Why I continue to tolerate my wife's gambling habit?

My wife has been gambling on and off for 10 years. There are periods when she was able to be clean for 2 to 3 years. But things like a miscarriage brought her back to gambling. After she was able to conceived through IVF I thought maybe her problem might finally ended. But no, she went on a gambling spree when she was 6 month pregnant and then stopped again. I tried to convince myself that it's the hormonal imbalance that driven her to relapse. Now my daughter is 15 month old she suddenly has signs of gambling again.

I have read enough to know that I am part of the problem. I sometimes helped to pay her debt and sometimes helped her to use her money to pay her debts. But it is really hard to separate her money and mine because when she pays her debts she is not helping with the expenses. She has lost over $200,000. Since we both make good salaries our financial situation is still stable as we are under 40 and have over $550,000 mostly in 401K and home equity but I am really angry on why she is wasting hard earned money like that.

She agreed to let me control her finances. She only has a debit card with $300 max and no credit card, no checkbook.

She told me that my controlling behaviors toward her made her mad and wanting to relapse. I left her to live with my brother 4 years ago for two months. But I relent after she begged and promised change.

Is she really trying? Sometimes I think she did it just to drive me crazy. Today she left work and probably went straight to the casino. No attempt to hide it. She could have taken a day off and gamble and lie to me.

I just threatened divorce. But I knew I made a mistake because it is just empty, for now. It is too hard when I have a 15 month old child. I am so lost. I don't want my child to lose a mom but I also don't want my child to live with a gambling mother.

We are both Engineers and introvert people with few friends. While I am OK with it my wife seems to be bothered by it. I have some closed friends that I golf and fish with but when our families get together my wife seems not able to connect to my friends' wives.

Thanks for reading and please give me some advice,

Hello James ,

Welcome to GT site. You cannot imagine James how happy I am when someone in his own searching arrives here in the site.

A warm welcome for me and from all the others members here. Here you will see that you will find true support with no judging. The addiction James is something that no one wants it in his life. If I ask your wife she doesn’t t want it either.

The Gt on weekends are very quite. But on Monday you will see the difference. Here will find support groups and you can speak on real time with people who are in the same situation like you. You can read real stories from the journal (where a cg writes and from Friends and Family where a non GG writes)

I can understand very well James your feelings, your disappointment, your fear your Unger your stress, your questions: why this happens in me? What I did wrong, what will happen to my baby, why so many many lies, fights etc etc etc . Believe me I can hear you very well even we are in different countries.

You wrote on your post:

“But it is really hard to separate her money and mine because when she pays her debts she is not helping with the expense””

That was the same question I had the first day I came here. That was my first post, The Unger with all the other feelings. But on time you will see that things that are important for non cg are not so important for cg and the opposite.

Here in GT you will meet velvet. She will find you or you can find her first on the support groups of F&f . She is giving her life to help all of us .Please go to her group you are more than welcome there.

Please try to separate the addiction from your wife. There 2 different things. I know that is too hard to separate it that is why I’m saying please try. Give yourself all the knowledge that you need. Here you can find so many recourses . Your enemy is the addiction not your wife my friend, so please read and read as much you need and earn all the power against the addiction. Your recovery is very important James and your recovery is different from your Gg recovery.

I’m ell I’m 37 years old with a baby girl 24 months like you and my hb is a cg in recovery .We are married 2 years now. I learn that he is a cg 1 year ago.

It is an honor to meet you James. Please stay connect on GT every day and you will see the difference .

Stay strong with all my love ell

Please excuse me for my english are not very good .

Hi James

Welcome to Gambling Therapy – I see you have heard from the lovely Ell who is doing so well in her recovery.

You say you are part of the problem but you are not responsibly for your wife’s addiction. You ‘may’ be stalling her desire to change but you cannot stop your wife gambling.

What you can do is look after yourself. It may seem a rather disappointing answer to your worries but it does make a massive difference. If your wife wanted to change her life and remain gamble-free, she would have to deal with all the damage her addiction has wrought. If you are part of the wreckage that inevitably surrounds this addiction it will be harder for her to change her life. It is difficult, I know, for the loved one not to remind the CG (compulsive gambler) that their addiction has indeed caused endless suffering when they are fed up, depressed, confused and angry. The more knowledge you get of the addiction to gamble, an addiction that your wife didn’t ask for, or want any more than you, the better you will cope. The addiction to gamble turned me into a pathetic blob unable to function on any level – my CG did nothing to help and to all intents and purposes didn’t care whether I suffered or not. Allowing myself to be brought down by his addiction fed that addiction and changed nothing.

I think we can blame hormone imbalance for many things and it may be contributory but I think it is better to treat the addiction for what it is – a controlling and destructive addiction that will take you both down as far as it can, ‘if it is fed’.

Although it is not recognized professionally the following is a coping method that many of us have used at the beginning of our recovery to help us cope.

Imagine your wife’s addiction as a slavering beast in the corner of the room. As long as you keep your cool and don’t threaten that addiction it stays quiet, although it never sleeps. Threatening her with divorce or separation, unless you mean to carry it through, will not worry the addiction but will give her another excuse to let her addiction run amok because she can blame you. If you don’t go through with the threat then the addiction sees a weakness and will exploit it.

Your wife is controlled by addiction but you are not. When you threaten that addiction, it comes between you and controls the conversation or argument. It is the master of threats and manipulation and you are not. Once it is between you, you will only hear the addiction speak and because it only knows lies and deceit, it will seek to make you feel blame and demoralize you. When you speak the addiction distorts your words and your wife cannot comprehend your meaning.

My CG explained it to me by saying that when I told him (for instance) that if he didn’t lie but lived honestly he would be happy, his addiction, however, was distorting his mind convincing him that I was lying because he truly believed that he was unlovable, worthless and a failure – he was lost and fought back because he didn’t have any other coping mechanism. The addiction is all about failure for the CG which has no love for the addict or those who love them. However much your wife convinces you that she is in control – she is not.

It is enabling the addiction when the loved one clears gambling debts but I am aware how difficult this is when you are dealing with joint expenses in the home. I think it is important that you protect your finances and that she doesn’t have any access to them.

CGs often blame their loved ones for being controlling - it is another excuse for them to gamble. Gambling to a CG has nothing to do with money – it is purely the gamble that excites.

I would never ask you to leave or stay with your wife. All I ask is that you stick with this forum and this site, there is so much to learn, until you are ready to make your own informed decision.

Your wife is definitely not trying to drive you crazy with her addiction – the fact that living with the addiction does drives you crazy is not the desire of the CG. Furthermore it is my belief that we can allow the addiction to drive us crazy or we can change and look after ourselves.

You say you are both introverted but you do have some friends. Has your wife got any friends and if so can you connect to their husbands? What things interest both of you? What did you like doing together before the addiction drove its wedge between you?

It is very easy to allow the addiction to take over our minds 24 hours of every day and in doing so we help nobody. Make sure that every day you do something just for you, something that pleases you and while you are doing it, do not allow the addiction to enter your mind. Talk to you wife about things you would like to do. It is so easy, when the addiction is at the forefront of your mind, to talk about little else other than their gambling .

It seems from the fact your wife begged you to return that she does want your marriage to succeed. Maybe you could encourage her to come on this site – there is a terrific thread in ‘My Journal’ called ‘Believe’ by Kathryn. Kathryn is living in control of her addiction. She will reply if your wife writes on her thread.

I would not be writing to you now if I did not ‘know’ that the addiction to gamble can be controlled and wonderful lives lived as a result. Many CGs who live gamble-free talk about the addiction being a spring-board, giving them richer, fuller lives because they have had to do so much soul searching. I believe that it is important for both F&F and CG to turn this addiction around – to make something good out of something bad or we have suffered for nothing.

I have brought up my thread 'The F&F Cycle' for you. I hope it will give you some insight and also let you know that you are among those who understand.

Well done on starting your thread. I look forward to hearing from you again and perhaps meeting you in an F&F group.


Hi James

I have read your post and am glad you have had some great replies. I hope this is the start of lots of support for YOU and I hope your wife also finds the will to 'turn around' in her life with the appropriate help, too.

I just want to say that when you are not sure what to do, it is often good not to do anything, but take time to think and arm yourself with good information and wisdom from people who have had to go through similar (though never the same) experiences. Your wife's addiction and your being 'drawn into its web' have developed over years, so you both need time for your recoveries. And only your wife can make the decision to change her life.

There are often all sorts of 'reasons' for someone to become addicted - lack of confidence, lack of satisfying interests and friendships (I note you think your wife is 'bothered' about not having many friends), grief and loss etc.. I think it is often almost impossible, though, to fully address those issues, whilst the addiction is still active. So, although, it can seem unempathic, it is usually important for the addict to determine to turn away from the gambling, recognizing it is NOT a useful way to deal with life's problems, as a prerequisite; then other issues can be addressed gradually with a clear head.

Mostly I wanted to welcome you and wish you and your wife well.


Thank you ell, velvet and monique for your kind words and wisdom. I am glad to see that others who were like me but are able to overcome the problems that I am facing. I cared too much and tried to fix things which I finally understood that I have no power over after 10 years. I have no regret coming back to my wife 4 years ago even though my family warned me that I should move on. I love my wife and thought that I could help her free from this evil. I thought I would never walk away from her if she had cancer and gambling seems to be more treatable at least from my own logic. It turned out to be more daunting than I ever thought it would be. I don't know if I still love my wife any more because sometimes she is like a total stranger to me and none of what she says make sense. My beautiful daughter is the love of my life right now. I don't know what is the best for her yet. I am trying mediation and guided relaxation so I can overcome my anxiety and it seems to help me clear my mind.

