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My partner is gambling - really looking for some advice please....

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#1 Posted on:
Tue, 17/04/2018 - 08:46

bubblegirl1988

Joined:
2018-04-17

Hi to whoever is looking at this thread. I think I'm looking for advice; I don't really know to be honest. My partner has a gambling problem; and it seems to be getting worse. He started about 6 years ago on online slot machines, then moved onto horse betting. He must have lost around £10k in a year or so. He then stopped for a while and last year started again. I didn't know anything about the gambling until we sold our house and went for a bigger mortgage - he was declined. When we checked with the underwriters it was because of the amount of gambling transactions associated with his bank account. Fast forward to November 2017 - he was very withdrawn, secretive with his phone etc. Found out the day after Xmas that he had been gambling again. I know we had around 5k savings in the bank account and it was all gone. Before I carry on; he has his own bank account and I have mine. He has a well paid job and we have a nice house, and I have been very fortunate not to have to go back to work until our 2 year old son is in school (partner works away also). So anyway; the gambling in December came to a head; I tried to support him and be there for him but he was very defensive about it; he ended up telling me that it was his money and not mine and that if he wanted to gamble he would. Fair enough. After a few days he contacted the two main betting companies he uses and set up a deposit limit of £50 per month; so he couldn't gamble any more than that. I was happy with this and for the last few months I'm assuming he hasn't touched any other sites. Last week I noticed the family iPad was pinging with emails a lot - his email is synced with it. I went to check and noticed lots of emails come up from a company called betbull; which were promptly deleted as I went to view them. I went into the trash can and hey presto; there they were! Lots of football accumulators, started small amounts like a fiver here, tenner there. Quickly escalating to £100 accumulators. As of this morning he has wagered a total amount of £2,660 in 11 days and won £0. That's two mortgage payments for us and I feel sick with worry; haven't slept properly in days. I don't really know what I'm looking for; maybe some clarification that he's got a problem? Is he an addict? I don't know. All I know is I'm ashamed to even look at him at the moment. I'm scared to confront him just in case it all kicks off, and in fairness it is his money. However I stay at home and look after our son and I rely on him to support us until I go back to work. He was the one who was adamant I didn't go back to work so from my point of view it's our money; we are a team. Sorry if this post is all a bit slapdash and thank you for reading. 

 

 

 

Posted on:
Tue, 17/04/2018 - 11:41

Merry go round

Joined:
2017-06-08

Hi bubblegirl, yes is the answer. I also was like you, own bank account, stay at home mum, didn't see the debt. You need to secure your finances. It isn't just his money he's not single. It's really tough, I think my husband just thought he could afford it, never looking at his behaviour, mental health and the children's future. Look after yourself first. Seek advice through gamcare, talk to someone. Credit reports to see if more debt. This is progressive so while he thinks it's ok it will get worse. The continual chasing of losses ultimately ends in much debt. If he didn't have a problem he'd be happy to talk about it and stop. Addiction feeds on secrets and lies. My husband became very withdrawn, he has history of depression so I thought that was why. Mood swings are another. Their minds become overtaken by  the next bet, how to win it back. It then becomes irrelevant whether they win or lose. Please don't ignore this. Get support, maybe a gamanon meeting. Don't be persuaded to sign loans or help him with bailouts. If he was denied a mortgage that is a huge red flag. Normally things come to light when they are desperate and the money and loans have run out. 

Posted on:
Tue, 17/04/2018 - 16:22

Starmix

Joined:
2018-03-05

As PP has said- yes, he most certainly has a problem. I’ve spent the last month or so, securing my own finances. I’m off on maternity so money for me is quite tight. I’ve made sure that OH’s salary is paid into an account that he has no access to at all. I’m also checking on him by opening any mail and only giving him cash (and I need receipts for everything). It’s early days, but I’m also taking advice with regards to the house and sorting things out so that he cannot do any more damage to our family. It’s hard, but you have to do what’s best for yourself, rather than worry about your OH. I would definitely get support for yourself. It’s hard to carry the load all by yourself. Even though you haven’t got the gambling problem, it’s all too easy to find his problem dominating your life- good luck!

