Hello, brand new member, married to my husband for 24yrs, he's been gambling for the last 13yrs and as it stands today we are just over £98,000 worse off. I am really looking forward to just being able to talk to people who feel the same way I do and hope to find some relief from the stress my head is currently under x
Welcome to the forum and thank you for sharing you story. I am 100% sure you will get some great advice and support from our great forum members. It sounds like things are really tough for you right now and understandably stressful.
If you haven’t already done so, can I recommend you give one of our Advisers a call on either our HelpLine on 0808 8020 133 or our NetLine, they will be able to talk you through all the support that is available to help you.
I think you might be better moving your comment to family and friends section as you might get more relevant feedback on there. It is not nice living with addiction so you have done the right thing in seeking help and support.
Hi, sorry to hear about this. Some questions, have you just found out, does your husband want to stop, has he put any blocks in place to prevent gambling. I am a recovering addict and my wife found out 4 months ago I had been gambling for 5 years losing a lot of money. She straight away took over all our finances, cancelled my credit and debit card and changed all online passwords so I had no access to any money. I registered with Gamstop and put Betblocker on my phone, both for 5 years so I can't get on any gambling website. Also I spoke to Gamcare who arranged counselling which has really helped me talk through everything.
My wife has struggled to come to terms with what I have done as you will do, but she has also had some counselling through Gamcare which has helped. 4 months on we are working through this addiction and so far so good.
Hope this helps, but as joe-90 says you may find better advice from people on the friends and family section.
Hi Trace I am wife of a compulsive gambler. You must be very concerned.
Have you just found out?
Initially you need to either stop his access to money or separate your finances. His debts should be separate from you, they are his responsibility.
Credit checks can help you see the extent of the problem and debt that you may not know about. If you are struggling financially you should contact stepchange and get some advice.
Gamcare offer helpline, online chat or counselling for you. Also for your husband if he has acknowledged the problem and is seeking help.
Another place to seek help and support is Gamanon .
Please don’t suffer alone, it’s a very isolating addiction that affects everyone connected to the gambler. You need help to deal with the situation and learn tools to manage and cope.
Unfortunately this doesn’t get better overnight. It can get a lot worse if you don’t seek help.
Ask questions and we can offer our support.
@bladesman & @merrygoround thank you both so much. I haven't just found out but I'm really struggling with him at the moment. He constantly gambled for over 10yrs and the damage he caused is literally irrepairable. We have many times had no food in the house and I've had to send our two boys to school without any lunch. We've been without electricity and gas in the winter and had to sit freezing cold in the dark, all of this while I was working 45hrs a wk in a good job as a manager and he was supposed to take on the role of house husband. He many times just went through my wages in less than a week and I had to beg and borrow to get through the month until next payday. Two yrs ago something clicked in his head and he just stopped, no gambling at all and life got better, I took control of everything, we took our boys on holidays, we went shopping and it all seemed to be going fine until April this year. I did an online shop and when I tried to checkout my card was declined. Straight away I got that sick feeling in my belly, checked the bank and w**********l had got all of my money. Loads and loads of transactions that devastated me. Since then my life has gone rapidly downhill. He had always refused to talk about his problem, always. He gets very withdrawn and angry towards me, it's always me he takes everything out on and it's got to the point where I am now on anti depressants, I have panic attacks very often and I've become so bad that I no longer leave the house, ever, not for anything. The thought of going outside terrifies me. We've been together just over 25 yrs, I was 23 when we met and I thought all of my dreams had come true, he promised me the world but I'm now 48, we still live in a rented house that we have been to court over around 8 times due to arrears and the housing association trying to evict us. We are up to our eyeballs in debt and I just can't take any more. The resent is eating me up constantly and I can hardly look at him anymore. What do I do??? Most days I feel like I don't want to be here any more. I'm under the mental health team and my life is a total mess. I look at my friend's and I'm so jealous of what they have because I've literally got nothing and I'm now too old to make myself a better future. I just don't know where to turn or what to do. Sorry for the length of my post
Trace, wow I didn't expect that, you have had a horrible time and my heart goes out to you. Reading your post, my first thought is you need to put yourself first before your health suffers anymore. You are 48 but you can have a better life but need to be strong. You have probably given your husband many ultimatums over the years and things are still the same. Ask yourself if you want to be with him and if the answer is yes give him 1 final chance to quit by putting blockers in place and removing access to any money for him. If he doesn't want to do this, no matter how hard it may be, you have to put your future first and rebuild your life. I know it's easy for me to say but you have a lot of life left to live. I am 60 and fel so much better after the last 5 years and, fingers crossed, am looking forward to a good retirement with my wife.
