Hi everyone. I’m new to this. I have just found evidence that my partner has placed bets. The gambling addiction has been an ongoing issue for the last 12 years. I only found out on bank statements (this time round) after saying he hasn’t had a bet in 18 months. Internet history is easily deleted whereas bank statements aren’t. I spend so much time worrying about him and helping him as much as I can. But I don’t know how to. I know it has to be him that wants to do it and I completely see it’s mental health. I almost feel selfish for feeling s**t. But at the same time I feel naive and manipulated and disappointed. I’m not sure how to go about things. I always tell him to tell me if he feels the urge to do something. He was honest the other day and told me he had a dream about gambling and he had an urge to place a bet but didn’t. Now I’ve found out he has and hasn’t told me I don’t really know what to do or how to handle the situation. Shouting is not an option. Surely someone has been in this situation before? Please please please can someone give me some advice?
Thank you x
I am speaking as someone who is a recovering addict, I may not come across as much help but I hope what I say is of some use. I was in exactly the same position as your partner, I was a 14 year addict from 16 to 30, I am coming up 32. now and managed to stay totally clean having gone cold turkey. My point is this, I used to manipulate people into believing I hadn’t got a problem, that I wasn’t playing but I couldn’t cover my tracks and in the end I got totally found out and faced losing everything. You are not a bad person at all for feeling as you say s**t and yes addiction is a mental illness. My fiancée found it very hard the first few months of my recovery as she and my Dad both strongly believed I would struggle and succumb to addiction and return to betting and the fruit machines, well thankfully, as bloody hard as it was I stayed true. Your partner does need to admit to himself that he has a problem, same as I had to, as long as he knows u have his back he may feel that sense of strength to be able to do so. Addiction is a lonely place, we as addicts feel like no one likes us because of who we are and our mindsets would make us believe our addiction was our friend and we would feed it. As soon as I knew how much my fiancée was willing to do to help me I just broke, I knew how badly I was hurting everyone including my children with the lies and deception. Since then we had a son, someone who I would never have had if I had stayed in my old ways, my daughter who lives with my ex wife has a better life than she would have had if I had continued gambling and me and her have a wonderful relationship. Does your partner open up about certain issues involved with gambling? Can you see any triggers or behaviour patterns? I went through counselling aswell which for the first 5 weeks was tough and my counsellor, now one of my best friends thought I wouldn’t see the whole course through because of my self hatred for what I had let gambling do even though he drilled home to me it wasn’t my fault it was addiction which is a recognised illness and that I hadn’t ever been given the tools to fight it. Sorry to seem so long winded but I do hate seeing people suffering with and because of addiction and I have vowed to help whoever I can because I would do anything to get one up on the evils of gambling.
Thank you for your post and welcome to the GamCare Forum.
For further advice and support for affected others (people affected by somebody else's gambling or who are supporting a problem gambler) you might also like to contact our confidential helpline on 0808 8020 133 or via our netline available very day from 8.00am until midnight where you can speak to an adviser.
Wishing you all the very best,
You can't help him until he wants to be helped. You don't even have to try if you don't want to or can't. I needed all my energy for me when Mr L's house of cards fell in. There's a wealth of advice and support out there for a gambler who wants to stop starting with this forum and GA.
My advice would be to switch the focus from him to you. Protect yourself financially and let him deal with the consequences of his actions and choices. Think about how you want life to be for you.