You always hear about the ones who get hurt the most by addiction. One day I found myself in this category. I don't consider my partner to be a particularly bad addict, as far as gamblers are concerned. We never lost money that we didn't have, nor even that we couldn't afford. But her addiction was serious enough to threaten the most valuable thing we have - our relationship.
The hardest aspect of my fiance's gambling addiction was the violation of trust. I didn't particularly like her gambling when I knew about it (if we went to the casino I would just fall asleep on a pokie while she gambled) but I could live with it. However, when I found out she had been covering up gambling during the day with money from our joint savings account I knew this problem would end up ruining our relationship if it continued.
I would like to say that after she admitted this behaviour my partner never concealed her gambling again, but giving up an addiction is not so easy. However, from my point of view every time my partner chose to gamble without telling me she was choosing beeping machines over our future, and I struggled to understand how she could make that choice.
In the end only removing access to money when I was not about was effective in stopping her gambling. Now that she has gone without gambling for almost a year, we feel confident in slowly restoring access to cash and ATM cards, and possibly even an occasional visit to the casino in the future.
But only with my knowledge of any gambling can we build trust again.
* Real story kindly obtained from the Salvation Army booklet Anthology of Gambling Tales