Because of my love for my husband, I tricked him into going to the 2017 Gambling Addiction Conference. He is a problematic gambler, a compulsive gambler, as experts call it. This silent addiction of his almost destroyed our marriage and family. I did it, and he was furious when we got there, but it saved his life and ours, as well.
Mitch has always been a gambler. We met when we were teenagers, and he would go to these underground gambling pots in our town to get some “milk money,” as he called it. Mitch is a good person, generally, but like any addict, he would crave for the game. He would talk about how the Ace card appeared on the deck and slaughtered his hand. He would also spend $40 each day for lottery stakes and scratch coupons. At times, he would win. But if you compute all that he has spent and what he has earned from it, he is still at a loss.
When I say he is at a loss, it means we are “losing money.” Because the money he uses for his gambling comes from our pot, we have a pot at home where we put money in – pot means our savings. We do not have a travel fund anymore since he keeps on “borrowing” from it. I always end up paying for our mortgage and cars because he cannot make the payments.
My sisters said that I had enabled Mitch on his gambling addiction issues. That it is my fault he continues to gamble and that we are losing all our money on his obsessive-compulsive tendencies. After that conference, I came to an understanding. In a way, my sisters were right. I had a hand in this problem. I let Mitch do as he pleases when I should not have since it was a destructive behavior. Sure, he has always been a gambler, but as his wife, I should have practiced tough love. I should have been the one who put the limits and let Mitch decide what is more important for him – his commitment to me and our kids, or his commitment to gambling?
The conference was the last straw. I told my sisters that this was my last attempt in helping Mitch, and by the grace of God, it did help. He is changing, and now, he is committed to becoming a better person.