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    Hi all,

    I haven’t posted in a while as I thought things were turning around for us (my oh is a CG). Turns out I was very wrong. My oh has been gambling for years and it feels like we are in a cycle that won’t break.

    He gambles all his money > I find out > I get upset > he gets upset and promises it won’t happen again > closes accounts > doesn’t gamble for a few months > then we at back to the beginning of the cycle again.

    His bank statement came through the post yesterday and I decided to check it, 1000’s gambled away, obviously winnings plus his wages. The only difference this time is that I am not blood boiling angry, I’m not disappointed, I feel pretty numb to it actually – which is a first. Has this happened to anyone else? I don’t know who else to talk to and I can’t get to any meetings.

    We have had the same conversations over and over again – I have separated our money and I do not give him money. He did send me his wages a few times but this stopped. He knows he has a problem, but he refuses to go to any meetings.

    I’m just tired I guess and needed to write this down. It’s nice to hear from people who knows what going through this is like without ranting at me. I’m in two minds at the moment, I really don’t want to lose him but I don’t want me and the kids to spend the rest of our lives in debt and never have the money. I know no one can give me an answer but it would be nice just to talk to someone.



    Hello Hannah

    Thanks for starting a thread in the Gambling Therapy friends and family forum. This forum will provide you with warmth and understanding from your peers.

    Feel free to use the friends and family group, you’ll find the times for these if you click on the “Group times” box on our Home page

    Read about the friends and Family Online Groups

    Now that you have introduced yourself you’ll find that many of the people you meet here have already read your initial introduction and they’ll welcome you in like an old friend 🙂

    If you’re the friend or family member of someone who is either in, or has been through, the GMA residential programme please take extra care to make sure that nothing you say in groups, or on our forums, inadvertently identifies that person. Even if your loved one isn’t connected with GMA, please don’t identify them either directly or indirectly just in case they decide to use the site themselves.

    You’ll find a lot of advice on this site, some of which you’ll follow, some you won’t…but that’s ok because only you fully understand your situation and what’s best for you and the people you love. So, take the support you need and leave the advice you don’t because it all comes from a caring, nurturing place 🙂

    We look forward to hearing all about you!

    Take care

    The Gambling Therapy Team

    PS: Let me just remind you to take a look at our privacy policy and terms and conditions so you know how it all works!


    Hi Hannah
    In my opinion, numbness is a defence mechanism that kicks in when one hits rock bottom and there doesn’t seem to be an emotion left that adequately covers your feelings.
    I am so pleased that you have written your post, I think it must have been hard for you to do it but I do believe that writing things down helps to clear ones brain.
    Many compulsive gamblers don’t want to go to GA – they know that once they go they will hear things they don’t want to hear and maybe have to act in a way which they don’t feel ready to do. I suggest your husband could be afraid of trying to fight his addiction and failing – if he doesn’t enter the fight, he can’t fail. Many CGs are just afraid of entering a room of people with the compulsion to gamble when they are still denying that they own such a problem. Whatever the reason, however, we do have a Helpline on this site that is completely anonymous – your husband would be welcome to use it if he wanted to push his concerns around without commitment or judgement. The Helpline is there for you too.
    Maybe you could download the Gamblers anonymous 20-questions from their website and show them to him – maybe he doesn’t realise his problem is a recognised addiction and that there is support for him. Maybe you could tell him that you are seeking support for yourself because you are taking his behaviour seriously.
    Whatever you decide Hannah, please keep posting and I will reply to you. It would be great to ‘see’ you in a group.
    I can’t give you answers but I can support you as you find your own – and you will


    Thank you for your reply Velvet.

    To be honest I believe my mum put him off of attending these types of groups as she is a recovering Alcoholic and attends AA regularly. I won’t lie and say I haven’t tried to get him to attend meetings, it’s hard for me as he works until 10pm and I have no sitter and I’m at work during the day. He freely admits he has a problem, he just blames it on the football season, but this I know is a lie – he’s been betting on the casino site too.

    It’s hard at the moment – there is a big rift in our house and I have no idea how to fix it. I can’t really talk to him at the moment as I honestly don’t know what to say. What can I say that I haven’t said before? What can he promise and do that he hasn’t said and done before? Just more doubts.

    He did apologise and assured me that he loved me this morning, which I accepted, but I can’t help the feeling that he’s only sorry that he’s been caught out again. I then decided to look at his phone banking, bad but necessary, and found that his friend sent him £1000 ‘sigh’. More money to pay back so he can’t help me with the debts from before.

    I’m tired and I didn’t sleep well, I literally fell asleep at my desk at work, only just nodded off for a couple of seconds, but still. He’s told me to take his money every month, which we have done previously but it didn’t stick (probably my fault as I did not keep my foot down).

    Still no signs of anger, it’s laughable really. I think back about all the times I’ve hit the roof after finding out about his slip ups and I just can’t find that emotion. Maybe I have hit that rock bottom.

    I probably sound really cold in these posts but I do love him, I just hate what gambling is doing to us. Every time I keep saying one more chance, just one more. As I said previously, we are stuck in this messy cycle.

    Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts and I’m sorry for the long post.


    Hi Hannah

    Rifts can develop without you knowing how they occurred but the addiction to gamble is divisive – a rift is something that can be put to good use subconsciously by a gambler.

    Rifts, silences, an air of constant disappointment hanging in the air, and an inability to communicate give the addiction an excuse to gamble – after all it is the preferred escape route for a CG.

