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    My family found out about my fiances gambling addiction and completely flipped out. They are going about to ruin his life even further unless I left him so I spoke with my partner and I moved back with my family.
    I want to be with him so badly. Firstly he’s turned a massive corner….he’s opened up and told everyone even work that he has an addiction. He’s going to ga meetings and handed over finances.. we are still talking all time and meeting in secret so my family don’t find out.
    I feel though that he is making such an effort to overcome the addiction and I want to be there for him. I want to move back in with him now and think about future together….if he relapses that is something we will deal with.
    I always protect myself financIally and never allow him to drag me down when he’s wrapped in the gambling. I’m worried how my family will take it when I tell them I’m moving back to him….no matter how much I sit them down and talk they just can’t understand the addiction and refuse to accept it.
    What am I to do? I have to be with my partner…..Nothing feels right since I left him and I was so happy with him.



    Hello Blue Jaffa

    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. 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 Blue Jaffa
    You certainly are in a quandary and I hope that by coming here you will find your way to make the decision that is right for you.
    I imagine from what you say that your family were about to expose your fiancé for indiscretions, possibly even theft – but your fiancé is thwarting such exposure by coming clean to everyone he works with and that is a great step in the right direction – has he come clean with his family and friends?
    When you speak of your family, are you talking about your parents only or are siblings and other relatives also not listening to what is important to you? Do you have any allies and/or friends that you can talk to and who are willing to listen without judging?
    Your fiancé did what millions of others do – at one time he gambled for fun. What he didn’t know was that addiction was waiting for him and he was probably too far in before he realised he had a problem. I have played cards for pennies with friends, I have done the lottery, I have been to horse racing and dog racing but for reason unknown to me, I do not have an addiction to gamble, unlike the CG (compulsive gambler) in my life. There is nothing that CGs would like more than to place a bet and walk away whether they have won or lost.
    It is so much harder for a CG to change their life when they do not have the right support. By ‘right support’ I mean someone who will not enable under any circumstances, who will not pay off gambling debts but most importantly someone who will listen rather than talk at the person with the problem.
    I suspect that your near future will be fraught with difficulties – if you do as your family demands you lose your right to be happy with the man you love, if you go to the man you love you could lose your family.
    It seems to me there is no easy way for you at the moment and I am hoping you can keep your family and your fiancé. I cannot tell you what to do BJ; I am of the opinion that if you can wait awhile with things as they are and let your fiancé continue with his determination to control his addiction, while you learn more about his addiction, you will both be able to demolish any unwarranted criticism. I suggest, in the meantime, you keep writing on here and hopefully pop in to the Friends and Family group on Thursday between 20.00-21.00 hours UK time where we can talk privately in real time. I suggest you stop trying to persuade your family that your fiancé is trying to change his life as it appears you are talking to a brick wall and that doesn’t help you or the man you love, the more anger you show at their inability to listen will probably only aggravate them into thinking you are not able to make a good choice.
    I believe that statements of fact are better with those who are not prepared to listen rather than leaving the door open for them to give unwelcome and unasked for opinions.
    In my opinion, it is important that your family see you being happy, if is important that your fiancé sees that you are happy. It’s not easy but if you are seen as being unhappy your fiancé will be blamed and he will feel guilty that you are suffering because of him.
    Keep talking – you have done well writing your first post. I would not be writing to you if I didn’t know that the addiction to gamble can be controlled and that wonderful lives can be lived as a result.


