I discovered in May that my husband had been hiding a secret gambling addiction from me throughout our whole 6 year relationship (he has been gambling 20+ years).
Over the last 4 years, he has lost £53k. This has all been through his business, he paid himself a wage and I had no reason to suspect he was lying to me.
After I initially found out, he moved out for 2 months so I could get my head round it. I found it particularly hard as my first husband was a gambler which was the cause of our break up.
He has moved back in now but I am struggling so much with the deceit. I feel like our whole relationship has been a lie. I told him about my first husband very early on in our relationship and he said from that moment he knew he had to lie to me or lose me (although getting help would have been the most obvious thing to do!). I have never seen him so much as play a fruit machine so he was very thorough in his cover-up.
During lockdown I carried on working as I am a nurse whilst he was at home literally compulsively gambling. He lost 17k in 3 months. He was acting the concerned husband running me baths and cooking dinner for when I returned from 13 hour shifts in full PPE whilst all the while lying to me. He lost the equivalent to my months wages in 2 hours one night in April (it was lockdown that led to him being discovered as it got so out of control then). I hate him so much for this.
I don’t trust him, he says I can check all his bank accounts whenever he wants but I hate doing that as I feel like a mother not a wife. He spends a lot of time on the road so realistically could pop into a bookies easily and I would be none the wiser.
He is attending (virtual) meetings and is certainly saying the right things to convince me he has changed. His business seems more lucrative, he is working very hard and he could not be more attentive to me or our family.
Will I ever be able to trust him fully again? He is absolutely adamant he will never gamble again but is that just unrealistic? Would really appreciate some advice from people who have been through this...
Hi And Welcome.
No you wont be able to fully trust him ever again but that is s good thing in these circumstances. If he is truly ready to stop he wont want your full trust again and he can never be complacent and neither can you.
He can earn some trust and prove some trust but full trust with any recovering gambler is off the table for the good of you both
Its not your fault but you need your eyes wide open and the truth must come out in terms of credit reports and full losses.
Now Its an addiction and Im not saying he is inherently bad. However as you realise what he has been doing is extremely dangerous.
He doesnt do it with an evil laugh to hurt you. Its a drug addiction more than anything and he needs help. He needs to be truly ready to get help and follow all the tried and trusted advice.
Abstention is the way and no he cant gamble again as he clearly has no control of his own mind. I understand the illness and a healthy mind can return one day at a time.
He unfortunately need ultimatums to see reality. You will have to control all cash and all payments and decide if you have a future together
The addiction makes gamblers into master manipulators just to feed and protect the addiction. We are not relationship counsellors but we do know its an addiction that destroys relationships for breakfast.
There is hope and you may need counselling and family support to help deal with this.
With your eyes wide open it was never an activity that he could do with no consequences...it hooks people fast than they crave it and have no control over it.
Tough love is needed but first you protect yourself with legal advice if necessary. You have a job on if you choose to help...the results are worthwhile if the relationship is worth keeping
Best wishes from everyone on the forum
Agree with JD. It wouldn't be wise to take a thing he says on trust without verifying it independently via credit reports and full financial control. It's not about treating him like a child. It's protecting your own interests which must come first and it reinforces to him that actions have consequences.
It's very easy to get consumed by whether he's doing it again but it's very important to realise that there's nothing you can do or say to influence that. He has to want to stop for himself. You need to protect you.
Welcome to the Forum Jess77. Already I can see people on the forum are willing to offer you guidance and support in response to your honesty, describing your current situation with your husband’s gambling. so well done for taking the first step and please do keep posting upon here.
Our Advisers are also here for you, 24/7, 365 days a year and can offer much support and advice with regards this challenging time . Please call them on 0808 8020 133 of you would like to find out more.