I've not posted in the forum for a while but things have come to a head and I've done it I have ended my relationship with a compulsive liar/gambler.
I'd like to say it feels like a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders but it doesn't, not yet.
I feel overwhelmed with what I have done and feel miserable even though I know for my own sanity it is the right decision.
For years I have questioned my partner's spending habits, listened to his excuses and nothing has quite added up. He's been in and out of work due to redundancies, we had a baby so just put some of it down to that. A year ago I found out the enormity of what he's been doing . He'd taken a loan out without telling me, gone overdrawn by thousands, and was over his cc limit.
Months followed of nagging to see statements, blocking himself out of gambling sites, going to GA, which he has done. Things were not great but I felt we were getting somewhere he'd consolidated his debt and built his credit back up then a letter arrives confirming that he'd asked for mail to be redirected to a different address for his cc (the one he'd asked me to look after so he couldn't spend on it!)
I am absolutely gutted.
I feel for you, I really do but I can't say you have made the wrong decision.
Its cold out there on the streets and the financial uncertainty of living with a gambler can and does destroy everything.
Im not saying he is inherently bad but if there is no trust there is no relationship.
Ive been a gambler and knowing what I know now, I wouldnt live with one. She could be the most beautiful and engaging person but if I couldnt trust her with gambling money, it would end very fast indeed.
All you can do is ask him to seek help and get on with your life from a position of knowledge and financial safety.
You can now seek emotional support from family and friends. You may need a bit of counselling over this but I respect your decision. You will still need your eyes wide open to ensure you are not named on any of those loans and make it quite clear you are not a lending bank
I know how you may be feeling but its not your fault and you are not to blame.
Gambling is a horrendous addiction which causes misery like this. The reality is that an addition to gambling shreds relationships and unfortunately its a reality check he needs. Its actually a drug addiction and you would have been taken along for the hellride all the way down
Clearly you are worth more than that so your focus must be on your own peace of mind
Best wishes from everyone on the forum
Thank you for your reply joydivider.
I feel dreadful I can't think straight. My self esteem is rock bottom, my anxiety about the future is killing me. I just want to feel happy, secure, loved
I need reassurance that i have made the right decision. He is a lovely man and even though it's been less than a week I'm missing him but as you said once the trust has gone there is no relationship.
I guess everything just takes time to heal
Hi. Just joined this forum. Sorry to read your story. It so difficult when you love them and want to help. But You have made the right decision. You need to think about yourself and your baby. You can’t live with the lying. My fiancé Gambles he does tell me when he has, he will tell me how much but that takes a little longer. So I know how difficult it must have been. Take care and good luck x
Thank you for replying it means a lot and keeps me strong.
Rachel 2015 it has been a really hard decision and at the moment it does not feel like the right one. I'm hoping in time it will once I get into a routine as a single mum. There's lots to sort out and think about. It was the constant lies and going behind my back that got to me the most. I Ijust got to the point where I was constantly feeling let down, miserable, resentful the list goes on.
What brought you to the forum if you don't mind me asking? I'm guessing that even though your partner tells you when he has gambled it still hurts. I think you will find Gamcare very helpful I did.
Take care of yourselves x
We’ve had a particularly bad week last week, he was on a course so had a Three day Gambling binge he went each night after his course finished. He’s not been that bad for a long time. I find it difficult to talk to friends and family, I don’t want them to be judgmental of me or him, I was looking for somewhere where people understood. Already had loads of great support from GamCare and people like yourself.
It kills me every time he Gambles. We can go months and then out of the blue he does it again. Although, I think it is more we let our guard down and he gets tempted. We just try to stay one step ahead all the time.
Remember You have done the hardest bit, you have made the break. You just need to take one day at a time. Take care of you and little one Rachel x
Sorry to hear that you have had a bad week. It is exhausting not knowing what they are going to do next.
I understand where you are coming from with family and friends, I ended up telling a few of mine especially when things were bad. It did help to offload but then came all the questions "has he gambled this week" "have you taken control of his finances" "do you think he will change" etc What this did for me though was make me realise that even though some things had improved he was still very much in control! Gamblers are very clever, always one step ahead.
I’ve been in your exact situation, and you did the right thing. I’ve felt exactly how you are describing when I was next to him. I just felt insignificant, he had a lover which was much more important than me and that was his gambling.
I’m uncertain about the future too, but at least I can take charge of my life, rather than being dragged down by his addiction.
split up 3 months ago and I’m feeling a lot better already
Thank you for your reply I'm hoping I feel better in a few months. Do you have children together? I feel sorry for my little one it is so unfair and not how I planned life to be. His dad hasn't even tried to talk to me about things, no apologies nothing just asks how our little one is
Hope you are doing ok? Keep strong, you don’t need an explanation, not now. You just need to keep little one safe and make sure he doesn’t hurt him as well.
So far we have had a good week. Gambling free. But I’m very aware we have a trigger point coming up in the next week, he is working out of town for a couple of days, so need to be Ready. He gets tired and stops at the services on the way home. They all have gambling machines, bloody things should be banned.
