I AM NEW THIS THIS SITE--asking for Help


GOOD EVENING: I am new to this site. I have a major gambling problem. I blow a lot of money and so does my husband. If I am not wanting to go to the Casino my husband is. I have tried planing other events but we always catch our self driving to the Casino. When we loose our money we come home upset and blame each other for wanting to go. I lie, I use credit cards, I us all my bank cards to get out that extra hundred. Does anyone have any advice for me? I tried praying but that does not seam to help. Neutral Neutral

Friday March 25, 2005
10:17 PM EST

JanKen,

Sounds like the same trouble as my wife and I have. We sit around asking each other what do you want to do and it inevitably comes down to going to the casino. It is fun - but not when you are a problem gambler. I can play the penny slot for an hour or two to keep myself amused. But my wife is mesmerized by the slots and will keep going all night at the same machine. Even if she is up big she wont cash out and go home unless I drag her away. I have lost my life savings gambling (not in casinos - in stock market) it is horrible. Sounds like you guys are noticing how this disease takes over your life - save yourselves NOW while you still can. If you have lost - FORGET ABOUT IT NO MATTER HOW MUCH IT EATS AT YOU. DO NOT TRY TO WIN IT BACK. You will only sink deeper into more misery and hopelessness. You need to find another outlet to spend time with your husband, movies, socialize, tennis, whatever... just break the pattern that you are falling into. If you have a GA nearby then go and talk to the people there. They will have advice also.

Get out while you still can,
Gene

I JUST SHOWED MY HUSBAND YOUR ARTICLE WHICH I THINK WAS GREAT. HE TELLS ME I HAVE THE GAMBLING PROBLEM NOT HIM. HE HAS LOST THOUSANDS AND THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS IN THE STOCK MARKET BUT HE WILL NOT ADMIT HE HAS A PROBLEM. EVERY TIME I TRY TO QUIT THINKING ABOUT THE CASINO HE KEEPS BRINGING IT UP. HE SAYS LETS GO TO THE CASINO BOAT IT WON'T HURT US, WE FIND OURSELFS GOING AGAIN. I GUESS I AM FIGHTING A LOOSING BATTLE.
THANK YOU FOR YOUR HELP.

You need to support each other - and hopefully you both do some soul-searching and honestly assess your lives and where you want your futures to end up - hopefully not broke and full of despair - which is where gambling (whether on casinos, stocks, or whatever will lead to - if you gamble more than you can afford)

I am 46. I got married last year to a wonderful gal. We were all ready to buy a house, settle down, start a family. I was the happiest ever in my life. I didn't quite have enough for the 20% down-payment on a mortgage for our house and the stock market was doing well at the time. So I took $50,000 that I had saved for the house and bought some stocks on margin thinking I could quickly double it to get to the 20% I needed. Right after that the market went south - I lost everything. Being in the panicking gambler state that I was in I had to get that money back. So I talked my mother into lending me $100,000. I put that in the market and after a couple of months lost that too.

Now I am broke, my life savings is gone and the joy of living is gone. My wife asked me today if I wanted to have kids. I couldn't answer her. It killed me. Of course I want kids but I do not know how we could afford it now. My life is pretty much ruined.

Hold on to what you have, be smart, don't let gambling ruin your lives too.

Gene

JANKEN,

It sounds to me that you are taking the first step and admitting you have a problem. It may take your husband some time or it may never happen but YOU have to take the first step. Find a Gamblers Anonymous meeting in your area and go. Don't try to drag your husband because that will make him resist even more. Give the meetings some time (at least 90 days) which sounds like a long time but think how fast the last three months have gone. If after 90 days you feel that GA is NOT helping then find something else but don't pressure your husband he may never find the right time. It is your decision. Please think of it this way; each time you put your hard earned money into one of those slot machines a little piece of your life disappears with it. Take control now before you regret it. Please take it from me I am 39 years old and I have lost everything to gambling. I wish you the best and take it one day at a time.

