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    My other half is a gambler, which is often exasperated by drink and I’m not sure how to help. They have never openly admitted to me that there is a problem but have previously challenged themselves to a “sober month” or that they will stop. They are currently excluded from their online accounts but are still going to shops to place bets.

    They have obviously made a real effort to make sure Christmas could go as smoothly as possible and they did well on delivering on what was promised, which is something that hasn’t happened before, such as being where they were suppose to be and having the right gifts.

    January has proven to be more of a struggle. The couple of times we have been in a social drinking environment have been difficult and abusive and this has been recognised by them as a problem. This is resulted in a real desire to make changes, one of which is for us to live together (they are currently with their parents living and working in an area that is totally detrimental to any attempt at recovery).

    Moving closer to me would be enough to provide a fresh start. However, my concern is that in doing this I would just be an enabler. They currently do not have control of their own finances; previously they were looked after by an ex and now a parent. And going forward, it would need to be me.

    I care about them an awful lot but the lack of acknowledgement of the real problem and the thought that i am exposing myself to financial problems and further manipulation in the future is a real concern.

    I don’t know how best to help. To get them to seek help appropriately. All fam & friends say that it will only end in disaster and that’s what the logical side of me knows and what I would be saying to someone else. However, my love for them and the emotional side makes me want to protect them and help them. I know that they need to want to do it for themselves first, I dont know how to get to that point….



    Hello Logic

    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 Logic
    How did the sober month challenge go? Unfortunately, alcoholic drink appears to be an essential at social events – and when drink flows resistance is generally lowered. I am interested that your other half sees living with you as being the answer and although I cannot tell you what to do I am hoping that your choice of username is a strong pointer to your character.
    Your family and friends are obviously concerned about you but although I do not believe that disaster is an inevitability, I think you should learn all you can about gambling addiction before you make any move at all. Informed decisions are so much better that jumping in and hoping for the best.
    You are right when you say that a CG (compulsive gambler) has to want to control their gambling for their own sake and that you cannot make your other half stop for you.
    If you were to fast forward in your mind, do you see a peaceful future in maybe 6 months to a year? If you do not, which in my opinion would be the case, then I suggest you listen to your logical self. Controlling addiction takes time, courage, determination, single-mindedness and starts with acceptance of the problem followed by action. At the moment, you say, your other half is still placing bets in shops and this is not indicative of a person who is seeking change. Maybe your other half could be encouraged to self-ban from all the local betting shops as a first indication that he/she is prepared to do more than just talk about changing their life.
    Actions do speak louder than words and I don’t hear your partner’s actions and thoughts as being conducive towards controlling their addiction or addictions. I assume from the fact your other half’s parents are handling his/her finances that they are aware of the problem which is good. Sadly there are many parents who ‘know’ there is a problem but enable through ignorance or simply because they have not got a clue how to deal with the problem that they didn’t ask for or want.
    I agree it would be a fresh start for your other half to move closer to you but It seems to me that all the good bits of this ‘fresh’ start appear to belong to your other half. If it was me I would want to see a big change before I undertook such a relationship; for instance, if your other half were to attend GA or AA, or maybe join this site and its terrific CG groups or talk to our Helpline about ways forward – positive action rather than just words which are easy,
    I am sorry you haven’t had other replies, our forum is very quiet at the moment but please post again soon and maybe pop into the F&F group on Tuesday 20.00-21.00 hours UK time.


    Hi Velvet,

    Thanks for you kind words and taking the time to reply to this!

    The sober month challenge went well initially. He made it to about 3 weeks and caved in on the drinking first. This was due to his work colleages, ironically, betting on him to fail. One of the guys cut him in on the bet if he gave up and had a drink. Once he had failed with the drinking, he saw this as a failure of fhe whole thing and the gambling soon followed. I was really proud about how he had done but so disappointed that the peer pressure became too much.

    I totally agree with what you are saying about becoming more informed. That’s why i have reached out to you guys. Really i need help with how to be supportive to him without enabling him. Its such a fine line.

    My username was a deliberate choice. I am trying to be as logical as i can be but its sometimes easier said than done when emotions are involved.

    I think peaceful happiness would be a struggle in the next 6-12 month and would be difficult but not impossible. I have set boundries for what i would expect (although that hasnt extended to limits on how he gambles as i feel that needs to come from him rather than me telling him). And now things are left in his control. I feel that if he is as desperate to make change as he says he is, he needs to come to a point that he does something about it.

    I try to challenge his management of money with little tasks that require some forward planning and allocated money but if they fall through its not a financial concern. Meaning that there are fun activities to aim for away from gambling. Sometimes it works well, sometimes it spectacularly fails.

