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Advise please - will he ever change?
#1
Hi, 

My husband is a gambling addict, using online slot games, betting shop slot games and pub gambling machines. When we first met it started off very small bets for "fun" but 5 years later it has soon progressed to gambling every day. He admits he has a problem but refuses to go to meetings or see any professionals etc. He is using my bank accounts for his gambling habits, it's all in my name (his accounts are maxed out) and he has said if anyone every questions why there are so many online gambling transactions in my account I need to say its me?? Seriously? 

Everyday he demands I send money to him, he is known to get very aggressive, and even violent and I have a small child so I give into his demands for an easy life which I know myself is wrong but I feel stuck between a rock and a hardplace. 

He says he wants to quit but that means that I have to take on his recovery as well as looking after 2 children, working and also battling my own issues with greif and stress at the moment. He says in order for him to quit I have to quit smoking (which I did for 6 months and he still didn't quit, I went back to it through stress), he has demanded again the only way our situation will improve is if I quit smoking completely this week but he "wiill"reduce" his gambling to £xx a day until he can "cope" with nothing. He suffers anxiety which he blames me for, but again will not seek help. I feel he is taking me for a ride and doing anything to hold onto his addiction while making me believe he wants to change. 

We are 2 months behind on rent due to his gambling, I am waiting for the eviction notice, we have over £xx of debt from not being able to pay bills and I have 2 kids to think of. 

My question is - does he sound serious about making a change? Has anyone else managed to quit but reducing their habits rather than quitting cold turkey? All the online accounts are in my name but he refuses me to cancel them. I want to leave but I feel guilty for moving out with his child etc. My family have offered me help out of this situation but have said if I accept I cannot go back to him, he's my child's father and my husband I don't know what to do. 

I have lost over 2 stone through stress of it all and feel ill on a daily basis, and I can't carry on like this. 

Please help what do I do to make him change?
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#2
Hi atmywitsend,

A complicated situation for sure....

What I feel is that i'd struggle in your situation. I'd need as much support as possible. Whilst its great you have family willing to help, have you considered getting independant support maybe via the citizens advice etc for the money and maybe your doctors to arrange some counselling?

You could also consider Gam-anon...Gam-anon is the sister organisation of GA that supports the families, friends and loved ones to help them understand the addiction that is compulsive gambling. May help for you to have a look at their website?

This might give you a better understanding of the situation and allow you to make decisions for yourself and your kids with more information....

As for the gambler, change isn't easy and sometimes it can be quite a journey. That being said, i couldn't stop without support which is why I attend meetings regually, attend counselling and accept whatever other support as i can. does he know the location of his nearest GA meeting?

Feel free to keep sharing...

Smartie xx
Meetings help, but meetings are only a small part to how GA works....

GA is a 12 step organisation that offers the program that keeps me in recovery...

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#3
Hello Atmywitsend The sad truth is that if your husband is not willing to help himself, nothing you do for him will matter. Compulsive gamblers, by nature, are manipulators as you have found in order to continue their addiction. They will do anything towards that end. You hit it on the head when you said that you feel like he's taking you for a ride. He is!! Who knows if he will ever stop completely at all. Thats the only way for compulsive gamblers. GA can help him but he has to get to a meeting for the help to happen. So the question remains about what to do. Of course, the welfare of the children and you comes first despite what he says and does. YOU have to take action to help yourself and the children. As my friend Smartie said, the help offered in Gamanon is one option or you. Gamanon will give you all the help you need and want. It has helped many in similar situations. Understand that tough love does not always have a happy ending. Help yourself and the kids. Wish you the best.
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#4
I am a mother and a gambler, I grew up with a Dad that worked in a bookies and liked a drink. So speaking not from the gambling aspect, but from a woman's point with children. First and foremost you and your children are more important than your husband. Sorry tough love words, I saw my Mum go through hell, the lies he would tell, she was always scrimping and as kids we went without.

You can't think oh but I love him, you fell in love with the man before the addiction grew.

Give him a ultimatum.

Tell him if you and your child matters then he should get to GA meetings or lose everything.

He is taking you for a ride and it's not fair at all.

Contact gamban and get your name banned. And fear of anger from him I would suggest a women's refuge. But you know love you need to stop this for your own sanity.
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#5
Hi atmywitsend, I feel for you and unfortunately there is no easy or happy answer. If you don't look after your self and your child then no one will. While your husband is like this it will only get worse. Close his access to your accounts. Go to the bank and open a new one in your name, one that can't be used to transfer money to gambling accounts.
When gamblers are desperate they will do and say anything, but you stopping smoking has no bearing on his recovery.
Be strong or tell your family and close all access to your money for your husband. If you find the gam anon number you can talk to others who have been through what you have. There is no such thing as cutting down for compulsive gamblers, it's all or nothing.
Let us know you're okay as there's a lot of advice we can offer.
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