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Is it an addiction?  

 
LovingWife
(@lovingwife)

Hi, It's my first time here, I'm really hoping for some help.  Today I discovered that my husband might have a gambling problem.  I haven't discussed it with him yet, but i expect him to say that he hasn't lost control, how do I know if that is true or not?

Back story: we are married and have a 1.5 year old daughter.  We are just applying for a new mortgage to sell our current home and move to be near family in a bigger home.  Today I saw his bank statement for the first time ever.  He has spent £850 (he won £300, so the total is £550) last month on sky bet.  I always knew he gambles but he says he more or less breaks even and only bets small amounts and within his means. 

He meets his share of the bills so I know he will say that this is still within his means, but in reality we could do so much with that money, and we live like we don't have any spare cash. 

Since he doesn't seem to have any debt associated with this, is it still a gambling addiction? I feel like I have discovered that he has an addiction, but it is at the beginning. 

I've been reading this forum for hours and feel devastated at where this could go, and the impact on our lives.  It seems as though I might have to wait until he has stolen/got in to massive debt before he will accept my help, based on other peoples experiences.  It looks like one of the best ways to help him is to take over his finances, but is that necessary at this point? I think he will say I am insane if I suggest that.  But if I don't it's like I'm a sitting duck.  But if I do, what's to stop him finding money elsewhere anyway?

This is so awful.  My heart goes out to every single person on here.

Thank you for reading this x

Quote
Posted : 24th July 2020 2:15 am
Chris.UK
(@chris-uk)

@lovingwife

I'm sorry you feel that your husband may have a problem or the beginnings of one.

Prevention is better than cure so they say so why not just ask him rather than let it get out of hand? Gambling isn't illegal but you could question that the amount gambled is a fair amount for a month. If you looked at it like a hobby, it's quite an expensive hobby and I would guess a big part of his monthly wages?

When gambling becomes a problem it's not just about the money but the behaviour that goes with it. We tend to lie as well and not just about gambling. Lying seems to be a natural part of life as a CG. Where we've been, who we've seen, what we've done, just lies for lying sake. One of the truly nice things in recovery is not lying.

But back to you. As a married couple you should be able to talk about things that affect you both so just ask him. If he's not straight or can't find his statement or some other excuse not to discuss it then I would think he's hiding something. If you were really strong you could ask to see his betting account. Ask him if he'll show you the transaction page. That might also make him see what a problem he has, if he has one.

Hopefully it's nothing more than a bit of fun and nothing else but be prepared incase it's not.

Chris.

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Posted : 24th July 2020 9:19 am
Lethe
(@lethe)

Mr L always paid the bills but he was running up telephone numbers in debt behind my back. 

£850 in a month (ignore any winnings. They're not guaranteed and they'll all go back eventually anyway) is a massive amount and you're right to be concerned. You don't have to wait for disaster to strike. You're entitled to ask but bear in mind it wouldn't be wise to trust a word he says without verifying it independently. That means access to credit reports from every agency then access to every bank account listed on those reports as an initial step. If he's not prepared to offer this be wary. You also need to be aware that if there is a problem you can't help him until he wants to be helped. Your focus needs to be on protecting you.

This post was modified 3 weeks ago by Lethe
ReplyQuote
Posted : 24th July 2020 1:08 pm
Charlieboy
(@charlieboy)

Hi lovingwife. I would have to echo a lot of what Chris has said. As an active gambler I had a bank account secret from my husband , thousands on credit card he didn't know about etc so everything done in secret , lying about everything, sneaking around, deceiving husband,family,friends. But I always felt guilty and ashamed just coudnt stop....addicted. I wish that my husband had found out a lot earlier than he did but hindsight is a wonderful thing. If the amount that he has gambled is ALL of it, no credit cards etc. and he is willing to share things with you I wouldn't panic. But I would be worried if he's evasive won't show you accounts etc the niggle for me is where you say you know what he will say it sounds as this has been an issue for you before and that you have been suspicious for a while. Also whilst it's not a huge amount of money for you as a family with a small child it's the difference between scraping the month and being comfortable. You say... We live like we don't have any spare cash...therefore this is a problem for you. One thing for sure this is a lot for you to be stressing about have you talked to a Gamcare advisor for support and advice may be something to think about. Feel free to ask me anything else I will be honest......because you see I'm not hiding lying anymore and it's wonderful. And I'm getting all the help I can to keep it that way. I hope for a positive outcome for you and your family. Best wishes

ReplyQuote
Posted : 24th July 2020 1:14 pm
sundayx
(@sundayx)

Hello,

I agree with Chris, definitely confront him and get it out in the open before it gets out of control.

