So I’ve read a lot of the posts on here and I don’t think my husband is as bad as some people have had to deal with (my heart goes out to you) but I’m still struggling.
We’ve been together 9 years and he’s always done a bit of gambling here or there, he’s never got in debt, never missed a bill payment or borrowed money etc.
but since covid has happened and he’s not working as much and can’t do his usual Hobbies, he’s spending more and more time online slots, we seem to be going around in circles with the same argument about gambling but everything else in our relationship is fine. He earns a decent wage and has around £500 spare each month.
He was on gamstop because he spend £500 in one month and regretted it, then he used my details with my permission but spent £200 in one month, to me that’s to much so I put myself on gam stop. Now after a lot of research he’s found a ‘reputable’ website online that pays out etc but his bank statements say Kenya which scares the c**P out of me. Anyway, he’s spending about £50-£100 each month online, he has the spare money and pays for bits for us here and there. My concern is the time he spends on it, not every night but it’s still a fair amount.
am I worrying over nothing? He pays bills, treats us, spends £100 ish per month and doesn’t have debt, but my anxiety always thinks what if and it’s driving me mad. We are going round in circles of him saying I’ll stop, saying I can check his bank account whenever I want and he will stick to a budget, but the budget has increased from £30 to £50 to £100 a month, but he has the money to do it so am I over reacting? He says I am being controlling saying what he should spend his spare money on
Welcome to the forum.
I’m going to try to answer your post as a worst case scenario type which you can have a think about and ignore if you think its wrong or doesn’t apply to your husband.
First of all a bit about me. I am a gambling addict who hasn’t had a bet in the past 558 days. I have a good job and with it a nice salary. We live in a nice house, drive a nice car, go on foreign holidays, eat out, nice treats etc. I have had a gambling problem for a while and lost over £7k in one hour 559 days ago.
I gambled for many years without any issues and the idea of losing 500 pounds in a month would have scared the life out of me. It was only the introduction of roulette and online gambling that led me to losing the plot. Online is scary. No real money passes hands - its easy to lose track of spending. If you have a credit card with a large credit limit you can go bonkers whereas if you walk into a bookies with only 20 pounds and lose it you need to go home. Online is dangerous.
I was so sneaky and deceptive that my wife knew nothing of my gambling problems and certainly doesn’t know about my huge loss. My wife is an intelligent woman but gamblers are exceptional at hiding emotions, hiding debts and lying about where they’ve been and what they’ve been doing. My debt is nearly paid off now and my wife has no idea about it. I have bank accounts and credit cards she doesn't know about. All paperless of course. My point is in the eyes of my wife, I have nothing to hide. She is free to check any of our joint accounts - she will never find a gambling transaction or debt on any account she has access to. Be careful of this.
You mention that your husband signed up to Gamstop. This suggests that he is aware that he has a problem. He may play this down to you because he doesn’t want to see you worry.
There are many tell tale signs of gambling addiction. In couldn't sleep properly at my worst. I was distant in conversation because I was worrying about hiding debt or how I would pay it back without getting caught. I could be agitated, short tempered, disinterested in the things that I always loved doing. Have you noticed any tell tale signs with your husband.
Finally, you say he plays more now in lockdown now that he isn’t working as much. Perhaps he isn’t playing more its just that you notice it because he’s at home and you see him all day, everyday. Something to think about.
Starting recovery/abstinence is the best thing that I could have done. I sleep better, I’m happier, more content. Generally, I’m the person I used to be before gambling addiction got me. I’ll always be addicted and therefore, I can never gamble ever again. Thats fine. I accept those terms. I have a good life.
I hope your husband stops before it becomes a major problem.
If your instincts says its a problem then it most probably is.
