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Do I leave?  


Hello All, 

I have no one to turn too and need help from ppl who can relate. 
my husband of 15yrs is an addicted gambler, has always enjoyed a bet and battled for 16years. Early days I tried an allowance and he’s tried for years to give up most recent going to rehab. But same cycle stops for 4mths and starts off small amounts and increases. 

We earn a high income so and bills are always paid food on table but it’s not the point, sometimes it’s up to £500 a week which is absolutely ridiculous, it’s the compulsive lying to my face that gets me, swears he hasn’t and makes me feel like an idiot for questioning him. 
Getting angry at me when I confront him. 

Last time it wasn’t just gambling but drinking too and drunk drove home. That was the final straw i told him rehab or I’m leaving, he went to rehab and it’s been 5mths but now found out he’s back gambling and again making me feel like an idiot for questioning him and told me to leave and I’m a coward for not doing so. (He knew the last time was it) 

Is the lying and disregard of me and my feelings enough to leave. Other than his addictions we love each other but I can’t keep going. He makes out he deserves to gamble because he works so hard and it’s his only outlet. He goes to great lengths to lie to my face. 

I’m emotionally broken and have not trusted him for 10yrs now. Am I overeacting considering leaving with our children?? 


Posted : 6th February 2021 5:50 am
Forum admin

Dear Twinkle33, 

Sorry to hear that you are dealing with this situation , I know it can be really upsetting and frustrating as an affected other going through this .

This is not your fault and how you are feeling is very common. Trust is very easily broken but very hard to get back, especially when it has been going on for so long. 

It’s not only those with a gambling addiction that we support but also their loved ones too. I was therefore wondering if you’d find it beneficial to talk to one of our advisers to see what further support is available for you too? Even talking to someone who understands a gambling addiction can help. Our services are here 24/7 

If this is something you’d find beneficial do please call us on 0808 8020 133 or you can chat to us via our NetLine

You may also find our Family and Friends chatroom helpful too, it provides an opportunity to have peer support from others who are going through a similar situation to you. If this is something you'd find beneficial you can access it on Mondays at 11.30  here: Chatroom

Take care


Forum Admin

Posted : 6th February 2021 7:14 am

Hi Twinkle 33,


As a compulsive gambler myself, we will do anything to gamble which often includes lying to loved ones and trying to manipulate the situation to our gain. Deep down he will know himself that gambling is a mugs game but at times its hard to break the addiction. Can I ask do you have control of all finances? He seems to be aware of the process alongside the acceptance that he is a compulsive gambler otherwise he would never have went to rehab. I cant tell you to stay or to leave but what I can tell you is to do whats best for you and your children. Maybe you can agree with him you take control of all finances and he can agree to be honest with you when he has compulses. I myself come on here when I want to gamble as It reminds me I will never win and also how far I've come. Does he have any goals to work towards to distract him and give him a focus other than gambling? Is there things that he maybe would like to buy with that £500 weekly that instead he can reward himself not to gamble? 


I appreciate you earn a decent living but can you be sure that he wouldn't gamble that given the chance? I think only you can decide if you want to support him or not but you need to make it clear that if he doesn't try and gives in then thats that, you have to leave for the sake of your own happiness and your kids. I myself remind myself that my partner would leave if I gambled again and in all honestly it pushes me not to risk anything as id never want to lose my safe space. I hope you can work things out and remember your not alone! Whatever your decision you've got this!



Posted : 6th February 2021 7:43 am

Hi Twinkle

This is my first posting on this site. I joined today. Your situation is very much like mine. I have been twenty years with my partner and had endless loops of gambling and lying. Times he maybe stopped and had counselling and had some insight. It’s very hard for families.

I can’t tell you what to do but do put your needs and the children first. Last month I finally made the decision to separate and take a different path in life. My ex partner had been stealing from elderly relatives and this cut a cord with me and I finally could let go. Wishing you strength and understand how the constant lying destroys you. 

Posted : 6th February 2021 2:00 pm

Hi Twinkle, No magic words or solutions, you cannot fix him he has to fix himself. I'm the compulsive gambler in my relationship and now I'm 8months gamble free after a 21year history with gambling, I'm not bragging or thinking I've got this's for life, but what I'm trying to say is if I can do it anyone can. It sounds from what you've said is that he's not ready to stop and that's at the heart of your problem. To stop....You have to want to and be ready to.....You have to do it for yourself , hope that doesn't sound selfish to you...but the best chance to be gamble free for your family and loved ones is to be gamble free for yourself. Few things like Laura has said. I know my husband means it when he says we would be over if I mess up again....I think in his deluded mind he doesn't believe you when you say you will leave. And believe me a gamblers mind is very deluded. You are not in anyway over reacting, he is not entitled to gamble because he earns good money £500 a week what could that do for you and the kids? As Laura said can you be sure he wouldn't gamble the bill money? Gambling is progressive, 10years ago I would have sworn I would never do that...but I did on more than one occasion, but I can honestly say that I never meant to cause any harm I got caught in a downward spiral , I love my family more than anything I would say mentally I was very unwell. No one can tell you what to do ...stay ....or go but best advice would be put yourself and the kids first....always. It's a pity I couldn't show him a shot of how much better his life would be without gambling. I feel like a different person I feel free despite lockdown and I will do everything I can to stay this way being a compulsive gambler is not a happy life. I hope you find your way you must not feel guilty you have tried and tried to help him now he must help himself. Take care

This post was modified 3 weeks ago by Charlieboy
Posted : 6th February 2021 2:56 pm

Living with an active gambler who won't give up is hell. The bills are paid but given the spiralling nature of the addiction that doesn't mean it's always going to be that way.

He doesn't want to give up. At least, not yet. He may never. Think about what you want, need and deserve. How do you want life to be?

Posted : 6th February 2021 9:16 pm

To stop he should want to stop. He needs to take the lead. Otherwise he’ll just find a way to gamble one way or another. 
Do you leave him? Only you can answer this. If you stay you need to protect yourself and your children. Protect your finances. As the others have pointed out, it is a progressive illness so it will most definitely just get worse (debts, bankruptcy, crimes). Sorry to be harsh but this addiction is harsh.
My partner is a compulsive gambler (CG) on abstinence/recovery. I am supporting him all the way because i can see his dedication and commitment to stay away from a bet. I made it clear to him that i stay if he continues to work hard. I am here for him (relapses and all) if he remains committed to being bet free. If he starts making excuses to gamble again and if he stops me from seeing his credit report and banking whenever i want to then i’m out.

I wish you all the best. 

Posted : 12th February 2021 6:33 pm
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