Paul D.

JanKen and genef,

Welcome and congratulations. You have made the first step towards stoping gambling.

I see that both of you are blaming your partners. The first thing you need to do, is take full responsibility for your own actions.

On this site you will find a mixed bag of suggestions on 'how' to quit gambling. Read through the posts and decide which method might be right for you. As Paulie D said, you may want to try Gamblers Anonymous, or you might want to try Self-Help psychology, or finding your God, or any combination of methods.

Personally, I do not see addictive gambling as a 'disease' any more than being an alcoholic, smoking cigarettes, or doing heroin, cocaine etc are diseases. They are addictions, or compulsions. Unless one is devoutly religious, I doubt that prayer will help much, but it may? If one were devoutly religious it is unlikely they would be gambling in the first place.

I think in the case of a 'couple' with gambling problems, it is imperative that they work at quitting together! To sit down and promise each other that you are NOT going to blame each other. That you are going to work at this 'together' and not be beaten by it. Make it a war, the two of you against gambling addiction. Do not allow negative thoughts or ideas to come into conversations. Make lists of things you want/need to get with the money you 'would' have lost. Make those things 'Targets'. The targets will be a move in a positive direction.

In all Life problems it is a good idea to sit down and think of the worst scenario. Accept that the worst scenario is possible, then do everything in your power to make sure that worst scenario does NOT happen. This way, we turn negative thinking into positive action!

The worst scenario in your cases, is that you return to the casino, stock market or whatever... Do everything in your combined powers to make sure that does NOT happen!

Ravisher.

Ravisher,

Well put. If I had thought of worse case before I got into this mess I might not have made those fatal mistakes. Good advice. Of course that's the power of this addiction. It makes normal sane people think illogically. On a normal day I'll drive an extra half mile to find a gas station selling for 2 cents less a gallon. But when gambling my thinking becomes so warped that thousands of dollars becomes play money. It's insidious. But I have gone to a GA meeting last week and will continue to. I have also seen a psychiatrist and went to 4 sessions with therapists. Next week I have an appointment with a gambling counsleor. I regret what has happened to my life - but I finally woke up and am seeking help (even finding this website with all you wonderful people). I still have my loving wife and my job so it's not as hard on me as some others. However, financially I am close to bankruptcy after 20 years of hard work all for nothing. And emotionally I am drained.

Thanks for listening. If I can help one person avoid the misery that gambling addiction leads to then it makes my life seem hopeful again.

Hugs all around,
Gene

Gene,

Believe me, we have all been there and you will find much help here and through the other avenues you have mentioned.

I just wanted to comment on the 'bankruptcy' option. My husband & I did file 3 yrs ago and it did relieve so much of the pressure allowing me to focus on my recovery. We waited so long to make the decision but when we did it was almost instant relief. No one knows your particular circumstances, but I will tell you that everyone was telling us to avoid the bk if possible and we waited so long trying to do this. The reality was though, our credit was already ruined and the bk was not going to make it much worse. The time we would have devoted to cleaning up our credit would have taken just as long as keeping a squeaky clean credit history after the bk, which we have done. The effects are minimal at this point.

The thing is that once we made the decision it was a huge weight off of our shoulders and allowed me to concentrate on getting the gambling issues under control.

I wish you the best...
Zoe

Thanks for the insight Zoe...

Rgds
Gene

I wanted to add my two sense to the bankruptcy option. If at all possible please try to pay back your creditors and DON'T file bankruptcy. I know Congress is changing the bankruptcy law; however; as the law is written now it is a BALE OUT. If you file bankruptcy most of your debt is extinguished which teaches you (or at least it did me) that you can get out of anything and this will harm your recovery in the long term.

If you call your creditors most of them will work out a long term payment solution with little or no interest. Through hard work and a little time these debts will be paid back and you will be well on your way to a strong financial recovery.

Again it is just my two sense.

Paulie