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Question
Posted by: ME | 2008/01/25

Advice needed

I am a married women with 2 dependend daughters.My husband is a patological gambler for more than 20 years.We are married for almost 20 years and he was unemployed and only start working in the beginning of this year.He only worked for 4 years during our marriage.I had to support the family.He had the gambling problem before our marriage.He uses my and other people money to gamble.Because he does'nt work people send him to pay things for them and he use that money to gamble in order to get money.

He loss alot of money and is totaly addicted.He went for counseling but there is no improvement.I now had a problem that my teenage daughter is vey depressed.Because of his gambling problem I am in severe financial problems.I can't even afford the basic things like food and schoolfees for my kids.

My 8 year old don't want to sleep alone in her bed.She wakes me every night and ask me to come and sleep with her.I can't get a proper nightrest and it is the same every night.She also afraid I might die.She told me she will kill herself if I die she don't want to live without me.She say she stab herself with a knife if I die.I explain to her that eveybody will die someday but she say she don't care.She always hug me and tell me how much she love me.Yesterday she told me she cry in her class just by the thought of how much she love me.I working fulltime and study fulltime this year and I need a proper nightrest.They love their dad and he love them.My teenage daughter also develop spastic colon and she is getting panic attacs especialy in class.She use to be a A student and is in high school.

Can it be that my 8 year old have no confidence in my husband because of his gambling and umemployment problem that she maybe fear she can't trust him and maybe feel she has no one excep me to care for her.She went for councelling last year but the problem is only getting worst.Sometimes my husband can be very irresponsible.I made a big mistake marrying him in the first place.He help with other things like taking the children to school.Can it be because of him that they are like that.

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Our expert says:
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I hope other readers can ofer some helpful suggestions here, too. Check with Child Welfare and school as to possible extra sources of funding to help you care for the kids. And can't you work out a way in which your earnings are available ONLY to you to spend on necessities, so NONE of it goes to feed his gambling habit ? If others are foolish enough to trust him with the money that's between them and him, but they need to be warned that he cannot be trusted. HAve you tried contacting the responsible gambling helplines and service apparently funded by the casinos ? HOW does he gamble ? If at casinos, discuss this with casino management as I;m sure they can ban him from their premises. With other forms of gambling it's harder.
Check also on what services might be available through your nearest medical school or provincial hospital or clinic for child psych services to see and advise you on helping the children. They may love their dad, but probably recognize that he will be of little use to them in a crisis. If the oldest girl began counselling last year, get it started up again.

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