My wife used to like to go out with me for dinner and movies or go hiking. She refused to to try them now. She has some friends but her relationships to them seems superficial. She never share with them her problems. She talks tough but is really fragile inside. I urged her to see a psychiatrist but she refuses. She attended GA for two months but then told me that seeing these people with gambling problems make her depress.

Thank you for reading,


Hi James

When you don’t know what to do, I believe, it is best to stand still and do nothing until you know.

You have learned things about your wife’s addiction that she is unable to tell you. Perhaps you could go to www.gamblersanonymous20questions.org and print off the questions. Tick the ones that you think she should say yes to and leave it for her to see.

Many CGs are not aware that their addiction is recognisable and that they are not alone. In my opinion it is good that an active CG learns that their loved one is seeking help. CGs do not tend to understand that those around them need protection and support from the addiction that they own.

I understand only too well that an active addiction can feel like it has destroyed love. It is good that you can feel safe enough to voice your concerns here that you are not sure if you love your wife anymore because there is never any judgement on this site and nobody would ever tell you to leave her.

Active CGs do not make good friends – they want enablement and not willing to share or give.

Keep posting, keep reading, perhaps you could contact our helpline or join our F&F groups.

It is fairly common for CGs to find GA tough and to say that they do not have the same problem as the other members. I would imagine their problems brought home to her that they were also her problems but at that time she was not willing to hear.

Anything that helps you overcome your anxiety must be good. You need a clear head to make your decisions and to support your wife.

Whatever you do there will be no judgement her but I hope you will stick around a little longer so that you decisions will be informed.



Bravo for having the courage to post on this site. I cried as I read your postings and responses - so similar to some of my own. My CG is an engineer also and I know all that brings with it - My CG likes the thrill of card counting at Blackjack bc he has such a brilliant mind he uses it to try and "beat the house" and feel superior at the same time. I also understand not knowing if you love your wife anymore - I have been with my CG for 20 years and I feel the same way. The children make it hard to leave of course, but beyond that it is hard to feel you love someone who has betrayed you, lied to you and makes you feel like you are wrong when it is them that is doing the harm. I hope this makes sense. I just wanted to say I hear you, I resonate with much that you said and that you have found a wonderful forum to get out many feelings you might have.

I have found this site as a haven for me and many times it really has kept me going...just one more day. Im hardly in a position to give advice but many wise people here told me to look after myself and my kids. You can offer you CG the gambling literature, hotlines, GA etc but it is ultimately up to them to take advantage of these things. My CG also says that the people in GA don't have anything in common with him and he is "not like them" (yeah, for 3 years he ditched work, and ran off to the casino during the day and weekends, lying to me, our families and kids the whole time) - yeah, he is nothing like other gamblers, right??

I also agree with Velvet that if you don't know what to do remain still until you feel like you have found the right decision - It sounds like you have been thru a lot of trauma in this relationship and being still and quieting your mind will hopefully help you see clearly what needs to happen. I hope I have been helpful. I will think of you and send good energy your way. Love that little baby of yours - time is precious and they grow up way too fast. Blessings,


Next week I will travel for two days to make product presentation to a few prospective customers. As I am ready to go, I am filled with anxiety again. The last time I traveled 3 years ago, she went gambling and it was also true the time before that. This time we have a daughter but I think she might ditch work and gamble. I should enjoy this opportunity to travel with colleagues and a chance to go out of the country but I am not.

I have a nagging feeling that she is gambling sporadically the last few months. However, I have no evidence as her credit and bank account are untouched. I also contacted friends that she used to borrow money from and they confirmed that she has not borrowed any money lately. Previously anytime she gambled, she spiraled out and raking up debts quickly. I hope it is just my imagination. One small positive step that I have observed is that my wife is generally much more happy since my daughter was born and it has been about two years since I have concrete evidence of her gambling and if she is gambling, she is at a much reduced level.

I am telling myself that I have tried my best and there is nothing else I could do to help and it has to come from her. My wife on average lost about half of her take home income to gambling the last several years. Sometimes I try to justify my current situation as marrying to a wife with half the income but I know it is not the same with all the lies, argument, and anxiety.

Thanks for reading.

Hi James

My feeling is that you should go and enjoy you time with colleagues because all the worrying you are doing will not make any difference.

Nagging feelings are understandable but not proof and without proof it would be unwise to accuse your wife - if she isn’t gambling then she might feel ‘what’s the point, he doesn’t believe me anyway?’ The addiction doesn’t need much provocation to rear its head.

I am trying to read between the lines and uncover what it is that is giving you the unsettled feelings. Has her behaviour changed? Are you finding yourself in the middle of arguments without knowing how you got there? Are you aware that she is telling lies about things that don’t matter?

Are you feeling more anxious because you are going away and this is what is giving you concern? I can’t tell you what to do but if you are away for only 2 days and you have no concrete evidence that you wife is gambling, it seems to me your anxiety has gone into overdrive.

What happened that has caused you to write this post because unless you have more than a gut instinct I cannot see why you cannot go and enjoy your trip which will surely do you good.


Hi Velvet,

I think just the fact that she gambled during my last two trips (3, and 4 years ago) unsettled me. For the same reason I excused myself on a few trips that my boss had wanted me to go and I asked a Junior Engineer to take my place.

In the past couple of months my wife communicated to a gambler friend of hers and one time I overheard about repaying a loan but wasn't sure from whom to whom. My wife said her friend is paying her back some money. I don't want my wife to be in touch with these gambling friends so the fact that she is talking to them concerns me. Recently my wife also disappears for long periods of time at work which is also a red flag.

Thank you very much Velvet. I know that my anxiety is unhealthy and I am trying to overcome it.

Hi James, I think that all F&Fs have had encounters with anxiety, some more, some less. It goes with the addiction. The lies, the uncertainty, the not knowing what the cg is doing, when and where. Everything you describe in your recent posts sounds like your wife is gambling. Missing work is a huge red flag. I just want to list some things you can do to get some kind of a picture re what is going on. Remove her name from all joint accounts and credit cards. No checks, no nothing. Check both your credit reports to see if she got any credit cards you know nothing about. Or payday loans, personal loans, anything like that. Make sure that YOU pay all the bills, each and everyone of them. You might want to sign up for a credit monitoring service so that you know if something is going on behind your back. She should provide receipts for everything she buys with her debit card. Everything you are going through sounds so terribly familiar to me. I was completely oblivious to what my hb did to get his hands on money and I wish someone had told me what to do to protect myself. I live in a community property state and ended up filing for bankruptcy for debts I knew nothing about. You guys are financially secure at this time but make no mistake, the money has no face and no name on it and goes faster than you can count it. My hb gambled away about 250 K in 18 months. Not to mention the house, the cars and everything in between. I DO NOT want to scare you but personally I think that it provides some peace of mind to know that your money is protected and there can be no terrible surprises for you. The addiction caused me to have huge problems at work as well. I was never able to concentrate, left early, came in late, constantly worried and on the phone etc. Eventually it ruined everything for me. I just want to share my experience with me because it does not have to come to this for you. There is still time to turn the table. Your wife will get angry if you take control of the money because the addiction is furious with you for trying to take away its' resources. That is white noise, try not to listen to it. Your baby deserves a functional parent and at this time this seems to be you more than your wife. Please don't let me scare you, that is not my intention. I have been down this road for 25 years before my hb finally turned his life around in 2009. I would hate to see anyone else having to go through all the pain and the suffering. Take good care of yourself! :)

Hi Nomore,

I am so glad that your husband is able to overcome his addiction. Hope he will be gambling free in the future.

I am already doing many items that you suggested.

I have credit monitoring for me and my wife. I have access and control to my wife's bank account and I make sure that the balance doesn't go above $400. She has no check book. All accounts are now separated. I pay all bills. I had long talks with friends and relatives who used to lend my wife money.

I know that we are financially secure for now but I know it can be gone very quickly.

Many thanks,

Hi James

Giving up pleasures because of living with the addiction to gamble gradually erodes the life of the non-CG. I cannot tell you what to do but with all the safeguards you have put in place and with all the information that Nomore has shared with you, I would feel you have enough knowledge to make an informed decision about what is right for you.

Anxiety cripples us and sometimes it blinds us to what is right for us. Only you can know what you really want to do. If you decide to go please ensure you enjoy every minute and leave anxiety behind. Sadly if your wife is going to gamble she will find a way and no amount of anxiety on your part will make an iota of difference - living your life in constant expectation of a disaster is soul-destroying.

I wish you well in whatever decision you make


" living your life in constant expectation of a disaster is soul-destroying."

I couldn't agree more - I just put a long post on my thread so I won't bore you with more here - But wanted to say to James how right Velvet is - I am living it - it is horrible. Do what you need to do to protect yourself and try and let go of the anxiety. I fight it everyday but know it is killing me…Hang in there



I accidently saw a text message on my wife's phone that reads "Please give it to me by end of the month, I need it" from someone and this of course drove me into another anxiety episode. My wife explained to me that was one of her coworker's asking for a sample test for a certificate program at work. And my negative self interpreted it as someone asking for their money back. If you have read my past posts, I periodically have anxiety due to my wife's gambling problem. Last time it was my travel to Mexico but it turned out uneventful. I am working on minimizing my anxiety problem with mindfulness, and hypnotherapy CDs and it seems to ease the problem but I can't get rid of it entirely. Reading your posts also give me a lot of helpful insights. I just want to share my thoughts.

I just wanted to say I can totally relate to your post. I have been woefully late and updating my own thread but had to say something to you.

