Today I found out my partner has been gambling again!
He started gambling years ago but I found out in jan 2019. Told me he would stop, all the usual BS. I believed him, told him it was me or the gambling. He said he didn’t need any professional help, he didn’t have an addiction and that he didn’t want anyone to know. I was checking his bank statements for around 6 months and he didn’t go back to it. I then fell pregnant and life carried on and I stopped checking. Every now and then I would ask him and he said that he hadn’t had any urges to gamble. Didn’t feel the need to check. Fast forward a few months, he received £30k in inheritance from an uncle that passed away. At the time I asked did he want me to look after the money and he assured me that no it would be fine he wasn’t going to touch it and it would be our back up incase we needed it while I was on mat leave. Then today happened. I was on his iPad and for some reason I went onto his emails, saw emails from betting websites and knew instantly he was gambling again. When he got home from work I asked him if he was gambling again, he straight up admitted it. When I asked how much he didn’t want to say. Turns out he’s gambled £30k away in less than 2 months. He didn’t gamble for over 2 years. Our daughter was admitted to hospital the last week of March and he started again then. While I was in hospital worrying over our baby he was at home gambling. He has nothing left. He’s had to borrow money of his dad to pay his bills. I was furious but too angry to say anything so I left. He is very close to his mum and last time he begged me not to tell her. I found myself at her house and before I could think about it I went and told her. (From 2 meters away). She said she was disappointed and the usual stuff and went round to see him while I went to a friends. I got home and he’s sorry, biggest mistake of his life and all that BS. His mum told me that she will support him and get him the help he needs. I sat and went through his bank statements, I needed to see it for myself. Some days he did £5000 on online gambling. Whilst on his bank statements I looked at the statement for a credit card that’s in his name that his mum has (she went bankrupt after a divorce a few years ago - he always told me she doesn’t use it anymore but she’s still paying it off). Turns out his mother gambles too!!! She likes to do online bingo.
Now I feel like telling his mum wasn’t the right thing to do, are they going to gamble in secret together! Will she give him money to gamble and visa versa?
Im angry with myself for not being persistent and taking his inheritance money. I didn’t even want the money for myself! Our daughter has disabilities so it was back up for when she has surgery incase one of us needs to give up work. In the 4 years we’ve been together he has gambled nearly £50k!!! That could have halved our mortgage.
Right now I don’t know what to do. If we didn’t have a house together and a child together I would have packed my bags and left but it’s not as easy as that. Last time I told him if he does it again I’d leave, I feel like if I don’t leave this time it’s just an empty threat and he will carry on knowing I won’t go. He doesn’t take responsibility, he would quite happily bury his head in the sand rather than talk to me about it. Says he has no idea why he does it. God knows how he thought he was going to keep it from me in the long run.
any advice right now would be great!! (Sorry it was such a long post!)
You are in the right place and you will build strength through a support netork of professional advice, family and friends.
You are going to need that strength because after a few deep breaths you need to learn about how powerful and dangerous a gambling addiction is.
You have seen what it does and your partner needs help. however he will have to be full ready for that help and you now need to protect yourself...the roof over your head and the finances that directly support you.
Now its not your fault so you cant blame yourself for any of this. He has manipulated you with his soft soaping and lies.
Im not saying he is inherently bad but he is a drug addict for gambling and I wouldnt live with one unless I was controlling ALL the money and they were in full recovery mode.
You can not be a shrinking violet about any of this and he needs the reality checks that you wont tolerate even a sniff of gambling behaviour.
How you play that is up to you. you would have found out anyway and I wouldnt worry about telling his mum...sounds like he is from a gambling family with money problems which should ring massive alarm bells for you...problem is that is could seem like you are the odd one out which is dangerous for any relationship.
I know its hard but living with a problem gambler is the biggest threat to a stable relationship that I know about.
You cant take leaving off the table if you understand me but I know you have commitments to children and a mortgage.
With help and advice you can make the right decisions. Its so difficult to advise you. we are not realtionship counsellors but we do know that a gambling addiction is deadly and you can both never be complacent ever again. whether you chose to stay with him will depend on him going through a born again moment he doesnt seem ready for yet.
