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Pop124
(@pop124)

I shouldnt be shocked that I'm on here posting again but, there you go. I posted on here a few months back about how my boyfriend of 4 years who I live with was gambling again and wouldn't give up football betting because he said it's just a hobby and different to slots etc. It was about the sixth or seventh time I had caught him out gambling after he had convinced me it had stopped. During lockdown as he was on furlough and I was working from home, he had gotten massively into poker, doing those dollar games (I dont know much about it at all) and claimed it was a way of training himself to not over-gamble or something. I think I almost had just given up even bothering to argue about it.

I was nearing the end of my tether with it. We both work at the same place and I have an extremely stressful job. He got furloughed and I didnt, but I still had to take a paycut, and working from home whilst he sat playing poker and I had more work stress every single day was getting so so hard. I'd find out he had gambled thousands (he was winning which I honestly think gets under my skin more than when he loses) he would be defensive and an a******e about it, eventually I'd give in, sometimes have a heartfelt talk about it where he would tell me how much he wanted to change etc, then a few days or a week would pass, and repeat.

We were in the midst of one of these period where I said I was fed up and he needed to get help and open up his finances to me, access some support, come clean to his mum who has taken out a 17k loan for him in good faith so he could pay off his previous debts.. (he had almost been at a stage of declaring himself bankrupt so she did that for him and he pays her back each month over a 5 year period. If she knew he he was gambling again she would be broken.) Anyway in the middle of this, I suddenly lost someone very close to me very suddenly, and I was going through a horrific period of grief. Everything got put on the back burner.

It was naive, but I was sure he wouldnt be gambling whilst I was grieving so much. Then I got told I was at risk of redundancy so again, I was certain there was no way he would be gambling.

I was wrong. Of course I was. I found out he has a secret savings account with 14k in it, which he uses for gambling. I'm working my a**e off whilst grieving and helping to take care of my grandad in between shifts, scraping together money for food shops which I've always paid for cos of his gambling, and he has 14k sat there, regularly risking 2 or 3 thousand each night on gambling sites.

What I did next is going to sound ridiculous and I know that it is, but bear in mind that I'm exhausted from work, bereavement and also this happening so many times. I couldn't even confront him, what I did instead was ask him how he had been doing not gambling through lockdown and how he was coping, then tell him how proud I was that he had managed to stay so strong. He said thank you and that hed actually not found it that hard as he would never have wanted to put extra stress on me. I really though he would have been honest when I told him I was proud of him. He didn't even flinch. And I felt so manipulative cos I had lied to him too, I hadn't let on that I knew.

And that's where I left it. I'm just not sure what to do. Confronting him about it is horrible because I have to admit to snooping (I'm not about invading peoples privacy and I've always been very apologetic in the past but its caused so many arguments) I feel like I have a moral obligation to tell his mum because everytime he gambles, seeing as she has a loan for him in her name, I feel he is putting her at risk. And also, I'm about to be made redundant and realistically my options of where I can move to are limited. But when I think about my future and getting a mortgage together, I wonder if I could ever trust him. In fact, how could I ever?! I also wonder what the loved one I recently lost, who even took him to one wide the first time she met him and told him to look after me, would be thinking if she could look down and see me and the way I was being treated. Its just something that pops into my mind and makes me sad. Also because he is winning, I know he will act like I don't have a leg to stand on because he will tell me hes got in control of it and if it was a problem then he'd be in a loss... it's a convincing argument when there doesn't seem to be a downside but surely your mum having to bail you out at 30 odd years old is enough to tell you this wont last forever.

I know I've not been very good at helping him, I've been so lenient and naive even though it has happened so many times. He is a good person, but I know it's an illness. It's just the lying, and the selfishness. Does anyone ever change and is me leaving him the only way he actually will ever change? Not for me but for himself? I can accept that maybe I can't stay with him but I feel sad for him that he might just lead this selfish empty life of gambling forever.

