So very very long story short or will be here all night! Husband of 15yrs always been gambling addict as long as he can remember- finally stopped 6yrs ago for 5yrs. This was going to GA for 1yr and self exclusions etc. In that time it really did feel it was behind us. This year he had a relapse but quickly self excluded again and all seemed ok.
fast forward few months I left him for other reasons ( he also does coke regularly and drinks too frequently for my liking...). This propelled the gambling and he’s fully back in it for last few months now.
I am now living in new house with our two daughters but he is desperate for us to try again. I do love him but I’m so scared of falling back into the vicious circle. He reckons he’s stopped it all from now and will start going to GA again. The coke and drinking I can deal with as it’s easy to tell - gambling not so much... typically he only bets on sports and I used to know as he would be checking scores regularly on his phone. So we met the other day and I confess I looked through his phone to see if he’d been looking at scores and he had. I questioned him and he basically denied gambling but said he’s not happy me checking his phone etc no one else would put up with it...
I guess my question is how do I learn to trust him without checking his phone and checking up on him?
the other issue is he he has his own scaffolding business and lots of cash work so there’s no possible way of me taking control of money or checking finances etc as he could just lie about how much a job was anyway...
Hi justmec86 in answer to your question, can you trust again? That's something only you can know. There is no reason why anyone should live with an active addict, especially with 2 children. Addiction is progressive and gets much worse over time. Why are alcohol and drugs acceptable to you? You have made steps to move away from this, why go back? Gambling, alcohol, drugs, it's all addiction. Self medicating. Destructive. Addicts are manipulative, compulsive liars and will convince you of anything to get what they want. Our self esteem is destroyed by living with an addict and we stop putting ourselves first. He may want to get back together. What do you want? From my own experience loving someone is not enough and not an excuse for accepting their bad behaviour. You have made your decision, be confident in yourself.
Thanks for the reply, just to confirm alcohol and drugs are not acceptable- all I’m saying is it’s easy to spot if he actively does either of these, gambling is not!
I know I made steps to get away from it, probably in the hope it would change. He has been at his quest then got clean for 5yrs so I guess I’m hoping this will get him back in that mindset...
just wanted some advice if anyone has been able to overcome the trust issues and actually rebuild it if and when they do go clean?
Thank you for posting, it sounds like things are really difficult for you and you feel torn about staying separated from your husband or trying to work things out. Please know that we're here for you and the forum community are very supportive so please keep posting.
Problem gambling, excessive alcohol and regular drug use has an impact on the whole Family, not just the person with the problem/using drink and drugs, as I'm sure you're already aware. It's important that you look after your own wellbeing, practice good self care and have a good support network around you and your children.
People can go on to overcome trust issues and rebuild their relationship in time, whilst others decide they are better separating. There's no right or wrong answer, it's down to the choice of the individual and the couple but we are here every step of the way to support you and sign post to other helplines that may be beneficial to you.
Please don't be afraid to put firm boundaries in place and to be open and honest with your husband about how you feel and what you would want from him and the future.
It's great to hear your husband has now stopped gambling and is thinking of attending a Gamblers Anonymous meeting, also that he achieved five years gamble free which is excellent. This shows he is capable of doing this and there is hope for him doing so again in the future with the right professional support and guidance.
If you would like to talk one on one to an adviser, please call our helpline on 0808 8020 133 or access our netline through the day or night. You're also welcome to join in our group chat room that's open from 1pm until 2pm and then from 8pm until 9pm.
Take Care and Kindest Regards
Hi... I am a compulsive gambler. The fact that he got angry with you for checking his phone is a classic sign of someone who doesn't like being found out ie turning the tables on you rather than being humble. You will know with his behaviour rather than what he says as to whether he is gambling or not. Actions speak louder than words. What ever you decide to do proceed with a great deal of caution. All the best.
Hi justmec86 and welcome to the forum.
My best advice is firstly you protect yourself financially which you seem to have done. You can only help him from a position of knowledge and strength.
Crucially you can only help if he wants the born again moment of full recovery where he surrenders to all the help available.
Trust is a complicated issue here because a recovering addict will not really ask for trust as a main priority. The fact is that you could never be complacent again and neither can he. The loss of trust is a small price compared with an addiction which totally ruins and even kills people.
How can you trust him...you cant for a long while...maybe forever but it doesnt have to be an issue of conflict...he provides receipts and shows a content willingness to be monitored because its saving his life. it can be beaten and a healthy mind returns
If he fights this or wont let you look at his phone he is not ready to stop.
On the basis of what you have said he appears addicted and not really ready for total abstention and monitored blocks. Its a very powerful addiction . It makes people mentally ill with it and also takes their partners along for the hell ride.
You state again that none of this is acceptable to you. There is no point soft soaping him becuse he needs the reality of what is going to happen to his relationships. The addiction will want to have the cake and eat it...it will want you hanging around in love with him so it can carry on getting the dopamine fix.
If he sees reality maybe he will see the true way forward
I will tell you this though! Ive been a gambler and I wouldnt live with one. She could be the most gorgeous, sexiest funniest woman alive but a gambling addiction will destroy everything fast. That is because there is no stability, no foundation for a rainy day and gambling eats money faster than anything I know. no stability does equal no trust and no future.
With support from family and friends you need more advice from gam anon and gamcare. Your eyes need to be wide open dealing with what is in fact a drug addiction
Best wishes from everyone on the forum
Thank you for the replies. I do feel financially I’m protected as I’m now living in my own place with our daughters and I have my own business etc, as does he. He seems in early stages so far ie he still has ‘spare’ money, whether this is from wins of course I don’t know but every time I’ve seen him in last month or so he’s had quite a lot on him from ‘work’ supposedly...
due to our current living situation obviously me taking control of any finances is not possible, nor do I want to to be honest. I’m only seeing him once a week as I don’t want to get in too deep before I see him actively getting help, so to a degree I feel ok-ish. I guess I’m truly torn between wanting my family together with the man I love, and have loved for the last 15yrs, or saying enough is enough as I just can’t take living like that anymore.
has anyone been in similar situation and things worked out in the end?!