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Problem doesn't seem big but am I being naive?

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#1 Posted on:
Sat, 14/10/2017 - 00:36

Fi85

Joined:
2017-10-13

(sorry for long post!) So i found out my husband had maxed out his credit card to £1700 from a msg I seen on his phone from the cc company. When I confronted him about this and asked what he spent that much money on he said just petrol and stuff. I pressed more on the subject and then he finally hit me with the G bomb. I stayed calm, I don't know why. I guess I know he hasn't meant it, it wasn't deliberate. He told me he'd been on the phone to the bank earlier that night to query a letter they sent him abt his current account and the girl looked at his cc and asked him if he had a problem and he said he started crying on the phone to her and that's the first time he had admitted it. So we spoke a little that night and he said he wasn't going to do it anymore. I think it took a few days to hit me just how potentially bad this could be (Google helped with that!). This came out on the Thursday and it was the Monday night before I couldn't sleep and waited for him to be asleep to get a hold of his phone. He had left his betting account open and logged in so I found the current bets and seen he had made some that day. I asked him in the morning how he'd got on since Thursday and he said I've been fine, then straight away changed it and said I bet on the football on Saturday with money left in my account - I pointed out he could have withdrawn the money and he said there's a minimum amount u can withdraw and he was just using up what was left. So that's when the pit of the stomach nausea set in! I emailed the betting site and he was telling the truth abt minimum withdrawals but I did point out it wasn't a lot of money and he could have just not used it. He seen my point. Next night, couldn't get his phone because he fell asleep with it under him. Next night, told him that we needed to speak about this properly and that it felt like he was avoiding me. He said he hadn't bet since the weekend and how good he felt yada yada. We had a decent talk abt it & he was saying how good he felt and how great it was going to be for him having money now etc. Then i asked if he would let me see his betting account. He brought it up on his phone and was showing me you can exclude yourself from the site and went to do it but I stopped him and pointed out he hadn't shown me that he hadn't bet. He mucked abt on the site for 10 seconds then hung his head and said I'm lying to you again, I made bets today. He seemed so ashamed of himself. He then excluded himself from the site indefinitely. We talked for a couple of hours that night about when it started becoming a problem (after he turned a free £5 into £1000 which I knew about) a year and a half ago - I pointed out that is around about the time I started feeling lonely and that there was something wrong with me which I feel could be that he was constantly on his phone and, as he pointed out, his mood would depend on wins and losses! I've been asking him the last couple of days how he feels and he keeps saying he's just been keeping himself busy and he's seeing more clearly older guys at work that gamble and he really doesn't want to be like them. I know it's only a few days for him and I believe he believes he won't do it again but he thinks because he hasn't got an account open currently that he doesn't have that temptation at his finger tips. I feel like £1700 is completely manageable to pay back and is probably why I'm not packing his bags but I also feel like I can never fully trust him. We've been together for 14yrs, since we were 18 and he was always the great guy and everyone used to say we were so good together. Not of late but I guess I now know why! I know he's still a great guy and father - but everything has now changed in my mind. I thought for so long it was me that had changed but turns out it was him which also annoys me because I felt so alone and thought it was some sort of late onset post natal depression or something. We literally were inseparable up until he got addicted and since then we barely talk about anything other than work and our daughter (we work together), just wish I had know all this time that it wasnt in my head. Anyway, sorry for such a long post but I think this is me just trying to organise the thoughts in my head and work out myself what I'm feeling!!! Is it realistic to believe him and that he won't do it again or is that highly unlikely? Thanks for sticking to the end of this post!!!

Posted on:
Sat, 14/10/2017 - 05:17

ODAAT

Joined:
2014-11-10

Hi Fi85, welcome to the forum :-)

Sorry to hear that you too have become caught up in this vile web of deceit but I’m so grateful for your post & hope that all the gamblers out there kidding themselves that they aren’t hurting anyone reads this!  How horrible that you have questioned your sanity for so long when it was this, concealed in the shadows playing havoc with your relationship.  I get that you are hurting but better it out so you know this isn’t on you.  

