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Do I stay or go?  


Hi, I've joined a while ago but wasn't sure whether to post or not but here goes. 

My husband has a gambling addiction. We've been together for 7 years, married for 2. Have two beautiful boys who are 4 and 10 months old. We've recently moved in to a bigger house and everything was perfect. We have everything we've ever wanted. 

Until about a month ago. My husband admitted he's been gambling again. The first time was 5 years ago just before our first son was born. I didn't notice at first as I didn't need any financial help from him. But he told me once I asked why he wasn't contributing to buying baby stuff. From then on we decided all his wages would go in my bank and I was in full control of all the finances. It sounds controlling but it's worked for us for the past 5 years. But anyways, a month ago he came out and told me he'd gambled again. He had money set aside in a savings account which we were using to save for a mortgage. I trusted him that he would be ok with this money in his bank. He opened up a new account and said he's changed and I can trust him. Stupid me believed him. He lasted a couple of weeks with this money in his bank. Then over the course of a month he'd blew it all. £ here, £ there. All on online sites. When he told me I felt sick. I wasn't angry or shocked either which was strange. I was just numb. I said to him if we were going to waste that money we could've gone on our first family holiday, we could've all had new clothes and shoes, we could have had days out, we could've paid everything off that needs paying. I was also upset because my family have recently bought new beds for us, helped us decorate our new house. Done everything to help us so we wouldn't need to use any of that money and so that we could carry on saving for our own house. I feel sick that if and when they find out, they're going to be so angry and hurt. 

I said to him when he told me that it was over. But over the course of the week he won me back round and I've stayed with him. He said hed get help. We went to the doctor's and he got numbers for helplines and councilling. I saw him ring them but he hasn't been to any of the classes like he said he would. I feel like he's just doing what he thinks will make me stay, not because he wants to do it if that makes sense? 

He got a bank statement off the bank this week and it's sat on the table unopened. Tonight he's gone out and I've opened it. He spent more money than he told me on gambling, and now he has to pay bank charges next month for being overdrawn.  It's only £20 but because he gambled so much money, we're already £100 down this month. The kids need new clothes, shoes, car seat, hair cuts, the Christmas tree broke today so thats another thing to find money for. I feel like its all too much and I can't take anymore. I checked his phone the other night and he's been on gambling sites again. It says free ones but surely this still isn't good? I said to him it's like an alcoholic going in to the pub and having an orange juice. The temptation is still there to get a beer. Same with gambling for free. The temptation is still there to use real money. I think. He needs a hard reality check but I'm so scared of my family finding out. I'm scared of being a single mum. I'm scared of having even less money than we do now. 

I know none of you can tell me to stay or go but will this ever get better? Can you help someone who doesn't seem to want help? 

Thank you for reading if you got this far xx

This topic was modified 2 years ago by Forum admin
Posted : 24th November 2019 6:07 pm

Hi Mom2boys and Welcome to the forum.

That is very well written and I feel for you.

There is hope if you have your eyes wide open and he is ready for a born again moment of recovery. However you need to know all about the power of a gambling addiction as a drug addiction.

All money must come to you and all credit reports. When the gambling stops the quality of your life will improve and you can ask him to work overtime, perhaps get a covering loan and hand some money to your parents for safekeeping as a gesture of good will. He needs to be in a second job sorting this mess and will build a feeling of time isnt his  luxury any longer

Secrets are no good and he need reality checks. The first is that you tell him again that gambling is not acceptable to you and you will walk if necessary. The major problem is living with an active gambler ruins your financial security. Its essentially like living with your door open for people to take what they want, whenever they like.

The power of a gambling addiction is scary so I would concern yourself with that first.

Im not saying he is a bad person for it is an illness. Ive been a gambler however and I wouldnt live with one that wasnt in full recovery with me controlling the finances.

I feel your parents will eventually need to know..perhaps when you can make them a gesture of safekeeping money.

You have a job on if you are willing to help. Take him to a GA meeting and push him through the door. What worries me is that he hasnt the time to go out galavanting...he has got a major job on sorting this out and supporting a family

I dont know you or your relationship but its no time to let him have all his own way or be a shrinking violet. He has caused a mess with his illness and he needs to be acting now on help and advice. Counselling will follow so get the foundations in place and get him to a GA meeting quickly.

He will need to be living on a sandwich allowance!! you fully understand??? because if he grumbles and moans you have a real problem on your hands

Be strong there is help and support for you...It isn't your fault and never forget that. I repeat again that he needs constant reality checks to combat the delusional illness.

