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    I am a single mother of 3 great children. Approximately 12 years ago my now ex-husband gambled over 45k on online poker sites. We sold our house to pay some of the debt and he went bankrupt for the rest. I tried to support him but to be honest he didn’t seem interested in making things right or acknowledging what he had caused. I think I acted in shock for many years and last year I finally looked for help for financial and emotional abuse with SDA as I have never gotten over what happened. This has definitely had a negative effect on my parenting. I could shake my younger self for trying to support him. I can’t wait to feel stronger emotionally and get back the optimism for life that I had. I now live with my children in a mouldy damp house on housing benefit. Unable to move to a better house because of the housing benefit discrimination that most face. I need support from people who understand my struggle.


    Hello Jo

    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 Jo
    It is a sad fact that many people who have lived with a compulsive gambler continue to feel the pain for years due to the loss of dreams and financial stability.
    I understand your post completely and although I cannot reverse your financial position, I hope that I can support you emotionally.
    I would really like to ‘talk’ to you in real time – I found that sharing my innermost feelings with others in privacy was a great boost to my recovery. The F&F groups are Tuesday and Thursday evening 10-11pm and I would love to ‘meet’ you there. It is a safe group, it might be just you and me but whatever is said, it will never appear on the forum.
    I do not think you should be shaking your younger self for not understanding what was hurting you and for supporting him – this addiction is not something that you could have been expected to know about. Beating yourself up helps nobody.
    There are genuine explanations why your husband did not see interested in acknowledging the misery he caused – I assure you your husband did not want or ask for his addiction any more than you did – he acted badly but he damaged himself as well as you.
    I am not an apologist for the addiction to gamble – I hate it and what it does to those who own it and those who love them but knowledge of the addiction does help to take away a lot of the guilt, resentment and anger that is felt by F&F.
    I really hope you will come and ‘talk’ to me but in the meantime if you want to come back at me in any way, please feel free to do so.


    Thank you for your replies. I hope to join the f&f group this coming Tuesday. After joining this website I have put it out of my mind mostly. I don’t know why. I guess it is scary opening up about something that hurts to talk about. Now I find myself thinking about it constantly again and know I’m ready to take the next step and “meet” you in real time. Therapy is not easy to start but I know the out come will be life changing. Thank you again. Speak Tuesday at 10pm.


    Dear Jojo

    I’m sorry you didn’t make the group. Hopefully we will ‘talk’ soon.
    I promise you that groups are not scary – I always imagine myself sitting in a cosy room, chatting over a cup of coffee or maybe something stronger – cyber wine has no lasting effects! Sometimes there will just be the two of us .
    You can say as much, or as little, as you want to do – you will know that someone is listening and understanding
    speak soon

    Lisa McCoy

    Hi, Jojo thank you so much for sharing your story. My long time partner is also a high risk gambler and i have been attempting to bridge our relationship despite that. It is so good to know that there is a community for support out here.

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