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My spouse is a gambeling addict. It causes so much stress in our home. Is anyone else dealing with addiction issues? How do you seperate the addict from the addiction?

Boudica 5 Mar 22

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4

That sucks, and I’m sorry. In my situation, it turned out that addiction was a symptom of the narcissistic sociopath, rather than the explanation for the behavior.
You need to protect yourself. First, make sure that you have savings that your spouse cannot access and research what other steps you can take to protect yourself financially.
Then you have to consider what you want/need to do to help your spouse and preserve your marriage. Finally, addictive behavior often overlaps with abusive behavior. As much as we hear that you should stick out your marriage no matter what, it is ok to remove yourself from a toxic situation.

3

I am so sorry you are going through this.

First rule, you can't fix someone else. You can only control your behavior. Go to an Alanon meeting asap. Get perspective from those that have been there.

Second rule, you cannot separate an addict from his addiction if he has not sought help. Everything he says or does revolves around the addiction. He cannot think clearly. It's like trusting an Alzheimer's patient to remember a task. Until they get help, they cannot be trusted. It's always the addiction talking and making decisions.

Third rule, get help from professionals. You are codependent. That's how addiction keeps hurting you and your family. Get help. This will be too painful and confusing to navigate on your own.

Fourth rule, remember that you will be okay. No matter what path you choose, you will be okay if you follow the other rules. There are others that have walked this path. Let them help you.

Real addiction is a matter of brain chemistry and mostly beyond a person's capacity to control. True addiction needs serious intervention and love and compassion of a kind that many humans are incapable of.

3

My spouse sent us into bankruptcy, used to get up in the middle of the night to gamble on the forex, then lied about the money he lost, so I divorced him and moved to Thailand.

3

That is exactly what you have to do...seperate the addict from the addiction. But while the adict is addicted, his behavior is group destructive. You have to decide how much damage you can take before he gets help....my kiddo is on the meth....I can't have him here because I am a caretaker for my mom, and while I can cope with the damage that meth can cause, my mom cannot....so I have to keep him at a distance....which is a killer. Though, he is doesn't want to be here, because he knows I won't enable him. So that helps. Have you tried the 'hardass' approach? I don't think that is for everybody....you kinda have to have 'hardass' in ya...haha.

3

As a former gambling addict (if there is such a thing) I can only speak for myself. All my spare money went in gambling, not that I had much but I never got passed " just visiting " never mind " go" . Bottom came on a trip to France with some friends. I did all my money in the casino on the boat over and had to live off the charity of my friends for 2 weeks. One time we were in the food shop and I said to my mate that they look like nice sausages and he said " Buy some then. " It stung me like a slap in the face. It was not the end of my problem but the beginning of the end. Gradually I learnt to stay away from temptation. You cannot gamble unless you actively do something to gamble. You have to go into a betting office, casino or stand in front of a slot machine. Unlike drinking people don`t offer you a bet with a meal or at xmas etc. To stop you have to remove yourself from the scene. After a while I got out of the habit but the urge took years to leave me. I can now play the odd game of poker for small stakes but I am very wary that it could escalate.
Best advice is tell him how much you love him but not his gambling. Sit down and ask him to be honest and say how much he lost this week or month. HE WILL LIE. Go though his finances and point out the obvious inconsistencies on paper. Then say tell the truth and you will forgive him. If he comes clean then hold him and say it will be all right but it has to stop. If he uses his cards then cut them up and give so much for lunch gas etc. each day. Set a reward of a weekend away, some big boy toy he would like or maybe a really nice shirt. Having nice shirts now is one of the great things about not losing them all the time.

You failed to say which form of gambling he uses. If it is illegal bookies then get him to delete the number. Check his phone each day for repeated unknown numbers. If it is an app check for these and his computer. If he refuses, tell him to leave. He will have not many options as flats cost money.

