I knew my partner was a gambler from day 1. He told me and said he wanted to get better. And he made to 1 year without gambling (Feb 19)
However at some point he started gambling again. Taking out payday loans, gambling money from his company (via the work credit card) and only told me when he had no other option as his back was against the wall - which was September 2019.
The level of lying is what is the most terrifying to me. He has deceived me so seamlessly for a year (maybe longer - he was taking out payday loans even when not gambling) threatened my financial security (I am lucky that I have stayed independent and can care for myself). But he has looked me in my eye and promised he has told me everything, only for me to find out new things over and over again. (I found out way more on Friday).
I also think his lies have gotten so big and gone on for so long - he is starting to believe them all himself.
I've now kicked him out as I feel that nothing else will get through to him. I've tried everything else. I need to protect my mental health (I have quite severe anxiety) and my general security - and right now, he is a threat to both.
He is a good person, cares for me, supports me, builds me up and is beside himself with my decision. He has made it to 46 days clean now, has been going to therapy once a week (though he lied at first to the therapist) and has been going to GA 2-3 times a week.
It's agony as I love him and when things are good, I feel like the luckiest girl in the world. But this - this has ripped my heart out.
He is living with his mom and dad now - but I really don't think they get the severity of the situation and how dangerous a place he is in. I'm speaking with his sister to try and get her to realise, but I think she thinks its over the top. So I'm also scared for him.
Is there hope? Does anyone have experiences where it gets better? Will we find our way back to each other or should I end it completely and try and move on?
Sounds like a lot of work, I would personally call it a day but I am not you.
If you look at all the older posts every person sounds just like yourself, and I have never seen a happy ending on this subsection of the forum. It is very hard to change, if you work at it you will have to deal with relapse after relapse.
I have just read your post and wanted to respond; please don't feel like you need to be alone with this. It sounds like you have been going through a really difficult time, and while it looks like your partner is now taking some first steps to address his gambling, it does feel like you have not had much in the way of your own support, as for so long the focus has been on your partner.
You have clearly taken some practical steps to protect yourself but it sounds like you are left dealing with a lot of unresolved feelings, a lot of unanswered questions and with no one really to turn.
I wonder then if we might look in to referring you for your own counselling to work through your own feelings and support you in your decisions you may need to make going forward.
If this is something that you feel might be helpful please do get in touch via our helpline on 0808 2030 133 or our netline, both available 7 days a week, 24 hours a day.
I wish you all the very best.
I appreciate that you might feel that way but I am on the other side of this scenario and can tell you that people can and absolutely do change. I gambled every day for about 8 years. I had been gambling for 10 or so years before it became a problem but for the last 8, I was addicted. It affected my personality, it affected my work, my relationships and I desperately wanted help. I had tried to control this addiction for many years, self excluded, handed over bank cards and ferociously battled with the gambling for so long. It kept defeating me. I would crumble after doing about 4 or 5 months without.
Then, something changed. I had enough. I realised that I had to let go of the pain and the only way to do that was to turn and walk away from it all. I was not given ultimatums or anything like that, but my partner would cry, and I know he was scared of the person I had become. I was terrified too and when he saw that, it was easier for him to understand that this is not what either of us wanted. I did not want to gamble anymore but still, I would find myself doing it. It was almost automatic and it controlled me. I learnt to hate it but my brain craved it. It was such a torment. I was afraid to be awake because I would gamble so impulsively. It was so dangerous. It was always a relief to get into bed where I felt safe from myself.
I signed up to Gamstop which really helped me notch up the days, I gave my partner my word and this time, I meant it. It was not a smokescreen anymore.
I grew sick of the lies too, even though they were my own. I did not want to bet for the last 5 or so years of my addiction, I just wanted peace. I wanted to get the money back so I could settle it once and for all. It took me another 3 years of digging in and making it much worse for me to realise that salvation was not going to come this way. I would not get peace from winning back my losses. I knew that the only way for me to truly get peace was to turn my back on the whole gambling affair and draw the line.
Now, I have gone nearly 2 years without gambling. I have been shown trust and support and I have earned it too. I made a promise and I meant it. I am done with gambling. I am done with lying. I want my life back and every day, I work hard to keep that promise. I still want to gamble, but I choose not to. That's it. That's where I am now.
I will not let my family down because they shown me such support. I think sometimes you need to forgive yourself for your mistakes before you can accept other's forgiveness. It was my own guilt that kept me gambling. It wasn't gambling for the sake of winning anymore, it was about survival. The hardest lesson to learn was that I had to let go of the losses. Once I did, it became easier. Once there was nothing more to hide, the lies were gone, the guilt was eased and I could be free to work on my recovery.
People don't choose to be addicts. It just happens for so many reasons.....I know that the person in question will be hurting badly and that because of that, everyone around them is hurting too, but the safest place for them to be is together so they can work this out. I did this without any ultimatum. I chose to do this for myself. It is far easier to give up gambling if you do it for the right reasons, otherwise, you resent those that made you stop. You need to do if for yourself, first and foremost. It is not selfish. It is just the way addiction works.
I chose not to gamble any more. Giving someone an ultimatum doesn't make it any easier to quit. It just adds pressure and fuel to the fire. To quit, you need support and you need people to understand that this is not a lifestyle choice. I still hurt every single day because of gambling. Believe me, you can learn to hate it, but the best way to stop is sometimes to see how much you mean to others and for them to understand how much you are hurting in order for you to do this to yourself. I did not want to hurt my family. My family got hurt because I was hurting myself. It was never my intention, but the guilt fuelled my addiction further and kept me gambling when really, I should have just walked away. When my family forgave me, I was able to move forward. Guilt keeps you in the cycle. The losses keep you in the cycle. The wins keep you in the cycle. It is horrific. There is no end to it except to end it all and stop completely.
Gambling is not fun. It is a form of self harm. If you can see it that way, then you realise that it is not selfish to sit and gamble everything you have. It is actually a cry for help. I'm not trying to guilt trip anyone, I'm just telling it from the side of a gambler. I really wish the best for all of you and hope you can find resolve.
Yes its hard B bex and this is the tragic situation that a gambling addiction causes. A gambling addiction has consequences and for both of you this is an important one
Its your decision. Firstly you protect yourself and then you can help him from a position of strength and knowledge. we can not make that decision for you.
I think you get the true severity of the addiction. I respect the excellent post from lost and found because most gamblers are not inherently bad people and there is another side. Its a drug addiction and a mental illness which hooks people fast.
I was an addicted gambler and now I am gamble free....free from gambling but never complacent. So there is hope. I have money now and I see gambling clearly for what it is and why I was vunerable.
When you gain knowledge and support you can decide if you want to help him deal with this. You need to know what you are dealing with and whether he is truly ready to surrender to a born again moment. His GA meeting should have humbled him to this...he will see his past, present and future self at those meetings if he continued to gamble.
Gambling destroys people...it was never an income scheme or even half a chance for the poor dreamers. Its a random, long odds mugs game and he should be realising that now. Nobody ever offered him no brainer odds for easy money! He became hooked on the dopamine of expectation. will it be me is an extremely powerful primordial body chemical which alters minds.
If you love him I would feel he deserves a chance. However its on your terms with eyes wide open and all money controlled by you. The distance may be a starting bonus here and you will need some family support and counselling.
Best wishes from everyone on the forum
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