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Aunty Aurora: Help! Online Betting Is About To Destroy My Home

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Dear Aunty Aurora,
Thank you in anticipation of a quick response. I have been married for a while now and already have two kids. The source of my trials right now is my husband who has taken to gambling and online betting. Prior to this gambling issue, he had a little problem with his business and was depressed for a long time. We did all we could to treat the depression and I even thought we were making a headway when he started going out again. It was really difficult for the kids and I to continue seeing him keeping to himself, so I thought the phase was finally over when he went back to his usual routine.

I never realised that he was gambling until I started seeing lottery tickets in his pocket during laundry. When I asked him where he got them from, he said he just wanted to try his luck too since people were making millions from online bets. I let the matter slide because that was the first time. It was when the month ended and my husband said he didn’t have money that I suspected foul-play again. To cut the long story short, ever since then, our finances were never the same. I am writing to ask for help now because last night he came home and said he had to sell the television set in our children’s room to pay off a debt. The man I married has never owed anyone in his life; he hates debts to a fault. I am worried he might get worse if I don’t do something. Please how can I put an end to this nightmare?
Stephanie, Magodo.
Dear Stephanie,
Addiction in any form does not only take its toll on the addict but their family and friends as well. If left unchecked addictions may result to more issues and even affect your marriage. As the spouse of a gambler, you should aim to protect your finances while directing your husband in the right direction. Having kids to cater for makes it extra-important that you take charge now that your husband can’t. Several strategies can help you keep things together as you and your husband both tackle his gambling addiction. The first strategy is not to be an Enabler.You enable your partner’s addiction when you remove or lessen the negative consequences of his actions. For example, in the case of gambling, you might supply your husband with the cash to pay off debtors. When you begin enabling, you might have your husband’s best interests at heart. However, over time your husband may put in less effort to quit gambling, and you may find yourself putting in more effort to enable him. The next thing to do is like I said, take charge of the finance as much as you can. As your husband is now unreliable with cash, it’s up to you to take control of family finances. Take measures to ensure your own finances are safe from your husband’s gambling. For example, create a separate bank account, if you haven’t already. If your husband is willing to accept help, work together to restrict the amount of access he has to the family’s money. Also emotionally prepare yourself to turn him down when he starts asking for funds. Individuals with gambling addictions develop a knack for begging for money, using everything from blunt threats to subtle emotional manipulation. You also need to seek help especially from a therapist because, he needs to address the underlying cause of his addiction. His earlier bout of depression most likely triggered it, but you still need to consult a professional. Most importantly be strong and try not to take out your frustrations on him. Truth is he really can’t help himself and thats why it is an addiction. Aunty Aurora.

Photo Credit: Getty

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