I have the same issue as well ....I found out about my husbands gambling through a text message from a fellow gambler. And everything fell apart from there. So sometimes when I see his phone and there text on it I'm tempted to read them. Sometimes I do and sometimes I don't. But either way it gives me a serious panic attack. I have to tell myself that either way and regardless of what is going on with him I need to take care of myself and my children. Not that I'm a big advocate of medication but I do take xanax on occasion and it really does seem to help calm the panic. Do everything you can for yourself and for your child. Your wife gambling is totally up to her. You can't control it you can only take care of yourself and your family. With much blessings and love


My wife finally joined a Toastmaster club. It is a positive step and hopefully it aids her recovery. I don't know how long she will stick with it. She has trouble making friends after coming to this country when she was 26. She didn't speak English and when she was in college had troubles connecting with younger kids with American culture. I think her loneliness is the underlying problem here. I hope she will gain more confidence and social skills with Toastmaster. I have gone thru too many F&F cycles. I want to leave but my daughter is so young. Half of my wife take home income has gone to finance her gambling. Financially we are not too hurting because we are able to max out 401k contributions in hers and my accounts. We are also able to make the payments for our 15 year mortgage. I am angry about her lies and the rainy day fund that we should have but don't. The last year, I don't have any evidence that she is gambling and her credit check came up nothing. I have became too suspicious of everything which I know is not healthy for me. There are many occasions when I was so sure that she was gambling only to found out that she wasn't. I want to join a support group or see a psychiatrist but have had the courage to. I hope to be able to encourage her to pick up healthy activities. I also want to go back to playing golf, and fishing with friends to help me recover from this.

Don't be to hard on yourself. It is understandable that you suffer anxiety based on the experiences that you have previously had.

It would almost be more worrying if you felt no anxiety at al.

Its a good thing (in my opinion) to maintain an awareness of what could happen again, there are no guarantees that it won't. Maintaining the awareness however doesn't mean it should consume your life as we are also aware that that we cannot control the actions of others.

The anxiety, distrust etc has been built up over time and does not go away as soon as a recovery appears on the horizon. I too would have had the exact same thought on reading such a message as much as I wouldn't have wanted to ! even I think if several years had passed - it doesn't mean there is anything wrong with you.


Hi James

As I have written before to you, unfounded suspicion is not good for you or your wife.

Coming to America unable to speak the language must have been a very difficult and lonely experience for your wife but it seems she is now trying to improve her life. If she is a compulsive gambler who has taken control of her addiction then she is to be commended because that takes great courage and leaves me wondering why you want to leave now?

Did you look at Gamblers Anonymous 20 questions as I suggested? Is your wife displaying other addictive behaviour that you find unacceptable?

If it is your anger and anxiety holding your recovery back then maybe a support group or psychiatrist would help you to cope better. You are financially stable and if, as it seems from your post, your wife is doing all she can to lead a decent life, what is stopping you playing golf or fishing with your friends?

Post again soon James and look after youself.


I just found out that I haven't been crazy at all. My suspicions, turned out to be all true. Previously my wife usually worked in the morning and then took half a day in the afternoon to gamble. Now, she works two hours in the morning, gambles, and then come back to work. She has been calling me from her work place in the morning, and then calling me again before going home. My phone has caller ID so I thought everything was fine as long as she is at work. I can't believe she would go through the troubles of leaving work mid day to gamble and then come back because the drive to the casino is 40 minute long.

After she can't lie anymore, she admited to owning loansharks at the casino a lot of money. I asked how much, she refused to say. I asked if it is $50k, she said more. These loansharks don't report debts in the credit system so credit checks turned up nothing.

I have been warning her that this is the last chance so I took my daughter to my sister house which is more than an hour away. She agreed to let me take my 2 year daughter. I know now she will go on a binge with her borrowing from banks since she has zero debts through creditcard companies and banks right now.

I am looking for a lawyer to hopefully and officially gain temporary custody of our daughter and financial separation from my wife so that her gambling debts are hers alone. I hope to have enough courage to go thru the divorce. I can't imagine going back again. My 2-year old daughter appears to miss her mom last night. I am praying. For me and my daughter, I want to go through this. My mother in law has been taking good care of my daughter so it is hard to take my daughter away from her. My mother in law begged to allow her to watch my daughter but I don't want to see my wife again and my sister's house is more than an hour away. My wife is so good with taking care of my daughter. I need to learn real fast. I am not sure what to do now. I feel so empty after we have been togetther for 15 years.

Before I took my daughter away yesterday. My wife went on a relentless personal attack against me and how she shouldn't have married me. I have done nothing but being supportive and tried my best to keep the family appears normal. I know I am far from perfect but I don't deserve much of her accusations.

Velvet, my fishing and golfing hobbies take about 5-6 hours per outing. Two years ago, my wife went gambling whenever I was out so it gives me a lot of anxiety.

Thank you Jenny, Velvet and all of you for understanding what I am going through and giving me advice. Reading your posts has been very good therapy for me.

Hi James

I am indeed very sorry to hear the turn of events in your life. Financial separation certainly seems to be the way forward for you.

I realise how great the betrayal is that you feel but please bear in mind that your wife did not ask for, nor did she want her addiction – she will not have deliberately hurt you or her child however much her behaviour suggests otherwise. It is a terrible addiction that she owns.

It is good that you appreciate how good your wife is with your daughter – I hope in time your daughter will learn about the addiction that hurts her mother and that she can be helped to understand. I appreciate your anger at the moment and the feeling that you do not want to see your wife again but your daughter is not old enough to make such a choice and in my opinion deserves the right to make up her own mind when she is old enough.

I wish you, your daughter and your wife well James – I know you are making uncomfortable decisions and that the outcome of your relationship is not the one that you wanted. Unfortunately the addiction to gamble is very strong and proves too much for some. I know that however much you love someone, sometimes loving them is not enough.

I hope we hear from you again and that you all pull through this terrible time. Your wife is to be pitied not blamed but I know this takes time.


Hello James!

I am a CG.

If you were my husband, I would hope that you would have me banned from the casino and report those illegal moneylenders to the police!

She is dealing with criminals! She must be desperate for money.

Maybe she needs to go to rehab?

I fully understand how distressing all this is for you especially when you have a young baby.

Every time my husband discovered I was gambling behind his back, I would immediately "attack" him and throw up all his bad points . That's a CG's defence.

I hope and pray things work out for you and your little family.

Divorce is not the answer to gambling addiction!

There is a lot of help available!

Never ignore your gut instincts again. You may not always realise their true meaning - but they will always be right.

Don't go with the crap, go with what you feel, I guess you have learned that now ?

Maintain your awareness



Thank you again for your understanding and support. My wife, home alone and with nothing to hide anymore, is on a gambling binge. Her brother let me know about this. The last couple of days my daughter has been with me and I know I can't give her the good care than my wife or my mother-in-law and her aunt can. I have arranged with my mother-in-law and my sister-in-law to pick my daughter up on Sunday and they will keep her for now. Going forward I don't know what to do, here are my possible three options, keep in mind that my work place is near my sister's house which is a little more than one hour from my current house which is very close to my mother-in-law house.

1) Have my mother-in-law and aunt take care of my daughter. I will live at my sister place and pick my daughter up only for the weekend. My wife will visit there as needed. Not sure if my wife will agree with this or not since she will want to have full custody.

2) My wife will have custody but of course, during the day my mother-in-law will take care of my daughter. My most immediate concern is what happens when my wife hits bottom. Will she be crazy enough to harm herself and my daughter? My family thinks a mother can't harm her own daughter but I worry about this possibility.

3) My daughter stays with me. Not sure if the court will be OK with this. But as I have mentioned before, I will have to use a baby sitter or Kindercare, none of which is better than my mother-in-law and my sister-in-law.

Right now I am leaning toward number 1 in the short term and long term. Yes, you are right, I have no right to take my daughter away from my wife. I want what is best for my daughter. This morning she woke up and appeared to look for her mom. It is heart breaking to see her misses her mom. Right now she is young enough to not notice my wife's gambling but what happens when she grows older? Can I get custody when she goes to school or at around 7 or 8 year old age?

Which ever option going forward, my daughter will miss a lot of love either from me or my wife. This hurts me the most. The fact that I or my wife won't be with her everyday is a big loss for her.

Of course, the best option is for my wife to quit gambling and we are togetther to support my daughter. I have so little hope for this outcome. I can't live in fear and full of anxiety anymore. The court will probably order us to go through marriage counseling and my wife through therapy or at least wait for a period of 6 months before the final divorce. I don't know, my wife could tell me that she is all better and I go back. I have done this before after a month separation from my wife so it could happens again. Last time we didn't have my daughter so this time there are even more reasons for me to go back. However, I am not full of optimism this time that I could "fix her". I have learned that I can't fix someone's addiction. Deep down, I know my wife problem is too great and there is little hope that she will quit.

I don't know if my present in the past has prevented my wife from hitting bottom. I was always there to handle her debts, telling her that tomorrow will be better, to give her a sense of normalcy and stability. This time I hope I have the courage to let her hit bottom with or without the intention of going back to her.

My father-in-law was a compulsive gambler so my wife probably inherited the addiction genes. My mother-in-law went through I am experiencing right now. He, however, quit and stayed clean after she took the kids and went away. I am not sure if he quit because of a desire for a better life or the lack of income?

I'm not sure where you are in the world but when I got divorced, my youngest child's welfare was the court's primary concern. Everything revolved around him first, where he was going to live, how we would both support him financially, access was not an issue. It might be worth finding out the law of the land in relation to child custody?

My cg is my son and letting him drop to rock bottom was heart wrenching possibly one of the most distressing experiences in my life.

No one can tell you what to do, but reading this post I think you have possible made up your mind already. Keep strong for your daughter's sake.

I am a child minder as well and I think the little boy I look after (4 years old) is well adjusted so if you go down that route a good child minder can be a good option. Best wishes San

Hi James

Your mind must be bouncing all over the place at the moment but with your wife on a gambling binge it is important that you keep yourself safe and strong for the sake of your daughter.

It seems to me, from reading you post, that your mother-in-law will have a capacity for understanding you and your situation better than most. For me the greatest support came from someone who had suffered from the addiction to gamble in her life but had moved on to live in peace and happiness. Do you and your mother-in-law have a good relationship?

