Call free 0808 8020 133

He doesn't understand the damage, thinks I'm overreacting


Hi everyone,

Looking for some advice/stories of people in a similar situation.

My partner of 3 yrs has a gambling addiction. He was very open about his past when we got together (previous relationship problems and a miscarriage set off the gambling 5/6yrs before we got together) however when we got together, he'd not gambled for a little over 2 yrs.

He dabbled a bit when we first got together, we talked it over, promises were made etc. Safe to say, we've had the same chat several times in the last 3 yrs!!!

However, January this year changed how I thought about it. We had a beautiful baby in Jan. I was induced because waters broke early and she was on the small side... The day before she was born, my partner took out a loan and gambled THE LOT. He then used the wage I'd just received from my employment to pay it back, while I was in hospital waiting for our baby to arrive!!! He eventually broke down and told me this the day after our baby was born.

We've struggled financially since then. We spoke about it, made agreements with bills/finances etc. I found him local help and showed him many other avenues of support.

We seemed to be doing well for a while, all wages accounted for at month end, no unusual spending... And I find out a week ago he's borrowed money from a loan shark to fund his habit 😭

And that loan shark came to our home one evening when he didn't gt his money back and stole my partners bike from our back garden. It may be an overreaction, but my baby and my 8yo could have been in danger had this shark been a nasty one.

This time round I feel so broken, I feel betrayed, I feel worthless, like all the promises he made meant nothing. He is not actively seeking help, so is this a sign that he isn't ready to kick the habit?

I don't trust him with money anymore. And his response? "Well it's not like I cheated on you, that'd be worse"

He doesn't understand how it's made me feel and how it's now made me think.

I'm not entirely sure what to do. Part of me is screaming "get out!" but then I look at our 4 month old and hear "help him". I just don't know any more. I don't look at him the same, will I ever get that back? 

Topic starter Posted : 13th May 2022 9:23 pm



Thanks for sharing your story. I am a Gambling Addict; and I too made promises to partners (ex and current) that I’d stop. However I am afraid to say that for a very long time these were just words, a way to get through the guilt and panic that they would leave me as quickly as possible. I wanted to stop, but craved my next big win (and subsequent losses) more. 

I was in self destruct mode; and always found a way to gamble.


He needs to want to stop; and he needs to put the barriers in place to help him to do that. It sounds like you have been doing all the leg work by finding him help etc; he needs to want to do it. This means doing some really tough things, like removing access to money etc. 


This is a terrible addiction; that he will live with his whole life. It is highly likely that he will relapse. I would recommend that you separate yourself financially; but take control of his banking etc, check credit reports regularly, make sure bills are paid on pay day. 

My partner has been my rock; and whilst I still get urges to gamble, I am able to talk to her about it. I am one of the lucky ones. So far.


I now have limited access to money. Enough to buy a tank of fuel (which is a fair chunk now!) but no more just incase…..


I hope you can find a way through this nightmare.

Posted : 14th May 2022 10:15 am


I am a gambling addict and well in recovery again , when we don't truely want to quit then no matter how much you help it won't matter. I am really sorry to read your post, i think you need to think what is best for you and your 2 children they are your main responsibility. I would also secure your finances give your partner no access and regularily check your credit file incase any credit has been taken out in your name.  I would also get some advice on the loan shark or get him paid of quickly the interest each week will spiral way out of control and its a scary situation.

Posted : 14th May 2022 11:33 am

pbuxton is spot on.  You need to take control of everything.  I wish my ex-wife would have punched me in the face, told my family and the whole world what I was doing and told me she would now be in control of our finances.  I know I would have let her take control if she would have shown me the numbers.  My kids were little then.  I was gambling money that should have been for vacations, gifts, money saved for college.  Now I’ve lost my wife, 1/2 of my time with my kids and my dog, our million dollar home and most importantly my self-esteem and self-image.  We are both teachers.  Our finances are now split between two households which has also significantly impacted the quality of life for our children.  Let alone the pain and lifelong impact of the divorce. Please let him read this…. Tell him that if he continues his life will one day be flooded with regret and shame (and likely financial troubles, broken relationships, and misery for your children).  He doesn’t understand the damage.  Read my story to him.  I will never get that time or money back.  It haunts me every day of my life.  I know I was overwhelmed by all of the responsibilities I had with a young family.  I was actually diagnosed with bipolar disorder at age 50…long after it was too late.  Mental health issues may be at the root of things, too.

Let me know if I can help in any way.

You need to leave if he doesn’t stop.



Posted : 15th May 2022 9:55 pm

Thank you all for your responses. 

We had another chat yesterday. Today he changed the bank details that his wages go in so that's a step in the right direction!! I have told him that this will be our last chance. As much as I love him, I can't keep living the way we are. It's not fair on me or the kids.

He already has a child from a previous relationship that he sees 2 days a week, and it breaks his heart every time he has to send him home, so I know breaking up our family would kill him, but that's HIS choice now. He knows where I stand, so it's on him if he now chooses to lose us. 

The loan shark is sorted, he won't tell me who it was which is frustrating because I know it's a local dealer. That still troubles me, but maybe that's one hurdle we can cross after we've sorted out the finances.

Its going to take a long time to get some of the trust back, I'm not even sure if it'll come back fully. It's the lies and hiding things that hurts the most. The gambling yes is an issue but what hurts more is the secrets and lies. That's what I'm struggling to come to terms with. 

Topic starter Posted : 16th May 2022 8:20 pm

Hi @ibbs2220

Thanks for sharing your story and i’m so sorry you have gone through this. I hope you have a strong support system and you’re also looking after yourself. My partner is a recovering compulsive gambler and i echo what has been said above. They will need to lead on their recovery and you can only support them. It will be hard work and will require a lot of commitment but it can be done. My partner has been gamble free for 2+ years now and remains committed to his recovery.

I am concerned about the loan shark. If it’s an illegal money lending scheme then it’s a red flag. Your feelings of fear for your (and the kids’) safety is 100% valid. Also i’m concerned that he’s belittling your feelings saying things like it’s good he’s not cheating. These statements don’t demonstrate acknowledgement of his addiction and how it impacts you and the family. He needs to do more than change his bank details. I don’t even know what that means? How is that to help with his gambling addiction? He needs to setup gamstop, SENSE, attend GA, surrender finances, give you access to his online credit report, access to all his banking, and should do all these without hesitation.  
I also would steer away from ultimatums unless you can 100% follow through. Otherwise it will be empty words and you may just end up frustrating yourself. 

Please make sure you protect yourself, separate your finances and have a good support system through family, friends, counselling etc. Good luck.


This post was modified 1 week ago by Pep1952
Posted : 17th May 2022 5:52 pm
Share this page

We are available 24 hours a day, every day of the year. You can also contact us for free on 0808 80 20 133. If you would like to find out more about the service before you start, including information on confidentiality, please click below. Call recordings and chat transcripts are saved for 28 days for quality assurance.

Find out more