Hello, I'm not sure where to start really but here we go!


I'm not sure where to start really but here we go!

Also to preface, I don't like social media- I'm one of those millenial sticklers that likes to be disconnected. It makes it easier for myself to be present. The reason I bring this is up is because of a few things: I don't want consolation, pity, thoughts and prayers, etc. I don't have a goal here other than to utilize less conventional resources in an attempt to better myself and right now addictions and impulses.

I'm posting in multiple groups/with multiple tags because my complicated (complex? Whatever) and all tied to past trauma, I would assume.

To start, I have been to lots and lots of therapy. I try to be as introspective and humble as possible, meaning that any time I have seen a therapist (either for a limited or extended amount of time) there hasn't been much new brought to light: I had a weird childhood, my dad died when I was young (which caused a whole lot of problems with myself, my mother, my sisters etc.- we all coped in our own ways) and through such events (and adolescence in general) I've developed very unhealthy coping strategies. I've tried many different methods but ultimately I feel alone in my struggle (except with my wife, who is now aware of my debt- me finding 'support' is part of our deal here) and the options and tools that I've seen don't seem practical or radical enough. Partly, I don't trust myself.

I have a problem with spending money... I have difficulty envisioning my bank account when it has money in it- it's like I don't understand the value of a dollar, so to speak. I don't mean this literally, but what I mean is that when I have $2k in my chequing account vs. $5k, I'm still going to spend as if I have $5k. It's like the money gets deposited and I kind of forget about it- in truth, i'm partially scared of my bank account.

I indulge in vices to avoid facing my problems (debt, which comes from indulging in my vices :p). I'll smoke lots of weed or drink lots of booze in order to not feel- both addictions are habitual. I had the same problem with smoking cigarettes for a long time but was able to dump that habit. When I'm sober I'm faced with the reality and gravity of my situation, and I end up feeling like I'm drowning. I was recently fired from my job, from I'm assuming, not putting in enough effort; I'm not sure how obvious it was that some days I'd come in with a hangover (or just like still half-baked from being stoned the night previous). I was good at my job whenever I was able to demonstrate my full capabilities, but obviously being under the influence hindered me.

I indulge in other vices as well that are a lot less savoury... About once to twice a month I'll spend money on a prostitute, indulging in not only that but also infidelity. The guilt is palpable, but afterwards I also feel this odd release and feeling of ease. It's something I've been doing less of but sometimes I feel this urge, this pull, in order to have a physically intimate experience with a random person. It is... absolutely distracting sometimes, and I catch myself checking out strangers too much (again, distracting me from what I'm doing).

Through all of this I've ended up racking up about $35k in debt this way and it's emotionally, not financially thankfully, affected my wife (this is the second time i've done this in 10 years) and we now have a 2 year old son, and I don't want it to affect him.

Has anyone else experienced this? Does anyone else have any similar problems? What were your solutions?

I would appreciate all and any insight.

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JustJ60's picture
May 28

Hello Three Percent Tewa, First congratulations for opening up and seeking some advice for the issues that are going on in your world. It sounds like you have a strong addictive personality and reaching a point when you have to come out about the things in your life before you endanger yourself and your family. You wrote that you have a therapists - have you spoken to him/her about what's going on in your duel secret living? I have faced some of the issues that you are dealing with and it cost me dearly in the end. Perhaps your therapist can help you find a path to come out of the shadows about your addictions before you are exposed by some simple thing that is devastating to your relationship with your wife and family.
Maybe that helps or not. Please take care and be safe.

constructionjim's picture
May 28

Hi threepercent, and welcome. I'll give you my three and a half cents of advice here. I have no idea what you know about addiction and or especially Shopping Addiction/Financial Problems. So here's my Addiction for Dummies advice. First, have two Bank accounts at two different banks. One can be the shared bank account with your wife, if you have it already. That would be your main account that has a separate Savings account also. This is where your check, (Once your back to work) should be going. Next have a second bank account elsewhere. This is where you keep a minimal amount of spending money. Whether it's for misc. groceries, milk, bread etc. Lunch money or what have you. Your main account bank card should not be in your possession at all. Leave it in your wifes care. One of the absolute biggest reasons people have addictions has to do with their past. I'm guessing you've gone over that with your therapists and figured out what. But one thing that makes the addiction continue on and even become greater is..... Boredom! Drinking, smoking, sex addiction and gambling and spending money. Don't give your mind a chance to wander and think about those things. Find or create a Hobby or many Hobbies. Sit down and think about what you want to do or would like to do in your spare time. I metal detect, prospect for gold. Hike, (often) camp, collect civil war memorabilia, stamps, currency from around the world, garden and other things. Keep yourself busy. Just because your wife is your wife...... start asking her out on a date once a week. Treat her like a girlfriend. Do things together, spend more time together and have fun. Between work, house keeping, taking care of a kid(s). Life can get into a rut. And boredom seeps in. Drinking and smoking pot are both major DOWNERS. They tire you out and relax you to the point where you don't want to "Get up and go". So quit them both. Again, it has a lot to do with keeping yourself busy. Next..... cheating on your wife. Paying hookers for 30 minutes of pleasure. Lets call it what it is, Cheating. Keep yourself busy, motivated and occupied. For whatever reasons, your past and childhood I'm guess. You've spoiled yourself. Your selfish and thoughtless to the point of possibly losing your wife and child. You've lost your job already. Start thinking about others around you. Next..... keep a journal. That's something many therapists suggest. Write in it everyday. Good, bad or in between. And yes..... Goals. Goals you can actually accomplish. One to start with, being a better husband. Each day, compliment your wife on the meal, her clothes etc. Think of her more. And what about other family members? You mom, sis or whoever. Call them more, text.... let them know you think of them. Do you have a yard? Work in it. There's a Bacterium in soil called, Mycobacterium Vaccae. It works like Prozac and actually makes you feel good and HAPPY. World wide studies have shown this over and over. Eating, if you don't cook and your wife does. Ask her to start making healthier meals. There are certain foods that play directly into our Psyche. Certain foods create more depression and anxiety. Others actually help both of those and make us feel better. Start taking better care of yourself.
So to sum all this up, Don't allow yourself to be able to have much money. Quit the drink and pot, both make you tired out and they are costly. Spend more time with your wife in a loving way. Stop thinking about what you want and want to have. There's more to life and marriage than just you. Find a good Gym and or serious Hobbies you would enjoy. Especially with your wife. Take care of yourself mind and body. And stay busy.... quit sitting around drinking and getting high. And quit cheating on your wife. Yes, all easy, fine and dandy for me to say. I know..... and a lot of work on your part. But your the only one that can make these changes that you need. Keep us up on your progress. Come back often even if it's to complain or what have you. I'll hit your support tab.

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May 28

@ThreePercentTeWa Have you tried the envelope method using cash in envelopes for purchasing on a budget? It is a method of budgeting you can look up online which you could probably do with a little help from your wife.


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