I cannot tell you what to do but I do recommend keeping a journal so that you have your thoughts and memories clear. The addiction to gamble is secretive and therefore emotional abuse is hard to prove but if you can keep your daughter’s welfare at the fore-front of your mind, I believe you will make the right decisions.

You will never know if your presence prevented your wife hitting rock bottom – there are many things with this addiction for which a loved one will never receive any answers but given time such answers are not material. What matters is that you stay safe and deny the addiction any opportunity to bring you down.

You are right, you cannot ‘fix’ your wife but there is always hope that she will control her addiction. Unfortunately loving a CG does not give them normality and stability – only the CG can do that. You can point her in the right direction though, perhaps to this site, GA, or a dedicated counsellor. Our helpline is here for her as it is for you; she would be welcome in our CG only groups and in ‘My Journal’ forum.

I cannot advice you on which course of action is right for your daughter but I can see by your post that you are working hard at doing the right thing. Can you talk to your mother-in-law about support for you and your daughter; is she aware of the extent of her daughter’s addiction? In my opinion, physical support is so important for you James – I know in the UK the mother always seems to be favoured over the father so I believe that it is best to have understanding female assistance.

It is not symptomatic of the gambling addiction that a CG deliberately hurts but they can neglect because their minds are full of addiction and as such I feel your child does need protecting while her mother’s mind is not working with logic and reason.

Your write that your father-in-law ‘was’ a CG but there is no cure for this addiction. Your wife can learn to control her addiction and live a truly wonderful life but she needs the right treatment and understanding.

Keep posting – you are doing well


San, Velvet, Jenny,

My wife picked up my daughter yesterday. When my daughter saw my wife, she was so happy that she jumped into my wife and kissed her non stop. I think it is best that my daughter stays with my wife with the help of my mother-in-law and her aunt because it is the option with the least disruption and changes to my daughter's daily routine. Of course, I will be missing but it is better than my daughter missing three care takers. I will try to visit her as regularly as possible.

There is one thing I can do, to again trying to help my wife. Hopefully, this won't bring me back to the deep of codependency, please give me some advice on whether this is OK to do or not:

Two years ago, one day on a hunch, I knew my wife was gambling so I went to the casino and she was there. I talked to the security people and they kicked her out. She didn't know I did it. She has never gone back to that casino again. Keep in mind that she signed self-banned forms with all of these casinos but they still allow her to play unless a family member asks them to enforce it then they won't be able to pretend that they didn't recognize her. I know that they know exactly who are the problem gamblers but turn a blind eye. I have a friend whom I talked to yesterday and he can let me know when my wife leave early for gambling. I wonder if it would helps her if I go to the casinos while she is gambling and ask security to kicked her out until everyone of them has kicked her out once. I don't know why she didn't go back to the casino that kicked her out, whether if it was the embrassment or whatever it was, it helped for at least one of the casino that is closest to her. I want to do this for my daughter. Am I trying to do too much here? Please let me know.

San, I live in Southern California. The court here will also tries to do what is best for my daughter.

Velvet, yes, I have a good relationship with my mother-in-law who has been supportive. My father-in-law has been gambling free for over 20 years.

Today I will go to the gym again and go out for a massage. I know I am still in the midst of this codependency problem because I still think about my wife's problem too much.

Ideally your wife should be self banning, James but maybe at this point, she is not able to do that.

I think 99% of people here will advise you not to get involved, but, personally, I would have been VERY grateful if my husband had taken that step. It would have saved me lots of grief, stress, and thousands of euro! I would see it as intervention. CGs sometimes need others to move in and help in the same way you would take the victim of a car accident to a hospital.

I know of a woman who's husband had her banned. She never darkened the door of those casinos again and it made her realize she was becoming infamous! The security guy raised his voice and said "OUT!" the first time she entered and with all the customers turning their heads to look at her it sure made her leave fast!

It only took one visit to get her to stop.....

Getting your wife to join GT, as Velvet suggested would be a very positive move.

Hi James

I cannot say whether walking into a casino and getting security to throw your wife out would make a difference but if you asked me would I do it based on your past experience- the answer is yes.

I was horribly criticised for driving my CG to the doorstep of the rehab and accused of treating him like a child but if I had not done so he would never have arrived. I knew I was going the extra mile and it could have backfired on me but sometimes we have to do what we feel is right.

Your mother-in-law sounds as though she could be a brilliant sounding board for your thoughts especially as you both have the same goal. Work with her James and all the family members who are willing to support you – a united front is a terrific club with which to beat the dreadful addiction to gamble.

You are going to the gym and having a massage which to me says you are giving your brain some free time and that is fine and possibly all you could ask of yourself at the moment. We cannot turn our feelings on and off like taps and I would be surprised if you were not thinking about your wife – this does not in itself make you co-dependent.

Did you print off the GA 20 questions?

Keep posting and asking anything you want to ask – we will do our best to support you.

Well done on all you are doing


Hi Velvet,

Yes, I read the GA 20 questions. I sent my wife the link. I am not sure if she pays attention to it or not. If I were to answer them for my wife, the answer would be yes for all of them. But I am sure she will answer them differently. My wife attended GA Anonymous 5 years ago after I left her the first time. At that time she was also seeing a psychiatrist and I think was able to stayed gambling free for a year. My wife finds GA anonymous members to be too rough for her and their problems much worst than hers. She stopped attending after three months.

During her last 10 years. She has one year and a three year periods of gambling free. She was free of gambling 2.5 years before we got married and then 0.5 year after after we got married, a miscarriage at 11 weeks drove her back to the casino. It was this 3-year gambling period that gave me hope. But now I am not so optimistic any more.

Vera, Velvet,

Yes, when I have the opportunity, I will ask security to throw my wife out of the casino. If not for me, at least for my daughter.

I have an appointment to see a lawyer tomorrow and hope to go to court soon for financial separation and hopefully she will be responsible for her own gambling debts. I have to be financially strong so I can provide for my daughter.

If I send her the link of this website, she may read this post and know it is me for sure eventhough my name is different. This will rat out the coworker that has been reporting to me about her absentism and she will know exactly what I think. Is there a similar site that I can send her?

Many thanks,

Eventhough my wife has been a great mom so far with zero sign of neglecting my daughter, do you think it is alright to leave my daughter with an addict? My wife has a good support system with her mom and sister (who is in her mid 40s and probably will not remarry). I am so torn over this. Should I fight for custody?

Should I fight for custody but have my mother-in-law take care of my daughter and find a place somewhere near her house to live? To do this, I have to drive an hour to work everyday which I don't mind.

Can I keep the house, fight for custody of my daughter and pay my wife for the equity and then ask my wife to move? I don't think my wife can keep the house since she isn't financially responsible. Sorry for the rambling, I just don't know what I should do now.

My children have lived with the legacy of a gambling addiction and the added impact of their dad being an alcoholic. I naively thought that the things I was putting in place would protect them from the effects of both.

Not so, children pick up on a lot more than we think and the impact is without a doubt damaging. My ex partner who is a CG told me of a few incidents where he had forgotten to pick up his children due to the need to stay in the bookies and indulge his addiction and also financially priorotising his addiction over their needs etc.

I can only tell you what I would do not what I think you should do and that is - I would never discharge my responsibility for my children to someone who is active in their addiction without a fight. I understand your daughter misses her mother, but without being of the age to make an informed decision with all the facts, I think it is fair to say that the responsible adult should be the one making a decision with as far as is possible - their head not their heart. Your daughter cannot possibly know of the capacity of the addiction to damage her, I don't know what leaving your daughter in a potentially dangerous situation like that would say about you in the eyes of the courts etc, should things go badly wrong, although I get where you are coming from.

With regards to having your wife thrown out of the casino, perhaps you need to do that to satisfy your own need to know that you have done all you can. I do feel that a CG who wishes to gamble however will find a way so it may be fruitless.

I think your wife needs to be facing the consequences of her actions alone, losing a child through wreckless, childish, pathetic priorities is a consequence, financial ruin is a consequence, these are the things unfortunately she may have to experience in order to want to change - harsh as it may sound.

There is nothing to say that arrangements cannot be altered if and when your wife decides to make some changes and turn things around but until that time comes perhaps concentrating on yourself and your daughters emotional stability will be much more rewarding.


Hi James,

Your daughter is only 2, what she cries about now she will not remember, but as the years pass and the older she gets, there will be a time when she will. Her mother's addiction has not touched her yet, as there is a term called child amnesia. So really think about going back and forth with your wife. She needs help, but if she is not willing to get the help and stick with it. The skies the limit with this addiction and what it will do to your daughter.

I know as a child of a cg, hands down my life will always have scars because of my father's gambling.


Jenny, Twighlight,

Thank you for your comments and explaination on how an addict can impact their children lives. I think I will fight for my daughter custody. If this drags out for a while she will be close to 3 which means I can put her in pre-school. Deep down, I want to move far away from my wife. My fear is that staying too close to her, having some feelings for her, and with the well being of daughter in considerations I might succumbed to the temptation of staying with my wife if she again making promises. I really want to move on and start a new life without fear, anxiety, lies and financial distress. I want to provide my daughter a stable and addiction free environment to grow even if it means without her mom's present every day. I also want to move far away from my wife's family. Part of me wants my daughter to continue to have a good relationship with grandma and her aunt but part of me just want to get away as far as possible.

Hi James,

I'd say do what you feel is right and if you feel moving far away, then do so. You are the sound person who is looking for your daughter. You have given your wife chance after chance and she can't manage her gambling, her reasons are hers. Yet, your daughter should be given the best shot to live a normal life, not one controlled by the addiction, having to make sacrifices in order to bail her mother out, debts that certainly will have an affect on her. I think it is wise to separate this debt from you, so you won't be responsible.

