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Man shares the saga of his gambling addiction; 'What should I do? Talk to wife? She will lose it!!!' AITA?" UPDATED 14X

Man shares the saga of his gambling addiction; 'What should I do? Talk to wife? She will lose it!!!' AITA?" UPDATED 14X


When this man is so scared to tell his family about his secret addiction, he asks the internet:

"I lost so much money gambling. I don't know what to tell my family. AITA?"

Need advice. I’m 36 and not in debt other than a mortgage. I have a 8 month old daughter and I’m scared to death.

I’ve been gambling somewhat randomly since College; I’m well over 300k now in losses most of which was my money and now 100k just in the last 4 weeks and every time I went back it was to recover from day before but the numbers kept adding up.

My wife doesn’t know a thing; the money is mine -$100k gifted by my dad who is completely against even wasting a dollar and who put his trust in me to use it wisely for family / success / paying down mortgage.

I’m a terrible son, I feel shame and regret to even look him in the eye knowing what I’ve done in a matter of weeks took many years for him to make.

I still feel I need to go back to get it back;my wife doesn’t know yet (keyword) it’ll be a very ugly convo when she finds out - maybe even walk out on me who knows! that kind of money isn’t easy to hide right. I feel depressed, broken, failure, just want this 100k back it’s too much to lose.

$10k loss turned to $15 and then +$7,500 and just downhill from there - lost all $22,500 and kept going back losing $10-15k per day at times.

What should I do? Talk to wife? She will lose it!!! And If my dad finds out I’m afraid he won’t be able to take it and I’ll be the reason for what happens to him - I’m such a bad son.

Before we give you OP's 14 updates, let's take a look at some of the top responses:

justagut6 writes:

You need to stop, now. There is no alternative scenario where things get better for you. I'm very early in my recovery (Day 9) and have a pretty similar scenario.

Got in deep once online gambling opened up in Michigan at the beginning of the year and am down over $200k. Combination of cash, securities, and some debt. My wife knows nothing of it.

Over the past couple weeks I've taken some steps: self excluded from every casino I know if, installed gambling blocking software on phone, started participating in this reddit thread, listening to numerous gambling recovery podcasts, and met with a therapist for the first time yesterday - this needs to end asap.

I've got 3 young children and a great job, but if I don't stop now this will take over my life. Time to man up, seek help, and not let this horrible disease cause any more problems than it already has. My therapist challenged me to attend a GA meeting this week and I intend to do so.

Just getting my feet underneath me and am certainly no pro, but if you want to chat feel free to reach out. One thing I know for sure is that you've got to quit chasing losses.

That money is gone, so spend your energy figuring out how to put the pieces back together and move forward. Do it for you daughter if nothing else. Stay strong, you can do this!

shady66 writes:

You have to talk to your wife and come clean. It will be a very difficult conversation as spouses do not know what type of life they have signed up for and it is unfair for them to have to deal with an addict for the rest of their lives.

That is what you are, an addict. You will blow every single penny until nothing is left until you admit you need help and to start putting barriers in place. I almost lost my wife and 2 kids before coming to the realization that gambling is not more important than family.

Another thing, it’s not “your” money. It’s your daughter’s future and your wife’s comfort. Start today with self excluding and potentially turning over your finances to your wife. Do not go back and try to win it back. It’s gone. You are not in debt and you can move forward. Good luck.

gamfallacy writes:

Hey bro - Biggest thing you can do is stop gambling and accept it as a “stupid tax”. You won’t win it back and even if you did you won’t stop a winner. It’s gone. It hasn’t wrecked your life.

It will be tough to tell your wife, but you need to do that and ask her to help you be accountable. Telling loved ones is the hardest thing I’ve done, but the added accountability is huge. Hang in there! It will get better.

OP's 1st update:

Hey guys, 36m and I’ve posted quite a bit so in response to my first post I say this- listen to every word people say here. Something took over me, I can’t explain it because I don’t k ow myself wtf happened.

