DEAR DEIDRE: MY husband’s gambling habit has left us in debt and turned him into a violent, aggressive man I barely recognise.
We’ve been married for 20 years. I’m 49 and he’s 51.
It started with occasional bets on the horses, but since online gambling became a big thing, he’s become obsessed with doing it on his phone.
He has a job but he gambles away every penny he earns.
If he loses, which he does most of the time, he drinks to block out how much he owes.
When I try talking to him about it, he explodes at me, throwing plates or cups at the wall and screaming that I’m a nag.
Sometimes, I am frightened for my safety, although he has never hit me.
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He denies he has a problem but I think he needs professional help.
If I show how unhappy I am and that I’m thinking of leaving him, he tells me he loves me and needs me, and that he’s sorry and he’ll change. But he never does.
DEIDRE SAYS: As you have realised, you are married to a gambling addict.
Unless and until he accepts he needs help, things won’t improve. In fact, they will only get worse.
His behaviour is abusive – no matter how often he says “sorry” or declares his love.
You can’t force him to get help but you can seek support for yourself.
My support pack, Gambler In The Family, has useful information.