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Difficult situation.. Crossroads..

Community Member

Hello everyone..
I am relatively young (30) and just when I think life is truckin’ along nicely I am put into a tough situation..
I have been married to my wife for 3 years.. We have a house and 2 young children together..

It has come to light that my wife has crippling anxiety that she has been masking for years.. She is also not the same person that I once knew, after having kids..

I work extremely hard and help her out immensely with the kids and around the house.. She has begun to speak to me and treat me quite poorly and cannot see the good I do for our family (only seems to find issues)..

She has also quit her job recently..

Every time life gets too hard (eg. kids are crying too much) she heads off to the club to go and gamble on the poker machines.. She says its “for a break” but to me I see it as an addiction and a way of masking her issues.. She has slowly but surely gambled away our savings..

I have always been a happy/positive person in life, but, this situation is just not me at all and it’s starting to take its toll on me..

I am at the point where I want to sell the house and go my seperate way but I am extremely concerned about the toll this will have on our young kids..

I am also concerned that paying child support to her will only continue to feed her addiction once I’ve left..

I have tried to offer support/other methods of relaxation but she is not interested and I believe there is 100% truth in that you cannot persuade someone to quit gambling, they must want to do it for themselves

This is just not me and I’m at a crossroads..

Has anyone been in a similar situation?

4 Replies 4

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hi MightyM,

Wellcome to our forums!

Im sorry to hear of what you have described.

I understand that you feel your wife has changed after having children…… can I ask if your wife’s anxiety got worse after having children?

Has your wife ever seeked professional help for her anxiety?

I believe that some people do try to find ways to try to cope with their anxiety if they haven’t been able to go down the path for professional help which is the one way that you can learn how to manage your anxiety without trying to find other coping methods.

Im sorry your wife is gambling as a way to have a break….

I understand his would be hard for you…..

Can you encourage your wife to seek professional help for her anxiety and gambling?

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hello MightyM, I have known sevearl people in exactly the same position as what you've told us, one ended up being divorced and another where they got married so that the wife could control his gambling and succeeded, she was lucky, whereas the other ended poorly.

I always say that the kids are better off in two happy households, rather than an unhappy one, so you are entitled to sell the house and go your separate ways.

We always hope that child endowment goes towards the kids, but we can never be sure, except by noticing how the kids are dressed, fed and the school they attend to know whether it's been put to a good cause, rather than being gambled away.

The only way someone can stop gambling is when they decide themselves, you can talk until the 'moon is blue', but if she has quit her job, then who's money is she gambling away and how much, something you won't be told.

A gambler only tells you of a big win, not how much they have spent trying to get it, so you can try and portion money given to her but this doesn't mean she won't gamble it away.

I can't tell you what to do, but I can suggest that after what she's been doing to you, to consider making a decision, then you can buy clothes for the kids yourself.

You could also check with a lawyer as to how you can put money into a child's bank account with only your signature allowed to withdraw while the kid is under 18, this may avoid giving your wife (ex) the money.

It would be good to hear back from you when you are able to.


Dear MightyM,
Firstly, welcome to the forums and our supportive community. We can hear from your post that you have been dealing with a lot recently and we are so glad that you have reached out for advice. It can be difficult to assist your partner when she is not willing to discuss any issues with you. Have you tried to encourage your wife to speak to a professional, starting with your local GP is an excellent place as they are someone familiar but can access vital resources and provide relevant advice and options.
We have a few numbers and links that we can provide for you, we encourage you to contact and engage with any of these services that you may feel comfortable with. By contacting these services, you may be able to speak directly with a customer agent or counsellor, this will allow you to provide information and aid that directly meets your needs.
If you need more immediate contact, please use our Beyond Blue support service 24/7, either via phone 1300 22 4636 or web chat: http://www.beyondblue.org.au/get-support/get-immediate-support
For information on resources available regarding gambling please see- https://aifs.gov.au/agrc/gambling-help
This site offers links to counsellors on webchat, guides and the National Gambling Helpline on 1800 858 858 all specific to assisting individuals and their families manage gambling.
The lovely supportive counsellors at 1800respect offer advice and support to anyone who has been through relationship difficulties like this and may be able to provide specific recommendations, or resources for your situation. You can contact them on 1800 737 732 or visit  https://www.1800respect.org.au/ .
We would also recommend checking out MensLine Australia at https://mensline.org.au/ or via phone on 1300 789 978. This is for you to check in and engage with a service for your mental wellbeing if you wish to, as we acknowledge you need to consider your mental health also.
We are confident that the links provided will enable you to seek out professional advice and assistance that can help with your situation. We hope that you find the support, experiences and suggestions of peers within the community to be helpful and we encourage you to continue engaging on the forums.
Warm regards
Sophie M

Community Member

I think the gambling needs to be dealt with first. If it was me, I would ask your wife to seek gambling addiction support. If you can not get her to agree to get the help she needs, then you may have to consider your options. Gambling can ruin your life very quickly.

The fact your wife is not willing to consider other coping methods is concerning for me.

Having children can be difficult. If she has changed since she had them, it may be a good idea for her to talk to a perinatal counsellor. They helped me a lot when I had antenal depression and anxiety.

I come from a broken home. It was difficult but not because my parents divorced, it was difficult because of the people they ended up marrying. Children are resilient and as long as you help them, love them and protect them. They will be ok.