I very recently found out that my boyfriend has a gambling addiction (by finding out that he’s been taking out payday loans). From what he’s said, this has been going on for a number of years and he’s in about £8k worth of debt. Though the loans and debt have accrued mostly in the last few months.
When I found out about the loans, he came clean there and then and vowed never to do this again. We sat and talked it through. He registered for Gamstop so is blocked from all online gambling sites (he was mainly betting on sports), has downloaded gamban software on both his phone and pc to block any adverts and websites. He’s also agreed to show me his bank statements monthly and so far has produced receipts for anything he has bought recently. We c*t up his credit cards and cleared the high interest loans with savings. We have made a financial plan to get him out of credit card debt by the end of the year and I will manage all finances and see his bank statements monthly for the rest of his life. He’s been more productive in the last two days than he has in a year (gone to the gym, helped around the house etc) and he has never committed any crimes to gamble and has never stolen money from me or any of my possessions to sell. He’s been living this nightmare totally on his own.
I’m doing my best to support him but even though he’s been so honest and receptive to help, has put barriers in place to stop this happening again and I’m going to be in control going forward, I’m still struggling to cope with the feeling that all this will be undone in the future. Do you think we are doing enough to make sure he fully recovers? It’s probably an impossible question to answer but just looking for some opinions.
We have been together almost 6 years and lived together for the past 3.
Hi K in my opinion it takes more than willpower. My husband had secret bank accounts and gambled loans whilst I had his salary! I think credit reports from all agencies, Experian, clearscore, mse. Looking at statements once a month is also not really enough, he should hand over access. You shouldn't be using joint savings, this his debt alone. You have every right to be worried, they can so easily go back to it secretly and normally it's much worse financially. It is an emotional illness and stopping gambling isn't getting to the reason for gambling. GA is where they recover working the 12 steps. But many people here don't agree. You've got to safeguard yourself don't be drawn into sorting his mess out. You have to look after you. I go to gamanon, I've had counselling. It's very difficult to overcome the deceit and realise that you have to change to move forward. Be on your guard, never think it's gone away, they are never cured, they can only arrest the addiction. My cg and all cgs are only one bet away from disaster.
Sorry to see this.
Unfortunately a CG who isn't ready to give up will tell you anything to get you off their back and we are all too willing to believe it. Don't trust a word he says without seeing independent proof for yourself. That means establishing the true extent of any debt asnd the existence of any undisclosed bank accounts via credit checks with every agency (use Noddle, Cleascore and get Experian free through MSE's Credit Club). Once a month access to his bank accounts isn't enough. I operate all the banking and reconcile transactions on a near daily basis. I also see receipts for everything Mr L spends so I can be sure there's no cash going out undercover of legitimate spending.
As most of us have found out to our cost bailouts don't work in the long term. They just give the CG a clean slate to rack up more borrowing. The debts are his. He works out how to repay them using debt advice charities if he needs to. It's all part of connecting action and consequence which is something they lose as they go deeper.
Don't underestimate where this can lead. Unaddressed it can and does spiral sometimes leading to them doing things they and you would once never have believed. That said he's the one who has to want to address it then keep on wanting it more than he wants the next bet. Your priority is you. Protect yourself and find support for you. He can get the support he needs from GA.
Thanks very much for your replies. To be honest I’m all very new to this. This may be what I need to hear right now and I may well regret this in the future, but I really didn’t think I would be getting so much negativity. I definitely don’t think gamcare is the place for me right now. It’s not really helping, it’s just making me feel worse.
Firstly, I really want to apologise to Merry go round and Lethe for saying that your posts were negative. I now know that they were not, they were realistic and insightful. I think I just didn’t want to believe any of it at the time.
After having time to come to terms with it all, I took your advice on board. I have control over all our finances and my partner has no access to credit (I even have ownership of our post box key). He still has his debit card and we go through his bank statements and receipts together weekly so I know what’s coming in and out. He’s registered for the maximum time with Gamstop and excluded from every bookies and casino known to man in our area (despite never having gambled in one before).
Delighted to be able to say that he hasn’t gambled for almost 8 months and things are on the up. He’s about to pay off his final debt too, which he has worked hard to pay off without any help from me.
Since the day it all came out he’s turned back to being the man I fell in love with 7 years ago. He’s happy, focussed and enjoying his life. He’s also found the time to get a new job that he loves.
Im under no illusion that the monitoring needs to continue for the rest of our life together, but it’s our routine now and it works.
Its partly down to our efforts but also the guidance of people on here like Merry go round and Lethe (and cynical wife whose advice on other posts is superb). Thank you all and, once again, I’m sorry for my previous post.
i hope you are all well.
Thank you for your reply. We did do a full credit report check which came back all fine about 2 months ago but thank you for bringing this up. I think it’s something we should definitely add to our list to make sure we continue to do it regularly so nothing slips through the net. I know he has been so incredibly deceptive whilst in the grip of his addiction so this is definitely important. We’ll do one together this week just to make sure.
The last one we used was through clearscore -are there any others you’d recommend?
Thanks Smartie2, hope all is well with you?