Hi jane, definitely not over reacting . Lots of red flags in your post. He regretted signing up to gamstop so used your detail to access another account. When you signed up to gamstop he found a non gamstop site. And you've correctly identified that he is losing time to gambling, he's teetering on the edge. The behaviour of compulsive gambling is not just about money it's losing time manipulating people and situations, and then escalates to lying about gambling lying about how much money is being spent and lying about debt. Hes already starting the manipulation by accusing you of being controlling etc and escalating the budget to 3x the original budget and as things progress this will increase until debt is just around the corner. I'm not trying to be over dramatic but I'm trying to paint you a picture of what myself and many others have done and the harm and distress compulsive gambling causes. Give the advisors here a call get some advise, there is a family and friends chat room, talk to others who understand what you are going through and feeling. I wish you both all the best believe me once gambling is a problem it can't be controlled , I'm 10 months gamble free now I'm happy again, I hope he stops for both your sakes
No I dont think you are over worrying and you have to boil it down to the basics.
He has money to throw away does he? The last time I looked it doesnt grow on trees.
I dont know your relationship or how he tries to justify his gambling. I do know that gambling is a mugs game and a vice. I would go further and say its a monumental scam and a lie.
Online slots are the crystal meth of gambling. People on here will tell you about slots.
In a relationship I dont see that he is free to fritter his money away. Perhaps he needs some wake up calls and reality checks. Perhaps he would be shocked if you pretended you had bought an outrageously expensive handbag or lost money while out shopping...its all money and Im sure he wouldnt like the discomfort of something like that
Its a complex addiction . many gamblers including me would be scrabbling around in the street looking for dropped change but then go and gamble a fortune. Its a drug addiction more than anything and anyone on slots is delusional about the real odds.
I dont see it as an activity you can just let him do. I know the dangers and this forum is full of it.
Do you know what he has really lost? Im afraid to tell you that this addiction is manipulative and is stronger than even the most loving relationships until its properly dealt with.
I worried that you have been shrinking from it and even let him use your details. He needs to stop and he needs reality checks.
Its difficult to answer your question the way you have worded it. You seem very unsure yourself but that is understandable as I know how manipulative gamblers are. Nobody likes confrontation and unfortunately a gambling problem will create confrontation for breakfast
Be proud of who you are and what you expect from others. If you dont like it tell him so. Its not your fault and you are not to blame.
Best wishes from everyone on the forum
@jane72 Hello Jane,
Compulsive gambling or problem gambling is about so much more than money. Obviously money is what brings a lot of people to realise that they might have a problem and actually as his gambling doesn't interfere financially with your life you could say he's in control, but problem gambling gets progressively worse and that's when it really becomes a problem.
Other than what else that money could go on, the warning signs for me are signing up to gamstop and the regretting it and trying to find a way around it. With compulsive gambling comes compulsive lying and the gambling just becomes a way to escape from real life.
You could ask him to go for a period of time without gambling, say 6 weeks. Gambling will still be there and if it isn't a problem for him then 6 weeks is nothing to keep you happy and prove it's not a problem, but I suspect that it would be a problem in which case you could point him towards this forum or the GA forum. They have a list of 20 questions and if you answer yes to 7 or more than you could have a problem.
You also can't do it for him, he has to come to the conclusion for himself that he wants to stop. Hopefully he will.
Feel free to ask any questions about this addiction.
My partner is currently recovering from a gambling addiction. He lied to me for the last 2 years of our relationship where he said he was only watching football games (any form of sport) because he loves sport.. which he did. Little did I know it was a love attached to something so much more sinister.
Once he came clean and decided to stop gambling, I am now so scared that anything he wants to do turns into a need like it did with gambling. I agree with what Chris said above about trying a beta test of asking him to stop for a week just to see if he can because he is clearly getting some form of a dopamine hit from it regardless of it being "his own money"
What I would like to make clear to you is that for 2 years whilst he was gambling I knew there was something I couldn't quite trust him fully about I just never knew what it was... trust your anxiety and gut feeling. If something feels off and him playing seems like it's becoming a bit too frequent... then it probably is. Address it with him calmly in a non confrontational way and see if that leads to a conclusion of some sort before it takes over.
I wish you all the best!!
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