I found out on Friday that my partner has a gambling addiction. I have no idea to what extent this addiction is, I just know its happening daily.
It's been well hidden and I've had no suspension, but now I know I can see the signs of when and where he's doing it.
I've seen a bank statement, and at the moment that's my only proof. I don't know how to confront him without him knowing I've looked at his bank statement!
Thank you for posting on the GamCare forum, I am sure that the community here will be able to offer you some valuable advice and support.
It sounds like this has come as a shock to you. I wanted to mention that the advisers on our Helpline are available 24/7. They would be able to talk this through with you and help you decide how you want to move forward. They are available on our HelpLine on 0808 8020 133 or you can follow the link to speak to someone via Livechat.
If you do speak to your Partner about this, you could encourage him to call us too, there is a lot of support we can offer for you both.
Keep posting and take care,
this is a tough one
I guess the first question you need to say to yourself is 1 how much in money is he spending and is this multiple transactions to a betting company
if the answer is a lot then you have to again look back and ask yourself do you see a change in him. For example if he’s won big is he throwing money round like is isn’t a issue. On the other hand if he has loss big is he quiet and doesn’t want to communicate with you or anyone.
but in the end I guess you have to sit him down and basically ask the question.
10 years ago this process happened with me by my 2 brothers and at the start they thought I was on drugs cause they never thought it would be this.
trust me I lied about it I said I was fine and i didn’t have a problem at all. But they could see through it and wouldn’t let me leave until I said what was up with me.
they said I was 20 years old living at home with a very good job and I could hardly pay my house keeping to my parents.
Cut a long story short the minute I told them I felt free. And trust me I didn’t want to say a word but it was a weight of my shoulders.
in your case you don’t have to mention the statements. But that’s your choice if you do. But if you have noticed a change in him then it’s your life also this affects.
it’s always a hard conversation confronting someone. But recommend him to here and he can see what a difference this place does.
i wish you well and I hope you get the honest answers.
hope this helps
Thanks for your message and knid words of advice.
I don't know to what extent the problem is as I've only seen one month's statement history. Transactions were on a daily basis and amounted to approx. £1000 over the month. His winnings amounted to roughly the same so that month he was lucky and broke even... But I know this won't always be the case, so if he's spending this amount each month and not so successful in winnings, how much debt is he mounting up.
I'm also concerned he may be taking out credit cards or loans to fund the gambling. He's moved into my property and has changed his personal details to my address, which is another worry as I don't know what effect this could have on if he's taking out credit or loans under this address?!
I feel like I need more proof or evidence before I can approach him.
Hi Fran and welcome to the forum.
I wouldnt worry about how you got the bank statement. The truth must out!
Gambling is a dangerous addiction and if you have a gambler or gambling addict in the household its a problem that needs dealing with.
Its difficult to advise you other than you should get the words out that gambling is not acceptable to you. I presume you are safe to do so.
He needs reality checks and you can not be shrinkling violet over something as serious as this.
You may not get the full truth yet but you can make a start. If you live with a problem gambler your life is also riding on red or black and that is no way to live.
Phone gamcare again and try and get some family support. This is a difficult time and you can pick your moment well with knowledge and strength.
Best wishes from everyone on the forum
And welcome you'll have a lot off help and advice from this amazing site, when you actually raise the subject off gambling with your partner he may be relieved that it's finally out in the open as one of the hardest thing's to do is admit it and get it out there. If you just leave it it can spiral out of control in such a short period off time and when I say that I really mean out of control as in thousands. Please just don't let it go
Thanks all for your help... I wish I could just come out with it but I'm worried how he'll react especially finding out I looked at his bank statements!
I have a very high suspicion that he's lending money to fund the habit so I know it needs sorting sooner rather than later.
I've tried dropping subtle hints about money issues and last night we were watching TV and someone had recovered from a gambling addiction. I tried to be respectful and sympathetic about it so he doesn't feel so ashamed but don't know if that will help.
I want to help and support him through this just don't know how to approach it with him and admit to how I know about his gambling
no that’s perfectly acceptable in your thinking. But as you can see from all the replies this addition affects everyone in some way or another.
gambling is a horrible addiction and it makes the person involved very very selfish. I can vouch for that.
even the most honest person can potentially turn to crime or sponging of loved ones or telling the most shocking lies to get around it.
on the other hand some people just like a flutter and it’s not a problem. That’s fair enough. But if he’s spending £1k in a month the likelyhood is that he might be in quite deep and as Kev pointed out it might be a relief for him to have it out. And joy also said you might not get the whole truth as of yet cause this addiction makes you tell so many lies.