Hope you find the resolve to get through this, but please keep posting.
Hi trace, ok, this is devastating to read. You really need to concentrate on yourself. Make sure you’ve changed all cards and passwords. You can’t afford to let him get to your money.
Stepchange are a debt charity if you haven’t contacted them before.
At this stage in your relationship there is no more room for chance. This is about you not putting up with this or paying for his gambling anymore.
I was in a similar position I’d been married 18 years, had control of money and he was still gambling. I went to Gamanon meetings and had counselling through gamcare. I’ve gone back to work after being a house (wife), I separated myself financially. Support is key. Personally if my husband got into my account I would not give him any chances.
Your partner has a choice to stop and get help. Mental health issues need to be dealt with by a dr. GA meetings. A job.
please call gamcare and get some counselling.
Good evening Trace,
I am so sorry to hear you are going through such a difficult time, it must have been devastating after two years of your husband not gambling to have been faced with those gambling transactions. It sounds like you have been really supportive, even during the most awful times and you do not deserve his anger or the way you've been left to feel.
Many people in your situation have mentioned how hard it is knowing where to turn or what to do for the best, but I want you to know you are not alone in this and we are here to support you. If you haven't done so already I recommend you have a chat with one of our Advisers on either our HelpLine on 0808 8020 133 or if it's easier for you to type rather than talk you can contact them through our NetLine.
There is lots of other support for you too, some people find it really helpful to talk to others who are in a similar situation to them, we provide a chatroom for family and friends of gamblers on a Thursday evening between 9.30 and 10.30 pm. You can access it here: Chatroom
Another great resource for support is Gamanon: They provide meetings and support for anyone who has been affected by a loved one’s gambling problems and have been where you are now.
Well done for being so honest Trace and getting this all off your chest, one of the biggest causes of stress is that we bottle all this up inside and try to carry on and put on a front as if all is fine. It is ok for things to be not fine, you definitely need as much support as possible to start dealing with this. Can you open up to other family member or friends? I would recommend GamAnon as you will get the support of others in the same boat who will have a better understanding of what your going through. Keep talking and posting on here, you are not alone and deserve respect and support.
I honestly can't thank you all enough for reading that ridiculously long post I wrote, I wish I'd known a long time ago that there are actual people out there that care about the families of the addict as I literally had no idea and it has felt so good just putting those things down so that somebody else knows what me and my boys have been through. I swear I could write a book because we've suffered so very much. I have never told anybody else, this forum is the first place I've admitted everything mainly due to the shame of it and knowing that I should not have gone through it for as long as I have. My parents abandoned me around 14yrs ago due to me borrowing £200 from them to help me out over Christmas and having agreed for me to be able to pay it back monthly my mother decided she needed it all back at the end of the january and I just didnt have it to give to her so she cut me off. No contact whatsoever at all. Now I could have coped with that but at the time my two boys were 7 and 9, her grandsons and she chose to cut them off too. They have never had so much as a birthday card since then and although i know i owed them the money i feel like it was such a small amount to lose your daughter and grandsons over but that's what they did and i can't change it. I'd just like to say that he did register with gamstop a couple of weeks ago and has done whatever it is they do for 5yrs I think he told me. If he has blocked himself does that mean he can unblock himself please? I need to know for my sanity as to whether it could all just start again. I would love nothing more than to find myself a bit of a job and start getting my own life back but I have zero confidence anymore and who will employ a 48yr old woman who hadn't worked for the last 5yrs due to mental health problems???? I just want a tiny glimpse of light at the end of my tunnel but I've no idea how to find it and as much as I love my husband and I really do love him, it has never felt reciprocated, mine has always been unconditional but I feel I have to earn his. My mental health worker says I apologise constantly no matter what I'm talking about and that's not normal apparently, it's a learned behaviour from tiptoeing around him all the time. I am going to speak to somebody today I think, if I can work up the courage but may do it by text first as I struggle talking on the phone, I'm a massive crier too so that doesn't help. Please keep talking to me, it means so much knowing somebody is listening to me x x
Hi Trace. To give you hope I hadn’t worked for 17 years. I went for 2 group interviews for Xmas staff. I got the second one and started 2 days later! I’m 55. That was last Xmas and I’m still there. Your medical history shouldn’t have anything to do with an interview.
