i found out three weeks ago that my husband has been gambling for at least two years and been telling every lie possible to not be found out. Our money problems have caused me so much stress I got ill and lost a load of weight. He used to get so angry at me and i was scared of him. Since he started taking anti anxiety pills he has calmed down a lot and I thought things were getting better. Then I sensed him slipping, snapping at me and money disappearing again. He started getting loads of important looking letters that he would never let me see, I opened one and saw he owed money. I took the kids to stay with my parents for a few days until he finally told me the truth. He wants to do anything, he’s going to GA, taken his name off our bank account, have no money etc. but I’m terrified of things going back to how they were. We couldn’t afford clothes for our kids or even a haircut because he has been spending all our money. He moved out for a bit but has recently moved back in again, over the weekend I was so happy but the last couple of days I’ve been down. Last night while he was at GA I just cried and cried, I don’t know what to do
Hi jess it sounds like you need some support too. Have you called gamcare? Try and get some help for you, maybe some counselling or just ring and say you need to talk. If he wants to stop he will gladly confess and hand over all finances. He will tell you all the debt and access to credit scores. These tell you debt and if credit is applied for. All cash given to him must have a receipt and change. No half measures. You have to be strong and vigilant. Attending GA is good. Is there a gamanon meeting? That is another option to get some real life support and help with dealing with a compulsive gambler. Don't pay his debt, all household bills come first. Looking after yourself and the children is your priority. Hopefully if he keeyto GA and taking his meds things will steadily improve. In the meantime get some support.
Hello 🙂 thanks for your reply. He has admitted everything, handed over finances and credit report. Unfortunately there isn’t a gamanon near me but I’m trying to get some counselling sorted for myself. I don’t know if it’s normal to be this up and down? I feel like I’m close to forgiving him and then the next day I’m wondering whether I ever will forgive him? I’m also so worried about him gambling again and this is a life time of controlling finances for me, it’s just a lot
Jess your last comment is exactly what I’m thinking myself in my situation!! Although we’re not married from now on I’m always going to have to be in charge or money, cards etc! It’s definitely a lot! I also feel I could forgive him one minute then like I could just run away the next, Like your husband, my bf has just admitted everything too, only my bf went through all this before and got help only to return to gambling again and I had no clue until he told me on Sunday night, I’m sorry to hear you’re going through this too it’s the worst feeling ever !
Hi kkksss, my husband is the same, he has basically been a gambling addict on and off for the last 20 years, I though when I met him he had completely stopped though and that he wouldn’t do this to me and our little family, it’s so heartbreaking. I’m just dreading that it stars again, months or years down the line. But he knows that if it does, I will leave him, I can’t love my life like I did, it was horrific. Hope you’re ok
Hi both, I just wanted to add and say that I am feeling the exact same. My partner is a gambling addict. We have had so many ups and downs together over the last 7 years and he has hurt me more than I ever thought possible. Sometimes all I want to do is runaway and never look back and other times all I want to do is save him from this. I know he really loves me and wants to get better but it is so hard and I don’t think he will ever fully understand what the pain he has caused me is like. I’m not a controlling person but the only way we can get by is to set a standing order up so as soon as he gets paid all his money is transferred to my account and all the bills come from my account. I always get anxious when pays day gets near but this has worked. I transfer him money daily and when he has slipped up this is how he gambles, or he has resorted to selling the few valuable items we own to cash converters on a buy back to get money to gamble. Not sure how to stop that really but having me look after his salary certainly helps. I am also getting counselling, if you two aren’t I truely recommend as I finally feel like I can tell someone the truth. Sorry to gatecrash your conversation just felt like sharing. All the best to you both and your situations, I hope it works out for all of us.
Jess I know how you feel, although I knew he was betting I just didn’t realise how bad it was behind my bank as we have separate accounts and stuff, I’ve also let mines know if it ever happens again I will leave him 🙁 it’s just horrible and the rest of our lives waiting for something bad to happen as we constantly need to be in control of everything 🙁 really hope it doesn’t though.
Anony mous- I’m sorry you’ve been through this too I know what you’re saying about wanting to run and wanting to help him too 🙁 I’ve had so many thoughts over the last few days, I don’t think they can realise the pain they cause even now after he’s told me everything I feel like he’s getting annoyed at me getting annoyed as if I should be feeling sorry for him !? Oh my it really does sound terrible for you 🙁 I’m not very close to any the gamanon groups but I’m going to try to get to one soon! Thank you and I hope things work out for you too I really do xx
Thank you for your reply kkksss. I really appreciate it. This is such a supportive network I’m so glad I found it. I don’t know about you both but I don’t talk to my family or friends about it as we’re in a long term relationship I don’t want anyone to change their opinion of him and I know it will. His family know but I don’t feel like I can talk to them. Although I’m so sorry to hear the pain you’re going through, it’s reassuring to know you are reacting a similar way to my emotions. Sometimes I think I’m going mad with being so up and down. I totally sympathise with him getting annoyed with you. My partner does this too, he tells me not to be negative because he feels guilty but I’m just trying to be honest and express how I feel. It’s hard to get the balance. They will never know the pain, I know they are going through their own pain but sometimes I wish we could swap minds for a day and I think the pain would be enough for him not to gamble again. Thank you for your support. I really wish the best for you both and hope we all overcome this xxxx
Hi keeping addiction a secret denies you of support. It's nothing to be ashamed of. You won't overcome, you need to deal with a cg. Be in control of finances 100%. Your partner should be actively seeking support from GA. If he's continuing to gamble, selling possessions, that is a worry. Please look after yourself and safeguard your money.