3

You sure have a heavy challenge ahead of you! If you really love this person, I would suggest that you get help for yourself, first! You need to be at your best, to deal with this delima even if you must leave the relationship! Long range stress surrounding your financial security, will truely break you down! So you need to know if your husband will get help or save himself, alone (with your support)! Your husband has a disorder and you did not cause it! He must get to the root of the problem and I would hope show some willingness to do that, otherwise 'he will bring down the house,' both literally and figureatively!

3

The addict has to hit bottom then he might ask for help. Suggest you find a support group and take care of yourself.
Check out the support group -there is a link on your post.

The hitting bottom is a myth, just like believing in a higher power.

If they have no money left to gamble they can't return to the slot machines. Trust me I just returned from Nevada.

3

So sorry yo hear about your situation. They say addictions are to fill the emptiness. Only the addict csn know what that is. Might be just a feeling. From childhood. I've found that quiting the addiction long term is impossible, without filling the "emptiness" with something positive. It will take much time. Two steps forward, one step back. If the addict doesn't want to change, then you need to take care of yourself first. Be aware of what codependency is. Good luck. Mrssage me if I can help any further.

"If the addict doesn't want to change, then you need to take care of yourself first." This is the summation of the truth here.

2

I married into an Irish & Italian family that entered New York via Ellis Island. His family all gamble, some or lots. Some are on meds for obsessive compulsive disorder to keep it in bounds. One cousin almost got his family murdered over his gambling tab. My family's opinion on gambling was that it was a sin or a vice. I have more respect for money, and I like expensive shoes and clothes and furniture. We found a meeting place and will be married 12 years soon. So, is your partner spending money gambling that should be used to pay bills? Leave him. Leave him now. If that is the case, you are throwing good time after bad. The end game is that he's not going to change. He will start to hide it from you, and lying is a relationship killing game.

2

If I understand the question right, you can't. He needs to do that. Can't change anyone but yourself.

2

It sounds like you love your spouse (assuming husband for sake or writing), but remember that you are not a spouse nursing your mate through a cold. Gambling addiction is an issue that needs professional help. Things will get worse before they get better.

  1. Protect yourself and your family. Your spouse gambling your household's financial stabilization away. Lock that money in another bank account. He can't help himself. He's trying to satisfy an insatiable urge. Let him go without money.

  2. Seek professional help for him and you. Gambling is an addiction like drugs. Health insurance may cover it. The book "The Power of Habit" by Charles Duhigg does an excellent job of explaining how someone becomes a gambling addict. At first, winning gives the dopamine rush. Later on, just the thrill of possibly winning does it. Visual, aromatic, and audio cues help give the rush.

  3. Get out if he's the aggressive type. If he's the man of the house who controls the finances and cannot control his gambling, he's going to drown you in his debt.

@Shellbell I still have issues from the credit problems of my ex that I divorced 20 years ago. Once you are tied in those databases, you are never fully out.

2

Recoveringfromreligion.org
Check out Recovering from Religion. They have a phone line so as an agnostic you can talk to them about this and they have a side group called the Secular Therapy Project which insure that these are qualified therapists and that they use evidence based techniques.

2

You give him a choice. Make him choose between gambling and the marriage. If he needs additonal therapy, get it for him. My wife gave me a similar choice as a smoking addict. I chose the marriage and quit smoking for the first time in my adult life. I have not smoked in well over 20 years.

I am glad to see that you got serious...my daughter had a 'hell-of-time,' stopping smoking!

1

In my experience you can't. If even if they are recovered, there is always the threat of relapse. If there is a relapse, you will be blamed for it by not only them but most everyone around you.

1

I come from an addictive family, old man was an alco, smoker and terrible gambler, we gerew up destitute, he blew both his and my mothers inheritences before he died and left my mother seriously in debt. Before I was 30 I had paid their mortgage off twice, he just reborrowed.
My mother is addicted to all sorts of prescription medications, and I have a brother who is totally drug fucked, has been on disability pension for drug abuse since he was 22, ie 35 years ago.
I have zero sympathy for addicts, but lots for their families. Harsh as it sounds, I would take the kids and leave, but that is me. oh yeah, I did do that.

