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The first year is supposed to be the hardest, but this can’t be normal.


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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.

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He has an addiction. His treatment of you is abusive and related to the addiction.

 

My friend divorced a gambling addict -he gambled rarely or not at all before marriage and in the first few years

 

(I mean I've been to casinos as has my husband -I've "gambled" i guess on slot machines as has he -nowhere near addiction n, just occasional fun some years ago - no fears he will ever be addicted from that!)

 

Anyway - he gambled away their young kids' college fund basically and had an affair with a woman he met in Vegas, etc. -he regularly lied about his gambling, his trips (he travels a lot for work so he covered it up) and they went to some casinos together but again just for fun -never any alarm bells at those times.

 

Please leave before it gets worse, before you heaven forbid have kids.

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Sorry to hear this. You know you need to get a divorce/annulment before you face complete financial ruin. It's irrelevant whether you view gambling and deceit as a disease or not, he will not change with that approach either. He had all these issues before, he just hid them well.

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This is heart breaking and very wrong of him. Addiction has taken over. It changes your brain. until he decides to get help and deals with this for himself, he cannot be the husband and partner you need and deserve.

 

Go back to your family. Do not allow yourself to be isolated and abused anymore.

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Definitely divorce / annulment. That's regardless of how dedicated you want to be to working things out with him. Even if you are determined to, you should be taking extra steps to separate and secure your income. You've got to legally separate yourself from any debt and liabilities that could and likely will result from his addiction. Stop talking to his family and friends. Start talking to yours. This isn't about fixing somebody. It's about being an adult for your part and securing yourself. It's incredibly unfortunate events unraveled as they did, but you've gotta react to the reality with your own interests in mind.

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Meeting with an attorney isn't giving up, it's gathering information to protect yourself.

 

I'd do that right away.

 

In some locations, filing for a legal separation can protect you from any further debt husband incurs. However, in locations where that is not the case, I'd file for divorce immediately.

 

From there, husband gets to decide whether the marriage is worth saving. Unless you want to make that choice yourself.

 

Head high. Nobody is worth going into poverty to love. Some people are best loved from far away.

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I’m scared of divorce, I feel like damaged goods. A young dumb girl with bad judgment and apparent bad taste in men.

 

Getting a divorce is the right choice, the mistake would be staying with him. When things do not work, they just simply do not work. You have to change and adapt, don't expect a different result by doing the same thing.

 

"Damaged goods" damn that's a horrible mentality.

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I don’t want to give up because of a rough few months

 

Are you kidding? What you're going through is mental and emotional abuse all due to your "husband" and I use that word lightly as he is more like your warden and someone who treats you very badly.

 

This is abuse on many different levels.

 

There is no fixing this. There is only you saving yourself and getting out.

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So you missed red flags or married a man you thought you knew, but really didn't. Many of us have found ourselves in bad situations. Stop worrying about what others will think of you when they find out your marriage failed. The only thing the people who love you will care about is your happiness, and that means you have to leave a man who isn't a partner worthy of you.

 

For now, take him off of all the credit cards you've added him to. If you have a bank account you added him as a co-owner to, remove him. Have yourself removed from his credit cards. It doesn't mean you won't be liable for any debt owed while you've been a couple, but it's a start to begin separating yourself from him, and divorcing him will ensure his further debt after that point will be his alone.

 

Feeling trapped means he's not the right person for you. When you meet the right person, you will feel a warm, fuzzy feeling, thinking of growing old together. Fell lucky you've caught this in time instead of years later, where the debt might've piled so high, you'd spend a lifetime paying it off.

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Get out! This guy has had a problem for a long time! He is also abusive. Your marriage is horrible!

 

For some reason you think this will change. What would you advise a sibling or best friend in this situation?

 

Seek an attorney and end this! If your finances are not separate, do it now. I also suggest you seek some therapy for yourself, as the relationship is highly toxic.

Edited by Hollyj
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Don't feel like damaged goods! He's not the same man you married. I have a gf who was married for a very short time....got divorced, don't remember the reason. Met a man and married him after a short time! I was concerned. Been happily married for over 30 years and have a house on the river! We never even think of that first marriage. It's like it never happened. Move on...you're young, before he drags you down further!

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This has happened to other women. He just didn't have a gambling addiction over night, he has always had it, but he hid it very well. It's been one big lie. Kick his a$$ to the curb. If people talk just tell them what happened. Get a good lawyer, clear out your accounts, cancel your credit cards and gather up all the evidence before handing him the papers.

