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Are they better off without me  

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I have recently (8 weeks ago)  come clean to my wife about my huge debts due to gambling.

Since then I have done everything  in my power to try and start the road to recovery.

I have started the process of bancruptcy  (the only really viable option to me)

I have saught medical advice and been in contact  withh the local mental health team.

I have been active here and started the online CBT course.

I have put blocks on my gambling accounts 

We have tried to take me off the joint account. (Proving a little tricky bit we are finding ways around it) 

I have in no way even contemplated gambling  and hope that I never will

I can see the incredible damage I have done to our relationship she can no longer trust me.

I can't bare to think of our family  (we have 2 young children) breaking up.

I know this is all my fault but it feels like it does not matter that I have thrown myself 200% into recovery and trying to right the wrongs I have caused and  how much I show this was a huge mistake that will never happen again. That she will not be able to forgive me and everything we once had will be lost.

I feel like dispite my best efforts and trying to talk things through, being compleatly  open and honest with her she is getting closer and closer to the descision  to kick me out and get a divorce.

I don't want our kids to grow up in a broken home and I don't want my wife to be a single mum, I also want to be in that situation but realise it's all my own fault  and that she has to put the kids and herself first. 

She says I'm doing all the right things. My doctor and everyone else I speak to says I have done the hardest part and I'm doing everything right, but in the end the only thing that matters to me is our family, but it looks increasingly likely that all my hard work will be in vien  and dispite all my efforts our 10 year history and our kids I don't even deserve a second chance.


Are they really better off without me?

Posted : 21st June 2020 6:04 pm
Merry go round

No absolutely not. Please don't think like that. Use every support network you can, gamcare , GA, counselling, start a diary. You will learn from every avenue.

your wife needs support too. Try to encourage her to seek help either through gamcare or Gamanon which is online 7-9 each evening except Saturday. Just go to website.

Posted : 21st June 2020 6:56 pm

I have tried to encourage her to get support  where she can. She said that reading the forum here only made it worse as everyone  seems to relapse and she dosnt want me to be in the family if that happens and she would be better to make a quick break now for the kids long term stability.  I fully understand this point of view.

I have started a diary and I did make contact with GA bit they let me down right at the start and I don't feel I can I can trust them to be there when I/If I really need them.

TBH with financial ruin, no chance of being able to get somewhere  of my own to live, poor job prospects due to current covid situation, if I loose my family because my wife deems I'm not worth a second chance I don't see many options for the future. 


I've literally given everything to try and get through this. As well as everything above I have also given everything I have to be a better and more compleat human. Sometimes it seems doing everything isn't enough to try and move forward from bad decisions made in the grip of addiction 

All seems pretty hopeless  


Posted : 21st June 2020 7:43 pm

Hi @lostsouls please don't give up hope. I'm 17days gamble free today after 2-3 years compulsive gambling and last 6 months totally destructive gambling and I'm starting to hope again that I can get through this and every day gives me more determination.. Dig deep and use all the help you can your wife is angry my husband was super angry still is angry but is working with me. We have a 15 year old son and I've set myself a goal of beating this before he becomes a man. I do understand what your wife is saying about posts about relapsing but there are also lots of success stories. I wish you all the best keep posting

Posted : 21st June 2020 8:24 pm

All I have left   is hope but it's unlikely  to be enough. I feel like there is nothing I can do. My future rest on her hands (all my own fault of course) but I'm really struggling 

Posted : 21st June 2020 8:32 pm

I sense a lot of fear and depression in your text. I wish I could give you the future score here and tell you if your wife will stay or not but I cant and no one else here can. You will need to address your depression and addiction. It is not enough to just do one thing you need to do both. We all carry around a lot of luggage and not all of it is good. Start digging for that happier you. If you need to see counsellor then do that because you also need to do that for the rest of the family who may also be depressed because you are depressed. 

I wish you well.

