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I've posted before, nearly got to divorce god knows how many times. I don't have any proof that my husband is gambling again but his behaviour towards me is vile again... We seem to go through phases, it's all going nice, I do have to have thick skin because he's the type of person who makes criticism towards me but if I say anything he says I'm over sensitive or I took it the wrong way. 

We moved into our dream home in August, it's housing association after a stressful 16 months of being in temporary accommodation. We have had money to decorate it and  buy furniture and  make it homely. Now it's all done he seems to be falling back into shutting me out again. I recently thought we were at a stage where I could let him have a bank card to access our joint account... I can see all transactions, and so far nothing untoward that I can see. He has had counselling over the phone, 1 to 1 before we moved. I'm just sick of him not answering me if I ask him a question or not helping with our children. He does the food shop as he's better than me, he cooks most of the time as he's better than me, he prefers not to look after the kids so cooks which I don't mind as hate cooking.

The trust is an issue, I have the family link on his phone which he hates so I can see what apps he downloads. He gave up smoking for 2 weeks after a chest infection and when I collected him from work yesterday I could smell smoke so I said oh you stink, you've been smoking then... He denied it at first and said it was his colleague, I know d**n well it was him too, he finally admitted himself too. I wasn't bothered I was just going to say that's a shame. It's the lying that really upsets me, he just doesn't care about the uneasy feeling it has given me, just said I didn't want to say because you'll go off on one on me... When I wouldn't have....yeah maybe years ago I would but I thought we were over being like that towards each other. Then later in the evening he said he was going for a bath so I waited half an hour then said to our 2 year old come on your bath time, I got to the top of the stairs and husband appears from the bedroom saying he must have fallen asleep so I say oh well it's child's bath time, he then refused to let me bath our child first and got in the bath. I went in the bedroom and  his tablet was illuminated, so another lie, he had been on it, no evidence this morning when I checked that he had been gambling... He also has a game block. So just reading the paper not wanting to sit with me. I went out for a drive with baby after that to distract the confusion of why he wasn't having a bath. 

I can't help it but this has all caused me a lot of upset, I've been unable to talk to him all day where as he's tried to act as if nothing has happened. I purposely didn't make him a cup of tea this evening and it really wound him up with him calling me childish and me saying you close down on me, you show no remorse for lying to me or refusing your son a bath, apparently I'm exaggerating it all. So it results in him calling me a head f**k, f****d up in the head and I'm going to go through life blaming other people for things going wrong. So I'm left saying if that's what you think and feel of me then we need to work out how we are going to parent separately, then he says oh what a surprise you are going down that road again are you (divorce) I said what choice do we have... Why would I stay married to a man who thinks this of his wife... Then he is saying I'm not an expert on marriage. He then goes to bed. All I wanted was an apology I text him and he replies with If you want a divorce that is your decision. So I've replied with yes I definitely do not want to stay married to someone who feels this way about me.

I've supported this man through everything and he just resents everything I try to put in place to put some security in place with how I'm feeling and reassurance, that's wothoug him getting annoyed with any money I spend, £10 on a coffee and cake catch up last week with a friend, the following day he is transferring £45 to a company for twelve bottles of wine!! He doesn't earn a lot, purposely asked to go down to 3 days a week as our universal credit would top us up... I tried to be positive thinking oh we can spend time together and be connected again, now this, I'm dreading it. 

Posted : 10th November 2020 10:49 pm
Forum admin

Hello @suewoo,

I'm sorry that you're going through this at the moment, but well done for reaching out and using the forum for support again. It certainly sounds like there are a lot of things adding up that you're coping with at the moment. 

GamCare are here to support anyone affected by problem gambling, which includes family and friends. If you would like to talk to one of our advisers, who will listen non-judgmentally and offer advice and support, you can contact us any time (we're a 24 hour service) on the Helpline (0808 8020 133) or Netline (our webchat facility). They can also make a referral for you to have some free 1-to-1 support which can help you to process how you're feeling and decide on a course of action which is best for you.

Keep posting and reaching out.

Take care,

Forum Admin

Posted : 11th November 2020 7:02 am
Merry go round

Hi suewoo these are a few of my thoughts. 
I don’t ask my husband if he’s been gambling if I suspect it. I can’t stop him. I would tell him if I knew. If I ask he would lie.

I would go back to counselling. Talk to someone from gamcare. You need to focus on yourself and the children. Keep an eye on accounts, can you do credit checks? Keep your finances separate if you can.

Sometimes it isn’t gambling, sometimes it’s depression. It’s always a blame game. I often hear ‘you’ll go off on one’ ‘you won’t like this but..’ My response is, ‘don’t assume what I will say because you don’t know.’

I also think too much time on gadgets is not good for mental health. Smoking is not great for mood either.

Its all repeated past behaviour, behaving like children. My husband has depression and I associate it with that, thinking negatively and looking at the worst case scenario. Letting things get too stressful before asking for help. Not having coping mechanisms.

