Well done writing, what must have been, a difficult first post.
I cannot tell you what to do because it is important that you make your own decisions. I hope that by posting and reading on here you will learn to make decisions that are right for you and ultimately right for your husband.
There is no need for you to feel embarrassed about your husband’s problem, he did not ask for, or want to be, obsessed with gambling. I’m sure there is nothing he would want more than to be able to gamble responsibly but he cannot. Maybe it is just as well that his friends know that he has a problem and hopefully they will stop lending him money – every time they give him ‘a loan’ they are feeding his addiction. Likewise clearing his gambling debts takes away his responsibility, giving him a green light to continue gambling in the belief that someone else will pick up the mess.
Does your husband recognise that he has a problem? Angry conversations change nothing but maybe you could open up a conversation with him, calmly letting him know that you have had to seek support for yourself and that you know there is help for him if he accepts he has a problem with gambling. You could possibly tell him that you are willing to support him if he seeks help and ask him to help you understand how he feels. It is very important to listen, rather than talk to a gambler – your husband will believe that nobody can understand how he feels.
Your husband will almost certainly be struggling with confidence. The nature of the addiction to gamble is that the gambler cannot win, he will always lose. Your husband will, therefore, probably be feeling failure and a constant feeling of failure erodes self-esteem.
Your husband can learn to live gamble-free; it isn’t easy and it takes great courage but it is important that he knows where support can be found. Maybe he could look at this site and join our gambler-only group, it is facilitated by Charles who understands your husband, he will welcome him and support him as you and I cannot. There is also GA (gamblers anonymous) – and in the UK we have a rehab programme called Gordon Moody, that I believe is second to none.
Information on the rehab and the facilities this site offers, can be found on our Helpline and in our forums and groups.
It is very important that you look after yourself, it is very easy to lose your sleep and your health worrying about a loved one’s gambling habit. Worrying will change nothing. Protect your finances and pin numbers. Keep up with your hobbies and interests, your friends and family. If you can share with your family or friends then do so but tell whoever you share with that you are seeking help and you don’t need opinions.
Please keep posting, you are being heard and understood.