My Husband Is A Gambling Addict
At this point in my life I still feel a great loneliness and anger. I'm angry a lot, at my husband.
It's been almost ten years and he has a gambling problem. The feeling of always being left to do everything is getting the best of me. I can't stand always having to just wait for him to change. I tried getting him help, and nothing.
Every time he has the chance to go the casino he does. Then he comes home with his sorry self wanting me to understand everything.
I can understand that he has a problem and that he needs support but who helps me? I can't deal with everything and just be happy all the time, most of the time that he is home I am thinking when is he going to leave to the casino?
We have three kids and when I work I try to focus but I can't--how can I? I am not happy. I either am mad or sad. What can I do?
My kids are the ones that suffer. They see an angry mom and a dad that is never home.
Please tell me, what do I do?
Response from Dr. DeFoore
Hello Milie, and thanks for telling your story here. Your situation is very difficult. Being married to an addict of any kind is painful and frustrating, and there is no easy solution.
You do not mention leaving the marriage, so I will assume you don't want to. You need to be aware, however, that being in a relationship with an addict is always going to be difficult, as long as they are practicing their addiction. You might benefit from attending an ALANON meeting in your area. This is for family members of all kinds of addicts, not just alcoholics.
Your husband is going to have to seek help for himself, before things can really get better. Meanwhile, you're still 100% responsible for your anger. I suggest you do the anger journaling exercise described on this page, just to get it out and possibly give yourself some relief.
It will also help you to shift your focus off of your husband and his problem as much as possible. Your anger will calm down if you discipline your mind to focus on the good things in your life. This doesn't solve the big problem, it just helps you to be more calm. As you know, your anger is justified, but it does not help you or your family. Try the positive journaling exercises described on that same page, and you will definitely benefit.
Believe in yourself, your family, and the very best of your husband, Milie. The rest is up to him.
My very best to you,
P.S. If you found this to be helpful, please consider making a donation to this site to support our mission to help you become your own best anger management resource.