Sadly I would have to say that what you have experienced so far is likely to continue.  My mother gambles (as did I) & for years I repeatedly asked/begged/yelled/insisted she stop because I was deluding myself & thought that I could too, turns out, it’s not so straightforward.  I promised myself “no more” repeatedly & everytime the opportunity presented again, it was like those promises were never made.  Usually when people 1st come to realise they have a problem/get found out, they manage to stay ‘clean’ for a period of time, your gambler has just become more secretive.  Maybe since realising that you’re not going to let it lie, he has had that shift but he’s compulsive or it would have stopped immediately he said it would, along with the lies.  Google is a great starting point, this website also a wealth of pain & advice but there’s nothing like real life support & you should consider getting this from anywhere you see fit, friends/family/colleagues, preferably getting along to a GamAnon meeting & maybe evenconsider the GamCare counselling .  He will need to stay occupied, figure out & fast how he’s going to get a grip of this because it’s progressive & given half a chance, addiction will tear your family apart...He is also eligible for counselling through the site, there are GA & other support meetings all round the country & this site isn’t a bad starting point for him too if he’s ready to change.  Only he can answer that & only he can do that.  All you can do is figure out what your boundaries are & what you expect going forwards.  Recovery can be a bumpy ride but you deserve a better life than having to play detective in your own home.

No apologies needed here for how much or how little you write (it wasn’t suc a long post by GC standards), it’s your space now & as crazy as it may sound, you may find being here gives you invaluable support as you educate yourself on this thing that has infiltrated your life.  Try & look after you - ODAAT 

Posted on:
Sat, 14/10/2017 - 07:34

Fi85

Joined:
2017-10-13

Thanks for reply odaat!

The best thing I have found out when looking into this and reading other people's stories is that it always says get help for you. He seems so fine, going along like his usual self, while I have had my anxiety heightened and that nervous feeling you would get before going to the dentist or on stage (or whatever gives u sweaty palm's!) for 5 straight days. It's horrible but it does go away for a while each time I talk to him but then comes back as soon as I start thinking abt it all again on my own. Ive asked him every day how he is getting on and how he has felt that day and not once has he asked me how I am about it all - to be fair I've maybe made it quite clear how I am with it but it would still be nice for him to ask!!!

He said himself he would like to go to GA meeting, he thinks maybe just seeing other people that have lived with this for a long time and got into a lot of debt etc will give him that extra scare he needs. He really believes that's him done with it, I've told him I know he believes that now but if he ever feels the urge or does find a way to do it again to please tell me. He's said he is fine with me looking over his bank statements every month and I asked if it would be better for me to hold onto his credit card and he said he'll just cut it up.

He was looking up gigs and comedy events etc to find things for us to go to together, it was nice to see him trying to make an effort to get us back on track.

How I miss the bliss of 2 weeks ago and just thinking we were going to have a fight about how bad he is at sorting out his money! I was actually kinda looking forward to it because it meant we would be having a real conversation! Sad but true!

Posted on:
Sat, 14/10/2017 - 08:05

Merry go round

Joined:
2017-06-08

Hi fi85 sorry to see you here, but it's good you are. Learn as much as you can from here and others. I would call gamcare and get support for you. I'm wife of cg and have learnt many things in the past 12 years! Anyway in my experience getting help is key. If he wants to go to GA that's great, he needs to go but not just once. There is also gamanon for you if there is a meeting where he goes. We go together, this last relapse I went alone and then he followed. There are many ways to help but let him sort his debt out. Taking over finance is a better way to control the money. Software blocks like k9 can be downloaded onto pc and gadgets. There are a million sites out there that he can go onto and they will be asking him to join via emails, texts. My husband told me , he'd give me the credit card and order new, get his post sent to work. He'd even gamble loans after I took over finance. Be vigilant. I'm not saying this to scare you, just to make you aware that if he does continue these are some of the ways they do it. You sound like your handling it well, keeping calm is good. It's a tough addiction to stop and many relapse. You do think you're going crazy, you think 'what did I do to upset him?' It's all part of the gambling. Look after you, get money safe, no joint accounts, get blocks on gadgets, you can also contact internet provider and phone to get sites blocked. Try not to worry, if you safeguard yourself things will improve. Don't be alone with this, call gamcare and get to a meeting if you can. Keep posting too, asking questions, it all helps. Good luck!

Posted on:
Sat, 14/10/2017 - 08:54

Fi85

Joined:
2017-10-13

Thank you merry go round.

