Get practical support with your gambling problem Forum Friends and Family Need help…husband in complete denial

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    So I am lost…only way to really describe my life at the moment. My husband is a compulsive gambler and in complete denial. He used to play on machines but now is into sports betting online.  Drives me crazy because he checks out on our family on a regular basis, has used my credit cards, has gone on vacations and ruined them gambling. It started before we met and to be honest I was naive, I had never known anyone with an addiction like this before so I didn’t realise how serious it could be.

    We have kids and I want a secure future for them and me. He always says he will quit and self removed himself from all the sites, but never lasts longer than a week. There is always an excuse to go back on or a deal of $10 per day.  I know he goes over because I am tech savvy and get on the sites. Then he has the nerve to sit there and lie to my face about what he is spending. It breaks my heart over and over again.

    No one who knows us has any idea about this.  I just plaster a smile on my face when I am breaking inside. Where we live there is no help. I joined here trying to get help for myself. 

    Any advice appreciated.



    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

    Read about the friends and Family Online Groups

    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 🙂

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    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

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    Hi Momof2kids

    I feel for you, I really do. This illness is the most horrendous i’ve ever faced and seen someone have. I thought I knew addiction – I really was naive.

    There are some really helpful people on the forums. I also joined a chat, I think there is one tonight. which really helped me find a positive mindset.

    I hope you are coping ok


    Hi Momof2kids
    The problem with plastering a smile on your face when you are breaking inside is that you are damaging your own health and that is not good for you, your children or your husband.
    When the gambling addiction hurtles into family life it creates such a whirlwind of emotions that loved ones find their minds thinking and worrying about addiction 24 hours a day, they end up on the periphery of someone else’s life, and unable to live in the middle of their own.
    Has his addiction caused you to lose touch with friends, hobbies and interests? If so, please try and set time aside for ‘you’ every day to do something that you enjoy that has no connection to gambling whatsoever. This might seem such a pathetically small piece of advice but it works in that you keep your health and your mind in reality for part of the day, giving you time to enjoy ‘your’ life, thus helping you to build up strength to cope with this horrendous addiction.
    The addiction to gamble thrives on secrecy. F&F often feel the need to be secretive due to feelings of shame, inadequacy, guilt – but the addiction to gamble is not something that anybody chooses to own, your husband will not want his addiction anymore than you do. There is, therefore, no need for either of you to feel shame, inadequacy or guilt. Do you have close friends or family whom you could trust? If you have, maybe you could confide in one or more, letting them know that you are seeking practical support and that you don’t need advice – just support for you.
    It isn’t nerve that helps him lie to your face, it is more likely sheer panic. He is failing very time he gambles and he doesn’t know why so he lies to try and convince you that he knows what he is doing in the hope you will back off and let him find his way to ‘winning’. The addiction to gamble has nothing to do with money and everything to do with ‘the gamble’. All the talk of winning and repaying and making life easier is just talk – it is the gamble that is driving your husband to make such poor decisions in his life.
    I suggest that maybe you could download the 20-Questions from the Gambler’s Anonymous site and ask your husband to read it – or leave it around so that he can see it and know that you are seeking support. The 20-Questions can be an eye-opener to an active gambler in that he can see that he has a recognised problem.
    Your husband is controlled, at the moment, by his addiction but you are not – believe me, you are stronger than his addiction even though it probably does not feel like it.
    Try and imagine his addiction is a beast in the corner of the room. When you cross examine his behaviour over his gambling, the beast will come between you and suddenly you will find yourself in the middle of an argument without knowing how you got there. The addiction is the master of manipulation and it will seek to blame you for its need to gamble.
    Your husband is going to lie about his gambling behaviour so asking him why, etc. is a waste of time.
    There is a lot of support available these days for active gamblers who want to live gamble-free. Your husband might not want to life gamble-free yet, believing that his addiction will win for him in the end and sadly if he is not prepared to accept he has an addiction, you cannot save him.
    I believe in offering information to gamblers about good support in the hope that something will click with them. It is best to talk about support when your husband is not high on his addiction but when he is in a calmer period between gambles.
    I am going to leave this first reply here Mom and let you come back to me with thoughts and any questions.
    Your husband can control his addiction or I would not be writing to you. – he can live a wonderful gamble-free life.
    I am going to bring up my thread ‘The F&F cycle for you – hopefully it will help you recognise the pattern and help you to know that the confusion in your life is understood here.
    Keep posting and hopefully we can soon make you feel a little less lost.


    I am so sorry that you are facing such situation. I feel you. My very close one also in denial and I am here to know the ways to help him.


    Hello E18482
    Please start a thread for yourself as it is not possible to give you the support you deserve on someone else’s thread.
    If you scroll to the bottom of the forum page and click on ‘New Topic’ you will find a box in which to write your story. When you have done that simply give your thread a title and scroll down to ‘save’. Click on save and your thread will appear.
    I look forward to reading your post


    I hope you are doing better. I feel like your story is similar to mine. Except that when I found out, I had to tell someone. I called a support group and the entire time my husband was screaming at me “what are you doing??? Stop!!” He didn’t want me to talk to anyone I suppose. I listened to
    Dave K. tell me his story and his sisters story, and I didn’t really believe that I was in a situation like that, but it was actually much worse than I thought. I still think it’s much worked than he will ever admit.
    I am impressed that you are tech savvy and can tell how much he gambled. I have only the joint bank account that he used in his most desperate times when he was out of loans and credit. I would see strange deposits and wonder what it was, and then I saw all of the ATM withdrawals on our banking app. That was my extent of being tech savvy. I downloaded our banks app to my phone and, wow. He was gambling his entire two weeks pay in one night. Borrowing that back from his Parents so I wouldn’t notice. He also took out loans from his 401K. I only know because of the bank account deposits.
    When I confronted him he literally said it was all my fault.
    I don’t think they can ever gamble just a little bit. That is like an alcoholic just taking one sip. They can’t, and shouldn’t.
    I hope your situation is getting better. I confronted my husband one year ago, and I have struggled through his anger.
    His blame. His shaming me for calling him out on what he did and basically addressing the truth. I literally would find myself blurting out to my friends that my husband had a gambling addiction. It was too hard to hide. Not to everyone but a few peole I respected. I think it helped me somewhat. I would stalk these support groups for a year before I ever posted. I had a life coach tell me I should just get a divorce. O didn’t think I could at the time. I am meeting with a divorce attorney soon. In fact my husband said he was done with me and would be meeting with one a couple of weeks ago. He is an attorney, so I’m a little scared of how I will end up. I don’t want to live with him. But I want my children with me.
    I hope you can get your husband to admit he has a problem and actually stop gambling.
    I don’t even know if that is something we are supposed to do or say. I guess they have to decide for themselves. But I have decided for myself and for my kids that we deserve better.
    You deserve the best too. And being lied to is not the best for anyone. I hope you will let us know how you are doing.
    All the Best!

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