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Posted : 12th July 2020 10:54 pm
Kevthekev40
(@kevthekev40)

Hiya pop

After just reading your post I feel the sadness in you, I do believe that winning can be the worst thing for a problem gambler as they believe they've got a system and can't lose, whereas we all know that his  £14000 in his account Will be minus  £20000 soon as you can't go on winning. I'm a problem gambler myself so don't want to sound like a hypocrite but keeping that money away from you is wrong especially with what your going through in your work and personal life. Plus for him he just wants to have the funds to play as that's his drug off choice. But I can't get why he hasn't wanted to pay his mum off and get her out of debt as most older people worry about debt even if it's not them paying for it its still in his mums name. Well when you gamble you lie i know that as done it so many times in the past. . Well I was gamble free for over a year then I went on to some online site and thought I'll use £10 no one will notice can't do no harm. Well 1hr later I'd lost nearly  £8000 that I didn't even have so that's how quick you can lose. I really think you should tackle him about this and what you've found out as he's not going to tell you and he's fixed on gambling at the moment and won't want to stop until he's had a loss then what's going to happen as he's already got a large loan to pay, it's not fair on you pop as you sound broken at the moment and that's understandable due to what you've went through plus what your still going through at this time. I really hope you ask him and he's willing to stop and you both can get on with your life. I hope you don't think I've been rough on your partner it's just I know where it will end and I think you do too, good luck and if you need to talk I'm here or theirs always someone on the site. But don't be silenced and do what you want I can only give you an insight from where I see it but it's down to you

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Posted : 13th July 2020 7:56 am
Andy-L
(@andy-l)

Hi.   I know why he hasn't declared his 14k balance.   Same reason why I never told my partner how money would magically materialise.   I even used to claim to put holidays etc on credit cards when in reality it was coming out of my gambling account. 

Having him show you ALL his finances is really the only way to shine a light on it.   Better still get a credit report which will show you which accounts he has got, that way you know all the bases are covered.   I'm glad for you both that it's out in the open - that for me was the hardest bit.   I too also received a 10k loan from my parents.   Not because I was near bankruptcy but the extra debt would have crippled me beyond repair.   Alslo don't be distraught that he can tell you a bare faced lie to yourself.   It's all part of the addiction - I don't consider myself a bad or devious person but gambling made me do so many things I'm not proud of I wouldn't even know where to start.    That's also the part that will and should lie heavy on a gambler's heart.    That said... winning makes it all ok and he probably justifies by telling himself that when he reaches 20, 30k  what ever the magic number is, he'll put everything right.   

That's usually rubbish and that number might be reached or more likely his 14k will evaporate before it even gets close.    Take the 14k out of his control before it even gets to that stage.   I won and lost more than twice that in the space of 30mins.   It's done all too easily.   

Wish you both the best of luck!!

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Posted : 13th July 2020 11:11 am
Chris.UK
(@chris-uk)

Hi,

reading it almost sounds like the £17000 loan his mum took out might be part of the £14000 in his account, or it's another loan. I find it unlikely that he would be able to win that money consistently and keep it if he is a problem gambler. The urge to return when winning is too much and we can't keep winning, it's just not feasible. Eventually we start chasing losses and it goes.

I'm sorry that you have to go through this. In recovery there is an acronym, f.E.A.R, which can mean face everything and recover or f**k everything and run. For your own peace of mind I would face everything. You might not and he might not like the outcome but hiding from reality isn't healthy for you.

Good luck.

Chris.

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Posted : 13th July 2020 12:27 pm
Kevthekev40
(@kevthekev40)

Hiya pop

How are you getting on have you managed to come to a conclusion if your going to bring up the matter of the secret money? I know it's a hard decision and not one easily taking but you don't need no more stress as you've got enough going on in your life, the only thing you can do is what you want it doesn't matter what anyone says put yourself in control. Let us know your okay 

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Posted : 14th July 2020 9:23 am
Pop124
(@pop124)

Hello,

Thanks so much everyone for the kind words and support. It can feel really lonely being on this side of it just as I know it can feel lonely being the person in the addiction too so it means a lot and also helps a lot.

