Boyfriend is a compulsive gambler :(

Old 03-24-2011, 05:28 PM
  # 1 (permalink)  
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Boyfriend is a compulsive gambler :(

Sorry, I know this isn't alcoholism but there wasn't a gambling specific forum for friends and family. Anyway, here's the deal...

I met my boyfriend online about 4 months ago. We hit it off right away - he's funny and intelligent, we have a great time together, and the physical chemistry is very strong. Despite this, I felt like there was something off about him. I couldn't put my finger on it but one night I started piecing things together...insomnia, disappearing for days, weird cash flow issues (wads of cash at times while no money at all at others). My thought was drugs so I confronted him. He's actually a compulsive gambler and has been for years, but no one in his life knew the extent of his problem. I ended things immediately. But we started emailing back and forth and then saw each other again - stayed up all night talking and he told me his story, etc. He recently told his family, attended his first gambler's anonymous meeting, and started 1-on-1 therapy. He's doing all the right things but we haven't been together long and I'm at a loss over what to do.

My life is pretty much in order - I don't gamble (save the occasional round of bingo with my grandma) or have substance abuse problems, I have a good job, and consider myself pretty emotionally healthy. I've been in therapy for about a year and feel like I know myself and my issues; I'm in a good place. He says I'm a very good influence on his life, but I'm worried that dating him would put my stable life at risk. He swears it's OK for us to continue dating because we were already dating when he started GA, but I worry about our relationship putting stress on him and his sobriety.

I really like him and my instincts tell me he's a good guy. I know if we stay together the road won't be easy, but he seems to have a good support system. My friends think I should run the other way. Am I stupid to stay with him and believe that he can change?

Any advice or personal experiences are appreciated.
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Old 03-24-2011, 05:39 PM
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I think just about anyone CAN change, but a lot of them don't.

I'm sorry, but I don't have any experience at all in the area of compulsive gambling. Maybe someone else here does, though.

I do think that since you've just known the guy a short time, you might be better off finding someone who doesn't have a problem that could wind up dragging you down with him.
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Old 03-24-2011, 06:02 PM
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My STBXAH is also a compulsive gambler. When I met him he was active in AA, seemed like a really good guy with a great job, we had fun, etc. I had a great life, lots of friends, good job, my own condo....he too told me that I was a great influence on his life, the best thing to ever happen to him, he was the happiest he'd ever been. It wasn't until after we were married for a year that I discovered his addiction to gambling and the web of lies that was woven through our entire relationship. He tried going to GA, didn't like it, thought he could stop on his own, relapsed twice, lost two jobs...finally, all trust and respect I had for him is gone. We will be divorced on Tuesday. I thought that would be a wakeup call for him. I found out yesterday that he's back gambling, and has been for a while. This has been a devastating two years of my life - both financially and emotionally/physically/spiritually. Gambling addiction is very difficult to beat (although not impossible), and it can literally bankrupt you in one night. I had no idea what I got myself into. That's just my personal experience.

I don't mean to be a downer, but please be very careful. Actually - what I want to write is RUN. You can do better.
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Old 03-24-2011, 06:10 PM
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Thank you so much for the reply! My decision has been made - I'm moving on! If the relationship is really that great to him, then he should have no problem working away at his own recovery and reconnecting when he has a good amount of sobriety under his belt.

I'm really sorry to hear about your experience .
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Old 03-24-2011, 06:47 PM
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I don't mean to be a downer, but please be very careful. Actually - what I want to write is RUN. You can do better.

my X is still actively gambling...and basically blew through 1/2 of his retirement and an inheiretance from his father in one year....his gambling also cost him huge penalty with the IRS for early withdrawals of the $$$. he has 3 mortgages on a little condo he bought in 1983 that should have been paid off years ago.

i let him live with me before I knew any of this...i begged him to stop and see what he was doingto his life...after 4 years I realized that any stable life with this man would be impossible...and i loved him dearly...but i was supporting him while he pi$$ed away everything...
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