Support us

Emotional abuse, lies and manipulation by gambling partner - my story  

 
feelingexploited
(@feelingexploited)

Hello everyone,

My partner refuses to admit he is a compulsive gambler or seek help. I reached out to his brother last year (which angered my bf as it brought to light to his family he was still gambling) who told me he is a gambling addict and has been since he was a teenager. He begged me not to give him a penny. However, unwittingly I have fallen for his every lie and ended up enabling him accidentally. He has lied about emergencies multiple times or even charity work. Any excuse you can think of, he has used it to guilt trip me into giving him money. I love him so much I don't let him hit rock bottom. I have stood by him throughout everything as he desperately needs help but I can't even get him to admit he has an issue! He accuses me of spying on him or playing games if I mention gambling.

When I first met him he was wonderful, generous and charismatic but it was all a façade. Less than two weeks into the relationship he claimed his bank account had been hacked and he needed to borrow £30 to get home. Every penny he spent on our first two dates he clawed back very quickly. It all went downhill from there and since then he has coerced me to give him thousands in cash which he refuses to return as he feels it is compensation for our relationship troubles. He is a narcissist at his worst and it feels like I am in love with two different people. I no longer even keep a record of how much he borrows to avoid feeling more upset. He repeatedly changes bank accounts too and follows gambling sites on social media. I know he spends a lot of time playing poker and placing bets on football.

He is a master manipulator and convinces me everything is for "us". The money he borrows is for "our future" - the business ideas always conveniently fail. But at the time I feel so pressured I give him the money. He plays on my insecurities and will tell me one of his exes will lend him the money if I don't. Due to his refusal to pay me back we have argued and split up a few times but never for more than 3 weeks. I hit rock bottom last year when I discovered he had been having a long distance affair with and on/off ex-girlfriend. She called me out of the blue as after he had proposed to me, he had called her to ask her if she wanted to give things another go. He convinced me to give him another chance and eventually called her in front of me to end the affair. He was apologetic but I do have trust issues and he has refused couples counselling and calls it "s***", telling me they're my trust issues. It is hard to know when he is lying or being honest now.

With the other woman, we compared our version of his stories, it was humiliating but eye-opening. She asked me if he would say my wages were "our money" and at the time I said no. However, yesterday he said "aww, babe, we get paid tomorrow, I can't wait". The penny dropped. I work so hard to earn every penny I have commuting long distances to work and WE get paid. He was trying to manipulate me into believing he had a right over my money again, like he manipulated her. The hardest part for me is I don't earn that much money and he routinely manipulates me into sending him food, it is usually at least 5 or 6 times a week and soon adds up to nearly £100 a week. But he still expects me to pay for every date we go on and even expects food as an apology after an argument. He has drained my savings from the second he discovered I had them and some months I am left in difficult situations.

I have tried to establish boundaries or give him less money than he asked for, but it frustrates me he has the nerve to ask time and time again. Currently, he is working and I thought things would change but he would rather spend his money on hotels breaks for himself instead of budgeting for the month. I just feel like nothing changes. Regardless of whether or not he works, he expects me to fund his lifestyle or he becomes very moody and will make you feel like nothing. He tells me I am selfish or if that does not work he will try being nice. It is almost as if I have to pay him to treat me as a human being. This whole process has been so degrading.

He struggles to hold down a job and uses his depression as an excuse for sympathy during periods of unemployment. I have looked after his every need from his food, clothes to phone bill. Even if I give him £100 so he does not feel like has to beg me for food that week, he will meet up and still refuse to pay for anything on a date. He often will say he can't afford to pay and won't meet me, knowing full well I will pay just to see him for a few hours. He is always busy unless I am treating him to a nice meal or day out. From reading other posts I know his disappearances are probably when he gambles. Sometimes his phone is off for 4 or 5 hours. He always lies about when his shifts are at work too.

He was prescribed tablets for his depression but I know he does not take them. Whenever he does find a job he becomes really horrible towards me, especially if he makes new friends. He tells me I am jealous his life is back on track. His jobs never lasts. He has a few friends in real life but most are online friends. A lot of girls follow him on social media and he will flirt with them to make me feel hurt or jealous. He makes attention-seeking posts up all the time which simply did not happen.

To everyone else he is a wonderful guy with morals and a great sense of humour but I have experienced first hand how verbally abusive and manipulative he really is. He constantly gaslights me or will turn things around to make them my fault. He tells his friends I am controlling etc. I feel like I have become very bitter as a result of this relationship and he has destroyed my self-esteem. He makes me doubt myself.

