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Hi Trace it is really worrying how deeply affected partners and others are affected. 
Yes tell your kids to secure themselves.

A compulsive gambler does everything they can to continue and cover up what they’re doing. They play the ‘blame’ game. Gaslighting, manipulating, stealing, etc. 
Gambling in your name is fraud.

What we have to learn is to detach and follow through with consequences. 
When you talk about your situation and his lack  of reaction it shows that he doesn’t believe you. There are no consequences, he knows you don’t do what you say. He also relies upon you to sort out his mess.

Gamblers don’t take responsibility. That’s for anything. No responsibility for gambling, for how they feel, for their actions, everyday life. 
We as partners take on the role of both. We sort everything, take over their role. They become child like.

Communication. This becomes difficult. His mood is reliant on his gambling. It affects mental health. He can’t talk about it because he’s in denial. It’s his ‘go to’, what he thinks makes  things better. In reality it makes everything worse.

We become almost brainwashed, everything we do to try and stop them fails. So we end up scared, as you said ‘walking on eggshells’  checking up on them, not wanting to anger them.

What we need to do is set realistic boundaries. Not make threats we’re not willing to follow through with. Encourage help, gamcare, GA, gamstop, monitoring accounts, credit checks.

Most importantly we have to get help for ourselves. Making life comfortable for an addict is enabling. It takes a long time to get well. This mess didn’t happen overnight so it doesn’t get better overnight.

We cannot stop a gambler but we can stop enabling.

This is not your fault, it’s not your responsibility to fix him. You have to fix yourself. It’s about self care.

This situation is affecting both of you. He has to seek help and commit to not gambling. You need to focus on yourself.




Posted : 29th October 2020 7:15 am

Hi Trace,

I have not posted on here in a long time but thought I absolutely must when I read your story. 

It seems like you are in the deepest of holes at the moment but it can get better. It sounds like your partner is in a very bad place and clearly needs support himself, but this cannot excuse the way he is treating you. 

Please do not think you have no job prospects at 48. I know for sure that people love to employ ‘real’ people like yourself. 

Wishing you all the best. 

Posted : 29th October 2020 11:21 am

Hi Trace, 

Good on you for having to courage to let all of this out, no wonder you have struggled mentally carrying all this baggage, its enough to drive anyone insane. Thats why it feels so good to talk to others about it, the storm thats going on in our heads is what drives us crazy as we try to keep tabs on everything and pretend everything is ok while in reality we are going down in flames.

I would defiantly recommend GamAnon meetings (google them and you should be able to find a meeting) for you, you will meet others in the very same situation as yourself, the meetings I would imagine they have virtual online meetings, so you attend and not even speak at the first one or two if you dont feel like it, you can listen to others and Im sure you will hear very similar stories to your own.

I would also recommend counselling at some stage, you know its not right to be in a relationship which frankly sounds abusive for so long, also alarm bells go off at your parents behaviour. None of which is your fault but Im sure your use to taking the blame for everything at this stage. You deserve so much better and it sounds like you have decided to make sure you get better. That is one of the key things you will learn, you cannot control other peoples behaviour, but you can control your own. Keep making steps to look after you and life will improve.

Again well done on seeking help, you are doing great, keep seeking help and support and it one day at a time. You will have setbacks, we all do, but you will improve yourself so much over time you will look back with pride on how you have changed. Keep posting.

Posted : 2nd November 2020 9:17 am


I've just read your story, just wondering how you are doing? I hope you are getting stronger x

Posted : 17th November 2020 9:01 pm

Hiya everyone, 

I am very new to this. I have have been with my partner for 15 years and have 3 young children. 3 weeks ago my partner has told me he has a gambling  problem  and we are in debt  of 43 grand that he has run up over 2 years. 

I feel like such a mug for not knowing. I suffer from anxiety  really bad. I have every emotion in me. Plus it has made relive some childhood memories  I didn't  think i would have to go through again. 

I am hoping I can get some advice and support as I have so many questions and feelings and hope this will help me as it's still very raw. 

Thank you for reading.  

This post was modified 3 days ago by Kdoughnut
Posted : 22nd November 2020 2:04 pm
Forum admin

Dear Kdoughnut,

                               Welcome to the Gamcare forum. I am really sorry to read what has been going on for you. It sounds like this is really hurtful and challenging on several levels. I appreciate this all feels really raw at the moment, and it is important that you are kind to yourself and make sure you look after yourself as well. Unfortunately, if a problem gambler doesn’t want you to know, you won’t find out until they tell you or by accident, so it definitely isn’t your fault that you didn’t know. I can appreciate this isn’t helping your already serious anxiety so I would strongly recommend you speak to your GP as a matter of urgency. I would also strongly recommend that you contact us on the Helpline on 0808 8020133 or the Netline here .  We are here 24/7 and we will also be able to offer you one-to-one support on an ongoing basis. Hopefully, you will also be able to connect to people and hear their experiences that may well help you. 


Please keep posting and sharing and please know you are not alone.


Wishing you all the best,




Forum Admin

Posted : 22nd November 2020 11:48 pm
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