Losing money is evil, it will make you do things out of control. The fight to recover losses kept turning into a losing battle over and over again so here I am - ROCK BOTTOM.

In just 2 months I’ve lost everything in my bank account - $170k and also took out 10k from credit card and another $10k from personal line of credit so I’m officially in a gambling debt of $20k. Now that’s a total of $190k and it’s a harsh reality.

What does it feel like? Hmmm butterflies in your stomach, the earth just slipped from under ur feet and u feel light but there’s weight pushing u down, disbelief because the gambling mind cannot accept what happened but then reality kicks in cuz the bank is proof.

Shame, disgust, suicidal thoughts, frown but pretending to smile, wife doesn’t know yet of my situation so I’m lieing to your partner (always a bad thing), 9month old daughter whom I now feel like I’ve ruined a comfortable life for alongside my wife.

I first posted at $100k loss everyone said stop stay clean, tell the truth, doesn’t get better. I continued to go back over and over again because I could not accept.

Bottom line: accept it!!!!!!!! Now!!!!!! Or ur gonna be where I am. Now over $500k in losses out of which $190k is very recent. This is the end reality - it feels a lot worst than when u win a single bet.

OP's 2nd update:

Update from previous posts. Life feels very depressing, love playing with my daughter and everytime I look at her the thought crosses my mind - why did I blow my money at the casino where I should have used for her future : college, car, real estate, necessities, and the list goes on.

Have not told the wife yet, nor has she poked into the bank account that would show nothing but withdrawals in the thousands for the last 2.5 months.

Losing strength, stress is killing me because I picked up debt to gamble and lost everything. Casinos are temporarily shutdown effective today so good that I can’t go to relapse.

I need to tell the wife, don’t have the courage because I can’t explain how I didn’t learn a “lesson” but ended up losing $200,000 dollars!!! I don’t know if she will understand and I’m also afraid of the shame this brings once everyone in the family finds out.

Killed my self esteem, I’m a wreck and stressed to no end. To those reading this, stay strong let’s get rid of this horrible demon.

Update 3:

Game Over. I kept going back to recover big losses and now I’m sitting here after literally 4 months exact: $200,000 missing $75,000 debt between credit card/line of credit.

Barely any money left except to survive. I have a family, Who doesn’t know of this; many of u know my story on here I haven’t told SO and she’s on a trip with young one; I thought I could take the opportunity to go back to casino to recover but that didn’t happen, instead I found myself pulling money from creditors to gamble but just lose it all.

I know my performance at work has been affected, I am a completely different person physically in the mirror the stress has taken that smile and brightness. Fgambling - I am sick and I’m going to get better. this is day 1 and here’s the plan:

Use HELOC to pay off the expensive debt 2) refinance the home for $100k when mortgage is up for renewal in August - pay off the HELOC 3) tell SO and hope she can support my recovery instead of walking away...

the news I understand will be a lot to stomach 4) get healthy and back in shape 5) cut down on spending /eating out 6) find a side hustle/part time job 7) attend GA meetings if I can.

I wish I could reverse the last 4 months - I can’t so now I’ll spend the next decade trying to recover. My life is a wreck and I cannot live like this any longer.

Relapsed and couldn’t stop. Put my life on the line, thought about suicide and only thing holding me down to earth is my daughter, wife and family whom I let down. They don’t have a clue as to what I have done.

gambled away my own money and some inheritance 2) picked up $70k debt 3) dipped into wife’s account and took another $50k.

I am now walking out of this miserable place (casino) that has taken everything from me mentally and financially in the last 6 months. $325,000 lost and same amount in prior years.

I am $600k plus in losses and there is only one way to stop. I have in my hand a win today. Will power! Backed up by a self exclusion form banning INDEFINITELY.

Now the truth must be told to my wife and I need to protect my family from me. I don’t know if I will have a family should my wife not be supportive but atleast I’ve done what I never thought I would do.