However, our relationship has many positives which have kept me there. We got on really well and when we are going through a good patch he is truly amazing. But it never lasts for more than a few weeks before he starts asking for money again leaving me wondering if his feelings are even real? Somewhere, deep down inside of him I do believe he does love me and I try and see his gambling as an illness. But my family say I am making excuses for him and can't see how psychologically and financially abusive he is. Maybe I do, but struggle to accept it.

Today, I am trying again to end this relationship and stick to my decision. He blocked me last night but has unblocked me this morning (more mind games). I know he is going through a hard time but I am tired of being exploited. His behaviour and mood swings are all in line with his addiction and I have been tolerant thinking I need to support him. But he has clearly gambled for years and is now an adult still in denial. I am torn between wanting to support him and trying again to walk away from him for good and protect myself. We have discussed moving in together and marriage but the thought of him gambling our lives away scares me and I feel like his affair has caused lasting damage as much as I try and move forward.

I spoke to GamCare today after it was suggested by a counsellor I had arranged privately. I have lost my own friends and family who avoid me as their solution is simple - LEAVE HIM. But it's hard when you love someone to just turn your back on them. I just feel like I have nobody left to talk to and they all expect me to be so relieved when we split up but I am usually in pieces. I miss him as he is a huge part of my life. Has anyone else struggled to walk away or been in a similar situation? I feel like I am desperately searching for a light at the end of a tunnel. Is his behaviour typical of a compulsive gambler?

Quote
Posted : 30th August 2019 12:25 pm
Lavender
(@lavender)

Hi I have just joined because I read your story and really wanted to try and help you. Your story is so similar to mine. You sound like a lovely caring person . Your partner knows this . I know that you really love this man but his gambling will always come first.  I think you should have counselling to help you realise it's not your fault. You need to build your self esteem.  You deserve better.  I have wasted 23 years of my life hoping ex would change. Put up with everything verbal, physical, emotional abuse, cheating & lying. Please get help and don't waste your life.

ReplyQuote
Posted : 30th August 2019 10:39 pm
Mee
 Mee
(@mee)

Sounds like my husband x it is awful although he had only just admitted it but only because he knows I want to end the relationship and he does not want it to end because I am a door mat. I'm having counselling.

 He sees it as I have trust issues and I should just trust him easy said then done.  He thinks gambling has caused no damage but he pawned in wedding rings to fund his addiction, It has damaged our marriage my trust but he still believes he has caused no damage.  

ReplyQuote
Posted : 30th August 2019 11:28 pm
feelingexploited
(@feelingexploited)

I can imagine how painful it would be to know your wedding rings have been pawned. It does shock me how they think they have done nothing wrong and suddenly breaking trust is seen as something to just "get over".

There's zero remorse with my partner. He feels he deserved the money and I should let the past go. It's impossible to get him to see his behaviour is not in the past as he is still borrowing money he refuses to return or making me purchase items for him. Little things like birthday presents for his family members which he never repays me for but it makes him look caring and considerate in their eyes! 

Being a doormat is what I struggle with too. I just panic under pressure and end up doing things I'm not comfortable with. I've learned to pick up the patterns before a request for money - usually he'll plan a random night out, which he has no intention of making happen, to convince me I should give him money for something unrelated. If he gets the money that outing never happens.

I've held my ground on paying for a number of his selfish requests over the past two weeks despite his best attempts. I am really trying to defend myself and establish boundaries. I find it harder to say no to food requests as he's very persistent or if we meet up he'll force me to go order at the bar so I have to pay. He's even walked out of a restaurant before when the bill came.

On reflection, I also feel he only stays because I am a doormat and easy money for him 🙁

ReplyQuote
Posted : 30th August 2019 11:59 pm
Lavender
(@lavender)

