I have (well I thought I had) happy marriage and a gorgeous child and a happy relationship. Until I went on to my husband's laptop (by chance to zoom chat to friends) I had no reason to look at his emails or anything as nothing has made me feel like I shoul, they were just on the screen and found emails from betting websites. My whole world has come crashing down. He has admitted to having a problem and has 'chased a loss' and now has a debt of 20 thousand pounds. Firstly I don't know where to begin, I am furious, devestated and shocked. But I am also embarrassed and ashamed that this has been going on for over a year and I haven't noticed. He has never ever done anything like this before and he is usually a very trustworthy person. I feel betrayed and like I don't know him at all?! He has agreed to getting help. But would he if he hasn't of been caught? Who knows. Not only is the stress of the debt a massive issue as now I don't think we will be able to remortgage our home. But also the fact that the one person j trustee the most in the whole world has lied to me for so long. I don't know where to begin or how this happened? Do j leave him? How will I ever trust him again?
Please any advice would be great as this has been a really tough 24 hours. Thank you so much.
Thank you for your post on the Gamcare forum , this cannot have been easy for you to write and come to terms with .
It's understandable that you are feeling this way, if he was hiding this addiction from you but try not to feel embarrassed or ashamed about this.
It is common for gamblers to hide gambling from loved ones , but once things are out in the open then the recovery process can begin and things can start to mend.
We are here to support you or your husband at any time. You can contact us on the Netline or by phone on 0800 8020 133 (24/7)
Please continue to share and post on the forum . We also have a chatroom for friends and families of people affected by problem gambling , these are held on Thursday evenings between 9.30 pm - 10.30 pm .
I'm sorry that you have found this out about your husband. There are places where you can get help yourself with coming to terms with this sudden news that's been put upon you. As the adviser above says you can give them a call or Gamblers Anonymous have a side called Gam-Anon for partners and friends of problem gamblers. This helps you understand that you are not alone feeling like you probably do.
Just a side note from a compulsive gambler who went through this with my wife, albeit on the other side, you need to understand that it's not your fault. In fact this illness is in no way a reflection on you, as much as you might try to rationalise it somehow. Could you have seen it earlier, how could he lie to me, what's wrong with me? The answer to all of this is that it isn't your fault, you couldn't have seen it earlier, the lies weren't about you, they were about allowing him to carry on the gambling.
When I was in active addiction, there was nothing that could come between me and a bet. Not my wife, not my children, not the threat of losing everything. For me the illness was greater than everything I loved, but that's exactly what it was. An illness through addiction. I'm not here to tell you what you should do or think, but there is help and hope for your husband, and you and your husband together.
I wish you well.
I am so sorry to hear about your discovery with your husbands gambling addiction. I can only imagine what your going through. Sadly I put my wife through the same ordeal when she discovered that I’m a compulsive gambler.
There is nothing here that I can say that will make you feel better. But as Chris has said above there is plenty of help for your partner and also for you too. The first thing you need to do is get the whole story out of him. It’s better out now, instead of picking bits off the scab further down the line. He isn’t going to want to tell you the whole story. How can he? He will be so embarrassed and ashamed of himself. But he is responsible for his own actions. He is the person who has lied, been deceitful and run up a big debt. So he owes it to you. The thing is this illness never goes away. But with the right mindset and ongoing treatment there is no reason for people to go back to gambling. But your partner has to want to stop not just for you and your child. But for himself. He will need blocks in place to stop him accessing gambling websites. There is software for this which can be find on the website. There are also bank accounts which don’t allow deposits to online casinos Monzo being one of them. Really he needs someone to take control of his finances. Whether this is you or another family member. It will all be very raw right now. He has completely shattered the trust. But depending on how you both react to this there is hope. Like Chris said above. It’s so true you haven’t done anything wrong or anything to embarrassed about. I love my wife to bits. I went from never telling her a lie to a full blown porkies during my time as gambler which was the majority of our relationship. Just in the later years before I hit rock bottom is when it really got bad. But the lies I was telling was just about gambling. That being creating opportunities to gamble, getting home late or when I didn’t have much money. But I didn’t think I was doing anything wrong and believed I could fix it and eventually pay of the debt without her even knowing. How stupid but that’s the mind of a gambler. I haven’t gambled since but I regularly attend GA meetings, talk to my wife about it and although the trust is no where near 100% and may never be, we live a very good life now and am so blessed she stuck around. But we are all different and everyones stories are different. I just wanted to shed a bit of light as I know right now it will be very hard for you to see a future. But you have to do what is right for yourself.
Keep checking in on here and call Gamcare too. I found them very helpful and so did my wife too who sadly was sadly in the same boat as you.