    It’s my whole family with the issue and not parents ano both my sisters. None of them wanot anything to do with me because of him. My father even called to the house to beat my partner up but luckily he didn’t answer the door. Yes he has told all his friends ano his family about the addiction. He had told me a long time ago that he had a history with addiction and overcame it but unfortunately in past months he slipped again and worse than ever.
    He hit rock bottom ever before my family found out. But us sneaking around to meet up doesn’t feel right either as it’s just more lies. I really feel we need to be upfront and tell them that we are staying together and this is how it’s going to be and let them take the time to get used to it then.
    My parter is addiction fantastic person outside of the addiction. I work in mental health so I have a massive awareness of addiction problems and how to protect myself financially and emotionally from the manipulation.
    He is doing everything right….he’s attending ga, talking to friends, counting the days he’s been gamble free which is 34 days now, hes open to me about it all. Before I was always oh he’ll never change but this past week I have so much faith in him but I still know the chance of relapse is high and it’s still very early days.
    I know I want to be with him. I just worry that my family will set out to destroy him which I turn will still end up with me losing my family as they’ll just push me further and further away. I’m already growing to resent them. Even with all my partner is going through he’s so supportive of my situation and is only one not making me choose….he’s giving me time to make my own decisions and supporting me no matter what I choose. His gambling is a major problem but luckily he has never had debt as bad as others I have read about and never expects me to bail him out….he takes responsibility for any debts he has no matter how long it takes to repay which I feel is also a positive.
    I just hope my family learn to live with this. I am so happy with him as I never let his addiction drag me down….my family are the only ones taking me down. They told me I have brought shame on family for being with him and a disappointment to them all. They have to respect my choices as it is my life and I have been so unhappy this past week without my partner.
    Thank you so much for your reply and I will most certainly join the chat on Thursday.


    Hi BF
    It seems to me you have made your informed decision.
    I wonder if any CG is ever accepted wholly by everybody and that the past is truly eradicated within a social group, which makes me doubt the mindset of those who cannot conceive of the idea that it could have happened to them.
    Recently I offered myself in a voluntary capacity to a Meeting Point in my market town, to support CGs and their families, (there is no GA or Gamanon where I live). The woman I spoke to gasped and turning on her heel said ‘we don’t have those sort of people here’ – she strutted away to her shuttered world and I felt pity for her because she was clueless. I understand your resentment with your family but I hope you can vent on here rather than at them – they are ignorant and afraid and anger won’t do you or your fiancé any good. I do hope for a good outcome for you all but I imagine it is going to take a while for there to be any healing. Unasked for, unconstructive criticism tells us a great deal more about the person doing the criticising.
    I agree that sneaking around and lying is not a good way to live and maybe you have to make your stand sooner rather than later. I will be here for you whenever you want to talk and maybe, just maybe your family could be persuaded to post on this site and ask what it is all about rather than going off at the deep-end without any thought for you and your feelings. Our Helpline is there for them and there is nothing they have not heard before.
    You don’t have to tell me that your fiancé is fantastic outside of his addiction; I have known many CGs who have changed their lives and used the experience of their addiction to live a better life.
    Speak soon


    Well I made the stand to my parents…they weren’t happy but understood that I’d regret it forever if I didn’t give it a chance so accepted my choice but they will b keeping close eye on him to ensure he’s not going to bookies or borrowing which I totally understand. My partner feels this is unfair but he has to live with that and realise he messed up and lost trust from people.

    I went back to our house and lay down the rules to him that I would be taking control of his finances and that any lie or excuses that he will be the one leaving the house and not me as I can afford the house on my own. He says he will go to ga this week but wants to go alone without me dropping him there and collecting him so I agreed but I will be around the area unknown to him to ensuremail that he’s telling me the truth that he is attending. He said he was going for counselling few months back but I finished work early and tured out he hadn’t been going at all so I have to make sure this time it’s not a lie. He’s on his final chance with me and I am standing strong and will be following through with everything that he will be leaving if he lies again. He wasn’t too happy with me laying down the rules and said I shouldn’t be putting pressure on him and went focusing on a problem of his job which is least of concerns right now….was like he was changing and twisting things on me but I didn’t allow that. I explained calmly that this will be how it is and that I have to protect myself and time will tell if you really do mean it that you’re working on it.

