My boyfriend has had a gambling problem for as long as I have known him and for a lot longer before that, he's gone into recovery a few times and come out again. Whilst it was our issue and I tried to help before it didn't affect us in the way it does now as we have moved in together and want to spend our lives together.
He has said he wants to stop and has joined the course on here along with saying he will download the blocking app. Little disappointed he hasn't done it yet but I can't make him and he will have to do it himself, I can't do it for him.
He started gambling again 4 weeks ago and I didn't have a clue which I'm highly disappointed in myself for not noticing because I did previously, his persona changes when he does. I've gotten really angry this time unlike other times and its now causing massive issues. I love him and I understand that once you're a gambler that will never go away and you will always be in recovery taking each and every day as it comes.
I will always support him to get through this however the lying has taken a huge toll on us and our relationship this time. Has anyone else got past ot fully with this or do you always look over your shoulder at whats happening?
Thanks in advance for any advice or help.
I am sorry to read about your boyfriends recent gambling.
As a wife of a problem gambler who's had an issue with this for decades, I can tell you it's not easy. They will always have it in them to slip into this addiction. Once they are in the grips of it, their common sense goes out the window, and they would gamble away anything that they could put their hands into.
My husband started gambling again for one year before I realise what he was doing. He was initially gambling small amounts, and he had one account I have no access to so I didn't notice it. He started gambling again heavily after our second daughter was born because according to him he felt the pressure to recover what he had lost, and as a result he ended up losing our 2 months rent, and the £1k I've asked to put in savings. I was silly and naive to even think that he could be trusted with money.
The only way to help your boyfriend is to take control of finances, put the block on his phone if he gambles online, self exclude from bookies, have access to his credit report so that you can see if he had acquired loans/credit cards to finance his addiction. You need to be on top of him for many years to come, perhaps for life. It's not easy, and I certainly didn't sign up for this, but I know to make our relationship work, and to prevent him from causing chaos in our lives, I have to do this.
My husband is also having counselling. He doesn't go to GA as one on one counselling works for him more. He's had CBT in the past, and even with that he had slip many times.
Best wishes to you, and I hope that he sees the light and get some help.
Hi jb1234 and Welcome.
You cant take any blame on yourself but you do have to toughen up to this.
You can only help him from a position of knowledge and strength.
The first thing is it was never something you could knowingly let him do without it being a dangerous problem for both of you. Essentially you have been along for the hellride of every gambling session even though you are not the person that gambled.
Its a drug addiction and a progressive addiction. You need to fully understand the dangers and have your eyes wide open. You are making understatements like "little dissapointed"
I know you love him but you can not let this be a blind love. Living with a problem gambler is like pinning a note to your front door saying come in and take everything you want. It will give you no security or stability unless the problem is sorted properly.
Im not saying he in inherently bad but he is an addict for gambling. He needs reality checks and carefully worded ultimatums as the addiction will take you for granted and see you as the enemy.
He needs to be crystal clear you wont tolerate even a sniff of gambling...do you understand? He needs these foundations so he can make his choice to recover through the cold turkey process
Its clear you dont fully understand what you are dealing with yet but you will learn starting now. He craves this in a way you need to be fully aware of. Its actually less about the money. He doesnt do it with an evil laugh to hurt you. If anything his ill and delusional mind thinks it may help matters or sooth his stress.
You need to be making sure he is not controlling your food and roof over your head...you lend him or give him NO money and he should be living on a sandwich allowance.
This is a lifetime without complacency which is actually a positive statement if you can handle that.
Please keep in touch with the forum
Best wishes from everyone on the forum