Just looking for a bit of advice really? I discovered my husband was addicted to gambling in May. We have been together for 6 years and he has had a gambling problem for 20+ years. I had absolutely no idea because he only ever used his business account to gamble plus he travels a lot so was able to pop into bookies throughout the day easily.
The only reason it came to light was because of his behaviour during the first lockdown ie. always keeping his phone on him, restless and agitated and staying up all night. I actually thought he was having an affair so it came as a massive shock when I discovered (through lots of digging) that he was a gambler and in the 6 years we had been together he had lost £54k.
He initially moved out whilst I got my head around it. He joined GA and after lots and lots of talking and promises to never gamble again he moved back in after 2 months. He believes he is completely cured of gambling and seems incredulous when I suggest that it is still very early days, he actually gets quite annoyed in my “lack of faith” in him. I have to say that I believe I am being incredibly trusting, I NEVER check his phone, bank statements or anything. I never ask him where he has been or check his wallet to see how much money he has in there. I have no idea of how much money his business makes and accept the wage he pays himself as the truth. I know that some people would think that naive but I decided that the only way to proceed in the marriage would be that approach. The minute I start to check up on everything I lose complete respect for him and the marriage is dead in my eyes.
He recently applied for a government grant, I never dreamt he would get it but he did and it is £40k!! Just sat in his business account. I think he is desperate to spend it.
We recently had a very stupid row and it progressed into him getting very very drunk and becoming very very verbally abusive about me and my children. He says he wants to move out because he cannot stand to live with them. Now I know every mum stands up for their kids but mine (16,15 and 13) really aren’t that bad. They definitely could do more around the house, they like to collect empty plates and cups in their rooms and my son can be really loud on his PS4 but I don’t think that is a genuine reason for him to move out. They aren’t taking drugs, drinking, smoking, stealing, they have never been in trouble at school or with the police, the eldest two have part time jobs ( when not in lockdown), they have loads of friends and when not in lockdown they are always out. They are also with their dad 50% of the time as we have joint custody. He has since admitted that they aren’t doing anything that most teenagers do but that he just finds it intolerable.
I can’t decide if he genuinely believes that he cannot live with them or if he is desperate to gamble again and wants to move out so he can do that. That £40k on the bank must be very tempting. My mum and friends are convinced he has either gambled or is desperate to and he cannot admit it.
Like I say, when I ask him he just acts gobsmacked that I would even consider it! He believes he is completely cured. He is a massive inverted snob and hates to think he is an addict, he has a persona that he has cultivated over the years of being Mr dependable-all round good solid guy and a gambling addiction just does not fit in with this.
Any advice would be greatly received?
Welcome to our forum. I am glad to see you have been able to reach out here for support and I am sure our other users will be able to offer you a great deal of advice.
I can see you are questioning how truthful your Husband is being with you and are concerned about the grant in his business account. This is understandable after all you have been through recently. Well done for speaking to family about this too, it is good to see that you have support from loved ones.
The row you mention sounds very upsetting. For your Husband to be saying that about your children, no wonder you felt the need to defend them. It sounds like your children are normal teenagers and that you are proud of the people they are growing up to be. Rightfully so.
It is important that you think about what you want for yourself and your children in this situation. Right now, it looks like you are putting up with a lot from your Husband and that you feel you aren’t getting much back in return.
From what you have said I wonder if you would like to look at a few options to get some more support with this.
You could speak to our advisers on our live chat or on our helpline on 0808 8020 133. They are available 24/7 to support anyone affected by gambling harm.
Another option, especially due to your Husbands recent behaviour might be to call the domestic abuse helpline. They can give you support focused around that incident. Especially if something like this has happened before or if you were worried it might happen again.
Please do not be alone with this, there is support available to you including one to one treatment that might help you come to terms with the shock you mentioned feeling.
Take care and keep posting.
transparency and openness and admitting to one self we have no control once not in recovery is the only way. deception, lies, getting angry when confronted for me are signs of active gambler. if I really want to change I try to remind myself regularly to be humble. gambling has beaten me and I give up. I hang up gloves. when he got discovered and moved out he had no choice but to say the right things. up to u to "feel out" if its genuine. look out for mood swings, unexplained anger, being secretive. uninterested in spending time together. talk to him about your concerns . ..
I went through the exact same thing.
10 years ago my husband was in a lot of debt, confessed to gambling but said it was a one-off. I had his card and checked his account but he demanded to have it back and said I was treating him like a child. So stupidly I did because I had no clue about gambling addictions.
Fast forward 10 years and the debt is 3 times as much. When I confronted him and said "you only wanted to manage your own money so you could gamble" no shocker but his answer was "yes."
I'm not for one minute saying he's the same as my husband but the fact he's unwilling to show you everything and give you control of it all speaks volumes. My husband used the income from his business to gamble and it's not a pretty sight when you now look at all the records.
Your children are your number 1 priority. Always.
I am sorry to hear about all of your struggles and you are incredibly strong for staying and supporting your partner.
As a gambling addict who has not gambled for over a year, I would never consider myself ‘cured’, every day is a battle and I think it is very naive and dangerous to presume this illness can be cured, especially after only two months. Like any illness you need to constantly work at it and know your weaknesses in order to keep it in check. No one wants to label themselves an ‘addict’ and will do just about anything to push them selves away from this label, including betting to prove they can stop, which they cannot.
If this is constantly worrying you then maybe you need to monitor his finances more, because it is helping no one if he is still having the chance to gamble. It is a destructive cycle with only one winner, the bookies.
Gambling can cause people to push away their families and pull towards the buzz of gambling, however if he was truly ‘cured’ then I cannot see why he would want to push away his family, as this is the one reason most of us work so hard to keep in control and keep fighting gambling.
All the best,
Hi thanks for sharing being a compulsive gambler for a long time it sounds like he isn't ready to admit he as a problem and that he will after hit rock bottom to do something about it. If I had 40 k sat in my own account I know I would find it hard not to be placing bets. Its a tough situation and if he's not ready for admitting his problem properly its going to be tough for you to do much about it. Regarding the argument about your children he's prob said it to up set you in a row we all say things we don't mean to upset our loved ones in a row but you need to do what is best for you amd your children good luck in the future
Thank you for all your replies, they have been really helpful.
Unfortunately he has walked out on us this morning saying that he is unhappy and has lost his identity and cannot live like this anymore. I am completely confused and knocked for six. I want to believe he is not gambling but this is just bizarre behavior.
He will not take any responsibility for his gambling, just says it is an illness and not his fault. I get that it is an illness but surely there has to be responsibility as well?
When I quizzed him about what he means by losing his identity he just said that he cannot explain it, he just feels that he is unhappy and has to go.
4 months ago we went away and he said he was the happiest he has ever been in his life so this just seems completely odd behavior. He assures me that this has nothing to do with gambling but I am just not convinced.
Hi Jes, I'm so sorry what an absolute nightmare for you. I'm 7months into my recovery my gut feeling is is that he's not anywhere near ready to give up gambling and that's he's gone off so he can gamble without trying to keep it secret that is too much temptation. If I had access to that amount of money even after 7 months I would give it straight to my husband he does all our finances now I get given money for shopping and anything else that I need to get for our family. Commitment to being gamble free is being transparent with everything it's like a safety net....honesty and no secrets. Money is poison in the hands of compulsive gamblers, I don't want to gamble ever again I feel free, but that amount of money would make me very anxious and I would only feel better when that money was in my husband's hands. I hope you find out what is happening all this is very unfair on you, take care of yourself put yourself first. Best wishes