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    My boyfriend is a CG and has been for 6 years. It has gotten worse in the last few years to where i don’t feel like i can go on anymore dealing with him. He is only 23 years old and his father was a CG too. When we met i knew he was a gambler, but it wasn’t a problem for me then because i was young and also my family also gambles a little, so it was kind of normal. Where we live there are no Casinos. He is addicted to online gambling on sports. For the last several months he has been gambling almost daily. When he isn’t gambling he is figuring out how to get money, so that he can gamble again. I am to the point where i cannot take it anymore. He will wake up early in the morning to sit at the computer and put his bets in then he will be watching the games on TV all day long. I am a full time student and all my classes are online and i am not able to use my computer when he is gambling because he uses the computer to keep track of scores.

    Before i go on let me say that we have two beautiful children age 7 and 3.

    When my bf is gambling he doesn’t want to be bothered at all. If we try to talk to him or bother him, he will blame us when he looses and calls us “bad luck.” He has this rage in him every single time he looses and he will blame me for whatever reason. If i stay home he will tell me i should have left and leaved him home by himself so he would have peace or if i leave he when i come back he will tell me it’s my fault he lost all his money because i wasn’t home to control him. I feel like everything i do, i am yelled at for it and i can no longer handle the mental abuse. I feel like he blames me everytime he looses because i am here and he needs to find someone to blame. He has absolutely no control over his gambling and he basically looses his money every single day.

    I don’t like waking up any more because i know what i will have to deal with. I hate knowing that his mood will be based on if he is winning his bet or not. I am left to take care of the kids alone and pay the bills and take his mental abuse. I am literally done and feel like as a human being, i cannot take anymore of it.

    Sad to say, i don’t want to leave him because i am afraid of my kids growing up without a father, but i don’t want to stay either because i am sick of being unhappy and take his crap. My kids here us argue all the time and they watch their father helpless as he slips into his rage.

    I am here to figure out my options. I am only 22 years old and don’t know what to do anymore.

    Please help!!



    Hi Sadie

    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!


    Hi Sade
    I’m sorry you got the repeat official welcome message – I didn’t realise you had posted in the topic forum.

    Nobody sets out of be a compulsive gambler – everybody believes at the beginning that of course they can walk away so there is no need to explain why you didn’t appreciate the great problem that this addiction can be when it comes unwelcome into your life.

    At the top of this page you can see ‘Resources’ – if you click on it, the first entry is for Gamblers Anonymous. I suggest you click on it and search for the ‘Gamblers Anonymous 20 questions’ then print them off, tick the answers you know your boyfriend would say ‘yes’ to and leave it where he can find it. Many CGs (compulsive gamblers) are unaware that what they are doing is recognised and that there is real support for them if they will accept they have an addiction.

    I say leave it for him to find rather than approach him verbally because his addiction will be fired up the moment it feels threatened by you and it is common for those who love CGs to end up in the middle of a argument without knowing how they got there.

    I have brought up my thread ‘The F&F Cycle’ which I hope will help you realise that all that you are experiencing is understood on this forum – you are not alone.

    I am not sure of the time zone you are in but I am running a group in about 3 hours and it would be great to communicate with you in real time. It is 2100-2200 hours UK time.

    I believe that when you don’t know what to do it is best to do nothing until you do know. You have made a terrific start writing your thread, which I know would not have been easy. Knowledge of the addiction will give you power over it and in due course you will be able to make informed decisions. I would never suggest you go or stay – what you do ultimately will always be ‘your’ decision. I know that the addiction will have taken away your self-confidence and that includes making decisions that affect ‘your’ life. Give us time to get to know you and hopefully we can build your confidence up again.

    You are the important, you matter.



    Hi Sade

    I just wanted to say hi and let you know you have come to a safe nurturing place. I totally get your situation and I think all of us here can relate on some level. Like Velvet said, no one wants to be a compulsive gambler – the addiction takes over and that person is no longer who they used to be.