Please ring gamcare again, get involved in the forum/chat rooms and check out gam anon meeting for partners of addicts
Best wishes from everyone on the forum
Hi Embarrassed, don't be! I'm the wife of a compulsive gambler. I've experienced most of what you have too. My mother in law is my husband's enabler, his father was too. They don't understand that giving money to a gambler is the same as giving them drugs, keeps them sicker longer.
we're in lockdown so our lives feel like they're on hold. Don't make rash decisions, don't worry about your ultimatum at the moment.
There are Gamanon meetings every evening (except Saturday) 7-9. Just go to the website and login. All f&f of gamblers. They will offer help and support.
To see how his financial situation is, get credit reports. Also for yourself. He can sign up to gamstop, I would advise you do as well if he's likely to gamble in your name. He should show you proof, don't believe what you hear, only what you see.
he needs help and should actively seek it through gamcare or GA. All online meetings now. If he is ready to give up he should be completely honest and transparent over finances.
secure yourself financially, no joint accounts, make sure you pay everything direct, not via his accounts.
money is their drug. Addiction is for life and takes complete honesty and support to get through it. Times of stress are most often when it gets worse. Gamblers need to learn a new way of coping.
don't be afraid of laying down a few rules. Keep calm. He needs help not punishing. Encourage GA or calling gamcare.
the most important thing to do is get help for yourself.
Thanks for your reply merry go round.
thankfully he has never used the joint account but now he has nothing left in his personal account I’m well aware there is a chance he could. I’m going to sit down with him today and work his finances out then I’m taking his cards and he can have a weekly allowance for what he needs.
I feel that he wants me to do everything for him. He knows about gamstop but I know he will wait until I tell him to do it.
I need to get him to open up about it but he won’t, he can’t tell me why he does it. There has got to be a reason.
Thank you joy divider.
I do feel like I’m the odd one out. Gambling does run in his family. I know my family would tell me to pack my bags and go, I deserve more. I actually feel embarrassed to even tell them.
ive spent most of the night awake researching into how I can help but also what support I would get if I was to leave. Right now I can’t make that decision, for the sake of my child I have to try and support but if he isn’t ready to stop and help himself then I’m done.
today will be filled with some serious conversations and a reality check! Thank you for your support. I’m definitely going to look into joining the online meetings
Well I know from my end how messed up gambling can be and how the lies just fall out your mouth, I would definitely make sure he doesn't have access to your joint account as it's not easy to give up yet so easy to think you can win it back. A gambler like myself is an addict and will get money from anywhere. I bet nearly £8000 last month in the space off 1 hour on roulette it was my partners account now we're sat with nothing as PayPal went in to her bank account yesterday and took out £4000 that was all our money and cleared the overdraft putting us thousands into an unarranged overdraft I'm sat here with nothing waiting on a church dropping me some food off and then how can I pay our bills and direct debits boy have I messed up big time and it's all down to my addiction and that doesn't mean I gamble every day this was the first time in a year but look at the damage and destruction I've caused and I've put all the help in place yet we're still left with nothing
Hi embarrassed partner (I know how that feels)
So very sorry to hear your story but can identify totally - it can be so difficult to know what to do at times but remember his actions are not your fault - we spend so much time worrying, covering, apologising, researching how to help, in effect putting our lives on hold waiting for them to admit they need help, actually get help, acknowledge the effect their behaviour has had/is having on those closest to them - and it is totally exhausting.
So difficult too when the person won't open up and be honest - on positive it's good you can access his accounts and he is letting you see his statements (my husband won't do that yet) - maybe you need to ensure he cannot access the joint account?
I do hope he will admit he needs help, as he has to be ready and willing to get help and realise he needs that help.
As everyone says get support for yourself too - the National gambling clinic (CNWL) also offer free counselling sessions for family members too.
I am in the same position. He now has a step change agreement and I manage all income but he still manages to get round it when he wants too. Pay day loans skimming money off of every transaction i send him. Its exhausting. I just found 6 months of gambling on his work iPad. I dont no what else I can do. Not sure I am in the position to advise but I have a mortgage with him and two kids so I also feel trapped. My whole family know and his. That helps but dont expect much of his family, in my experience they just dont want to be responsible for them