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Can it get better?

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#1 Posted on:
Tue, 14/11/2017 - 21:15



Hi everyone,


I had some good advice on a previous thread and went onto a web chat Sunday night which was also good to get some more advice, I think this time I'm after peoples opinions of what happens from now, can it ever get better? Can we have a”normal” life? A bit of background – Boyfriend has a 12 year history with online gambling, we've been together 3 1/2 years and I've known for a long time, we've had a lot of conversations about it and empty threats from me that I won't have the conversation again and I will leave if we do, which obviously hasn't happened. He went to counselling earlier this year and I thought he's got it under control, he told me Thu night he'd gambled that day and lost £1000, and said he's done it 2 more times on top of this since he finished counselling (winning one time, losing the other) and the longest he's gone ever is 3 months not gambling. Since the conversation he has said he will start going to GA, he has signed all bills to now come out of my account (he will transfer me the half of his money for them, I never had any concerns about this before and 100% believe he paid everything on time, he said if I'm going on forums and things and first thing I will be advised if to sort everything financial out myself so he wanted to do that) and has put a block on his phone that only I know the password for to stop him going on any gambling sites, downloading any apps etc.


This has been the first time we've had the conversation and I've actually taken a step back to think about myself and what I want. I've told him I feel like I'm putting my life on hold for him now and we cannot make any decision that ties us together (planning to get a dog, have kids etc.) until this is under control, and I said (when I was angry) that I resent him that I am having to access support for something that is nothing to do with me. Someone on the web chat said it sounds as if I'm treating this as an illness that will get better and disappear, and I'm trying to come to terms with the fact that if we stay together this will be something out of my control we have to think about constantly, I feel like I'll be questioning all of his financial decisions and if he's in a good or bad mood I will be thinking if its because he's gambled. I think at the moment I'm trying to think practically what would happen if we stayed together or if we split up and weighing up my options. I really desperately don't want to leave him and I want a future together as he says he does too, but then he gambles and it just comes crashing down around me again that the illness is more important/has more of a hold on him than the thought of our future.

Posted on:
Wed, 15/11/2017 - 08:16

Merry go round


Hi worries this is how I see things. I married someone I knew gambled. Therefore when I found out how badly he gambled I sought help. I believe that I had to accept responsibility for my behaviour. I continued that relationship. I'm not responsible for anyone but me. I chose to stay. I did what I could to change my behaviour. Idle threats, arguing, blaming myself, all had to stop. I cannot change him, fix him, stop him. But I can change me. So no half measures. All money direct to my account. Not half, not just the bills. I went to gamanon and he GA. I don't think thinking 'this is nothing to do with me' helps. If you continue same behaviour, the cycle continues. So if you want things to get better you have to change. I can't tell you what to do, I can only tell you what might help. A compulsive gambler is a compulsive liar. He will tell you what he wants you to hear. He has to actively seek help. In my experience doing it alone is a smoke screen. You need to continue learning as much as you can about addiction. You need to see changes. Don't ignore what he's doing, don't say 'I'm not having that conversation'. Communication is key. For change you have to give it time. It can get better but you have to admit to your own behaviour, stop ignoring the power of addiction. It will drag you in too. Your partner was honest initially and said he'd gambled for 12 years. This is a tough road and you have to take control. No compulsive gambler can say 'I will never gamble again'  they can only put up as many barriers as possible, seek help and hand over the finance. It's up to you if you want to do that. I was married with 2 children and I was prepared to do that. I am also under no illusion that my cg is an addict and could relapse any time. Therefore no access to money. If he has any he provides receipt. In my eyes it all or nothing. You want to continue, you want it to get better. So take control, do this together. Keep talking here and with your partner.

Posted on:
Wed, 15/11/2017 - 10:59



We can't predict whether, when or if a relapse might occur. Trying to second guess is a slow route to insanity. If you want to make it work you will need to be on top of everything financial permanently with full access to every account shown on his credit reports (check all three regularly). I would show Mr L the bank accounts anytime he likes but he will never have unscrutinised access to them again. As time goes on it's not constantly in anyone's face. It just becomes the new normal but only you can decide if you want to live with the level of vigilance needed to feel reasonably safe.

I don't go to support groups but I read everything I could get my hands on about the addiction. Knowledge is power. Learn about what you're up against, think about what you want and stick to it.

Posted on:
Mon, 20/11/2017 - 08:33



Hi worries
I am a recovering compulsive gambler and what the others wrote is without doubt true,there has to be total transparency for a relationship to work.
As for 'normal' addicts are not normal we function in a different way to other folk, that being said we are not all bad people, I have met some amazing people that are recovering addicts it's just that they are wired differently.
There can be a life a very forefilling one but it has to be one played wholly differently.
Reading your post I would say you are both second guessing each other and that will result in a form of mental chess being played out.
I have been with my wife for twenty six years in that time I have done some truly terrible acts and I am deeply ashamed of them. Our relationship works today because we share everything and I mean everything,no stone or emotional feeling is left unturned, Sarah has control over all the financial aspects simply because it works that way.
For me that's wonderful because it means I can rest assured that my hard earned is not used to feed addiction.
Addiction will be part of my life, that is something that is and has to be accepted.
I hope you find from whatever your life choices are happiness and contentment.