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    My husband gambles.  I never thought it would get to this point where I have to seek help and it saddens me so much.  However I’m trying to remain strong and optimistic.  He has asked me to get him help and he will accept therpy.  He gambles money we can’t afford to lose.  

    It’s always about $500 to $1,500 and he says we can make it up next month.  We usually do but I hate that it causes a big fight, big emotional roller coaster for both of us.  We have only been married 10 months, I’ll never forget a month before our wedding day he gambled $1,000 dollars

    of hard earned money we BOTH worked for, so we could spend extra on our honeymoon.  He was so sorry, I forgave and yet we are on same boat…every 2 months it seems like he blows money.  He tells me I should leave him because he can’t change.  Then the next day he feels so sorry.

    He has admitted when he gets bored he wants to gamble, his dad was the same way.  He has told me he feels unfilled in his life and finds satisfaction in the high risk and chasing to win the money back.  He’s addicted to porn as well and has been honest 

    about that.  He has cut down drastically.  He started meditation about 3 months ago.  He goes online and finds apps or videos to guide him, meditation for addicts. 

    He was feeling great but he’s started back up again with bad habits.  I’m praying this time he is going to seek professional help.  I can’t make the appointments for him. 

    He had been saving money to take a trip with his daughter (my step daughter) and last night he gambled that money.  $1,500.  I know that may not 

    seem like alot but it is for us.  I know for a fact if our bank account had $10,000 he would gamble that.  I tell him that is my fear, the more finanically succesful we become, the more money he will put at risk.  He needs help NOW.  I have never experienced this in my life.  I don’t 

    understand it.  I deal with issues of marrying a divorced man with a child.  Dealing with this as well is taking a toll on me.  He is an amazing person, hard worker, great dad.  Yet this is going to destroy him if he keeps at it. He has no friends and says his work won’t allow to make friends, 

    he is too busy.  He can only dedicate his time to me, his child and his mom.  I tell him community and friendships do matter.  I feel he is lonely.  He says he feels unfilled in life and needs help. 


    Hello Sunny

    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 🙂

    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 Sunny
    I am glad you have sought help; it is a lonely business living with someone with a gambling addiction.
    Compulsive gamblers often work hard so that they have the money to gamble; do you think your husband has to work as hard as he is doing or is he putting in extra hours to get extra gambling money?
    It is common for a compulsive gambler to spend every waking hour thinking about the next gamble, believing it to be the most important thing in their life – and then when the ability to gamble is removed they can feel a massive void and not know what to do with their time and thoughts.
    Did he used to have hobbies and friends before his addiction gripped him. Do you have a circle of friends that he could be included in? Do you have hobbies in which he could participate?
    Your husband has asked you to get him help but you don’t feel able to make the appointment. I believe that your husband should make the appointment himself but as he is dragging his feet maybe you could suggest you do it together.
    Try and not get into the big fight Sunny, fighting, along with pleading and threatening, is a waste of energy where this addiction is concerned; it wears you out and doesn’t change a thing.
    I have brought my thread ‘The F&F Cycle’ up for you to show you how easy it is to get caught up in the cycle of addiction.
    It seems to me from what you have said that he is trying to control his addiction without dedicated support but this site and GA wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t important to get the right treatment. I am sure that meditation is beneficial but I believe he needs real direction.
    The addiction to gamble is like having a head full of water which distorts thoughts and doesn’t allow any breathing space – with support your husband can learn to tip out some of that water making room for honest, logical thought.
    It is more than a bad habit Sunny, a bad habit can be cured but addiction has to be controlled – there is no cure but it is because I ‘know’ that the addiction to gamble can be controlled that I am writing this to you now.
    Accepting an addiction is a big step, taking responsibility and acting upon that acceptance takes courage and determination.
    We have an excellent Helpline on this site which your husband can contact, it is anonymous and one-to-one; he would be very welcome. Maybe you could download the 20-questions from the Gamblers Anonymous web site, it might help him to realise he is not alone but that there is real and good support for him.
    I hope you will keep posting. I believe that those who love compulsive gamblers also need support and recovery from this debilitating addiction.


    Velvet, thank you so much for your response, you don’t know how much this means to me.  I feel so alone in this because I have not told a soul.  Your response is making me step back and breath a litttle and see some direction on how to proceed.  This whole situation is so embarrasing for me.  Especially since we are newlyweds.  I’ve been bragging about how hard we work and how much I love him. 

