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    Thank you all for posting your issues and stories. It is very helpful to read. My quick story is that I am a mother of 4 children and a doctor. My husband is also a doctor. He is an alcoholic who has been in recovery for 3 years. He attends AA and has been doing very well. However, he is now gambling for the last 4 months. I consider this to be a dry relapse. He says he knows this is a problem but he continues to gamble. It is not excessive and only small amounts but he covers his tracks and gambles even when he knw it is hurting the family. About one week ago I did something dramatic for me. I moved our joint money to a separate account and put my direct deposit into that account.. Of course his money is still going into the joint account and I have no control over that . He recently found out and is livid. He does not see this as empowering for me but rather as vindictive and hurtful. On reflection I am no more secure than when our money was joined because the household relies on his income as well as mine. He wants this situation reversed and I guess I am reaching out for support. Did I do the right thing for our family? He wants to talk tonight and I am not sure what to say. He can get very angry and often turns conversations on me. I know this is the addiction but it still makes it difficulty to get thinsk answered. Thanks for listening.


    Hello Beth

    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 Beth

    Any amount gambled, excessive or not, is a lapse with a gambling addiction, just as one small drink is a lapse to an alcoholic. Your husband’s anger sounds to me to be a diversionary tactic to put you off saying what you are feeling – he doesn’t want to listen, so he is drowning you out.

    Many gamblers feel they are being punished when a spouse takes over the finances but many more gamblers, who want to live gamble-free, welcome the support of having their family’s finances protected while they fight their demons. Your husband’s reaction seems to reflect his lack of true acceptance of his latest problem. You have already been through enough, I am sure, with his alcoholism and you therefore, understandably, want to nip this new possible addiction in the bud.

    In my opinion, it would be good to tell your husband that you have sought support for yourself because you are confused by what is happening. I think it would be beneficial to ask him to ask his AA group if they think that it is unreasonable, vindictive and hurtful for you to take over the finances while he is gambling. It is exceedingly unlikely that anyone will agree. Many gamblers do not have anyone willing to support them by handling the finances and would welcome the help you are offering.

    Maybe you could open an account in your name, for your own direct deposits and let him know that you are trying to support him by doing this. I appreciate that the household depends on his income as well as yours but hopefully this would give you a small safety net, to fall back on, in the immediate future. If he could hopefully, accept that he is teetering on the edge of another crippling addiction, rather than just paying lip service, when he says he knows he has a problem, his eyes might be opened. AA groups are aware of the dangers facing your husband and will have heard of other members dabbling with another addiction; I know this site is very aware of the danger.

    I doubt you will make may inroads into his mind whilst he is actively displaying such anger but maybe you could calm the situation by asking him to help you understand what his group thinks you should do to support him. This is a site for gambling addiction, we have an amazing Helpline who would listen to him and understand him if he would like talk through his problem. It is one-to-one and anonymous so it can be argued that he has nothing to lose and everything to gain. We also have excellent groups on Mondays and Thursdays, facilitated by Charles, who lives happily in control of his gambling addiction.

    I know this is all very painful for your husband and I also know it is unlikely that your husband will/or can appreciate how much this latest twist must be hurting you – a gambling addiction, like alcoholism, closes the addicts ears whilst logic and reason fly out of the window. It is so important that you look after your own health by having time for the things that give ‘you’ pleasure. Try and avoid arguments that have no purpose other than seeking to blame you and unnerve you – you are not to blame for your husband’s gambling.

    I know that your husband can control his alcoholism and his gambling, or I wouldn’t be writing to you. Trust in yourself and do what you know is right for you.

    Please believe me when I say that you are stronger than his addictions.  I hope you will post again



    That is all so insightful. Reading many posts helped me talk with my gambler. It went pretty well in that he agreed to at least deposit funds for bills in my account directly. You are absolutely correct in that he does not see this as a problem. Intellectually he acknowledges it is an addiction but he still feels it is controllable.  The next day after we talked he gambled $500 without blinking an eye. 

    Truth be told is that I am tired. I am tired of being the only one keeping my family afloat. It is very lonely and exhausting. I really do fear for what is coming. At least I have friends and my family who support me. 

    Again your words to me as well as many of the other posts were wonderful. I plan on continuing to be engaged on this forum. 


