So long story short - my husband had be a hard gambler for over 25 years. I found out only two years ago (after being together for 8) he is self employed and always been able to explain the money away and I suppose I was blinded by love. Anyway fast forward - in the last 2 years we have probably been on a hamster wheel - I find the hard evidence, he promises to stop. Starts going GA... tells me he hasn’t re-lapsed.. even when I beg him please tell me if you’re struggling or have slipped - just be honest that’s the main thing and he never is until I uncover it. This last time I just packed his bags whilst he was at work because I knew if he came back to collect them I’d feel sorry for him and then he’d end up staying. We have 3 young kids between us - he has put me into so much debt I’m on a voluntary debt management plan. Anyway - two weeks after I’d kicked him out (he’s still promising he is not doing it and will do everything to get me back) I find out he is still gambling (this is only one month ago) so he starts GA again, puts the Gamban software on but now I can see he has purchased *** which as I understand can bypass gambling blockers. Always on messenger ... I thought at first he may be chatting to someone but you can gamble on there. What do I think - is this too much of a coincidence that he has just all of a sudden purchased this ****? I’d told him if he wants to come home we need more of his time (cos he works 7days a week - and never contributes or very small amounts) and I need a regular contribution towards the bills. He said he can’t commit to that and that I’m dictating and making demands ... so torn. What to do or think and now I’m being accused or making things worse (not told him I know about the ***) any advice would be so greatly appreciated. I’m exhausted - youngest is at CAHMs with anxiety and I know this has contributed massively to it but he just dismisses it 🙁
Good evening Hayleybobs and welcome to the Forum,
I am really sorry to hear what you have been through, it sounds like you worked really hard in supporting your husband to the point that it’s impacted not only on your financial situation but also your wellbeing.
I am therefore really pleased you have come here for support because right now I really feel you deserve some support for you. You have a lot on you plate, with not only supporting your husband but also your youngest who is struggling with anxiety. I’m not surprised you’re feeling exhausted as you’ve given so much of you in trying to support the family that your own well being and self care has taken a back seat.
I would like you to know that our services also supports families affected by gambling and as part of our support that includes free 1 to 1 support that can help you with the difficult decisions you face and also ensure your wellbeing needs are met too. If this is something that would interest you I recommend you call one of our Advisers free on 0808 8020 133 or contact us via our NetLine It would be really good to talk to you, give you space to talk and see how we can better support you through this difficult time.
It sounds messy alright but living with addiction is messy. From what you have written it does sound like your instincts are correct. If he wants to be a part of your life then he needs to commit to recovery. First step in doing this is complete honesty and transparency. When dealing with any addict trust has to go out the window and anyone honestly tackling their addiction will understand this.
In my relationship my partner can see my emails, bank account, credit reports etc anytime she wants. Even today it still makes me feel uncomfortable that I have to be monitored like some child but it is absolutely necessary for the family. People who resist this are usually trying to leave the door open to future gambling.
So you are not going mad, you just care for this person who puts their addiction first every time and it hurts. You can get counselling via gamcare or you can look up GamAnon who do meetings for people who know or live with compulsive gamblers. Keep getting support as its clear your husband does not give it.
Haley let me start by saying a huge welcome and your bravery at reaching out. From reading what you say I'm in total agreement with Joe...follow your instincts, your husband appears to be doing everything he can to CONTINUE his gambling not the reverse. He appears to be fooling himself that he can have it all. That's fine if he wants to fool himself. .just don't let him fool you. Protect what you have, leave your blinkers off and you set the boundaries of what you will accept or not accept. Most gamblers will push the boundaries as in "partner will be upset/angry /hurt but I can soft soak with my stories and lies"..again that's gambling albeit with people's emotions. He will not change unless he wants it and by the sound of it he doesn't yet. But you can change and that's important, set your boundaries. Look in the mirror and be honest with yourself. ."how do I want things to be in a year's time, what will I be like in 5 years time if things stay as they are ".Above all and this probably the hardest lesson to learn. .Gamblers are liars/manipulative /and very very good at convincing partners and the world that everything is all ok.
no you’re not going mad, but you will send yourself crazy constantly checking up on him, searching for signs.
Gamblers take no responsibility, they play the blame game. They will do anything to gamble. It takes a real conscious effort to stop. To surrender. When this happens they will need blocks in place, relinquish access to money. Money is their drug.
