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Boyfriend gambles


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Hello I'm 23 and my boyfriend is 26. We generally have a good relationship and always have a brilliant time together although we have our ups and downs. We have been together nearly a year. My problem is I am trying to make something of myself - I have completed a degree and I am now doing a Masters, I don't take drugs or drink too much, I have plenty of friends and generally enjoy life. However I am not sure me and my boyfriend are compatible.


My boyfriend has never done a degree but he does have a job where he works for minimum wage. He does have aspirations to get a career he will enjoy but he doesn't have any qualifications so it's difficult. However, this doesn't really bother me so much as the fact that I think he firstly has a gambling problem. He gambles every week, I'm not sure how much or how often, just maybe $5 dollars or so a time. But he is in about $300 worth of debt where he is overdrawn. The other week he decided to gamble about $150 to get himself out of the debt but his bet lost. This isn't the first time he has bet big like that. He rang me very upset and guilty and I was supportive and wasn't nasty towards him but tried to make him feel better. He seemed to understand that big bets are a bad idea and I thought things would be OK until he again bet today another $150 which lost again. This time I felt like I had no words of comfort for him. I just felt like what the hell?!


Another thing that annoys me is he smokes weed a lot. Obviously i can't change these behaviours and so far I have just tolerated them to be in a relationship with him because I love him. But I'm starting to think is he really a catch for me? Not to sound arrogant. I dunno...

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My ex was like this. He had a very addictive personality and acted impulsively often with money, and other things. For someone who is careful with her expenses and generally "plays by the rules", this was a lot for me to get used to. For a while it was good, it brought me out of my shell for a bit, but I never was okay with him smoking weed. I just learned to tolerate it. For him, it was a lifestyle and I just couldn't relate. It was like a bonding activity for him and his friends, and whenever they did it I felt left out.


But you're right, you can't change the behaviors. In time you will see this. He is who he is and you can either accept it or walk away. You might just be better off finding someone who matches your morals.


I'm not doubting your love for him, or saying you aren't compatible in other areas. But it is important to look at how he handles his money and certain behaviors that you don't necessarily approve of, it can reflect a lot about other parts of his personality.

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No, he isn't a catch for you, not if you have aspirations which involve not losing all your money to chance, or working in any profession whereby having a partner who does drugs will cause you to lose your job.


Gambling can be an addiction, same as drugs, alcohol, porn - you name it. You can't change his behaviours; knowledge alone won't change people's behaviours if they're addicted. Even if he's just gambling small amounts, it's clearly way beyond what he can afford - and I'm guessing that, in time, you'll be called upon to bail him out, or pay for everything when you're out together because he just hasn't got the cash.


It may be that the rest of your relationship is so good that you're willing to tolerate it. It's not likely to get better. But if I were in your shoes I'd be running, not walking, to the nearest exit.

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