My wife is a gambler and in constant debt

By Thanh Lam   June 7, 2023 | 10:35 pm PT
I’m 31 and married with kids. I’m a graphic designer, my parents are retired and our finances are average. I have always tried to work hard to improve our circumstances.

After I graduated, my salary was around VND3.9 million ($166) in 2015 as a factory worker, a field I did not major in. After seven years of working and studying at the same time, my current salary is about VND30-50 million monthly, working 12 to 14 hours a day.

In 2019, I got married and had my first child a year after that. Ever since, my phone has been constantly bombarded with phone calls from my wife’s creditors.

Even though I have never been rich, I have never owed anybody anything. Then my card lost nearly VND200 million ($8,521). I was going to inform the bank and call the police when I realized my wife had taken our child to her parents’ house in the middle of the night. I tried to call and text her to no avail.

She texted me an apology a day later, and that’s when I realized my wife had taken the money to gamble online. I didn’t press any further because I thought my wife was not in her right mind since she had just given birth and had to work all day, but I did request to be in charge of our finances from now on (before this, I gave my wife VND20 million every month for personal expenses).

I thought everything was going to be fine, but in 2022, when my wife was pregnant with our second child, she told me she owed over VND150 million in credit card debt for the third time (the first time was when her parents hid her debt of over VND200 million from me).

Because our children were small, I didn’t want to divorce my wife and still decided to pay off her debts. I tried everything, from gentle talks to outright forbidding her from gambling, thinking she would eventually come around and change.

Three weeks ago, my card lost money and everything happened all over again: my wife ran away with our daughter on Sunday and a bunch of creditors showed up at my house on Monday. I was extremely worried about our daughter, so I told my wife to spare our daughter the trouble for she was only a few months old.

My wife sent me their location and informed me that she had incurred an additional debt of nearly VND100 million. By then, I had had enough. I decided to divorce my wife and take full custody of my child.

I don’t gamble, nor do I smoke or cheat. My only mistake was not allowing my wife to go to work. I have a feeling that being too good of a man is not necessarily a good thing.

Thank you for reading.

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