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    I think my wife has a gambling problem.
    She was going to the mall this past Saturday to by shoes and I said I would tag along. Then then told me that after getting shoes that she was going to the casino. The last time she went was about 5 weeks prior. I was out playing a round of golf with friends and called her around 1 to let her know I was on my way home. She told me she was at the casino. She did not get home until 8 pm.
    This Saturday when she informed me of her plan I took her in my arms and told her I was scared and felt she had a gambling problem.
    She said it was the only exciting thing she does and that I’m no fun. She is very upset with me and slept in the spare bed room last night.
    I think this is going to lead to a breakup of our 31 year marriage.
    Was I wrong? Please help.


    Welcome Paul. Some of what you write sends off warning signs and some doesn’t. A five week gap between casino visits doesn’t sound like a problem. Getting defensive and sleeping in the other room when you want to talk about it does seem a little off. What other details can you provide about the situation? The frequency of visits, changing behavior, financial gains/losses etc.


    She does not go to the casino every week, but it is getting to the point where I don’t want to give her an excuse to go. She tried to say that it is no different then me playing golf. For her to go to the casino and sit for six hours, I just dont think it is the same. Please tell me if I am wrong. I so want to be wrong. The other thing is she plays the slots on her computer for hours every day. I don’t think she is playing with real money but still just clicking and spinning the slots.
    The other issue is she does all the books for our house hold so I don’t really know what is going out. I can almost say that we are living paycheck to paycheck from what I see from our savings and checking account.
    I think most people on average go to the casino once or twice a year. She tries to go or suggest we go to a concernt so she can play a little.
    If I am wrong I think I have really pissed her off. She is not talked to me much this weekend.


    Hi Paul,
    If you were wrong I think she would laugh at you and not huff. Like if I asked you were you robbing a bank rather than playing golf? It seems like she is evading the issue and evading you right now as she does not want to face your questions.
    However she does sound lonely although guilt induction is a very common tactic. Golf is a very time consuming hobby.
    It’s not the frequency of visits which really indicates if there is a problem. It’s the amount of recklessness I would say . Also she may well have visited every time you played golf and not told you . Does she still have lots of new clothes, buy good food etc. I think living from paycheck to paycheck is a big red flag .

    It strikes me that rather than seeking help you immediately see this may be the end of your 31 year long marriage so perhaps there are other issues here and maybe both of you would benefit from exploring these . Although it could be of course that this issue has worried you for a long time and you are only able to confront it right now .

    Here is a link to gamanon, a website for families of people with a gambling addiction. You may find the questions here useful.

    Are you living with a Compulsive Gambler?

    I hope you find that your wife is not suffering from a gambling addiction Paul.


    Paul, I read several red flags in your response.

    1. The anger and deflection of you questioning her.
    2. Playing slots online for hours everyday, I would be shocked if she isn’t playing real money.
    3. Her having 100% control of the finances to the extent you have no idea but you think you might be broke.
    4. I agree with above poster about the fact that the first thing you write is about this potentially ending your marriage. IF she does have a problem, don’t you want to walk with her through the process of getting help and see her get better? And I’m not judging or casting any blame , just asking for clarification.




    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

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    Hi Paul
    I cannot know from what you have said whether or not your wife has an addiction to gamble. Most CGs (compulsive gamblers) will gamble for fun at the beginning without realising that addiction is waiting for them and sadly the realisation doesn’t usually come until it is too late. It is important to note, I believe, that compulsive gamblers neither ask for nor want their addiction – they would love to be able to gamble responsibly but they cannot.
    I hope you are wrong in your worries but you are right, I believe, to question what is going on, however, there is a lot of support nowadays for CGs and I hope you will put all thoughts of a breakdown in your marriage on a back burner until you are sure about the situation. Has your marriage been a happy one apart from these recent concerns?
    Maybe it is time that you did know what is going on with your household accounts. If you wife has control over all the finances and yet she is found to be out of control with her gambling you may well find yourself with a significant debt in your name .
    I cannot tell you what to do but as your wife is expressing the need to escape into a casino and you are worried about what is going on maybe marriage guidance counselling would be a better way forward for you both.
    I suggest that you download the 20 questions from the Gambler Anonymous web site – compulsive gamblers will answer yes to at least 7 of the questions.
    Speak soon

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