Of course this is extremely tough on you, but never feel like you are breaking the family, or taking your daughter away from her mother because guilt and others will tell you to work on it more. Of course, it will be up to you, but if it were me I'd make sure to get my daughter out of harms way.

About four years ago, I stopped my daughters from seeing their grandfather, they were 8 and 3. As I was estranged from him, after numerous interventions yet he kept gambling. My point is my youngest doesn't remember the crazy things he said and did to upset me. However, my now 12 year old, the older daughter, still remembers what I went through.

Take it easy, this won't settle over night or even a month. It will take time for you, but do how you feel and if someone tries to pressure you to forgive your wife or gives you the spill how staying together is the best thing for your daughter, they haven't live with an addiction as cruel and manipulative as gambling. It's an addiction but doesn't erase any of their actions and it should never be used as an excuse or crutch. Life is full of rules and consequences.

Take care,


I met with my attorney yesterday and her team is going ahead to help me to file a legal separation. They will serve my wife's the papers near the end of this week. This can be changed to divorce if I wish. My attorney assured me that my wife's gambling debts would be her responsibility and not mine. She suggested that I ask for custody of my daughter for the week days and my wife/grandma for the weekend. She also told me I need to come up with a care plan for my daughter so the court can see that I have a clear and solid plan before they can grant a move away. I will provide transportation for my daughter to and from her mom/grandma.

My attorney also suggested that I sell the house eventually because I can't rely on my wife making copayments.

Staying away and starting legal separaton have been great therapy for me. Knowing that she is in the casino doesn't drive me into a panic attack any more but it still makes me feel sad and sorry for her. Deep down I want to go through with the separation. My selfish self wants to enjoy life, do the things I used to enjoy, have financial freedom and no anxiety. I think I have given enough. However, part of me still longing for her to recover and our family whole, especially for my daughter.

Thank you Velvet, Jenny, Twighlight and all of you for your compassion, advice and understanding.

I don't think there is anything selfish at all about wanting to enjoy your life, I also think you've given enough but it is good to hear you say it !

I think we would all wish to see our loved ones recover but there comes a time where a line has to be drawn unless we want to go down as well.

The balls in her court where that is concerned, just as your happiness is in yours.

I'm sure your daughter will appreciate having at least one happy and stable parent in her life who in turn can support her with her future relaitionship with her mother, your learning will be a very key factor in your daughters future happiness

You've done really well, keep your chin up

Take care


Hi James,

You are a sweet man, only wanting what is best for you and your daughter and still your wife. Believe you are doing right for all, as you are the one seeing clearly.

Move on with your plans, whether it is separation or divorce I don't think there is much of a difference. The marriage has been touched by this addiction and as you have wrote, you have done all you can.

As the years pass, your wife's addiction will get worst, as it is no secret this addiction just keeps get stronger. Maybe she will eventually hit rock bottom, however there is also a chance that she will not and continue to gamble. As Velvet has written, what we think is rock bottom is not always the case for cg. My father lived in a car on and off for two years and he still gambled. This is sad, this addiction is sad, what it does to people is sad, but again the addiction is not holding the persons hands to gamble. The addict is raising their hand to gamble, they are driving, walking, taking a bus, hitch hiking, etc, to the casinos, or maxing their credit cards for online gambling.

I think it is wise that you have what ever bank statements or credit card statements to show the court of her gambling, etc. This is just to show that your wife has a problem, as the courts always like to keep families together. I would have the years you have been married outlined, along with her gambling patterns and how much she owes to the casinos, etc.

Remember to take care of you in this difficult time and remember you don't have to justify your actions, you are really the only one who knows of the hell you have been going through.

Take care,



I am sorry about your father's problems and what you went through. I am determined to minimize the problems my wife may cause to my daughter. The more I read about this addiction, the scarrier it gets. A friend of mine told me a lady who has a successful business, lost over a million dollars, two husbands, and still gambles. This gambling lady told my friend that sometimes she can't sleep because all she can think about is gambling. Sometimes she would gamble away the salaries of her workers. I have a distance aunt whose husband walked away because of her gambling and left two children with her. Sometimes she doesn't have money to buy foods for her children and sometimes the utilities get cut off for non payment. I didn't know about this until my family told me yesterday. Now with a little clearer mind, I think it is possible that my wife will get in similar situations and the reason she hasn't is because I was always there to bail her out.


Hi James, I have been reading your posts and agree with each and every reply you got. I think you and your attorney came up with an excellent plan. There is just one thing I would like to suggest to you when you design your parenting/visitation plan for the separation. Your daughter is still very young and I don't know how responsible your wife is with her. But since she seems to leave work to go gambling, it might be a good idea to include a paragraph in the agreement to not allow her, to take your daughter anywhere alone. At least not when it comes to driving around. I know it sounds paranoid and even silly maybe but there are unfortunately a lot of cgs who let the addiction just run amok and forget about their kids. Leaving them in the car is very evidently here in my state. Happens all the time. I also don't know how your mil handles her daughters addiction, is she is realistic and supports you or if she is minimizing it. This addiction is very dangerous and it wouldn't be the first time that a cg puts others in harms way. Better safe than sorry is what learned over the years. I don't want to add to your worries but since you are calling the shots right now, it might be the right time to prevent something really awful. I wish you luck!

Hi Nomore,

I haven't thought about the possibility of my wife leaving my daughter in the car and gamble. She has been a wonderful mom so far and I don't imagine she will do that but it could happens if her addiction gets worst. I will definitely mention this to my attorney.


Hi James

I agree it is important to minimise any problems your wife’s addiction may cause your daughter but in my opinion it is not necessary to imagine she is definitely going to turn into a child abuser, she has an addiction to gamble that does not seek to cause pain but does so in its blind need for enablement.

Baby daughters grow up into fearsome young women and strong-minded adults and they ask questions about parental actions and decisions taken on their behalf when they were too young to argue so I think it is important to look at your situation in a balanced way because one day she will want to know why and how you made your decisions.

What is your wife’s relationship like with her child now?

Have you had cause to worry about your child’s emotional or physical welfare as a result of her mother’s addiction thus far?

It is possible that your wife’s addiction will deteriorate but it is also possible that she will change her life for the better, maybe her parents could be instrumental in directing her to the right support, especially her father who did change his life and therefore knows the courage it takes.

It is possible that you have prevented your wife from getting deeper into her addiction so far by bailing her out but bailing out is enablement and enablement has the opposite effect in that it feeds the addiction and allows it to grow.

You have listed extreme cases of the addiction and of course they exist but has your wife shown such extremities so far?

By all means James put all you are hearing to your attorney but I do hear that you still care about your wife and I think that suggesting she seeks treatment rather than condemnation is important.

I take Nomore's point about mothers leaving children outside the casino....I have often seen very young children open the door to the "no go area" for them, calling "Mammy, will you come out please!" I know my "children" who were in their teens when I started gambling heavily did not like me going. My youngest, now in his 20s would get very angry. My older son said he "didn't mind!" (He hates conflict) !When I went to counselling there were six sessions available free of charge for any family member affected by my gambling. All refused to attend.

I guess I" protected "them well!!!

The memories that haunt me though are those when my cell phone kept ringing and ringing and I kept knocking it off to prevent the caller (always my youngest son) from hearing the casino sounds in the background! I still feel sick when I think of the nights I left my sons waiting at various pick up points for hours in the dark and in the rain. I don't know why that still haunts me but it does.

I remember sitting beside a woman who was nine months pregnant , barely able to balance on the stool, thinking "Her gambling days will be over soon!". Six weeks later she was perched on the same stool with all her cronies congratulating her on the birth of her baby girl and her husband pleading with her on the mobile phone to come home and feed the baby. I must say it did baffle me to hear her tell him to "give her the soother, I won't be long!" Proves that gambling has the first call on a CG. ALWAYS!

I hope and pray James, that your decision to move out/on will serve as a wake up call to your wife and bring her to her senses.

She, of course has her own side of the story to tell. Some CGs gamble to escape unhappiness and loneliness in their lives.

"Gambling runs lives"is the only FACT we can state with certainty. Every one has his/her own story. Some have a happy ending. Some end in tears!

Hi James

I agree it is important to minimise any problems your wife’s addiction may cause your daughter but in my opinion it is not necessary to imagine she is definitely going to turn into a child abuser. Your wife will not deliberately cause hurt but she has an addiction to gamble that causes pain with its blind and selfish desire for enablement.

Baby daughters grow up into fearsome young women and strong-minded adults and they ask questions about parental actions and decisions taken on their behalf when they were too young to argue so I think it is important to look at your situation in a balanced way because one day she will want to know why and how you made your decisions.

Have you had cause to worry about your child’s emotional or physical welfare as a result of her mother’s addiction thus far?

It is possible that your wife’s addiction will deteriorate but it is also possible that she will change her life for the better, maybe her parents could be instrumental in directing her to the right support, especially her father who did change his life and therefore knows the courage it takes.

It is possible that you have prevented your wife from getting deeper into her addiction so far by bailing her out but bailing out is enablement and enablement has the opposite effect in that it feeds the addiction and allows it to grow.

You have listed extreme cases of the addiction and of course they exist but has your wife shown such extremities so far?

By all means James put all you are hearing to your attorney but I do hear that you still care about your wife and I think that suggesting she seeks treatment rather than condemnation is important.

I am not seeking to excuse the addiction or the CG who owns it. Ultimately the responsibility for your wife’s behaviour rests solely with her. We have hundreds of female CGs on this site, many of who are mothers who probably feel unable to join in a discussion such as this because they are here to control their addiction, not to carry the guilt for others but they include many who have changed their lives and who live in control of their addiction with their children’s lives intact, having said that I see that before I could send this post, Vera has made a valuable contribution.