    The best advice I got since being here is learning to just take care of yourself and your kids. You are not responsible for how a CG acts – his bets, his behaviors are HIS choices. If he is choosing to be abusive to you, that is his issue – what you decide to do about it is your choice.

    No one should have to live feeling like they don’t want to get up in the morning – I understand totally. I feel that way myself many days. But I keep coming here, getting great support and advice and step by step, inch by inch, i feel like I am more in control of my life. Even though I also desperately want my kids to have their Dad, I have told my CG if there are certain things he continues to do, her just needs to leave – I drew a line in the sand and even though there is nothing I want more than my family, I guess I decided that I needed me and my dignity more…

    Hang in there and keep posting. It is hard to believe but it helps to get all those feelings out and get feedback from those that have been there before.

    Take care of you and your little ones..



    Hi Velvet,

    Thanks for your post! I am on Hawaii time and would also like to communicate with you in real time.

    I feel stuck in my thoughts and actions and i agree with you that learning more about the addiction will help me to be better understanding.

    Thank you!


    Hi Sade
    You can communicate with me in real time at 10am Hawaiian time on Thursday and I look forward to talking to you. I found your time zone by clicking on Forums at the top of this page and then clicking on ‘The Meeting Place’ forum. The first post from Harry gives the link.
    Don’t worry about being stuck in your thoughts and actions – it is better to stand still at such times until you know which way forward is right for you.
    I said to you in my last post that it is better to leave information lying around than to make verbal approaches that threaten your bf’s addiction and I hope the following will explain understand why I said that and help you cope a little better until I can answer your direct questions.
    It is not recognized professionally but the following is a coping method that many of us have used at the beginning of our recovery to help us cope.
    Imagine your bf’s addiction as a slavering beast in the corner of the room. As long as you keep your cool and don’t threaten that addiction it stays quiet, although it never sleeps.
    Your bf is controlled by that addiction but you are not. When you threaten that addiction, it comes between you and controls the conversation or argument. His addiction is the master of threats and manipulation which you are not and nor do you want to be. Once the addiction beast is between you, you will only hear that addiction speak and because it only knows lies and deceit, it will seek to make you feel blame and demoralize you. When you speak the addiction distorts your words and your bf cannot comprehend your meaning.
    My CG explained it to me by saying that when I told him (for instance) that if he didn’t lie but lived honestly he would be happy, his addiction was distorting his mind convincing him that I was lying because he truly believed that he was unlovable, worthless and a failure – he was lost and fought back because he didn’t have any other coping mechanism. The addiction to gamble only offers failure to those who sadly own it.
    I believe F&F waste valuable time ‘wanting’ to believe that the CG they love is telling the truth and that ‘this’ time, maybe, he/she is different. I think it is good, although difficult, to not ‘try’ and believe the CG because in doing so you become receptive. If you can stand back a bit and listen to what your bf is saying, it becomes easier not get caught up in an argument that has no point apart from making you feel less in control. Once you begin to try and put your side the addiction has something to get its teeth into.
    This all sounds a little negative but the positive side is that it removes you from the centre of the addiction giving you time and energy to look after you.
    By looking after you first you will become stronger, you will reclaim your own life and be able to cope with your children and make the right decisions for your relationship. One of the best ways to win is not to play the game.
    It will be great to communicate with you in real time and although I cannot tell you what to do – because all decisions you make have to be ‘yours’, I will answer your questions honestly.



