Get practical support with your gambling problem Forum Friends and Family New to forum.. struggling and would really appreciate some advice

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    I apologise in advance that this is not as detailed as it should be I’m just snatching 5 minutes while my baby in bed and other kids watching tv. I just came across this forum and am so glad I did. My husband has destroyed our lives has gambled everything away our security our time etc etc. 100k plus lost and he’s still up to his eyes gambling and is like a ghost. I’m worried about his health his sanity our future our kids etc. He also drinks a lot and hides alcohol. He works all hours in dead end jobs for pittance to pay interest on debts he can’t pay. He’s blacklisted and so was I until recently. He took loans in my name and defaulted. I’ve left him come back to him etc etc he has a good heart but is lost to this addiction. Addiction runs in his family. We’ve no extended family for help. I’m stronger than I was but to leave him would break my kids heart esp my daughter she idolizes him and has no idea.
    Anyway I’d love to be able to get in touch with others in similar position for advice and support. Thank you in advance x


    Hi Rkelly
    8.06pm Tuesday if you come back to your computer within the next three quarters of an hour pop into the F&F group – you will be very welcome and understood



    Hello Rkelly

    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 RK
    Your first post was great – you put you points across well and you are understood.
    Having a good heart sadly does not mean that an addiction can’t cause behaviour that wrecks lives and it is good that you have found this forum where you can learn more about his addiction which will give you the ability to cope.
    I would never suggest you leave your husband – I will support you for as long as you want me to do so and I believe that in time, with the support from this site you will be in a position to make informed decisions that are right for you, your children and your husband.
    Addiction running in families makes this harder but certainly not impossible to control.
    Drinking unfortunately lowers his resistance to his gambling – has he ever sought help for either his drinking or his gambling? Does he accept he has a problem? Is he encouraged in his drinking and gambling by his family?
    I appreciate you have a young baby but are you working yourself – could you open an account in your own name to protect your finances? Would your husband be willing to hand over the finances of the family to you?
    I also appreciate that you are worried about his health and sanity but I would like you to worry for yourself first. If your health and sanity is affected by your husband’s addiction then you will not be able to support anybody. At the moment you are the only person bearing all the responsibility for your family and you need your strength. Every day please do something that pleases you and has nothing to do with gambling so that for a time each day your mind is able to heal a little.
    I wouldn’t be writing to you if I didn’t know that the addiction to gamble can be controlled, even with addiction running through the family, even with debts of 100k plus, even when everything looks completely lost – your husband can change his life but he has to want to do so – he has to accept he has a problem and be ready to take responsibility for his behaviour.
    Speak soon – you have here a form of extended family who are always listening.


    Thank you so much velvet for your reply I am so grateful for the support I feel better just reading it. I have my own bank account since this started years ago thankfully so he cannot damage us as much any more. He transfers his money into mine each month but I know he is borrowing pay day loans etc etc to do this because of his gambling habit he is supposed to give me most of his wages but his finances are a mess. I became aware how bad it was last week but since then have told him that he still needs to for our mortgage / kids etc as normal cos we’ve paid enough already for his gambling habit and I said I refuse to let me or kids go without any more like I have in the past I’ve remortgaged etc etc and now think I’m making it worse. Tho I don’t know if I’ve done the right thing by saying this cos I don’t want to stress him out more. He’s been to ga but says it’s not for him. He claims he’s been back recently since he admitted to me he’s still heavily involved in gambling but he has lied about going before just to please me so who knows. His family live far away so they don’t really influence him we are kind of on our own but his sister is a heavy drinker and his dad has gambled all his life and has all the behavior traits of a compulsive gambler. Sorry my son is crying for a feed thank u so much again I will reply properly this evening x


    Hi R
    My favourite words in your post were ‘ I refuse to let me or kids go without any more like I have in the past’ in those few words you are retaking power of control over your life. – well done.
    The words that I use to keep myself safe are ‘I will never let the addiction hurt me again’ – similar words and they work for me.
    I wasn’t using those words, however, when the addiction was damaging me because I didn’t know anything about addiction so I know how difficult it is to keep determination alive and to believe that what you are doing is the right thing for everybody.
    Your husband is indeed vulnerable and I understand your later words ‘I don’t want to stress him out more’ but it is the stress of his addiction (not you) which is rippling like a pebble thrown into a pond – he gambles, he drinks, he loses control, he loses money, he owes more and he takes more and more dead end jobs to clear debts that seem insurmountable. It is like a downward spiral with no end.
    Not everybody gets on with GA and it might help him to understand that that is not the only way he can change his life. I am wondering if he would consider contacting our Helpline – it is manned by dedicated counsellors and a CG who has lived in control of his addiction for years and knows exactly how your husband feels. We also have CG only groups run by a CG who has lived in control of his addiction for years. These options are completely anonymous and the Helpline is one-to-one. Nothing your husband is saying and doing has not been heard before but many have changed their lives by trying a different route – there is no one size fits all. One of the expressions used constantly on this site is ‘you say you have tried everything and it hasn’t worked so what can you do that is different this time?’ There is always something.
    It will be hard for you to stay so determined to stand against his addiction but allowing it to continue only makes it worse. I really hope you can make the group on Tuesday as communicating in real time is like sitting together on a settee with a cup of tea of a glass of something.
    With Christmas coming I know the strains all round will be harder so please keep talking. Do you have a friend who you can trust, preferably one who will listen but not offer unhelpful opinions, which sadly is too common?
    Over the weekend please make sure you have some ‘me’ time, perhaps an hour a day, when gambling is denied room in your mind.
    He can life gamble free but he needs to seek help, I have never heard of a real success when a CG has gone it alone.
    Speak soon


