Okay so there is a lot going on so I’m going to try to make this as short as I can.
I got married last fall, before the marriage everything was pretty much perfect. Finances for the wedding were a bit stressful, and we had a few arguments over it but I felt that we handled them rather well and things never got out of hand.
The first big issue: Gambling
He literally never gambled before we were married, and starting about a month after our wedding he started gambling regularly in casinos and online. It took me a few months to realize how big the issue was but once finances became tight (he was getting paid well at the time, and I work a decent paying job) I became curious and looked into it. Turns out that in four short months he had lost over 20,000 dollars. He was spending just about 75% of his income on gambling. There was a point where we had no food in the house and he lost 1200 dollars in one night. We had planned to get groceries the next day and suddenly he didn’t have the money for it.
I thought I addressed the problem appropriately. I never scolded or guilted him, I recognized that he has an addiction and told him about how it made me feel, told him some important statistics, and gave him the resources to get help. I had to do this three more times over the next three months because he didn’t stop. It got to the point where he dug himself into a hole of debt, and he started to show signs of depression. As soon as the gambling started, he began to treat me differently.
Snapshot of the ways I feel he is mistreating me:
-only pays attention to me when he wants to have sex, gets angry and guilts me when I’m not in the mood (who would be after being ignored all day, like literally ignored)
-lack of support. I was recently accepted to a post secondary program which I have been talking about for months, and I am very excited to start this next chapter. I overheard him telling his brother that I was accepted and he wasn’t able to tell him what I was going to school for, how long the program was, what job I’ll be doing when I’m done, etc. It’s one thing that he doesn’t ask, but I’ve been talking about this dream for a long time. Shouldn’t he at least have retained the gist of it?
-sneaky behaviors. This started with hiding the gambling but now he is being very secretive about everything. My laptop has been broken for a while so I’ve been using his, but he changed the password and wont tell me what it is.
-anger issues. Everything sets him off. I can’t look at him the wrong way. I feel like I’m walking on eggshells constantly. Even when he plays video games he has been breaking controllers and even getting mad at me for distracting him (for sitting on the couch beside him silently).
-belittles me, makes me feel guilty and dramatic. In reality I’m a pretty chill person.
-lack of trust. I recently discovered that he set up the iPad to receive all my text messages. I have never done anything to make him mistrust me.
~Most importantly; I’m not allowed to tell anyone.
When the gambling got bad I told him it was taking a big toll on me, and I wanted to reach out to a friend or family member for help. He was forceful with me, he took away my phone and threatened me if I ever told anyone. I understand he’s embarrassed but this is obviously unacceptable. He has reacted the same way to me talking to any friends about the other issues we’ve been having. We live in his hometown, I’m hours away from my family and friends so I have nowhere to go when things get bad.
So that’s where it changed.
I decided to visit my family when I was recently laid off from work. I was able to see a few of my best friends. I broke down and told two of my friends everything and their reactions said it all. I finally realized how unacceptable this is.
I had been living in a complete bubble, practically being brainwashed into thinking I was doing something wrong. My husband would be furious if he knew I told anyone but I felt so freed having it in the open and being reassured that I’m not crazy, and I’m not overreacting.
Oh also, in respect to the gambling issue. There was a point where I told him that if he didn’t stop then our marriage wouldn’t survive it. He has continued to gamble anyways. He has an addiction, but if this isn’t incentive for him to seek help then what is?
For months I was tending to his every need. Tip-toeing around trying not to upset him. I am emotionally drained. Things have been harder the last few weeks. These are clearly stressful times. My husband isn’t working and refuses to seek out a new job even though we’re struggling. He refuses to clean a single thing in our apartment so I come home from my full time job to tidy up after my lazy husband (and I don’t complain because I know he’s going through hard times FML). My job has changed dramatically due to covid restrictions. Finances are rough. These are all real issues that can add onto marital problems, but our issues began before this whole pandemic. I’ve been bending over backwards trying to make him happy, and I’ve never been so stressed out in my entire life. Sometimes I feel more like I am tending to a child as opposed to working as a team with my husband.
This is not the man I married. It hasn’t even been a year. I feel stupid, I feel tricked and I feel trapped. I thought I finally met the perfect man and that my life would only get better from here. I am embarrassed to talk to my parents about it, but I feel that is my next step. I’m scared of divorce, I feel like damaged goods. A young dumb girl with bad judgment and apparent bad taste in men.
I’m not giving up just yet. I’m not going to emotionally drain myself anymore either though. I’ve done everything I can. So my question is, how long would you wait to see if things get better? Marriage is a life commitment, and I don’t want to give up because of a rough few months but there is absolutely no way I could handle this for the rest of my life.
I’m sure there are things I could do better, but I genuinely believe that I have been a very supportive wife to him. He knows about this all. I’ve talked to him about everything and how it makes me feel. I’ve tried addressing the issues head-on. I’ve tried giving him space to let him figure it out on his own. I even asked his brother to talk to him because he’s been acting “different” (hoping he would open up about the issues but he didn’t).
If you’ve taken the time to read this all, thank you. Sorry it’s a mess, my brain is scattered. There is so much more I could have said, this really is the short version (you can tell I’ve been holding it in hey?). If anyone has gotten over a patch this rough in their marriage please let me know. I want to figure this out before we get into the having kids stage of our marriage; because at this point I simply don’t want to have kids with him, my own husband. I know, horrible. But I can’t afford to feel this lost and be any more trapped than I am now.
So please be blatantly honest with me, ask me questions if you want more info. I need help. I’ve been meaning to write this for a while and finally summoned the courage. I don’t want to waste anymore time, I want my life back.
I just want to be happy again.