    Hi Sade,

    Welcome to this community, I hope you will feel as supported as I did (and do!) since I first found this website.
    The more you learn about the addiction, the better you can cope with it – I find. I learned that behind the “beast”, my husband is still the loving, wonderful person I knew: his low self esteem, insecurity and negative self image were things I had not realized he had.
    Every day we are taking things 1 day at a time, which works well for us.
    Sending you a big hug,


    I am trying to get familiar with the site and look forward to using the resources available. Here is what i want to get out of this; how do i live with a CG? How to i talk to him when he is gambling and when i need him to help me with things? Do i ignore him and just do everything myself while he sits at the computer and TV putting in his bets and watching them? When he expresses his anger to me, what do i do? Do i let him talk down on me? or do i talk back?
    He gambles daily and when he’s not he is searching for more money to gamble. I get very frustrated with him, but i’m realizing that yelling at him about his addiction doesn’t help at all. It only frustrates me more and makes me feel like i’m stuck at square one. It’s hard for me to seperate the CG from the nice guy he is deep down. How do i deal with him after he gambles when i am so frustrated?


    Hi Sade! Welcome to GT!
    I am a CG, so I understand how difficult it must be for you to live with someone who gambles. I always say there is only one thing worse than being a CG and that is being married to or living with a CG! I don’t know how anybody does it ! They have my admiration!
    Yet, when I read the F and F Forum it always amazes me that so many “Significant Others” are able to rise above the addiction which , through no fault of their own creates havoc in their lives and I know from a “victims”perspective, you will be given lots of advise , support and guidelines to show you how to protect yourself and safeguard your money, your home and your sanity. However the day to day trials will remain until your CG decides he has a problem and seeks help. I can give you some insight into how a CG feels (not every CG of course. My experience pertains to myself only!)
    When A CG ( me)is in the throes of gambling, anything you say will fall on deaf ears. Talk means very little. Action is what counts!
    Remove yourself from the room he is in while he is gambling online. Otherwise it will appear that you are either colluding with him or taunting him. Either way, he will use your presence to continue gambling. CGs like to blame others for their woes. Your pleading , begging and yelling will NOT stop him gambling! On the contrary it will give him an excuse to continue (“You drove me to it!” was my trump card!)
    If he talks in an abusive, threatening or manipulative tone, WALK AWAY! CGs are great manipulators, great actors,great at bamboozling others especially when we want to inveigle money from a loved one. I made so many promises and threats at times like this, that I don’t understand to this day how my husband fell for it all!
    In the aftermath of gambling binges however, things are more hopeful. This is the time to LISTEN to your CG. This is the vulnerable time. This is the time he is likely to be open to suggestions for change. Tell him firmly what you will NOT be doing. You will NOT give him money. EVER! You will not pay his bilsl. You will not bail him out. You will not lie for him. You will not be part of his secret life. You will not over up his losses or collude with him in any way. In other words you refuse to be his enabler. You will not listen to blame, manipulation, sarcasm or any other form of verbal abuse.
    On the other hand, You WILL listen when he is genuinely seeking help. You will hold his cash, credit cards, take charge of finances and oversee his spending. You will “drip feed” him with cash for day to day expenses and you will ask to see the receipts. You will attend GamAnon if he agrees to go to GA. In other word you will support him in recovery.
    I hope this answers some of your questions Sade. I am writing because if I had been treated differently in the early stages of my gambling by my “nearest and dearest” I would never have progressed to the level of loss, grief and chaos that I ALLOWED gambling to cause in my life.
    YOUR RECOVERY IS AS IMPORTANT FOR YOU SADE, as your CG’s recovery is important for him.
    It is not easy, but it is possible. The evidence is on this Site.
    One day at a time is the motto!
    Be strong!


    Hi Sade,

    Welcome and I hope you feel there really is hope in your situation because there is. It all starts with you taking the first step on your journey. You have received excellent replies and Vera’s is spot on coming from a cg perspective .
    You have already been with your boyfriend for a while to see how stronger the addiction has grown in him and he is still so young. His gambling in plain sight is bothersome as he is really showing who he is faithful to. As you have wrote, there is not much you can do. There is no amount of anything to make him stop. So now you wonder what is there to do? I can’t live like this, my children don’t deserve a father who’s ambition is to just gamble. I am sure the seven year old already sees what is happening at home and the younger one will too. There is no shielding this addiction; children can easily piece what is happening.
    Your situation did not happen over night, nor will it disappear as quickly. It takes you spending time on your recovery. Stop any enabling so your bf can gamble. Make sure he is paying bills first, hopefully this isn’t his way of making money. Does he work? How about you?
    Whatever steps you take, remember they will pave the road to you and your children’s future. This addiction never just goes away as loved ones hope. It just gets worst, you are young now and the time is now to make a change.
    Also what I am about to write is meant in a good way, as a parent of a child of an addict, there is a responsibility to protect them from this addiction.
    Take care Sade,


