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    nI am the soon-to-be ex-wife to my spouse, whom has a compulsive gambling addiction. A few years back, he gambled away $40,000 in a home equity line of credit on our home in 11 months. I found out awhile after the money was gone, when reading over my credit report. He recently asked me for a divorce, stating I am controlling and will never change and be ok with him being at hte bars for hours on end constantly. We tried marriage therapy with two different therapists; he lied through the process with both, stating he wasn’t gambling, and at one point stated he wasn’t drinking (he was) and now denies having a gambling addiction. He had me locked out of our banking system, so I couldn’t access that information, and he intercepted the mail everyday, so I never knew what was going on with bills and whatnot. Over the last 2 years he has taken out $46,000 in cash from the bank and blown it, and that doesn’t even count the online gambling, pull tabs, lottery tickets, has taken up smoking and goes to the liquor store every three days; at work he and his co-workers also drink casually all day.
    nWe have two kids, 5 and 7 years old. He now wants them 40% of the time. Prior to him requesting a divorce, he had not been home much ever; in fact, once weekly he was to watch them while I was at the grocery store for an hour, and even then he was requesting that be moved or saying he couldn’t make that work at times. He never put them to bed, never was home for dinner and would brag about going to a buddies for beers instead of coming home to put the kids to bed. During his hour that he “watched the kids” while I was at the store, he typically sent them to my neighbor friend’s house, except one time I asked that the kids stay home and spend time with their dad and my son was brought home by a stranger after trying to catch the van I was in. When he was with our family, he would sit on his phone and play games, text people, etc.–never really “with” us.
    nHow do you keep your kids safe when they are with someone who clearly is absent physically and mentally? I assume courts will not care much about a gambling addiction, as it is not a drug, but it is dangerous.


    Hello Pink

    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 Pink

    You have made a difficult decision and you are divorcing your husband because you feel that his behaviour is intolerable. I would never have suggested that you left him or that you stayed with him, the decision had to be yours.  You have made the decision that is right for you as the mother of two beautiful, young children who need you to be strong and I admire your bravery.  

    I think you keep kids safe by being there for them, answering their questions, protecting them from the bad things in life as much as possible and having fun with them.

    I am not making excuses for him but I hope it helps to know that your husband did not ask for or want his addiction, an addiction that almost certainly makes him feel worthless. I suggest that he lacks self-confidence and self-esteem. – but you should not and do not, have to allow his addiction to ruin your life as well.

    Courts should take account of a gambling addiction which is being recognised more and more as a serious problem – and is, in my view, every bit as dangerous and distressing as drugs and alcohol. The problem is that taking legal advice costs lots of money but it may be the best course for you.

    I hope you will keep posting and let us know how you are.

    I hope you will be able to put these bad experiences firmly behind you and not let them mar your future.

    I wish you and your children peace and security



    I’ve had the same situation two years ago. My husband spent 15 thousands of dollars on poker, and I didn’t even know about it! Somehow I accidentally heard that his umpteenth loan was overdue and this was the last straw in our relationship. We had to send children to before and after school care so that they would not hear our abuse. We ended up divorcing because he deliberately traded us for poker. I don’t even understand if this is stupidity or illness. How can you do that? Thank God we are doing well now.


    Hi Christoferer

    I am delighted to read that you are doing well now but I wondered what brought you here to post now.

    I would be pleased to support you, if you have any residual pain or lingering anger that is getting in the way of you letting go of a dreadful experience. In my opinion, your husband would not have deliberately traded you in for poker, a man controlled by an addiction would almost certainly have been a slave to it, making it difficult for him to make logical and reasonable decisions.

    It is a waste of time, I think, to try and make sense of the senseless but there is often another way to looking at something that has hurt you so deeply and, for me, looking for and finding that other way, made all the difference to my future.

    It would be great if you started your own thread and maybe we could make your ‘doing well’ even better. Writing thoughts down often helps to clarify confusion and distress.


    • This reply was modified 1 week, 2 days ago by velvet.
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