    We often talk on this site about doing something different – but it hard to think of alternatives. Maybe you could see a different way forward with the following – many of us have used this method at the start of our recoveries and found it helped us cope.

    If you can, imagine your husband’s addiction as a beast in the corner of the room watching your actions and speech. When you try and talk about his addiction the addictive beast will be wide awake and ready to defend itself at all costs. It is manipulative and favours rifts and confusion so that it can indulge itself.

    Your husband is controlled by the beast but you are not. It will have convinced your husband that he is a worthless failure with no hope and he will be feeling lost and afraid – his coping mechanism is to demoralise you with blame, excuses and deceit. You, on the other hand are stronger than his addiction and you can make a difference.

    I think F&F waste energy and time wanting to believe that what the CG is saying might be the truth – I think that it is better to listen to the CG without getting involved which removes you from the eye of the storm. I think you were completely right when you decided that your husband was feeling sorry that he had been caught and not sorry that he had gambled. It is something you have learned and is something to put with all the other experiences that ultimately will give you your answer.

    The way you are feeling at the moment probably makes it easier to avoid arguments but of course the disappointment is still hanging heavily between  you; the beast is wide awake and your husband will not see how to change things – gambling is his only answer!

    Do you have happy times together or is gambling marring every corner of your life? Your husband admits he has a problem which is a small gap in the door but just how to kick it open? Do you help him clear his debts; will you try and pacify his friend who will want his money back? Is it possible to tell his friend that your husband has a problem? Do you have supportive family and friends?

    You certainly don’t sound cold – you sound at the bottom of the abyss and you want out of it. It is at times like this that I believe the best decisions can be made – it was the abyss that forced my CG to look at his life and do something about it.

    Are your children at an age where they can understand what is happening?

    This site is not GA Hannah, many people don’t take to the idea of GA but prefer this site.   There is a lot of support for someone who admits they have a problem. My CG kicked his addiction into touch with the GMA programme, which is a brilliant rehab. Although it takes time out of life it works and offers a gamble-free future for those who embrace it. There are also dedicated counselors.

    Maybe I am not reading between the lines properly but it seems to me that your husband has not been hurt enough by his behaviour – you have been hurt enough to seek help but your husband is still getting enablement from a friend who sadly should have know better than to lend him money.

    Keep posting Hannah – it would be great if you could make a group



    Hi Hannah,

    You asked if anyone else felt a numbness after countless times of getting upset, and I definitely can relate! I also relate to your cycle, except my boyfriend only stops for a few days or weeks, instead of months.
    I’m really glad you decided to write. I wrote almost two months ago, and since then I’ve just been reading other posts. It opens old wounds but you actually learn a lot from not just the post, but all the comments! It has helped me tremendously, and I hope it helps you.
    One thing I learned is that going through a CG’s personal belongings will always have a negative consequence – A) You find something and get upset or B) You don’t find anything and think the CG is gambling anyways. I learned that him coming to me and admitting he gambled, instead of me calling him out, is when he will take full responsibility for his addiction. It’s really tough to wait it out, and I’m sure you get that gut feeling when something is off, but that is when change occurs.
    I wish you the best.



    Hi Hannah
    It would be great to get an up date
    You are in my thoughts


    Hi all,

    I would like to thank you for all the time you’ve all spent reading and writing replies. To be honest I think I just went through a denial stage again by putting it behind us. I now know that this was wrong.

    To answer a questions that was raised, we do have happy times. But he spends far too much time on his phone, which I’ve pointed out to him.

    But I’ve noticed now that he has a short temper with our children, snapping at them for acting like kids. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t allow it and put my foot down with his temper. He’s never hit them (if your wondering).

    I don’t really have a lot of family I can talk to, my mum is fighting her own demons, but I do have a good friend. She knows what is going on and she talks through stuff with me. It’s just so hard explaining what i’m feeling.

    He’s been gambling again for just over a month again and I had no inkling this time. I felt as though I should have noticed but I didn’t see the signs. He was doing so well!

    We were on our way to the shops yesterday and he told me that he had been stupid again. I instantly knew he had been gambling then. Again I didn’t feel angry or disappointed. In a sick way I felt like laughing! Who does that? I didn’t shout, moan or berate him. I left it alone. I paid for the food shop (obviously) as he has gambled everything.

    We got home and I decided to look through his banking app and could see that he was overdrawn. He just stood over me as I looked through his phone. This raised major alarm bells for me. I feel as though he’s maybe hiding more. I put his phone down and asked for his log in details and he asked me ‘why’

    He says sorry and keeps hunching over but I don’t feel sorry for him. I know from reading other posts that we should try and be supportive and help them through tough times, I feel horrible writing this but I need to be honest, but I’ve been supportive and I don’t think it’s enough. Do CG’s always relapse?

    He won’t seek help and I honestly don’t know what my next move is. I slept on the sofa last night and wondered what mine and the kids life would be like in 10 years time. Will we still be in debt? Will we ever have a family holiday? I know money is not everything, but I have always wanted to take the kids away but have never been able to afford it.

    I don’t know how I’m going to pay for everything again. I feel stuck. He’s doing some overtime today and I don’t know what I’m going to say to him when he gets home. I can’t keep sweeping this under the rug. I know everyone will advise that I should get him to seek help, but I know he won’t.

    I think he resents me sometimes for saying no to giving him money to pay his bills. It hurt when he called me ‘tight’ for wanting to keep what little money I had in my account for emergencies. I see the looks he gives me.

    I’ve switched on my notifications now so I will know when you respond.

    Thank you for taking the time to read my update.

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