Couples & Problem Gambling: Recovering Together Posted On

Couples share a lot. They share bills, they share property, they share schedules, and they share responsibilities… The list can go on and on!

Unfortunately, couples also share the consequences of a gambling addiction when gambling begins to affect the decisions and actions of one of the individuals.

In KnowTheOdd’s ebook, “The Real Faces of Problem Gambling,” we share the story of The Spouse, a wife whose husband suffered from a gambling addiction for many years before and after they got married.

“Looking back, this is what I think. When your stomach does that flip, something is wrong. And you need to listen to that feeling.”

The story shares the couples’ struggle with gambling addiction’s consequences, from depression and suicide concerns to hundreds of thousands of dollars of debt. Ultimately, her husband was able to find help at a residential treatment center, and she found counseling of her own. He has now been in recovery for more than 22 years.

This wife ultimately became a counselor, because she understood the situation of so many people who seek help.

Recovering from Addiction Together

This couple found recovery and happiness, and so can other couples struggling with the affects of addiction. Couples (and other family members) need to address the social, financial and emotional effects the addiction has had on the family. Doing so can allow the couple to move forward with healthy, happy and safe lives together.

Couples need to communicate:

  • What they each know about the addiction – its extent, its consequences
  • How they each feel about the addiction
  • How they each feel about their relationship
  • What they need from one another to recover
  • What their goals are and what they want to achieve
  • How they plan to achieve these goals

Most importantly, they need to listen to each other. Mutually understanding each other’s feelings, concerns and goals must occur for the couple to successfully move forward with a recovery plan.

Gambling Addiction Recovery Options

Couples can seek counseling a variety of ways. While there are many counselors who speak to couples about a wide variety of issues, it is important to consider finding a counselor familiar with and trained in understanding gambling addiction. Counselors specializing in gambling addiction can help individuals navigate all the concerns associated with problem gambling recovery, from becoming bet-free and changing lifestyle habits to navigating financial responsibilities and trust issues.

There are many organizations throughout New York State prepared to help you and your family members.  To find a gambling support treatment provider near you, explore our New York State Gambling Support Directory. You may also call the NYS HOPEline at 1-877-8-HOPENY (1-877-846-7369) at any time.

Right now, many couples are struggling from the consequences of addiction. With determination and the proper support, recovery is possible!