When I met my partner I was very shy and he was my first boyfriend. It was lovely and I loved him so much. I knew that he went to the bookies but didn't think it was a problem. I knew nothing about gambling it wasn't long before he moved in with me. I didn't see it but he started to be very controlling. He would borrow money off me all the time and never give it back and never help with bills or rent. We argued a lot and he would say it was all my fault and he would say he would leave me if I didn't change. I never went out and had no life. He would also drink a lot. A couple of times when we had really bad rows and Id had enough , I said I wanted to split up he would cry and said he would change. I loved him and always wanted to help him. Everyone thought I was stupid and I stopped talking to anyone. He always used to leave  me sometimes for 6 months but would ring me up and just come back with a story. I know I sound like a complete mug to everyone reading this but i really loved him. I always thought it was my fault and always tried to please him. I could write a book about my life with a gambler , my life has been filled with so much pain because of it. Fast forward 10 years and we had a child he treated me very badly when I was pregnant drinking and gambling . Shortly after  I had the baby I told him I wanted him to leave. I didnt want a baby to grow up seeing fighting and arguing.  I still loved my ex so much but had to put my child first.  He came round when he felt like it and still used me. He asked to come  but back but couldn't let him . I couldn't rely on him for anything. I'm not being selfish saying that. I did it for my child,  I still really loved him but didn't want my child living that way. He kept telling me that he loved me and wanted to be a family and I broke the family up. I felt so guilty about this but I couldn't take anymore I was going out of my mind. He was seeing lots of other women and having fun.  But made out he was on his own and lonely to make me feel bad. I  had to bring my daughter up myself, he used to come round when ever he wanted for years . I now  understand that it wasn't my fault I have read lots of books and watched thing on utube to help myself. I can see that he never accepted responsibility for anything and controlled me , he was insecure cos he had this problem and wanted to blame me for it. I Hewas very insecure that's why I put up with it. He still texts me now , probably because his life isn't going well. I still care about him even after all the things he has done to me. If it wasn't for my child I would still be in that relationship. I have been on my own for years now. I don't know why. I think I just like having a peaceful life . I know that everyone reading this will think I sound like an idiot for putting up with this all my life. I'm just trying to let people know what gambling does.

ReplyQuote
Posted : 31st August 2019 8:40 am
feelingexploited
(@feelingexploited)
Posted by: Lavender

Hi I have just joined because I read your story and really wanted to try and help you. Your story is so similar to mine. You sound like a lovely caring person . Your partner knows this . I know that you really love this man but his gambling will always come first.  I think you should have counselling to help you realise it's not your fault. You need to build your self esteem.  You deserve better.  I have wasted 23 years of my life hoping ex would change. Put up with everything verbal, physical, emotional abuse, cheating & lying. Please get help and don't waste your life.

Hi @Lavender,

The thought of wasting 23 years of my life scares me and it means a lot to me you have responded. I have been reading success stories and hoping for a miracle but I feel like I have wasted the past few years of my life in this relationship already. Your truth is what I needed to see. So many plans we make every summer for days out or breaks away which never materialise. Simple things like eating nice meals do not happen unless I pay for them, he does not even cancel, just switches his phone off or will cancel last minute which makes me so upset. I used to have an active social life until he came along and now I don't have the money to do anything for myself. If I do eat out anywhere, even for lunch at work, he makes me feel guilty or demands I send him dinner.

When he is nice I feel like every moment of suffering was worth it and life will be okay but the change never lasts. The abuse is something I really struggle with as he can be so caring one moment but then suddenly switch. It's the Jekyll and Hyde personality that leaves me utterly confused. I don't think he learned his lesson from cheating and if anything it has increased his confidence that I will always support him no matter what. I thought if I gave him unconditional love he would open up about his issues but he just uses it to exploit me even more.

His cheating has destroyed me the most as I don't know the true extent of it. I am convinced there were multiple women, not just the one who contacted me. He hides all trace of our relationship on social media and is very careful not to let his vast followers know I am his girlfriend. It is lie after lie. His ex told me when she first met him she had nothing and he was always there for her so she supported him to return the favour... He met me when I was unemployed and within the first few weeks began rinsing my bank account. I was lucky enough to get a job after a few months but by then he had already "borrowed" all my savings. It just makes me feel worthless.

I genuinely am trying my best to leave him this time. I haven't spoken to him for nearly 2 days and feel so lost as I was used to him messaging throughout the day. We were very close. You start to miss the good times but if I step back and see the bigger picture, he will destroy me completely and simply move on to the next woman. He doesn't want to change.

ReplyQuote
Posted : 31st August 2019 12:50 pm
feelingexploited
(@feelingexploited)
Posted by: Lavender

