Hi my name is Angharad and I found out that my husband of 3 years who i have been with and known for 13 years has a gambling addiction. He has lost all our savings, spent money that i have earnt working as a nurse during a pandemic and taken out multiple loans. This has been going on for 2 years.
I feel utterly heart broken and sick to my stomach. My husband told me none of it i found out all by myself. We have a young family and i am devistated that our world has been turned upside down, and i am left to pick up the pieces.
I dont know what to do.
He wants to fight for me and our marriage but i am done. It has just been lie after lie. Hes been manipulating and verbally agreesive to me (dont worry i give as good as i get, i wont let anyone be-little me).
I cant believe he has put our family in this position and put us in harms way (who knows when people would be knocking on our door to take things away).
I dont recognise the man i fell in love with 13 years ago....he is a stranger to me.
Am i a bad person for wanting to walk away to protect my children?
I am worried about him. Hes a good father and a good person (it would be so much easier to hate him if he was an awful person).
I really appreciate any advice.
I am so sorry to hear what has happened to you. It must of been real shock and hurt to find out about your husbands gambling. Well done for reaching out for support and sharing your experience.
It is perfectly normal to feel the way you and completely understandable. Unfortunately the deception and lies go hand in hand with with problem gambling. That isn't to say the trust can't regained and the relationship improved again if that is what you want. In regards to the financial side of things a good organisation to call would be Step change on 0800 138 1111.
There's support available for you and your partner, and you are certainly never alone . You can contact us anytime on 0808 8020 133 or via our website on our Netline service , and please try to encourage your partner to also do this.
Really sorry to hear about your discovery and I can imagine how distraught you must be feeling right now.
You should certainly not feel bad for wanting to walk away right now.Who wouldn’t given the lies, deceit and the money loss.
Whatever the future holds, the good news is there is so much support and help out there, not only for the problem gamblers (I am one and currently 11 days in to recovering after a lapse during lockdown) as well as for those affected by problem gambling like yourself and your family.
Whilst taking your time to come to terms with the situation, I’d try and read up on problem gambling (lots of info on here and elsewhere) try and get an understanding that it’s an illness and whilst there is no cure it can be managed if the right things are out in place and the right tools are used.
I can’t comment on your relationship but it sounds like you were happy up to this point and whilst it will come as a shock, things can improve.
I wish you and your husband well but the biggest take away is things can and will get better.If you read people stories on here you’ll see plenty of examples.
I’ve been exactly where you are and it’s an awful position to be in. I was on the verge of kicking my husband out but I didn’t. I won’t trust him ever again. He makes lying into an Olympic sport and has won the gold medal a few times.
He is well aware if he so much as places a £1 bet anywhere then he’s gone. His family will be destroyed and he will be left with nothing as I will take it all.
My advice to you is if you have a joint bank account where your wages go you need to get rid of that and just have your own account which he cannot access. At least then you know you have your own money. My husband keeps asking to have a joint account “so I can keep an eye on him”. No way. My money is my money and he’s not going anywhere near it. I know he will throw it back in my face later down the line trying to blame me because I wouldn’t get a joint account however I can live with that.
I wish you good luck and hope you manage to sort things out for you and your children x
Well done on coming on here to seek support, as you know living with an addict is very difficult and its normal to be extremely angry after all the lies and bs have been exposed. It is also good to hear you are thinking of leaving him as it shows you are a strong independent person who is willing to put the family needs first.
What you need to do now is arm yourself with as much knowledge as possible about this addiction, I would also suggest checking out GamAnon to see if they have any virtual meetings as you can get support off others in the same boat.
I can give you a run down of what myself and partner do if it helps. I have had a couple of relapses in my journey but I am now almost 17 months completely bet free, when I did relapse they were minor from a financial point of view due to the barriers we have in place to protect the family finances.
Dealing with the addiction involves two parts, part one was me facing up to the fact that I have a problem and seeking help, I go to weekly GA meetings where I am open an honest as I look to address my behaviour so I can make changes to improve myself as a person, I can then understand what triggers my addiction and get support in dealing with it.
Part two is butting up barriers to help prevent future gambling, therefore protecting the family and myself. Myself and my partner have our own accounts, we also have a joint account. My wages go in here and most of our bills come out of here. My partner can see this account on her app and I only use my debit card if I am paying for something, no cash allowed (if there was for whatever reason I have to keep receipts as proof) where possible. She also has access to my emails and credit score account which shows up any debt in my name or any credit searches if I was trying to sign up for a credit card etc. I self excluded using GamStop (for online accounts) and with self-exclusion.co.uk (for all betting shops) in her presence (never take an addicts word for things) to prevent me betting.
Also getting the issue out in the open with family and friends is a big help as we will use others to get money but if they are aware we have a gambling problem they will not lend it.
I know it is a lot to take in but all this is necessary if you are to remain together as living with an addict is not smooth sailing, but I can honestly say I am a much better person now Im really tackling the issue with the support of my partner. In fact the tools that help me with recovery have also helped me during this pandemic and keep me sane.
Whatever happens I wish you well.