It's hard to believe he's lying to me when he seems so sincere but I'm a logical kinda person so if the majority of people do it again or are lying about it then deep down I know it's likely he is too! I'm trying to keep things positive but also let him know how I'm feeling even if he doesn't ask. I reiterate I know he hasn't meant to do it and that I believe he doesn't want to do it again but at the end of the day he was comfortable enough to lie straight to my face so that is where my head is at. And those were his words to me - he was uncomfortable himself that he could lie like that. As I've read from other people's posts, in all other aspects of life he is a nice guy and I think people who haven't dealt with a problem gambler before would be shocked that he has a problem. I know he has borrowed from his mother and his sister from msgs on his phone I read (he knows I have always read through his phone, not out of mistrust but because he is useless at remembering to tell me things like social things we've been invited to or things to do with childcare as his mum watches our daughter 2days a week) which is why I thought it strange he wouldn't have deleted msgs from his cc company but I'm hoping he kind of wanted to get caught out! Wishful thinking maybe. He assures me the money was to pay for bills and he didn't ask them for gambling money (although I pointed out it still kinda was because he only needed to borrow it because he had left himself short because of gambling, weird how they justify things in their own head). Anyway, he assures me he has paid them back and it was only £40 for phone bill or that. I want to ask them to find out but don't feel it's my place to tell them about it all. He did say he wouldn't hide it from anyone and he was happy to tell people if I want but I keep trying to tell him it's not about what I want! If he wants to tell people then he should, it's not my place - or is it? Is it better for me to tell people or encourage him to so that they won't lend him money if he ever reaches that low again? I'm fully aware this is an important time and he's trying to right it all so I don't want to do the wrong thing and make anything worse.
I checked my credit report last night as I thought this would be a good way to check if he has borrowed more but the free ones just tell you your score - mine is still 'excellent' as it was just over a year ago when I got my mortgage. I would need to pay for a report to see if there's anything going on linked to me - has anyone else done that? It would only show anything linked to me so not sure there's any point. The only thing we have together is the mortgage which I pay along with most other bills, he only pays the gas&elec and council tax and then the childcare which I know is all getting paid. As I earn a lot more than him he often has my bank card going to the shops etc but I check my bank all the time to make sure everything is in order so I would have noticed if he'd ever used it for gambling. He says he would never ever use my money or take a loan out for gambling etc (even though a cc is a loan he thinks it's just because he had that already and it was just there). I guess there's not much else I can do apart from support him and encourage him to follow through and find a GA meeting he can attend. The rest is really a waiting game and fingers crossed scenario!
Also, is it wrong that I kinda don't want him to tell everyone - I know I shouldn't but i do care what people think and I don't want people thinking badly of him or feeling bad for me. It's silly but just truthful to how I feel!

Posted on:
Sat, 14/10/2017 - 10:26

Merry go round

Joined:
2017-06-08

Hi fi, the first thing is dont give him your card, ever. I think you should warn his mum and sister, if not encourage him to tell them. Gambling is all about secrets and lies. You don't have to tell everyone, but I think you should tell family. You need support, and so does he. This is about you too and how you deal with it. You don't have to be ashamed. He may never gamble again, but he might. You don't know and you can't stop it. I only realised a long way down the line that not telling people things enabled him to continue. This may not be the first time he's borrowed from his family, if he doesn't want you to talk to them that is a red flag. You can go to a meeting and find how to live with this. He feels better because he's unburdened himself to you. If you get support and talk about it, make sure money is safe, your anxiety should reduce.

Posted on:
Sat, 14/10/2017 - 10:40

Fi85

Joined:
2017-10-13

Thanks again merry go round for replying. It has made me feel better just writing this all down and hearing from other people that have gone through this. It's so hard to be so ruthless about it but I know deep down I need to be. I don't like not being able to trust him to pop to the shops for me (I don't drive and because of our working hours and daughter in bed not long after we get home he usually goes shopping at night after work with my bank card) I will just need to be more organised - I have got him to take same lunch break as me at work this week if I need to get bread and things so he can take me so I'll just keep doing that. It's dawning on me that this is really a life long thing and even if he doesn't relapse it's always going to be something I need to keep on top off just in case. This boy is lucky I love him so damn much. I've decided to make an app with my doctor, if for no other reason than to talk to someone face to face. I have a real issue with not being able to cry in front of people and I feel like if I talk to friends or family that will happen and it's too much for me right now. Can't see any meetings near me when looking on line but maybe the doc will know of one.

Thanks again, this is such a great place and so thankful for you guys that give up your time to help people going through this.

