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Hello Anon

You are not a fool, if your partner did not want you to know that he was still gambling then he would have been very careful to keep the truth from you. The addiction to gamble is often cloaked in secrecy and is not always easy to see.

It is so important that you look after yourself, I am concerned that you feel broken. Your partner did not ask for or want his addiction but sadly he is a gambler who is not in control of his own life at the moment. He can learn to control his addiction and live a wonderful gamble-free life but he has to want to. If he wants to stop gambling then there is a lot of support for him, he is not alone. Does he accept that he needs help and does he say that he wants to stop gambling?

I have no doubt that your partner is a good person but sadly his addiction is blinding him to your pain, however, I am sure that you partner does feel pain too. The nature of a gambling addiction means that he cannot walk away when he is losing which is demoralising for him and causes constant feelings of failure. Your partner almost certainly lacks confidence and his self-esteem probably flew out of the window a long time ago with his money.

I cannot tell you that the right thing is to stay or to leave, neither is easy – but I do believe that knowledge of what is hurting you will help you to make the right decisions for you.
I think it is great that you have three close friends to support you and I’m sorry that you have kept your problem all to yourself over the years. I know that friends and family often do not understand and their advice can be unhelpful. The common ‘advice’ is ‘just leave him’ but that is not an answer that helps. Maybe you could say that your partner is a compulsive gambler and you are getting support but you would like to share what is worrying you, maybe they have similar worries.

I hope you will keep posting and maybe between us we can see the way forward for you. It is important to know what it is that ‘you’ really want.

If you don’t agree with me over anything then just say, I know what it is like to love a compulsive gambler and be confused about the future.