Get practical support with your gambling problem Forum Friends and Family Husband has lost everything – desperately need advice and support

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    Determined Mum

    I’m glad to have found this website and to see that I am not alone.

    My husband was in a well paid job for years and only gambled small amounts recreationally on holidays. He lost his job a couple of years ago and started to gamble seriously to try and get money. I only found out after a series of events. The short version is that we sold our house to pay off debts and moved abroad where he was offered a good job. He soon lapsed and spent £50k of our life savings. He then went to therapy, convinced me it would stop and I think it did for six months. He is a loving father to our kids, but suffers from depression and I wanted to help get through this. I took control of the finances and monitored his spending and movements. All seemed to be going well…

    I have just found out that he has been gambling again for the past six months and has lost our entire life savings from the house sale and is in debt. He has had to be extremely deceptive and manipulating, given how closely I have been monitoring him – with secret bank accounts, cards and telling me he didn’t get paid for work, when he did.

    I can not afford to support my kids on my income alone (we live overseas and I do not want to return to the uk) and I need him to help practically with childcare and I want the kids to have a father.
    That said I do not want to put myself through this again and want to seperate, but I rely on him for income – an irony I know, given the situation he has put us in. I am afraid if he moves out I will not be able to police him – and we also can’t afford to pay another rent anyway.

    I just can’t see a solution at the moment. He is desperate to make things good and do everything in his power to get better, but I have heard that twice before and feel sure that even if he manages a few months or even years, this cycle will continue. I need to get out but I can’t afford to, nor can I afford for this to happen again.

    Any thoughts or advice would be most welcome. Thank you.



    Hello Determined Mum

    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

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    I am the mom of a compulsive gambler. It is a very manipulative, insidious addiction that can completely destroy a family both financially and emotionally before you know what is going on.
    My advice would be to gain TOTAL control of the finances. I know it feels like you are dealing with a child but you really need to take away any access your husband has to money.
    I kind of feel that as for the relationship you should put off doing anything about that until the dust settles. I say this only as it sounds virtually impossible for you to support yourself at the momen and with your husband in the state he is in he won’t be of much help on his own. If he refuses to cooperate in letting you take control then I guess you will have to take action sooner than later.
    You are in an awful situation and must feel totally trapped… I am so sorry.
    Keep writing and perhaps join the F&F chat on Tuesday. You will be able to get more insight from the other spouses!


    Hi Determined
    I’m glad you found this website too.
    Compulsive gambling always comes from a recreational activity that others enjoy and often as long as enough money is earned to cover the losses many F&F are unaware that a serious problem could exist.
    Contrary to the belief that most F&F have, in the early days – the addiction to gamble is not about money – it is the gamble that is all important and it is that which brings the mood swings, the dreadful behaviour and often the depression. What comes first, the depression or the addiction is often discussed in our forums – I do know that the addiction can cause depression because it brings nothing but feelings of failure and self-loathing to the person who owns it, day in and day out.
    I am interested that your husband wants to make things good and is desperate to do so – has he taken any active steps towards controlling his addiction or is it just words? You say that you ‘need’ to get out even if he manages a few months or a few years – how true is this? A few years would be a good gamble-free life and one he would probably never give up.
    I agree with Worriedmama that it is probably better if you take control of all of the finances while explaining to your husband that it is not a punishment but is the best way to support him in his desire to life in control of his addiction.
    I would like to hear from you again before I write any more. I am not judging, I appreciate only too well the amount of damage your husband’s addiction has wrought and the possibility that you no longer love your husband but I also appreciate that your husband did not ask for or want his addiction anymore than you did. Knowledge of his addiction will give you power over it and help you cope.
    Speak soon and if there is anything that you disagree with then come right back at me.

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