Get practical support with your gambling problem Forum Friends and Family Struggling, feeling hurt and ashamed. First time poster

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    My fiance has a gambling problem and won’t admit there is a problem at all. I have written this post about 5 times and deleted it each time. There is SO MUCH to this story that I don’t even know where to start.

    My fiance has gambled away either all, or most of our bill money 3 times now over the past year. I am a recovering alcoholic(14 month sober) with Depression and Anxiety and am trying to turn my life around, but every time we gain a little bit of traction, she blows all our money, leaving us in the hole, unable to pay bills.

    I recently filed for and started making chapter 13 bankruptcy payments in order to save our home, and got a full time permanent job which pays me monthly.

    Last November, the night before we were supposed to leave for a planned Cruise, she decided to go to the casino and spent all our money(roughly $2,000). Mind you, this was AFTER she sent me a text message showing she just won $3400.00 and spent $200.00 to win it. ). So she not only lost the 3400 she won, but also roughly $2,000 of our own money. So we went on the cruise with only a couple hundred dollars for the week.

    My bankruptcy was approved in August of 2016, so I was able to start making mortgage payments again. 2 days before I was able to send out the Mortgage payment (and her car payment), she went to the casino and spent all the money again. Leaving us with just a few dollars until the next pay day.

    Fast forward to October 20th, my first monthly paycheck at my new job (contractor hired full time). My take home pay was $4700.00 or so. I had a premonition something would happen, so on pay day, I walked over to the bank on my break, and purchased 2 certified bank checks for the October and the November mortgage payment. (roughly $2600 dollars). I also paid my October car payment (373.00) and the October Bankruptcy payment ($485). She also got a paycheck of $1100 or so the same day. I wanted to go ahead and pay Novembers car payments(373, and 392) as well as Novembers Bankruptcy payment (485), but she insisted that we use the money to get caught up on bills. I reluctantly agreed, because it would really be nice to not have stuff shut off all the time…and we had the money to pay, gas, electric, cable, sewage, cell phones all current.

    Well, On Monday, when I got home from work, she was gone. She didn’t respond to text messages or phone calls for 4-5 hours. Finally, just before 10 PM, she responded and said she was on her way home soon and that she didn’t answer me because she knew I would be mad.

    You guessed it..she did it again, she spent roughly $1500.00, basically all of our bill money, and now we have just a few hundred dollars to last us until her next pay day on the 4th. No bills (except the cell phone of $390) was paid. Our cable was shut off Sunday morning and we had to pay the past due balance just to get it back on.

    I am at my wits end and struggling to deal with these unstable finances do to her issues. I didn’t even realize she had a problem until this last incident. Now that this is the 3rd time doing this is just under a year, I realize this is a major problem. She has gone many times more than 3, but all of those were somewhat manageable…the 3 I brought up absolutely crushed us as they wiped out most of, or all our money.

    She claims she doesn’t have a problem gambling, or with her weekly cocaine use. I disagree and I am thinking of throwing her out, but feel like there is a reason why she is doing this and want to support her. At this point though, she is taking me down with her and I don’t know what to do. please help me. Please!!!



    Hello Jb

    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


    I almost broke up with her due to her cocaine use early on in the relationship. (about 6 months to a year in). I stupidly didn’t see it, and it was pointed out by my sister. I didn’t believe my sister when she said, but caught her red-handed about a month later. She claimed that it was something she has been doing for years, that it was a once a month kind of thing and just $50.00 when ever she did it. I hated it, but learned to live with it as she is fully functional, smart, articulate, and a great person to be around…However, that habit has increased to 1-2 times a week now. She has the permanent “sniffles” and knows she has a problem in that area…but honestly, its the gambling trips that are killing us financially….each time we start to get ahead, she blows it all and I am so hurt. She totally wiped us out 3 different times in the last year alone, but has put us behind the utility bills/food shopping at least a dozen times between her casino trips, and the fake online gambling that she does. I want to throw her out but I don’t want to push her over the edge. This is killing me and I need help. I suffer from depression and anxiety and am really trying to make drastic changes in my life. I haven’t had a drink in over 14 months because alcohol makes my depression unmanageable. I am craving a drink now more than ever before and I am resisting it as I know I will go full blown alcoholic in just one drink, which will lead to another suicide attempt. Aside from her gambling and drug problem, everything in my life is on the right track. I have a good job, and have been rock solid as far as spending discipline, and not touching alcohol at all. I feel this is going to break me. I don’t want to die, but I don’t want to live…like this…….


    Hi Jb

    I have read and re-read your posts and I am anxious to give you a reply that is well thought out and can give you the support that you deserve.
    Unfortunately I think it will not be before tomorrow morning before I can sit down and give you my full attention.

    It would be wrong of me to rush out a few sentences however well-meaning but I wanted you to know that not only have you been heard but you are being thought about and cared about.