If you can manage without his finances he will see that as a ‘green light’. His mindset sees that his money is his to gamble.
At this moment in time you need to put all your effort into yourself and the children. Keep things calm and safe.
Try to stop thinking about what he’s doing.
Secure yourself financially. Credit reports. You’ve already got a dmp, so make sure he can’t take debt against the house or your name. You can join gamstop too if he might gamble in your name. Any debt advice call stepchange.
As for boundaries, I would see how he behaves now he is out of the house. You can set rules if he wants to see the children.
From my experience there is no point in asking a gambler to stop or choose. You can tell them how you feel and what is acceptable to you. If you lay boundaries or ground rules you have to stick to them.
Living with a partner who gambles affects you. You need support and guidance. Gamcare offer counselling, gamanon is f&f who have real life experience of what you’re dealing with. Take all the help you need.
So just to re-iterate Hayleybobs. You've taken a massive step reaching out on here. There's lots of support for both gamblers and people affected by gambling. The one advantage of gamblers replying to your post is that they have the crystal ball into your future that you don't have. We've been there/ said every lie that's ever been written known to man. It is very difficult when someone is standing in front of you that you love dearly telling you things that you so want to believe are true but be on your guard. Eg of gamblers lies to your face
I haven't a problem /I'm not like the other addicts/I can control this anytime I want/ it's your fault because you're stressing me/stop talking on forum's about me I want it kept private / ect ect ect.
I'm pretty sure you would have heard some of those if not all, along with ten million others.
Keep getting support. Look out for yourself and kids only. If he wants what he says he wants then only him putting his own effort into his addiction will achieve that.
In a sentence, leave him now as I was exactly the same as your husband and he will make your life and your childrens a misery. Start afresh and make it a clean break.
'Us' gamblers will lie, deceive, cheat, land you with debt, and continue to throw our money away - but blame you. Make you feel guilty. Make you feel part of this is your doing. Make you give us 100 more chances. And carry on gambling no matter what promises have been made. You already k now this but I can see that it isn't easy for you to stay strong.
Deep down, you know the truth about all of this but it is so upsetting to accept and believe it - why isn't he contributing, which in itself is shocking - you know why, its because he is gambling it all away. That alone should make you throw him out and don't let him back. Do not give in to his guilt trips and excuses as you will quickly find out its all nonsense.
He will try to blame you, for his gambling, for breaking up the family, and anything else but you must be firm. He will say you are controlling, you don't give him space, you don't respect his privacy. He will continue to lie and cheat and deceive and carry on gambling.
'Normal' families share the excess money between them, after all bills are paid (you should also have a separate bank account in your name NOT his name for savings). He should have a weekly allowance and you the same. Do you actually know what he earns; he works 7 days a week? Have you seen his actual bank statements? Reading your story, I am not convinced that he works 7 days as a part of me wonders if he simply says that so he has the opportunity to gamble. I know people who are shocked when they finally find out what their partners were earning - and throwing money away gambling, while the family struggled by.
Leave him and start afresh....it won't be easy but in the long run it is the best thing for your kids and for you. It seems that he has had chance after chance after chance and he still gambles and lies and deceives and is sneaky and will be sneakier - so ask yourself the question 'what will change'.....and the answer is nothing.
The very best of luck with this heartbreak.
Leave and look back in a couple of years and think 'thank goodness I did it then' rather than I wish I'd done it earlier.
Trust me, I know.
Good for you Joe......honesty and trust. I wish you well mate and appreciate your refreshing honest summary. It has to be that way or its back to the nightmare of gambling addiction.
All i can say is take every bit of advice posted from everyone above because right now you're staring down the barrel of a life of misery. For someone to tell you you're dictating & making demands he can't commit to when you ask him to make regular contributions toward household bills says it all.
Take it from me ( a CG ) these are not the words of someone who's even scratched the surface in trying to stop. Take MGRs & Mickpas advice, protect yourself financially, get credit reports & be fully aware of any outstanding debts you've been kept in the dark about. As MGR rightly says if he wants to see the children you can set the rules.
I know how hard it must be, but with the right support through Gamcare & GamAnon you're future, & your life will get so much better but you need to be strong & seek all the support you can get. Please speak to a Gamcare adviser who can point you in the right direction.
Sincere Best Wishes