I was in a similar situation and in the beginning I was naive in thinking it could never be a problem and that he could just stop whenever. I’m not telling you this to scare you but just to make you aware that I was naive and in-denial and this happens to so many of us.

Fast forward to now my partner is 50k down but that isn’t in debt but it isn’t the point. Gambling does spiral out of control very quickly, prevention is most definitely better than cure.

Good luck and be brave x

ReplyQuote
Posted : 24th July 2020 7:59 pm
Joydivider
(@joydivider)

Hi Loving Wife.

Its a progressive addiction. I went through a stage when I was paying my bills and  deluding myself about the rest.

However it can only go one way with an active addicted gambler and I reached the stage where I was not paying my bills and blindly stumbling forward in the hope of a miracle...well I was actually defrauding my parents for funds so the truth is it made me a liar a cheat and a fraudster.

The whole mess wasnt really about the money. I was addicted to the thought of that next go.

I realise that whatever I was losing I was just dropping it down a grid. A pound or a thousand pounds I was chucking it away. I actually hate the thought of chucking money and that is the complex nature of this devastating addiction

I never had money to lose which is a sobering thought now about how ill I was.

You certainly dont have to wait and you need to get proactive now if you can. Waiting will just be waiting for the next stop downwards. It calls at all stops on the road downwards until there is no return.

A full abstention recovery is needed and you may need counselling over this. You need to protect yourself starting now and I cant stress that enough.

Best wishes from everyone on the forum

This post was modified 3 weeks ago by Joydivider
ReplyQuote
Posted : 24th July 2020 9:12 pm
Joe-90
(@joe-90)

Just a point to play Devil's advocate here, gambling is not illegal. The golden rule of gambling is to only bet what you can afford to lose (something a compulsive gambler like myself could never do). Your husband may not feel that he has a problem and that could be an irregular month.

You need to sit down with your husband and explain your concerns. He might be just thinking 'I have paid the bills so I will do what I want with what's left'. You could both sit down and work out a household budget, do do this properly you can lay everything out on the table all debts you both have etc. He should have no problem in showing you his credit report which would show anything he has taken out.

Another issue with compulsive gambling is time, so he could be spending too much and winning but if he is spending 20 hours a week gambling then he has an issue, this is time he could be devoting to his family, career or something else positive. You both need to sit down and find out whats going on. Keep an open mind and keep talking on here.

ReplyQuote
Posted : 1st August 2020 9:37 pm
Compulsive Gambler
(@compulsive-gambler)

from your post £850 is not a reasonable spend in one month - I couldn't disagree more with the start of the last post.

Mortgage companies do not like gambling appearing on bank statements.

have you got sight of credit reports for you both?

ReplyQuote
Posted : 5th August 2020 11:43 pm
Kevthekev40
(@kevthekev40)
Posted by: LovingWife

Hi, It's my first time here, I'm really hoping for some help.  Today I discovered that my husband might have a gambling problem.  I haven't discussed it with him yet, but i expect him to say that he hasn't lost control, how do I know if that is true or not?

Back story: we are married and have a 1.5 year old daughter.  We are just applying for a new mortgage to sell our current home and move to be near family in a bigger home.  Today I saw his bank statement for the first time ever.  He has spent £850 (he won £300, so the total is £550) last month on sky bet.  I always knew he gambles but he says he more or less breaks even and only bets small amounts and within his means. 

He meets his share of the bills so I know he will say that this is still within his means, but in reality we could do so much with that money, and we live like we don't have any spare cash. 

Since he doesn't seem to have any debt associated with this, is it still a gambling addiction? I feel like I have discovered that he has an addiction, but it is at the beginning. 

I've been reading this forum for hours and feel devastated at where this could go, and the impact on our lives.  It seems as though I might have to wait until he has stolen/got in to massive debt before he will accept my help, based on other peoples experiences.  It looks like one of the best ways to help him is to take over his finances, but is that necessary at this point? I think he will say I am insane if I suggest that.  But if I don't it's like I'm a sitting duck.  But if I do, what's to stop him finding money elsewhere anyway?

This is so awful.  My heart goes out to every single person on here.

Thank you for reading this x

What do you think wifey is it an addiction, you can loose nearly  £8000 in the space of an hour. We lie to those we love, we steal , cheat and hide it. It makes growing men shake at the knees, it takes so many problem gamblers life's a year, is bit an addiction it's the big cheese off the addictions for me and a he'll off alot of others this industry has had there own way governed by companies they fund but its all going to change then hopefully the life's lost to this devil will stop all together as affordability checks should be down. I really don't think life's would be taken over £100 lost in a month do you? Don't underestimate this drug , addiction ect. Take it seriously as the loses will come 

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Posted : 6th August 2020 6:10 am
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