Best wishes from everyone on the forum

This post was modified 2 years ago by Joydivider
Posted : 25th November 2019 4:52 am

Hi Mom2boys,

You are in a difficult situation and I do feel for you. Yes things can get better if the correct steps are taken. Your other half is a gambling addict...he's ill, and his mind is in a jumbled state. He has probably forgotten what life was like without gambling. The fear of life without gambling at this stage will make it seem like he doesn't want help.

That was me just over 9 months ago. I'd hit rock bottom... aside from losing every spare penny I have and lenders refusing to lend me any money, I had lied and lied and lied to the point I couldn't lie anymore. I had borrowed a large sum of money from my parents a couple of months prior to pay off my credit card... I lost it all on gambling. I had no one to turn to anymore and had to come out clean. 

That was the most important thing in my opinion. Being open and honest with my partner about absolutely every last detail. This addiction thrives on secrecy. I was lucky that she decided to give me a chance, but I know deep down if I gamble again she will leave me, and I am not willing to let that happen. Your other half shouldn't either.

In the meantime you can both make things easier for yourselves. If he's gambling online get him to sign up to gamstop for 5 years. Take control of the finances. He should go to a GA meeting even if it's once a week. 

I hope things get better for you. He doesn't mean to hurt you and the family, this addiction turns you into somebody you're really not. 

All the best.


Posted : 25th November 2019 2:38 pm

I just wanted to say I feel your pain. Although my husband has most weeks gone to GA, and tried counselling (although not gambling specific) he has still not changed. 

I cannot do my job without him though, because he looks after the children when I work and always has. He also hasn’t got a job and is being difficult trying to find one, saying he doesn’t want to work and when he does go into something his mood is awful and his mental health gets worse. I am at a loss, I never imagined my life like this 

It’s so hard because like you said, the money could have been used for lots of other things. We only have one car and it’s so old, I take home a good amount of money a month and it all goes. I just want my girls to have the best Christmas but I’m so worried he’s going to do something else and ruin our lives more. I hope you can get your husband to GA, it is definitely the start. 

Posted : 26th November 2019 1:38 am

I could have wrote this myself, I too have 2 boys 4 and 10 months. We have been battling this for 4 years now I 1st noticed just after my 1st son was born on mat leave, (wish I walked then).

i have done everything possible to try n be in control of the money everything goes into our joint account n I have his card. He seems to be fine for 6 months then has a blow out, this time really f*** us over, I had to take money out of our credit card to save us so I’m now in debt. I’m at my wits end but feel stuck. If I leave him I think he will just spiral n I can’t afford to be just on benefits n if he hasn’t got me to control his money then he won’t be able to give me any anyway. I feel like it’s loose loose. I’m scared for our family and for him. I know he wants to fix this n know he didn’t want to hurt us n I love him so much but I can’t sit n watch n wait for this to ruin us!! I don’t no what to do anymore 😔

Posted : 29th November 2019 8:08 am

Thank you all for replying. Sorry I've taken so long to reply back, I've just been letting everything settle in and see how things pan out.

Since I posted, my husband still hasn't gone to any meetings and still hasn't seen a councillor. I know from experience that the first phone call from the councillor doesn't take this long to come through so I know he's either ignoring them when they ring, or have already told them he doesn't need them. When I bring the subject up, he says he will go to a meeting next week. It's always I'll do it next week I promise. But we're about 2 months in since he told me and nothing. Everything he says is what he thinks I want to hear. 

This week his phone bill was due out and I asked how much it is because it comes out of my bank now. He said it's the usual £35 but £130 will be getting taken as well.  I asked why and he said it's from when he gambled that time with our savings. I don't believe him. His dad bailed him (us) out again so that we wouldn't be in debt but I'm just fed up of it all. Most days I sit here and think I can't take anymore of this. 

I took the advice of telling him he needs to work more to get the savings back and he said I could always do more hours in work as well to help. I was fuming to say the least. He retracked back what he said when he saw my reaction but I don't think he realises the extend to what he's done. I think because he's only done this a couple of times, he thinks he hasn't got a problem. But the only reason he can't carry on doing it every day is because I now have control over every penny we have. He doesn't have any money unless I give it to him. I've cut back on his luxuries which he wasn't happy about. We haven't managed to save any of the savings back but we're not in debt so that's a start. 

I just don't know what to do still. He thinks he doesn't need help but I know if he had access to a large sum of money again, that he would gamble it all. Our boys absolutely adore him and I know the eldest would be heartbroken if I split up with his dad. Essentially I think I am just staying for the kids sake but I know that's not good either. I think I'm going to say that if he hasn't gone to any meetings or got help by the end of January I'm gone. Because I've waited long enough now xx

Posted : 16th December 2019 6:42 am
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