Dating a sports betting addict - help!

Hi there,
I have been dating a sports betting addict for almost 3 years. It has been tumultuous to say the least. He is a super nice guy to everyone else, but to me he can be awful at times. All he does is watch sports, bet through various sports betting websites i.e. bookies and this is my first time dealing with something like this.
He never has any money, he lives off of me, he works full time with a good job but has nothing to his name. I didnt realize the depth of this issue until July of 2009 - when his friend from work told me on my birthday that he owed him 6k and it was a pretty serious issue. I was in shock that he owed that much.

I met his family a year and a half into dating and last february I approached them about this serious issue - I went and saw a therapist who specializes in this type of situation with his sister and when I approached him about it he was very mad. I told him he could lose me if he continues. He tried GA once when his family was involved and felt that everyone there was a loser and he wasn't like them. Clearly he is in denial. I have tried to talk to him about it nicely, with anger, softly and none of it works - he is clearly not ready to deal with that fact this is an issue. He is constantly checking scores online, on tv and watching sports. I am not a priority and I refuse to lend him money for this awful habit. somehow with his amazing personality he gets people to lend him money through work etc. He doesnt see he has a problem, but deep down he must. He has been doing this apparantly since he was 17 so for about 20 years of his life. He has been working to do this.

He constantly turns everything around on me, tells me Im a terrible person, that I annoy him, that he doesnt want to be with me - yet he still stays at my place and always comes back - I am guessing out of convenience since he can't drive his car without the sticker or insurance and my place is close to his work - he would live with his mother otherwise. He is 37 years old and it pains me that we fight all the time - he blames me for all of it and even for the smallest thing I ask him about around the house, he turns it around on me and points out my wrong doings.... but I have an idea that is has to do with this addiction. He says he is the most calm and nice person and I make him yell at me and get angry and get him so annoyed he feels he needs to talk to me that way.

From what I understand, I can't get help for him he has to want to do it. I have offered him a free place to stay if he pays down his debt and limits what he spends....What have any of you had work - what has helped? how do you have a loving caring mutually respectful relationship with someone whose number one priority seems to be gambling / sports betting? He gave me 20$ for my birthday last year and for christmas a heater that he got at a management lunch he attended for christmas...i didnt get him anything because when I have before he doesnt want it. I bought him / me a trip to vegas because he had said he always wanted to go - this was before I knew about how serious this issue was and i ended up going alone since he didnt have any money to spend while he was there.

I love him I want it to work, I just dont know how. If i leave my fear is that he wont come back or he will find another woman and stop doing it all together.

What do you think? Can someone please give me some insight?


prokopton's picture

I don't know who's taking a

I don't know who's taking a bigger gamble. You expecting him to change or his continued sports betting.

sports betting

wow - sounds like he has a serious problem. Ive been gambling for about 20 years also and poker is my main problem but sports gambling also was an issue. I remember checking scores constantly back when I was heavy into sports gambling. it was one of the most distracting things in the world. I remember one friend told me he couldnt even go to the sunday football game cause all he would do was look up at the scoreboard all game. You are doing the right thing in not funding him any $. Id also warn his friends not to also. Once he is completely in debt and cant borrow anymore it will be a lot easier for him to stop. I have a good job myself - a wife and 2 kids and i have lost a lot of $ and had a lot of people loan me $. I have a good paying job , but kind of that is a bad thing cause the more $ i made the more $ gambled away . Good luck