When I met my partner I was very shy and he was my first boyfriend. It was lovely and I loved him so much. I knew that he went to the bookies but didn't think it was a problem. I knew nothing about gambling it wasn't long before he moved in with me. I didn't see it but he started to be very controlling. He would borrow money off me all the time and never give it back and never help with bills or rent. We argued a lot and he would say it was all my fault and he would say he would leave me if I didn't change. I never went out and had no life. He would also drink a lot. A couple of times when we had really bad rows and Id had enough , I said I wanted to split up he would cry and said he would change. I loved him and always wanted to help him. Everyone thought I was stupid and I stopped talking to anyone. He always used to leave  me sometimes for 6 months but would ring me up and just come back with a story. I know I sound like a complete mug to everyone reading this but i really loved him. I always thought it was my fault and always tried to please him. I could write a book about my life with a gambler , my life has been filled with so much pain because of it. Fast forward 10 years and we had a child he treated me very badly when I was pregnant drinking and gambling . Shortly after  I had the baby I told him I wanted him to leave. I didnt want a baby to grow up seeing fighting and arguing.  I still loved my ex so much but had to put my child first.  He came round when he felt like it and still used me. He asked to come  but back but couldn't let him . I couldn't rely on him for anything. I'm not being selfish saying that. I did it for my child,  I still really loved him but didn't want my child living that way. He kept telling me that he loved me and wanted to be a family and I broke the family up. I felt so guilty about this but I couldn't take anymore I was going out of my mind. He was seeing lots of other women and having fun.  But made out he was on his own and lonely to make me feel bad. I  had to bring my daughter up myself, he used to come round when ever he wanted for years . I now  understand that it wasn't my fault I have read lots of books and watched thing on utube to help myself. I can see that he never accepted responsibility for anything and controlled me , he was insecure cos he had this problem and wanted to blame me for it. I Hewas very insecure that's why I put up with it. He still texts me now , probably because his life isn't going well. I still care about him even after all the things he has done to me. If it wasn't for my child I would still be in that relationship. I have been on my own for years now. I don't know why. I think I just like having a peaceful life . I know that everyone reading this will think I sound like an idiot for putting up with this all my life. I'm just trying to let people know what gambling does.

I feel like our stories definitely have a lot in common - my partner is my first boyfriend (as an adult, I have no healthy relationship to compare him too). I feel like a mug too and I completely understand how much you love him as I am in the same position. My sister often says "he could run you over and you'd still forgive him, you just won't leave him". He often tells me nobody else will want me because of my attitude and that there are plenty more women out there which he will have no problem settling down with, that I don't deserve to be part of his family. For a long time, even when he was in the wrong he would force me to apologise for criticising him or daring to point out the glaring truth. Nothing is ever his fault.

I do everything for him that he asks and I kept thinking if I show him exactly how much he means to me one day he will stop hurting me. Like you, I keep wanting to please him and prove myself as a good partner. But he doesn't do that for me. I saw little improvements in him last month but his latest wave of cancellations, demands for money and emotional abuse have just destroyed whatever happiness I built up. I reallt thoguht we were going somewhere. He knows he struggles with saving money and said he would give me money towards our deposit for the flat but every payday has been the same since I met him, he won't even give me a penny. I even tried to make him a budget to show him how much things cost but he spent all of his wages within a week.

I have noticed he often sells me a fantasy the same way your ex uses the "perfect family". My one pretends we will have an amazing marriage together, full of cosy nights in, ordering pizza or cooking together and exploring the world. He knows I just want a simple life with someone loyal. When we split up he tells me I ruined everything. At the time I am distraught but when I look back, it angers me. Yes, we could live in a beautiful flat and wake up together everyday but I will be paying for the rent, bill and the food we will consume on cosy nights in by the fire. Will he stop cheating on me? Will he finally give me the respect I deserve? He used always bring up our good memories or send me pics/videos of our good times to make me miss him more.

He remains friends with all of his exes so I am not surprised your ex still texts you. The first time we split up he said he just wanted to stay friends but even being friends means be his girlfriend when it suits him and fulfill his needs whilst he has fun with other women. I feel like we're just backup sources of income and comfort. I am glad I am finally looking into gambling now I definitely know this is the issue, not his depression as he tells me. Everything is starting to make sense. There are so many random things which bug me that I am sure are related to gambling.

I am glad you have made the best decision for your child. I know for a fact if I was pregnant, the stress he puts me under would not be a healthy environment to bring a child up in. I doubt he would even turn up for the birth and surviving off maternity pay worries me. But I also worry about leaving it too late and not ever having children. The truth is I struggled to find him and since then I have been trying everything to make our relationship work as I love him with my heart and soul. I need to keep reminding myself I would end up being alone anyway. He doesn't care about anyone but his gambling.

ReplyQuote
Posted : 31st August 2019 1:22 pm
Lavender
(@lavender)

I understand everything you are saying. Yes I felt like my ex was only with me because he got everything he needed and it does make you feel worthless. I am not very good with words. I know how hard it is when you love someone but you deserve better.  There are a lot of things that have happened with me & ex that I can't even talk about because they are to upseting.. I would suggest you have counselling to help you understand it's not your fault. They will help you find the strength and you will get through it.  I read & watch lots of videos on u tube about effects of gambling,  gaslighting and narcissistics, self love & positive affirmations it really helped me. My life is a lot better now I know I did the right thing but it wasn't easy. Wishing you all the best,  you deserve a happy life.