Take care and Keep going you are doing well,
Yep we’ve got two girls together.
I used to feel sorry for them, but not anymore. When children get older they start to realise that something is up. When he was losing a lot of money and he was in one of those moods, my 5yo started asking why is daddy acting weird and why is he so upset. So I’m glad he doesn’t live with us anymore. Children need stability and a peaceful environment.
As for an apology, you’re hardly ever going to get one from a CG. Certainly not an honest one. If guilt eats them up, they might say they’re sorry. But that’s it. They’re not going to act on it, and they’ll do very little to make things better. Nowadays, my ex and I only ever talk about the girls. He’s not asked once how I’m coping with two girls on my own. When we first broke up, I tried to bring up his gambling and the effect it had had on our family etc to see if he was aware of the consequences of his actions...but he got defensive straight away. So I left it and I won’t waste my time anymore discussing this topic again with him.
What I suggest you do, is to get into the frame of mind that your boyfriend might never be the person you want him to be. Gambling has been such a great part of their lives that their mindset is completely forged by it. They are very self centred and act selfishly.
So, if I was having a bad day, my ex was having a worse one. If I was poorly, he couldn’t be truly sympathetic, because he only really cared about himself. If I was successful at my job, he wasn’t truly happy for me. They always play the victim, and think the world owes them something. It’s never their fault, and they always have the perfect explanation for everything.
He went 60 quid overdraft? Oh, it’s because he bought new shoes, and a new barbecue, and we had a day out and he paid for us lunch. He kept the receipts as he knew I would ask and he wanted to reassure me. Then did I really think that If he was gambling again he would ONLY be 60 quid overdraft?? He’s gonna call the bank straight away to cancel the overdraft as he doesn’t want me to worry anymore- see? so convincing!!!
After we broke up, I’ve realised I’ve had all types of excuses so he could go out gambling - his car was filthy (about twice a week), he would do our weekly shop as I was sleep-deprived with our baby, he wanted to lose weight so he would go to the gym not 1 hour but 2.5 whole hours!! One day I had to question him on what the hell does he do for 2.5 hours at the gym- he detailed all the activities, 45 mins on treadmill, 30 mins on rowing machine, 45 mins weights, etc... and I summed up the total and it was exactly 2.5 hours!!! Later I realised that it’s wrong to be in a relationship where I was asking my partner to detail minute by minute what he does at the gym.
What I mean is, they’re masters of deceipt and manipulation. Any gambling episode they have, they prepare a cover-up story for it in their heads. They need to fuel their addiction no matter what. They would steal from their own family to get the money to gamble. So good luck in trusting one of them again!
Another thing, it’s very difficult for them to truly enjoy “normal” things in life. A day out with family, a birthday celebration, a nice sunny day: they always have this look on their face like they’re not really there with their minds, that they couldn’t care less. I felt so insignificant when I was with him, like I could be wearing the sexiest underwear or my tracksuit bottoms and he would look at me in the same way. All this had a massive effect on my self esteem, I started to become withdrawn and talked less to people, I stopped enjoying things that I used to like. The reality is that he had a bigger lover than anything else, and this was his gambling.
Took me 7 long years and many attempts to forgive him to realise this. But today I’m positive that I’d rather die on my own than be next to him for another day. He made me feel invisible, I’ve promised myself that nobody will make me feel so low ever again
At the very beginning of our relationship, after another failed attempt from his part to stop, he told me that we should break up, because no matter how hard he tries, there’s always going to be behaviours and decisions that he takes that are going to hurt me.
This was probably his way to tell me that deep down he knew that he wasn’t capable of stopping, and it was probably the only time he’s been truly honest with me.
Sorry if this post is not what you wanted to hear- this is my experience, and it might be that your circumstances are different. But from what you’re saying, you’ve already been hurt by his words and actions, so please be extra careful and look after yourself and your baby.
I hope one day you’ll find a healthy way to deal with the situation, whatever path you’re going to take
Hope everyone is doing okay this week.
Ellie you could have been writing your post about my relationship with a gambler. So many similarities. You're right he will never be the boyfriend I would like him to be!
I know in my head that I can't go back to him I just need to adjust to single parenthood and build my self esteem back up. I'm already feeling stronger. I feel a lot calmer & in control.
Rachel I hope you're doing okay, life is not easy with a CG. Hopefully your outcome will be a positive one
Take care x
Good to hear you are feeling stronger and more in control, you are doing so well.
We had a lapse last week. He did well he was working away and managed not to gambling, but then after he dropped his little girl back after half term hols it got the better of him. Not thinking he had his card as he never Gambles when he has his daughter with him. Now he is not allowed his card the day he takes her back. And he has to show me his account after time with his daughter to prove he hasn’t taken extra cash. He doesn’t try to argue about it. He is accepting any rules I put in place. We just have to keep adapting to each situation.
so glad you’re sticking to your decision to leave him and that you are getting more confident. It will get easier with time
I have bad days too, single parenthood is hard and I’ve got 2 to look after. But nothing can be worst than living with a gambler.
Good luck 😉 if you ever doubt your decision, just come to the forum to brush up on what this addiction does to people...