Wow 5 pages and no real bad story, I thought this thread would be full of that! Well I guess I'll the first one then.
Short story: I lost my girlfriend to poker.
Long story: I was in a relationship with an attractive, intelligent and creative german girl who worked in TV and films. We travelled the world, drank champagne and gave each other massages. But she hated poker and gambling in general.
I started playing poker in mid-2007 but it was OK then because I only played a bit, I was learning the game. But that Christmas, I had a revelation: the concept of position! So I started 2008 applying this new position based poker (new for me that is) and my results improved overnight. Encouraged by these results, I started playing more and became obsessed with improving my play. And in June, less than a year after taking up poker, I had a 4K month and to me at the time, that was an incredible amount to win! Sounds silly but I couldn't believe it! My relationship was starting to hurt but I was making progress in poker. We went on a happy holiday that summer, not knowing that it would be my last with her.
Things did not improve when we got back to London (we were living together) and she started getting more and more concerned about my poker playing. Then she told me I needed to visit Gamblers Anonymous and that's when things got heated! I just couldn't figure out what was so problem gambler about me being profitable in my rookie year and wanting to delve deeper into it. But I soon got it: She didn't believe I was winning, I realised that when I found out she had been looking at my bank statements, and naturally I was fuming!
We broke up a couple of months later and I didn't see her for several months, I didn't even know where she was. When I finally saw her again, I thought we could perhaps repair the damage. But that wasn't really what she had in mind. She made it pretty clear to me: "It's me or poker!"
By then I had lost my job (I was a trader for an online bookmaker and was working about 20h a week) and the job market was very hostile so giving up poker wasn't really an option. So we left it at that.
Since then she told me that she now understands poker is a game of skill and that she was getting the wrong idea about me being a problem gambler. But by then it was too late. I became seriously depressed and sick for about 6 months before getting a grip. And here I am, still single and still playing poker.
While I realised I somewhat neglected her, I was probably not the only one to blame, it's clear to me she didn't want to understand and she made no concession. Sometimes I look back in regret, dying for a chance to re-negociate this all over again... and I wonder what might have been.