I haven't yet confronted him about the money and the gambling as I've been taking some time to gather my thoughts and read your replies. This has however been keeping me up at night as when he is downstairs I am wondering how much he has gambled, if he has lost it all or more so the battle between bringing myself to say something and giving myself time has been really difficult. I feel like the longer I don't say anything, the more I become partly responsible for any losses with my silence. Even through my confronting the issue has had no impact previously but I've never really been assertive enough.

I noticed that he deleted all the emails now so I can tell that he knows I've seen them.  Plus I caught him on c***l  website last night for a brief second doing a football bet and bearing in mind last time this all happened he asked me to change his password which he has clearly reset, so he knows that I can tell something is going on. But he has just been avoiding me, to avoid the conversation I think. What concerned me is after my last post I noticed that other gambling sites had also contacted him doing due diligence after noticing the amounts and the times (very late at night) that he was gambling. And he replies to them saying things like no I've never gambled more than I can afford. No I've never regretted gambling. No it's never impacted my family etc etc. I wonder if when he is typing it he believes it cos from my experience when he says those things to my face it sounds true, but it's always when hes winning.

Tonight after I finish work I need to sit down and tell him everything I know. He has told me before (whilst winning, never whilst losing) that he doesn't want to give up because he enjoys it and that if I gave an ultimatum he would have to think long and hard because he doesn't want to give up something he loves (gambling, not me). It never goes that way if he is losing. When he has lost he is always much nicer in a way, less defensive and manipulative and more regretful.

So I imagine that is how it will go and I will have to be strong and say that I have to do what is best for me but I'm going to go into the conversation without any preconceptions of what he will say. It's such a shame because I really would stand by him though it all if I thought that he wanted help or wanted to have a life free from all of this, even if it involved stumbles, but when someone looks you dead in the eye and tells you they don't want to stop even if it means losing you, even if deep down that's not really how they feel, it's hard to hear.

I suppose my next question is that if it does go the other way and he is willing to stop I'm not sure where it will go from there? In the past I've suggested meetings or 1-1 counselling and hes said he doesn't want to do that but without that, even with me taking control of all financial aspects I don't think it would actually stop as it never has previously for more than about 6 months. I also suggested gamblock but he has also refused that because it would stop him football betting which he has said before is separate to casino betting and he is in control of (I disagree). We will see how the conversation goes.

Thank you again so much for all of your help. I will let you know how it goes.

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Posted : 14th July 2020 10:07 am
Kevthekev40
(@kevthekev40)

Hiya pop

I wish you luck and takes the hand from yourself and leads a lovely life gamble free with yourself instead of down in the devil's hell whole of gambling harm and destruction, let us know how you get on

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Posted : 14th July 2020 12:46 pm
Charlieboy
(@charlieboy)

Hi pop im so sorry for your distress and I'm sure that other recovering gamblers would say like me that reading what's happening to you makes us feel guilty because we too have behaved this way . I'm 41days today without gambling and I say that when I read your story I don't want to ever go back there. Inflicting pain and upset and ultimately being v unhappy myself. I don't believe he's happy..... Yes happy when he's winning believe me it doesn't last. I too had a secret bank account but mine did not have a big rolling balance I too am sceptical about that. My secret account would go 0 - thousands -0 in a short space of time. There is the occasional gambler that wins big is v v rare. No prizes for guessing what most do with their big win !! There is no win big enough for a compulsive gambler a wins just fuels the urges. The other thing is deleting emails I used to do that covering my tracks banks , credit cards, gambling websites. In my experience the companies that are more mainstream do run some sort of "responsible gambling" scheme, when they contact you late at night by email / phone it's because you are making massive deposits . The bit that upsets me the most is that he holds gambling over you he would have to think long and hard I don't know if he means that but he's challenging you to confront him and making you doubt yourself. It's actually one thing that I never did my gambling was totally in secret looking back (hindsight is wonderful) I wanted to be given a leading question to say" I've got a gambling problem " but it didn't happen and I just got deeper and deeper until my husband found out and everything exploded. You are in an awful dilemma and I hope you find out the truth. But please you must must must put yourself first absolutely none of this is your fault. If someone asked me now if I would live with an active gambler I would say hell no it's a destructive progressive addiction. My husband after the initial few days decided we would work through this( we've always had a difficult relationship but in this he is supportive) but he has full financial control I have no access to bank cards accounts etc he gives me money to feed our family etc I have self excluded with gamstop from all websites for 5years(maximum you can do ) I'm having counselling and waiting for face to face GA meetings to start again. Do you think that he would do this? This is what it takes to stop gambling it's hard but like all things starts to get easier with time and I'm so so thankful to get a second chance. I wish you all the luck in the world sorting this out and I hope that things go your way, if you are able let us know, or also if you need support. Best wishes