I believe you are working on a balance James and I wish you well.

Speak soon





So far my wife's gambling has not impacted my daughter emotionally or physically.

However, my wife has done a few terrible things in the past:

1. She pawned her wedding ring and bracelet

2. She wrote $15k worth of bad checks

3. She borrowed money from friends and told them that I am a stingy husband not giving her money to spend

4. She took money out of her employee's club at her company where she is a treasurer. She eventually put the money back without anyone noticing

5. She borrowed from loansharks and high rate credit cards companies

6. One time she gambled for 48 hours non-stop after I left the house the first time

Her credit is at 800 right now, which is almost flawless. It is like this because I always helped to payoff the debts because her debts were also my debts. Now with the legal separation I don't know how long before she ruins her credit. But at least it won't be my problem anymore.

I don't know if these actions are extreme or not or they are just the typical actions for the average compulsive gamblers.

Yes, Velvet, I will try to not comdemn my wife anymore. I am in the process of trying to forgive my wife and what she has done to me, to herself and to our daughter. Not because I want to come back but I just want to move on and get rid of my anger. I just want to be able to accept things as they are.

In buddhist's teachings, when you marry someone, you owed that person something or harmed that person in your past life. The idea is that marriage is extremly difficult and people are only living togetther to back debts owed in previous lives. My mother-in-law told me that perhaps I owed her daughter something in my previous life and now I have done paying off this debt the last 10 years so now I can go free. I almost smile when I heard this. May be it is true :)

Currently I am seeking to have custody of my daughter Mon-Thu and my wife Fri-Sun. Whether my wife agrees to this or not is another matter. I proposed the idea and my wife seems to resist. I hope we don't have to fight in court over this. Right now my wife has my daughter and I miss my her terribly. I miss the moment when my wife drives her home and I go out and pick her up from the car seat and she would smiles at me.

My job, my family and my friends and basically my hometown is a little more than an hour away where my house is right now. I have been driving this far to work for a few years and my desire is to move back here to be closer to my family, job and perhaps getting away from my wife. If I live in my hometown, I get out of work at 4:00 and have a lot of time with my baby. I can take her to swimming lessons and other fun activities.

I have another option that I am thinking about. If I win main custody, I can buy my wife out of the house and stay close to her and her family. I would drop my daughter off at grandma's house in the morning [or school when she is older]. My wife would stop by her mom house to be with her for about two hours before I pick her up for the day. My wife then can have her for the weekend. This way she will see both of us on most days.

Do you have any suggestion? I realize that it will be up to me but I am so confused. I really want to live close to my family and support system. My fear is that by staying too close to my wife I may come back to her. Also, with living too far from work and driving 2.5 hours a day. I don't have much time to spend with my daughter anyway.

I told my wife that if our daughter stays with me on Monday to Thursday in my hometown. I will set up cameras on our big screen TVs so she and my daughter can have face time on those days. I think this will help all of us and hopefully reduce my wife's resistant to letting me have my daughter from Mon - Thu. I have found a wonderful and inexpensive church based preschool program for kids 2 to 6 for my daughter. Hopefully I can enroll her here. We are buddhist but I am open to the idea of my daughter being exposed to the church's teachings.

many thanks for your advice.

Hi James

Sadly your wife’s behaviour is fairly typical of a CG.

Although I am not a Buddhist I do like many of the teachings but believing that we have to pay debts from a previous life is not one to which I could subscribe. I believe we have enough to deal with in this life and we have the gift of self-will to cope, how we use that self-will is down to every individual. You are trying to cope with a situation that you could not have foreseen and I believe from all you write that you are trying to do the best for all of you.

I admire the way you are putting forward so many options when you must be totally confused by recent events. Does your state offer you the ability to sit round a table with your wife and legal representatives to calmly discuss what is right for your daughter such as the church based pre-school which sounds great and to my mind shows your willingness to accommodate different ways forward for all of you?

I believe that your desire to forgive does you credit but it is early days. The following was written a few years ago by another member and may help.

• Forgiveness isn’t condoning the behaviour.

• Forgiveness isn’t forgetting what happened.

• Forgiveness isn’t restoring trust.

• Forgiveness isn’t synonymous with reconciliation.

• Forgiveness doesn’t mean doing the other person a favour.

• Forgiveness isn’t easy.

Keep going as you are James – I believe the thoughts of many are with you


I thought we could mediate. My proposal that she has my daughter for Fri, Sat, and Sun is very reasonable. She told my sister-in-law that I am using my daughter to punish her and that she would fight this in court. I just want the best for my daughter and have no thought of using my daughter as a revenge tool. I hope her lawyer is smart enough to mediate. Of course, she probably tells her lawyer that she doesn't have a gambling problem. My wife has a very selective memory and the terrifying thing is that she believes her delusional version of reality. My sister-in-law is trying to convince my wife that my offer is very fair. I also offered to evenly split our assets which will be around $250k for each of us between the 401K balances and home equity. I am responsible for most of this money but that is fine. I just want to move on. I hope it doesn't come to where I and my lawyer have to dig up all the financial records, callup friends and relatives to testify that she has borrowed money from them. Digging up the pawnshop records and pulling out bank statements where she had wrote badchecks. She also has numerous creditcard debts from high interest loan companies. I hope it doesn't get nasty and we remain amicable to support our daughter. I will let you know what happens next.

I was very reluctant to go through this divorce and was even thinking there might be a very small chance that we could be togetther for the sake of our daughter. I am determined to divorce her now.

I don't feel that you are condeming your wife at all, more so just the behaviour that we know frequently goes hand in hand with this addiction.

Whether we love a partner, a son, a friend or a daughter or uncle Jack up the road with this addiction unmanaged, we know that the illness is progressive. I would imagine this to mean - it gets worse not better.

Many of us here talk about our need and terrible decision to have to become estranged from the person we love. Not truly meaning them as a person but the grips of their addiction which go hand in hand. We recognise that we go down with that ship if we stay.

Perhaps some compulsive gamblers do have a line they will not cross, perhaps they don't. Perhaps the illness hasn't progressed enough yet.

Perhaps someone has been standing in the way minimising harm to their child which would no longer be a barrier when they leave.

Perhaps all sorts of things !

The truth is, none of us actually know what the true capabilities of the addiction are in your wife's case or indeed any other.

If as adults we make the decision that we need to be estranged from the addiction because of the damage it does to us and the consequences of staying within a destructive relaitionship and all that goes with that. Then how can we do a complete turn around and say that it may be ok for a very young child, with no knowledge and no understanding or influence over their own welfare and safety to do the same thing that we feel the need to get away from. That to me is double standards and very risky.

I think you need to go with what you feel is right. Nothing is set in stone, visits can be supervised, things can progress as recovery progresses.


Hi Jenny,

I understand your point, why should I leave my wife for my own peace of mind and left my daughter there to possibly suffer the addiction?

My wife has turned very combative, she called my brother's wife and in a very loud voice and angry tone declared that her lawyer told her that she will win custody. She probably didn't tell her own lawyer that she has a gambling addiction because she is still in denial. I think she is very angry at me right now. I left her, I tried to take her child away from her, she blamed me for her family turning against her. If I ask for total custody and give her only visitation, she will be much more angry and may use my child against me. I feel that she will not endanger our child. She could, at anytime drop off our daughter at her mom's house. Yes, you mentioned the possibility that my wife's addiction will get worst. That is my worst fear. I will discuss this with my attorney.


I hope this works out ok for . I just have a few things to say. I am a compulsive gambler. My parents go divorced when I was very young . My father had me and my sister every other weekend. He would take us to the horse track every time we went to visit him. Sometimes only once some times twice when he would win the first night.My sister turned into an alcoholic . Myself I turned into compulsive gambler. I didnt stop until I could get any more money anywhere . my friends wouldnt talk to me anymore. You should thank whoever you give thanks to that you still have any money left at all . I would suggest you try to give your wife supervised visits until she is able to get better. You are really a very good person for trying to do what is right for everyone.

Hi Mred,

I am sorry that your father did this to you. I hope to help my daughter avoid the same fate. I hope she didn't pick up the addiction genes from her mom.

I wonder if I can request the judge to allow my wife to be with my daughter only in the present of her family and she is not allowed to take my daughter to any gambling establishment and that she will have to go through professional therapy. I will discuss this with my attorney. However it will take a longtime. What is frustrating about this is that my family is not very supportive of my decision. They all think I should give my wife another chance. Some think that I should leave my daughter with her because she's not that bad. There is such a attitude against single fathers. I had my daughter for this weekend and she came down with a fever yesterday 10 hours after I picked her up from her mom. My family is blaming me and telling that I can't take care of my daughter. I didn't want to argue but an infection incubation period is at least a day, much more than 10 hour period to develop. They think i should remarry and leave my daughter with my wife and her family but i dont think i can do this. Deep down I don't have any hope that my wife will turn her life around. I lived in fear and anxiety for 10 years already. When she went gambling at 6 month pregnant it shocked me and I knew that I made a major mistake. Some of my family also reminded me that I chose to come back to her and they have warned me. I know I made that decision and there is no need to remind me of that. I was wrong and I can't change that. The only thing I can do now is to move forward with my plan so that I could protect my daughter.

I will try to set up a meeting with a psychologist tomorrow to help me to deal with the grief of divorce and codependency issue. My grandparents raised me from the age of 3 to 10 away from my parents and I always hated that. I don't know if that is the root cause of my anxiety and codependency issue or not.

Hi James

Living in a state of anxiety for 10 years is quite long enough and I think it is good that you are seeking on the ground support for yourself especially as your family appears to be lacking in support for you. The addiction to gamble is divisive and I certainly don’t see why a discussion to remarry would help you at the moment.

This site can only really support you with the addiction to gamble and cannot comment on your legal system and/or the possibilities of what you could request from a judge.