    Although I already knew he gambled I found out yesterday that he lied to me and spent WAY more than I was aware of in the past 2 months, he promised me he had cut his betting cards and account and he never did.  I feel so naive and I’m not talking to him right now.  I blew up and told him I feel robbed and lied to, that is my money too he is gambling.  The anwer to your questions are:  He has to work hard because we opened up our own business.  He has a full time job but we have a side business that involves alot of his time and dedication.    So far it’s been going well the past 2 years and I am amazed at his hard work. He pays people on time and gets the work done.  BUT barely…it’s like he knows exactly how much he can get away with.  We have lived paycheck to paycheck the past 3 years.  We do travel, go out to eat, etc.  So he throws that in my face and says I am lacking nothing.  However when he gambles he is furious, sad to the point now he cries at his loss and begs me to help him.  That he feels unfufilled in his life.  But then two days go by and he says it’s all ok.  It has gotten worse in the past year, and he knows it too. 

    My hobbies are running and exercise which he took up with me about 5 years ago.  Maybe I should sign him up for more running events.  My friends are his friends but we don’t hang out very much due to time.  Also when there is time he likes to be alone.  I am more of the social one. I did sign us up to a bible study and he has attended.    

    He has never had many friends.  He did have 2 best friends that both commited suicide within a year of each other (about 8 years ago).  They both were into drugs and as my husband got wiser he said he tried to stay away from that.  My husband’s dad died around the time he was getting divorced, which was around the time frame his friends past away.  He saw less of his daughter and that has taken a HUGE toll on him.  It depresses him when she is not around.  I completly understand that.  Which is why this is so hard for me.  I know why he is so depressed.  He admits he had a rough childhood, his dad gambled, drank, verbally abused his mom.    

      I will stop the fighting and pleading Velvet because that route has not been helping.  I just feel like I am allowing it to happen by being horrible as that sounds just typing this.  We are in the middle of trying to have a baby of our own, chase our dreams and this gambling has scared me to the point that I am asking myself can I do this?? I do love him though.  I will download the 20 questions and show him.  The day I joined this group I wrote him a letter with phone numbers of thearpy in our area.  I called one place but they told me he had to call, not me.  I told him and he said he wishes someone would go to our house or I make the appointment.  I will try another place, and like you said..I will tell him I can go with him as well. I did tell him I made an appoitnment myself for counceling on how to deal with this. I am looking forward to that appointment because I can’t keep this to myself anymore. I’d rather talk to a professional before my family.  I don’t want critisim to affect my decisions.    

    I feel better and see some light even though I have mixed emotions at the moment.


    Hi Sunny
    If my response to you gave you half of what I felt the evening that I became aware that I was not alone, that I was not mad and that there was hope for me; I would be very happy.
    I also did not tell anybody else what was going on in my life, due to my confusion, shame and guilt – but mostly because it felt disloyal, which in hindsight was misplaced loyalty.
    I know now that the addiction to gamble is the last thing that a person who has ever placed a bet wants to end up with – it is horrific and soul destroying. Your husband would love to bet responsibly but he can’t and he doesn’t know why. You are gaining knowledge here that he does not have and which he will not be willing to listen to, until he is ready.
    I would never suggest that you leave or stay with your husband, all decisions have to be yours but informed decisions are better than acting ‘in the heat of the moment’ and possibly living with regret.
    I think that ‘on the ground’ support is the excellent but asking for support from families and friends can often result in unhelpful opinions and suggestions. I believe in telling loved ones that ********** has an addiction to gamble which he neither asked for nor wanted but that you are getting professional help to deal with it. However, you would appreciate them being there for you, being positive for you and helping you to enjoy your life while you are going through this difficult patch which you know you will come through.
    Nothing you said sounded unsupportive but maybe the following will help you; it is a method that has been used successfully by many for dealing with a loved one with a gambling addiction.
    Imagine when you have conversations with your husband that his addiction is a slavering beast in the corner of the room. As long as you are not talking about gambling and keep your cool it will stay in the corner.
    Your husband is controlled by his addiction beast but you are not and nor will you be unless you allow it. When you threaten it by raising anything to do with gambling, the beast leaps between you and takes control of the conversation. It is the master of threats and manipulation and will have you in the middle of an argument without you knowing how you got there. Arguments give it reason to breathe so that it can blame you for all the problems, thus exonerating itself from blame.
    Once the addiction beast is fully activated you will only hear the beast speak and because it thrives on lies and deceit it will seek to demoralise you; when you speak, your husband hears your words as though through water, your lips move but the addiction-distorted words don’t make sense.
    The CG in my life explained it to me in this way: While I was explaining to him that if he told the truth and lived honestly he would be happy; his addiction-distorted mind was convincing him that I was lying, that only his addiction would save him. When I told him I loved him he believed I was lying because as he said ‘who would love the unlovable, worthless failure’ his addiction had convinced him that he was? Lost and afraid he fought back with more lies, blame and deceit because he didn’t have any other coping mechanism.
    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 is going to be different. I think it is good, although difficult, to block out the lies because by wanting to believe them, you become receptive. If you can stand back and listen to what your husband 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 and able to reclaim and control your own life.