    Dear Sade,

    The hardest thing to do in the beginning is to stop focusing on your cg (what he’s doing, what his mood is, how he is behaving) and start focusing on YOU. Once you understand the importance of doing that, things will begin to get better. I’m really only repeating what everyone else has told you in some form, but that’s what it took for me before it finally started sinking in. You must learn what it means for you to take care of yourself and to not allow the addiction in your life.

    For me that meant protecting my finances, not “expecting” or “needing” anything from my cg, not paying his gambling debts knowing his creditors would be hounding him daily, and, among other things, but especially – coming to this site every day sometimes for support and guidance.

    You will come to realize that you cannot change your compulsive gambler and there is no “dealing” with him when he’s in the throes of his addiction. You can only change yourself.

    Vera has given you some valuable insight and advice from a cg’s point of view. And, as the child of a cg, Twilight has experienced that pain and damage and speaks only with the deepest care and concern for your children.

    The rest of us have been where you are right now, each with different circumstances, different stories, but we all understand the hell you are going through.

    Keep coming here for support Sade, and learn what you need to do to take care of yourself – this is where you will begin to find some well deserved peace.



    Thank you everyone for your words. I appreciate it and find value to it. I would like to talk more about my situation to get more help from you all.
    Twilight to answer you question my bf who is a cg does not have a steady job. He hasn’t worked in a long time, so it is just me who pays the bills. There are times where he can make money here and there, but he uses it to gamble and doesn’t help with bills at all. I work as much as i can to be able to cover all the bills that i have, but it makes me agry that i have to pay all of the bills and when he makes his money he uses it on his gambling only. He tells me to wait till another time and he will pay a bill. He even has the nerve to ask me for money. I cannot help but yell at him most times because it is very frustrating dealing with him and his addiction. For the most part when he is not gambling he is thinking about gambling and wanting to gamble. I feel like he has very intense mood swings when he isn’t gambling because in the morning he is mad that he can’t gamble and then in the afternoon he is fine and spends time with us and then the next day he gets mad again about the fact that he cannot gamble. I have to admit that for sometime i was enabling him because i would loan him money only because he would literally beg until i give it to him. We only have one vehicle, so when he tells me he wants to use the car for work i let him use it because he promises me that he will use the money to pay for bills. But more times then not he doesn’t and uses it for gambling. So it is very confusing to me. I don’t want him to use the car because i know he will use the money to gamble, but at the same time i am hopeful that he will finally decide to use the money for bills.

    I understand that i need to take care of myself and not worry about his gambling, but i need to learn how to do that? When he is talking about his gambling i get mad and tell him he should stop gambling, but he only gets mad and it doesn’t benefit either of us. So what do i do when he is talking about wanting to gamble? What do i say?

    I would love to have more information and resources about how i can learn to deal with a cg.

    Thank you for your time.


    I don’t think you can learn how to deal with a CG, you can ever only really deal with yourself. As things stand your CG doesn’t have a problem to deal with (in his opinion) the one who has a problem with the addiction is you.

    I feel that there is a temptation to pussy foot around and creep about on eggshells, picking the right moment (there isn’t one ! except the odd one born out of loss of too much money) Agonising over trying to find the best words, to get it right, not to make things worse, not to make him gamble – it all sounds like very hard work to me, in fact I know it is as I have done it myself.

    So what he’s got an addiction ! doesn’t give him the right to be abusive or unkind towards you, or spend and demand your money, or to sit there on his backside deciding whether to gamble the family funds or pay the bills while you knock yourself out holding it together.