    He did accept it but unfortunately he’s sitting with a sulk now. Also he said if my family speak to anyone about him that he will destroy their lives which is unjust as they are only trying to protect me at end of the day. He has a daughter and should understand this also. All of the conflict will eventually blow over I know.

    I just really hope he sticks to his word and goes to the meetings and that this will work out but unfortunately with gambling addiction we can never be too sure but time will tell. He’s gone around in circles with this many times over past 2 years….he gambles, then fine for 2 months then back again so I’m sure this time that I will know very shortly if he is committed to changing and if not then he will be asked to leave.


    Hi BJ
    Well done making your stand with your parents, I know it can’t have been easy. .
    Laying down rules is difficult with a CG – as is policing their movements when they are trying to change. If you lay down an ultimatum it is important that you have thought it through because the addiction can cause them to walk away when it is not the outcome you, or they, really wanted. What you think your fiancé should understand and what he does understand can be very different things.
    I understand your fiancé’s sulk – if he wants to change it is so much easier without being threatened or ordered – the most important thing you can do for him is to listen rather than tell him what he should do. Having listened it is ok to gently ask questions whilst remembering that he does not think you can understand how he feels – maybe come here and talk through what you are hearing. The most important thing you can do for you is to live ‘your’ life to the full, doing the things that please you because your fiancé has not deliberately hurt you. In early recovery he has to be selfish and look after himself first so he will not immediately be the man you want him to be, or the man he wants to be.
    Being a detective is not a lot of fun and it means that you are often spending 24 hours a day thinking about the addiction of another instead of living your own life. If he goes to GA, by all means check he has gone in but don’t go in with all guns blazing if he doesn’t. It takes great courage to walk through the door and it might take a few attempts before he actually makes it through. When he does, maybe you could wait until he is ready to talk about what he heard and then ask questions. GA is brilliant but not the answer for every CG,- there is no ‘one size fits all’ recovery and we can discuss other things he can do. CGs can be very quiet when they first talk openly to others about something so deep as their addiction.
    I hope your family will support you and leave the handling of the way your life is with your fiancé up to you. If they want to support you further maybe they could ask our Helpline or join our forums. It is important that those who care about him speak with a united front.
    Keep posting – I was hoping you would have popped into the group last night, maybe next time.


    Hi velvet,
    Thank you for your much needed support. Unfortunately I had to make the decision to part ways with my fiance as he owed money to some dangerous people and my safety would have been jeaporadised by staying with him.

    I think it is for the best though as the day has come for him where he needs to learn to stand on his own two feet and take responsibility for his own recovery which I came to learn also last week that he was still not willing to receive any help for the addiction. It was once again not a problem and something he would manage fine on his own and again Internet history showed more gambling.

    I hope me leaving him makes him realise that he needs to change and that he learns how to manage himself. He is a really good person but unfortunately that addiction has taken complete control of his life once again.

    I have had so much support over the years reading comments on forums on this site and even reading other people’s issues has taught me so much and given me so much support.

    Everyone’s situation is entirely different but for me I had enough and had to for the first time in a long time put myself first.


    Dear BJ
    As you so rightly said ‘every situation is entirely different’ and outcomes will always vary.
    You made your decision having gained knowledge and for that I commend you, I am sure it wasn’t easy.
    Unfortunately the addiction often brings undesirable and dangerous people into lives that were peaceful and naive and sometimes cutting and running is the right thing to do.
    Having now put yourself first, give yourself time to enjoy just being ‘you’. I suspect from your posts that you are a wiser person for this experience and I believe in using all experiences, bad and good, to improve our lives.
    We can only hope that your ex-fiancé will come to his senses sooner rather than later but he is not your responsibility and while he is still making poor choices he will probably drift on until his addiction hurts him enough.
    So look forward and don’t keep wondering ‘what if’ or ‘if only’ these words only hold you back. There is no need to feel guilt or shame – you did your best but he wasn’t ready to listen.
    I wish you well Blue Jaffa; that is a brilliant username

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