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New to this and not sure if things will ever change!  


Hi all, 

Been having read through the forum topics this morning and it's comforting to know there's other people out there going through similar experiences and we aren't in this alone. 

I'm new here - contacted GamCare this morning. My other half has a gambling problem and is in debt due to it. It all came to blows last night as I found out he had been lying about his debts and paying them off as he had previously committed to. They've increased and he hasn't even been making the minimum payments and there's other debts he has hidden from me. He has always liked a gamble usually on football or the horses but it was never anything major (or as I thought). He's now run up debt on credit cards, borrowed from both our families and all his wage just disappears rather than him paying off the debts which is clearly going on gambling. 

I'm at my final straw with it now so have contacted GamCare for support and how is best to approach the situation. I have written a letter this morning which I will leave for him whilst I'm out running so we don't end up arguing over it. I'm quite a fiery person and don't want to go about this the wrong way and push him away and cause more lies. My requests are; 

Complete transparency around finances and debts

He contacts national debt line to plan how to repay and manage his debts

He gives me temporary control of his finances 

He contacts GamCare to tackle his gambling problem 

We are both completely open, honest and supportive of each other 

The lies about money have been ongoing for years, I've helped him out, his mum has, he's had quite large sums of money that he's gambled away so I'm at a point now where it needs to be sorted once and for all. I'm aware this isn't going to be an overnight fix and will take a long time. There is no trust left in our relationship and I'm wondering if that will ever manage to be re-built. The lies are the worst part, I really hate being lied to and always feel like I can't trust what he's telling me.  I don't want to sound crazy requesting to control his finances but I don't see another way. The last thing I want is to have to manage my other half! I'm almost 30, we've been together 5 years, I own the house we live in and I want to be able to plan our life together but I just don't see this as a possibility with the current situation. I'm going to give him an ultimatum that he starts the process of sorting it with my requests listed above or we call it a day and go our separate ways. This sounds so selfish from me but I don't want to waste anymore time if he isn't willing to change. 

Suppose I'm just writing in here as an outlet as I don't want to share this with family and friends as they will be so opinionated and I couldn't deal with that right now! 

Best of luck to everyone else going through a similar situation xx 

Posted : 9th April 2020 10:41 am

Hello NK1990,

I'm sorry that you find yourself to this position. 

 I can only talk from the gamblers point of you and I have been a part of the gamblers anonymous program for over 30  years. I have seen a lot of people come through the doors haven't been forced to buy their partners, myself included at various times.

 A lot of the time they(and I) are only doing it to keep their partners happy until things are okay again and then unfortunately a lot go back to their old behaviours. 

I have seen some who realise it's a second chance and *** the opportunity but being honest with you they are few and far between.

For a compulsive gambler  to really get the help that they need they have to come to that conclusion themselves. Only once you admit the illness has got you beat can you start to get better. If your partner doesn't think he has a problem or needs help unfortunately whatever you say or threaten is only a short term answer.

Hopefully he does take the opportunity and giving over his finances is an important part of the help that someone with a partner can receive. It's not for ever but in the short to medium term it will help him not to have access. Please don't think of it as a chore or at 30 something you shouldn't be doing. Your partner has an illness which has no limits. It will take and take until there is nothing left and so what you are doing is an extremely important part of the help required. When I had my wife do the same thing,  all it really meant was that my wages were paid into her account and then on payday we would sit down together on the laptop and go through the bills that had to be paid and move the money accordingly.  It wasn't about her taking control but more to limit my access to money. She also didn't want to have to manage me  and so this gave her peace of mind that my money, when it came in, wasn't being gambled. 

Could I also suggest that when the lockdown is over you also suggest that he attends his local Gamblers Anonymous meeting. There he will meet like minded people who understand and don't pass judgement. They also have a Gam-anon which is for partners/friends and you can get support there for yourself. 

I wish you both well.


Posted : 10th April 2020 1:16 pm

You are not being selfish, you are just being realistic. You know he has gambled in the past to the extent he has missed payments and racked up debt, he has not told you about this which has damaged your trust in him and thats not something that can be retrieved in the short term. As someone who is on this journey here is what I would add:

1. Full disclosure - you need to sit down together and go through his accounts so you know the scale of the problem, this can be pretty jaw dropping in fairness and not an easy of pleasant thing to do for either party but its essential. I know your firey but you also need to try and remain calm (even though your entitled to be angry) so these things dont just desend into arguments which will get you both no where. This way you can both see clearly the damage that has been done from a financial point of view by seeing what debt has gone into his accounts and the ocean of deposits that have gone to gambling companies.

2. Total access - Now the trust id damaged it will take a long time to repair, in the meantime you will need access to everything so you can see what is going on and he cannot lie or hide things from you. First up on pay day he can move his wages over to your account. You should have access to his bank account, his emails, his credit report (so you can see all debt he has in his name). I know its not nice to have to monitor him this way but it is essential. As compulsive gamblers we will resist this.

3. Self exclusion - As a compulsive gambler we will continue to feed our addiction if we are allowed, we will leave avenues open to get money etc which can be hard to monitor or stop, but there are Self exclusion schemes which prevent us from opening up new accounts online, playing on current accounts and gambling in betting shops. For online betting, GamStop is a service that will self exclude you from all online gambling sites that operate in the UK once you register with them ( I cannot recommend GamStop enough). You can also self exclude from the shops by signing up in each shop. He should do this with you to ensure it is done. Self exclusion is a vital barrier.

4. Recovery - All the above is a great help to prevent future harm but unless we take a good look at our behaviour and how to change, then we will inevitably fail. GA has a 12 step program which helps us do exactly that. Again its no quick fix and takes lots of time and effort but it does help and you will notice the changes over time, less irritable and argumentative to start with. Your partner could stop gambling for months or years but if he does not take an honest look at himself and how he can improve then you are going no where.

I know none of this is easy but remember he is in the grip of this addiction which has taken over. There is help and support ou there for him, and you can give him these ultimatums but recovery is in his hands, you can only control your own actions and have sought help, so well done for that. I wish you both well in this journey.

Posted : 14th May 2020 12:17 pm
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