    Your husband is not responsible for himself at the moment and a further life for him to worry about ‘could’ cause him further anxiety. To control an addiction requires further selfish behaviour; your husband will need to concentrate on himself and his actions and it doesn’t happen overnight. . You must do what is right for you; however, I do not have a crystal ball!
    Putting your interests and happiness first is really important while your husband’s addiction is controlling him. When a CG seeks recovery he will face unnecessary guilt and shame even though his actions as an active CG were not designed to hurt deliberately. The less wreckage there is will make his hope of controlling his addiction much easier. Furthermore, the more you do for you at this time, the stronger you will be for the rest of your life. I do believe that turning a bad experience into a good lesson in life is the best way of poking a stick in the eye of the gambling addiction.
    I will end there because I think there is so much to learn at the beginning that it is hard to take it all on board but please keep posting you are doing well. I hope you find a counsellor who has a good knowledge of addiction; general counsellors can sometimes be a trifle unhelpful!
    Speak soon


    Hi Sunny,

    I understand what you’re going through. There is nothing more insulting than watching your partner blow 6 months of your salary right before your eyes. As far as I know my boyfriend has never touched my money (due to a previous boyfriend stealing $10,000 from me I keep everything separate it’s not because I don’t trust him). That being said I don’t trust him, not with money. $1,500 is almost a moths salary for me. It’s a lot of money for me too. One night he told me about this “rush” he gets from winning and it’s the best feeling in the world. Better than anything else. Once he told me that I knew he was hooked and I felt so unwanted. I know it’s the dopamine in his brain, but it still made me feel like I didn’t make him want me. That might sound selfish but everyone wants to feel wanted. I hate to be blunt but it will only get worse. I’ve been dealing with this and denying it for three years. I’ve been promised love and marriage and I don’t even think he wants to take me out to dinner, forget getting married. When you get to know someone really well you start to know when they’re lying to you. Don’t be in denial, I don’t know if this makes sense but when he’s heading to the casino even when I’m at work or cooking dinner I’ll just sense it. I feel it in my gut like an anxious feeling of “something’s wrong” he gets ticks and acts a certain way when he’s fixing to leave. I see it coming every time. Don’t fall for the lies. For example today in the car I was holding his hand while driving and his fingers were twitching and he couldn’t focus he kept looking in different directions. I said “you’re going to the casino again aren’t you?” He denied it, and then not even 15 minutes after we got home I catch him getting dressed. He tried to tell me I gave him the idea but that’s a lie. I just called him out on it. I honestly hope it gets better for you. But your husband has to get help and you can’t just take his word for it. I hope it gets better.


    Hi Aellis,

    Thank you for your support and taking the time to respond to my message.  We both understand the pain of this ugly disease.  I do have faith and hope that when we look to the positive, things will work out.  No matter what, even if it’s with a life without the partner we love.  My husband has seeked help, we are in the middle of finding a thearpist.  I also have stepped aside and focused on myself, it’s so true what Violet says..don’t lose yourself in this situation.  My husband has his own issues to solve, he’s been through a lot in his life and most recently something that has to do with his daughter.  So it’s a mix of depression as well.  He has a great heart and I pray the proper help helps him heal.  I hope that for you as well.  I’m assuming there is a lot of love for your boyfriend.  You are right, actions speak louder.  I’m in the middle of seeing my husband take action and we will both proceed and see where we are heading.  It’s hard as hell! Don’t get me wrong, he’s had the urge to gamble and he can’t.  He’s given me power of all his accounts and so when he got the urge he had no money, he sat in his pain and he said it was horrible.  I’m happy there is support out there for us as well.  Talking about it gives me some relief and & hope 


    Hi Aellis

    If you return to this thread, I hope you will start your own thread. The support here is unique to the member who seeks help. When nothing you are doing seems to work it is good to try something different. Starting a thread here could be that difference.

    I hope I can welcome you soon.


    Hi Sunny It was great to read your update and to hear that things are progressing. Retaking your life is a slow process, as is controlling an addiction but true recoveries have to start somewhere and you are making a good start.

    When a loved one is feeling pain it is so easy to slip into sharing that pain but in doing so the pain can become overwhelming. I think we become creatures of our own making, anxious, distrusting, and depressed. The compulsive gambler who feels all of those things, as a result of addiction, is then living with someone in the same pit of despair and neither can see the light.

    Staying positive in the face of an addiction is incredibly difficult but by standing steadfast, rather than ‘joining in the pain’, F&F can be the rock for the CG to cling to when the going gets tough.

    I fully understand why F&F get reduced to blubbering wrecks having been such a person but it did nothing to alleviate the misery of my life or the misery of the gambler I love.

    I can hear you are doing well, managing the finances and focussing on yourself.

    Well done, keep posting



    I spend time every day in [url=]utan insattning[/url] and I do not see anything terrible here. I can not understand why you do not support your spouse. It is important that you understand it. Maybe then he will only hear you and stop playing cards

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