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    My partner has a gambling addiction, and the last 2 years have been very difficult. When he left the military he spent 6 months consistently losing his wages, and I bailed him out a lot. He fully understands he has an addiction and has tried various kinds of talking therapy, but he says it doesn’t work for him.

    He managed to stop most of it about a year ago, but since then has had 2 major relapses where he’s become suicidal and has told me he’s leaving me. Both times I told him to stay, and that I would help him through it. After an intervention from me and his parents, he finally went to the doctor and was prescribed anti depressants which he took for a while, but he stopped when he started feeling better and won’t go back on them because he says they make his head fuzzy.

    He recently told me he’s been going to the casino to watch the roulette wheel, and occasionally spend £10 or £20. He hadn’t lost any real money (i.e. any bill money) in about 4 months, and I know watching the wheel is his way of de-stressing, so I agreed to to along with this tactic in the hope that it would allow him to unwind in that environment, and it did seem to be working. He promised me he’d tell me whenever he went, and leave his debit card at home.

    Today he got paid, and tonight he lost his wages. What has upset me even more is that he went to the casino while I was looking after his children (his from a previous marriage, who live with us every weekend). He’s never done that before, and I really think he has crossed a line by doing this.

    We both have a lot of debt now. I’ve taken out loans to bail him out, and his loans are even guarantored by me, so if he can’t pay them they will come after me for the money. My credit rating before I met him was pristine, I never even had anything on credit cards. Now I’m struggling every month and have to make excuses to my friends as to why I can’t go for lunch, and I couldn’t buy my best friend a present when her baby was born.

    I really have no idea what to do now. I know a lot of people would run a mile in my shoes, but I really do love him very much. Our life, outside of gambling and money worries, is good. He struggles with his mental health and he works so hard to try and get through his addiction, but he’s a good person. But the fact is that tonight he made a conscious decision to go to a casino while I was cooking dinner for his children.

    If I leave him, I will still be in heavy debt and will also be liable for his debt if he doesn’t pay his guarantor loans. And I will also be without the man I love.

    But if I stay… how do I get him to stop??

    Any advice would be really, really appreciated.


    Hello Hanihan

    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

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    Hi Hanihan
    I would never suggest that you leave or stay with your partner although I understand why friends and family would tell you to run a mile, they feel helpless – but of course love is not so easily discarded. I cannot tell you what to do but I know that the more information you have about his addiction the easier it will be for you to cope and make the right decisions for you.
    I also know that you partner can control his addiction which is why I am here writing to you now.
    The addiction to gamble is not about money. To a gambler money is a tool – a means to an end – it is necessary for the goal, and the goal is solely the ‘gamble’.
    Whenever a gambler is bailed, out the addiction is fed. Every penny given to a compulsive gambler is the same as giving a drink to an alcoholic. Every time a gambler is bailed out, it merely gives him a clean slate; he needn’t worry about that debt anymore, the way to the next ‘gamble’ is clear.
    I am not surprised that you are feeling really let down by your partner leaving you with his children while he goes to gamble but sadly I am not surprised to hear it. You feel that he has crossed a line and maybe it is time for you to think what you can do that is different this time – I think you have already made a good start by posting here.
    Does he say he ‘wants to stop gambling – it is possible that he has ‘tried’ various forms of counselling but has not listened – he has to ‘want’ to do it for himself. We have a terrific Helpline on this site and gambler groups that would willingly support him – it is all anonymous. GMA is an amazing rehab – details of which can be got from our Helpline and from the section on our forum page for GMA residential treatment, Q&A.
    I hope you will join me in the F&F group this week where we can ‘talk’ in real time so that we can get to know each other better.
    In the meantime, I will leave this first reply here and await your reply.

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