Stories of Real People Who Overcame Problem Gambling

It’s possible to overcome a gambling problem. Find inspiration in Oliver, Chen and Linda’s stories.

Linda had no idea her husband’s gambling had ruined their finances.


When Linda’s husband was forced to confess to her that he had a gambling problem, her first reaction was anger. That feeling was quickly followed by overwhelming guilt. “How did I miss this?” she thought.


There hadn’t been any obvious signs of a problem. Yes, money was tight, but it had been for a while. Linda hadn’t seen any of the bills because Richard always looked after the finances. As far as she was concerned, it was business as usual.


In retrospect, she saw things that didn’t add up: Richard’s uncle had died and left them money. The couple bought a car and kept the rest of the money in a joint account. One day, Linda went looking for the statement book and couldn’t find it.


Their finances were in ruins. Her trust in Richard was truly shaken. “The strangest thing for me is that I’m not a gambler of any kind,” says Linda. “For me it’s: I worked hard for this and I want to keep it a bit longer. So, it kind of blew me away.”


Linda has always been a practical person, so she didn’t spend a lot of time dwelling on her anger and resentment. “Survival kicked in,” says Linda.

“I had to make sure the kids were OK. I just thought, ‘This is what we have to do,’ and I came up with a plan.

I arranged with my boss to take $200 off my paycheque, after he’d loaned Richard money. I then told my husband we would simply have to make up the shortfall.”


Once they had a clear plan of action, Linda and Richard explained the situation to their children.


“Richard’s counsellor said I could come in with him or by myself if I wanted to, but I am used to dealing with things myself, rationalizing them and then get over it.”


In hindsight, Linda sees the benefits of getting help and advises it for spouses now going through what she did. “Don’t feel guilty. Don’t even let that feeling enter your mind. If you feel you can’t handle it yourself, get help and use the resources that are available to you.”

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