My boyfriend and I have been together for over 8 years. We are both 25 and been together since school and do not live together. His gambling addiction came to light a couple of years ago along with other mental health issues. Since then he has taken the right steps to tackling this addiction. Gamstop website bans, he sends me his salary and I send him money, tells me straight away if he has done a bet (accepting this 'blip') but most importantly he was showing amazing progress in his GA meetings, until he gambled his entire paycheck as soon as that money hit his account. He even had a GA meeting that evening? I feel like everything he has worked towards has been undone, each conversation we have is me saying I can't take it anymore but I also do not feel comfortable leaving him in a vulnerable position either (friends and family do not know the extent and sometimes unwilling to help him).
We are currently 'on a break' for me to think things through, and he told me that I deserve better and that he can't promise he won't do it again and is worried he'll always find a way to gamble even with these preventative measures. He describes it as a split personality. He does not get angry and abusive and is remorseful when it happens. I am torn. We have been making plans to move in together, I have a good job and can pay for a deposit (bad credit on his part) and I worry that he does not fear about losing money because he has me to help him as a safety net? What hurts the most is that I always ask why isn't the fear of losing our relationship enough for him to stop? Luckily we do not have any other commitments involved but worried most for our future if we decide to have kids, a house and that I will be in too deep to leave him.
I think a sensible decision is to leave but I still do have the hope that he is capable of turning this around if he lets himself. I don't know what to do and it is exhausting, please help with any advise.
it was lovely to meet you in the chat room tonight and I hope you return. It was a very busy session tonight. It isn’t always the same so more time to talk. Is is entirely possible for a compulsive gambler to address their problem if they are willing to put the effort in. The most important thing to do is to protect yourself. Keep coming here and asking questions. Hope to see you back in the chat room x
It is strange that we can make our minds so crazy that we can risk everything we have but it is a state of mind that we can get ourselves into. The state is created by us but we are also very brainwashed by an ever more influencing media. If you are conditioned to believe that gambling is just a bit of harmless fun well then you are already falling into a trap that the industry conjured out a very long time ago. Your partner does not realise it as he has been trying to abstain but found that gambling was more appealing than to try and force it from the mind. When have we really ever managed to force a behaviour from the mind and succeeded? The whole process of waking up comes from first reaching the bottom and that can take a lot of time for some people. It took me a long time. My advice is however painful is that you look out for yourself first. Don't bail him out it won't help him.
Best of luck to you.
YOU DO and that is a reality statement he should not be allowed to twist in a moment of remorse and self pity. Him saying that is a form of manipulation...You saying that is the truth and reality of the situation
Now you need to protect yourself and give these reality checks back to him because thats what he needs.
You can use the reality checks correctly...he has a lot to lose.
You need control of ALL finances and his credit report. You have a job on if you are ready and the first one is not to trust him even though you may love him.
Its the most dangerous addiction I know about. It alters minds into cravings and illness. The sad thing is you cant trust a word until you see a proper recovery going on. Even then he will have to admit he is vunerable for the rest of his life.
It can be beaten into history but his mind must heal for a long while. If he is ready he will thank you because gambling is killing him.
Its your decision but I repeat the first thing you do is protect the roof over your head your food and utilities so he cant ruin that...then and only then do you help if you are willing to...many partners walk and he needs that reality statement.
You dont lend him anything...he gets a sandwich allowance out of his earnings and tough love is the only way forward.
Make no plans for I wouldnt live with a problem gambler and Ive been one.
You know him...we are not relationship counsellors. However I can tell you that gambling is a drug addiction with immense power to control him.
Its your call. This is what gambling does...it ruins things...you need your eyes wide open...this is no time for blind love.
Best wishes from everyone on the forum
It is all well and good saying that you deserve better but he will not beat this addiction or be able to even think about leaving gambling behind until he truly believes that HE deserves better. Everything that you experience, he will experience first. If he does this for himself, then you will benefit as an extension. He cannot stop gambling for you, without first committing to changing his own life. Doing it the other way will lead to resentment and he will feel like it is not a choice that he wanted to make. He has to do this to make himself happy and then and only then, success will follow. As hard as it may seem, a gambler must give up gambling for themselves first and foremost. You can be motivated by your family to stop, but if you do not truly want to stop, then you have done nothing to change your mindset or the way you think about gambling. You would only be tackling the effects of your gambling and not the cause. The buck starts and ends with him.
You say that his gambling came around the same time as some mental problems. This is very common. Has he done anything to resolve those problems? If he was using gambling to self medicate his depression, anxiety or whatever was bothering him, then these problems need to be addressed before you can really hope for change.
His mental problems are most likely his trigger, his reason for gambling. I know mine were. I always tried to just quit gambling and failed so many times, because my problems were still there. I had not dealt with the things that led me to gamble, so eventually, I would do it again. Once I picked apart my addiction, and recognised my triggers, I could start to deal with the underlying issues and find better ways to deal with the stress I was under.
Being remorseful is one thing but it will not make the addiction go away. He may well be sorry but is he sorry because he gambled or only sorry because he lost.
He has to unravel what makes gambling attractive to him....it isn't always about winning money, so losing thousands won't make you stop. It is sometimes about distraction, avoidance, habit, boredom and also a place to just switch off, forget, the way I did. Everyone has different reasons why we gamble, so have a chat to him, get him to open up and talk about what is in his head, why he feels the need to gamble and what he wants out of it. Ask him to compare this with what he actually gets.
Gambling sells us a lie. It promises fun, excitement and fortune.
What you get is spending the rest of your life on sites like these while you clean up the mess that gambling left behind. (and that's if you're lucky)
As someone whose mental health I feel was the spark for starting to gamble I'd suggest he will definitely need support through this. Be that you or family members/friends.
I'd suggest a trip to the GP, go in with him if you can, I think there are probably some unhealed mental issues causing this. If you can understand them you might be in a better position in your way forward.