    Hi Beth
    I am wondering if, although he gambled $500, seemingly without batting an eye, whether he then lost that $500 in which case his belief in his ability to control himself will hopefully have taken another knock.
    Your husband accepted he has an alcoholic addiction 3 years ago but it now appears that he has sleep walked into another addiction. This is not an unknown situation on this site and will not be an unknown situation for others in your husband’s AA group, maybe you could ask him to discuss your concerns with his fellow members – even if he will not admit to himself, or them, that he is concerned. The fact that he intellectually accepts that his gambling is addictive gives rise to hope. He probably fought against accepting his alcoholism for some time before he was ready to face it and take the necessary steps to control it.
    If it was easy for a person to accept an addiction and deal with it Beth, I wouldn’t he here. I suspect your husband understands more than you think but understanding and doing something about it takes strength and maybe your husband lacks that strength ‘at the moment’.
    I can feel your loneliness and I really do understand. I hope you will keep posting and hopefully between the lines you will find the strength to keep your family, not just afloat but sailing towards calmer waters.
    I am relieved that you have friends and family who are supportive towards you – are they aware of your concern?
    Fear of the unknown is crippling, please keep looking after yourself and doing things and seeing people that please you.
    Please keep posting


    Hello Everyone,

    How do you know if you are addicted? I have always been a card player, like the casino’s ect. I have online gambled for years. Do I spent a lot of money, yes but feel it is my entertainment. My bills are paid, I don’t borrow money, I have groceries etc. I just don’t save any extras. I got married a few years ago (second marriage) and my husband is livid with me. He grew up with a mother that has an addiction to gambling and I get it, it scares him. I feel sad when I gamble because I know it hurts him and so now, I do not tell him. I want to tell him but he just blows up. I get defensive and say, I don’t smoke, I don’t drink, I rarely go anywhere this is my only entertainment and then he says that is an excuse an addict would give. Lately I have played a lot more since I have been stuck at home. When I am bored and stuck at home alone is when I find myself doing it more. When I am out, on vacation, it doesn’t cross my mind. I do it out of boredom. His mom says that is addiction. So then I say to myself okay I have an addiction how do I stop playing, I don’t know what to do to fill my time. I grew up only knowing sports and now that I am 53, sports and my body don’t go well together. I was playing online games with friends (wow, rift) a lot quit and I didn’t want to start up again. I started teaching at a new job and so for the past two years I have been working a lot building my course. I feel at the end of the day, I am treating myself but my husband sees it differently. It has caused such a riff that if I don’t stop I will be divorced. So maybe I am addicted if I have to ask how to stop. I am lost as to what to do with my boredom.


    Hi Cindy
    I feel that the fact that you have to ask, whether or not you have an addiction, suggests that you already know you have a problem but that you would like this forum to disagree with you.
    It is difficult to give you the support that you need on someone else’s thread so please start you own thread. Maybe you could cut and paste the post you have written which, I would imagine, was very difficult for you to write.
    There is loads of support for you on this site Cindy – we have a terrific Helpline where you can communicate one-to-one, we have facilitated groups and of course the forums. Everything is anonymous and you will be welcome.
    I am writing to you because I know that you can re-take control of your life so please make contact again.
    I will leave this reply to you with one of my favourite quotes: You may never know what results come from your actions but if you do nothing there will be no results – Mahatma Gandi
    Speak again soon


    I’ve been in a relationship with a man for just over a year. I have supported him with a lot I actually really loved him. In a single parent and he was amazing. I have a god career and my own home and he never took a thing from me.
    n But he is a compulsive liar. Is this a common trait? It is not always directly related to gambling-that’s the thing. I found out a few weeks ago the severity of his problem. It’s literally all his money every month. He has stolen in the past. Yesterday I found £20 deposited into his account. He said it was owed to him. After lots of communication he admitted he has asked this person for the money. I have ended the relationship I can’t take any more. But I just feel the long road of recovery ahead for myself. Has anybody else felt like this? Is there anything left I can do to help him?


    Hi Mumbles
    nPlease start your own thread so that you can have replies that are unique to you. it is not fair to try and support you on another member’s thread.
    nif you scroll to the bottom of the page and click on ‘new topic’, you can give your own thread a title, write your post in the box, click and send. You will then receive support that is just for you

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