Robert tells his story of how he discovered his wife had been gambling, and how, with the help of counselling they were able to overcome the problem and repair the damage gambling had done to their family.
Click here to watch the movie or read the transcript below:
Robert: I found out my wife was gambling. Ah, when that happened it was like any kick in the stomach; it really flattened me. I’ve always trusted my wife. I mean all marriages are built on trust. And to find out that all that trust had gone…and, ah…it really does hurt. It knocks you for six. And then you’ve got all the other problems that come in to it; with finances and everything else…ah, family members and ah…to find out how long it’s been going for…that was the big shock.
I would ask my wife you know “hey, sweetheart are you playing the pokies and that” “No, no, no”. And she’d come home with groceries…you know, a couple of bags of groceries she’d say “I’ve just been window shopping” or, you know, and I thought fair enough, and I just believed it. It was my daughters that were saying you know “Dad, she is playing the pokies, Dad shes...”. “No, she wouldn’t…she doesn’t lie to me. She would tell me if she was”.
You think you are going along great. You know, you got a nest egg in the bank and everything is going well. And all of a sudden you find out…oops…you know…you are going from rosy to wind and thunderstorms because you’ve got this huge debt and you’ve got to try and pay that off.
Robert: That was the big question. Why? Why? Why? She couldn’t tell me. It was a long time later that I started to put it all together; by talking to gamblers, talking to partners. ‘Cause all of the sudden here is someone who can listen to me and can understand. Not give me all the answers but give me some of them. I was talking to people that were in the same position as me. Hey, I’ve got someone I can to talk to, someone that can give me some answers. The clouds lifted and the sun came out. And it was great to talk to someone. “you mean, you’ve been through it too... … what happened? How did you get to this? What happened here? What happened there?” You can thrash out your ideas! If you can talk to someone that’s been there; that’s when it really helps.
Um, you know, you are not being judged. Ah ‘cause that’s another thing you think… people look at you and say “you didn’t know? What’s going on? How come you couldn’t see it?” And you do feel a bit foolish.
Robert: She’s now got the trust back that she lost. And that was a hard thing to get back. But she’s earnt the trust back. Nothing is hidden from us…from me. My children talk to us now…they are quite happy. They’re happy with the way their mother is, got over the addiction, with what she’s doing. They are really proud of it. And now…we are probably going stronger through it. But ah it’s been a long long road.
If you are a partner and your partner’s got a gambling problem; for god’s sake talk to someone! They can help you. There is nothing worse… don’t try to go through it all on your own. The first thing is ask Gambler’s Help! It is not just for gamblers.
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