I found out last night that my husband has been doing online gambling for the last three months. I had no idea. I was made redundant in July (it coincided with me starting maternity leave) and he has spent all my redundancy money
Plus a ton
Of his own. I can't believe it. He is completely broken and in some ways I feel
Sorry for him but I'm also raging. He got into a vicious circle. He started with a ten pound bet and then it escalated and he was winning and losing like it was monopoly money. The company were calling him encouraging him to try again and he couldn't say no. He has never gambled before. He doesn't know why he did it. We didn't need the money. I have a three year old and 5 week old. I'm completely devastated. I have told my
Parents and they can lend us the money he has spent but I just don't know how to
Manage things. He showed me a suicide letter he was going to leave me, he couldn't see another way out. I'm just so shocked and so sad that he isn't the person I thought he was. It's so out of character. He is a measured sensible man. My sister, although angry says he is ill and needs help. I know that but it's all too raw at the moment. That feels
Like an excuse for his behaviour. I can't see it like that yet. How could he do this to his family?
Thanks you for sharing your situation Bea101, and sorry that things are so difficult for you, especially at this time of new motherhood. It is totally understandable to be experiencing both sadness and anger and I wonder whether it may be helpful for you to be able to discuss how you are feeling and get some free 1:1 support at this hard time? If so, we can make a local referral and you will be offered support either face to face in person, or on video link (zoom) or over the phone, whatever is easiest for you.
If this sounds good, or if you would like to discuss how you are feeling anyway, please contact us either on the HelpLine 0808 8020 133 or on NetLine both 8am -midnight.
I was also concerned to hear that your husband was feeling suicidal, do let him know we would be very happy for him to contact us to talk about how he is feeling, there is also the Samaritans 116 123 24 hours a day who offer free support. If he is feeling low it is a good idea for him to see his GP and if he is feeling actively suicidal then either you, or he, can ring 999 or go to A&E. It is important that he knows that there is free help and support available and that although situations can seem hopeless, things can, and do get better.
It sounds like you have a lot to cope with and I wish you all the best and hope that you are able to get some support with the situation.
Gambling is often referred to as the hidden addiction as there are usually no or little obvious signs. (unlike alcohol or drug addictions)
I myself have been gambling for the last 18 years and I’ve recently decided enough is enough and to get the help I need in order to take back control and accept my addiction. My partner also felt betrayed and hurt that I could put gambling before my family and was devastated that I had lied for so many years. We are very slowly moving in the right direction but I know there is a long road ahead.
People have often commented about how caring and considerate I am as a person when I’m not gambling I would do anything for anyone. I would even refuse to buy something in the supermarket that is a few pence more (ironic that I can deposit hundreds or thousands of pounds online at mid night on pay day and not care)! Unfortunately when I gamble I become a completely different person, the impossible becomes possible and you feel invincible, it’s sounds crazy but money and everyone you love and care about doesn't exist, it’s like someone has flicked a switch and instantly transformed you into someone else who desperately needs to keep getting this “buzz”.
I don’t want to sound like I’m making any excuses but the tv advert suggesting you to bet £ 5 on the football can seem so innocent but any gambler knows these companies prey on Gambling addicts in order to hit targets. No compulsive gambler from my experience will set deposit limits etc and these companies know it and do their best to reassure the public they are fully committed to responsible gambling which is a lie they can hide behind.
One thing that has massively helped me is Gam Stop, I have tried to create new online casino accounts in the past but Gam Stop stops me in my tracks as I am Excluded for the next 5 years. Is this something your husband has looked at?
I would also recommend your husband reach out to Gam Care if he hasn’t already? Has your husband looked at gamblers anonymous meetings in your area? Maybe you could attend a meeting with him if he wants to get help?
I wish you and your family all the very best for the future!
I am not backing any one up but as a gambler for nearly 9 years us gamblers dont mean to hurt our loved ones this addiction is worste than drugs it really is we will lie constantly to get our selfs out of the situation I have been suicidal many times, then I think about my 8 year old daughter what will she think when she grows up my daddy was a coward I lost my daughters mum over this she is now married with a new baby and I eventually moved on after 2 years now my new partner who is pregnant has also walked away and I am lost in every single way you could think of we need serious help
I did chat with you guys online on Monday but anything other than that at the moment is impossible with a newborn and toddler. My days are pretty full. He is joining a gamblers anonymous group tomorrow night. He promises so much to me, but I can’t believe anything he tells me. He has called Samaritans too.
