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    I’ve been married to my husband for almost 5 years, together for 8. When I met him, I knew he was a recovering addict. He has struggled with staying clean for most of the time I’ve been with him. About 4 years ago, he started gambling more and more. He never really admitted it until about a year ago that he has a problem, an addiction and needs to stop. 

    I had set a boundary with him after many nights where he didn’t come home, pawned his valuables, even our wedding rings. I had finally said if he doesn’t come home and chooses to gamble that he would have to be out of our house in a half way house for 60 days. 

    He he has no money now and is trying to continue to go to work. He is living in his car, says he has no food or gas. It is taking all of my strength not to give him money. He knows he can’t come home but is making comments that he doesn’t have enough gas to make it to his obligations. 

    I need advice. What should I do? I feel cold hearted. 


    Hi Lamman
    I don’t hear a person who is cold-hearted, I just hear someone who is confused and frightened.
    In my opinion it is ok to give food to a CG who is struggling to survive – but I would also be asking for a commitment from him to seek help.
    I know your husband can control his addiction or I wouldn’t be writing to you but he has to want to do it. How has he tried to stay clean in the past?

    It is possible that when you thought he was clean that he was dry gambling – this is the term for a CG who abstains from betting money but still gambles in his head. Dry gambling keeps the addiction alive until it erupts again, often causing greater problems than before. Abstinence is not recovery. CGs need to take responsibility for their actions, deal with the disappointments in their lives and their missed opportunities or the impulse to gamble will not diminish enough.
    I believe that any support you feel you ‘want’ to offer him, that does not involve giving him cash or something that he can sell for cash, is going to be ok because you seem very aware of what this addiction is doing to both of you.
    Your husband is telling you what he wants – does he include in his bucket list a desire to control his addiction? If he does, maybe you could direct him to this site – we have a brilliant Helpline and there are groups and forums for him where he will be welcome and it is all anonymous. If he does nothing towards controlling his addiction, nothing will happen. GA is another great force for the good.
    What do ‘you’ want Lamman – do you still love him? I ask this because you are important and what you want is important. I am glad that you are here because I suspect that you are probably feeling very alone at the moment and – I hope you will now feel less alone.
    I know how easy it is to feel sorry for someone in such desperate circumstances but unfortunately it is your husband who has to realise that it is his behaviour that is putting himself there before there can be any change and it is only himself that can bring about that change.
    Keep posting Velvet


    Do not feel cold hearted for looking out for yourself. You only have one life, and it should be full of happiness. Stay firm. You’re both in my thoughts – I wish him recovery and you success.


    Well, I just found out that his mom has been sending him money because she thinks he is living on his own in sober living. She’s been an enabler all of his life and constantly gives him money. She lives in Ohio so she doesn’t know what he’s really up to. She and I broke off communication about a year ago after I disagreed about helping him after he continued to gamble and use.
    My question is should I tell her that the money she’s sending him (almost 4K in just over a month) is going to his gambling and not anything that he says it’s going to? He’s told her has has to pay rent, insurance. All things I am paying for! Advice please.


    Hi Lamann
    I have always thought that if people continue to give and lose money, when they have been told they are enabling, then they deserve to lose it – but of course in this case his mother is feeding your husband’s addiction and that is wrong both for you and for him.
    You have obviously found this out somehow – is there an in-between person who could put her straight? If a third person is involved in giving you this knowledge then maybe it will do some good for your husband to realise his ‘secret’ is out.
    I think that all you can do is try, somehow, to get it through her misguided head that she is damaging her son. Maybe suggest she comes on to this site or looks at the gamblers anonymous website to learn about compulsive gambling.
    The other person to appeal to, of course, is your husband but from what you have written I doubt it will make any difference but maybe, just maybe you could get him to search his conscience.
    Keep posting

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