Post # 1
For the past three years, my fiancee and I have continued to have the same argument; she has a gambling problem but is in denial. When we met, she had just lost her job with no prospects in sight. We hadn’t be together long–maybe a month or two when she went to the casino and blew $300 (which doesn’t seem like a lot, but it is when you have a lot of bills and no income) and came to me in hysterics because she felt so stupid for what she had done. I was shaken too; I wanted to help her, but as a grad student, I had no money with which to help her. I have prayed for this problem to magically disappear, but it has persisted. She does not go to the casino all that often. Maybe a few times a year. She went in the fall–alleging that she needed to win some money for my engagement ring. She lost $300. She went two weeks ago and lost $100; she promised she was only spending $100 and when it was gone, we could leave. However, when the money was gone and I got up to leave, she got an attitude because she wanted to stay longer despite our agreement. Begrudgingly, she got up and walked out of the casino.
Last weekend, I went out of state to visit some friends from my undergrad days. When I returned to an empty house, I sent my fiancee a text to ask where she was. She came home within 10 minutes and I learned she had gone to the casino; this time she broke even. Now today she is there again with a friend after we had a huge fight about it this afternoon. I told her that I felt this was not a good idea and she said that she was tired of people telling her what to do. I responded by telling her that I wasn’t trying to run her life, but this problem has been ongoing and that it is my sole fear for our future together. She then said that perhaps I should reconsider marrying her because she would not stop going to the casino. I left work today and talked to her briefly before going to work out to relieve some of this stress; we were both emotional and when we hung up, she had not made a decision on what she was going to do. I left the gym early to talk to her and was beyond devastated to return to an empty home.
I don’t want to continue to worry and stress out about this for the rest of my life. Other than this issue, we get along well. We have one other minor issue that resurfaces from time to time, but all couples do and that is NOTHING compared to this gambling mess. We have a joint account for bills only; I would NEVER put all of my hard earned money in the same account with hers for this very reason–I have got to protect myself. Am I being unreasonable? I don’t know if I should cut my losses now or try to work this out with her. We are five weeks away from the wedding and I would be heartbroken to break things off, but I have got to think about my well being and the security of my future.
Any advice would be welcome. I am so stressed out; I don’t know how I will get any sleep at all tonight.
Post # 3
Please please, before you walk down that aisle, seek the help of a well qualified professional. Not just any ‘counselor’ because they vary in competence and expertise – someone well recommended with experience in gambling addiction or at least addiction in general.
As is often the case in these situations, I think you know in your heart what you need to do. Trust your instincts. Addictions rarely if ever improve without outside assistance through a rehab program, therapy, etc.
Maybe it is not too late to save your relationship, but it does sound like your relationship should not continue ‘as is’. Find out from someone who knows what steps need to be taken.
I’m sorry for your heartache! Stay strong!
Post # 4
It’s hard to tell from your post if it’s an addiction or just selfish behavior. Most addicts willl act out more often. The two of you need to have some serious talks before moving on. My instincts tell me she likes the ‘thrill’ and that can be dangerous. Good luck and we’ll be here for you and for her. She needs to know she is not alone.
Post # 5
Wow that is such a hard situation!
Do you have a gambling help line in your area? I see them advertised on TV maybe you could call them to see if they have some tips or even a program!
I do think that you guys as a couple need to talk about this and come to some sort of compromise or deal but if you don’t think that you can trust her that is a whole other story!
I can’t by any means tell what to do but I do think that this situation is a cause for concern!
Good Luck and I hope everything works out with you guys!!!!!!
Post # 6
Im so sorry you are going through this *hugs*! Can you guys go to counseling to discuss this with someone else that might be able to help you? Have you suggested gamblers anonymous? I do agree it sounds like she has a problem and its good that you are trying to talk to her about it and be supportive to her.
Post # 7
Sorry sweetie to hear of this mess you are in…hive hugs to you.
I don’t really have much of anything to say except that financial issues are one of the top reasons that people get divorced. I am an encore bride engaged to someone who is VERY financially dependable and accountable. I was previously married to a man who was VERY financially undependable and unaccountable. I can tell you that it puts a tremendous strain on any relationship-a strain that is not needed, especially on a new marriage.
I can repeat something I read on here another time in regards to a question proposed by another bee…(hope I get this right and could remember where I read it so I could give the proper bee credit!)
Can you live WITH this, LIKE this, for the rest of your life?
My guess is that your answer to that question would be no-to me, financial issues are like infidelity-NON NEGOTIABLE. Wondering if you’re going to be able to pay your bills, worrying about where your money is, what your’re coming home to every day, asking yourself if someone who is supposed to be in an open and honest relationship with you is indeed being open and honest…money is not something that you want to have a conflict over, and addictions (which gambling falls into that category on the level that you are talking about) are another. Not to be harsh, but if this is an issue now, it will not get better after you say your vows.
