Get practical support with your gambling problem Forum Friends and Family Is his problem that bad? Will it get worse?

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    My husband and I have been married for 10 years and have a child together. I have only recently found out that he’s been gambling. I know he’s bad with money, and I’ve had to help him out with debts he’s accumulated in the past of a few thousand at a time. The last time 5 years ago I had to co-sign a loan of $20k for debt that he racked up with nothing to show for it. He swore after that it will never happen again. Now recently he came forward and told me he racked up $12k. After looking through his accounts afterwards I found out it was actually $16k and I noticed some strange transactions. When I confronted him he became angry and confrontational. He eventually admitted that it was online gambling, along with the time before, but he insists he told me previously. He’s seriously had me questioning my sanity lately, and leaves me questioning whether I’m making a big deal over nothing, seeing as he keeps saying this “doesn’t affect me in any way” since he’s taking care of the debt with a loan he took out himself. Is this something I genuinely need to be concerned about, even though it currently isn’t affecting our family’s finances? Am I making a big deal over nothing, or is this something that is only going to get worse? My fear is that it will only get worse and I’ll end up regretting staying with him years down the road. I’m seriously considering leaving him right now before it’s too late.


    Hello Tired

    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.

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    Hi Tired Mama

    You are not making a deal over nothing but it is not for me to ever say that a person should leave or stay with their gambler husband – such a decision has to be yours but decisions are best made with knowledge.

    Sadly the addiction to gamble does get worse if it is not accepted and treated.

    Perhaps you could download the 20-Questions from the Gambler’s Anonymous website and give them to your husband, or maybe leave them around for him to find if he is being angry and confrontational, they might help him to realise he is not alone and that there is support for him.   His anger is common to a gambler who is in denial of his behaviour or has no desire to stop. It might be that your husband is afraid to face his demons and he therefore lashes out at you, his closest target, hoping to make you stop questioning his behaviour, behaviour that he will not understand. The likelihood is that you husband does not like the man he has become but is unaware of what to do about it – his addiction is real and frightening to both of you. Nobody would choose to be a compulsive gambler.

    Your husband’s addiction is not about making money, it is only about the ‘gamble’. Money is a tool for gambling, it is not the goal. It isn’t the family finances therefore that are the greatest concern, it is your health, the health of those around him and his own health that are paramount. Your husband can learn to control his addiction and live a wonderful gamble-free life but he has to accept responsibility for his behaviour first.

    It is good that he has admitted that he is gambling.

    I cannot tell you what to do but every time a gambler’s debts are cleared, the way opens up to gamble more.

    We have a wonderful Helpline on this site that is accessible to you and your husband; we offer facilitated groups for gamblers where your husband can share with others who want to live in control of their addictions. Everything we offer is anonymous and your husband will be understood. Maybe you could tell him that you have sought support for you – many gamblers do not feel that their loved ones need support too.

    Please keep posting, I know how lonely it is to have this addiction in your family and not know what to do but there is no need for secrecy.



    I don’t think it will get worse! Be positive about it and God will make things go the right way!


    Dear Tired Mama
    I’m sorry to have to reiterate that the addiction to gamble does get worse unless it is accepted and treated.

    Being positive, rather than negative, can do many things. It is important that you are positive about your own life and looking after yourself but sadly you cannot make your husband stop gambling – only he can do that.

    I hope to hear from you again soon


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