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Advice to a gambler's partner please - Maria MKF - 05-02-2010


I have just found out, accidently, that my husband is seriously in deep debt.... and that it's due to gambling. I have gone cold with shock and am so worried that my suspicions and worst fears some time ago are now a reality.

Not knowing what to do, I googled 'Gambler's Annonymous' for information. I have now signed in as a new member in the hope that someone reading this can offer advice. My biggest worry is how much my husband owes (I do not know), and how he can get help as soon as possible (we are working in Dubai so there will be no GA meetings available.)

Thank you in advance to anyone who posts advice in a reply.


Re: Advice to a gambler's partner please - Poster David - 06-02-2010

Hi Maria,

I imagine you feel devastated. Your husband however will probably say something like "i'm only doing it for you dear" and "its just a blip, i'll win it all back". You (and I) know that this is rubbish but he believes it totally. Whilst I can empathise with your husband, the best people for you to talk to are other people who have been in your situation. There is a sister organisation to Gamblers Anonymous (GA) called GamAnon. This is for persons affected by a gambler. Surf on down to the "GamAnon" site at <!-- m --><a class="postlink" href=""></a><!-- m --> and they will be able to answer your questions from their experience.

'Poster' David (Barnsley)

Re: Advice to a gambler's partner please - Guest - 07-02-2010

Hello Maria, Helen here, a recovering compulsive gambler. Compulsive Gambling is a very baffling illness to the gambler and to the outsider. Usually the compulsive gambler wants to stop but finds that they can't and all the losses lead to the next bet and on the merry-go-round goes.
Without out a GA meeting I would have been lost and it's the only thing I know that would have worked for me. On this website there are live meetings and maybe you can contact GA administartion and get some literature that could be beneficial to you and your husband. The main thing is that your husband wants to stop and can admit that his gambling has become uncontrollable and he needs help. There are certain things that you can do and that is to take over control of the money and cards but if he is not willing there is not much else you can do. Talk with him in a rational manner and see what he wants.
Come back anytime and let us know how you are or if you need further help.
Helen GA Australia

Re: Advice to a gambler's partner please - my thanks - Maria MKF - 07-02-2010

Thank you for your replies. It's humbling to feel so supported by people I don't know but who totally understand and take the time to help me/us.
Andy, you replied first and that helped me get through the early hours of Saturday morning (we're 4 hours ahead here). I'd been up 23 hours and your post seemed like words of wisdom to me and a torch helping me to find my way. I can't thank you enough.
Dave, your advice is so practical and although I'm not sure how self barring works, I will look into it. Knowing you've lived in Dubai helps greatly too. It makes me realise we're not alone out here, far away from Sheffield. Maybe there are others here in the same situation. The way you explained the betting helps- I never thought it could be the phone but that makes perfect sense.
Poster Dave, thanks for giving me the link to GamAnon and explaining it. I'd seen it when I 'googled' but didn't really understand. Now I do.
Helen, lots of practical advice. I will definately make sure I take control of the money as you advised. I looked through his wallet when he was asleep and hid the 4 credit cards I found. I had no idea he even had them.
I hope to talk to my husband tonight after the kiddies are in bed. We spoke very briefly yesterday, as he had to work, and the conversation was calm. He told me he'd been gambling for 5 years; ever since we moved here. He said he understood if I wanted to leave him. I even thinks he recognises he has an addiction, which after what you've all told me, may be good news rather than bad news, if you know what I mean. How did I not realise! I keep playing back scenes and doubts from the past but even then none of them would have made me associate it to gambling. I just thought money burnt a hole in his pocket.
One day at a time....

Again, many, many thanks

Re: Advice to a gambler's partner please - kate - 08-02-2010

Just to let you know my husband is also a compulive gambler and has been for years. I did confront him he promised me any my friend he would go to G A which I believed so we put all his debt on our joint mortgage.
Needless to say he has not seen anyone nor will he, he says he is not a gambler, anyway cut a long story short the mortgage has been missed a couple of times he has moved out to his mothers still struggling to pay anything it has well and truly caught up him now which it always was going to.
I cant see us getting back together I think gambling also makes you a compulsive liar.
My life has been hell if anything this is an understatement.
If he doesnt go to gamblers anonymous get out it will not get better.
Hope you have better luck than me.
All the best for the future x

Re: Advice to a gambler's partner please - Maria MKF - 12-02-2010

Thanks Kate. I'm so sorry you've been through so much. I wish I could offer you some words of wisdom but this is all so new to me I don't know where to start. You sound strong though. I think women are and I think awaful situations make us even stronger.
I wish you well.

Re: Advice to a gambler's partner please - Wee_vee - 18-02-2010

hi Maria, I just read your story and can definitely identify with not being able to understand how you missed something so big. I also thought my husband was just useless with money until I found out that he'd been gambling and lying to me since we met. I can recommend a book called 'Behind the 8 ball' by Linda Berman and Mary-Ellen Siegel which has helped me a lot over the past few months. I got it on Amazon so am sure you can get it. We have now separated as my husband will not get help, although he does admit that he has a problem. I hope your story has a happier ending. with best wishes, V