My partner and I started going out aged 16/17, and have been together for 8 years. About a year into our relationship he started gambling small amounts and I thought nothing of it. He has been gambling ever since on and off. He has taken out credit cards, pay day loans, normal loans, borrowed money, stolen money from me, and blown his whole wages to pay for it. Every time he says it’s the last time and will never happen again. And I believe him. When it finally comes out that he’s done it again he has a breakdown because he thinks I will leave (I threaten it every time). We have about £15K of debt that we’re still paying for to cover all the slip ups. I finally broke up with him 2 years ago as I’d had enough, but we got back together after a month. He said he never wants to lose me and will never bet again. Again, I believed him. He was a mess the month we were apart so I honestly thought he understood and would change.
He had 18 months of not gambling and I assumed he had finally stopped. We brought our first house together early this year. 3 months later he started gambling again. He always does it around spring, then his birthday in august, my birthday in October, and then again at Christmas. We have enough money each month to get by so it’s not like he’s desperate. He says he doesn’t have a problem and will never do it again. I’ve now found out he has spent £14,000 in the last 6 weeks. We are now about £25,000 in debt because of his gambling. I feel like every time he unintentionally blames me too because he always says he wanted to buy me something etc. He says he isn’t blaming me but that’s how it feels. I always feel like it’s my fault? I don’t know what to do. It doesn’t matter how much I tell him he can’t do it anymore and I don’t want anything from him, he still does it. Every time is the ‘last time’ and he won’t admit to having a problem. I’m lost...
We’ve tried website exclusions and me taking his money off him every month but he still finds a way. I don’t know how much more I can take. I love him to bits but don’t trust him at all. Am I meant to keep putting up with it and believe that every time is the last? That one day he will change?
He doesn’t drink smoke or do drugs either. He’s always 100% sober 😪
Thanks for reading
that’s a lot of money in 6 weeks for someone who doesn’t have a problem.
You talk of debt as ‘we’, this is not your debt it’s his. Once he takes responsibility things may change. You have to stop believing what he says, he cannot say ‘this is the last time’, he doesn’t know what tomorrow will bring.
The more we help them with their debt , the more access they have to credit.
Handing over finances can help but he has to want to. Cash and receipts to the penny. Online blocks, no access to accounts. Sign up to gamstop. These all show willingness to change.
Compulsive gambling is progressive and results in larger bets for larger returns, this never works. Compulsive gamblers don’t know when to stop, enough is never enough.
Get some help from gamcare or gamanon . He should go online and find a GA meeting (most are zoom at the moment) or counselling from gamcare.
Denial is all part of addiction, so he will say he doesn’t have a problem.
Think about what you really want for yourself and get some help. From experience this doesn’t get better without help or overnight.
@annonpartner I think it says a lot when you're on here looking for help and he's not. He will never be able to stop for you, only for himself. You leaving or not will not really have a long term affect on him regarding his gambling but it will you. It might shock him short term but if he's going back to it on a regular basis, where's the consequence? Not that even consequences are enough a lot of the time , but every time you don't follow through with something you lose a little bit of yourself.
Although the money for a compulsive gambler isn't actually the main problem it is still a problem and I'm pretty sure £14000 would take a good few months to earn, maybe a year for some people, so to lose that in 6 weeks does sound like his gambling is getting desperate again.
I lost my wife because of my gambling, repeating the same things time and time again, each time getting worse. She's far happier now with someone who isn't a CG. Ask yourself that question, would you be too? Life is too short, you are too young to think this is it. Unless he gets help, and for me GA is the best way, you'll get dragged down with him.
Please look after yourself.
Thank you everyone for your advice I really appreciate it.
He’s said that looking at it he probably does have some sort of problem but won’t get help as he’s too embarrassed. All honestly I don’t think he believes he has a problem I think he was just saying it for me.
I now have all the log in details to his bank and credit cards and his credit report. He is withholding the details to 1 bank he has because he refuses to let me see the gambling history. He will show me all transactions when I ask to see them from the 1st Jan onwards though so I guess that’s something?
He already works full time Monday to Friday but he’s applied for other jobs for evenings and weekends to try and pay the debt. Unfortunately I’m mostly self employed with no government support at all so the timing couldn’t be worse. All the household bills come out of my account. He said he would give me money towards them but he’s £4K into his overdraft... Do I take the money to stop me getting into debt, but put him further into his overdraft, or tell him not to pay me anything because I know he has no money either?!
Really struggling this time round. Would be so much easier if I didn’t love him 🙁
It's very common for a gambler who doesn't want to give up to tell us what we want to hear to get us off their backs so they can carry on in peace.
If he really wants to beat this it's not acceptable for anything financial to be off limits to you. It's also not acceptable to say he's too embarrassed to get help.
Keeping control of his finances is a big red flag. You shoud be the one making sole decisions on which if any transfers are to be made. It doesn't sound as though he's ready to give up yet.