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Whether you were aware of your partner’s excessive gambling, or not, you are not stupid. He has an addiction that he neither asked for, nor wanted but which thrives on secrecy due to a blinkered belief that given time it will be ok. Unfortunately what he would not have aware of is that his addiction would get worse if it wasn’t treated.
I cannot tell you what to do because all decisions must be yours but informed decisions, in my opinion, lead to better outcomes. Separating might not give you the answer you want so please be sure you know that what you are doing is right for you and is what you really want.
50 is a good age to reflect on any damage that has gone before and to commit to a better future. Many compulsive gamblers have unresolved problems in their lives, so I hope he will use this counselling opportunity to deal with things that are possibly affecting his behaviour in a negative way.
Is his counsellor ‘addiction aware’ because in my view your partner needs specialist care and understanding?
Children do pick up on tension but maybe now that you are both gaining knowledge of his addiction it will be easier for you to talk – fighting and arguments do not help to deal with this addiction.
Well done writing your first post, I hope you will keep posting and that you will know that you are understood here. I wouldn’t be writing to you if I didn’t know that his addiction can be controlled and an amazing life lived as a result.
He was betrayed when he first gambled for fun, as most of us have done at some time or another, he didn’t know that for him addiction was to be his lot. His addiction has caused you to feel betrayal but it can be controlled. Don’t give up hope.