I noticed that you posted on Thursday when I was facilitating a live group which you would have been welcome to join – we could have communicated in real time if you had wanted to do so and maybe this is something for you consider in the future.


Velvet is right James!

You won't get answers to legal issues here. Every country has its own laws in relation to child custody and marital breakdown. However, I think it is very helpful for you to express all your feelings and concerns surrounding this disconcerting matter.

The mother /child relationship is a very strong bond and in most cultures it is almost revered. Irish Law always gave the mother priority custody until recently. Now the father's rights are taken into consideration more which is a good thing (sometimes). I worked with "disturbed" children for 5 years . Of course it was mainly the parents who had problems and it was manifested in the children's behaviour. I saw children from very troubled backgrounds having decisions made for them by court judges which often shocked me. The only advice I would give you is to keep your business strictly between yourself and your lawyer until decisions are made. Involving extended family members will create emotional responses and arguments which may be picked up by your daughter. She is at a very sensitive age for change. Try to keep her routine as normal as possible to protect her from this trauma.

As a mother I would say your wife should be the primary carer of her baby.

As a CG, I would say "don't gamble with your child's safety"!!!

With the best of intentions the CG aspect of your wife's personality could over rule her intentions to be the best mother in the world!

Ensure your lawyer knows ALL her CG history. You will need documented evidence!

I feel very sad to see what gambling has done to your little family!

All I know is I am very glad my daughter didnt get the disease so far ...she is 25 years old now and she has a somewhat nice boyfriend that she lives with. I hope everything works out for you.

Here is an update on my situation. I have moved again. I moved from my sister's house to my brother's house which is only 2 miles away. He is single and non judgemental and not telling me what to do. Initially I thought my sister would be able to help me with my daughter but now I find her and her husband's suggestions tiresome. I want to divorce my wife. I also don't want any discussion about finding a new partner right now because it is too early. Suddenly I like the feeling of living alone right now. I don't have to be responsible for anyone but myself and my daughter. It is lonely sometimes but also very peaceful.

I will meet with a Psychologist for the first time tomorrow. I hope she can help me to deal with the challenges that I am facing.

I have the ability to check to see how much my wife has lost during the last few weeks with bank account and credit check but I find the urge not as strong as before and I will try not to check them out. I also stopped talking to a friend who is my wife's coworker to see if my wife is still missing work. I think it is pointless and may delay my own recovery. I hope this is a good sign. My Attorney assured me that any loss will be my wife's problem. Luckily, we have no joint account. We will try to sell the house in a couple of months and split up our 401K balances. I am naturally a long term planner and I find myself worry about what my wife will do with the money. I hope she will buy a small condo so my daughter will have a decent and stable place to stay during the weekends. My wife will get about $140K cash [from the home equity] and about $140K in 401K but I worry that she will squander that money. I have no control over it but I worry anyway. I hope I can get let go of these thoughts soon. My uncle told me that I am a frugal person who plans far ahead so I will never be able to make it work with my wife. I think he is correct.

I put my daughter's name into a preschool waitlist for one of the best church based preschool in the area. Luckily, they are expanding the school and my daughter is now scheduled to attend there starting on September 2. I spent an hour there to check the facilities, observe the students and teachers and their interactions and I think it is a wonderful preschool. I visited four preschools and this is by far the best.

Hi Mred, it is good to know that your daughter is OK so far. I read somewhere that children of compulsive gamblers have a 25% chance of inheriting the addiction genes. I hope my daughter doesn't have it.

Velvet, so far I am unable to join your live help session. I hope to make it this week.

Vera, I think I am OK with my wife and her family taking care of my daughter during the weekend. I need a break too. I will have full legal custody. I will ask my attorney whether I could request the judge to ensure that my wife doesn't gamble when she has custody of my daughter and she will not take my daughter to any gambling establishment. I also want the judge to request my wife to go through gambling therapy in order to have the rights to see my daughter during the weekends. Any violation could result in the complete lost of physical custody. My wife has been a wonderful mom so far but like you said she may get worst.

hello james

i need to tell you that from all your posts you are a strong man and mature . You can not unerstand it know but i feel it from all your story the strenght . Keep going james im so proud for you .My hb is a cg and the only thing i know is that our ff recovery needs time .Smile to your daughter and take power from her smile .with all my love ell

Today when I drove my daughter back to her she told me that I should be ready to take care my daughter full time because she is applying within her company to move to an out-of-state location. Her company has many locations throughout the country. The current arrangement is that I have my daughter on the weekends and she has my daughter on weekdays but the arrangement changes in September when my daughter will be with me weekdays and with my wife on weekends.

I believe this is an empty threat. It worked before for her a long time ago. She was in a gambling binge, I confronted her, she threatened to move and I backed down.

Today my replied to her was "OK, I can take care of my daughter full time if that is what you want". I was calm and did not react to her threat. My wife has told my brother's wife that she doesn't think I could take care of my daughter alone. It is certainly hard but I can. However, I don't believe my wife will move away. If she does, I hope she moves to some place that doesn't have casinos.

I met with a therapist for a second time last week. She suggested that my childhood may have something to do with my codependency issue. I grew up my grandparents until 12 while my other sibblings lived with my parents. My grandfather was a family patriarch and he simply liked me and told my mom that I would live with him. My mom didn't have any say. Although my grandfather loved me, my grandmother was cold and mean to me.

My therapist also asked about my wife's background. My wife's father was also a compulsive gambler and caused her family financial troubles. My wife had to work early to support her mom. She moved to the US, worked full time while going to college to send money back to helped her family. She didn't hang out with her college classmates either because she was working fulltime or because she didn't fit in culturally and she was much older than most of them. She didn't start gambling until her whole family moved here. My therapist said that my wife's life burden was hard on her and initially she may have thought a little gambling can be harmless entertainment because she deserves it. My therapist told me that this is not to excuse my wife's gambling problem but something that I should have knowledge of.


My wife turned combative today. Suddenly she wants me to keep my daughter full time. She told me her mom doesn't want to watch my daughter anymore since I want to have main custody. "You want to have custody so bad, why don't you start now? You think it is easy?", she said. She wants me to pick up my daughter now. I told her to give me a few days to find a baby sitter. She was very angry. I don't know where it came from. Perhaps her mom is angry that I am going through with the divorce, it is also possible that my wife makes everything up to put pressure on me. I think she might have been angry at my nonresponsiveness to her threat to move. Frankly, I am not suprise at any of her antics and manipulation now. She is probably very angry. Mentally I am done with her. I am also surprise that I am so calm. Hopefully she doesn't escalate the situation.

I enrolled my daughter into a preschool (M to F) but it won't start until September 2. It is certainly hard to find some place for 6 weeks but I will manage.

What do you think? Is she trying to manipulate me again?

Many thanks,

Hello james

Difficult paths….but you are so strong ..i admire your power.

Well James I think yes she tries to manipulate you ….

She is angry James because she can not handle the situation with you anymore. You stand up and now you are stronger and she is using all her weapons but not her real mind (the addiction speaks)..She tries to make you feel that you cannot manage your daughters protection and you will give up .. And why not beg at the end( don’t forget the addiction speaks) … And her mom is her mom James she will protect her daughter …

Keep going james , you have enough on your plate but one day at a time you will manage the situation .

Im from Greece and I work a lot and I have a girl 2.5 years old . I enrolled my daughter into a preschool but starts on September but we have private playgrounds (pay per hour)and private primary schools and I make the arrangement for 30 days only to keep my baby now the summer .Maybe you have there too .,…I cannot afford private school for all the months but just for one month I can . Maybe that helps you I don’t know..just a suggestion . Here in Greece we pay for month to a private school 300€ euros.

When I learn that my hb is a cg the only thing that I did it is just to protect my daughter like you. I said something cruel to myself … I said: “ well ell find all the solutions and pretend he is dead , protect your daughter like he is dead, and when he will be back again he will find his daughter with no pain inside her. I’m not say to do the same thing I just telling what I did.

As difficult it is of course and you can protect your daughter.

We all here are with you …

With all my love


The reason you are so calm James is because finally the addiction is beginning to leave your mind, and although you still question yourself, deep down you know that the decisions you are making are right for you.

You now accept, although it worries you still that the likelihood is she will gamble all that money and that if she does, then those will be her consequences to live with, they will not be yours.

She however is losing her grip and control, she has lost the ability to make you dance to her tune. The combative behaviour is in my opinion a very well used tool of the addiction - the content of her communication is without a doubt both manipulative and very typical of an addiction scorned. The thing is its no longer working !! and all credit to you for getting to that point, you've certainly been through it just lately. Never forget that this addiction is a first class manipulator, keep that at the forefront of your mind if you do really have to have a conversation.

As for whether she is telling the truth or not? well that's a hard one ! Do compulsive gamblers tell lies ? I think we all know the answer to that one. I found it easier to believe everything was a lie - just think of the pleasant surprise you'll have when you are told the truth one day.

I totally understand your need to be on your own and speaking from experience it can be the best thing going, giving your brain that chance to cool off. A chance to get it all in perspective.

It may not feel like it James, but you are doing this and you are coping well. I think that not only do we develop a distrust of others but also one of ourselves and our own ability to be confident in us.

You may still question yourself for sometime unfortunately, but it does go James, it will end eventually.


Hi James

Anger and the addiction to gamble go hand in hand. An active CG cannot walk away and therefore will always experience loss, leading inevitably toward a feeling of failure, which in turn generates anger. It is possible of course that her mother is angry that you are going through with the divorce but whatever is causing it, there is a lot of anger in the situation and it seems your child is being used as a pawn.

It is good that you are getting support for you, I am sure that is what is helping you to deal more calmly with the chaos around you and long may it continue.

I could not begin to speculate on what is causing your wife to say she wants to give up her child but, while it is so, I am glad that you are making a place of safety for your daughter because she is the saddest outcome of all the problems in your lives.

