So I am the wife of someone with a gambling issue.
It started back in 2015 when me and my now husband wanted to buy a house together, long story short, our mortgage was declined as he had some betting on his account, I didn’t think anything off it as I just assumed they were football bets etc and we agreed to reapply in a few months time.
The time came to reapply, and he was abit snappy about it, I don’t know why but I checked his bank account online, and saw a loan I knew nothing about for £4000, stupidly assuming it was for an engagement ring. After confronting him he said he’d been gambling, but didn’t know how much of how long for. Turns out it had been going on over a year.
I spent that evening firstly calming him down as he was in such a state and then going through his accounts etc, it was eye watering just how much he’d spent, and he’d used credit cards, overdrafts and loans to fund this.
At the time he said he didn’t have a problem, but for me, spending approx 25k is a huge problem, anyway he had a few CBT session but said they weren’t working as he knew what to say to make them leave him alone. After lots of broken promises and more lies, I realised he hadn’t stopped atall and was now hiding it via his phone bill and PayPal...
I ended things for a year. But always stayed in touch as I was worried about him and he promised me I was the love of his life and he would change.
In 2017 we got back together and things were okay, he proposed to me at the end of the year and we got married the following year in 2018. As far as I could see he had not gambled since we got back together.
Fast forward to October 2020 and I discovered he’d been gambling again, he said he was down, very stressed and this was his way to escape, still insisting it wasn’t a gambling addiction but a way to escape because of how he felt.
He has always said it’s never been about winning money... anyway, at this point I was 7 months pregnant, and another 5k had been spent... agin he thought he’d only been doing this a couple of months, but in fact it was 11 months in total. Again, I sorted the loan he’d taken out and asked him to get help, the only help he agreed to was to speak to the doctor about his mood who then prescribed him any depressants. Again, he told me he had stopped and he just needed to talk about how he was feeling.
Now here I am, with a 9 week old baby, and he started gambling again last week. Only £80, but that’s besides the point.
I know lockdown has been he’s on everyone, but I’m not sure I can do this anymore.
He has said it’s because I don’t show him any love, affection etc, but how can I when I don’t trust him, and now he’s doing this with my little girl in the house, and that’s a whole new ball game.
I contacted Gamcare today who have put me in touch with a local counselling service, but I think I’m ready to leave now.
It breaks my heart as I do love him and life hasn’t been easy for him, but I’m only 30, now with a 9 week old, and I don’t trust him. I too don’t feel loved or good enough because of all of this.
I left home for a couple of days and when I came home other things that we argue about such as the chores etc had all been done, he cooked me dinner and looked after our baby so I could have a bath, and that’s all lovely, but I always thought that’s what a partnership was. He thinks we can fix this, but has said he would go to couples therapy, to help him explain to me how I make him feel.
I feel the Blame is always pushed onto me, I don’t see him trying to get help, or trying to make this better.
I have no idea what to do, I feel numb and broken, and all of my friends are now saying they have worried about me for a long day as they believe he manipulates me and mentally abuses me by letting me believe this is my fault and making me feel guilty.
Life seems so dark right now 🙁
He gave me his debit card etc, but still manages to find a way to do it, even though he knew I’d find out.
A few years back I almost took my own life as he made me feel horrific, he’s had a really tough life as he had to have a transplant at 19, but I’m not sure I can take anymore, it’s like a split personality.
Hi... am so sorry to hear about your situation. I can't imagine how it must feel, especially with a new born. Hopefully other mum's in similar situations will also offer you their thoughts and wisdom.
As for me, I am a compulsive gambler and still very much a work in progress.
From what you say, your husband is still very much in the thick of it and doing what many compulsive gamblers do and that's play the "blame game". You don't make him feel anything. Its his feelings and his responsibility to manage them. Does this make sense?? Your ok, his response to his feelings is his problem, not yours.
As an example, I use to blame my out of control gambling on my mum for something that happened more than 30 years ago. Am not young anymore lol My mum gave me short shrift on that, but at the time, I wasn't willing to accept responsibility for my behaviour. Nowadays, if I gamble, I take the consequences on my own shoulders and don't make excuses and don't blame other people. It's me.
You have nothing to feel guilty about. Your journey is about realising that your ok, just as you are.
All the best with whatever you decide to do.. S.A
Hi Kay Kay congratulations on your baby!
This will go against your instincts. Don’t sort out the loan, don’t pay anything regarding gambling. That’s his debt his responsibility, it will make him realise that he has to sort it out not you. That doesn’t mean his money is his alone and just for debts and gambling. He still has to maintain his share of household expenses.
if he’s willing it’s recommended that a gambler who wants to stop, hands over finances. That means all access. Credit reports and financial transparency. Money is their drug. Cash and receipts or a card that you can’t borrow or overspend on. You can monitor transactions.
The blame game is very common. Remembering card numbers is common. Lying, manipulation, all common traits. Mood swings, depression, anger.
I was in a similar situation when I had my daughter, 18 years ago. Remortgaged the house, that just allowed him more credit, more money to gamble. It doesn’t help.
Put yourself first, concentrate on the baby.
If he can’t pay his debts he should contact stepchange.
Gamanon offer advice and support, all f&f of gamblers who have been through this.
Gamcare offer counselling for you as well as your partner.
GA for your partner, all online now, any time of day.
set some boundaries and stick to them.
Thanks for posting and welcome to the forum . Sorry to hear that you have been going through what sounds like a very tough time.
The breakdown of trust and the compulsive lying which goes together with compulsive gambling is such a difficult thing to deal with but you are never alone and there's always a lot of hope and support available to you .
It's important to understand that this is nothing to do with you and that you should feel no blame or guilt . This is his trauma that he has to deal with and if he engages fully in recovery then he will be able to overcome this and move forward. Take this time on your own self care and being the strongest you can for your child.
Only he can make the changes necessary and only him doing this and proving that he is making these changes within recovery will prove and show that he can be trusted again.
Please feel free to contact the GamCare Helpline on 0808 8020 133 or Netline to explore the additional support available to you. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week if you would like to talk to one of the GamCare HelpLine advisers.
All the best and take care.