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Selah R, M.S. LPC
Selah R, M.S. LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 582
Experience:  Licensed Professional Counselor; over 13+ yrs exp working with adults, teens, & families/couples.
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I have a situation. I have been dating a man for 5 years. He

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I have a situation. I have been dating a man for 5 years. He is active in AA and been sober for for 20+years. However, 6 months ago I found out he has been gambling compulsively for the last several years. Although I knew something was wrong (many instances of money shortfalls, blamed on his exes and children), I wasn't experenced in addictive behavior to see what was really going on. At one point I spoke to his sponsor, who said that he suspected his behavior was either a gambling addiction or a sex addiction. Finding out it was a gambling addiction seemed to be a relief, until one day when I came home and cought him watching porn and masturbating.He claimed that he felt it was becoming a problem and was praying to make the urges disappear. I know that addictive behavoir is difficult to control and a 12 step program can help individuals lead a productive, healthy life. All of these revelations have happened within the last 6 months. Is there hope for a relationship with this man???
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Selah R, M.S. LPC replied 6 years ago.
Thank you for trusting JustAnswer with your important question.

It is possible, but it will be a difficult road for both of you. He has to get involved with treatment, and you should think about attending an Al-Anon meeting (that's for family members and friends of people who are in AA and other AA-like groups). You two might also need to see a marriage therapist who can work with you on rebuilding the relationship and rebuilding the trust.

I would recommend finding a marriage therapist who uses both individual and conjoint sessions in their counseling style. This way they can address both of you alone and together, to really find out what all the issues are, and what's going to be needed from both of you to make this work. Counselors who are trained in the Gottman method use this style. You can look for a Gottman trained marriage counselor in your area at

Many addicts recover from one addiction only to have it crop up in another form, because they haven't addressed their real issues and their addictive thinking patterns. That's why staying in a 12-step group, and working with a sponsor, and maybe even having this own therapist who is an addiction specialist will be crucial if he really wants to win this war and not just find a new addiction.

You can look for addiction counselors in your area by using the PsychologyToday listings at

Best wishes,

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