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Coral's story

I love my husband. We have been together for 6 years, and married for just over a year. We have a son together, and he has two other children from a previous relationship. My husband is a compulsive gambler.

He is usually ok, but then falls into these lapses where he goes on stints for days and doesn't come back. I'm left to care for the child or children depending on if it's our time to have them. We've gone on vacations and he's gambled our spending money ... ALL of it ... in different countries.

Even when we had the kids. I had to figure out how to feed us, a 4 month old, a 4 year old and a 6 year old. I had to find a bank and force them to allow me to take money out or we wouldn't have been able to eat. It's extremely exhausting and I'm pretty fed up.

He is always apologetic, and there are times that he does win which helps us because he's always in debt in some way, borrowing money from family members or friends. I've given him thousands of dollars to help settle debts. Now I'm facing money troubles as well. It's not easy to deal with, especially with children involved. But I don't know how to help him, if he can't even help himself.

I wanted to marry a partner, someone to go through life's difficulties with me, not a liability, someone to destroy the life I imagined. Needless to say, I'm living at my parents house. I mentally can't take on the stress. I'm just trying to get him help.