Someone I love is a compulsive gambler

I came on line right now looking for words of encouragement and I got them - THANK YOU ALL SO SO MUCH. I was having a fleeting moment of doubt - it has passed very quickly after coming on here and reading what you all have said... I've said it before, this place has been a blessing. It's wierd how things have just changed within myself from coming on here and 'just letting things out'.

At first, I was starting to feel like I was becoming an Internet junkie but I don't think so.... Thank guys - I hope and pray that everyone is well. I will be back maybe later but definitelt tomorrow... Goodnight


AKAneat, You are doing the right thing!! Stand firm and do not let any doubts you may have change your mind and put you right back in the middle of HIS mess! He has to get thru this one on his own. You do not want to be a part of this behavior.. no matter what!

I went to a workshop today, it was for compulsive gamblers and gamanon.. it was the first time i went to one. I have to tell you, I didnt realize that those who are loved ones or family members of compulsive gamblers.. were considered to be as sick as the compulsive gambler's were, until today.. I gained some more wisdom today about this addiction and those who are co-dependant.. that would be you.. You might not realize this now and it will take some recovery on your own part for yourself to see that you are a co-dependant and also.. have those feelings of the increased seritonim/dopamine levels in your brain when you are out there, trying to find him, cover up his financial screw ups and fixing the problems that his gambling has caused you and your family. Yes.. sounds strange doesnt it? but today I heard from those who belong to gamanon and this is what they said... that they too are just as sick as their compulsive gambler spouses.. and they too, have to be in recovery, so that they put themselves first and worry about themselves and NOT their spouses who are the compulsive gamblers in action.. amazing.. I didnt think about your side of this before in that way.. I am a compulsive gambler and always thought we were completely to blame.. but as long as you are there for him, covering up, trying to fix it, enabling him.. etc.. you are sick too.. you need recovery for yourself, so that you can continue to heal and learn to put yourself first and not want to reach out to him to help him..

He has to do it alone!! Maybe there was a good reason for me to hear all that today.. maybe is was so that I could come back here and show you what I discovered today, so that it will help you realize you made the right and most healthiest choice by leaving him.. do not go back. Do not help him.. help yourself! He must be accountable for his actions in stealing this money.. you can do nothing for him, except the best thing there is to do.. and that is nothing except heal yourself. Its a good thing you work for a divorce lawyer.. you are going to be using his services, like tomorrow.. I feel much better knowing you are in a more healthier and safer environment for you and your child..

That was a very smart decision.. you are on your way to healing and recovering as well.. Get to a gamanon meeting, start your recovery and work the steps at gamanon, you will be so glad you did, whether you ever go back to him or not, you need this for your own recovery. God bless you.. lilaud


Hello Anita,

I have been thinking alot about you. I know what you are going through is hard. It will get better. Just keep doing what is best for YOU and YOUR CHILDREN. What Lilaud has said is so true. Family members of compulsive gamblers have alot to look at, in themselves. As I have told you before, I gave my son money (ALOT) in the past, when he would loose all that he had, and have nothing left to pay his bills. There were times I could not even pay some of my bills, by helping him pay his. I knew what I was doing was the wrong thing to do. So why did I do it? Because I love him so much, and wanted to "fix" the mess he had created, to the extent of it causing a mess (finacially) for me. I was not thinking of myself. That is wrong. That is one of the points I believe Lilaud is trying to make. You have to think of yourself first. I also was contributing to his gambling. At the time I did not see it as enabling. I thought he would realize what he was doing, and it would not happen again. I kept holding on to the hope that he would see. I still am hoping and praying for him every day.

Now I live with the quilt I have of the years (4) that I helped him become a compulsive gambler. Now I see his pain, and it is very hard to bare. Where do I go from here? I do not know. A few things I do know: I have to think of what is best for myself. I fight this daily. Our instincts are to put our children first. I encourage my son to find help. He thinks, at this stage, that he can handle it on his own. I do not know where it all will end. I know I, myself, need help. I refuse to help him financially any more. That I know I am doing right. I do need help in how to live with this.

I have called Gamanon a couple of times. The meetings are too far away for me to go to, and on a day I teach my art classes. Each time I called them I was told some things that I do not agree with, and, to tell you the truth, it has turned me off to them. I called about 2 months ago, and the lady I talked to told me that she has nothing to do with her son. (alcoholic, not compulsive gambler) She does not invite him to family dinners, holidays, or any thing. I am sorry, but I do not believe we should disown our own children. (Except, of course, under VERY extreme circumstances)

Anita, you and I are in sort of a similar situation. (Except my compulsive gambler family member is my son) We have talked. I am proud of you for what you are doing now. Stay strong. I know you have feelings for your husband, but at this time he is making it impossible for you to have a family. He may get the help he needs one day. But you do have to do what is best for you, and your children. I was in a similar situation with my first husband years ago. It continued for years, because I allowed him to treat me the way that he was. I woke up the day a police officer told me I should consider leaving, if not for myself, then for my children. He was right.
Take care.