Edited by smackie9
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You need to talk to a lawyer and start divorce proceedings. This does not make you damaged goods, as you call yourself. You made a mistake. You cant spend the rest of your life living like this, you need to get away from this guy. He's a gambling addict and unless and until he hits bottom and decides to do something about it, nothing will change. Get out while you can.

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You really have to stop looking at this as a failure -- you were completely snowballed and in you are in an untenable position. Also, I have SEVERAL friends who had very brief first marriages (less than a year to three years) who have had long, extremely successful second marriages with children and love and the ability to communicate and work through problems. You can do this too. Don't waste your youth and your life on someone who doesn't care about the relationship and abuses you.

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Thank you all so much for your help. I’m looking into lawyers, I will keep you all updated.

 

Can’t explain how much it means to me that you all took the time to read and to help me. I’m going to look into counselling as well as I agree that I shouldn’t have let it get to this point, and I feel like I will need help mentally to get through this.

 

I will stay strong. I’m done letting him manipulate me. I’m going to try to update this post regularly to stay on track with my goals.

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You really have to stop looking at this as a failure -- you were completely snowballed and in you are in an untenable position. Also, I have SEVERAL friends who had very brief first marriages (less than a year to three years) who have had long, extremely successful second marriages with children and love and the ability to communicate and work through problems. You can do this too. Don't waste your youth and your life on someone who doesn't care about the relationship and abuses you.

 

I'm one who married young and I left after about 3 years. It was not what I signed up for. Also, like most young marrieds, I didn't know what I didn't know. Too young to get married. I did remarry and have been married for 37 years. Don't waste your life trying to fix what you cant fix. He has to decide to get help for his addiction.

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I'm very sorry this is happening. I agree with Andrina. Please stop worrying what others think of you. Yes, there are men and women who have had to pull themselves out of situations that are not in their power to control. It doesn't speak about your worth as a person and your biggest priority is taking care of yourself. Your partner is not in the right frame of mind to take care of himself, let alone care for another person. Several of us have been in your shoes. You're going through a lot of shock, fear, pain and shame/guilt. It will take some time for you to understand all of it and put the pieces of your life back together. Don't expect it to be an overnight deal.

 

Find a lawyer and keep things together. Things may be falling apart around you but hang onto your self-worth and know what's right for you. Listen closely to your instincts. They'll let you know when you're being manipulated or something isn't right. Be cautious in anything you say or do around him from now onwards and bring up any issues with your lawyer. Write things down if there are events that happen on a daily or weekly basis. This is a form of record-keeping through the excruciating pain you may be feeling.

 

Look into therapy or even group therapy if that helps you. It didn't help me much, unfortunately, but friends sure did help - people who've known me a very, very long time. Do you have friends you can trust?

 

Have faith in yourself regardless of what happens. Don't keep putting yourself in damaging situations or being around individuals who hurt or abuse you in any way, mentally, emotionally or physically.

 

Having an open mind helps also. You may want certain things in life but you're inadvertently closing the door on other opportunities. Be open to more than just restarting or getting married again. Things will come together slowly once you're back on your own two feet and have the quiet and space to grow your own way again.

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There will be times that you will doubt the choice you made to leave. But that's only because you have a good heart. He treated you like you didn't mean anything and was very bad to you.

There is no one here that would have kept on. Divorce is the only solution to all of this.

 

Don't allow guilt to play on your mind. He is a grown man and had free will to make the choices he made. He created a life of chaos, money problems, and placing his marriage last in line. He didn't respect you, love you, or take care of you. Those were his choices. Don't ever feel bad for taking care of yourself and walking away.

 

It will take time before you feel confident in your decision and where you won't feel bad or doubt. But you are doing the right thing in leaving. To stay, would only have caused you much more damage and heartache.

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  • 2 months later...

Hello everyone.

 

Just wanted to update you all that I have moved out and am finally taking the proper steps towards divorcing my husband. As expected, things got a lot worse and at this point every bridge is burnt. He keeps contacting me going back and forth about wanting to be with me and not wanting to “give up who he is as a person” (a gambler?). This is really really hard. I don’t even miss him, I just wish I would have gotten out before things got too far. He is trying to screw me over in every way possible, but I am keeping my head up. Giving up my material things will be worth it in the long run and thankfully he let me take the cats. I know things aren’t going to be better for a while, but if there’s anyone out there who is questioning their marriage on a daily basis, please follow your instincts. Some people aren’t capable of empathy and change. Do what’s best for you, no matter what challenges it may cause. Thank you all for your words of support.

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