Viewing 8 posts - 1 through 8 (of 8 total)
  • Author
  • #5940


    I am seeking your support as I have been married and divorced to a compulsive gambler. We have been together on and off for over twelve years, currently off. This last time about a few months ago, I kicked him out for the nth time. I have known about his addiction, I would say for 9 years, although I have minimized it as I too contributed to his issues. I have enabled him by paying off his debts and by going gambling with him. I have never thought that this was the source of our relationship problems until I read all of these posts with women who have experienced the same issues as I have. My husband/ex has always asked that I help him with his debts before he can contribute and help me financially. I am the sole provider of this household and fortunately we don’t have children, however, I have started resenting him more and more as I am in an enormous amount of debt and he is oblivious or at least makes it seem like that. Every time I get fed up about the gambling and see that our (my) financial situation is getting out of control, I try to reel him in and he gets so upset that he starts threating me that he will leave me. I love him so much and every time he says that he destroys a piece of me. To make matters worse, my mother in law has the same addiction and I have no relationship with her because she thinks that I am jealous and that I don’t like her to spend time with her son, however she doesn’t realize that every time her son goes to visit her they end up at a casino.
    I am frighten by this as he drinks too and could end up getting a DWI just because in his mind he needs to take her to the casino.
    He says is, as if this made him a better son. Not to mention that there are no boundaries and when others take her to the casino she will call late in the middle of the night so that my husband/ex can pick her up and take home.
    I have built so much resentment towards that relationship and recognize now that he only does it as that is his justification to end up in a casino and claim it was not his doing. None the less the last time he and I separated was because we had an argument about the money and not going to the casino, he was furious. He ignored me the rest of the day as he typically does when he is upset at me. I felt so sick later that night, and asked that he take me to the hospital but he refused. The next weekend his mother called and he was at her doorstep with in minutes.
    I couldn’t take his indifference and asked that he leave me for good.
    Fast forward to today, I can’t seem to overcome the pain of being without him. Aside from his gambling and the financial implications of that we had a great loving relationship. He ignores me completely and don’t know if he will ever appreciate me for everything that I have put up with and done financially. He leaves and just walks away with no obligations all the bills are under my name. I am torn, I know that no one in his family will ever help him and he is probably not ready to acknowledge he has a problem. I see it clearly, his mother his tantrums are all symptoms of the addiction but I can’t help but feel used and at the same time I feel so responsible to help him. He is not asking for help he wont even speak to me and I don’t know how to move on.




    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!


    I can’t call you helpless because you are not, you wrote a post that must have taken a great deal out of you, you told me exactly how you feel and you asked for support – that is not being helpless.
    I also contributed to the issues of the CG in my life but I know, without a shadow of a doubt that you would not have done so, if you had known how debilitating and soul-destroying your CG’s addiction was – you don’t possess a crystal ball so how could you know?
    ‘If only’ is not something I subscribe to because the past cannot be changed. I tried to find support as you have done but I couldn’t find any so I blundered on in the dark believing that love would conquer all but in the end, as you have found out, if doesn’t.
    I understand why you resented him rushing to his mother when he had refused to help you – I would have done too but hopefully, putting it into perspective, it was his refusal to take you that was wrong and not the fact he went to his enabling mother. Has he gone to live with her?
    I would be amazed if you didn’t feel used but it is no good hoping that he will ever appreciate all you have done, Even if he changed his life, faced his addiction and returned to you as the man you want, the chances are he would never/could never appreciate what you have done for him – but in that circumstance, however, you would probably no longer care that he didn’t appreciate what had gone before.
    Do you have a Gam-Anon near you where you can talk to people who understand, you face to face? It really worked for me. Your post made me want to sit beside you with a cup of tea/coffee/ and/or a glass of wine and just listen and talk but sadly the internet denies this. I think you feel your husband has left ’you’ and you don’t know why (even if you did throw him out) but I believe that understanding his addiction will help you realise he didn’t walk away scot-free and he isn’t happy but he wants enablement and you are not offering that any more – and nor should you. In estranging yourself from him you are giving him the opportunity to take responsibility for his actions which is what he has to do to face his demons. You are definitely not responsible for him.
    ‘If’ you allow his addiction to destroy your life then it has won and that doesn’t help you, or him. Putting you first, enjoying the friends, family and hobbies that you probably put to one side to deal with your husband’s addiction will give you the power to regain ‘your’ life. His addiction controls his thoughts and behaviour, he did not deliberately hurt you, so it is better for him that you are not wrecked by addiction. When he faces his addiction and changes his life it is better that you are not part of his guilt but that you were the rock.
    I hope some of this makes sense and that you continue to post. It would be great to ‘see’ you in the F&F group on Thursday between 20.00-21.00 hours where we can talk in real time while we share a cyber drink and a non-fattening piece of cyber cake.
    Moving on takes time and you are grieving which is right but don’t let grief turn to bitterness, you are worth more than that. You can take this experience that you have had and turn it into a learning tool for your future to make it better or you can let it consume you – I know what I want you to do and I would be delighted to walk with you while you do it.


