Hey! Looking for a bit of moral support.
Up until a week past Sunday I had been in a relationship with my boyfriend for 8 months. It had been a very intense time and we had been loosely dating for about 6 month prior to getting together. I first found out he was gambling very early on. Things didn’t quite add up as hes was in his late 20s, but still living at home with no savings. He was in Vegas for a friends wedding and asked me for a £500 loan, he explained it was to pay for excursions and spending money since he had run out. When he couldn’t pay me back when he said he could he told me he was into gambling but by no means did he admit it was an addiction - he explained it as a thing to do when bored at work. It later transpired that he had asked his mum for £500 too. He blew the lot and more in Vegas casinos
He was in about £6,000 of credit card debt and a further £3,000 into an overdraft. He was living month to month on a £30k a year job with no outgoings other than a PCP car which he handed back so he could gamble more. His £1,500 wages would go in on the 20th and £1,400 would go out the next day. He would then cancel his card, order a new one, scratch the 3 digits on the back off and then the cycle would restart on the 20th of the following month. Anyway, I found out and he picked up a second job to clear the debt so he was regularly working 70 hour weeks to clear it. I gave him a £3,000 loan for the rest to avoid the high interest rates on overdraft and credit cards. It was payed back promptly after paying all the bank debt since I had sole control of the accounts. I was so disappointed and annoyed. I took control of his bank accounts and nothing went in or out without my say so. He cleared it and all was going well. He saved enough to book our first holiday together and all was perfect. Fast forward a few months and all was not well, he swore blue murder that he wasn’t gambling so I left it at that, but deep down I knew. I got a feeling things weren’t right. It transpired that he was gambling and he had been all along, he just didn’t confess all the debt at the first time. I was sick of the lies but gave him one last chance. By this point he had his bank accounts back because it took too much out of me with the stress. When I gave him the accounts back I made him promise to let me see the statements anytime I wanted. Things were good until we got back from our holiday to Mexico - we got back and a few weeks later he seemed different. I checked his bank accounts - he didn’t know I still knew the passwords - and I seen transactions for £60 a month for lottery. I asked to see all the accounts. He refused. He turned it on me saying I shouldn’t be going in the huff because I wasn’t getting my own way and that I should trust him. The £60/ month was near the scale he was on before but still worrying. I kept quiet about the lottery transactions, hoping he would come to me, or anyone, for help. He didn’t. I kept quiet for weeks. A fortnight ago we had an argument about him lying and I blew up at him and told him I knew about the gambling. He said he hasn’t been gambling. It was only when I told him that I had seen his bank accounts and told him the specific days and the amounts going out that he confessed. He asked if i would like him to go to a GA meeting and all that - something I wished he would have done off his own back way sooner. I’ve grown to the end of my tether with it. The gambling is not such an issue since we have no kids together, nor a mortgage or any intricate financial matters. The massive issue is the lying. He has said that he will come to me from now on but how is this any different from times before? His answer to that is that he is now taking steps that he hasn’t done before like downloading betblocker and going to GA. and he wants to rely on me keeping all his accounts and money in order. But I’ve heard all the lies before and I don’t believe he truest wants help. If he did, he would have sought it way before now, and surely before he knew that I knew about it all!
I should probably also say that in the coming weeks he is due to receive £22,000 as a redundancy package and undertake 9 weeks of unpaid training. I know that the pressure to give him his accounts back early would be unbearable.
Ive left him but can’t help feeling like I’ve abandoned him. I had to do it for my own good.
Hi 5arah5arah and welcome to the forum.
The best advice we give is to fully protect yourself and then you can help him if you want to from a position of strength.
I cant say you have made the wrong decision. Ive been a gambler and I wouldnt live with one.
Even in recovery you could never be complacent for the rest of your life with him. Im not saying he is a bad person and it can be recovered from
The question would then be how you see your relationship and whether the work to save it is worth it for you.
That work would involve you controlling ALL money and his credit reports...he would be on an allowance providing all receipts to you. all thet redundancy money would have to go directly to you along with his monthly wages
Gambling is a drug addiction. Its highly dangerous and shreds relationships for breakfast. The devastating truth is the addiction is stronger than love or relationships.
His mind can heal. It may be better you have distance now. Its all your decision. He needs to seek a born again moment when he should feel pure relief that he is ready to surrender to help.
He should now be aware that one result of gambling is he is possibly losing you.
Get more advice and support from family and friends. Learn learn learn from gamcare, the forum and by attending gam anon meetings if you can. The power of the addiction is immense. Saving your relationship is your decision to make.
Best wishes from everyone on the forum
Hi 5arah5arah! Only you can answer that question. This is not your fault or your responsibility.
8 months is a very short time for an awful lot of stress, lies and discovery!
A new relationship should be fun and happy times. You can't fix him or help him until he wants to do it for himself. Don't punish yourself for following your gut instinct that this is not healthy.
There are many red flags here, he shouldn't be asking you to look after his finances, borrowing money to gamble, or asking if you want him to go to GA. These are all ways of passing responsibility to you and then an opportunity to blame you when it doesn't work.
Keep moving forward, don't look back. Don't feel bad.
if you do choose to get involved with a compulsive gambler protect yourself emotionally and financially.
A word of warning, you may choose the same personality again. When I look back now I see a pattern in my behaviour.
Look after yourself.
Thankyou all for your advice. Although he’s went to his first GA meeting I do not think he wants to quit. He said he went to the meeting for me but now since I think he’s getting the hint that I don’t want to be with him, he has said he’s not going again. He has no motivation whatsoever to kick this habit for himself. I know the only person that can spark change is himself. Very frustrating. I had hoped to stay friends with him but I cannot see that happening now since he’s implying that I need to stay with him for him to get help...
Well, the ball is in your court...as to whether you want a relationship with him.
I have a friend who is a gambling addict, and his girlfriends have always had the choice of living with it or walking...
If you have total control of your/the finances, then you are safe from his 'habit'.
If you think of it as an obsessive 'hobby' he has, can you put up with it?
Some people are addicted to their x-box, some to watching football etc...
Since I got clean, I realized that my friend is actually incredibly boring to be with.
If he isn't on the pc gambling (6-12 hours a day) it is all he even wants to talk about...
Obviously the best outcome is that he quits, but people do have relationships with gambling addicts, alcoholics, substance mis-users etc
It is your life, it is your choice...