My husband started gambling via our bank not long after we were married and consistently did this no matter what I did to try to stop him getting access to the cards.....it was never large amounts in one go but always £10 £15 or £20 sometimes more then once a day....this might not seem a lot to some but we live on a tight budget. This went on for months and it came to a head when we found out he had also been using his mums bank card to gamble and he swore he would change.....I have since found out that what he did was brought a card from the better shop that he would top up with cash and would explain away the cash to me buy saying it was for petrol/food or he’d had to lend it out. Since lockdown he has now started gambling through the bank again it started with £5 every couple of days and has now increased to £10 daily.,... I keep talking to him as we can not afford this and he keeps saying he’s sorry and he’ll stop but then I look at the bank and more money has gone. I have tried speaking to bank, cancelling the cards and getting new ones but nothing is working and I just don’t know what to do or how bad this will get... I’m so worried....I am now getting behind on bills because of this.
Hi wife of gambler
where to begin?
If he wants to stop or change you need to stop his access to money. Blocking software in gadgets, sign up to gamstop. You should do this in your name too as he's using others cards etc. Tell his mother too?
don't have anything joint . Change all passwords so he cannot use your account.
There is an online gamanon meeting Sunday night at 7-9. They will have lots of advice and help. Just go to the website and login to the meeting.
if he uses cash to top up anything he should supply a receipt.
Here is my reply to another post, but I think its pertinent for this also, hope it helps:
Here is what usually happens, a partner or loved one finds out about the gambling, usually at this stage its well manifested and only comes to light as bills go unpaid etc. The partner confronts the gambler who admits they have a gambling problem. The partner see this as a sign of acceptance and often the gambler will plead their case and promise to change and their word is taken as fact, i.e they will get help, the help they are getting is working etc. If this is the case its usually not longe before the gambler returns to the old pattern, or in my case return almost immediately even though I was getting counselling and attending GA.
Basically it boils down to this, an addict is not to be fully trusted (difficult for a partner to hear, the trust can return over time to a point but probably never 100%), so they can tell you they are doing this, that and the other but unless you see changes in their behaviour over time you will know that they have wasted their time.
You cannot control someone else's behaviour so they can go to all the counselling sessions and support groups they want, if they dont really want to stop then it wont happen.
My advice for anyone who is willing to live with a compulsive gambler is to take control of the situation, get support for yourself (which your doing), seek as much advice as possible and then make a decision on whether you want to continue in the relationship or not. It's not an easy decision and one you dont want to make lightly or in the heat of the moment. For example when you see the true scale of the gambling/debt etc your instinct maybe to blow your top and run a mile but you need time to digest it all, remember your partner is an addict and he needs help with this.
Some relationships actually improve greatly as recovery helps cut through a lot of BS and lies which can hamper normal couples. After you have sought advice and support, you need to sit down with your partner and make it clear that you will help and support him if he is willing to change and get help, he must come clean on everything and open up to you to start this process. If he is not willing to do this then the relationship is over.
Again if I were you and I chose to stay, I would demand full access to everything. You should have access to his emails, to his credit score (so you can see any debt in his name), access to his banking so you can see any transactions he makes, he should not have any cash withdrawls and if he buys something in a supermaket he should keep the receipt to prove he has not asked for cash back. If he gets paid that should be put into your account so he has no access to funds. He should register with Gamstop (be with him when he does this) so he can self exclude from all betting sites if he is registered with them. If betting shops open back up he should go into those and self exclude, you should do this with him to make sure its done.
By doing this he will know you are serious and it will help stop the lies.
All the above actions are barriers to protect you all from gambling harm, and they will make it difficult for him to gamble. The next step is to get help to change his behaviour, the 12 step program in GA is a good place to start. He should find his nearest meeting and start attending, he should open up and start being honest about everything. If he does and commits to recovery then you could have a great future together.
Hi Wifeofgambler01 and welcome to the forum
You will learn that this dangerous and progressive addiction is a drug addiction. Im not saying your husband is a bad man who is doing this with an evil laugh to hurt you. He is addicted and unless you present a real challenge to him he is not going to get the reality checks he needs.
At the moment saying sorry to you is a trade off his addiction can handle to get its fix. Its meaningless as the addiction has a strong hold over him. He is having his cake and eating it...you are no threat to his addiction so he continues in an addicted, delusional world to get a drug fix of playing.
The money plays a lesser part but part of his delusion is that he is going to get some easy money to validate his feelings
You have to tell him again that gambling is not acceptable to you and he needs ultimatums. Show him the bills on the table and ask him if money grows on trees. I presume you are safe to confront him in a productive way.
Im sorry but he needs to know that he could lose you as addicts only tend to do something is they are experiencing a rock bottom moment or see the possibility of losing everything important.
Try and get some family support and build up a network of knowledge from friends and meetings like gam anon.
Its a complex addiction..he may be depressed and feel worthless but gambling is not the answer to that.
Its difficult and does involve confrontation. You can not be a shrinking violet over this and can only help him from a position of strength. It must stop as your life is also riding on black or red and thats no way to live.
Living with a problem gambler will give you no security or planning with money.
It can be sorted out and there is hope but he has to be ready for a born again moment to stop. He needs to be ready to stop and you need to control all the money. Tough love is what he needs as he has to do the cold turkey to heal his mind
Best wishes from everyone on the forum
I am really trying my best to help people and give them food for thought. As you say it is not always what they want to hear but I feel it is what they need to know.
If they disagree, the forum is here and I welcome their reply. I look forward to the opportunity to talk things through. There are some great contributors to this forum and their experience is invaluable.
We have been there and we do understand. I word things in a tougher more direct way now but its because I genuinely care. I realise that its the people that didn't soft soap me I am most grateful to now because they made me think outside of my comfort zone.
Best wishes to everyone on the forum