    Thank you so much for your advice and reply I really appreciate it I read it a while ago but couldn’t reply my phone wasn’t showing a reply option for some reason. We managed to get through Christmas positively for the sake of the kids and my husband really tried but he is struggling its so obvious. I do follow advice which I was given years ago when this all started about looking after myself and the kids, focusing on things other than gambling and being positive. I am good at all these things but deep down I am worried about how things are going to be next week next month etc. As it stands at the minute I have told my husband I am not bailing him out financially this time as I have done so before and it hasn’t helped. I’ve told him that he needs to continue to pay our mortgage and bills as normal and if he can’t pay his gambling debts he can default on them even if it adversely affects his credit as these are the natural consequences of his actions and I can’t protect him from that. I am on maternity leave and therefore not in a financial position to bail him out even if I wanted to. But I know he’s borrowing from peter to pay Paul so to speak every month and I feel like my demands are maybe making it worse? However we need the money to survive and I’ve borrowed thousands upon thousands in the past to help him and am scared that if I do it again the resentment of taking from my kids and myself to pay for his problem that he chose notuto get help with over and over again when he had the chance will eat me up inside and I won’t be able to function and as I pointed out to him I am the only person my kids can truly rely on at the minute there is nobody else. Sorry for ranting on but the bottom line is I am very concerned about the right thing to do in this situation and would really appreciate some advice from someone with experience / knowledge. I think my instincts to protect my kids and myself are correct but at the same time I don’t want to be responsible for him having a breakdown or something. I know he needs professional help but I really question whether he has the maturity. I’ve tried a couple of times to use the online helpline of this site but had no luck.. wondering if there is a telephone helpline I could use or what is the best way to ask for advice on this?? I always seem to have my hands full with the baby / kids but am anxious to speak to someone to get things clear in my head before speaking to my husband.
    Thank you so much again. Roisin xx


    I would like to applaud you, Roisin on the above post.
    As a CG, I can tell you that you are doing everything a gambler needs to have done, to delay or even prevent further gambling.
    A CG has to pick up his on tab and will gladly neglect to do so, for as long as somebody else does.
    In my case, my husband paid the mortgage , the bills etc which allowed me the “freedom” to dispose of colossal sums of money year in, year out and as my salary was very good, I also had great borrowing power. All this enabled me to follow a path of financial destruction, not to mention the effect it had on my physical, spiritual, psychological and emotional well being.
    But, gambling is a progressive disease and
    It’s difficult for you to sit back, I know, and watch your husband self destructing. It would be far easier to turn a blind eye, (as many wives/husbands do) sweep all the damage under the proverbial carpet and borrow more money to cover his tracks and meet family needs. That is how the cycle of destruction continues. That is what I did and not only did I borrow on my own behalf, but I coerced my husband and many “weaker” members of my inner circle to “cough up” every time I needed funds to gamble. The need becomes insatiable.
    In hindsight, the one thing that amazes me still, is that none of these “enablers” called a halt to my “madness”. Oh, yes, they sometimes quibbled, raised questions and muttered but the power of addiction silences even the strongest objector. When a CG needs money to gamble, we absolutely HAVE to have it and will stop at nothing to secure our demands. In the throes of action there is no way you can stop a CG from gambling.
    This continues saecula saeculorum, until “something” changes.
    That “something”in my case was the recession i.e. I was refused further credit from the banks and by then my needs/demands (and debts) were so great, that no “enabler” could bail me out.
    Everything changed in my world from that point onwards.
    Every gamblers’ story is different , but the outcome is always the same. Tears, despair and as the GA books describe “Prison, insanity or death”.
    Yes, Roisin, in the course of my gambling , I have witnessed all three.
    I’m guessing by your name that you could be Irish. Don’t let this statement threaten your anonymity though. Many GT members, including myself, use “stage” names. I just mention it to draw your attention to the GAMBLERS ANONYMOUS site, which runs groups for both gamblers and “victims”. If you need to speak to somebody on the phone you will find a listening ear there and you will be directed to Gamanon , should you care to attend a meeting with people wo are in a situation similar to your own and who will speak and understand your “language”. Give it a shot Roisin. Make the time. YOU deserve all the help you can get because CGs and their spouses very often suffer “breakdowns” which could be avoided when we are given the appropriate help and support.
    STAY STRONG, one day at a time.
    Never lose hope!


    Hi R
    Deep down, however much we try and look after ourselves, I think that with addiction in the home it is impossible no to have it ticking away somewhere in the brain but tucking it away securely, to the back of your mind for an hour or two every day, is a start towards filling your mind with new and happier thoughts which the addiction has often stifled.
    Your understanding of your husband’s addiction and a very good understanding of enablement will hopefully help him to take the responsibility her needs to take, if he is to control his addiction.
    Maternity leave has given you the positive incentive to stand your ground and so often that is what F&F should do but have trouble actually doing. It is often the financial rock bottom for F&F that bring the message home that they are sinking along with the addiction and the realisation that enough is enough or they will not be able to cope any longer.
    I am so sorry you are having trouble contacting our Helpline and I’m sorry there is no direct telephone line. Maybe you could email the site and set up a time for you to talk – it is usually open between 09.00 – 17.00 hours UK time and is excellent. The group on Tuesdays is available to you and I have some evenings where only one member pops is – you would be very welcome. I would understand if you kept disappearing to cope with your baby/kids – if often happens.
    I suggest you keep doing what you are doing and hopefully your husband will respond. The addiction to gamble does create an emotional immaturity and this is understood by those who are dedicated to counselling/therapy with this addiction. As I said before GA isn’t for everybody but there is a lot of help and hope when your husband decides to commit to a gamble free life.
    Speak soon

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