So I decided it was time to talk to others.
My husband is a gambling addict, he has been the whole time I've known him, and his whole life really.
It got to the point over Christmas when I was on maternity leave, we had a newborn and for the 4th time he spent all the money we had to our name on gambling, and got into a lot of trouble not paying bills. I ket believing it would change or he had stopped before this, but I realised how niave I had been and professional help was needed. I also now do all of our accounts and I'm in control of all of our money.
I'd love some people to chat to in the same or similar position, and talk about ways you support your family member but also how you stop being angry at them? When you want to buy something but can't, how do you stop automatically getting angry, or just being angry at them for the smallest of inconveniences...
Talk to me please, I'd love some support too!
Its natural to be angry at your husband given the damage he has done. It is not easy living with addiction that is for sure as trust is destroyed and is one of the hardest things to win back. One thing you have done right is to seek help and support for yourself, talking to others about it will help. Gam Anon hold regular meetings, if you check out their site, where you will meet others in the same situation as yourself.
One thing I would say in regard to your post is that you say it's the 4th time he has done this. Its all well and good you having control of his finances but what is he doing to recover and help prevent this from happening again? In other words what makes you think there wont be a 5th, 6th or further replaces?
For my own journey I attend my local GA meetings, I come on here and post where I can. My partner has access to my bank account, my credit score (she can see if I have any debt or credit cards in my name on there), my emails. I am registered with GamStop etc. We have a joint account for money and my wages go in there, all major bills come out of there. If I need to get something I can use my debit card, I never withdraw cash (no need and thats a red alert for her) and that way she can see all transactions online. She also will occasionally ask for my phone and go through it. I have nothing to hide so its fine and it acts a great support knowing she does all this.
I also know if I did replace and rack up debt our relationship would be over. If you keep giving an addict second chances then it can end up enabling them. If you have any questions feel free to ask.
Thank you for messaging!
Actually we are similar, we have Gamstop on both our phones, and I check his phone regularly and all money transactions.
We have had a tricky few years with his step daughters and their mum, over Christmas was the worst then did mediation in the new year and that's when every secret came out. Since then every night we have an hour when all the kids are in bed to talk about everything and anything with no judgement. Every secret and every thought, it's helped so much. We are stronger than ever. I tried to leave just after Christmas but knew to give it one last shot for our newborn daughter and so glad I did.
He's trying to hard, he helps around the house, with the kids and works extremely hard. Now I know everything he knows he can't go any lower but also that I'm not judging him for his actions, he had a sbit few years I was a heavy smoker and managed to quit then gained 4 stone and am slowly getting that off now too. We both have our demons but his is worse because there is no ill health, its all in the mind, and even the smallest of money can contribute.
It was his birthday recently and his sister not knowing his issues got him a scratch card for his birthday and he was visably anxious when opening his card and it fell out... he now feels anything to do with it is so wrong and he wants to be so far away from any involvement with any form of gambling which is great but hard to control every situation.
What did you find helped the best? Did you ever tell people close to you before or after getting help?
Yes it can be difficult with social occasions but the best advice I ever got was that the life blood of addiction is secrets and lies. When the issue is out in the open and exposed its far easier to deal with than when its hidden away. So you gave a good example of someone putting a scratch card in a birthday card. The person did not know and most likely would not have done so had they known.
It is not easy coming out to people but honesty is the real weapon against this, you have seen that in your own relationship where you know have honest discussions which is very healthy. I spoke to my family about my issue and certain close people in work or elsewhere also know. I did not shout it from the roof tops, the shame of the addiction holds us back but it is important to tell some people otherwise situations crop up where we can struggle. It's also common in relapses for addicts to borrow money of family and friends who are not aware of the issue, something which would not happen if they knew.
GA meetings are great for me also as it is another place you can be honest and people there understand what your going through. If you went to GamAnon meetings Im sure you would find the same.
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