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One addiction to another  


Hi everyone

I am not sure if anyone else has had a similar issue but my partner has been attending GA for years now to help him to overcome his addiction. He lied to GA and to me and did relapse but I found out and then he come clean. He now hasn’t gambled for nearly a year but I have found out that he has been messaging women online behind my back. The messages are not innocent. It has become another addiction. He said it’s an ego boost?

Has anyone else experienced anything like this. I am now at the end of my tether as it isn’t just the gambling to look out for, it’s another addiction too.

Any advice would be appreciated.

Thank you

This topic was modified 3 weeks ago by Advice6
Posted : 30th December 2020 10:05 pm

Hi advice6, I read your post few days ago and I'm sorry that I didn't reply then. I think it's because this is an emotive subject and doesn't get discussed much here. So here I am feeling guilty because you've asked for help and none of us has responded. Compulsive gamblers lack impulse control and if you've read any threads on here you will have seen that compulsive gambling quite often goes hand in hand with misuse of alcohol/drugs/overeating etc. A lack of control over most areas in life. Your partner is trying to gain control over one area of his life but is' thrill seeking' elsewhere. Do you know how long this has been going on? Did it run alongside the gambling or has it started recently since trying to quit? There is a buzz associated with gambling winning and losing and one feeds the other. He describes it as an ' ego boost'  compulsive gambling goes hand in hand with low self esteem/depression/anxiety maybe that's what he's hiding. Regardless of the trigger this for you is one more unacceptable thing and I really think that you should seek some professional advice for yourself. Hope you find a way forward sorry again for taking so long to reply but I just didn't want to say the wrong thing

Posted : 3rd January 2021 12:11 pm
Forum admin

Hi @advice6,


I am sorry to hear what you are going through with your husband’s gambling problem and behaviours. I can imagine this is all really stressful and exhausting and will put you on edge as you might now feel like there is always something else to worry about.

It is possible that he is also replacing one risk-taking behaviour (gambling) with another risk-taking behaviour (contacting women online) there is a certain something he gets out of this risk. However this is still unhealthy and I can imagine very painful. So despite the fact that he hasn’t gambled for a year maybe it would be helpful for him to get some form of treatment support to find out why he gambled and why he is replacing that activity with something equally risky.

It sounds like all of this has been going on for quite a while for you as well so can I suggest that you contact the GamCare Helpline on 0808 8020 133 or Netline just to have a space to talk and offload and see what other support we can offer you.

Hopefully sharing on here will also help to make sense of it all for yourself.



Forum Admin

Posted : 3rd January 2021 11:06 pm


Thankyou for sharing your story. 


It is not surprising to see a change of behaviour in a compulsive gambler attitude. They seek something equally as exciting and risky. In my opinion, this is an unhealthy replacement for gambling. I would perhaps encourage him to seek healthy replacements, like everyday activities such as short walks, reading etc. Anything that is counter productive and lifts his self esteem and worth. 


Posted : 4th January 2021 7:18 am
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