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    I’m new here. I just divorced my husband over gambling. I knew he had had some problems with gambling before we married in 2009, but he said he had learned his lesson and wouldn’t be doing that again. At that time I did tell him that gambling was a ‘deal breaker’ for me and he said he wouldn’t do it anymore. We got married in 2009 and apparently he has gambled some or all of that time until now. In Sept of last year he said that he had spent too much money on a boys trip to Vegas and I borrowed $3000 to help him(mistake I know). The following Feb I discovered it was much more than that and there seemed to be a pile of debt that he had accumulated. One lie after another seemed to come in and at the point that it was clear I wasn’t going to be told the truth, I stopped asking questions. I did some research and I took steps to protect myself(removed his name from checking accounts, lockbox in house, freeze on credit etc).

    My ex-husband never took any money out of our household accounts and all the debt was in his name. But after some research and understanding that CG is a progressive problem, I figured it was only a matter of time until he crossed those lines. Because he said he didn’t have a problem and because he refused to have any financial transparency, I divorced him in June. And I cannot begin to describe all the emotions that went along with that(I’m sure you are all having them too). I feel like I’ve abandoned him. I feel guilty. I choose not to wait until I was in financial ruin to leave him like some other wives have done and that makes me feel like I was a bad wife. I miss being married. I feel betrayed by him. And on and on.

    It’s now October and my ex-husband wants me to try to rebuild our relationship. He says he’s committed to stopping gambling. He is at his first GA meeting now and he’s started individual counseling for gambling and other issues he has which may or may not contribute to gambling.

    I am so confused. His conversation and accountability is different than it’s ever been. Not just a bunch of excuses and rationalizations. Actually accountability and openness about his problems and issues. I am cautiously optimistic. I want my husband back, but not if he continues to gamble.

    Is there hope for CGs? I know it’s a disease and needs treatment, but can it be controlled? I hear so many heartbreaking stories. I’m hoping to hear some stories that can give me hope that it can get better.




    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 Atompki
    I am so pleased that you have had the courage to post in this forum.
    I wouldn’t be on this site if I didn’t know that the addiction to gamble can be controlled and fantastic lives lived as a result. It takes enormous courage and dedication to control the addiction which, sadly, you have no control over, however, the right support can make a tremendous difference to the CG who wants to change his/her life.
    Please put all guilty feelings firmly behind you – you divorced a man who was unreliable, who was lying to you, who was not accepting his addiction and who had the potential to bring you down lower than you can imagine. As the addiction is progressive, unless treated, you were right to fear that he would cross the line. You made an informed decision that must have been very difficult for you, a decision that many, many ‘good’ wives have taken.
    It is impossible to know when a true recovery starts and as it is very early days for your ex-husband; your confusion is totally understandable. I think it is ok to be cautiously optimistic but it is equally important not to give way to false hope. Your words ‘his conversation and accountability is different than it’s ever been. Not just a bunch of excuses and rationalizations’ are indeed hopeful but as it will have taken him a long time to become overwhelmed by his addiction, it stands to reason that it will take him a long time to climb out of the abyss in which he has found himself.
    I cannot tell you what to do because all decisions must be yours but I hope to give you enough knowledge so that you can make the right decisions for yourself when ‘you’ are ready. It is so important that you look after yourself at this time, whether your ex-husband is truly attempting a recovery or not – do things that please you, pick up with old friends that maybe got put to one side as a result of living with the addiction, revive interests and hobbies, built up your strength and self-esteem which will have taken a battering – realize how important ‘you’ are – it is the best thing you can do for both of you. Living with the addiction will have consumed your thoughts for 24 hours every day so allow your mind time to enjoy the peace that comes from not living in the addiction’s shadow. Build your self-confidence so that when you come to make big decisions about your future you are sure of yourself and what you really want.
    If your ex-husband is truly embracing recovery he will value the fact that you are caring for yourself because he will not have the energy to care for you. Controlling the addiction will take selfishness while he fights his demons because only he can save himself
    It would be good to ‘meet’ you in the F&F only group on Tuesdays 20.00 -21.00 UK time but whatever happens please keep posting. Well done on your first post.

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