It is repeating a behaviour until it sticks. Your husband has been blindsided by a huge prize in an advertisement or a friend who said this team can't lose. There are a hundred reasons why it starts. You learn the behaviour and even if it is wrong it sticks at some point as it fulfils certain needs that are natural for anyone. The only way it changes is that you as an addict wants that change. If that wanting to change is not genuine it won't change. Tony Robbins once said explore your web and find out what makes you tick. Many of us never do but an addict should because if you don't get to know yourself in a very deep way you will be giving up your will power to your impulses and that just means more gambling. I hope you find a way to move forward. Just note this is not about you. This is about someone who may not have been so good at communicating with you about feelings and emotions as you may have thought. On the upside you have some discovering to do.
All the best.
. But I am also embarrassed and ashamed that this has been going on for over a year and I haven't noticed. He has never ever done anything like this before and he is usually a very trustworthy person. I feel betrayed and like I don't know him at all?!
He has agreed to getting help. But would he if he hasn't of been caught? Who knows. Not only is the stress of the debt a massive issue as now I don't think we will be able to remortgage our home. But also the fact that the one person j trustee the most in the whole world has lied to me for so long. I don't know where to begin or how this happened? Do j leave him? How will I ever trust him again?
1) Don't be embarrassed. Us gamblers are very good at deception (and self deception).
2) Don't re-mortgage your home. It's his debt and his alone. He has options for freezing interest and charges. Borrowing against the home just gives him a chance to start borrowing and gambling again.
3) It doesn't matter that he was "caught". What matters is how he deals with his gambling problem now. What's done is done. If he has a sincere desire to stop, takes appropriate actions and works at his recovery, it doesn't really matter what was the prompt to take control of his life.
4) Do I leave him ? Only you can answer this. The most important thing is to be utterly ruthless in protecting yourself (and your children) in the event you have no option but to to leave.
If he stopped forever now the loss of £20k and breach of trust can be recovered from. The amount isn't catastrophic in the scale of bringing 2 kids up over 18 years.
Please always remember though the risk of relapse is high for gamblers.
I can totally sympathise with you. When my partner told me about the gambling, I was absolutely heartbroken. I thought he couldn't lie to me, I trusted him 100%. I knew him for more than 5 yrs. I was totally clueless, never doubted him, my friends and family adored him! I always just thought he doesn't manage his finances well but never had an idea it was more deep rooted than that. He told me about the gambling a few months before we were due to get married and it was like an out of body experience. I felt numb. He told me about the debts he racked up... how he used the money his dad gave him for our wedding for gambling. He told me about all the lies and deceit. I was so hurt because I'm very good with money and I was doing extra shifts to add money to the wedding pot. I cried for days. But I could see that my partner was committed to turning his life around. He acknowledged he needed help and wrote an 'action plan' listing down all the things he would do to recover (he showed me proof each time something is ticked off the list) and how I could support him. I read about gambling addiction and tried to understand as much as I could.
Trust is the main issue as well and I asked myself the exact same question. How can I trust this person again? How can we go on without trust in the relationship? Once I read and understood more about the addiction I was able to see things a bit more clearly. And I came to terms with the fact that this is actually an illness. Compulsive gamblers are ill and they need help. At first I was ignorant and gave him an ultimatum, if he gambles again then we're done. But then I realised, it's like saying to someone who's on remission from cancer that if the cancer comes back then we'll leave them. So I apologised to him and told him that as long as he does his best and work hard to recover then I'll support him all the way. We've got all the blocks we can ever think of to prevent himself from gambling (Gamstop, Monzo which I can access, self exclusion etc) but if it does happen and he relapses then he should get back up, reflect on how that relapse can be prevented in the future and keep on working hard to a lifelong recovery. As long as he's willing to try then i'll be with him.
Should you leave him? I agree with the posts above, only you can answer this. One of the things to mainly consider is your partner's attitude toward this - how committed is he to arrest the addiction? I also suggest learning about gambling addiction as it will help you reflect and plan your next course of action.
I wish you all the best.
Please be aware that you are in shock and this will take a lot of time to process and come to terms with. I would strongly advise you that you persuade him to tel everyone he knows as part of his reconcilliation. While this might bring 'shame' on you both or even show vulnerability, your vulnerability will be on show as opposed to most people's vulnerability that is kept a secret. This will help your partner I feel. I personally have not told people about my previous problems mainly due to my mum who doesn't want the shame and is trying to protect me. The thing is if you get labelled as 'a gambler' it feels like no matter what you do it will be what you will be remembered for. But I feel like telling everyone would have two positive outcomes. (1) it will be a catalyst for you to prove yourself and everyone wrong. (2) It will help with future honesty if you tell as many people who you could possibly thing could be dissapointed in you, then in future you have more people to judge and this means something as you value their opinion, sometimes deep down what a gambler knows to be the right thing to do or not to do is not enough. Peace.