    Hi Jb
    Before I write another word I have to say how well you have done with your own horrendous addiction.
    I would also like to commend you on your first excellent posts which have given so much insight into your life. They must have been very, very hard for you to write but I hope that having written them down you felt relief from sharing what must seem an insurmountable problem.
    Problems are like broken jigsaws JD – they lie before us in thousands of pieces and there is no way that the end picture can be seen – it is just a mess. I have chosen some of those pieces that you have recognised as being important to your whole picture and it is those I want to talk about in my first full reply to you.
    “I have a good job, and have been rock solid as far as spending discipline, and not touching alcohol at all.” – How good your life should be JD– you have worked hard and you deserve more than this.
    “that habit has increased to 1-2 times a week now. She has the permanent “sniffles”. – You know from your own addiction that addictions get worse unless they are treated. As she has seems to have accepted this problem, what is she doing about it? If she isn’t prepared to try and help herself then there is nothing you can do. You can’t save her but you can and in my opinion, you must, save yourself.
    “ I wanted to go ahead and pay Novembers car payments(373, and 392) as well as Novembers Bankruptcy payment (485), but she insisted that we use the money to get caught up on bills. I reluctantly agreed, because it would really be nice to not have stuff shut off all the time…and we had the money to pay, gas, electric, cable, sewage, cell phones all current.”. – This was an obvious manipulation from an active CG (compulsive gambler) to keep money back to feed her addiction. If this situation occurs again, I can’t tell you what you should do, but if it was me I would insist on paying the bills while the money is accessible because it will happen again and again.
    “I want to throw her out but I don’t want to push her over the edge.” It seems to me JD that it is you that is being pushed over the edge and only you can stop this happening. I would never tell you to leave or stay with your relationship but the strain you are under is tremendous.
    “This is killing me and I need help.” I think you know the answer to your problem, the hard bit is doing it.
    Your fiance’s unacceptable behaviour will get worse unless she gets help and if she is not willing to get that help then, I believe, you have to put yourself first and save yourself.
    People can kick multi addictions and a strong support is really helpful but your girlfriend knows your situation and yet is not supporting you or seeking to change. I am of the opinion that you need all your strength to support yourself.
    I’m not sure what you mean by being ‘pushed over the edge” – sometimes/often a person has to be allowed to fall before they realise that it is their responsibility to change their lives.

    What do you want to do JD?. Advice is often what we ask for when we know the answer but wish we didn’t. I understand that feeling only too well. The addiction to gamble brought me to my knees and I do not have an addictive personality, it wrecked 25 years of my life and although I was a strong person it made me weak and pathetic.
    I hope you will keep posting but above all I hope you will take each day at a time and control the problem that you have defeated for such long.
    I salute you JD and I wish you well


    I know what I should do, and that is to throw her out and find a room mate to assist with the bills. This should not be too difficult as it is a beautiful home and I have tons of friends that would love to move in.

    My issue is that its her sons senior year in High School, and throwing her out means that he would no longer live there as well. Even if I offered to allow him to stay there, she would never go for it, and I would need that bedroom(with attached full bathroom) as a carrot to entice someone else to move in.

    When I say push her over the edge, I mean that she is very “functional”. She works hard and does not call out. She does her “habits” on her days off. I fear that me throwing her out will cause her to jump deeper into the cocaine habit and ruin her career as a Nurse. If that happened, she would be ruined. I know her career means a lot to her, and if she lost it, I have no idea what she would do.

    She has expressed remorse in the past over the cocaine addiction and wants to get help, the issue is that she is a nurse and works with narcotics every day. I believe her when she says that she has never, and would never, touch a patients pills, but apparently there are laws in place that would force a therapist or Doctor to report her to the nursing board if she tried to check in to a rehab, or try to get therapy for the narcotics use.

    So that alone is preventing her from being able to explore those options.

    My other option is to open up my own checking account and change my direct deposit. This way, I pay the major bills every month. I would then tell her I need her portion of the household bills every pay day…which would be $750 every 2 weeks. That would leave her with roughly 350 to pay her own bills(car, car insurance, gas, smokes, coffee, etc…).

    My fear there is that she won’t be reliable to give me the money and I will have to pay all the bills with the money from my own check, which isn’t going to be enough to cover everything.

    One more note, we have been cordial to each other, even loving to a degree, and I have been quiet while thinking of my next step…However, she saw her cocaine dealer on each of her days off this week and spent $140.00. We are now down to $28.00 total in our account.

    She has a payday tomorrow and I don’t think she will go gamble it as she only does that every 2-3 months, I fear she will not pay bills, despite my best effort to get her too…which will leave me being forced to pay them on the 20th.

    As it is right now, I do not know how I am going to pay my car payment due in 6 days. I am thinking about working for a contractor buddy of mine as a laborer to get paid some cash to help, but that really bothers me because I already work 50-60 hours a week at my main job. My weekends are valuable, and i don’t want to lose them, but I would also rather pay my car payment on time so I can start rebuilding my already heavily damaged credit.

    She is such a good person without these addictions. I just wish she would acknowledge them, and try to get help, but to be honest, I see this behavior as total disrespect to me personally. She knows how hard I am working and how hard I am trying to provide US a stable future. Why undercut me like this so often? Why at all?????


