Hi so on Wednesday evening after suspecting my husband had been using a credit card, I was expecting to find maybe some irresponsible spending. However what I found was 12k worth of debt which then lead me to find that he has been gambling everyday trying to get that big win. He had been withdrawing cash on credit cards paying them into his current account and doing online betting. I feel betrayed, and angry and sad. We have two very young children and bought our first home last year.
He has admitted this has been going on for about three years and looking back on all his accounts I can see this is true, sometimes he would go months with only a few little bets every couple of weeks but then he would have a win and it would spiral again as he tried to claw back the lost money, so would bet multiple times a day.
We have both seeked counselling ,he has told his parents and also mine. We have consolidated the debt so HE now has one monthly payment, i have access to his account and have taken his card. He has also applied to Gamstop so he can't get an online betting account.
I just don't know how we can get through this, I love him so much.but when I look at our children I want to cry as how can he have done this, they are always my first thought and I feel like he has put them second to betting.
I go from feeling sorry for him, to being so angry that he has jeopardised our family and destroyed our future. He said for the first time in three years he feels free and like a huge weight has been lifted, but for me I feel a huge burden.
Sorry for rambling, it feels good to write that all down
I've been there and done this so know exactly what you are going through. You feel betrayed and lied to and have lost trust etc etc etc. This is going to sound harsh but by all means be angry but sooner or later you have to get over that and move on. He needs constant discrete checking as a gambler will gamble given the chance. If you are certain that he has self-excluded online that's a great start, next, even if he says that it isn't necessary, get him to self-exclude from local bookies too. Be very strong and support him despite probably feeling (understandably) that you want to slap him - remember this isn't a time for recrimination or blame, its a time to get this dreadful habit behind him and get your family together again. His part is to tell you every time he feels like he wants to gamble (which will be often) and you must not criticise those occasions or he simply won't tell you and it will be going on inside him and behind your back. If he can tell you honestly and openly without fear or recrimination, trust me, he won't do it and it will give him relief and you relief too. This won't be easy for you but you will be the winner in the end, you both will be winners. Tell him you are glad he has told you and that small comment will help take away a part of the addiction - ask him regularly (not in a critical way!!) how is he doing? Is he coping ok with it? Is he struggling?
I completely understand that this is all about helping him to deal with his addiction and not about helping you cope with his deceit......that's something you need to sort out but you can do it if you want to be together and beat this terrible curse.
All the feelings you are going through are normal given whats happened. You have been lied to and the trust has been destroyed something that is so important in any relationship. On the other hand your husband has a serious problem that is no joke and needs dealing with.
The good news is that it is out in the open now, addiction feeds off secrecy and lies as you now know, and now its out in the open it can be tackled properly. You both need support in this and while counselling is a great start a lot of counsellors don't really understand gambling addiction. I would recommend attending GA meetings for him and GamAnon meeting for you (you should be able to do virtual meetings). You will get the relevant support there.
Things that will help at the initial stage are barriers to help prevent him gambling while he tackles his recovery. These include self excluding from all sites by registering with GamStop, giving you access to everything, emails, bank accounts, credit score (free sites such has Clearscore, Experian etc will show any credit he has in his name, credit cards, loans etc) the lot.
I know this is lot to take in but every couple have their issues, this is basically on the mental health spectrum and plenty of people end up taking their lives as a result. Your husband has a chance to tackle it now. I hope he does.
Thankyou both so much, I think yes I have to stop being angry as we are just going round in circles. We have both been called by counsellor for an assessment provided through Gamcare, so game anon and ga meeting do we organise those ourselves ( sorry if I sound stupid). I just want to go back to how we were, I miss him as I feel like he is stranger at the moment.
I have access to everything now and have checked on creditkarma. I want to help him.
Good he has given you access to everything, he is been open and honest. You are helping him by being supportive but his recovery is all down to him. There is no miracle cure or pill to take, you have to work at changing your behaviour. If he goes to GA meetings and is totally honest and open minded he can really change which is what's needed.
You can organise your own meetings, he can look up the Gamblers anonymous site for his nearest meeting and start attending regularly. I think GamAnon is a virtual meeting but if yo google it you will find their site. That one is for you to arrange, its a support group so you will hear from people who are going through the same thing you are, you will also get to tell your story.
Also try not to dwell on the past, focus on the here and now. He may have seemed great in the past but in the background he might have struggled mentally.
My partner is a compulsive gambler so I can sympathise with you. What helped me forgive my partner is understanding that compulsive gambling is a terrible, terrible addiction. When they are gambling, they are not thinking rationally. It's not because they love me less or didn't care about me. To use the words of my partner, 'it's like being possessed by a demon'.
This is really difficult but if you decide to stick and support him in this, you have to put the money lost in the past. If you focus on the amount of money that could have been used for x,y,z you will fill your heart with anger, sadness and frustration. These are all valid emotions and of course very understandable and it's natural to feel this way but it may be difficult for you to support him fully if you hold on to these 'what ifs' with the money lost.
You will get through this and come out stronger and happier if you are both committed to it. He needs to lead on his recovery though. There should be full transparency with his finances. The goal is for it to be impossible or at least very, very difficult for him to gamble. My partner closed all bank accounts and credit cards and switched to Monzo bank with gambling block on (the app installed on my 2nd phone so I can also check it any time). A good advice i picked up here is to also register myself to gamstop as some gamblers have used the account of their partners to gamble. As mentioned above, his credit report needs to be checked regularly as well. GA meetings also helped my partner a LOT.
My best wishes to you and your family.
Hi ..Good Idea about registering myself i will do that today, im trying so hard to not dwell on the money lost but its so hard, we have never been very well off but had started financially (I thought) turning a corner and having some spare cash to spend on the kids removed link Some days I feel OK but then others I can feel myself being so angry at him and the lying he has done.
He has so far done everything I have asked. I feel like once I understand why he has done this then it will help me to overcome my anger towards him. I dont want to lose him, and I will support him.
Thank you for taking the time to reply, it really does help to hear from people who have experienced this and to know im not alone.