We have to look after ourselves. We are not drs and we can’t fix them. I always talk to my husband when he’s calm. I often say ‘I don’t need an answer, I’m telling you how I feel.’

A lack of responsibility in everything is another trait. Pushing our ‘buttons’ until we make the decision for them.

It’s tough living like this, talk to someone. 


Posted : 11th November 2020 7:13 am

@suewoo When we put the gambling down there is no guarantee that our lives will get better. For a lot of people it does, but for some it just shows the cracks that were in our relationships in the first place. We blamed the gambling for our relationships not going well, but in reality some relationships just don't work out or last.

It sounds like you are experiencing that and maybe your husband just isn't a nice person. Maybe you find the strength to try and get some relationship counselling or just move on with your life and get your happiness back.

I wish you well though, as someone who made my ex-wife unhappy with my gambling, I would only want good things for other people. 


Posted : 11th November 2020 11:39 am

Sounds exhausting.

How do you want life to be?

Posted : 12th November 2020 9:11 pm

Well done on posting here, it sounds like an awful time for the entire family judging by the post. As it stands the marriage is clearly dead in the water and he does not seem overly bothered. You are stressed out as you know deep down you deserve better. 

Gambling is really just the crutch we use, addicts like myself have behavioural issues, we struggle to deal with difficult situations and lots of aspects of life so we reach for our comfort blanket which helps us temporarily escape the storm in our minds. Thats is well and good for us in that moment but we become selfish horrible people as a result.

You partner could stop gamblin today and never gamble again but unless he tackles his behaviour then it is pointless, as who wants to live with a sulking moody child. When I was in the depths of my gambling addiction I was horrible, I would cause so many arguments over the littlest things. It was not until I went to GA and started being honest with myself that I realised that I had to change how I behaved. 

From you pov, you cannot control anyones behaviour but your own. So hoping he will change is not going to work. Seek help and support for yourself. Stop tolerating his behaviour and giving empty threats, open up to friends and family for support. Maybe you could try relationship counselling, see if that is of use? But one thing is for sure something has to change because it sounds like a dreadful existence what you are going through. Again well done on reaching out, you have made a start.


Posted : 13th November 2020 12:12 pm

Thank you everyone for the advice. It all calmed down and he said he didn't mean what he said about me. I wound him up because I was snappy and accusing towards him. We had a hard weekend with our teenage daughters behaviour and he feels I took it out on him next... I didn't I just wanted to talk to him and support him. 

I said I just don't want you lieing to me and it feels like you are displaying the same behaviour as when you were gambling. It then resulted in a conversation where he says what if I have a allowance for a few bets over a weekend, all in your name with you seeing what I am doing and a set amount? Apparently his gam counsellor said this is something we could discuss at a later date, as far as I am aware he hasn't gambled since March. He says it's what he finds recreational and with me knowing he would be in control of it.

I found myself agreeing because I want to have a relationship with him not lieing to me, not hiding it. So he had £15 over the weekend for football and horses. We had a OK weekend, he was helpful and says he feels closer to me.

I'm going to start doing things for me now, I've bought a spinning bike and hoping now we can move forward. I can concentrate on getting myself stronger. 

It feels a bit strange that it has come to this, he previously admitted having a gambling problem but now it's out in the open he feels he can control it. I think for me it was definitely more the lieing and the behaviour surrounding gambling that I had a problem with. If I take the pressure off stopping him maybe he will have more respect for me and have a balance with it. 

I guess time will tell again, I want us all to have a nice Christmas and he says he wants the same, do we just go one day at a time?

Any one gone from having a gambling problem to having counselling and then being able to control it? We have a joint account so he can only take from there what I allow on to the accounts created in my name. Just hope I'm not playing with fire now by allowing this after all the hurt it has caused in the past... but as I say it was more the lieing and deceiving because he never lost huge amounts that affecting a roof over our head or food on the table. Although it did stop his motivation to work more hours.

I am the kind of person that worries and dwells on things, I find it hard to trust and need a lot of reassurance, my self-esteem is low. I can't talk to anyone about it as I think my friends would be shocked I have agreed to this. My mum would probably be OK, she would say no harm as long as its out in the open and she does know we have nearly /split up over this before. 

I just want to feel normal, whatever that is?! 

Thanks for reading if you got this far. 


Posted : 17th November 2020 8:31 am

@suewoo Oh so you wound him up, that makes sense now. It was your fault and you probably deserved it? No, of course not. it's all just manipulation on his part. 

As far as his gam counsellor is concerned, they obviously have never had an addiction themselves. It's one of the most frustrating things that I find with counsellors, and Gamcare aren't any better with their network around the country. They tend to do what the client wants, so if he wants to cut down they'll design a strategy around that. If he wants to limit his betting, they'll design a strategy around that, until the client comes to the realisation that they don't have control and actually want to stop. Only then can the gambler get help. This is the main difference between GA and others who have lived experience versus companies who want to keep everyone happy but don't actually have the lived experience to say what works and doesn't. It might say it in a book but the real world doesn't work like a book says it should. So much pain and time could be saved by being straight with people.