ReplyQuote
Posted : 31st August 2019 10:51 pm
Mee
 Mee
(@mee)

Counselling is good i am having councilling as I am trying to 're build myself as I have put all my energy into my husband and it has got me no where apart from finding out he is gambling again. I am done with it all I have asked him to leave as I can't be with someone who I can't trust and I don't want my children growing up thinking this is how life should be. I feel your pain I really do i love my husband but it is not enough for me to stay with him. He still believes it is my fault because I suffer from depression that is why he gambled. I am truely broken I am a mess some times I wish I could escape but the only thing that is keeping me alive are my kids. Sending you all the strength you need and all the love. Hopefully one day we will look back and think god I must of been strong to escape this hell. This is not how life or a relationship should be 

ReplyQuote
Posted : 1st September 2019 5:02 pm
Lavender
(@lavender)

Hi Mee, sorry to hear that you have depression, it must be very difficult having to cope with everything . It is not your fault he gambles. My ex used to say the same to me, he used to say I was miserable and looked a mess. My self esteem was rock bottom. I think you should concentrate on yourself and your children. Find lots of support for yourself , I know it's really hard but it will be better for you and your children. If you leave you will have piece of mind, will be in control of your own finances and life will get better. Your partner could still see the children . Wishing you all the best. You deserve to be happy and your children.

ReplyQuote
Posted : 3rd September 2019 7:50 am
feelingexploited
(@feelingexploited)
Posted by: Mee

Counselling is good i am having councilling as I am trying to 're build myself as I have put all my energy into my husband and it has got me no where apart from finding out he is gambling again. I am done with it all I have asked him to leave as I can't be with someone who I can't trust and I don't want my children growing up thinking this is how life should be. I feel your pain I really do i love my husband but it is not enough for me to stay with him. He still believes it is my fault because I suffer from depression that is why he gambled. I am truely broken I am a mess some times I wish I could escape but the only thing that is keeping me alive are my kids. Sending you all the strength you need and all the love. Hopefully one day we will look back and think god I must of been strong to escape this hell. This is not how life or a relationship should be 

I totally agree with Lavender - sometimes the only thing you can do is leave to take back control. I hope you continue to stay strong and find the strength for yourself, not just your kids, to walk away. You deserve better too.

You're definitely not to blame for gambling, none of us are. We didn't tell our partners to go and gamble. Mine won't even admit he does it! I've learned from reading up on gambling CGs constantly project their insecurities onto others, they need someone else to blame so it's not themselves. Their awful behaviour fuels our depression and moods. They are the cause of their misery and ours, not us. The secrecy that comes with gambling makes me cry so hard some days and I wonder what on earth I have done to deserve this life.

Sometimes it annoys me how my whole day is consumed by his behaviour. Life has to revolve around his moods and his financial issues. Just leaves me on edge and even if we have a good period I'm worried for the next round of lies. I can't ever relax thinking what preposterous reason he will think of next to fleece my money. I wish he would just stop it but sometimes leaving is the only way to stop it.

I need to find a way to accept I love him but admit this relationship is detrimental to my mental health and do something to break this cycle. I feel like our love had been tested enough. I'm tired of proving my love through financial means. 

There will be some days where you are a mess but there will also be days where you will find the strength to fight those accusations as you know you're not to blame.  Don't ever give up x

ReplyQuote
Posted : 3rd September 2019 8:29 am
Lavender
(@lavender)

I know that I might sound very harsh but when you are in a better place you will feel stronger. You are not responsible for your partner. With me I realised that I could control my life and change it.  He still tries to emotionally blackmail me after all these years, but I can deal with it now because I am out of the situation. Sometimes he gets to me but I make myself watch lots self help stuff to help me on YouTube. I spent a lot of time feeling angry and upset especially when he moved on with someone 15 years younger than him and I never heard from him. I felt sorry for my child,I  think mother's really feel that. I felt like I was having a breakdown. I thought all that I had put up with and now he was playing happy families. He never supported his child when he was with her, he probably told her he was and spending it on gambling. They have now split up cos she wouldn't put up with it. It has made me realise, it wasn't me. He now acts like nothing has happened and says he wants to be friend. I have to keep a safe distant. I still always end up feeling sorry for him but know deep down he will be getting on in life not caring what he's done because if gambling.

ReplyQuote
Posted : 3rd September 2019 9:08 am
Share this page
Share
  
Working

Please Login or Register