Get practical support with your gambling problem Forum Friends and Family I’ve given him an ultimatum, but is that the right thing to do?

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    I have been reading posts on this site for a couple of weeks now and reading other’s stories helped me come to a decision, but I don’t know if I can stay strong.

    My gambler and I have been together about 5 years now. We started a private law firm together in June of 2012. This year we might actually gross a million dollars, but we have nothing to show for it. I’m the office manager for the firm. I don’t have a law degree, but I do all the bookkeeping so I see how much money is bleeding from our law firm.

    I’ll explain a little bit here so anyone reading this can understand the rest of my post. Law firms (in the United States) must keep a separate bank account for client money. This is where things like lawsuit settlement money and retainer fees must be deposited because that money doesn’t belong to the lawyers or the law firm. If that money is misused or not accounted for, the attorneys can lose their licenses and even serve a prison sentence for theft. Non-attorneys cannot have access to this bank account.

    I’m sure you can see where the rest of this is going. 12 thousand dollars in November, 9 thousand here, 8 thousand there, just huge amounts of money that I cannot, and will not, hide. After that 12 thousand dollar withdrawal, I told him that he had to get help, to go to meetings or a therapist anything. I told him I wouldn’t watch him ruin everything. I told him to choose the gambling or me and if he chose the gambling I set a deadline of December 21st as the day I would leave. I even said that if he hired someone to replace me I’d train them but if he didn’t give up the gambling I would leave. (We’re not married)

    Of course, I have made threats before, but I am serious this time. He just went on doing his thing like he didn’t believe me. He even went and gambled 4 times since then. There was a lot of fighting, and I threatened to report him myself. He agreed to go to a meeting. Together we found a local Gambler’s Anonymous that has meetings every Wednesday night. Wednesday came and he didn’t go. On Thursday there was another big fight, of course. I told him then that he had less than two weeks to try to quit gambling or find my replacement, and that choosing to do nothing is still making a choice.

    I told him that I felt like he didn’t understand how much me leaving would affect everything and I wasn’t going to go back to the office until he made a decision, so he could see for himself how much I do. I kept my word and didn’t go to the office the last two days of the work week. He hasn’t spoken to me at all this weekend. We have 6 employees now. On Tuesday I’m supposed to run payroll and make sure all of our employees get paid, no one else has ever done it but me so no one else knows how to do it. That’s just one of the things coming up that only I can do, with the end of the year coming there are taxes, and we’re in the process of enrolling in a healthcare plan for everyone. By taking this stand it could hurt the people that work for us more than anyone else.

    I feel like I have to stay strong and go through with all the things I’ve said I would do, but it’s not fair to everyone else around us. The last four days has been a lot of crying and sleepless nights. I feel physically ill and emotionally exhausted. I can’t predict if he will “wake up” and see how bad things are or if he’s letting me go because the addiction is so strong that he can’t think clearly. I guess I just need others who know what this is like to tell me if I’m doing the right thing or not.




    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 Erika
    I can hear that you believe you mean to carry out your ultimatum this time but knowing how many times I meant to carry mine out, only to crumble at the last minute, leads me to ask you if you are positive that you can walk away if he doesn’t change?
    Many CGs give lip service to gain time but It is possible that your gambler (CG) means to/ wants to change. As yet however he does not seem to have taken any active steps towards actually doing anything about his addiction and the time will soon pass between now and the 21st. He has ignored your threats to report him or to supply a replacement for you which implies to me he that he thinks he is free to carry on.
    Facing the addiction takes a lot of courage and many CGs find it difficult to get enough courage and determination to actually do something, so they use excuses and play for time until, all too often, all is lost
    Do I understand rightly that your gambler is an attorney who has access to the client’s money and is he therefore, in effect stealing their money. Are there any friends or family member you can talk to about the devastation he is wreaking.
    I cannot tell you what to do but I do know that fighting with an active CG is almost certainly a waste of your energy – his addiction is stopping him hearing reason and logic – your words seem to be falling on stony ground.
    It is impossible to predict that he will wake up – if there was a crystal ball then life would be so much easier but there is no magic involved – the only person who can save your gambler is himself, you cannot save him.
    I can understand your concern for your 6 employees – what do you intend to do when they are due to be paid – is there money to pay them with? You are in an incredibly difficult situation with others depending on your gambler while you are aware of his lack of responsibility. Are you protected from liability if it becomes known that you are aware of his actions?
    I am concerned for your health and I think you have hit the nail on the head when you say “he’s letting me go because the addiction is so strong that he can’t think clearly.”
    I would not be writing to you if I didn’t know that the addition to gamble can be controlled but – and it is a big ‘BUT’ – although I know the addiction to gamble can be controlled, I also know it can take those who love them all the way to the bottom if they allow it.
    Maybe you could tell him you have had to seek support for yourself and that you are aware there is a lot of help and understanding for him on this site, in GA and/or with dedicated counselling’
    Please write again soon and keep reading other posts, learn as much as you can about his addiction because knowledge will give you power over it.
    My thoughts are with you and whatever you decide to do will be understood on this forum.

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