My husband is a chronic gambler.

I need your help but please do not reveal my identity. I am in a terrible situation as I write this to you. I am a mother of five children who are still very small. My first daughter is 15 and in secondary school. My husband is my problem currently. He is a serial gambler and I don’t know what to do about it. When I got married to him, he was a very responsible man and a huge goal getter. He was a man who believed so much in having different streams of income and as such, he was a big hustle. He had a full time government job and even at that, he still tried our other things. He is quite skilled especially when it comes to electrical works so he used it as one of the survival means. He could repair electrical faults and also fixed some electrical appliances for people. He was making money from it and two year after we got married, he told me that he saved up some money and would like to invest it in a business. He sought my opinion on what business we could channel the money into. After some time, we both agreed that he was going to start a ship where he would sell electrical materials. He already had an idea of the field but I still convinced him to learn from an expert. 

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So after work everyday, he would go there directly. He was doing well and later opened his own. For about three months he was running it himself but later employed someone in the 7th month when he could no longer combine it with his job. Down the line, he was making profit from the shop and coupled with his salary and mine, we were able to raise the kids, feed well and also save. Our finances were actually very good then. As time went on, he was still very keen on making more money. A friend of his who also had a shop close to his own spoke to him about a scheme where he would invest and make a certain percentage as profit or ROI. He came home and explained to me after saying that he didn’t understand it. I was not in support of it because it looked like a ponzi scheme or any other related thing. I didn’t understand it so I wasn’t ready to invest and waste our money. In order not to completely rule it out, I asked some people I felt would know and they all kicked against the idea. They said it was fake and would be a total waste of money. 

When I got home that day, I told my husband and he promised that he already forgot about it. I believed him just like I’ve always done but what I didn’t know was that the Neighbor That introduced the scheme kept on going back to convince my husband until he joined. My husband didn’t tell me until about two months later when he started losing a lot of money. Apparently, it wasn’t just a scheme, it was pure gambling. My husband kept using his salary to gamble. I noticed that his character and general disposition to his family changed a lot. My husband used to be very happy and caring but it stopped. He stopped asking about how we feed. He rarely dropped money for food and when I asked him, he’d blurt that I take life seriously and I was beginning to challenge him. What I didn’t know was that my husband has become so addicted to gambling such that even when he runs out of cash, he had to borrow. That was why he always complained that he didn’t have money even after they pay him. And his business? It was suffering too. His business was going down by the day but he was doing absolutely nothing. It got so bad that he had to close down the business. He was even in huge debt after closing the business. 

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As it stands now, my husband has incurred so much debt, I mean so much debt that I don’t know when we will offset those debts. My husband still gets his salary but it is as good as nothing because he uses it to offset his debts and he still hasn’t stopped gambling. Everytime people that he owes come to my house to ask for their money. They embarrass me and say all sorts of things to me. I am ashamed and tired of this marriage. Sometimes he borrows money from professional creditors. I am tired of being like this. I am very unhappy in this marriage. I don’t have a good paying job. I work in a private primary school and the pay is poor yet I have to cook for everyone, run the house and still face humiliation from those my husband is owing. I have spoken to his family members to help me talk to him but nothing has changed. I am sick and tired and I need help before I go crazy. I need help, we are living from hand to mouth yet my husband earns well. What can I do to stop him from gambling?  

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