Josephine’s story

My husband is a compulsive gambler in the stock market losing every single cent of the family’s savings.  Presently we are living on banks borrowings.  He has worked as a stock broker since 1996 and has been punting all these years.  He is now indebted to an amount of 200+ thousand. I am very frustrated, confused, disappointed, angry and dont known what to do. Please help me.

I get many of these kinds of  letters from people who and in complete despair.

It’s so hard when you are the partner of a gambler and it must be very stressful and upsetting for many of you.  I don’t understand how those who ‘play’ the stock market rarely acknowledge it’s GAMBLING and it’s often at such high stakes. However, my immediate concern for Josephine to protect her assets, or what’s left!

I understand this is difficult, but I strongly suggest that Josephine should contact Wesley Legal Community Centre 9263 5577.  There are solicitors there specialising in gambling matters. I have referred many of my clients, mainly women in your position, for advice. It’s free and confidential andthey have been doing this for 20 years.

I would also encourage Josephine to talk to a gambling counsellor who can support her emotionally without judgement. This is an awful stressful time and all those feelings can easily build up. It is also very common to feel that that no one understands what you are going through and I’m guessing and many people are reluctant to talk to family and friends.

Please check out the Gambling Help website for a list of Gambling Counsellors in your area –http://www.gamblinghelp.nsw.gov.au/GamblingHelp/HelpNearYou/Search.aspx

Or simply call 1800 858 858 (this free service is available anytime). Many women have been in Josephine’s position and there is help out there if you choose.

In regards to her husband, it appears he’s got in over his head and can’t see the way out except to chase his losses, hoping for a good windfall. My concern for him, besides destroying his relationships, is he may act out of character and do something without thinking of the consequences. Sometimes people in his situation resort to criminal activity or self harm.

I’m guessing he’s hesitant to talk about it, so getting him to see his doctor or a counsellor might be almost impossible, but I would strongly encourage him to talk to someone for help.

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