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Libby's story

D Day was when I discovered a secret credit card in my husband’s wallet. He was defensive when I questioned him about it. ‘Only $250 owing on it’ he said. When I asked for a statement for proof, turns out he was $25000 in debt.

Initially he didn’t own up to his gambling addiction. I noticed there were lots of cash transfers. We paid it down to $8000 and made a goal of paying it off entirely within a few months. A few months later I guessed his password to his email account where his statements were. He racked up $13000 in one month with a betting agency.

I was gutted and demanded explanations for his actions. I was so angry as we have a family and had been struggling for a couple of years in a business. He admitted he had a huge problem with gambling and had so for a long time. I phoned my family and his family to tell them of his problem. He sought help with a psychologist specialising in gambling addictions. He was committed and went to every appointment.

He says it all started because he was very unhappy in a job. He worked 12-hour days and it wasn’t easy work. on his days off he would go to the races. It was social and it became a routine part of his life. He studied the form guide and had a lucky win on a trifecta paying $60000.

Unfortunately, that triggered his addiction and betting became a big part of his life, as well as tipping others. He felt important and needed. He lied and accessed our joint super account and placed major bets without my knowledge. He even bought racehorses without my knowledge. The lies have destroyed my trust. I realise now that he is not a bad person - that gambling addiction is a disease - and he hurt the people that cared about him the most.

He is committed to his health now, hasn’t had a bet for a year. We keep the communication lines open. He was even offered a share in a work lottery syndicate but he just said, ‘sorry it doesn’t interest me.’ He knows it has put our family in a terrible situation and we are his number one priority now. He has cut ties with all gambling friends and racing people.