Hi there, I’m new to this, although have been trying to help my partner with his gambling problem for almost a year. I’m just so lost as to how to help anymore. I don’t want to loose him but I can feel I’m loosing myself. He told me about it in the beginning because he was so close to ending his life. At the time I was so grateful he opened up to me that he has this problem I just opened my arms and said it is ok we will get through this. In the beginning we did all the things, sought help I took financial control and we budgeted our finances to start a plan to pay of the thousands of pounds debt. He has never taken or asked for my money. But along this road things have started to corrode. I have only tried to talk to him and asked him to be honest. No matter how bad the situation we can deal with it if he is honest. The first lapses I was ok with, because I could see he was trying and he told me. He even after much persuasion told his parents. I recognise what a big and courageous thing that was. But recently he decided he wanted to take back control and said I was making him feel worse by worrying and by asking if he’d been gambling. I agreed and said for two weeks I wouldn’t ask. And I didn’t. But then he didn’t stick to the agreement we had about showing me his finances so we can know he is coping and not gambling. After much anguish and upset from me he told me he had been gambling. This has happened a couple of times to be honest. I want to be here for him but I feel like I’m being shut out. Everything else about our relationship is great. I love him and I do believe he loves me. But he’s not doing the things I’m asking and if I get upset or frustrated he just tries to move the conversation on. We live together in my flat. I’ve tried to encourage him to get out and make friends as he moved to this city for me, but now has no friends other than mine which we do see sometimes. I’m trying to understand this from his perspective, I get from all the helpful posts on here this is a disease and it’s not the path people want but find themselves on. Maybe he’s in pain but if he doesn’t open up or want me to see anymore what he’s doing with his money or if he’s gambling or not, what can I do? Sorry this is such a long post. I’m just so desperate... clinging on for hope...
Sorry to hear about your troubles. The thing I get when I am reading this is if he does not want to be helped now, how will you be able to help? Gamblers generally only change when they are so far down the rabbit hole that they cant get further down and they need to turn to go back up. Abstaining by will power alone is a very hard job as we all drift into the subconscious where all of this gambling addiction is hardcoded and works with a complete mind of its own. Ask him. Do you really want to quit? Then look for the answer. If it is no you will be able to detect it and you can make your own mind up on where to go from here. One thing with gambling addiction is that it is losing focus on everything else and only spending time on what is most highly prioritised for that moment.
Make yourself a priority first. Have all your plans in place then you can see if it is possible for him to join those plans and if not at least you have done your very best and should not blame yourself.
Never blame yourself. This is not your fault.
Hi Eva... I am a compulsive gambler. I don't know what it is like to be in your shoes... but here is a few thoughts from my side of the fence.
Iv'e been addicted for many years, but in recent years my family has completely stopped asking me whether I am gambling or not, partly ( I would imagine) because they are just fed up with it all and partly ( I would imagine) that they don't want to put me in a position where they have to listen to my lie's. If they don't ask I don't have to lie. The reality of course is that they know I have been at it, because my contact is rare, birthday presents turn into birthday cards only, I never do anything or go on holiday etc etc etc.
I guess what am trying to suggest is that, in reality, there is nothing that you can do to stop your partner gambling and personally I wouldn't even try. If your partner doesn't want to talk about it, then leave it be, whats the point in trying to get blood out of a stone. What you can do is make sure that the consequences of his gambling does not effect your financial health. What you can do, is point out how the consequences of his gambling is effecting you and the relationship you have. You have to decide for yourself whether you can live his gambling or not. If at some point your partner wants to stop gambling, it has to come from him and him alone.... its his problem. You will see it and you will feel it, if change is happening but its not something you can do for him.
All the best.