Ricardo's Story

I'm in my thirties, married with two young children. I started gambling over ten years ago and have been losing more and more money as the years have gone by.
The only gambling I have been involved in is betting on horses. Over the years I have probably gambled between $100,000.00 and $200,000.00.
My gambling has had an impact on my marriage as there have been frequent arguments over the years about my gambling, about the debts and the uncertainty of our financial situation. Even though I have worked hard all these years, we still have debts and we don't own our own home. My wife often compares our situation with other family members and is disappointed that we are not more financially secure. My wife has threatened to leave me more than once. I had tried in the past to stop gambling, but never really seriously made an effort.
My wife had seen the advertisements on television about problem gamblers and she gave me an ultimatum. My wife said that if I did not go and see a Gambling Counsellor, she would definitely leave. My wife felt that gambling was more important to me than my family. It certainly seemed that way to her. I stopped gambling in July this year and started seeing a counsellor in August. I have not gambled since then.
In the last four months that I have not gambled, I feel as if my head has cleared and I am able to see things in a different light. I am contributing more to the family in many ways and life at home is more peaceful. My wife is happier and I feel like a better person. Our bills are getting paid – no final notices and no bills piling up. There is less pressure on us and we are better able to plan for the future.
Now that I have seen the difference in our lives, I don't want gambling ever to take over my life again. I think that gambling can be all right in moderation, but for me, it caused a lot of problems and I am glad that I don't have those problems any more.
* Real story kindly obtained from the Salvation Army booklet Anthology of Gambling Tales 

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