 

Posted on:
Tue, 17/04/2018 - 17:14

bubblegirl1988

Joined:
2018-04-17

Thank you very much for your comments. I have spoken to him this afternoon as he is now back home for his days off and asked him if he is gambling again. He asked why and I just told him to tell me the truth. He admitted it but when I tried to explain how serious I feel this all is he clammed up and told me he would not gamble again. I asked him to self exclude etc and he said he will - as soon as he has done one last bet tonight to try and recoup some of the money he's lost. I'm at a loss here. He is expecting a 10k refund on a tax return in the next few months and I have categorically said I want the money in my account; we cannot afford to lose any more. The good thing is he isn't in any debt other than the mortgage - I have checked this afternoon as he has a credit expert account. He isn't in the red in his bank account either which is a bonus I suppose. Definitely not condoning what he's done but at least he hasn't got us in the **** financially. I will give the helpline a call and talk to someone; it's hard because he won't acknowledge how serious it is and maybe I'm too much of a pushover; I don't know. He's always worn the trousers and maybe I need to start putting my foot down more. 

Posted on:
Tue, 17/04/2018 - 18:47

Lethe

Joined:
2016-12-10

They can always justify another bet. If he's serious about stopping there are things he can do to cut off his access to gambling with immediate effect. Rolling the dice 'one last time' isn't one of them. He doesn't want to stop. Be wary. A gambler who won't stop can and does bring everyone around down with them. Make sure you've checked his reports with every agency, not just Experian. They won't show informal loans from family and friends so make sure anyone who might fall for a sob story is aware not to lend or give him anything. Secure your own accounts and get whatever you can into your sole name. Put yourself first every single time. All the time he's gambling you and your interests will come a very distant second.

Posted on:
Tue, 17/04/2018 - 21:45

bubblegirl1988

Joined:
2018-04-17

Thank you for the reply. He has deleted all apps from his phone and we will be using self exclusion tomorrow with every company he currently uses. He isn't willing to hand over the finances to me; and I'm fine with that to a degree as long as I have access to his online banking. I love him so much but if this continues I will leave; I refuse to have my son growing up thinking that it is normal to have a father who is constantly on his phone and gambling, losing money etc. He does earn a fantastic wage and I know he would never ever go to family or friends for money; if you met him he is such a 'switched on' guy. This is what I just don't understand. Thank you again for your comments; I think I will sleep easier tonight now it's all out in the open and he knows that I know about it. X 

Posted on:
Wed, 18/04/2018 - 07:40

Cynical wife

Joined:
2015-06-23

There are two sides to him - him and the addiction. The addiction takes him over to different degrees at different times, sometimes he’s there but at other times you find that you’re trying to have a rational conversation with an addiction and it just isn’t working. He may be wonderful (his behaviour as an addict certainly isn’t) but if you find that you’re talking to the addiction,  stop and remove yourself. The addiction talks irrational nonsense, projects blame onto you, minimises the problem, rationalises the gambling and generally manipulates. You might feel some loyalty to him but beware of being loyal to the addiction because that leads to enabling, blind eyes being turned and harm all round.

Not wanting to hand over financial control is a red flag. Access to funds allows gambling - to look at the account afterwards and count the gambling transactions doesn’t help you. Self exclusion is fine but there are always new sites, it’s a tool to be used in conjunction with blocking software or the parental control facility from your ISP. 

If he were serious, he’d be taking every measure possible, including GA, financial blocks and software blocks and he’s not doing it. Nor can you make him, ultimately, if he wants to gamble, then he will, whether you know or not.

Don’t have your peaceful sleep (serenity) depend on what he’s doing, because you can’t control that. Keep the focus on you, protect yourself from the effects of the gambling and go regularly to GamAnon to learn how to look after you. That way, you’ll be able to make decisions about what’s best for you, without being distracted by what he may or may not think or do in response.

Look after you.

CW

Posted on:
Wed, 18/04/2018 - 11:01

Lethe

Joined:
2016-12-10

Uncontrolled gambling will chew up a fantastic salary before breakfast and still have room for plenty more. As for not borrowing from or conning family and friends there's a saying in GA: 'I haven't done that...yet'. It's a progressive addiction and it would be unwise to underestimate where a desperate addict can and very often does go. Take a look at the diaries here for starters. It also doesn't differentiate between smart, switched on guys and anyone else.

Handing over financial control is the most basic recommendation and if he wanted to stop he'd be complying willingly. You can't trust a word he says so don't without seeing independent proof for yourself. Read up on what you're up against and look after you.