Introducing myself. Husband is a compulsive gambler

I wanted to take a moment and introduce myself. My husband has been gambling daily for the past 18 years. We currently have 6 kids together. Right now I am just trying to understand his issues/addiction and Make myself strong to keep from being his enabler.


Hello kitkat, and welcome. I, too, have been trying to understand the compulsive gambler. My son is a compulsive gambler. He is only 24 years old. I have really been trying HARD to understand this horrible addiction. Do I understand it? No. I think we are just all made differently, and some are more prone to addictions than others, for a number of reasons. Genetics, emotional issues, for whatever reason, play a part, I believe. But when a person becomes addicted, I do not entirely understand. Nor do the "experts." My husband, years ago, had a problem with gambling, and alcohol, and other addictions. I did not know him very well then, but I know of the things he has done. I have asked him many times how he could have done what he did; what was it inside of him that made him do these things, trying to understand why and how our son can have such a serious problem with gambling. His answer: He does not know. He says he was not the same person then. This I do know: He has not gambled for 26 years. He does not drink, nor does he smoke any more. He does not even have an urge. He is not the same person, and so I know that people can overcome this. How and why some do, and others don't, I wish I knew. For some, maybe most, it comes as a rude awaking: an arrest for breaking the law to support their habit, losing families, etc. But for some even these things do not help them to quit. I know it is hard to not enable the cg. When someone you love is hurting, the natural instinct is to help. But giving them money only allows them to continue. It's a very tough situation. I struggle with it. Not only the compulsive gambler is affected by this terrible addiction, so are family members.

Good luck to you, and your husband. I have been reading alot on the internet about gambling addiction, and have a couple of books that are good. There is alot of information out there. I am hoping by educating myself on this, I may be able to help my son one day. Remember, though, that they have to want to help themselves.

All the best. Hang in there.




This is a very baffling addiction. The first step a compulsive gambler must take is admitting you (your husband) has a problem. Nothing else matters if the person does NOT admit they have a problem. You can question your husband, you can take away his access to money and credit cards and you can demand he see a counselor or go to a Gamblers Anonymous meeting but he HAS to admit he has a problem before he can start his recovery. Unfortunately, most (and I am one) compulsive gamblers face horrible situations before admitting they have a problem. I hope your husband faces the facts about his addiction before it spirals out of control and it will spiral out of control if he does not seek help.

I couldn't control my gambling with willpower alone I needed Gamblers Anonymous and a psychologist. If there is a Gamblers Anonymous meeting in your area you may want to casually mention it to your husband and if you are so inclined tell him you will go with him. I am sure he will not want to go because it sounds like he is not ready to admit he cannot gamble like the rest of the world but it is worth a try. Also, compulsive gambling is not a financial problem even though most people think it is. Compulsive gambling is an emotional problem, we become addicted to either the "action" or "escape" and sometimes both.

I wish the best with everything.

Paul D.


Thanks for your responses. The weirdest thing is that my Husband knows he has a gambling problem, tells me all the time. He also says that he can not get it under control. My husband works very hard and makes really good money being a landscaper but non of the money comes into the house. NOT a dime. He says he keeps gambling because he knows the next day he can just make up what lost the day before. Even though he admits it is a problem, I see no desire on his part to stop. Theres no action. There were nights when I had run out money, and our babies were completely out of diapers and hes at the track. I know my reality, I need to find the strength to keep my head above water.


Hello everyone,

I'd like to share my view on this. First with what Jane said about her husband. I can only speak from experience...sometimes people, like myself, grow out of certain things, especially addiction. There's a saying in the addiction community, "Tired of being tired." I just got tired of feeling guilty and ashamed about myself. It didn't feel good, so I tried my best to stop it. Sometimes I had relapses but they were short lived and I moved on with life.

As a former compulsive gambler, I used to criticize and condemn people for the smallest things. What was really happening was I was criticizing and condemning myself and I was projecting my insecurity into other people. When I learned to stop being hard on myself, I got along with everyone great. I didn't have a need to escape reality.

I also became realistic about my goals. I can only do my best and realized that if I wanted anything in life, that I'd have to work for it. THE CASINO IS NOT GOING TO GIVE ME ANYTHING. ALL IT WILL DO IS TAKE AWAY MY DIGNITY AND DREAMS.

We all have our demons. I wish the best for everyone. I've come to the realization that life is what we make of it. If we want to be happy, we have to work for it. If we want to be something or somebody in the future, we have to be that something or that somebody TODAY.

I think that one of the saddest things in life is to be on our dying bed and realizing we didn't try to become the person we wanted to in life. The operative word here is "try." Try your best to help your son, but I don't think you should feel guilty if he continues to gamble and squanders his life away. If you try your best each day, you will sleep better at night.

I've been on this journey for almost a year now and I have so much more to learn about people and life. Some adages in life are true. "Life is too short to belittle", "Patience is a virtue", "Charity begins at home", "You can't make anyone happy until you can make yourself happy first", "Do unto others what you would have them done unto you."

I wish everyone the best.