If he is a compulsive gambler, there is no way that he will be able to have a limited amount of money and control it and gamble only with that. It will all be smoke and mirrors and somewhere in the background will be other money or loans you don't know about. Maybe not the first week but it will happen. I have over 40 years experience of this and the lies we tell ourselves, let alone others, and I have never been able to control it. I said the same to my wife and I said the same to myself. It isn't possible. Complete abstainence is the only way.

I make no apologies for being hard on this front because it kills people and it kills those around them, both literally and metaphorically.

I hope I'm wrong but keep coming on here for the support you need. 


Posted : 17th November 2020 11:38 am
Merry go round

Hi suewoo 

nobody knows what was said. When you have counselling you only talk about what you want to talk about. Gamcare counsellors aren’t all compulsive gamblers. So you can say what you like, they can only offer advice on what you tell them. Does that make sense?

a compulsive gambler who is willing to change their life takes responsibility; wishes to make amends; some go to GA; hands over finances; doesn’t want a card or vast amounts.

From my personal experience, small bets lead to huge debts. You can only control your gambling by not having a bet. 

You said you agreed because you don’t want him to lie. We have no idea when they are lying or telling the truth. You only see what a person wants to show you.

This is the ‘game’. He’s won. He manipulated you. 
You are now playing his game, enabling him. Letting him gamble small amounts to make you feel better.

Its you that needs to change. Why is your happiness reliant on him? There is lots of advice on gamanon website, zoom meetings that you can join. Don’t be afraid or ashamed. It’s fear that will keep you stuck in this destructive cycle.

He may not be a compulsive gambler but his gambling bothers you, therefore it is a problem.

This is not criticism, this is where I have been. It’s only when we realise that we need help not just the gambler, that things start to change. You do not have to accept bad behaviour in a relationship. We make mistakes too. We have to learn how to look after ourselves and not be influenced by the gambler.

Posted : 17th November 2020 2:42 pm

Thank you, you have given me a lot to think about. I am going to get myself strong and calm and go from there. I feel like we both want it to work but yes now it feels like I always have to OK everything with him, more so than he does with me. 

What if I have been too controlling in the past, too insecure when I have found out before? Always waiting for something to go wrong in the relationship as that's all I've experienced in my limited number of relationships? He wants to spend all his spare time with me and make our home lovely. No he doesn't help much with the kids at all and we aren't really interested in the same stuff such as keep fit, most films... Sorry just thinking out loud. I must have a rubbish view of people not to know what his intentions are if he is playing a game. He has said it will all be controlled betting, yet it wasn't really in the past as that's why it was hidden, yet now he's had counselling is that going to make a difference? 

Posted : 17th November 2020 2:59 pm

Hi Chris,

I didnt actually read your comment when I replied, only merry go rounds so have just seen it now.. 

Well he has caused another disagreement over dinner and so I diffused that over our teen daughter and then I came down to get the baby's bottle and he was on the laptop and has placed another bet, I thought we agreed it was weekends only. Haven't said anything yet. It will be no more money as he would only use the £15 from the weekend. I don't know how all this is going to end up or how I feel now. Thanks for your input. 

Posted : 17th November 2020 8:30 pm

@suewoo causing arguments to give yourself an excuse to gamble is quite common. I must admit I never really caused arguments to give myself an excuse to gamble so I can't say why others do but just look after yourself.

If coming on here helps you please keep posting.


Posted : 17th November 2020 9:45 pm

I did the very same thing, I went for counselling and genuinely thought I was fine and would control my betting but it was really the addiction taking hold as I knew deep down the thought of not gambling again was too much to bare.  I loved gambling, it totally consumed me but in reality it was my escape. When I could not deal with life's stresses or worries instead of facing them and dealing with them gambling would give me a bubble so I would think of nothing else when I was in that bubble.

It was not until I went to GA and started been totally honest with myself and others that I started to begin recovery.

I can only go on what you have said  and it does sound like your partner has a problem in my opinion. One thing you have already noticed is that the amount of money gambled is not the only thing that is a problem hence you found him gambling during the week.

A lot of people come to GA having hit financial rock bottom, with debt from gambling and no funds to bet. Once they sort the debt they usually end up returning to gambling which invariably eventually gets out of hand again. But some of us realise the money wasted is an issue it is not the main one as when we take a look at our gambling we see how much time we spent gambling, the amount of bets we placed, the time we studied form, prepared for bets and when things like family time, relationships, work etc got in the way of this we became irritable and selfish people. 

Your partner may want you to keep an eye on his gambling but that means much more than handing him £15 on a saturday, what happens if he wins and the 15 becomes £100?  Does it get withdrawn or go to other bets? How many he bets can he do if so? Iis it ok if he puts a good 3 or 4 hours of his day into gambling? You have a right to see his accounts, bank accounts, gambling accounts, credit score etc so you can see exactly what is going on.


Posted : 21st November 2020 11:56 pm
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