This is my first post here. I’ve always been a bit against Forums (although that is somewhat hypocritical as I am happy to read them!) but people can often be judgemental with their responses and I REALLY don’t need to feel worse than I already do.
Me and my partner met a 20 months ago and fell madly in love. He moved in quickly, we got engaged after six months and pregnant shortly after (planned).
To make me sound even more Jeremy Kyle (which I am not) I have a nine year old daughter. I had her when I was very young and had never met anyone who was going to be ‘the one’. As soon as I met my partner, not to sound corny or immature, but I absolutely fell for him and knew they needed to meet, as if she didn’t bond with him, better a heartbreak early on rather than introducing them down the line only to feel doubly devastated.
Alas, they got on and we have all been happily living day to day life. He is a wonderful person: outgoing, funny, attractive, loving etc.
3 months ago, my compulsive gambler father left my mother after 30 years of being on and off together. They had a totally dysfunctional, explosive and volatile relationship but how he has left her is appalling and he is definitely a sociopath.
This has all been incredibly hard, on top of training to be a teacher and being pregnant and due a month after my dad decided to up sticks with NO explanation to my mum, who as much as I love, has emotionally offloaded on me since I was eleven when they first split up.
To top it all off, after a lovely trip away last week, my partner confessed he has been gambling since a week before we had our son. I am beyond devastated.
When we first got together he was honest and open about his past, and we laughed at the similarities of our worlds. Shortly in, he said I was the magic cure and stupidly, I believed him. The reality is I understand SOME of the psychology and truly believe he believed himself too.
I got a huge loan and we paid off all my credit cards (not that much) and all his loans. The interest rate is astronomical but we have been paying it religiously for the last year and a half.
So my heart is now broken and my question is, why now? I feel cheated, that if I’d known maybe I would not have pursued him or certainly with more caution. Hindsight is a wonderful thing and I probably would have still had the whole experience I have had with him when he wasn’t gambling but perhaps I would have been more prepared.
Like a fool I believed him. What kind of idiot does that?
I’m intelligent, I’ve educated myself despite being a young parent and worked hard to become a teacher. I have the most beautiful daughter who adores him, and now we have the most beautiful son.
I need help. He went to GA and has acknowledged he is a serious addict and said that doing this and the hurt it’s caused makes him know he will never do it again. But why do these realisations always happen in the aftermath? And of course I know it is incredibly likely to happen again.
I will not leave. I will not have two kids by two different dads at 26 with no financial stability and be alone. I’m not weak, but I am in shock. Again with the psychology I think it is separate to us and he always says how happy he is, but what truly causes that moment with gambling, when they know it can f**k everything up, they go ahead and do it anyway?
Devastated, broken and breastfeeding my tiny son! No energy, constantly crying when alone. I don’t want to die, but I feel guilty for bringing my babies into a world that seems riddled with hardships and pain.
Thank you for your post and welcome to the Forum! I hope that your experience here will change your mind about being on a Forum and that you find the support you are looking for.
Your situation is complex and you have a lot of responsibilities at the moment, particularly with regard to your children. You seem to blame yourself a lot and I would encourage you to be kind to yourself. There is no stupidity in trusting people or in longing for a happy intact family.
You say that you are a strong person and strong people sometimes also can do with support. I wondered whether you would like to consider face to face support in your local area.
You are very welcome to contact us directly on the Helpline on 0808 80 20 133 or the Netline https://www.gamcare.org.uk/get-support/talk-to-us-now/
Both services are open 24 hours a day and you can discuss your situation with an adviser, who can give you some practical suggestions as well as refer you to local one to one support.
All the very best to you!
Hi Anna26 congratulations on your baby! I remember finding out awful news and sitting in the building society remortgaging when my daughter was 6 weeks old.
I went to Gamanon got support and learnt about enabling. Basically helping pay debts allows them to continue. This did not stop him gambling but it helped me safeguard our finances. His salary straight to me. He continued in secret. There were no credit checks etc then.
Your partner can sign up to gamstop, stops online gambling for uk companies that have signed up to it. He can show you the email as proof, 5 years. He can self exclude from bookies. He can give you his cards, bank account logins. There are banks that block gambling transactions, starling, monzo, Barclays. You can ask for receipts if you give him cash. He can go to GA, get counselling etc. You have to see change.
Now you need to look after yourself and your children. You have to be strong and not be fooled. Don't be complacent, this is a lifelong problem as I'm sure you know from your father. If you can find a gamanon meeting near you, they are online Sunday nights 8-9. Call gamcare and get support and advice. They offer counselling too for you. If there is debt make sure it's in his name not yours. Stepchange are a charity which can help with debt advice.
If you are struggling emotionally go and see your gp. This should be a time of joy. Get some help. Also don't be ashamed to tell someone close to you. Keeping secret keeps you isolated.
you can only change you, you can encourage him to get better but you can't do it for him.
Ask questions here and others will offer their advice.
Honestly I come to relise gambling is a way of escaping life .fun time passing then bet more, chase losses then feel worthless and then you know you risking all but feel like you don’t deserve the people around you .it’s like pushing yourself of bridge cause can’t get of merry go round , it’s like self torture because you don’t deserve happiness
I pity your situation but believe me I wish it was my partner who told me he was gambling instead of It being me because this guilt shame eats away at you. All the time you think 1 win so you can make things right
he’s very lucky to have you and your kids
never understood when people said alcoholics,drug users gamblers can’t give up now I’m one of them and don’t know how to cope
but I agree you should get help for yourself remember your the glue keeping your family together I hope things get better for you all x
You can't blame yourself for not seeing what you couldn't see.
They say hindsight is 20/20 vision...
Who doesn't wish they could change the past? (well, the bad bits!)
If I knew yesterday what I know today, I would be the richest man on the planet!
It is what you do now and in the future that counts. You have your hands full now and will be emotional and vulnerable, so don't act in haste.
And as for 'why now?' s**t happens when it happens... Better it happens now than at some point in the future when it could be even worse...
The best advice is to get advice! Talk to people who understand and can help. Don't isolate and fester on the awfulness of it...
You are young, have 2 healthy children and a home to live in...and a partner who has messed up stuff, but not run away...
That is a great starting point for a better stronger happy life...
Wish you well
I hope you and the family are ok and dealing with things.
It’s interesting that your father is a compulsive gambler too, maybe you subconsciously picked up on some of the traits when you met your partner, it’s weird how that works.
I can tell you from previous experience that a compulsive gamblers life must be in complete turmoil before they get help which is why this has come out at the worst possible time.
The only way through this is brutal honesty. Gamcare set me up with a one on one counsellor through options therapy, he was excellent and helped me understand why I gambled and it’s usually not what you think. If your partner wants to go down that route you have to embrace the process 100% and leave no stone unturned but you have to want it.
I can contest that this does work.
I hope things work out for you and your family.