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    I have been with my boyfriend a year. Since I started dating him, we have always worked at the same restaurant and on the same shift. We would often go to bars after work for a few drinks, and he would occasionally put $20-$40 into the machine to gamble. I thought nothing of it.

    I started recognizing a pattern of him repeatedly losing and despite this, would still pull out his wallet and put more money in. I would make comments like “You’ve already lost $___ why don’t you stop? It doesn’t look like you’re winning” or I’d ask him to stop so he can hold a conversation with me instead of staring at the machine the whole time. He would agree to put his wallet away, then end up taking it out 10 minutes later. Or would beg me to let him put more money in. This behavior was the first red flag. When I asked him if gambling has ever been a problem for him, he said yes. He admitted it “used to be a problem”, and also admitted that it has affected past relationships and caused him a lot of financial strain in the past.

    Problems arose when we started working opposite schedules. Mind you, we live in Las Vegas so gaming bars are literally everywhere.

    I started working graveyard, while he was on swing. Instead of going home after work he would go to the bar, and would try and lie about it. I started worrying. I thought maybe there was another woman. I have never been around someone with a gambling problem so my first thought when he started lying to me and sneaking out to bars was that it was infidelity. Why else would he be out at the bar? Maybe he wasn’t alone. My jealousy was overwhelming. I asked if he could please tell me if he goes out or not, to put my mind at ease. He agreed. Then I would catch him at a bar in the middle of the day gambling. Whenever I would confront him, he acted like nothing was wrong. So nonchalant.

    More and more frequently there were nights when he would leave work, tell me he was headed home, and then disappear and ignore my texts and phonecalls for a couple hours. He changed his password for Find My IPhone so his phone couldn’t be located. I freaked out. And every time I would freak out by calling or texting him multiple times, he would be on the defensive. Say I’m overreacting, or I needed to calm down it wasn’t that big of deal. That I was being crazy.

    There were many promises to let me know where he goes after work that were broken. I told him that I don’t even care if he goes out, as long as he texts me and let’s me know where he goes. Even that didn’t work. Every time he would leave work early and I was stuck working all night, I got extreme anxiety. I would panic and watch the clock and wait for him to tell me he got home. He never would.

    The breaking point was last week. He was rushing out the door to leave work early and I asked where he was in such a hurry to go….said he was heading home. I knew he was lying. Just knowing that, the second he walked out the door I was in panic mode. Texting him constantly saying please just tell me if you go anywhere. Please tell me when you get home. He told me to calm down and he’d let me know IF he went anywhere. I never heard from him after that. I tried to call him repeatedly and he turned off his phone. 12 HOURS later when he finally turned it back on, he acted angry with me. Asked me why I contacted his friends looking for him. Like I did something wrong. He could have been in a ditch for all I knew!!!! He didn’t tell me where he’d been all night, said he wants to be single and he doesn’t want to be with me anymore.

    I’m overcome with sadness and confusion. Our relationship wasn’t perfect, but never bad enough to break up via phone call with no explanation. Every interaction with him is mean and cold. He is a completely different person, and says this is my fault. He doesn’t want to be with me because I’m not a good girlfriend and he doesn’t want to deal with me. It’s all my fault. Went from being in love with me one day, to telling me he doesn’t love me and I need to get out of his house and that he’d never get back together with me the next day.

    I’ve driven by occasionally to see if he is okay, and ever since the day he broke up with me he has spent all night out at the bar. I find his car parked outside of a bar at 7 or 8 am.

    I don’t know how to cope with this loss. Mostly because I don’t understand it. He’s saying the breakup is because of me and trying to deflect away from his problem. He blocked my phone number and any attempt to contact him is met with anger. He keeps saying that it’s my fault so much that I’m starting to believe it. Was I too overbearing? Did I act too controlling? I’m racking my brain of everything that I ever did wrong to deserve this. I am worried about him and this downward spiral he seems to be in. He is self destructing and all I want to do is love and be there for him, and he shut me out completely. I’m so sad and so lost.



    Hello SMR

    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!


    You escaped a life of heartbreak and financial ruin. Find a good man hopefully without a horrible addiction. Wish you all the best.


    The First Step in the Gambler’s Anonymous Programme is
    “We admit we are powerless over gambling”
    This is the fist thing you need to realize.
    YOU are powerless over your boyfriend’s gambling.
    When that sinks in, you can start to set him free and begin your own recovery , one day at a time.
    Well done on looking for help.
    You will get good support on this Forum

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