    For him, there is no acceptance of the fact that there is a problem. And that is the part i struggle with the most. It is an off topic matter. He has said that he doesn’t want to change who he and that counselling isn’t something he would ever do. So this is the other problem i have: trying to get him to engage with something like this would be practically impossible.

    For my CG, actions really do speak louder than words. And i would want that big change that you talk about before i could live with him. At the minute its almost a battle of wills, how long i can carry on v how long he will hold out on the fact that there is a problem. I’d love to see positive actions but i don’t know how he can get to that place without accepting that there is a problem. Or how we can move forward.

    With regards to the families – on my part, my friends just don’t know enough about it and, understandably want to protect me. His family have much more experience with addiction to a point that they are almost numb from it. So talking to either side would be a challenge.

    I feel like this is more ranty than my first post and probably much more disjointed…sorry about that but i do appreciate the response.


    Hi Logic
    I heard you putting the ‘flesh on the bones’ in your second post and not a bit of ranty anywhere. I think disjointed is the way it would come out if we were talking and as such I found it easy to follow your train of thought.
    I was told by a CG a long time ago that when his addiction was active, what ‘he’ wanted and needed was to gamble and that what ‘I’ wanted and needed didn’t matter one jot – it brought me up short and helped me to make some sense of a lot of what had gone before.
    In a battle of wills I’m afraid the gambling addiction has the upper hand because it is the master of manipulation and you are not and nor do you want to be. Addiction doesn’t do logic and reason – it defies sense, which is very hard to accept when a person loves a CG but in my opinion, it is better to know what you are facing.
    I am interested that you have found that fun activities away from gambling can be a distraction for your other half although sadly you say that even these can fail. It is one of the hardest; if not ‘the’ hardest thing for a CG who determines to live in control of his addiction, that he feels there is a void that cannot be filled because the addiction has often alienated friends, family and other interests and hobbies which would only have got in the way of the ‘gamble’.
    I’m not sure what you mean by ‘finances not being a concern’ but I imagine he has possibly earned enough to cover his gambling debts – so far. The addiction to gamble though is not about money it is solely about the ‘gamble’ and it is the ‘gamble’ that alters the personality and can make the kindest of people behave intolerably – money is the tool of the addiction – not the goal.
    If your other half is a compulsive gambler then, in my opinion, you setting boundaries is unlikely to have any effect. The addiction can be controlled but not ‘cured’ and abstention alone is not enough. If there was a magic pill or a simple guide to controlling a gambling addiction then this site, GA, etc would not exist. At the risk of being disjointed myself I am returning to your paragraph about the colleague who seemed to be the cause of your partner caving in after three weeks. Your partner did not know how to handle his colleague or the way his addiction made him feel when his resolve slipped – but his colleague was not to blame.
    It takes time to process all the information about gambling addiction but I’m not going anywhere so please keep posting.


    Thanks, Velvet. I think I could rant for England on this issue! And it feels so self centered. I’ll try not to rant though as that won’t help anything!

    Yes, that comment from the CG makes total sense to me and my situation. With my CG, it is clear that he does care about me and knows that the way he is acting isnt good enough. But he cant stop. Or, more importantly, he doesnt want to. He often talks about how hard he tries to keep everyone happy but doesnt manage it. The guilt eats him up, but not enough to make a change…

    Like I said, some of the fun activities fail. This weekend was one of them. There was an opportunity for a cheap weekend getaway, which is something he has talked about doing non-stop for ages and the perfect opportunity arose. All it took was putting money aside for booking low cost airline flights. The excuses came out, the delays on doing it and eventually the money had run out. It all feels like such a set back and I know I am not dealing with it in the best way.

    When I said “finances not being a concern”, I meant it in two ways. Firstly, and most importantly, that there is no financial impact on me. This is something I have learnt the hard way. If he has no money to do it, we dont do it. Secondly, because of the way he chooses to live, he lives a very simplistic lifestyle. He is paid weekly so he, luckily, doesnt have the struggle of blowing a full month’s wage but his limited lifestyle outgoings means that his wage is almost all disposable income. That then goes into the bookies back pocket.

    The moodswings and intolerable behaviour are what I find the most hardest to deal with. Do I fight fire with fire andstand my ground on the unacceptable behaviour? Do I sweep it under the carpet and ignore the issue…again? Do I let emotion take over and get underwhelmed and upset? Usually, a horrible combination of all 3. And that’s where I feel like I am letting him down. I cant support him enough.

    I completely agree that abstention isnt enough and he needs real help but he is totally unwilling to face up to any of this and definitely wont seek help (I want to say “at this stage” but that may be optimistic!)

    I know that no-one else is to blame for the choices my CG makes. However, the environment around him is so destructive and has so many layers to it, it is a whole issue in itself.