Breakdowns in relationships where there are children are so difficult James and with your wife’s addiction in the mix it is even harder. Trying to work out whether or not you are being manipulated, or where she is in her addiction, will not help - focus on what is important – and that is you and your child.

You are doing well


As a CG , my guess is James that your wife suddenly realizes you are no longer there to "support" her and sadly she sees the child as an obstacle to her gambling.

CGs don't want to be tied down in any way when we are in the "active phase".

Having responsibility for a baby would seriously "cramp our style".

Ignore her threats. Look on them as "the sting of a dying wasp"! They mean she is feeling trapped. Do what is best for your child and yourself. Odaat!

Thank you Vera, Velvet, Ell and Jenny,

I also notice my recovery. I feel like I am normal again. Although the divorce paperworks and the ocassional arguments with my wife still make it stressful sometimes. My daughter is coping well and I hope this doesn't have lasting impact on her. I still hope her mom stays involve in her life rather than running to another state to live. I am not sure that is the reason for doing that. I checked where she applied and there are a bunch of casinos in that area too.

Yesterday my wife's sister wanted to talk to me so we met at a cafe. She told me that there are two sides to any problem and my wife has been telling her family that I am a bad husband. My wife told her family that she only gambles her own money and that as a husband with a decent salary, I should be able to provide for the family and stop complaining. I told my wife's sister that I rather my wife stays home not working and not gamble. It is not just the money but the lies and the depression and anger that go associate with gambling. My wife also told her family that she wanted to have a $3000 necklace but I didn't buy for her. I explained to her sister that the last time I bought my wife a $2000 bracelet it ended up in the pawnshop a few months later along with the diamond wedding ring. Since then I told my wife that I will not buy jewelry for her again. I think I am far from perfect but I am not the main reason for her gambling. Her family also susggested that since my wife brings home over $3000 a month after taxes why don't I budget $1000/month for my wife so she can gamble freely without hiding and lying. I explained to my sister-in-law that I thought about it already but this plan doesn't work for someone like my wife just like a drug addict can never shoot up a little cocaine and hope to keep it under control.

I think her family doesn't fully understand my wife's problem since they seem to point out that I am the problem. I don't want to explain to them anymore.

Hi James

The short answer is – don’t try and explain to them anymore.

Many people around CGs find denial easer to live with because to accept means facing hard truths.

Unasked for, unconstructive criticism tells you a great deal more about the person doing the criticising. I don’t like the expression ‘there are two sides to everything’ which always seems to be said by someone wanting to score points in the blame game. If there has to be an assessment of the sides then - your wife is a compulsive gambler and you are not. You know that you have been a good husband and therefore there is no need to justify yourself to your wife’s sister.

I know it is hard James to avoid things like your wife’s sister making her observations but she is not central to your life – that position is occupied by you and your daughter. You will probably have more unhelpful things said before everything is sorted out but provided you remain focussed on that which matters you will do ok.

Just a thought James – you posted this as I was running a group, it would have been good to communicate in real time.

Speak soon

Hi Velvet,

Thank you for your understanding and insight. I was a little shocked that they are putting some of the blame on me. I realized that they are my wife's family and naturally defend her when possible. I posted my previous message with my phone during a break from work so I am unable to join your therapy group.

Hi James, I think you came a long way in a very short time and it looks like you are on the right path to create some much needed peace and stability for yourself and your little daughter. Addiction is a family disease and affects everyone. The addict is just the central figure in this and sometimes families have a hard time to understand and accept what is really going on with their loved one. It is so much easier to make excuses, to justify, to rationalize and most of all, find someone to blame instead of looking the ugly truth in the face. When I met my hb 31 yrs ago, he was already a cg. His family knew, I did not. So they could not blame me for his gambling really. But what they DID blame me for was his need for money. He always spent more than we had without telling me since we had separate accounts and never really merged our finances. I had no clue what was going on. Shortly before he went to prison for embezzlement, his sister gave him over 20 K to supposedly pay off a credit card. Never happened of course. Months later I got a nasty phone call from her, telling me that she had given him her savings and only for "my f.....g car and my f...g house" because he wanted to make sure "I get to keep it". How is that for blaming? They ranted and raved about something they had done, not I. Their decision. And I never asked for Disney vacation or new cars, didn't really care for all of it. The car was paid off, he borrowed against it. The house was in foreclosure but it was my fault that THEY kept enabling him. So don't listen to anyone, just to your heart, your gut and your mind. Do what is right for you and your little girl. And btw, the necklace would have ended up in the pawn shop. Next thing you know someone might tell you that she gambled because the weather was bad that day. Hard to blame anyone for that though....I think you are doing a really good job and your daughter is very lucky to have her as a dad :)

I want to update on my current situation. I am adjusting very well to my new life. My daughter is going to preschool and she loves it. I enjoy being a single dad and I found out that I am a very good father. Right now I live so free and happy. Somehow this even has changed my life for the better. I had general anxiety my entirely life and my wife’s gambling problems only made it worst. Currently I am able to focus and live in the present. I don’t spend excessive amounts of time worrying about the future any more. Not that I didn’t have moments of happiness in my life previously but now 95% of the time, I am so happy, calm and relaxed at home, at work and in social situations. I always admired people who are cool and composed. I think I am one of them now and I move through life with ease. I used to stress out worrying how people think of me but that somehow magically disappeared. Being alone also stressed me out but I don’t feel lonely anymore. I am satisfied with my life right now and I don’t need another person to make me feel happy. I think it is the combination of reading self-help books, going to therapy, joining Toastmasters and practicing yoga and meditation has helped me. I now have learned to enjoy life, being positive, and believe that I am entirely in control of my own happiness. I don’t blame my wife for making my life miserable any more. It was my decision to stay with her and now it is my decision to end my relationship with her. Before if someone cut me off on the road, I would be angry and curse. Now if someone cut me off on the road, I would tell myself “that person probably has an emergency” and whether that is true or not it keeps me from getting angry. The realization that I am responsible for my own happiness has changed everything. I am having much better relationships with people around me. I focus on the positive qualities in people now and that makes me a friendlier person. I realize that when I am happy, it is hard to hate people. I used to hate a few colleagues who were jealous of my professional success but I now feel sorry for them because I know they hatred came from their own insecurities and unhappiness. I am able to reduce the tension between us and when I don’t hate them anymore, I think they also recognize it. We can’t hide our disdain for people no matter how hard we try to fake it.

I want to share my success story with you and hopefully help you to overcome your problems like I did. Sometimes in the midst of codependency, we don’t see a way out but happiness is possible if we take responsibility for our own happiness and believe that we deserve to live an anxiety free life. Good luck to you all and thank you every body for helping me.

Well done James and thank you so much for sharing. Codependency sucks and to see you have come out the other side is truly wonderful. Take care and good luck to you and your daughter. She will appreciate the break you made in years to come. Best wishes San x

Fantastic news !!

Hello James. That is a wonderful post. I am so glad you have been able to come to a decision and that you are doing well in your new life. No doubt, you will have your struggles along the way, as we all do, but you have found the resources within you to live in a peaceful way with a generous spirit towards others. That is worth so much and is a good foundation for a meaningful life with your little girl.

Thank you for sharing this.


Hi James

Two things stand out in your post for me – one is that you are living free and happy and the other is that youI don’t blame your wife for making your life miserable any more.

It is my belief that to truly move on in freedom and with happiness, it is important to leave blame and guilt behind. You have obviously worked so hard on yourself – the only person you could change - and what an amazing job you have done.

Your post reflects a man in control of his own life and what’s more - he knows it – your daughter will benefit from having such a terrific role model in her Dad. I wish you both well.

I am sure other who read your post in the future will gain from your words. I am glad you took the time to return and write such a positive message.

Thank you


Hi again everyone,

I want to give an update to my situation. The divorce was finally completed last month after many delays. My daughter is doing well and love going to her preschool. She spends two weekends per month with her mom. My ex still goes to the casino regularly and sadly she takes my daughter there to have dinner at the buffet sometimes. Most of her friends hang out around the casino. Legally I have no right to prevent her from doing it. I told my ex to leave my daughter with grandma (her mom) if she wants to have dinner there. She agreed but I know she still take my daughter to the casino for buffet dinner. I worry that she may forget about my daughter one day. I told my ex that if she is busy, I am OK with taking care of my daughter. She took the offer immediately, my daughter supposed to be with her during this July 4 holiday weekend but I am with my daughter now. I need a break sometimes, but am OK with that.

Besides this, my life is going very well. I have a girlfriend. She is single, never married and 10 years younger than me. We have many similarities and common interests and we are getting serious. I am dealing with some trust issues but my girlfriend is extremely patient and she understands about my situation and what I have gone through. I received another promotion at work and financially I am secured. Overall I am happy with my life. I know that I made the right decision for me and my daughter.

Many thanks for reading and for your advice. I hope my story gives some of you hope. I have learned so much during the last year and mentally I am much stronger.


Dear James

The forum gains so much when members return with updates that prove that life, when the shadow of the addiction to gamble has been lifted, is good.

Of course the best outcome for members must be the control of the addiction but sadly it will not always be so, however, I hope one day your ex-wife appreciates the effort you made to maintain a good relationship for her with her daughter. In my opinion, she should not be taking your daughter into casinos and maybe that is something you need to keep your eye on with her grandma’s help. Hopefully she will make better choices in the future.

It is not surprising that you have trust issues with your new girlfriend but it is important to remember that your wife did not choose her addiction and did not deliberately hurt you; you were both the victims of a terrible addiction and as such it is very important not to let it spoil any more of your life. Use the experience and turn it into something really good and positive.

I wish you, your daughter and your new girlfriend every happiness, you deserve it. Thank you for returning and updating