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How to fully protect my family and ensure he never gambles again?  



I separated from my husband in October when I found out he had run up £30k on credit cards over a 5 year period gambling. 

He has been living with his parents at weekends  since that time who monitor his credit files and have full access to his bank account and he swears he has not gambled since. He has had counselling through gamcare which has now stopped due to him doing so well. He is disgusted with himself and what he has stood to lose, we have two children and he is an amazing daddy so I feel I need to give him another chance. He has got the debt down to nearly £20k.

He has agreed his wages can come to me and that I will then arrange payment of money back to his account to pay the credit card debt. I will access his credit files.

He will go to gamblers anonymous meetings when he works nearer to home from June time, he currently works away in the week.

Is there anything else I need to get him to do?

Is it unrealistic to think he won’t do this again?


Posted : 14th April 2019 8:16 am
Merry go round

Hi one thing I would never do is pay money into my husband's bank account that he still has access to. I would pay everything from my account. You can't stop him if he makes the choice to gamble. You should try and find a gamanon meeting to give you support and advice. Yes it's unrealistic to think never again, but what you can do is think 'what will I do?'. 

Posted : 14th April 2019 8:50 am

Thanks, I will have full access to his bank account though to see the money is going to the credit card companies and will have log in details to all his credit cards so can check the balance etc. I do not want his credit cards being paid from my account as I am in no way taking responsibility for them. 

Posted : 14th April 2019 9:23 am
Cynical wife

There is no way on this good earth that you can make sure that he never gambles again. He may decide that just for today he won’t gamble and act accordingly but that’s him, not you. 

Echo MGR that if he has access to a bank account with funds, the most likely outcome is that you will find out about the gambling afterwards when it’s too late.

The aim is to protect yourself financially as best you can, not to control whether or not he uses. Therefore if family money is in your name and he has no access, bills and outgoings can get paid and that family money is not available to him to use. 

His credit card debt is not a family expense, nor is it a priority, it comes last on the list. Ditto his other gambling debts. Budget for household expenses and usual savings first at the reasonable standard of living that you deserve and expect, do not volunteer that you or the children go short. If there’s anything over, he can slowly pay off what he owes.

Gambling is an emotional problem with financial consequences and the whole family get caught up. He probably isn’t a marvellous husband or partner because he’s been too busy using to be there for you, plus all the lies and manipulation that goes with addiction and the financial danger that he’s exposed you to.  It is possible to learn how to live a better life, how to have better responses to the addict, how to take care of yourself. As MGR says, start regular GamAnon and or Co-Dependants Anonymous meetings. 

Posted : 14th April 2019 9:47 am

Thank you, I have an account in my name only that we each transfer money in for the mortgage and bills, he has no access to that account so can’t touch it. The sole purpose of keeping his account open will be for the credit card payments to go out off, when the debt is paid off that account will close. He earns good money so 18 months it should mostly be paid. I think a lot of the time I am a mug for staying but he is trying really hard to get out of this mess and is children adore him.

Posted : 14th April 2019 10:41 am

Hi Louise40.

Thats a good start to protect yourself and your family because from that position of strength you can move on. My view is that you can be a great help but only from a position of knowledge and strength

If he is willing to recover he will feel a serenity and a relief that he is getting help and somebody else is controlling the finances . It is not about treating him like a baby...its about saving his relationships and any quality of life. 

The trust he loses is actually a small price to pay when faced with the power of a devastating addiction.  Gamblers are not inherently bad people but they fell into the grip of an addiction which works just like substance abuse. The cravings are more than the money or a wish to win..its an urge to get the adrenaline or dopamine feeling which the body becomes dependant on.

Keep discussing it with him and do a few exercises like getting him to talk through a gambling session. He will realise it makes no sense whatsoever when faced with the reality of it all. It was never an income scheme or a get it back later scheme because that would suggest some sort of reliabilty..Its called gambling for a reason and it is an irresponsible act. You have both seen the devastation it causes

There is no room for complacency but I dont want to scare you because it can be controlled and beaten. The mind does heal in a full recovery and he will begin to wonder why he ever did it.

He should feel a sense of pride that he can provide receipts and live on a strict allowance. Its a small price to pay when looking at the bigger picture.

Best wishes from everyone on the forum

Posted : 15th April 2019 5:51 pm
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