    Velvet, thank you again for your support. I didnt realise how much i needed an outlet for this. Gambling seems like such a secretive addiction with no obvious symptoms and such a mystery around it. I too have fallen into the see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil trap. And that needs to change!!


    Hi Logic
    Like you i didn’t know how much support I needed until I got it and it was like an oasis in the desert – I lapped it up because for the first time in years others made sense of the experiences I had had even if it was only to say ‘that happened to me too’. The more voices that said the same thing the more I realised I was not alone. The more voices that told me how they had successfully handled the addiction in their lives the more clearly I saw the way I had to move forward to survive.
    I know It isn’t the loss of money that is the problem (although It causes terrible distress and hardship) but it is the mood swings and intolerable behaviour that is hardest to deal with. It becomes easy to believe that the problem is yours because why would **** say or do these things to you. A relationship cannot be healthy when there is a lack of honesty and fighting fire with fire is probably the reaction of most F&F but it doesn’t work.
    I can see a fourth way for you cope rather than sweeping it under the carpet, ignoring the issue or letting emotion take over so that you get underwhelmed and upset? It isn’t easy to do even if it is, in essence, simple and it does make a difference – it is looking after yourself more than you have been doing. It is setting time aside every day for interests, hobbies and friends that have no connection whatever to do with gambling or your partner. It is re-finding yourself and showing your partner’s addition that you are stronger than it will ever be. It is changing yourself into the rock on which he can fasten himself to stop himself sinking, or he can choose to sink while you stay strong and firm – it is giving him freedom to choose.
    If those who love CGs allow themselves to be dragged down into the slough of despond with an addiction that they do not own then they will not be strong enough to survive themselves never mind being strong enough to support their CG when they determine enough is enough.
    It is, as you so rightly said, a battle of wills but his will is not his own – he is controlled by an addiction that only he can change. If you stand your ground and say enough is enough for you, which is not saying that you stop caring about the man you love, then hopefully he will accept sooner, rather than later, that the responsibility of his addiction lies with him. As long as you continue with the status quo there will probably be no moving forward with your partner, in my opinion, it would be better if you took over the driving seat and moved yourself forward, showing him the way by example.
    My favourite version of the Serenity prayer is .
    God grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change
    Courage to change the thing that I can
    And Wisdom to know it is me.
    Please keep posting and using the group which never seems to be long enough.


    Today marks almost two weeks since my CG and I last drank together. Today marks almost two weeks since my CG last had a drink. Today my CG fell off the wagon.

    I know that gambling is my CG’s overwhelming vice but drink does him no favours either. But today i got a little bit stronger.

    He made a few references to wanting to have a beer when we last met midweek but didn’t drink and said he was enjoying not drinking. I told him how well he had been doing without drink and not much more.

    Again today my CG tested the waters debating if he should have a beer or not. But it was different. Almost seeking my approval to cave. Again i reminded him how well he had done and that it was up to him if he wanted a beer or not.

    He got mad. Accusing me of judgy looks and being in a mood. I reminded him that i hadnt said anything about him having a drink. Its not up to me to make decisions for him. He is big enough to do that himself. That resulted in him pulling into the off licence and coming back with his beers.

    We got home, enjoyed our meal and he had a coke. I hoped that this was just pushing for a reaction but my heart leaped everytime he went to the fridge. Eventually he came back with his beer, offered it to me, i declined as i was driving so he poured it for himself.

    I said nothing and after a few minutes of debating with myself i realised i wasnt happy in that situation (the last time he drank was not a plesant experience and not something i want to be around again, he doesnt want to be like that towards me either).

    So i said so. I said i thought it was better that i left as i wasn’t comfortable being around him at the moment when he was drinking. He agreed that i should leave as i had said the one thing that has destroyed our relationship (i let that comment slide). I stayed and tried to open the lines of communication. He told me he didn’t want to talk, and for the first time, without tears and without shouting, i left. I hugged him and let him know how much i love him before i left but i was clear and strong in doing the thing that was best for me.

    I don’t know if i have done the right thing for my CG. I don’t know what it will do to my relationship. What i do know is that it was the best thing for me to do at that moment.

    Today i got a little bit stronger.


    Hope you had an enjoyable few days of celebrations. Thanks again for the message. The more i engage in this the more thereputic i find it and its so comforting to lnow there are other people there for support.

    I know that my relationship isn’t healthy and all i can do it be as honest as i can with my cg and hope that he wants to be that honest with me too. I’m still working towards a discussion about his gambling but that’s still a future dream/hope.

    I am starting to take care of myself. I do need that more. I have a girls holiday coming up which I’m excited about. Obviously i will be leaving CG behind but I’m much clearer now on the “I’m responsible for me, you are responsible for you” so am less worried about leaving him behind.