I got married in 2001 I enjoyed a bet. The wife knew that when she married me. I’d always enjoyed gambling. By 2015 it was messy and spiralling out of control. The wife thought it was stress from work. “SNAPPY” that is a great word she’s still uses when reflecting how I was. “SHORT TEMPERED” that was also me. Why? Because I was in denial, scared my secret life was going to get found out. Less than one year later gambling had defeated me, it had taken me to a dark place, my rock bottom. I found strength to own up about my addiction and masses of secret credit card debt. It was one of the hardest days of my life but when I look back now it was the best decision I’ve ever made. She didn’t marry a compulsive gambler, I don’t think many women would, but that is what I was. Coming clean about everything to her was the foundation of my recovery, a massive weight lifted. I was then ready to commit to her it wouldn’t happen again but I would need the help of similar people like me so I joined GA. Without this group I wouldn’t have stopped for the two years I have just completed. I honestly think no compulsive gambler can. GA is my medicine, my therapy, my education.
Push your husbands to GA. One or two meetings a week will also help you build the trust that has been ripped to shreds start to be rebuilt. Ask them about the meetings. Some GA groups also have Open meetings where a family or friend can attend and listen to people’s struggles, stories and positives. The wife has only been to 4-5 in two years but it has really helped her understand the battles we go through and the complex mind of a CG.
Remember partners are the innocent parties in this. Sometimes they become the victims as well when the “snappy” side turns even more nasty. Luckily my wife stuck with me, even though I know I’m in the last chance saloon.
Good luck to you all and I hope I have made a little sense.
All the best.
Thank you Merry go round for your comments. I have a counsellor so I can talk to them which is helpful as I was really struggling beforehand. , just didn’t feel comfortable enough to tell friends and family but you are right, I am limiting my support that way. He does sell our possessions to cash converters and we always have to buy them back. I don’t know how to stop him from doing that. I’ve tried to control as much of the money as possible but I can’t take them all with me. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you once again for taking the time to reply.
Thank you Shep72 for your comments, I really appreciate you sharing. I am starting to understand a bit more and that I know it isn’t him, he thinks he is a bad person and I know he isn’t, despite feeling broken sometimes. He has started counselling again which is positive, I’m not sure he would go to GA I told him about this website and he wasn’t interested in reading, I hope I caught him at a bad time and maybe will read in his own time. He doesn’t really like to talk to me much as he says he feels too guilty and ashamed so reading comments here really helps me to understand. I love him so much and I just hope this is something we can one day live without. Congratulations on your 2 years shep72 that is incredible. All the best.
Hi everyone, I have just found out that my partner has racked up £700 gambling debts on our phone bill. Who knew that could even be done? But apparently he found a way. We have both phone contracts on the same account and coming out of my bank account just like every other direct debit.I made the mistake of trusting him to speak to them on my behalf. Just sharing as a warning to others to not do that, I had thought that an olive branch would give him some responsibility but obviously not. I’m heartbroken, it was from months ago and he’s just stormed out and been horrible to me for being upset. He thinks he’s moved on because it was over Christmas. Over Christmas though? I had such happy memories of Christmas and now they are gone. So just want to share my pain in case it can save anyone else from this, just keep everything in your name, don’t share passwords or anything. I really hope this helps someone. All the best xxxxxx
Hi anonymous I've heard of this from my meetings. They've got such bad credit they can't get a phone contract. You are not the first person to trust a cg. Now stop doing it. You can't trust him and if he's still gambling, walking off in a huff, he's in denial. Call your provider and stop all gambling sites , download a software block(k9, gamban). This is not acceptable behaviour. Love is not a reason to take this. A gamanon meeting would really help you. Is you counsellor from gam care?
Sorry to hear about another £700, I’m sorry to say this will continue happening until your husband accepts his addiction, sits down with you and puts all his cards on the table. It hurts my love, I know, been there done that! Even when I sat down with the wife I had an honest figure in my head but was soon to be shocked by the actual amount. Painful for the both of us, however like I’ve said before “it was the foundation to my recovery”.
I know some partners have done a credit search on both their and their partners names. Again we did. The wife was clear, thankfully.
I do approx a 90 mile round trip for my GA meeting. And it is well worth it. I work full-time, in a well paid job and have 3 kids, but it’s worth it for us all.
At GA we often joke about our first meeting and what our expectations were. “A smokey room full of old men” is often referred to. How wrong people can be. All age groups, men and women, from all corners of life but with one common story to be told. Addiction from CGs can be anything from the bookmakers, machines like slots and FOBTs to buying lottery scratch cards. That’s why we must accept we cannot gamble on anything ever again. Even a game of pool against a mate for a pint! Sounds stupid but true.
I’m sorry to say and I’d love to be proved wrong but that reading this website alone will not cure your husband. Us CGs are never cured, we can only arrest the addiction. Recovery is hard but doesn’t mean life is over, it has made be a better person and a loving father. There’s still work to do but if I continue to ride life’s ups and downs I will continue making progress.
You say your husband is having councilling that is a great start. Please make sure he is attending the sessions and not “walking round the block” as I’ve known some people to do. It is a start.
I wish you all the best and really feel for what you are being put through. Hold your head high, be strong and offer stern support to your husband because he will need it.
Final point. I was in denial up until 31st December 2015. If you’d have said I had a gambling problem I’d have laughed. My news years resolution was to stop gambling which I did for 3-4 days. Then I smashed January 2016, lost a hell of a lot of money and crawled into Feb to face the light and finally accept I was a compulsive gambler who had been beat once and for all. I was down but not out. Recovery and GA were the route I took and thank god I did.
All the best. Shep