    First and foremost thank you for your response. Reading these shared experiences gives me strength.
    To answer your questions he did move in with his mother; however, he still left behind half of his belongings. I also asked that he leave the car as I pay for it. I told him that the only way he could take it was if he put it under his name and made the payments for it. To this day he has not giving me an answer about the car nor has he made an effort to pick up his belongings. I don’t want to revert to the same cycle where he comes to me only after his exhausted all of his other options and tells me that if I want to save our relationship, I must help him financially. I am getting older and I want a family, he has put my dreams and desires off to the side as all he can only think about his gambling. As much as I want to help him, and feel bad for him, I need to look after myself.
    This has been such a difficult thing for me to reconcile. I don’t know how to move on. He is all that I’ve known.
    I do feel that I love him with all my heart but I also feel I have done so much for him that I have failed to take care of myself.
    He just blaintely ignores me as if we had never had any type of relationship, I don’t understand.


    If he didn’t ignore you he might feel he has to do something about his addiction and he doesn’t seem ready to want to do that yet – he still has some learning to do.
    My first husband left me with 3 small children and it took me about a year before I felt able to move on in any sense of the word – there is grief for a relationship that has floundered and it is right to grieve, it is a painful process and sometimes we have to work at it. Healing takes time, it is gradual and exhausting but ultimately it is a walk back to life.
    Do something for you tomorrow, something that pleases you and maybe post and tell me what you have done.
    I believe it is good to give yourself some goals, small steps that are achievable – even if it is only a change of hair style – for me it was a change of hair colour!
    I do hope you can pop in tomorrow evening; communicating in real time is great.


    Unfortunately, I am in the states and at the time of the live chat, I am at work. I do however, I appreciate your follow up. I tried reaching out, maybe it was my desperation to hear from him and asked when we were going to resolve our pending issues. He ignored me. I pressed and a couple of days later he finally responded that there is nothing pending and I can do as I please with his belongings, the car and to of course forget about the money he owes me. It breaks my heart, but to an extent I can recognize that his mind is elsewhere. He cares more about the gambling then the fear of losing his relationship with me.
    This is obviously very difficult for me to accept. I have tried to put myself first a little and trying to follow your advise. I am spending more time working out and my goal is to go to the movies this weekend. It’s something I always asked him to do but of course we would end up at a casino. I won’t lie it will be hard, I don’t have any friends he was been the only person I confided in and I stop having friendships along time ago.

    Anyways, I will give that a try and report back:) thanks again Velvet for your support and encouragement.


    What film are you thinking of going to see?
    I know that anything I suggest is difficult but I do know you can come out of this and live the life you deserve.
    His mind is elsewhere but gambling holds him – it isn’t that he cares about it more than anything else – he is gripped by it and it is impossible to know what is going on in his mind at the moment – but you are married and neither of you is asking for that relationship to end. Whatever the outcome however, the more you look after ‘you’ the better it will be for both of you.
    Friendships develop slowly, I can hear you are a person who would make a good friend and for what it is worth you have a cyber-friend here who will always listen.


    I have not decided:). The thing with us, is that we divorced a few years back. Although we always breakup and get back together, I don’t feel so sure that it will workout that way this time around. Nothing scares me more than the fear of losing him forever. I miss him so much, however, in his texts he told me I should be moving on and forget about any loose ends that we may have. I don’t know if I could do this. I want to be strong but I feel like I don’t know any better. I met him when I was 20yrs old am now 34 and can’t seem to move on. He is also 14yrs older than I am. I am afraid he won’t change.
    I know it takes time but I am so impatient, all I want to do is be with him and make sure that he is okay. I am so confused, one minute I want to forget about him the next am worried that I could never move past this.

Viewing 8 posts - 1 through 8 (of 8 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.