Married to a Gambler
Hi all. New here. I'm at wits end with my husband and was hoping to get some advice and input from others.
My hubby and I have been married for 12 years. He gambled before I met him, while we were dating and in the early years of our marriage- but in moderation. About 3 years ago, he began gambling more and more and it started affecting basically all aspects of our life.
At present, his poison of choice is poker, and second in line is lottery tickets. He plays poker 3-5 nights per week and he'll play anywhere between 8 and 15 hours at a time. He loses a lot more than he wins. He buys lottery tickets every day of the week. And not just one or two, but several daily.
He and I have three young children together- one of which is just a baby. To give you an example of how much he gambles- when she was born, he wanted to leave the hospital to go to a game but I managed to convince him not to. He did play our first night home though. We'd been home less than an hour when he left to play poker, leaving me alone on my first night home as a mom of 3. A week later the baby had to be hospitalized for a couple days and of course I stayed at the hospital with her. I was beyond exhausted- mentally and physically. She was released at about 3 pm on a Friday. He left to play poker at about 5 that evening and stayed out til 4 the next morning. He did the same Saturday and Sunday nights. He knew I had just given birth and had then endured a stressful hospital stay with our new little one and he left to play cards anyway. As I reflect on important dates over the last couple years, I am saddened to admit I spent them alone. My birthday, our anniversary, new year's, the kids' birthdays, Valentine's day, etc.
I just recently returned to work after having my youngest, so his income is all we had for quite a while. We have never been so far behind on our bills, or so far in debt. We lost our home and one of our vehicles. We've had multiple checks bounce. Bill collectors call every day. He works every day, but spends his money gambling. I do my best to buy groceries, daily necessities and pay bills but my income alone just isn't enough for a family of 5. His excuse for gambling is that he is trying to win money to catch up the bills. He hides money from me and isn't truthful about how much he wins or loses. I've asked him on occasions to pick up diapers or something of the sort, and him tell me he only has $10 left til payday...and then that very same day he will go play poker all night or he'll go buy a handful of lottery tickets. I am seriously so frustrated I cry over this!
My problem is this- I've tried time and time again to confront him but he denies he has a problem. Before I know it, he has turned the situation all around and then I'm the bad guy and I'm the one who should apologize and I'm the one who needs to change. I don't think I'm wrong for wanting him to quit gambling and start focusing on our family but he says there's nothing wrong with his actions. Just looking for honest opinions and advice- whether you agree with him or me. Am I over-reacting by asking him to slow down on gambling? Am I justified in being upset?
Those living with alcoholics can go to Alanon meetings for find out how other people cope with living with someone with a drinking addiction. Find such a group for those living with gambling addiction.
He has the whole scene practiced very well - , shirks his responsibilities so he can gamble, blames you, denies his problem, denies the consequences, puts the gambling first - AND he has had a home life that has allowed/supported this kind of behavior for all this time.
There is a lot of help out there for him - and for you. Bring in the experts to help YOU.
AGREE with him? Think you're OVER-reacting? QUESTIONING whether you're justified at being upset???
Are you bonkers?! You're UNDER-reacting; you couldn't GET more justified!
"His excuse for gambling is that he is trying to win money to catch up the bills."
Trying to slice his wound that much more deeply so it'll stop bleeding? ALL gamblers spout this nonsense excuse. Think about it: it's INSANE.
He doesn't need to 'slow down' on gambling. HE NEEDS TO STOP, FULL-STOP! But crystal-clearly, he doesn't want to and nobody and nothing is making him, least of all himself.
No matter the particular poison, you're married to a man with an HIGHLY addictive personality which, lately, has come to a head and against which you are being totally blocked when it comes to remedying, despite it affects you along with 3 other bona-fide, Grade A victims. Easier for him to self-destruct rather than step up to and deal with his grown-up responsibilities, eh.
Your kids can't leave him, however. So it's down to YOU. You yourself are *not* a victim - because you HAVE a solution: You have to think of yourself and your children and get out now before he drags you all down with him.
Please get the name of a good solicitor and organise a free consultation - immediately! And if THAT doesn't manage to convince him that what he's doing is highly morally unacceptable by ANY sane and healthy standards and that he needs to stop or get help in stopping, then you'll know you did nothing but dodge further bullets.
Ok..you need to do this for your kids....you need to tell him that he needs to get help with his gambling NOW or you and the kids are out of there...period! You stated that he says he doesn't have a problem.Well right there IS the problem because you know he does...if he doesn't want to get help then there is nothing you can do EXCEPT leave him and file for divorce.The longer you stay with this person..the more he will be dragging you and your kids down further with him...