-Anon

GamAnon has been reported on in the NYT, so it isn't necessarily some fly-by-night thing. Please read this article: Treatments for Gambling Addicts and Families - NYTimes.com

Again, I urge you to remember that your daughters need you. I am a daughter, and I assure you that if my father committed suicide, I would have completely lost my mind. You must remember that you are important to them and that they need you desperately because their mother is not equipped to parent them.

Very well said, very well written!!!
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