Please help!

I have a question for gamblers and spouses both. Is it possible to not remember the occasion on which you broke a 6 week abstinence? I mean not to remember which casino, when it happened, and what was going on at the time. I need some help in understanding and forgiving a 2 month binge.

soliver, Wednesday April 27, 2005
02:27 PM EDT

Soliver, when you say "not remember", do you mean to deliberately forget about our relapse?

I've had a few relapses in my days. What I find works is to find worthwhile goals to pursue, something to replace gambling with and not become fixated on demonizing gambling as an evil. I've come to the understanding that gambling is neither good nor evil, but what people make of it.

I found other worthwhile goals to pursue and gambling has become a sideshow. It took me years to realize this but gambling wasn't a problem, but I was my own worst problem.

If someone were to give you two weeks vacation and $20,000 right now, what would you do with your time and money?

It comes down to coping skills and knowing how to manage your resources.

Hope this makes some sense.

You'll be fine.



Thanks Honesty for the wise words. It is my beloved husband who is the gambler. He says he does not remember when he broke his abstinence. This would seem to me to be so momentous that you would remember. I'm confused. Want to stand by him. Any thoughts?


Hi Soliver,
I'm not sure I can offer any help, but I will try.

My son is the compulsive gambler in my family. He is only 24 years old, and I have watched this addiction slowly destroy him. He has been sports betting for about 4-5 years. (Yes, he placed his bets before he turned 21. The casinos knew he was not 21, and most of the time they allowed it. Why not, it's money for them.) In the last year I have seen my sons' frame of mind, at times, not normal. He would not remember something I had previously said. Sometimes it was something that was said only a few hours earlier. I have came to realize what a toll this gambling is making on his mental health. Most of the time he is fine, but there are times that his actions are frightening. He can become angry at something for no reason. This addiction has such a powerful hold on him, and I only wish he would realize it, and get help. Or help himself. At times he does try to stop, and does for only a short period.

Yes, Soliver, I do believe your husband may not remember what, where, how he broke his abstinence.
An addiction, whatever it is, effects the way a person thinks, and consequently, acts. People rob banks, for instance, to support an addiction. Their mind is not acting normal. Alot has been said here about the effects gambling has on a person. You will find this site a great help.

You said you want to understand, and to stand by your husband. This site will help you to understand, and I can tell you that it is possible for a person to quit. My husband once gambled regularly. Mostly before we were married, before I knew him. But when we married he was still gambling. He was able to stop gambling when he realized I would leave, and take our son (a new born then) with me. He had lost a family previously due to gambling, and other, addictions. He was not going to loose his family again. He stopped about 22 years ago. He was able to stop by himself, without outside help. Not everyone is able to stop without other help, such as G. Annoymous.

I hope this helps. Good luck to you.



Hi soliver,

The human mind is extremely complex and can be made to believe anything. Religion, Politics and Belief Systems are proof enough of that.

In the minds of many compulsives, whether they be drikers, gamblers or smokers, it is as if 'somebody else' is forcing the drinking, gambling or smoking. The compulsive may be well aware of the facts, and the dangers, but the 'somebody else' inside does not care about those things, all 'they' want to do is drink, gamble or smoke, whatever the cost.

Whether your husband remembers the occasion and details of breaking his abstinence, or not, only he knows, and it is not for anybody here on this forum to judge him on that.

What you both need, is to try to understand the problems of compulsive gambling and to both gain support. You can find plenty of advice and support here on this forum.

It is most difficult for the friend/spouse of the compulsive gambler, because they do not understand what goes on in the mind of the compulsive her/himself. Does not understand the 'cravings' and associated 'feelings' of gambling, and does not understand the 'need' to gamble. If you have never smoked, or taken heroin, or been a compulsive gambler, then it is extremely difficult to understand the mind of the addict.

You can find a lot of information among the postings on this site.

Good luck,


Thanks Jane and Ravisher for the words of encouragement.Jane, I also have seen that forgetfulness. I guess it's a part of the whole compulsion. We were disgustingly happily married for 29 years until the last 18 months when the problem gambling started. He went to a GA meeting last week but went on the wrong day so will try again next week. We live in a small rural town so it's a long way to any kind of support. This site means a lot to me. What complicates and yet helps our dealing with this is that I am a social worker who has worked with addicted people yet I can't help him. I have taken the step of putting all our finances in my name. Hated to but didnt feel I had a choice. Thanks again for answering. Hope your day goes well.