Stop gambling guys - no body wins this industry will take you to your grave a lot faster than GOD.

Update 4:

It’s done, she knows came out over phone because I was at work - balled out like crazy said sorry she’s pissed and not responding to txt now giving her some space. If I go home either she’s there or gone who knows - work sucks right now wanna get out asap but can’t yet.

Will be a hectic night maybe limited convo if there is one. I finally got this off my chest and although nervous I feel good because it was slowly killing me inside with depression and suicidal thoughts. ODAAT living with consequences of our actions I suppose.

Update 4:

Hey all, wanted to give an update on my full disclosure for many of you who have seen my posts.

Ultimate rock bottom is not money lost, it’s trust. For those of you that are single, you still lose trust. My wife who I don’t blame has opened up to her family and to mine. I feel humiliated, regretful,wish this had never happened but I also think it’s for the betterment and recovery.

Time will heal but the healing has to start, for those who have yet to share with family about your problems - do so, it’s hard at first - stress level rises 10000x in the moment but in the end it is what it is: consequences of actions.

I choose to be a better person, finally rid of this problem and all others that cause pain to loved ones. The years of respect I earned - LOST. I feel terrible. but I deserved this.

Going to move on now and put the past behind me - news will spread like wildfire and humiliation will continue, in the end it is what it is as there’s no rewinding time but change the future.

Good luck - I’m proud to own my mistakes and for me that’s a huge win. Weight of the world off my chest. Say no to gambling - become a winner once and for all.

Update 5:

Hey everyone haven’t posted here for very long time. 135 days ODAT. Here’s how I did it: lost 300k+ in 6 months; went into serious regretfulness, depression and insane amounts of stress; came to Jesus and banned myself from all land based casinos - this was step 1 to freedom.

confessed everything to family - step 2; went to hell and back because of it, lost respect, trust, love - held onto marriage but it was brutal - starting to gain back - step 3; luckily work got very busy - kept my mind occupied which helped a great deal.

Cannot forgive myself, losses & pain I’ve caused my loved ones bothers me all the time but I don’t think about wanting to ever go back to gambling again - HuGe step 4: Self realization! Good luck to no gambling!

Update 6:

So much for a ban, urge to reinstate and i did - won 40k from just 3k. Put it all back + 30k gradual losses of 5-6k after putting back 20k the next day.

30k debt - no way to repay all the finances are handled by significant other. What do i do? Last time was a family crisis now i have no choice but to turn to my parents again and say bail me out ine last time! The problem is the last time i should have learned my lesson.

I really dont know what to do, i cant tell anyone about this recent events or else im doomed and i will really hurt my lived ones. If this cones out however it may, im definitely getting divorced. I got a wife n kid who i dont want to lose.

i want to tell my parents that i had this loan from the last event that turned my whole life upside down but i fear this will put them through hell and back knowing how can they trust me? I make good money but cant use it now that partner controls the finances.Your thoughts? How shoukd i handle this??

Update 7:

Hey all, please stop gambling. I Relapsed and now with 40k debt and no way to repay considering the situation im in where partner controls finances. I cannot let anyine k iw about this or its gonna be a huge problem.

I just cant believe i put myself through this again. I dont even have money left from the last round of stupidity. No more access to loans and ive already borrowed from friends and family. Now im sitting with $500 in my account right now. With bills on the way.

This shit sucks so bad i just wish i could end myself this financial stress is so bad. I need help but dont know if my partner will be so supportive this time if they find out.

Update 8:

Struggling to find some courage to tell my spouse that i fd up a 2nd time and how miserable of a husband/father i am. Work so hard to dump our money to a casino.

I already got my ultimatum the last time after massive losses; here i am again reliving the past except this time is all out debt only. My head gonna explode, im super stressed and dont know what to do. Anyone tell their significannt other of a relapse and how did that go?

