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    I’m a wife of a CG. We’ve been together for 20 years and he’s always gambled within his means until about 5 years ago.

    The last 18 months have changed him. He’s now a compulsive gambler and I’m not sure why the change but it’s now a serious uncontrollable addiction. He will go through the cycle I’m sure you’re all aware of a few days manic gambling till all the money he can lay his hands on are gone. Then comes the guilt and sorrow and he does counselling but a few months down the line it starts again and it’s always more money than the last time.

    I’m now £15000 in debt but fear one day soon I’ll have to downsize my house which our 2 kids also live in or worse. We can’t afford any family holidays or extravagant expenses even tho we both have well paid jobs because we are always chasing the debts.

    My husband is my life and that’s my problem I love him dearly and enjoy him apart from the gambling as do the kids so I’m at a crossroads. Do I protect us and ask him to leave or do I keep on trying to help him to stop? I feel my enabling him is not allowing him to change and I just don’t know which way to turn now . Im so heart broken he can do this to us so easily.

    Can anyone in a similar situation share their experiences please? Or give me any ideas on how else I can help

    Ty Donna



    Hello Donna

    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

    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 Donna
    It would have been a gradual decline into addiction, not a sudden change. If a person knew when they gambled that addiction was waiting for them then they would never start – it creeps up and sadly it usually has a terrible hold before the CG (compulsive gambler) and those around them realise what is happening.
    It is also a fact that without treatment the addiction does get worse – is it a dedicated addiction counsellor he sees?
    It is because we love our CGs dearly that we find ourselves on this site and I hope you will gain strength from knowing you are among friends who understand.
    I cannot tell you what to do – it is important that you make your own decisions but I can give you knowledge of his addiction because knowledge will give you the ability to cope and make your own informed decisions. Keep posting and learning there is much to say and much to learn – you are in the right place.
    I have brought up my thread entitled ‘The F&F Cycle’ so that you can know that everything you say is understood.
    Gambling is not about money, it is the ‘gamble’ that excites the mind of the CG, causing them to gamble until everything is gone because they cannot walk away. Money to a CG is the same as a drink to an alcoholic – a means to an end. What does he gamble on?
    You write that ‘you’ are £15000in debt whereas in all probability this is your husband’s gambling debts. I am not splitting hairs but in my opinion, I think it is better for you not to feel this is ‘your’ debt. To control his addiction your husband will have to take responsibility for his debts and his behaviour. It would help if you could set up an account in your sole name to which he had no access – you cannot save your husband, the only person you can save is you and it is important to have barriers in place to protect you and your two children.
    Your husband is not a monster who is breaking your heart with ease but he does have an addiction controlling him which I know can be controlled or I would not be writing to you.
    I will stop there and maybe speak to you later. When you are standing at a crossroads, I think it is best to do what you have done , which is to seek help for you– stay with the site, I will hold your hand for as long as you want me to do so – the answers will come’
    I have a group tonight between 6pm and 7pm where we could communicate in real time if you would care to join me.
    Speak soon


    Thanks for your kind words
    Ive realised myself my first moves are to 1) buy a home safe to keep valueables, purse etc locked away without looking over my shoulder all the time and 2) I need to get my own bank account to keep my money separate to avoid more financial strains

    He gambles online on basically anything and everything !

    I think I’ve realised I need to be strong for me and there is hope out there albeit a long road ahead

    He swears this is it this time and says he has the willpower this time to change but I can’t take that seriously at the moment. I’ve asked him to go back to the weekly GA meetings but he is dragging his heels saying they are uncomfortable and not necessary so I’ve basically stood my ground and said that’s his decision but I can’t accept that and I want him to leave

    He’s still here and I’m secretly hoping come meeting day which is Saturday he Changes his mind.

    I don’t want to keep putting him down and have read about good and bad times so if you have any pointers you can give on that front id appreciate that

    When is your next f&f meeting ?



    Hi Donna,
    I am a Compulsive Gamber myself and haven’t had a bet in a while. I facilitate some of the groups here.

    If you click on Support Groups, at the top of the page it’ll take you to the group, schedule. You will see that Velvet has her FnF groups at 10pm on a Tuesday and 6pm on a Thurday. (Those are UK times)

    If you wanted to speak to someone before that you are also
    welcome in the Drop in groups, one is open now and for the next 20 minutes or so, or you can connect to the one to one helpline when it is open, mainly UK office hours.

    You are right not to take his promises and willpower seriously – if that worked then we wouldn’t have a problem. However if “this is it this time ” then he will have no objection if you suggest installing a blocker on the home PC will he? Gamblock is one though there are others It’ll stop him gambling online and will shut down the PC any time he tries to visit a gambling site. If nothing else whether or not he agrees to this might give you an indication of how serious he is about trying to stop.

    I hope this helps and hopefully I will see you in a group soon.


    I want to add another welcome, Donna. You have had some wise words from two people who understand a lot about your situation and experiences and I hope you will be able to use this site to the full to guide, help and support you.

    Gambling addiction in a loved one can cause huge pain and suffering, but sharing with people who care and are knowledgeable can make it a little easier to cope and help YOU make the most of your life, even in the context you find yourself in – not one of your choosing. I am a volunteer on this site now, but came here first of all as the mother of a gambler.

    All good wishes,


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