Posted : 21st June 2020 8:39 pm

I feel the pain your going through lost soul

And I've been there on the 24th of April so not long ago when I had to out the truth known that there was a 100% chance I was going to my partners and most of all my 2 fabulous kids as I'd been warned last year that this was my last chance by my partner and our daughter who was 18yrs old last year so had her own opinion. I was stupid lost soul and did a selfish thing that wasn't in the best interest off my family but at the time I really thought it was the only way out, I've explained this before and don't feel I can go into that tonight as not having a good day today. But after 5days in hospital my partner was in contact with me mental health team and I was told she was willing to have me home for the kids. Well you can imagine how she wanted me to get somewhere but in time. Well I'm still at home with the family and it's been tuff as I left us with no money having to get 2 food parcels from the church that left both us ashamed.  I'm still with the family now and back then I thought I'd have a few days at the most, don't get me wrong we have bad days like today but she's trying to forgive me and that trust will take along time but we're giving it ago so never say never my friend as it's an addiction and evil at that. If your partner takes control of all finances and  always keep them in place showing your partner that your not going to relapse but put all the barriers in place that doesn't allow you to gamble on any device as there's some you put in place that costs you abit but not a lot off money. I can see your willing to do anything and as your partner sees this more and more she will start to think you can make it through. So don't give up be gamble free and work to get through this as hard as you can and stay hopeful as I'm talking one day at a time. You have got a chance, even when you think you don't believe me you do

Posted : 21st June 2020 8:48 pm


Your future rests in your hands, not your wife's. One of the more difficult things to do is this recovery for yourself, not for your wife and kids. If you don't start looking at it that way then if things don't work out with your wife then why carry on with stopping gambling? But, if you do it for yourself, everyone around you benefits.

There is no rule that says your marriage will work out, but isn't their happiness and wellbeing the most important thing in all of this? If your wife was to leave you to keep a roof over her and her kids head, aren't you grateful that one of you doesn't have an addiction. 

I'm not making out that it's easy or it's okay, but my marriage with two young children didn't survive my addiction. I abstained for three years during our ten years together and we had the best life ever, but when my gambling came back after that again and again and again she finally had enough. I can't blame her at all, but her life carried on, the girls had a better life without me and when I was able to get clean I had a good life too. Yes it was hard to lose my wife and children but my love for them meant I wanted the best for them, and me not being in their lives when I relapsed afterwards was evidence that I did the right thing and let them go.

If this is the first time that you've admitted this to your wife it's going to be a shock and it's only been eight weeks. Compared to how long you gambled for try to see things from her perspective and mind this. Just keep doing what you're doing and without you showing her, your wife will see you trying and that will make an impression. It might take time again to earn the trust back but that's okay as well. It will slowly get better.

Finally I'm sorry to hear your GA didn't work out for you. As it's only online at the moment it's not as easy as it would be in person but the physical meetings will be back soon so please give them another try when they are.


Posted : 21st June 2020 9:57 pm

Thanks all for your kind words of hope and encouragement, can't say that have made me feel much better to be honest but this is all my own doing so I have no one to blame but myself. Perhaps they are better off without me dispite all me hard work and dedication to this process, I know it's early days I just can't see things getting better. Seems like things are only going to get worse from "rock bottom"

Posted : 21st June 2020 10:27 pm

Hear what your saying lostsouls and I don't think that any of us would trivialize how you feel. Just remember we are on a forum where although everyone's story is different there is a very common theme. Some of us are swimming some treading water some barely floating. I know in 17 days I have grasped on again you can too give yourself time to heal " the fat lady hasn't sung yet "

Posted : 21st June 2020 11:00 pm

Hiya lost soul

I don't think much words would make you feel better at the moment as you've got so much pain inside, I bet your always feeling down in that dark place a lot off us who's messed up end up in. When your down there my friend, where else can you go. You sound so low. I know the feeling I've had a horrible day today as I'm still blaming myself as it's my fault for loosing all the family money plus leaving us in loads of debt. I know who's fault it is no one needs to tell me, but at the end of the day I'm still here a lot off people aren't. But I'm an gambling addict and that addiction has caused me so much and it's causing me problems today. I'll go to bed soon and tomorrow iS  another day and I'll take that one day at a time. Please look at things getting better who knows how long it will take but it's got to get better than you feel today. Chin up and remember your still here for you and you family 

Posted : 21st June 2020 11:52 pm

Hi Lost,

My oh my you're in a dark place right now. I've been there & it's awful. I lied, cheated, robbed my employer and sold my soul to finance the next bet. I've no idea what decision the mother of your children is gonna take. Mine decided to give me 1 final chance & every day i thank god after being clean for 682 days.

