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Hi there,
I am worried about my partner's gambling but am not sure if GA can help him. Things are not as extreme as the cases I have read about and the information on here suggests but I want him to get help before it spirals out of control completely. He is not borrowing money to gamble and as far as I know is not lying to me about gambling as he seems to tell me every time, even when he has a huge loss. He is compulsive though and he chases it and afterwards can't understand how he could have gone so far.
It is mainly on line poker which is the problem, but he has recently increased on line spread bets on rugby games so he has a couple going on on a saturday and a sunday. If he looses at either he plays the other to try and make it up. When I leave the house I know he says to himself he is not going to play poker and yet it is like he can't help himself. I am worried that this is just the first stage of a downward spiral. He did admit he might have a problem the other night but then tried to reason and justify it. I know until he faces up to it there is nothing I can do.
I am just wandering if anyone things GA would be of benifit. I'm worried that even if he does admit there is a problem that if he goes to a meeting and hears other people who's problem is a few stages ahead of his that it will just justify that he is OK. Any thoughts?
Hi Jo,

Thankyou for your "post".

Firstly - YOU should get in contact with "Gam-Anon" a sister fellowship to Gamblers Anonymous (GA) for people in your situation. Your life is being affected by the life that your partner is choosing to live for himself. "If you are affected by someone else's gambling; Gam-Anon can help!" Call 08700 50 88 80 or surf on down to <!-- m --><a class="postlink" href=""></a><!-- m --> and click on the "Find a Meeting" icon. There is no substitute for attending meetings and it will help you, whether or not your partner stops gambling and whether or not your partner attends GA.
New Year, new start.
I am guessing that you may well think that you do not have a problem, but 'if only he would stop gambling........'? You too are in the early stages of a progressive deterioration and attendance at Gam-Anon meetings can help. You say that "I know until he faces up to it there is nothing I can do" but actually there is - you can go now to Gam-Anon and get the help that YOU need (even if you neither know nor accept that you need any).

Secondly - Does your partner WANT to stop? GA will be of benefit to ANY compulsive gambler who wishes to arrest the problem of their gambling. "The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop gambling". Sadly it is of little help to someone who does not wish to stop gambling. Indeed, it is our experience, that sometimes unwanted intervention can delay a persons seeking of help (and getting recovery).

So to summarise - call the helpline 08700 50 88 80 and get yourself to a Gam-Anon meeting. If your partner wants to stop, then point him in the direction of GA [most Gam-Anon meetings take place at the same time as a GA meeting, often in the same building but a different room, so if he expresses an interest in finding out more, then take him with you when you go to your meeting - and push him through the GA door].

Hope this is of help.

Happy New Year!
Understanding the compulsive gambler is confusing to say the least. Measuring the extent of a persons addiction by how much they spend or are in debt is not neccessary a guide as each individuals access to fiances are very varied. what is clear is that your partner is consumed by his desire to satisfy the gambling urges that shout out in his addicted body. GA would give your partner the undivided support, tools, stradedgies and experience which would aid his recovery immensley, what GA cant give is the desire will power that has to come from within the hoast of the addiction.
You yourself can guide and sign post and support him but you can not do his recovery for him, my words may seem a little harsh but then this addiction is harsh, as well as destructive, sole destroying, but to name a couple of devasting ripples.
if love alone cured the common gambler there there wouldnt be any addicts, tough love, knowledge and strength is whats needed, financial protection and close monitoring, blocking software installed on computers, self banning from bookies and casinos, are all barriers that can easily be put into place, continuity, committment and personal self development have to come from him.(he has to want to change, talk is cheap jo its actions that count )
Theres an organisation called GamAnon which i think could educate as well as support you through your partners addiction. Theres also GA chat were you would meet, talk and get great support and knowledge. Compulsive gambling is now a recognised illness its not understood by most but its government recognised. which will hopefully mean that the correct help and support can at some stage be filtered and absorbed by the gambler and hopefully be a sucessfull aid for there recovery, a helpline is about to be launched and there are a few assosiations springing up and around to offer support.
In all this though jo you must not forget yourself, you are just as affected by your partners illness, so make time for you, get your hair done, have lunch with a friend, a few hours away from a situation can often clear the mind and take away the cloud of confusion. Your needs are equally as important as his so take care jo and i wish you and your partner all the best for the new year.
I could not agree more with what David has advised you to do and that is you should get in contact with "Gam-Anon" a sister fellowship to Gamblers Anonymous (GA) as soon as possible. It is an excellent place for people in your situation. As David said, and you may not even realise it, but your life is being affected by the life that your partner is choosing to live. He is making that choice no matter what the reasons where as you are having it inflicted upon you.
My thoughts go with you and to be honest David has already given you excellent advice and advice you should follow. All I would add to it is that you need to protect yourself and your family from your husband. That may sound harsh but as a compulsive gambler myself I helped write the book to be dishonest, deceitful and take advantage of any kind person who was foolish enough to believe a word I told them. Protect yourself financially and the financial future of your family but please contact "Gam-Anon" as they will give you all the advice and guidance you need to protect yourself from the compulsive gambler.
Good luck.

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