    I’m trying option number 4 more and more and my post above was my first start in this. Yesterday CG told me about money that he has now saved for a car. I praised him on having the money to do something positive and said i hoped he did something really positive with it. Now its just fingers crossed and see if he can deliver on it!!

    Today CG also discussed that it is likely that he will be taking a week off for an upcoming event which indulges his favourite form of gambling. From what i know of his brother already doing this before. It is a week off, in the pub gambling for the whole day, for a whole week.

    Obviously i would much prefer for CG to be in work ( and even if he was he would only work in the morning so there is still plenty of pub time). I don’t even know how to deal with this. Saying anything negative goes against my whole “you decide” attitude. But the idea of him spending a whole week in the pub drinking and gambling fills me with dread.

    I think the status quo has come about as i see it now that i am making his life easier rather thank making it better. They are two separate things. I don’t know how to break the cycle. I want to stand my ground but he will see it as an ultimatum. He will push away and that kills me.

    CG isn’t speaking to me and i am about to go away on a work trip ( to where cg and i should have gone away). Everything is up in the air. Which is stressful for me as a fixer. I just have to let the land lie now i guess.

    I won’t be in the group chat this week as i will be travelling. Hopefully i will be back (and on time) next week. Meanwhile i will keep posting


    Your strength inspires me…its hard to know whats right or wrong to do…its hard for me not to question (or monitor as my husband says)…but this is all so new im changing everything about me so i can learn to deal with correctly my CG … im a wife and its stuck in the back of my head “this is your right” but i need to stop and think “this is whats right”..ty again for your inspiration and i congratulate you on your stregnth.


    So right now it is hard. I am out of the country on a business trip so cant really do more than text my CG.

    After i walked out, I let CG know I was home safe and how much I had enjoyed the rest of our weekend. I also text to let him know I had landed safely. I heard nothing apart from him telling me to use the trip to move on and I was making him out to be a monster. I tried to reassure but that didnt go well.

    The last I heard from CG was a text saying “yeah whatever…so long logic”. And i dont know what to do next. I sent a screenshot of a previous conversation of him saying how much he needs me to communicate with him and let him know when he is slipping up.

    But I have now seen comments on the my journal page of a CG that resents being reminded of what they have previously said and now I’m worried that I have done something wrong.

    For now its radio silence on both sides. I dont know what to do. During the day it is easier as I can distract myself with business. I’m scared about having to go back to the hotel room. every fibre in my being wants to contact him and sort this out…i know i cant. but it is so hard. Really struggling here.


    Hi Logic
    Stop worrying about sending your CG a screenshot – he wrote the words and they were words composed by him when he was in a better frame of mind and wanting to know when he was slipping up.
    He has slipped up and you reminded him just as he asked – you have done nothing wrong.
    Enjoy your travelling and please don’t let something you read in another forum cause you to feel any apprehension – you did well and if you are in any doubt perhaps you could contact our Helpline as I know you can’t make the group this week.
    Speak soon


    Thank you for writing to me. I really need that right now.

    I’m having a tough time with work and am carrying a lot of anxiety. More than any anxiety that I have felt before…

    Rejection and disengagement from my CG isnt helping but I know that even if we were talking he couldnt help with my anxiety anyway. I just miss having him there.

    Just feel quite worthless and unloved right now and am desperately trying to protect myself.

    I will try and get onto the helpline but it wont be today so I will have to try and keep strong. I’m not as strong as i hoped or thought.


    So i’m back in the UK.

    Messages between CG and I have returned but are very strained.

    His child wanted to see me which i think soften CG up a little bit and is hard for me as it is not easy to be away from them both (I dont think that is a guilt tactic, i think realising that his child was missing me made CG think about things a little)

    He is seeing everything as me creating the problems and trying to cause drama whilst he wants to lead a stress-free life.

    I have been trying to point out that he needs to communicate better and that there will be stresses in his life whether i am in it or not. He is basically putting up every shield he knows to withdraw from me.

    We will see how it goes. Velvet, i did speak to the helpline, it was nice to get some support so i will keep pushing with helping myself before I can help anyone else…


    So today I found out my partner has been suspended from work enquiring investigations. My partner confessed all telling me he had been stealing from work to gamble. He has always dabbled in gambling or gone to the races etc but just before Christmas apparently his gambling got worse. I really don’t know what’s goin to happen now, he’s obviously going to lose his job but I’m praying they don’t get the police involved as this will ruin him. He will have a criminal record and it would be very doubtful he would get a job again and I’m very worried. We have deleted everything and banned him from all betting shops etc and I now have full control over his finances but I’m worried sick about our future.
    He is genuinely gutted, I’ve never seen him cry before but he was shaking and breaking down its was horrible. I know he is deeply sorry and I will support him as much as I can but I really am s**ting myself about the police situation! Any advice is hugely appreciated x

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