Posted on:
Sat, 14/10/2017 - 11:01

Merry go round

Joined:
2017-06-08

Hi you can still get him to shop, give him cash and you want receipts. Don't take on everything and leave him no responsibilities. He just has to deal with cash. It's ok to be upset, you're not invincible. You just have to learn a different way of doing things. Try not to constantly be checking up on him, that's no good for either of you. Life is for living not worrying, who cares what people think. If they're your friends they will be there. 

Posted on:
Sat, 14/10/2017 - 11:15

Fi85

Joined:
2017-10-13

Never even thought of cash! So used to switching everything.

Going to think up some fun things to do together, just the 2 of us, in the near future and try and get us back to normal, hoping this will help take his mind off it and also help us as a couple find the fun again!

Posted on:
Sat, 14/10/2017 - 13:23

Bal

Joined:
2015-04-18

Hi,

Giving him cash and the providing of receipts is a good way forward but dont give too much in the beginning.

As a bookies slots gambler £5 was enough for me to play at low stakes.

Personally i found it easier to deal with things if the cash aspect was removed. Sure it was difficult but do we need that coffee or that pint on the way home.....not always.

Put the cash card blocks in and see.how it goes. It was 9 months before Mrs Bal returned my cards to me.

Best wishes

Posted on:
Sat, 14/10/2017 - 16:47

Fi85

Joined:
2017-10-13

Thanks Bal for your input! He doesn't seem to be interested in going to bookies, was always online he played but I see your point - if he wants to gamble that much the bookies won't seem so bad anymore. Will definitely keep the amounts of cash I give him to a low. Thanks again

Posted on:
Sat, 14/10/2017 - 17:31

Amom

Joined:
2014-10-09

Hi F185

In response to your thread title... NEVER underestimate the power of this addiction regardless of what your gambler tells you. A compulsive gambler is in a horrible place mentally and you need to rely on what you see (not hear) and your gut instint in order to help both your husband and yourself.

Good for you for facing it head on. As you have read... Look after yourself first.

Cathyx

Posted on:
Sat, 14/10/2017 - 19:20

Lethe

Joined:
2016-12-10

Free credit reports list credit accounts. Try Clearscore (Equifax) Noddle (Callcredit) and Experian via MSE's Credit club.

You need access to his credit reports to make sure there aren't any hidden nasties. CG's are adept at 'forgetting' details especially details that leave the door open to further hidden gambling. It's absolutely fine not to trust him with anything financial without seeing independent proof everything is as he says. It's also absolutely fine not to be too understanding. He can get understanding and support at GA and counselling (Gamcare offer free sessions). If he's serious about stopping he will understand and comply willingly. Think about what you want and need to feel safe and insist on it.

Posted on:
Sat, 14/10/2017 - 19:37

NathanQ

Joined:
2017-10-14

HI

As a gambler myself i would say very unlikley that it will stop. i work as a chef and when i have a bad day i bet more and more. at any time he finds himself feeling down or worked  up the itch will be there. you need to get him to go in all bookies and self exclude also get him to ring his bank to stop transactions going out for betting accounts. if you get him to call gamcare they can get him to sign up to something were if he signs up to any new sites it will automatically ban him from signing up. i go away to rehab in january for 14 weeks this has been a hard choice for me but my family and son are worth so much more. its a horrible addiction thats so easy to get tied up into. theres free support out there councellors ect again you need to get him to call gamcare. i send my wishes and all the best for the future  

 

 

 

 

Posted on:
Sat, 14/10/2017 - 20:35

Fi85

Joined:
2017-10-13

Thank you everyone for the advice, I will start looking into everything you have all said and pass info onto him also regarding excluding himself everywhere. He has told me he has accounts with most, if not all, betting websites from years ago that he doesn't remember the log in for and the card details will be expired now but I feel if he did hit a stage of relapse he would find a way to get back into the accounts, I can't imagine it's as hard as he makes out and if he wants to he'll do it. Trying not to bombard him with it all at once but gradually discussing different aspects of help. Always have to wait until our daughter is in bed sleeping but she will be going camping with my sister next week for a few days so will give us that extra time to really get into it all.

Good luck with rehab Nathan, an amazing step to take. Hope it all goes how you want it to and gives you the tools you need to stop.

Posted on:
Sat, 14/10/2017 - 21:20

Lethe

Joined:
2016-12-10

Best option is a gambling blocker (you set the password) on every device he has access to. K9 is free and effective for laptops/PC's. Mixed reports here on effectiveness for phones. Some have found internet provider's controls to be useful but I can't say I've tried that route. If his phone can't be blocked effectively he will need to downgrade to a basic non internet enabled model.