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Posted : 14th July 2020 3:57 pm
Kevthekev40
(@kevthekev40)

Hiya pop

Hope your okay and had a chat with your partner and if he's got any sense he will pick you over the gambling he's just trying to see how much control he has over you. And football betting is just the same he needs to stop all gambling and concentrate on your relationship but don't you feel second best if he's not willing to change walk as he won't be 2 minutes after you. I'm not being awful but he can't have his cake and eat it. Please update that your ok and I hope you both sort it out as by now you know how evil gambling harm is

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Posted : 21st July 2020 12:17 pm
Pop124
(@pop124)

Thank you for your replies. I did speak to him, voiced my thoughts in a calm manner and he was also calm and understanding. I told him that the 14k he was keeping secret meant nothing for as long as he is gambling because it could disappear at any second. I was taking some time for myself to decide what I want to do because at the end of the day, that is all i can control, not his behaviour. 2 days later when I was staying with family he lost almost all of the 14k. I didn't do or say anything to make him feel worse, it spoke for itself. I hope it is the wakeup call he needs to access help, but I can't be sure. I think at this point I just have to look after myself.

Thank you all you've all been so helpful x

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Posted : 21st July 2020 12:25 pm
Charlieboy
(@charlieboy)

Hi pop124 absolutely you need to look after yourself. I have not gambled since the second my husband found out don't get me wrong it's not always easy but I'm 110% committed to my recovery. I feel quite ashamed for him that after you talking to him he carried on and lost most of the money. That is the demon of destructive gambling !! With me before I got found out I desperately wanted to quit and make things better but I was caught in a destructive spiral I couldn't get out of. Getting caught made me quit as finances etc were taken off me and now I'm getting loads of help as I don't ever want to go back. After the initial upset my husband decided to support me and we are in fact over last week or so really working on us. However if I had done what your partner done I know he would  have walked. I'm under no illusions that a relapse would be terminal for us, so if I want to stay married I have to get through this get better stay better. Your partner is playing Russian roulette , so let him play on his own see what happens as long as you are protecting yourself. Take care best wishes for the future

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Posted : 21st July 2020 1:17 pm
Kevthekev40
(@kevthekev40)

Hiya pop

That's all you can do is think about yourself as it doesn't sound like your partner is doing much But when he's No7 money left then the gambling is gone your not there he's on his own then hopefully he will reach out for help as you can lead a horse to water but can't make them drink look after your self 

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Posted : 21st July 2020 7:59 pm
Forum admin
(@forum-admin)
Admin
Posted by: Pop124

Thank you for your replies. I did speak to him, voiced my thoughts in a calm manner and he was also calm and understanding. I told him that the 14k he was keeping secret meant nothing for as long as he is gambling because it could disappear at any second. I was taking some time for myself to decide what I want to do because at the end of the day, that is all i can control, not his behaviour. 2 days later when I was staying with family he lost almost all of the 14k. I didn't do or say anything to make him feel worse, it spoke for itself. I hope it is the wakeup call he needs to access help, but I can't be sure. I think at this point I just have to look after myself.

Thank you all you've all been so helpful x

Hi @Pop124

Thank you for posting and sharing your story. This sounds like a very difficult situation for you to be in, and a lot to cope with, and I want to let you know that you are not alone and we are here to support you through this.

You are welcome to give us a call on our free helpline (0808 8020 133) or via our netline service where one of our advisers can offer some emotional support and talk through the different ways that we can support you. Please keep posting here as well and reading.

Wishing you all the very best.

Zoë

Forum Admin

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Posted : 1st August 2020 12:07 pm
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