All i can say is no matter what decision my wife came to my life is so much better without the chains & obsession of addiction. The best advice i can give is heal yourself and let nature take its course, concentrate on the things you can change rater than the one's you can't. There's nothing easy about recovery and once we start juggling too many problems there are so many pitfalls. Not every one on here has relapsed & it maybe worth pointing that out to your loved ones. If that were the case how come so many turn to Gamcare & GA ?.

Stay Strong



Posted : 22nd June 2020 1:01 am
Merry go round

Hi, I was rushing last night but wanted to say something.

this may sound harsh, you may disagree with everything but you might hear something that helps.

your recovery is your own. Your focus needs to be on yourself. Start to think about each day, not the future. Don't make rash decisions, 90 days to see change.

Self pity is your enemy . Don't let the addiction persuade you into thinking 'what's the point, I may as well......'

addiction affects everyone connected to you. Especially your wife. It's the stone thrown into the pond, the ripples.

my recovery is separate from my husband's. I work recovery in a different way. I change my reaction, behaviour, no one else. It is not up to me to fix him. 

How long did it take to get here? It will not be fixed overnight. You will have good and bad days.

trust? Is an expectation. We want someone to behave in a certain way. This is beyond our control. We cannot control others, only ourselves.

Help is out there, it doesn't always say what you want to hear, but it is help nonetheless. Recovery is hard work, a long road. Giving up is not an option.

one thing you said, your wife reading gamcare stories, no I don't think that would help. Learning to look after ourselves and moving focus from the gambler to us is what helps. She needs a place for her, to voice her fears and anger. 



Posted : 22nd June 2020 8:12 am
Forum admin

Dear @lostsouls,

It is not an easy thing to admit that ones life can spiral out of control through gambling so well done for firstly admitting this. It is positive to see that you have already taken steps to address your gambling issue even though you may feel like these efforts have been unsuccessful so far. Please let me reassure you that while you may not feel much, if any benefit yet, nothing is wasted in recovery from gambling and we are here to help and guide you further with your journey. I see you are already accessing GA groups out in the community and while you may not have had the best experience at first, my encouragement would be to continue going even if it is to just listen to any similarities with other members. You already have good support and people who care for you here on the forum. What may  be beneficial is that if you could make contact with us here at gamcare either by email or phone call so we could look at your situation a little more closely to see how we could really start to help and assist you at this challenging time in your life. Our Helpline and Netline is available 24/7

Please keep posting and sharing.

Wishing you all the best,


Forum Admin

Posted : 22nd June 2020 4:28 pm

Hi @lostsouls you have to give yourself a break, yes you’ve done wrong but you’re not well! Many people who do not gamble probably do not get that, it is a terrible addiction that makes you lie, cheat, feel worthless, damages you and your loved ones but if you keep doing everything you can to reassure your wife she may, in time start to trust you again. Your addiction isn’t the only thing about you, you have far better qualities about you! If you didn’t your wife would probably thrown you out the minute she knew you gambled. Have you looked into the CBT course on here called game change? It’s in the self help part of the menu and it’s free, I am nearly finished but I would really recommend you give it a go! It’s 8 modules, you complete 1 per week and then speak to a counsellor each week to discuss how you’ve found each part of the course. It makes you look and then change your thought processes and there are parts in the course about negative thought patterns that really resonated with me, me and my partner we're trapped in this cycle of ANTS (automatic negative thoughts) and when we looked at it together we realised that we were both so busy with unrealistic expectations we were not giving ourselves time to heal. You have to give yourself & your wife time to come to terms with this. Sit down and talk about it, I found it useful to keep a book which I write any purchases or transactions in so that we both know for sure exactly where every penny is going. I would also like to say to me you sound very down and depressed about what is happening, I hope you can seem some support for this. 
best wishes jade

Posted : 22nd June 2020 7:51 pm
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