When I got together with my partner I had no idea he had a gambling problem. I was at uni and working all the hours under the sun so I could save some money. I can’t even remember how he talked me into giving him all my savings. He lied about having a business and came up with all this stuff and I trusted him completely.
We were due to move out and I was so excited looking at houses thinking my money was safe and sound when he dropped the bombshell that he had lost it all.
That was three years ago. Since then he has gambled and lost big amounts of money three times (which I know of) he has lost around 25k and owes he friends and family over 16k
He has been banned From the online sites (so he says) and works hard to try and pay everyone back. This is why I feel so guilty that I am struggling to forgive him. It’s not just about the money but the lies and manipulation. I feel like a complete idiot because he has been able to talk me into giving him money on multiple occasions even when I knew his problem. At first I was disgusted with myself for being so foolish And such a bloody push over but lately I am angry at him. I feel like I should have gotten over it now because the last time he talked me into giving him money was perhaps 12 months ago. I am really struggling to forget how he managed to manipulate me. He isn’t good with money in general and spends it like it’s going out of fashion. It’s a constant battle to convince him not to buy stupid stuff and he does seem to be listening so why can’t I forgive him and move on? I feel like a complete cow because he is doing and saying all the right things but I don’t know if I can trust him.
Am I being ridiculous or too harsh? I feel so angry and hurt even though he has said sorry. I love him so much and I’m so confused.
first of all you are not being ridiculous or too harsh . You need to protect yourself .
Has your partner even admitted to having a gambling addiction ? Is he getting help.
I became complacent and my partner after nearly two years relapsed . This was the third time for us . I felt let down ,all trust gone and blamed myself and thought I should have done more .
He made every promise under the sun and begged me to forgive yet again !
Protect yourself and don’t feel guilty for questioning things . Living with gambler or recovering gambler is a lifetime commitment on its own !
Dear @willow ,
Thank you for posting on the Forum and sharing your story. You're certainly not being ridiculous with how you're feeling and I am sure your post will generate support from others in a similar situation. It is completely understandable that you are reluctant to trust him, given the fact he gambled all your savings and has other debt. The helpline (0808 802 0133) and the Netline are available for 24 hours day, 365 days a year and as well as offering support to gamblers, we also offer support to "affected others" so please get in touch to talk to an adviser as we are all non judgmental and more than willing to help and advise you. We also have a live chat room on Thursdays at 9.30pm dedicated to affected others, this may help you interact with those going through similar.
You can also gain support by visiting www.gamanon.org.uk
I wish you all the very best.
Hi willow you are allowed to be cautious , suspicious. Try and get some support. Look at gamanon website or call gamcare.
when we are involved with a cg we become embroiled in the game. We end up with low self esteem and doubts about our decisions and behaviour.
we are affected just as much as a cg.
Perhaps you would feel better if you actually saw a change in him and his attitude. Does he have blocks in place, attend GA? A poor relationship with money is very common.
i have tried numerous avenues to get help and understand how I react and continue to live with a cg.
Dont feel bad for being angry, find out how to deal with it.
Your instincts are correct, not alone are you not being too harsh if anything you are being far too naive which is enabling him to carry on. I know that sounds harsh but it is not an attack it's just the reality of how you could be any other way as you are alone in this until now.
The good news is you recognise some of this otherwise you would not be here reaching out. Nothing can be dealt with unless we first admit their is an issue. Your angry at your partner as you no longer can trust but that is the correct way to be, you cannot trust an addict. A good example is the fact he has said he is banned fro all the sites, you cannot take his word on this Im afraid, we addicts lie so much we forget which way is up.
He is an example of what happens with my partner, there are 2 main steps.
Step 1 is putting up barriers to make it as difficult as possible for me to gamble, this meant registering for GamStop and self excluding from all sites online, self excluding from betting shops but neither done by myself both done in her presence rather than her just taking my word for it. She has full access to my emails & my credit score (I use Clear score but here are many out there) which shows any debt in my name. My money goes into a joint account so she can see every transaction on her phone app, I only use the card to pay, never cash. If I go to a shop I keep receipt so Im not asking for cashback on the sly.
Step 2 is tackling recover to help address the behavioural issues that cause me to gamble and try and change. I regularly attend GA meetings to help with this, and my partner can clearly see the change in me and knows I'm focussed on recovery. I am open an honest with her now.
I know this may seem a lot but believe me this is the reality of living with addiction. GamAnon is a site for partners and loved one of compulsive gamblers, they have virtual meetings as far as I am aware, but there you would get the advice you need from people in the same boat as yourself.
There's no timescale to getting over what he's done and it's absolutely fine not to trust him around money. Mr L will never have unscrutinised access to the bank accounts again and he's fine with that.
Living with an ex-gambler (and you can't be sure he is and remains one without full financial transparency from him) means being on top of everything financial permanently.
How do you want to live? What do you deserve in a partner?
I think I have nothing to add to Joe's post above. Perhaps my question is that, do you think your partner acknowledges that he has a gambling addiction and is he willing to tackle the problem head on?
I also suggest on reflecting on why you give him money repeatedly even if you know he has a gambling addiction. From your post, it seems like you know this is wrong anyway and this is enabling his addiction. So my suggestion is to have a careful introspection of why you keep on doing it. Do you feel like it's an expression of your love for him? Are you afraid that he will get upset with you if you don't give him money? Are you sometimes in denial that he has a gambling problem in the first place? I feel like this is somewhat similar to the gambling addicts in that they know gambling is harmful and yet they do it repeatedly. You need to find out your reasons so you can address them or get support on how you can address them.
I trust my partner with everything else, just not with money. I cannot take just his word for it if it's a matter that concerns money. I needed to see the gamstop email. I check his bank account on my 2nd phone everyday. I check his credit report everyday for secret loans, credit cards and bank accounts.
You said at the end of your post that you love your partner. I know exactly what you mean, my partner is a compulsive gambler and I love him more than anything, and not a tiny bit less since I found out about the addiction. Sometimes I still break down into tears each time I imagine how alone he must have felt when he was hiding his problem from everyone. But it is exactly because we love them that we should support them. This means being a strong and committed team against gambling. If you give him money, you're teaming up with the horrible gambling addiction against him.
It's a difficult situation to be in, but there is hope. I wish you the best and I hope you keep on writing on the forum.