You can arrange online chat with gamcare, no talking on phone just typing.
Gamanon are also online Sunday night at 7, just type. You can email them for some literature.
Gamstop, he should sign up for 5 years but this is only for those companies that sign up to it, therefore loop holes. He should show you the email as his proof and his commitment to stopping. I would also sign up in your name so he can’t gamble in your name.
You need to focus on yourself and getting your confidence back. Take all free help, everything is online at the moment that will suit you for now .
Take one day at a time. Small steps, small achievements. You will feel better with each thing you do.
Be kind to yourself, you have been severely affected by your situation but there has to be a point where you reach out for help.
Ask as many questions as you need to, someone will offer their experience.
Hi Trace, glad you are feeling some support on here, people are so supportive of each other and by reading stories you can pick out things that may help you along the way. As Merry go round says you should also protect yourself with Gamstop, I believe once you sign up it cannot be removed, so hopefully he has signed up for the maximum 5 years. I would talk to him to see if he will put a blocker on his phone, I assume this is what he uses to gamble, as well. I have installed Betblocker for 5 years and this cannot be removed so would be another safeguard. Also contact your Bank and see if they can put a block on gambling transactions for both of you, if not it may be best to move to a Bank that will, again another safeguard. My wife took over all our finances by changing all the log on details and cancelling my cards so I have no access to any money. This may sound extreme but it needed to be done and quite frankly doesn't bother me now.
Gamcare are amazing, I first contacted them via online chat and they arranged some counselling for me which has really helped. My wife, as a partner of an addict, has also had some counselling through them so it could work for both of you.
If your debts are loans and credit cards it may be worth looking at Stepchange debt charity. I have set up a debt management plan with them and this means that the cards have accepted the amount I can afford each month and interest charges have been stopped. It will take a long time to pay off but has taken a lot of pressure off the debt.
Hope some of these ideas help, stay strong and take 1 day at a time (old cliche I know) but don't look too far ahead just be thankful of each day with no gambling.
All the best
@merrygoround so there is hope on the job front then, that really helps to put my mind at ease. It never occurred to me for myself to register with gamstop and I do know for a fact that he has opened accounts on lots of sites in my name and even using our sons names and dobs so should I tell them also do you think??? This is all so new to me and I really wish I'd known so much sooner that all this help was out there. When he stopped two yrs ago that was in the September of 2018, my birthday is on the 27th of August and in 25yrs together I have only ever had two birthday presents and cards. The week of my birthday that year he had lost just over £500 and yet again I felt so hurt and drained with the pain of it all, like his gambling meant so much more to him than I did and I decided I'd had as much as i could take and didnt want to live anymore. I prepared to end things and drove away from the house. He saw me do all that and never said a word, I sat crying and crying, looking at my phone thinking he'd ring me or text me but he never did. Sat there thinking about everything my hurt turned to anger and I decided f**k this, he's not worth me ending my life for so I just locked myself in the car and went to sleep. I woke up 4hrs later, still no texts or calls and drove home because i knew he'd be out at work and i logged onto my laptop and contacted every single company that i knew he had accounts with just through the transactions going out of the bank and I told them all what they had allowed him to do to all of our lives and that I was at the time suicidal and under the mental health team. To their credit, bar two of them, they were all extremely helpful and although I didnt know any of his usernames I gave his full name and dob plus his email addresses and my own also and they traced his accounts like that and they closed down all of his accounts. A couple of days later, I knew that he'd found out but he never said a word u till around a month later but even them he turned it around on me and told me I should have sorted it sooner or I should have taken his laptop away from him. This really broke me hearing him say that, he's an adult at the end of the day and it was him who started so to me I thought it was his job to stop, not mine to stop him. I just don't understand, I don't know him anymore because it has changed him so much. He's miserable and grumpy and aggressive and negative and he just drags me down every single day when he comes in from work. He doesn't smile or laugh anymore at all and if this is what gambling does to a person then I can't understand the attraction at all. He makes me feel like everything is my fault all of the time and I really need help to find a way out of the mindset he has drummed into me. You have no idea how much you are all helping me see the light, thank you so much x