My boyfriend is turning 21 in a few days. We’ve been together for 5 years, and the past 2 years have been awful for his gambling addiction. He has lost up to 10k in the years previous, but the last two years he lost 50K, then won 110k, and now he is down to 50K. Tonight he lost 13k within an hour. He is extremely suicidal, and the thing he fears most is his mom finding out just how serious this is. I am only 20 years old and I’m looking after 20K of his money. I wish I could help or fix him but as I said, I am still so young and I am not a professional. He thinks the only way he is going to be happy and not suicidal is if he wins back the 60k he has lost. I really don’t know what to do anymore.
It sounds like you may be feeling under pressure and at times overwhelmed by your partner's problems, so it is good that you are sharing your concerns here. Your post shows how you are very close to the ups and downs of his gambling experiences, his despair and his anxiety, and you are trying to support him by holding his money. You express your wish to help him and also you may be seeing that you both could potentially benefit by using more support. Our forum members are supportive and can share their experiences and thoughts with you.
GamCare telephone counselling appointment services are also available to partners like you, so if you'd like a free weekly 50 minute 1-2-1 telephone session, that can be arranged at no cost to you. Just call us on our freephone 0808 8020 133 or netline and we can look to see what options are local to your area, also video call sessions are available if your prefer online appointments. Or you can call our 24 hour freephone just to chat about how you are feeling about your partner's gambling problem, if you like.
One of your main concerns is your partner's suicidal feeling, so you might like to look at these resources too:
Confidential support and advice to young people struggling with thoughts of suicide, and anyone worried about a young person:
HOPELINEUK freephone: 0800 068 4141
Email: [email protected]
Opening hours: 9am – 10pm weekdays, 2pm – 10pm weekends, 2pm – 10pm bank holidays
Shout 85258 is a free, confidential, 24/7 text messaging support service for anyone who is struggling to cope.
Hi sydneyandrews. Sorry for your problems and at such a young age to be supporting someone with an addiction is really tough and you need to make sure you are looking after yourself as well . You can help and support but you cannot fix him he needs professional help and he needs to be having support from a forum like this or gamblers anonymous or both like a lot of us do . I don't want to scare or upset you with what I say but he is ill if he gets help now he can get better but it has to come from inside him. I want you to try and take a step back and answer a question. Do you think of he wins back the money he will stop and be happy and forget all thoughts of gambling ? From my experience and the experience of many many others on here.....he wont....Winning can be as bad as losing he's already proved it , he won 110 k over half has gone already. You have 20 k of his money that's a big responsibility what are you going to do when he lying on the floor crying begging threatening to do things when you refuse to give him the money. I'm afraid to say that this addiction is more than money addiction is a mental illness, read some stories on here of people including myself who are starting recovery ,all stages of recovery. I was in a despairing, anxious , depressed state in a hole, now I'm nearing 4 months gamble free I'm happier calmer more stable. I've had to work hard to do it but it's so worthwhile, I know, you should know addiction is for life there is no taking it for granted . Just like alcoholics cannot drink not even one drug addicts cannot have a one off high, compulsive gamblers cannot gamble for fun !! Ring the Gamcare advisors get yourself some support and help and advice on how to deal with. I wish you both all the best and you both get help and recovery for your boyfriend.
I feel for you because this is not your fault. You have a job on and need to realise now that you have a boyfriend with a very dangerous addiction.
You need to protect yourself financially and look after that money which must be secured away from him in a separate account in your name only
Its hard to tell you what you may want to hear. You can not let this be a blind love. I like to think you will help him but he needs to be READY to stop. If he isnt ready to hand all control to you and get professional help you have a real problem on your hands.
So you need your eyes wide open and build up a support network of family and friends.
With more advice about gambling addiction you can make your decisions which must protect you first. Im not saying he is a bad person but an addiction has taken over his mind.
He is gambling with your future and your love...he needs reality and you must tell him that gambling is no longer acceptable to you if you are safe to do so.....he needs to wake up and do the cold turkey to heal his mind
Then he may save the only important things in his life like relationships.
You can never be complacent again...do you understand? Ideally his wages need to come directly to you and you pay everything...he lives on a sandwich and clothes allowance providing full receipts or you can assume he is still at it...his credit report must be checked and exclusions from every gambling den
Best wishes from everyone on the forum
Well done for seeking help and support, you are living with someone who suffers from addiction which is never easy. The addiction comes first and needs lies and secrecy to live and breathe.
As you have seen addicts can be very manipulative, hence the message that he does not want his mum to know, i.e you must never tell my Mum so he is using emotional blackmail to get you to tow the line.
The good news is he can battle this addiction and turn things around, the bad news is it is all down to him. He has to want it or he will be back gambling his life away. This is out of your hands, all you can do is offer support.
Living with an addict is so difficult and stressful its vital you also get support, GamANon have virtual meetings if you visit their site and you will get to speak to others like you who are going through this. I would recommend that as your starting point.