    Hi JB
    It seems to me that what you are describing is a very one-side relationship in which you believe that, without you, your finance will not pass her nursing qualification and her son will not get through High School . You seem to be carrying the weight of these two people’s lives and yet you are still in an early recovery from your own problem.
    I might have got this wrong, in which case I apologise, but in my opinion it appears to be her cocaine habit which is the crux of the problem and the gambling is something that maybe she escapes to when it suits her. I’m sorry if that seems an unfair statement but I am struggling to know how to support you best.
    At present you are communicating with me on line. We cannot see each other and even if we met we would pass each other by without recognition because this site offers anonymity. This site offers the same anonymity to compulsive gamblers with a forum such as this, groups run by facilitators with experience and knowledge and a terrific one-to-one Helpline. There is also Gamblers Anonymous’, GA. I don’t know where you live (and I don’t need to) but there are similar organisations for drug addiction and your girlfriend could seek the right support without exposing herself if she really wants to control her addiction and those 5 words are important – ‘if she really wants to’.
    The rules set in place by the authorities are there to protect patients and with the best will in the world you cannot be sure she would not abuse her position in the future because addictions get worse unless they are treated. However to safeguard herself and future patients your girlfriend should seek support. Many addicts say they want help but use the excuse that they could be recognised. In my opinion, anonymity knocks that excuse out of the window.
    My suggestion would be, therefore, that she seeks support anonymously.
    I can sympathise with your thought that she will not keep her side of the financial bargain you have mooted.
    I am sure she is a good person but she does have at least one addiction and that means that her behaviour will not reflect her goodness.
    Her addiction or addictions are selfish and although I am sure she is not disrespecting you deliberately, she is not taking responsibility for her son or her relationship with you. She is endangering her son’s future, not you. As to ‘why’ – if there was a simple answer there would no need for sites such as this.
    Keep posting but above all look after yourself first. You haven’t mentioned how you tackled your addiction but I suggest you return to the support you sought then, to keep you safe because you and your health matter.


    Hi JB and very well done on your efforts to overcome your problem with alcohol. Anxiety and depression may or may not be a fall out from your drinking days but your present situation as you describe it would certainly contribute to further anxiety, depression and in my opinion could put your recovery at serious risk.
    As a Compulsive Gambler I am learning to steer clear of other “addicts” for fear I might use their situation to either deflect from my own problems or return to gambling as an escape if and when the tension builds as it inevitably, will if we surround ourselves by the “wrong” people.
    As a nurse ( now retired mainly due to ill health which was exacerbated by the stress of gambling ) I would be very concerned about your girl friend’s cocaine habit. Every nurse has a duty of care to her/his patients. This is a major priority. I have known of some nurses who were “recreational drug users” (I abhor the term) until one day (just like a CG) they became a bit more adventurous, took a risk, lost control and were witnessed by a nurse colleague using IV medication while on duty, which was intended for patient use. Of course, because this is a criminal, unprofessional and unethical act it necessitates instant reporting, involving the police, the Nursing Board etc and which always results in the nurse losing her license. And it all started with using “recreational drugs”. There are programmes where “Addict” nurses can be rehabilitated of course. This is the worst case scenario. The less evident consequences of drug use relate to impaired judgement while on duty, following use of illegal drugs during the nurses’ free time. Add gambling to the mix and I don’t think anyone would disagree as to how serious this situation could become.
    All you can do, JB, is stop enabling this woman.
    Regardless of your relationship with her, regardless of how lovely she is, regardless of how it will affect her profession, her son’s education, my advice would be to use Tough Love. Sit down with her. (I’m sure you have already) Tell her what is acceptable to you. Set boundaries. Use whatever terms and conditions you see fit and stick to them.
    You are being wiped out financially, mentally and emotionally. Is this fair to you?
    Your girlfriend has gambling and drug problems. There are Support Groups for both. If she needs to get help she will. Maybe you are preventing her from reaching the “rock bottom” she needs to hit. The main thing that stopped me seeking help was ENABLEMENT. I knew where to turn every time I lost and this allowed me to continue to gamble/self destruct and even justify my actions.
    I have reservations about the term “addiction”. Not all drinkers/gamblers are addicts and for that reason I prefer not to use the “Umbrella Term”. I have never met a drug user who didn’t end up with serious problems.
    If I were in your shoes, I would consider taking a break until this woman gets help for her problems as you had the courage to seek help for yours.
    “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the WISDOM to know the difference”.


    Hi JB
    Further to my last post to you and your concern about your girlfriend’s cocaine habit I have learned that if you are in the USA there is an organisation called SAMHSA which offers on line advice and a confidential helpline which will give you and your girlfriend more information on what is available.
    If you are in the UK then maybe you could look at the TalkToFrank website who also offer on line advice and a confidential helpline.
    Adfam is a UK website that focuses on helping families cope with family members who are taking drugs.
    As I said in my previous email ‘you’ matter and looking after you is so very important. Of course this site will always welcome you and/or your girlfriend with regard to her gambling and I hope you will keep posting.


    Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I really appreciate your efforts and I am waiting for your next write ups thank you once again.

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