    I am not going to suggest that you issue a set of ultimatums which you are not prepared to carry through as yet but would ask you to consider why you are allowing him to treat you in such an unacceptable way. He will do what you allow him to do until you stop it.

    Why should you have to worry about what to say to him if he decides to sit there gambling in front of you, he’s not worried as Vera pointed out a discussion about it can only give him reason to continue.

    I think some thought around your boundaries are needed, what is and what is not acceptable to you – never mind him. Is it acceptable for him to behave like this in front of you and your children ? Is it acceptable that he gambles in front of you and your children ?

    You cannot control him and his addiction already knows you inside out and back to front, it knows exactly how you will react, what happens in between and the end result and most importantly for him is he will continue to gamble, until he decides he has a problem.

    Don’t let this addiction change you, don’t waste your time agonising over the right and wrong thing to do, if you have something to say then say it in a way that is right for you, anyone who has lived with this addiction knows that it is virtually impossible to remain calm when faced with adverse circumstances. If it was me I think I would have trouble not opening the door and throwing his computer down the garden or if it was a lap top, trying it on him as a pair of tight fitting winter ear muffs – so I get your frustration !

    Looking after you is finding ways of making sure that his addiction is not the total focus of your life, not depending on the recovery of another in order to feel happy understanding that you are important and that your place is not to be second fiddle to an addiction.

    Snub the addiction whenever possible by not rising to its ocaision not by way of an act but because you have better and more interesting things to do and talk about, if you do not then try and find something that means that you do, visit friends pick up the phone , anything that is a more fruitful use of your time.
    I would urge you to better protect your finances if you possibly can, its not likely that he will have a sudden change of heart over night and decide to pay the bills – take control of the finances if he won’t agree then again it will come back down to .. are you prepared to carry on living like that.



    I’m not sure if there is a connection, but i wanted to know if gambling and cheating are connected in some way. I’ve recently learned (not from my bf who is a cg) that he cheated on me more than a hanful of times. I know there are many men who cheat and they don’t have a gambling problem, but it seems as though when he gets depressed from loosing that he turns to cheating? In my heart i want to leave him, but i don’t feel ready financially. But at the same time, he doesn’t help me financially at all, so it doesn’t make any sense. Any advice you all can give me would be great because i am basically done with dealing with him. I always knew he had two sides to himself. There is the cg part of him and a loving part to him. But it seems as though the gambling side of him is taking over and he doesn’t realize what he has and will soon loose. But i am sick of dealing with his gambling, cheating, and not being there for me.


    I guess taking risks is a form of gambling, risking your relaitionship could be a form of gambling through cheating.

    It could just as easily be a form of escapism from an unhappy relationship, both the gambling and the cheating, I know that is something you may not want to hear. Perhaps he to is staying in the relationship for financial reasons/enablement

    Cheating could also be another form of gaining financial enablement to support his gambling addiction, who knows whether he is getting money from the people he is cheating with or not.

    What is coming across to me is not the need to establish a link between the two but the message that he is an unpleasant person. If I am being honest I am struggling to see anything in your post that shows he has a “loving” side. Cheating, lieing, are these the actions of a loving person.

    I feel you may be trying to apply rational thinking to irrational
    situations, and looking for explanations as we all have done in the hope that understanding may lead to solutions or some sort of peace.

    There is no excuse or justification for his behaviour, depression or otherwise other than, that he uses people for his own personal gains with no regard for those he is walking over in between.

    You are right it doesn’t make any sense to stay with someone for financial reasons only and one that that is not helping with finances and furthermore has the capacity to drastically damage your financial situation even further – it makes no sense at all. Its almost like the two of you are just using each other for financial purposes but for different reasons.

    I guess it comes down to how sick of it you really are and how you want your life to be in the future, it is apparent from what you are saying that he is progressing in his illness rather than showing any sign of seeking a recovery.

    Put your happiness first


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