Post # 8
Gosh. That’s scary. I think it’d be one thing if she was going to the casino for entertainment, but she’s going to try to win money. Not a winning proposition. Do you think that if she had an allowance to spend at the casino, she (and you) could live with it? I’m worried that you are hesitant to put more money into a joint account, because you fear she might gamble it away. I with the other posters . . . is this something you’ll be able to live with?
I wish you a peaceful resolution to this!
Post # 9
My aunt had a gambling problem and lost like a hundred thousand dollars or something. It was awful.
A true addiction needs counseling and therapy. Few can just “get over it” without needing the help of others and sometimes you have to hit rock bottom first.
If she’s willing to throw up “reconsider marrying me” in your face, that’s pretty harsh. I wonder if it means her priorities are not what they should be because she really does have an issue or if she thinks you’re just going to let it slide. Don’t let it slide. It can be the fiunancial ruin of both of you and nobody needs that
Post # 10
If gambling has been an ongoing problem for your Fi for the entire length of your relationship, and if she often becomes upset, defensive, or angry at you when you try to limit her time/money spent gambling, my opinion is that she probably has a gambling problem. Not all addicts gamble every single night; sometimes people go months or years without going to the casino, but they still have a problem. And just like Circus Peanut said, she’d not going to get better until she faces her addiction problems.
Heres a link to a Gambler’s Anonymous page that lists 20 questions to help determine whether you might have a gambling problem. According to your post, your Fi’s situation fits with several of these questions (i.e. her gambling causes a problem in her personal relationships, you often argue about her gambling, she has gambled in an attempt to pay debts or buy things, etc…). Like any addiction, gambling addiction is very serious. And it can’t be “cured”; at the very best, your Fi will always struggle with her addictions, and you will always have to be support for her to resist temptations.
I don’t think you have to call off the wedding at this point, but I do think you ought to postpone. It doesn’t sounds like your Fi is healthy enough to enter a marriage at this point. Would you marry a drug addict or an alcoholic knowing that person was still “using”? It doesn’t mean she won’t be able to overcome her addiction, but it will take a lot of work. I would contact an addiction specialist immediately. Go without your Fi if she won’t go with you. But, at the very least, I really think you deserve to know what life will be like married to an addict because it is not an easy thing. Hugs, beachwedding. I’ll be thinking about you and your Fi.
Post # 11
I’m not a doctor or expert in this, but it seems like pretty classic addict behavior. I really encourage you to seek the advice of a professional or attend support meetings. If she refuses to go with you, go by yourself. This is too big an issue to be ignored. I’m sorry you are going through this. Best of luck.
Post # 12
I agree with all the above posts. This issue is more than you, her loving partner, are capable of handing. She needs to want to help herself. She needs to want to seek therapy. Unfortunately, we cannot make people change themselves or help themselves. It has to come from within.
If she does not see a problem with her addiction/behaviour, *being brutally honest here* I would call the wedding off. HER choices could ruin YOUR life. You said it yourself: You need to protect your well being & your future.
I’m so sorry you are going through this ((HUGS))
Post # 13
Eek, I just wanted to say good luck with whatever you decide to do. I agree with previous posters. She needs some help and I too would be worried to join my life with someone that has that serious of a gambling problem. I think its a good idea to address this now.
Post # 14
I would really try asking her if gambling is really that important to her that she would be willing to give you up. I think the suggestion someone made about an “allowance” wouldn’t work out very well because you sort of tried that that one night and she tried to go back on it. My Father-In-Law had (or has, I’m not sure) a gambling problem and it was really hurtful to his family especially since they always worked so hard to make ends meet in the first place. He and Mother-In-Law are now divorced. I know this isn’t easy, but it sounds like maybe the wedding needs to at least be put on hold until you can help her realize that she needs help. Good luck 🙁
Post # 15
Please have your fiance seek help before her behavior becomes out of control. I have a family member who was a gambling addict and I can’t even begin to tell you how it destroyed his life, his family’s life, my family’s life… it was awful. Gambling addiction is no different than drinking, drugs, etc… it is an issue that needs a qualified professional to help with. If you do end up walking down the aisle in a few weeks, be sure to protect your assets – once you are married, her debts easily become your debts.
Best of luck to you, I know you have a difficult decision ahead but hope you find the strength to do what’s best for you and your fiance. -Hugs-
Post # 16
I think you are right in not walking down the aisle. I am not saying it should be over completely, but it should be postponed until y’all can work this subject out. It is one of the most important subjects in a marriage and yes you do need to be secure with each other and it sounds like you are not. I pray and hope all works out well, I just know that your gut feeling isn’t going to just go away!