1

Intermittent Reinforcement is an extremely powerful psychological conditioning tool. Gambling is the definition of Intermittent Reinforcement. Some people are more prone to the effects of this conditioning and once wired it can be very difficult to rewire or reduce it's effects. I believe Religion tends to Intermittently reinforce, sometime prayer works, sometimes it doesn't. Abusive Relationships too: Sometimes the person is so great, they are amazing and then even when they are not, you will do anything in the hopes that amazing person returns and will endure things you wouldn't normally.

Does nobody remember the Rat studies on intermittent rewards? When they finished the human genome project, they found we share more genetic information with PIGS and RATS. We were insulting monkeys. People are weak and foolish.

0

You can't, and whatever the addict is addicted to is more important than anything in the world--including you. At least that was true of my alcoholic father and now-ex pothead boryfried. At least gambling doesn't affect cognition, but I'm sure it drains the bank account!

0

I got a divorce... Pretty effective solution. Never been happier. It took me awhile to bite the bullet and do it, but it was the best decision I ever made.

I know what you're going through, and that shit sucks... But if they aren't willing to do what needs to be done to make the necessary changes, you're doing yourself a disservice by sticking with it. IMHO

0

There are two sides to addiction. Thee is physical addiction and pyschological addiction. Physhological addiction is the harder one to fix.

It can be argued that gamblins has a physicl component to it, even though there are no substances taken, the thrill of the risk gives an adrenoline rush, and it is usually the excitement of that rush that peopel becoem addicted to, as it makes them feel more alive and keeps them from feelign boredom. That is a generality and ot true for all.

Anyway, twelve step groups (Gamblier's Anonymous)can help, but only if a person wants to be helped or get over theri addiction.

Teh gr4eatest enemy of the gambler is their imagined vision of winning. When they win, they imagine winning even more and so they keep bettign until they lose it all.

My advice, if you wish to stay inthe relgionship, is to separate yoru finances and n3ver give back in to joint finances for the rest of your life. Addictions never go away. Once addicted, it reamins there for life. The only hope is if the gamvler wants to stop. Then they may find the will to do so, but no matter how long they manage not to gamble the addiction is still there. Never become complacent about it, or think it isn't just because many years have passed.

0

Addicts will lie to perpetuate their addictions- a tight rein and support group could be the only answer. Eliminate the opportunity and be very patient if you want results.

0

I am very aware how lucky I am not to be afflicted with any sort of addiction. I have watched a few friends ruin everything they touch with it. Often it has a genetic cause or primer. This is part of the reason they are so hard to break.That said, do to break out of the habit, but it is never easy if you have a real addiction.

0

You can go to an Al-Anon 12-step meeting which might help you. You can't change someone with an addiction, but you can learn how to take care of yourself. Just a suggestion.

12 step programs are notorious for being tied to religion, and not being very effective unless they are combined with real medical treatment. Their only benefit seems to be from the social support they offer. Relapse rates tend to be significant. As another poster mentioned, addiction is often a real medical problem. This requires real medical treatment...a few "slaps on the back" and "hoorahs" and a bunch of prayers won't cut it. Churches use 12 Step Programs to recruit new churchies.

[npr.org]

[theatlantic.com]

[handshakemediainc.com]

@Reignmond Thanks for your reply. I know several people who have been helped immensely by 12-step programs. I also know an atheist who is in one. However, I myself have never suffered from addition problems, so I really don't know how effective they are. As I said in my reply, it was just a suggestion. Thanks for the info.

@ashley44
"Help" is relative. Those in a 12 Step Program very often go "clean" for a time only to experience rescindancy, again and again. Real therapy, with a real Doctor and real medicine, is a better option. Even then it is apparently tough.

0

Also, remember unconditional love. Have you seen the film, "Leaving Las Vegas?"

0

Like any addiction, it can only change when they are ready to give it up. Getting rid of internet devices and moving away from enablers may help.

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