But from this if you have faith in your partner and you know he’s a good person and he’s just took a wrong turning it is beatable with hard work from both sides but you both do need to be honest
If I can offer any more advice it would be to just go for it. The end of the day as you say he’s living in your house and if it’s causing you stress or worry then who knows what it could be doing to you in time
if you have any questions if you contact Gamecare they are amazing and help partners also cope or dealing with this kind of situation.
all the best fran
Hi Fran it's a shame that you are here and also that you have discovered this without his confession.
Fear will keep you stuck in this repeating cycle.
a compulsive gambler is a compulsive liar. So if you do ask him, confront him, what will he do? Lie. Make out it's not as bad as it looks, he did win but then he lost, he's only trying to win it back, if he stops he's 'down', etc, etc.
if he's living in your house and not contributing or living more cheaply than he was, he thinks he can afford it. Now he's playing everyday it's become his habit, his 'go to' when things are boring, stressful.
so what are you going to do? Why are you scared? Why are you worried about his reaction? What behaviour change have you seen? What is his mood like?
This is the cycle of addiction. Their lying and we're too scared to do anything.
From experience confronting, helping, forgiving doesn't work. It's about having boundaries. What are you accepting as part of a normal relationship? If this is unacceptable you should feel you can say or do something.
compulsive gambling is a progressive illness/ addiction. This gets worse, bets get bigger, mental health more damaged.
There is help from gamcare, call the helpline, get counselling. There is also help from Gamanon, go to the website, meetings online every night 7-9, except Saturday. All anonymous, live, online chat with people who are living with or experienced what you are going through now. This will offer you support and help with how to deal with this situation.
Don't wait for him to confess, or change. This is about you and how you move forward and look after yourself and your finances.
Thanks for your advice... Please can I ask how you handled the situation when you found out?
I've contemplated speaking to one of his family to seek advice but don't know if this is the right approach?
I'm very apprehensive about confrontinf my partner as he'll want to know how I know!
Hi Fran, read my post again.
Don't confront, you know, he'll lie.
get real help for yourself from real places of support like gamcare or gamanon.
I did all the confronting, ignoring, enabling, asking family. Nothing, nothing worked. The only thing you can do is safeguard and help yourself.
why are you afraid? Normal relationships don't have secrets and lies.
I control all finances because my husband showed me he couldn't, he asked me to take his money away from him.
i don't care what anybody thinks, or says, this is about what we are willing to put up with.
No one can afford to gamble on a regular full time basis. Not because of the financial implications but because it damages your mental health.
an addict will not stop until the money runs out. As I said if he's living more cheaply he's got money to burn. Why isn't he using it for normal pastimes or saving it?
i dealt with my problem (I'm married to a compulsive gambler) by seeking help for myself. I went to Gamanon. (I spoke to gamcare, I did the counselling, it didn't really help.) Going to regular meetings is what helps me.
seriously if you're scared to talk to your partner going online at 7 tonight is a safe thing to do. What is there to lose?
No I don't think you should wait. I think you should get help and advice about how to move forward. You obviously don't think he should be gambling. It's causing you distress.
What I'm saying is if you confront him he will lie and become secretive.
When we live with an addict we are enabling them by allowing their behaviour to continue. We become scared of them and their moods. We cover up for them, lie, make excuses. We become part of the problem or game.
its about getting help, changing our behaviour and not accepting theirs.
Hi Frank I'm new to this too but on your partners side of the situation. You need to talk to him tell him you seen the statements. I've been trying so many ways to stop 15 thousand in debt after 4 months of gambling from never gambling in my life. Doing this I wanted me wife to know and help although I hid it . If he is like me in anyway he is no doubtely stuck in his own head he will know what he is doing is destructive maybe confronting him will be the kick up the b*m he needs.even if you cant stop it yourself I found out that my wife knowing although it doesn't stop the cravings and the need to gamble just the being able to say to my partner ive done it again took alot of pressure off of me I wasnt stuck in my own thoughts without having a outlet to talk openly. Also look out for yourself I know what I put my wife through and I wouldn't want that on anyone if she wanted to walk away I wouldnt blame her. Gambling doesn't just effect the person doing it will no doubtely effect your own well being too of he is a problem gambler.
as you can see their is a lot of opinions here some say you should tell him others say you should look after yourself etc
as you can see this addiction effects so many people and so many people have different ways of dealing with it. And to be honest no way is the right way it’s only a way that can stop yourself if your the person that gambles or like your case the other side of it how to deal with it etc.
i think taking professional help is always the best way. But a lot of the people replying to your post are dealing with this as the gambler side and the only way to ever deal with this is opening communication with your partner.
here is a different way of looking at it.
I don’t no if your a parent. But if you knew your son or daughter was suffering through a gambling addiction and the only way you had an idea was through a bank statement. Would you sit down with them and ask what’s going on?
the end of the day he lives in your house and he could be an amazing guy. Chances he will get angry or defensive, but you have to deal with it head on in what ever way you feel comfortable with,
all the best