Get practical support with your gambling problem Forum Friends and Family Husband has abandoned me and my 7 year old daughter

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    Hi I’m new on here so unsure of how long a post to write is. Please bear with me!
    We have been married for 4 years next week and my husband left us on Monday with no proper explanation. He said he can’t do this anymore, couldn’t tell me what the problem was, just that he has never been so depressed in his life, told me I annoy him by asking too many questions and judging him (it was my way of trying to help but at this point I knew nothing about the online casinos). He has cut his whole family off and has now done the same to us. He has gone completely off grid, deleted me from fb (last of my worries) with no forwarding address. He did this before in May during our mortgage agreement then fled. I know now it was due to CG. While bagging up his things I came across some hidden bank statements and credit card bills amounting to thousands of pounds each month, and that is only for the cards I knew about as he would hide any financial documents or take them out of the house completely.

    I dint really know what I’m seeking by writing this, I am in utter despair. I have no idea what to say to my daughter – his stepdaughter, as she loved him like a dad. Anyway, he has done this a few days before our ‘family’ holiday to Disneyland Paris, now I am taking my daughter alone.

    The worst thing is being left with no reason, no explanation, did I do something wrong? Was our whole relationship a lie? Fortunately he couldn’t touch my savings and he kept it well hidden as the bills were always paid, but did freak out after we had been agreed a mortgage (god knows how), and said he couldn’t cope with the commitment. Now I know it was because he knew he couldn’t pay the mortgage every month.

    We had a normal relationship other than his financial secrecy. I feel like a fool as I thought he was just a private person. He did give me his bank cards to keep as it “would help him spend less money” but now I know he declared the cards lost and just ordered more.

    I suppose I just need a bit of strength from you guys to help me through what feels like the darkest time of my life. x


    Hi Mowglette,

    Welcome, you have most definitely made the right decision to start on your recovery starting here. Reading other threads here will help you understand the addiction, know its manipulative ways, and how to start gaining control of your life. It is a process that won’t happen over night, or months, and sometimes even years. But it will get you closer to living a normal life. I promise this.
    From what I know, by what you wrote, your husband broke away because he knew his gambling would be discovered, meaning his losses, deep down knowing what he did was wrong. HIs losses are probably more than you can imagine and he knows this would not be acceptable. So he is most probably hiding at this point, trying to strategize his next move. I can’t say for sure, but from what I know, and what others write here it may be the case. He will probably reappear, asking for forgiveness, professing his love for you, and this is where the ball will be in your court.
    You will have to decide what to do. Take him back? Create consequences if he were to gamble again. And if he isn’t in denial of his gambling and is sincere that he has a gambling problem and wants help what is he going to do about it. There has to be a committed from him. It is going to be up to you. That is why you must seek active recovery for yourself and your decisions will also influence your daughter.
    She is still at an age where the hurt she may feel if things don’t work out with your husband, won’t leave lasting scars. However, if you just let your husband get away with his gambling, she will see this, as we all know here, once the cg gets deeper in the addiction gambling any money they can get their hands on. It will have a huge impact on finances. So think about this.
    If it were me, I would not contact him, I would let him contact you and explain himself. Don’t feel like a fool, because you are a very smart person who is seeking help because you know his compulsive gambling is not normal and you have seen the ugly of it.
    We have many wonderful members here, who will be here to support you. In the meantime have fun with your daughter at Disneyland Paris, how exciting. Seven is such a wonder age, my youngest is 8.

    Take Care,


    Thank you so much for your kind words, I don’t know what I’m more upset about, that the man I loved has lived a lie, that he walked out, or that I have to let him go.

    I am English and he is South African, we went through hell fighting the odds to get visas so we could start a life here in the UK. Now I dont know if he ever loved me at all. I am so confused I dont know if he married me for love, for visas or that the gambling just took over. I just wish he would have given me an explanation.

    Thanks again, your words mean so much. Xx


    Hi Mowglette,

    It is certainly normal to have questions about love and motivation racing in our minds. We think how could have there been love, when the reality of what was going, hence the gambling was happening behind our backs. I wouldn’t doubt his love for you; as you wrote what you two went through hell fighting to get your visas. However this doesn’t change what is happening now with his gambling.
    The question is what will he do? Will he get the help? He ran off, for reasons he only knows, the addition to gambling can leave a person feeling worthless, and he could be buying himself time to calm things down or he could have gone on a gambling binge. I do believe you will hear from him. Take this time to reflect, if you are unsure what you want, just do nothing for now until you get a firmer feel for what you want.
    Please keep in mind, this addiction does not go away on its own or there wouldn’t many families throughout the word struggling with the effects of a cg in denial.

    Take care,


    Hi Mowglette

    Twighlight has given you such great responses as she has done for me many times too. I just wanted you to know I understand how you feel. My ex a CG left myself and our daughter who was not 4 at the time after an argument about money. I think twighlight is correct in that your husband will be in contact and I would leave it to him. I do understand how difficult that can be.

    I contacted my CG several times when he left and each time I didn’t get the result I wanted.

    5 months on we are still seperated as my cg is still very actively gambling and i have used this site to help me gain insight and strength. Everyone ‘s situation is unique but this sight helps you understand much more about the addiction and you are not alone ( a big plus for me) . For me it is also a place that i can be honest and i had not been able to do that for many many years. You will gain a lot of support from people who do not judge and understand.

    I hope you and your daughter have a lovely holiday. What an wonderful experience.

    Take care





    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!


    Michelle, thank you so much for sharing your situation with me, I have emailed him once with a supportive email asking him to find some peace knowing that I now know about his addiction. I never got a reply.

    I will leave it up to him now and won’t contact him again.

    My thoughts are with you and your little one, be strong. I know I’m not at the moment.

    Natalie x


    My ex partner is a CG. I too experienced much of what you describe with various disappearing acts and they usually turned out just as Twilight describes, hiding from the collateral damage or going on a spree. During this separation it would not be at all surprising if an elaborate tale is being dreamed up which may then include trying to dump a load of guilt on to you.

    I think where love is concerned it is difficult to see the wood through the trees whilst it is covered in the smoke screen of the addiction, if love is there it is hard to detect through the stream of behaviour that would very much give you doubt as to whether it existed – this does not mean that it does not exist but over powered by the addiction which currently the need to gamble is his priority.

    If it was me (with much hindsight) I would use this time wisely and learn as much as you can about the addiction and gain the support for yourself. There is little point wondering about what he is up to as you probably already know the answer.

    I think the others could well be right, I too suspect he will show himself again ( after finishing in his own mind a shortened version of the Guinness book of excuses!) and you need to be strong for if / when this time comes, so its time to start focusing on what is right and good for you and what you want your own future to be,

    It seems a bit contrary as do most things concerning this addiction but expect the unexpected and also gain the knowledge that the unexpected also becomes very predictable with time.

    I would think very carefully about what your boundaries will be – should he return



    When times get tough as they often will
    When the road ahead seems all uphill
    When the funds are low and the debts are high
    and you want to smile but have to sigh
    Stick to the battle when your hardest hit
    Its when things seem worst that you must not quit.

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