I've been with my husband for 14years, We now have 2 children and i'm pregnant with number 3. We both enjoyed the casino when we were in our 20's and had no responsilbilites, he always struggled leaving them but i was always good at saying "ah well, that was fun" and wouldn't think about it again until maybe 6 months later when we would be tempted by another innocent fun night out. He has 2 close friends that have been gamblers for a long time, we don't see them anymore because we have moved 300 miles away but they always had problems with it. Last year my husband admitted to me he had been gambling, it all started one day when he had an hour to kill between meetings and popped into a bookies, since then he gambled online and in bookies (no casinos for miles and miles thank god!) He admitted everything without being caught out, and told me he had spent £9,000 on 2 credit cards. He'd had a wake up call, I genuinely wanted to leave him and said if it ever happened again I would be gone. He signed up to counselling and it helped for a bit but last week he burst into tears and admitted he had been gambling again for the last 6 months.
I didn't feel angry or upset, just absolutely completely numb. I calmly sat down and asked him to tell me exactly how much he owed, how much our bills were each month (he's always dealt with it) and roughly how much we spend on food, petrol, etc. Everything has been moved over to my name and financially i feel better than ever. My mum has LOANED us the money and she is one of my direct debits coming out each month, so instead of oweing credit cards we now owe my mum just under £18,000 which will be paid back within 4 years, every penny. On paper we look better off with me in charge paying my mum back instead of interest and loans (he was putting less and less into our joint account for various excuses but now i know why!) My husband has said he does not want control of any money for the rest of his life, he wants me to have everything and give him a couple of quid when he wants to go to the pub, golf, shop etc. He said he will happily never have any money to his name forever and he really really wants to stop. He has signed up to a support group that meet once a week and has told me he will never miss a session because this is the wake up call he's needed. He physically has no access to any money and cannot get a credit card out beacuse his wages will be coming to me. He has told my parents, his parents and our best friends, who are all very supportive and "know" we will get through it.
I just don't know if i'm doing the right thing. This last week I am so up and down, i do not want to talk about "us" because i dont want to tell him we are fine. We are not fine, far from it. The kids are my main priority and I don't know where our marriage stands at the moment. I go from being so furious with him, then wanting to support him. The worst thing about all this is that he is the perfect dad and husband and until all this i often thought i was the luckiest woman alive to have a husband who was so amazing with the kids, was thoughtful, loving, domesticated!! Just perfect until this absolute life changing bomb shell where i now feel like the unluckiest woman on the planet to go through all this while pregnant and having two small children to think of. I couldn't leave him even if i wanted to, he is my best friend not just my husband.
I just can't believe this has happened to me.
I'm so sorry for what is happening to you, it must be really tough. I don't have any answers to you questions but I am in a similar situation (without children which I'm sure makes it so much harder). I have also decided to stay with my partner for now and have taken control of the household finances.
Can I suggest getting in touch with Gam-Anon, if they have a meeting near you, I have found it very helpful to talk to people who have been through this and are further down the path. One piece of advice that people have given me, is to take it one day at a time. It is hard when the person you love more than anything, has done such destructive things but it sounds like he wants address his addiction. It is bound to make you feel very up and down, I feel the same, I don't know how you could feel any other way.
Why would you tell him it's going to be alright if you don't know it is? Posting on the forum is good, people are here for you who understand what you are going through. Maybe telling him how this has made you feel would be good, even if it is hard to say, but the most important thing is to get yourself some support.
Hi Tina the one thing that jumps out to me is that 'cannot get a credit card because his wages come to me'. I thought this, my husband could get loans and cards even though his money never touched his bank account. Just beware, credit scores and notifications are the way to see if they apply for credit. Bailouts from parents too can be dangerous. He's paid off his credit cards so his credit score will be very healthy. Handing money to you is great, gives you some peace of mind. Remember they are not doing this to deliberately cause harm or distress. This is addiction. As Sarah said find a meeting, get support for you. This can be very stressful. I didn't leave my husband. GA and gamanon is our support.
Its natural to be angry and disillusioned, you did not marry someone to be their babysitter, but you are esentially living with an addict. There is no cure for this and its a life long battle, take things one day at a time but it seems your doing the right thing by educating yourself on the matter and coming here asking for help and advice. I am also a compulsive gambler but having admitted the fact and seeking help I am turning my life around. I did have a relapse and still get urges to gamble but I know 100% my life is improving each day I dont.
The other posters are right in suggesting GamAnon. If you have any questions feel free to ask.