Thank you so much for taking the time to reply to me. Yes, my husband has signed up to GA and there is a group tomorrow night. He has spoken to the Samaritans too(I used to be one myself so encouraged him to phone them) I think now the family are aware of what’s he has been doing a massive neither has been lifted. He says he isn’t feeling suicidal now.
i have so many questions for him that He cannot answer at the moment, I guess GA could help him process some of these unknowns. He explains it as a habit not an addiction.....isn’t it the same thing? He talks like an addict. He says when he was doing it he was emotionless. Not even happy when he won, and he won big sums of money. It has been going on for three months so not a long time. At first using all his own money. He won big twice and lost it all. He used my redundancy money to win it back. He genuinely thought he could win it back. Isn’t this a classic addict mindset? He says he was used to wining and losing. It was a cycle. At the point he lost all my money he stopped. I think he actually stopped because he ran out of money, he says that isn’t true. He says he was nonchalant about the sums of money he was gambling. He is always such a cautious man with money yet he was gambling money as if it was pennies.
In only 3 days he has changed the account he gets paid in to to mine, all his direct debits will come out of my account, he has booked to see the dr, spoken to Samaritans, spoken to GamCare, signed up to GA and yes he has that exclusion in place too. He has done a lot and I appreciate that. I believe he wants to stop as he is so so scared of losing his family but I have read so much about gambling in the last couple of days and the chances of him doing it again seem high.
Im just so confused.
Do you need all the money immediately? If not, it's far better to let him clean up his own mess and figure out how he's going to pay you back. My parents and I paid off all the debts for Mr L first time round and all it did was give him a clean slate to try and 'win' back what they had lent us and that's a very common theme. Second time round they offered again but I said no. Mr L researched and took out a DMP (I allowed accounts to default deliberately to trash his ability to take out credit) and took a weekend delivery job to repay the kids what he'd conned out of them.
It's going to sound harsh but you are the rational one in this and you will have to be prepared to take a tough stance to avoid being manipulated and duped. He can't be trusted with access to money so don't let him have it. You need to see and be in control of everything financial including ongoing access to his credit reports (all agencies, all available free with Credit Karma, Clearscore and Experian via MSE's credit club).
You don't have to support him or try to be understanding if you don't want to or can't. You have more than enough on your plate. He can get support and advice from places like here and from regular attendance at GA. Your priority is protecting your own and the children's interests.
In a similar situation, found out yesterday my husband has been gambling for 2 years he has £30,000 of loans! I could cry! We were going to move house and we have two children 16 and 12. They don’t need a bigger nice house in 6 years time. They will be at university and starting uni. I am so scrupulous with money and enjoy nice things as I work hard. I feel resentful but don’t want to say that as he also felt suicidal.
if you want to private chat or vent I can understand
. He explains it as a habit not an addiction.....isn’t it the same thing? He talks like an addict.
He is an addict - he basically stole your money
At the point he lost all my money he stopped. I think he actually stopped because he ran out of money, he says that isn’t true. He says he was nonchalant about the sums of money he was gambling.
Most of us compulsives can easily stop when money or credit runs out. He stopped because there was nothing left.
He is always such a cautious man with money yet he was gambling money as if it was pennies.
Casanova wrote 'inside every serious gambler lurks a miser' and its frequently true. We want something for nothing, we will baulk at spending a tenner but think nothing at losing thousands.
The best advice you will get will be from partners like Lethe but I would add this.
Do not trust him for a long, long time. I mean years. Even then, if he truly working his recovery he won't have a problem with you checking his credit report. It is not a lack of trust, just an acceptance than gambling again is catastrophic.
The pattern of people stopping is often to relapse, even after years of sobriety.
Problems frequently get worse. If you think its bad now, it can be far worse.
If he ever comes home and thinks he is 'cured', beware. He isn't. For most, it is a life long illness.