Support us

How to confront? Depression - scared of response.  


How do you confront your partner that you have yet again discovered secret betting behind your back? 
Especially when they are already suffering from depression. I am scared that as soon I confront, it will trigger a complete low and I’m scared that he’ll disappear or even worse, try and do something to hurt himself. 
Gambling has ruined his life and every time I think that we’re making progress, I found out that we’re not.

I found out by checking his phone whilst he was asleep. This has been an on and off reoccurrence for 3 years now. Always made worse by the current Cheltenham Festival (horse racing).

Have any other partners/family members been in a similar situation?

This topic was modified 3 weeks ago by lily12345
Posted : 11th March 2020 2:15 am
Merry go round

Hi Lily.

this is what springs to mind. What are you doing at 2 in the morning?

why are you checking his phone?

why do you want to confront him?

a compulsive gambler is self medicating. An addict is afraid of their 'self'. Which came first, the depression or the gambling? Who knows.

why ask or confront him, you know. He'll lie, make up excuses, promise never again.

look at the length you are going to to catch him out, checking up on him, sneaking around.

fear. Fear is very powerful, it keeps you stuck. You are not responsible for his actions. Don't let his behaviour send you mad.

fear keeps him gambling, he's afraid to feel. He thinks it makes things better.

this is about you. Stop worrying about him and worry about you. Why are you willing to accept this? 

My husband has had depression since I've known him, 24 years. He takes meds and continually gambled for most of that time. His mental health just deteriorated over time and he was diagnosed bipolar 2. He stopped because he chose to. I have control of finances but that didn't stop him, it did slow him down. 

Have you been to get help? Gamcare, gamanon meeting? Change the way you react, stop checking, do something about the way you are feeling. Get help.

these are things your partner could do if he wanted to stop. He could sign up to gamstop, hand over finances, self exclude, find a GA meeting. Until he chooses this way forward, he will continue. You have to show him that this is not what you are willing to accept. It doesn't have to be a confrontation, you can tell him you know. You can ask him to seek help. Keep things calm. The only thing you should offer is emotional support. 

You have to act, otherwise this is a cycle that will continue. This is about you, your life.

Posted : 11th March 2020 7:45 am

Well said.

Partners to gamblers very easily take the police role but it does not lead anywhere. He plays to feel normal if only for a short while and you policing him just fits into that role of hide and seek that gamblers will play with people who are close it goes into the entire gambling pattern and is counterproductive. Facing your depression is should be done with professionals around as I detect that you are concerned about his well being maybe you should start there. I recommend cbt (cognitive behavioural therapy) or hypnosis which can be a faster fix as most of what we do is in the subconscious. Please look for your own support here. You need it as much as he does and it will give you tools to deal with your everyday life and also people you can talk to.

All the best.



This post was modified 3 weeks ago by c43h
Posted : 11th March 2020 8:19 am

I haven’t had any help, no. I feel like I’ve gone past that now though... My partner
knows that I know. Doesn’t want to talk about it which isn’t an option for me. Just waiting around until he can bring himself to talk it through but I know this is to get the ‘story straight’. It just feels like a ticking time bomb. We are supposed to be getting married soon and right now I just can’t see myself going through with it. I just feel like packing my bags and getting away to think it all through. I know that addiction is an illness but the lies and deceit feel personal. It’s like an affair but with gambling and not another person.  

Posted : 11th March 2020 7:36 pm

Hi lily12345.

Im sorry to see what you are going through and this is the devastating result of a gambling addiction.

You cant live the lie so at some point you will have to confront him if safe to do so. I take on board that its a delicate situation if he suffers from depression but the gambling is in effect self medication and a drug addiction to cope with issues within the soul.

He needs reality checks and you need to protect yourself financially.

He needs to be ready to stop and seek help

We are not relationship counsellors but we do know that a gambling addiction shreds relationships for breakfast because it doesnt even care about the gambler

The addiction is a delusional illness so Im not saying he is inherently bad. Im saying he is ill and I believe the depression often comes first and the gambling feeds off that leading to a vicious cycle down to destruction

Its no game about a silly flutter. It takes over the mind and body just like any substance addiction. Its complex and when hooked its not mainly about the money anymore.

I wouldnt say its personal although it will probably feel that way to you. I defrauded my parents for years because I was very mentally ill. Its sound like an excuse for my behaviour  and we didnt come to terms with until well into my recovery. In the past they thought I was just silly stupid and greedy with money.

So living with a gambler will give you no security or peace of mind. If you have no trust you have no relationship. If you choose to help him he needs to be ready for a born again moment.

Its your decision and your choice. Its not your fault. You can give him reality checks but he has to show he is truly ready 

Best wishes from everyone on the forum

This post was modified 3 weeks ago by Joydivider
Posted : 11th March 2020 9:50 pm
Merry go round

Hi Lily there is no point waiting for him to tell you half the story or another lie. This is your life. Not getting any help for yourself is also part of the game.

if you get help you get stronger. You'll realise that this is unhealthy and waiting for a gambler to 'wake up' is avoiding the issue.

i agree totally that it feels personal. My husband lies about the smallest things because that's his way of avoiding. Avoidance causes anxiety. 

Recovery is about honesty, we have to be honest with ourselves. 

Posted : 12th March 2020 8:35 am
Share this page

Please Login or Register