I have no value whatsoever for this man. He does not see me as his beloved wife; not even as a human being. I don’t know why he has come to this point, or why we have reached this level of indifference. My mind keeps on repeating the past and our history. I am trying to remember what happened in those twenty years that we’ve been married, and in between our five children. How did he become like this to me? Where did it all go wrong? Will I ever get the answers to my questions?
After twenty years of being his enslaved wife, I finally had the courage to love myself. It was the first step to my liberation – I had to free myself from myself. It’s true. He used to treat me like I was nothing, and I allowed him to do it because I was messed up. I thought this is love. This is marriage. Husband and wife are supposed to be like this. I have to obey him, and everything he says is law. It is me who will always have to adjust to him. This set up would have been perfect if he was a responsible and decent husband, but he was not. He was a good father, but he was a terrible spouse.
Some of the most socially acceptable avoidance strategies masquerade as self-love and involve mindlessly ingesting coffee, sugary foods, and alcohol when we’re not hungry or thirsty. — Alicia Muñoz, LPC
I say terrible because this man, and I am not putting him down – just stating the facts – is a chronic gambler. He was this way even before we got married, and because I was in love, I failed to see the reality. I was blinded by my “love” for him, and he used it to take advantage of me. People who love gamblers know this – they become terrible people when their addiction is in full force. They will become violent. Gamblers will steal to feed their gaming ways. And I have been a victim of it. I lost all that I had, 100 grams worth of gold jewelry and a Gucci watch. He used it all in roulette and baccarat.
Relationships between substance dependent individuals and their partners and family members are typically considered not only painful but unsupportive and destructive. — Beverly Engel L.M.F.T.
His mother told me that I shouldn’t have given him my jewelry and money. Look who’s talking? She is the one who saves him if he has gambling debts. When loan sharks appear, she rushes out with her checkbook and pays them off. After that, she will nag and nag and nag. Her husband is the same – chronic gambler. Like father, like son, indeed! No wonder my husband is this way – he was exposed to this kind of behavior, and he also decided to become a gambling addict.
Many people, unfortunately, measure their self esteem, and similarly their self-love, by their level of accomplishment. As long as everything is going well, meaning that you’re upwardly mobile, spouse and kids are successful and satisfied, and the money is rolling in, it’s fairly easy to love yourself. — Teresa Trower, LMHC
With gambling comes infidelity. He has women left and right, over the past twenty years. Some even became pregnant, and there are those too who would try to confront me. Imagine that!? I turned a blind eye and cried in my sleep. Why did I allow it? I should have fought for my rights. If only I were strong back then, I think, my husband would have respected me more and saw my value as a woman.
I cannot bring back the past. No matter how hard I pray, I cannot turn back the time. But I am strong now, and I have started with my journey of self-love — the first thing on my list – divorce the husband. And I am doing it. I am doing it now because I have to love myself and find “me” again.