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Husband is a poker and casino machine addict. Not sure what else to do…

Get practical support with your gambling problem Forum Friends and Family Husband is a poker and casino machine addict. Not sure what else to do…

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  • #1930
    thunder2012
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    I don’t know exactly where to start, or what to do anymore. I feel very alone.
    In short, we live within 25 miles of 2 casino’s. My hisband goes 3x a week to play poker and often times wins. But, he can’t make it out the door with his winnings. He blows it in the machines. Three times this month, he hasn’t come home until 4-5am, and wouldn’t answer his cellphone or texts. To make matters worse, his Mom (my Mother in law) works at one of the casinos, and is a worse gambling addict than my husband! The time before last that he came in so late, they were out together. He always comes in feeling so horrible, and full of apologies.
    The last incident, we were on an important trip for our 13 year old son and he went about an hour away to a big casino to olay cards with some “real players”. I begged him not to go, but he went anyways. Unfortunately, he had our bank card and drained it down to our last $125 trying to win back the hundreds that he lost! He got “luckky” and was able to make all but $100 of it back, or we never could have made it home! He justifies the $100 as being his poker money, and was proud of himself and relieved that he made the $ back. I am more sad than angry at him these days. I am sad because we have an 8 month old baby, and 8 year old daughter and a 13 year old son. He doesn’t see how time away from the family and his inability to control his gambling is destroying our marriage because I simply don’t trust him anymore.
    My husband is 22 years sober from AA (next month), so whenever I talk to him he has all this wonderful phrases to throw at me about: dealing with life on life’s terms and whatnot.
    He admits he has a problem, and thinks that he should still be allowed to olay poker and just go to the casino with only enough $ for that (no bankcard, etc). He is trying to win his way into the world series of poker this summer.I have put my foot down several times and told him absolutely NO MORE going to the casino to play poker until he can stay away from the machines! Its always short lived, and his “good behavior” ends up turning into him going back to play b ecause he “deserves it” for being so good and not going after I’ve told him its got to stop.
    This has been going on for a year now. I’m exhausted and at a loss as to where to go now?
    He isn’t playing right now, because of the incident on the trip, but it only cause I threatened to leave him if he plays anymore until he seeks help. The problem is, that he is mean and abrasive towards me and acts like a child who can’t have his way. Even though he knows he’s the one with the problem, and knows I’m right for telling him not to go.
    What do I do now? Where do we go from here?
    My marriage is crumbling, and the only MFT we have consulted told me that I have to realize he isn’t going to change until he is ready. :/
    Thanks for listening (reading) and any advice is so appreciated!
    -JDream, hope, wish and be. Be what you wish, and wish to be free…

    #1931
    nomore 56
    Participant

    Hi Thunder, you have certainly come to the right place to find support. Your story is mine and our story is that of all the other f&f of compulsive gamblers here on this site and out there all over the world. I guess we all start by taking what our gambler is doing and saying as very personal. I did too. It took me a long time to realize that it was actually the addiction and not my hb who was destroying his life and also mine and our daughter’s. Addiction is a concept, not tied to a certain substance or behavior. Many addicts replace one addiction with another because they still need the rush, the relief, the escape or whatever it is that is driving them. The counselor was right, he will work on his recovery when he is willing and ready. In other words, begging, ultimatums, threats, nothing will “make” him stop. The addiction will do whatever it takes to stay alive and well. You will find lots of emotional support here, so I just want to suggest some things you can do right now to make sure that you and the kids are financially safe, which is very important when you start this journey on the slippery slope of gambling addiction. Does anybody else know about this? Maybe you can find support from a family member or a trusted friend? It would be a great idea to find a GamAnon meeting where you feel comfortable. The most important people right now are you and your children. You are the only functioning parent right now and they need you to be strong. Take his name of any joint accounts you have. Open your own if necessary. Same goes for all credit cards. Pull both your credit records to get an idea, how much debt he might have accumulated without you knowing it. Make sure that you pay all the bills and that he has no access to any money, like savings or whatever you guys have. It would be good if you could take some kind of an inventory of where you stand right now. What do you want to happen? What are you willing to take and where do you see your rock bottom? Maybe you can come up with a plan for what will happen if push comes to shove because it is vital that you NEVER threaten him with anything you are not willing to go through with. I did that for years and looking back I have to agree with Freud, who defined insanity as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different outcome each time, smart man he was..lol. I live in the Tacoma area in WA and am wondering if you would like my contact info just in case? I don’t really know if I can include that in a post here but maybe Velvet can answer that question when she replies to you? OR has a council on problem gambling as far as I know and it is a great resource for any kind of information for your area. I think your situation is not hopeless since your hb knows about recovery already and seems to be aware that gambling is a huge problem is his life. My thoughts are with you, girl! 🙂

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