Thanks for your advice. It hit rock bottom today when he admitted to more debt (not gambling he proved it with statements) but he had the perfect chance to come clean about everything when we wrote everything down. I don't get it? It was a £400 debt. If he told me on the day he came clean it would have been the absolute least of my worries and would have written it down with all the other things we need to sort out together. I don't get why he lied about it?!
We had a massive row and he threatened to do something stupid. Which to be honest has P****d me off more than any of this. Because if he means it he's an absolute **** as we have 2 kids and one on the way. But I know he didn't mean it. He said it in anger so I calmed down. Well it worked. The shouting stopped and now I'm just sat here wondering what to do.
I'm just so annoyed. We had the most perfect week of really trying. I have all control of finances and life had felt almost normal. Now I feel back to square one, and like there is No point. So many stories on here telling me to run a mile but my heart wants to stay more than anything.
H Tina I have stayed with my husband through many years of gambling. You have to detach, not be dragged into the chaos. They don't do it deliberately, it's no reflection on you. Their instinct is to run away, you'd be better without them, etc. Their self worth is rock bottom too. Sometimes when they admit they then start telling you in small doses, small confessions. My husband still has stories of things I knew nothing about. The best thing you can do is look after you, keep all money away from him. He will tell you things you don't want to hear, this may not be the end of his revelations. As long as he's telling you, keeping communication open is vital. You want honesty, they've lived so long lying it's not natural to tell everything. Don't let it set you back. I always assume my cg only told me half of any story. This is not sorted overnight, it's a long road. You and the kids come first. I've spent many times just ignoring my cg. Once they stop for good, it will get better.
This is a battle so dont expect overnight changes. It is an addcition so the last thing we want to do is come clean, and many of us keep somethings secret or keep avenues to get money open in case, as its very hard to just say we will stop gambling for good. Thats why you hear 'One day at a time' mentioned over and over in addcition recovery.
If I were you I would sit down with your husband ( who I hope is going to GA meetings) and go through eveything with him. You should have access to his bank accounts, credit report and gambling accounts. If you are going to live togheter you both need to get organised. You will be angry and he will be shameful but it needs to be done.
Here is what happens with my partner. We have a joint account and she also has her own account. My wages go into the joint account and all the bills come out of there, I have a debit card on the account, but I do not use cash. If for whatever reason I do need cash I keep a reciept (realistically there should be no need for cash transactions in this day an age), that way she can keep tabs on my financial transactions.
Another vital aspect of this is his credit report, he can register with Clearscore or others. You should have access to ths so you can see the full extent of his borrowings via loans and CCs.
Get access to all his gmabling accounts online, you can go through them to see the full extent of his gambling, make sure all are self excluded from. He should contact GamStop also and install Gamban on all his deveices so he cannot gamble. You should also go with him to any nearby bookies and casinos and self exclude. This way if he does get urges, and he will, then it is really difficult for him to do it.
For him to change though he needs the 12 step recovery program, hopefully he will put as much time and effort into his recovery as he did his gambling. You and the kids deserve that.
Thank you Joe. He no longer had a personal account, we closed that 2 weeks ago. His wages now go into our joint account, he has never gambled out of that but can't anyway as he doesn't have a card. Lucky he can use contactless on his phone in most shops and I have constant access to what he is spending on that online. He has shown me his clearscore off his own back, has given me the passwords and the date to check again because more things would have cleared by then from the money he was bailed out with. He is now debt free and wants me to see that for myself next month when his credit score shows no owing money except the loan he is paying back monthly (and mortgage and phone bills). He hasn't asked for cash once and hasn't bought anything for himself. In fact even with everything that he has admitted to this month, debts set up as standing orders etc we are probably going to end up saving money this month for the first time in 2 years. Which really annoys me at the same time because if we didn't have his debt we would have saved even more this month let alone the amount we would have saved monthly for however long. I just feel so stupid, how could I have not worked out we should have has more money?!!
He is attending his first GA meeting tonight, which he is looking forward to. I really do believe he wants to change as he has put everything In place. Including telling close friends and family about his problem.
I'm feeling more positive today. I just hope one day I can trust him and we can go back to the way things were .
Thanks again xxx
The way things were, they were an illusion really as things were going on behind your back. Going on what your saying he has put a lot of barriers in place so thats a great start and he is going to attend GA which is another big step.
Its normal to be angry over what went on and in reality you can never really trust him again (financially) but if he puts his efforts into recovery and embraces the 12 step program he can show you what you the real him without this scourge of an addiction.
