Gambling when played more than necessary and for all the wrong reasons can develop into a more serious pathological or compulsive gambling.
A pathological or compulsive gambler cannot stop gambling. For them, gambling is an addiction. These individuals are not the master of themselves and are constantly thinking of gambling. This problem can interfere with relationships between spouses. However if there is still something that you believe still can be salvaged of your relationship, here a few little steps you can start right away.
Firstly, stop giving in. When your spouse asks for money, you may have unwillingly given it to me but rationalising at the same time that he is going through a rough patch. Or perhaps you are turning a blind eye when money has gone missing. You may think that you are supporting your spouse, but all you are doing is enabling his addiction. So do not lend any more money to him. You do not have to make excuses for your spouse’s behaviour or the unpaid bills. Be honest.
Secondly, discuss the situation frankly with your spouse. Be specific about what is happening in his life. It has to be clear to your spouse that their gambling has a negative impact on you and the family. This way you are putting the responsibility where it belongs, on your gambling spouse.
Thirdly, be understanding. Hostile communications would yield nothing. There won’t be a lot of problem solving if you were to be hostile towards each other. Understand that your spouse has an addiction problem and the slightest thing or provocation may set him off on his habit. Sit your spouse down and discuss ways both of you can do to deal with this problem.
Lastly, set a limit. Set out a set of rules and make sure your spouse understands the function of the rules. The rules are there to set boundaries on his gambling habit. For an example, it is to keep your gambling spouse from using the family funds.
In conclusion, as a spouse you would want the best for your other half. Educate yourself on how best to deal with a gambling addict. If all else fail, seek professional help, there is no shame in that. You only want the best for your loved ones.