Hi, I never thought I would be posting anything on Gamcare but I feel like I need some advice removed link
So I met my new partner the beginning of July this year, and instantly we hit it off. I have never experienced such chemistry and compatability with someone before. Both of us have been married before and already have children, I have been separated from my ex husband for 5 years, he has been separated for a year and a half.
He was honest from the get go he was a recovering gambling addict. It was the main reason why his marriage ended. He told me he had been in recovery since then as he was determined to recover. At the time I remember him telling me, and I was gracious of his honesty, even admired him for speaking up. I too suffer with mental health issues so I can relate to a lot of what he had been through and vice versa. Both of our marriages were abusive (I haven't just taken his word for this, but have heard from his whole family in regards to what his ex wife was like to him, she use to hit him, throw water on him regularly if he forgot to do something etc plus I have witnessed their interactions together. He was in total recovery for many years before he caved a year and a half ago from stresses of the marriage).
So everything was great, then on 1st October he relapsed. His main reason was he got triggered by his ex wife as they had very little boundaries, plus a house he was due to move into fell through, and with that money sat in his bank and feeling hopeless and unable to process what he was feeling he did what he has done before when things got too much... he gambled. Online poker is his thing. He stopped before he spent all of his money, something he had never done before, called his sponsor straight away and met with the GA guys in the evening as they are like a brotherhood as he has been going for so long. Before his relapse with his wife he use to help out loads with the group because he was in long term recovery.
So he told me 3 days later on October 4th what he had done. I thought something was up as he began to retreat from me, I had asked if he was getting urges and he said yes but he hadn't acted on them. That weekend before he told me, he had self harmed himself through shame of his actions, hating himself for what he did, and what he was now going to put our relationship through. He admitted that April this year he had also spent £200 gambling. He also admitted to me that no one had been watching his finances, as he had also said that his dad was keeping track. He admits was a way for him to leave the door open as he became complacent.
When he told me he was a crumpled mess on the floor, ashamed, broken, hating himself. I calmly told him I was proud of him for being honest, but naturally I was hurt from the lies, and unsure how to move forward as a couple. Since then we have retreated from our relationship to focus on ourselves. I told him words are empty now sadly, and if he truly wants to make amends then actions speak louder than words, and time will tell if we can make this work.
Since then, he now has a psychotherapist who he's seeing weekly, the guys at GA are there for him, he has a new sponsor who is putting a load of effort in with him, and he is reciprocating this effort, he has changed banks to Lloyd's as they let you ban gambling or over 18 transactions or something, he is writing a lot about how he feels and is processing what he is feeling. He has had urges, and through trying to prove his honesty was ringing me the moment he was getting them so we could break down why he was feeling the way he was, everytime we found a trigger and talked about it and the feeling eased for him once he was understanding and processing what he was feeling. I realised though after a week this was probably better if he did this with his sponsor if he felt comfortable... which he now does. He has also laid down firm boundaries with his ex, and funnily enough a massive weight has been lifted off his shoulders since he arranged what needed to be arranged with her, and hasn't had to interact with her barely since.
I guess I'm posting here because sometimes I dont know if I'm doing the right thing. My saviour complex wants to kick in so badly, but I know this would be disastrous, I would hate to be an enabler. If he is going to be in recovery it has to be on him. And he knows this. I feel bad retreating away, we still speak daily, we just don't physically see each other. I guess I'm scared things will become complacent and I want to see if these actions he is doing are long lasting. Someone please tell me if I'm doing the right thing... or give me some suggestions of other things I can do or not do?
He wants to give me his online bank details to physically show me where he is spending money too. He's signed up to Gamstop too, although he has told me that not all websites are included in this but its just another small barrier put in place.
But like I said at the beginning of this long post, we have only been involved since July. Am I even doing the right thing by giving him this chance? Another thing I should mention is I talked through my boundaries with him, what I will and will not tolerate, and I have made peace with the fact that I may have to end the relationship if he lies and gaslights me, which is something my ex husband use to do. He is adamant he desperately wants an honest relationship, but time will tell I suppose. Its not the relapse that scares me, that can be dealt with, and I will support him. I just hope he knows I will never judge him for it, but the lies and the manipulation I can't tolerate.. maybe I am being too optimistic about this...
Wow, there is a lot in that but fair play to you for seeking help and support. One bit of an alarm is that you have gone from an abusive relationship into this minefield. You want to save this guy after a few months together, just curious as to why? Maybe you should seek out some counselling for yourself? Im not having a go just asking the question as you mentioned you have had your own mental health issues. In fairness to you, you have gave him proper ultimatums and are not pampering his ego so he will know exactly where he stands.
If he is in recovery you should have access to everything, emails, bank accounts, credit score (to see debt in his name etc) and anything else. He has to be open book if he is to really recover. Keep posting on here and keep getting support.
i think you’re doing the right thing is stepping back and seeking help. Sometimes just writing it down helps.
I’m wife of a compulsive gambler, I have been playing the game and enabling, all those things you are looking at now.
This is about you, put yourself first all the time. You can’t fix him. ‘Women who love too much’ is a great read. You are right to set boundaries with consequences. In my experience you can’t tell when a cg is lying. It becomes second nature to them, lying about anything. Secrets are all there too. It’s a behaviour, habit, default. Almost an instinct.
i know my husband will lie to me. I don’t think it’s intentional. I only believe what I see.
My opinions or advice would be: Do you want to live with an addict?
Be prepared for ‘finding out’ after the event.
This is a long term progressive illness.
Find a meeting.
Don’t have expectations.
If you want him to change, you have to change.
Be financially independent.
As Joe90 said, you’ve gone from one difficult partner to another. Look after yourself, and don’t let his problems become yours. Be detached.