I dont even know were to start really..
Me and my partner have known eachother for 10+ years and always been on and off we got back together 18months ago and I'm now expecting our first baby together in 6 weeks. I have always been aware he had a problem and in the past he has been to councilling and managed to stop gambling for a while when we first got back together I knew he had started again but didn't realise how much of an issue it was until we got a house together and a joint account. A few months ago he took out an overdraft on the account why I was at work I of course was so angry and he just made it out like it wasn't a big deal anyway we got over it I've woke up this morning to find my overdraft has been extended during the night why I was asleep and the money has gone straight to a gambling site. I know he gambles more when he has a drink which is quiet often.
I've spoke to the bank and they can't put a stop on any overdraft or loan taken out because of the kind of account it is so im just worried how much more could is possibly go up.. all they tell me is we are both liable to pay back any money borrowed which I understand but we are going to end up in debt. It's all just getting too much for me I'm worrying about everything. He has self excluded himself from alot if sites without me asking but then just signs up to another. I know I should probably leave but I genuinely don't want to when he isn't gambling everything's perfect I just want him to get help but I feel like he just doesn't want to and it kills me to watch him struggle with such a awful addiction. I just want to help him.
A warm welcome to the Forum and thank you for posting about your experience.
I totally understand wanting to support your partner to stop and recover from his problem gambling. It’s important that you recognise that you can’t make him do this, it has to come from him first of all. He needs to take responsibility for his behaviour and for change, and from what you’ve written, it sounds like he might not be ready to do so at this time. There’s a self-assessment tool on this website that you could go through with him which may be helpful in supporting him to think about his gambling in a different way and move him closer towards being able to see the problem it’s become:
As you have shared assets, it’s crucial that you take steps to make yourself secure financially, and in your home, as soon as possible, especially with a child on the way. I recommend speaking to you local Citizens Advice Bureau regarding this:
Once you have protected your finances, we strongly advise against offering your partner bail outs if he has gambled all of his money. Bail outs will support and perpetuate his gambling behaviour. Often it’s having to face up to the consequences of their gambling that brings problem gamblers to the realisation that there is a problem and they need to change. Therefore, as well as not bailing out financially, you will need to set firm boundaries for him and stick to them. You mention that he self-excludes from individual sites, but then will sign up with somewhere new. Instead of excluding himself from sites one-by-one, ask him to sign up for Gamstop. It’s a self-exclusion scheme that covers multiple UK gambling sites and can help prevent this pattern of self-excluding only to find somewhere new to gamble. Ask him to sign up for the maximum 5 year exclusion.
Equally important as making sure you’re financially protected is making sure that you are taking care of yourself and are well supported. If you have someone who you would feel comfortable opening up to about the situation, please do so. You don’t need to keep this secret on his behalf, that’s not a reasonable thing to expect of you. I also really encourage you to contact our advisers to talk about what’s been happening and receive expert support and advice. You can contact at any time, the service is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, either the Helpline (0808 8020 133) or Netline (web chat) www.gamcare.org.uk/get-support/talk-to-us-now
Further support is available from GamAnon, in the form of peer support groups for family and friends of problem gamblers.
You are not alone in this.
All the best,
Hi... I am a compulsive gambler, still struggling to stay stopped. Sorry to hear of the difficult situation in which you find yourself. I echo the thoughts from Elizabeth.
The bottom line is that you can't stop your partner gambling. For me I can say all the right things and then go off and do the exact opposite, not because I am deliberately being a bad person but because i struggle to control my impulses. Gambling addiction is in essence an impulse control disorder and an emotional problem. I react to how I feel about myself through gambling though I convince myself its about money even though my gambling history says otherwise. Am not trying to make excuses for your partner but just giving a healthy dose of reality in the sense that basically good people can do irresponsible things, when controlled by addiction.
On a practical level as Elizabeth says, gamstop is a must, it stopped my online gambling in its tracks. Its an effective practical barrier. Also the joint account was a mistake unfortunately. Its something that needs sorting out. It may actually be a sign of how committed your partner is to try to stop gambling by his willingness for you both to close down this account and have separate accounts. makes me think of my sisters, they have been with there partners for decades and neither of them has ever had a joint account... but the relationships work.
You help your partner by not enabling them, by having clear boundaries of what you are prepared to accept and what you are not.
All the best.