Update 9:

Maybe some of you read my posts, im in devastating situation again and have no guts to share with anyone. I got a 2nd chance, banned myself, year later same boat and now badly in debt.

I keep thinking what got me to Gambling - i work hatd to earn the money but money doesnt hold great value to me - why?

Well i think i have an answer, throughout my younger years my pops never let me manage my finances. He always checked my accounts, always wanted to be the one to manage, always led me to believe what he got is mine one day.

Hes not rich, just normal. I never felt in control and i never learned to manage well cuz it was just “money” but i see young ppl now so cautious of their finances. Im not sure if what im thinking is wrong i really dont wanna blane my parents but i wish if i had the freedom to manage my earnings and expenses in my younger years i wouldnt chase easy money.

I got a gambking problem i admit it now. I need help and im certainly devastated by the outcome; debt upto my eyeballs, earn good money but people got bills to pay n need to survive so irregardless its an unnecessary expense to have all these debt payments.

Tried to have my spouse manage the finances, instead i pulled out loans now behind their back. Do i deserve a 3rd chance? Or should this be it - divorce and destruction?

Update 10:

How do i tell my wife about my relapse this is killing me, how do i tell her that i broke her trust again? Put US again in a bad situation.

This is crazy this shit ruines lives man here i am a grown ass man crying like a wussy - have no control no realization to my actions. Cant do anything other than putting my loved ones in pain and suffering. God i cant deal with this.

What do i do someone please give me advice!

Update 11:

Miserable. Looking for anyone who can relate and help with a solution and or advice. Last year - terrible huge losses in the mid 6 figs; confessed and banned and returned to the devil. Now using up all the great credit built over many many years - picked up 200k debt at pretty harsh interest from multiple bullshit places.

Life in complete turmoil - unhappy, depressed, mentally f’d up, stressed to no end, regrets, unfaithfulness with spouse, fake smiles, hidden cries - u name it because its by far the worst list.

Numb to value of money between 4 walls of the devils house - outside the reality hits hard. Now sittin back thinking why did i do it? Approaching 40 which gives me the chillz. Anyone relate? What to do? Cant face a second confession no heart or strength for that.

Update 12:

Just confessed to wife, heartbreak...dont know whats going to happen now. I deserve any and all punishment again at this point. Couldnt avoid coming clean because the lies and double life i couldnt stand living no more.

I hope i come out stronger for our family. Today for the second time, I feel so humiliated again because of my relapse. Had my family walk out the door and im here all alone. More than money, I lost love and i lost trust. Quit gambling people.

Update 13:

Wife left with the kid. Debt in over my head. Completely destroyed myself financially becayse id have to sell my house to repay it. Once again the house has won and we continue to think we can beat them.

What i dont get is, how i let this get to where it is without thinking if the consequences and to make it worst, i had ample time to dwell on repeat mistakes. What the hell is this “rush” its the worst fg drug in the world...

this one not only ruins you but also your family. Mentally im a wreck, i only wish i could make it out on top. Restart at 40 - thats where ive ended up.

Update 14:

Thanks for all the supportive comments everyone. Its just so hard coping with all of this knowing id be defaulting on payments. I had too many chanes to get out - help from family which i abused and im in a deeper than ever before hole...

i cant get out of. Wife wont support me in anyway financially even though i said i would repay the debt if she allowed me to switch from “unsecured” to “secured” (home line of credit) which gives me some breathing room.

Im in way over my head - defaulting means my credit gets shot and court notices to follow. Im already. Eing harrassed by creditors for payments. Im ok with no credit because honestly the access to credit is why im where im at.

I know im not alone but unfortunate we are where we are at. Life long earnings can dissappear withtin days….. that makes me sick to my stomach!

I feel you - lost 500k and in massive debts now chasing a 20k loss. 2 years ago had lost 300k. 800k debt and no hope in life; depressed to no end. Wife left me taking my kid. Do i pray or stop believing?

What do YOU make of OP's saga? Any advice for this man?

Sources: Reddit
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