The 12 steps are vital, they help us really look at ourselves and try and change our mindset. Lots of people go to GA, put up all the barriers and stop gambling, their lives improve and after a period of time they slowly revert back to their old ways as people think they have recovered (its a life long addiction that does not leave us), but hte person has not really addressed the issue by tackling the 12 steps.
I hope your husband does tackle it with honesty, hard work and self reflection. I wish you and your family well.
Just wanted to update, partly because I want a record of everything and partly to ask if it seems too good to be true?
My husband has stuck to his word since September. All his wages go to our joint account, his credit cards were paid off BUT we are paying a family member back every month. We cut the cards up and I've asked for paper statements every month to check the balance is zero incase he wrote down his card numbers and carried on. We have a PayPal account that I check every month plus I check his credit score every month too. Everything shows no activity at all. He has access to our joint account only and I check that every day, he doesn't have a card for this account, he uses his phone (a contactless app). If he ever does need cash, it's always less than a tenner and he shows me receipts, gives me change and makes sure I know every last penny (he even asked my son to explain why he was 15p!!! Short on change). He attends GA meetings every week without fail and sends me a pic of him sitting in the meetings. He actually says he enjoys them and in a month or two, he is allowed to take it in turns to run them, something he is excited to do because he really enjoys helping the new people that come to the group understand how much better life can be without gambling.
We have recently had our third baby and he is such a fantastic dad. He always was, even with the gambling, but I can really tell how happy he is now. Even after paying off his loan and our family member each month, we are still saving (Which makes me angry at him now and then because we could have an amazing summer holiday if it wasn't for the debts we are paying) but at the same time I like being in control of it now and watching the savings build up.
A part of me thinks this has all been too good to be true? I know it's really early days, and I often say to him that I would understand if he was tempted and I would just want him to be honest if he ever felt tempted... but he says he genuinely feels nothing for gambling anymore and cannot believe the person he was a year ago. Can I trust him? Has anyone giving up 5 years of compulsive gambling just like that and not gone back?
I feel in such a great place in life at the moment. But I will always worry if he will go back to his old ways. I suppose there is No way of knowing and we just need to stay on top of everything and not get complacent.
I suppose it's a worry I will have to live with because I've chosen to stay with him.
Anyway, thanks for listening xx
Congratulations on your third baby. It is lovely to hear that it is going so well for youself and your husband. It seems to be that the amount of detail and how comprehensive the strategies are have been key. As you say continue with the strategies for some time longer and do not allow complacency to creep in. With honest communication and transparent finances this bodes well for the future.
Wow! Congratulations on baby number 3! Your story heartens me. I think it's good to have faith and hope, so long as it isn't blind faith and you still have all your failsafes in place. My husband says the same thing no desire at all any more, sadly it's too early for me to believe that and it would be foolish of me to. But your story gives me hope for the future, just the thought of your man enjoying some of his life. I'm never one to miss a squidge with a little baby so please send your newest a hug from me. x
Just wanted to give you an update, for some hope for some of you. Something I was so desperate for a year ago! My husband has done a year, 365 days of no gambling. He has attended GA meetings every single week (I think he missed two) and he now says he genuinely does not think about gambling on a day to say basis and when he does he cannot believe the life he used to have. He is a new man, he has a completely different view on money. He still has no bank cards or cash, he does everything contactless which is linked to our joint bank account so I can see every penny. He gets annoyed and angry when he sees a gambling advert because he wants to change the way the gambling world is. He enjoys going to the GA meetings because he feels like he wants to help people get out of gambling and see how amazing life is when you escape the evil that it is.
It hasnt been easy. I had a baby 7 months ago after a very tough pregnancy (I found out about the gambling when I was pregnant). I've had counselling to try and make sense of everything and gain his trust again. I can honestly say it is almost back. I still worry and doubt him sometimes and I dont think that will ever change. I will also never become lazy in checking his credit score EVERY month. He is more than happy to live out of our joint account forever and so am I.
We are happy and our lives are completely back on track. I have forgiven him but i will never forget the pain he caused me. This time last year I was frantically scrolling through these posts praying for a thread with a happy ending. I know it wont happen all the time, but sometimes it can!
GA have been amazing for my husband. I am so grateful. X
Dear @tina_1987 ,
Congratulations on the new addition and congratulations to your husband on his progress. That is amazing achievement and has been helped by you giving your support. Brilliant that you took control of the finances and hope that strategy continues to work for you both. I'm so happy he is continuing to attend his meetings. Long may it continue. In the meantime, please don't forget our helpline is available from 8am - midnight, seven days a week should you (or him) need any extra support and advice.
Wishing you all the very best