27 November 2019 at 1:49 am #6985gdavansoParticipant
My husband is addicted to gambling in all forms: casino, online, sports, scratch offs, etc etc.
I first noticed about 2 years ago when he asked me for my credit card and started cashing out money and he would never pay me back. He did that with 2 of my credit cards, one accumulated about $2,8k and the other one over $10k. It was my mistake to trust him, but I did. After that things got worse, he lost 2 jobs, started going to casinos during the night (literally sneaking out) and so on. He didnt have enough money to pay his half of the rent a few times and had to ask his friends, he doesnt have any money saved and my savings are reduced to nothing. We have thousands and thousands of debts in credit card, his score is basically non-existent, we have debts from tolls, medical bills and etc etc, mind you he is only 28 years-old. The last few weeks he managed to lose 8k online. He has 2 jobs, and still he cant stop gambling all his money and time away. He tried online therapy and it didnt help much in the past, we went to a meeting few years ago and didnt like it either. He thinks it’s ok to bet on sports and this and that, and because his friends do that, he think he can do too. But his friends are in much better financial positions and they dont have such addition. I am losing my hope, we cant even talk about having a dog, because we would not be able to afford it. His car was taken in the past because he would not pay the bills for months. I now have access to his paychecks, but only part of it. The other part he was supposed to pay for his car, and again, he is gambling that money plus all the money that he makes from the 2nd job. He said he thinks he already lost about $100k in the past 10 years. I am desperate, I would love to get back on our feet, think about a house, kids, pets, savings. But we cant, debts are draining us, physically and mentally. We are still young but we need to get somehow help for him, because I also dont see myself waiting another 20 years to see if things gwt better. I cant risk my life or my kids life in the future. I became paranoid and an unhappy person, I dont have energy, I lost my smile and my pleasure in life.
I am constantly “babysitting” him and it is exhausting. My parents live in a different country and I havent seen them for almost 4 years, because we never have money for it and it is sad to have to tell them over and over “we cant home now but maybe next year”. My husband has a brilliant mind, he is very smart, great with math, people, big heart, but this addiction is killing him, us, family. When he is “sober” he understands all that, and he is focused in changing, but few hours later he is back into the gambling. I bring home the biggest % of money, but I cant cover all his debts and yet live a normal life. At this point we both need help. Mind you we have debts in 4 credit cards plus other things like collections and etc. I dont know how to help him or even if he can be helped. I appreciate any leads, advices, etc.27 November 2019 at 9:08 am #6986duncParticipant
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.
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The Gambling Therapy Team27 November 2019 at 3:29 pm #6987velvetModerator
Your husband ‘can’ be helped but sadly only if he wants to be helped and he can only be helped when he accepts that he has a serious problem.
The one person ‘you’ can save is you and in my opinion that is the best way forward for you and for him too.
His addiction is sapping your energy and pulling you down and when it has pulled you all the way down you will not be able to help either of you. I believe it is time to stop babysitting him because he is not a baby and he possibly needs to be allowed to hurt a bit before he accepts he has to grow up.
I think it is important that you keep your finances in your name and that he has no access at all to your cards or your cash. Protect your pin numbers and tell him that you will no longer enable him for his own sake. Maybe it would be a good idea to let him know that you have sought help because you are taking his problem seriously, even if he will not. I am sure he can turn on the most amazing charm to get you to bail him out but every time you enable, you are feeding an insatiable addiction.
I do not doubt that your husband has a brilliant mind, that he is smart and great with maths but unfortunately none of these attributes have curbed his addiction. Compulsive gamblers are often wonderful and great with people which is how they get enablement.
Once a gambler’s gambling debts are cleared there is no incentive for him to stop – it is hard, I know but unless you stop enabling him this sorry state of affairs will continue.
A compulsive gambler cannot walk away from the ‘gamble’ and that is the nature of the beast. Your husband is young and possibly still believes that he will ‘win’ but it will not happen? The addiction has nothing to do with money, a gambler only sees money as a tool to indulge his passion, whether it is a cent or $1,000,000. Friends and family find it hard to understand because they understand the value of money but a gambler wants to ‘gamble’, nothing else. It doesn’t matter how many of his friends can gamble, your husband cannot win if he does.
I suggest he has not focused on changing yet – he has still not accepted responsibility for his own behaviour and sadly, while you protect him and take responsibility for him, he has no reason to change.
This message is tough and I hope you will keep posting because I believe you need someone to listen to you who understands how difficult this is. We have a brilliant Helpline which is available for you and your husband. It is one-to-one and anonymous. It would be great to ‘meet’ you in an F&F group where we can communicate in real time, nothing said in the group appears on the forum and it is private.
I have known many men like your husband, many of whom have accepted their addiction and turned their lives around so I know it can be done. It isn’t easy, it takes tremendous determination and courage but is so much easier with good support.
It is really important that you enjoy your life so please keep up with friendships, family, hobbies and interests – don’t let your husband’s addiction control your life.
I will finish this first reply with my favourite quote ‘You may never know what results come from your actions but if you do nothing there will be no results – Mahatma Gandi
Please post again
Velvet4 March 2020 at 7:43 am #6988nehasibalParticipant
Thanks for sharing all your views!
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