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Hi Hanihan
I would never suggest that you leave or stay with your partner although I understand why friends and family would tell you to run a mile, they feel helpless – but of course love is not so easily discarded. I cannot tell you what to do but I know that the more information you have about his addiction the easier it will be for you to cope and make the right decisions for you.
I also know that you partner can control his addiction which is why I am here writing to you now.
The addiction to gamble is not about money. To a gambler money is a tool – a means to an end – it is necessary for the goal, and the goal is solely the ‘gamble’.
Whenever a gambler is bailed, out the addiction is fed. Every penny given to a compulsive gambler is the same as giving a drink to an alcoholic. Every time a gambler is bailed out, it merely gives him a clean slate; he needn’t worry about that debt anymore, the way to the next ‘gamble’ is clear.
I am not surprised that you are feeling really let down by your partner leaving you with his children while he goes to gamble but sadly I am not surprised to hear it. You feel that he has crossed a line and maybe it is time for you to think what you can do that is different this time – I think you have already made a good start by posting here.
Does he say he ‘wants to stop gambling – it is possible that he has ‘tried’ various forms of counselling but has not listened – he has to ‘want’ to do it for himself. We have a terrific Helpline on this site and gambler groups that would willingly support him – it is all anonymous. GMA is an amazing rehab – details of which can be got from our Helpline and from the section on our forum page for GMA residential treatment, Q&A.
I hope you will join me in the F&F group this week where we can ‘talk’ in real time so that we can get to know each other better.
In the meantime, I will leave this first reply here and await your reply.