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Partners huge debt  



Apologies in advance for the long post but I’m looking for some advice.

My partner of 14 years has this evening told me that he has been gambling again. I know he’s always had a bet here and there and this time last year told me (only because I found a letter from debt collectors) that he had been gambling and racked up around £10k worth, £5k from payday loans and £5k borrowed from a friend at work which I was absolutely devastated about. He has previously taken payday loans and his credit is horrendous because of it so our house was bought in my name only as he couldn’t get a mortgage.

I stuck by him and helped him pay back everything he owed and thought all was ok.

This evening he’s told me he has been gambling again for the last 10 months and has borrowed £20k from the same person and has just spent most of his wages this month which means I’m now short on house bills.

We are currently about to move house which I’ve had to buy alone again due to his poor credit but have had to borrow a lot of money from family to get it through. Literally weeks from completion.

im at a total loss now on what to do and can’t believe he’s done this again. We have 2 young boys too and are due to get married next year, which is all paid for as had been postponed due to COVID.

if we continue to move then he will still need to pay this man back plus what we are paying back to family for the loan to buy the house but the person he owes to needs it back within 1 year which is just impossible.

easy solution is to pull out of the sale but I just can’t bear the thought that I have to tell everyone plus all the money lost from fees and surveys etc plus it’s my absolute dream house for my children. 
I am so angry and upset that I’m in this position and don’t know if I can ever trust him again but I love him and he’s my babies dad. Will he ever change? I just don’t know what to do 😞

any advice is welcome and I know I probably sound so selfish that I am even debating continuing with the sale but I’ve had such a S****y couple of years (diagnosed with stage 3 Melanoma 3 months after having my 2nd son and just finished 12 months of treatment) and this was going to be a new start for us 

Posted : 27th December 2020 11:41 pm
Forum admin

Hello 20becky05

I am pleased to see you using our Forum and sincerely do hope that you receive the support in which you are seeking.   I am so sorry to hear of your struggles, it sounds like you are having a very difficult time.

Along with the Forum, please be aware that we have Advisers available 24/7 to help you through the difficulties that you are experiencing.  You can contact our helpline on 0800 8020 133 or use our Livechat option.

I encourage you to make contact so we can discuss the best way to support you and to enable you to move forward in your life.



Forum Admin 

Posted : 28th December 2020 6:37 am

Hi becky, I'm sorry for all this distress you are in and I hope your health is improving. Few things I want to ask as it's not clear in your post when he stopped gambling previously.....I'm sceptical that he ever stopped...I'm sorry I'm a recovering compulsive gambler so I obviously know what we do. Did he rely on just willpower or did he block his gambling method? Did he gain help to overcome his problem attend GA or have counselling? Did he fell his friend what the money was for ? This is called enabling if this friend knew what the money was for and it has to stop now as your partner is never going to get through this if he is enabled to gamble. Of course he can get through this with hard work in recovery I'm 7 months gamble free now and I listened carefully to everyone on here and have used paths trodden by many people GA and I've had counselling arranged by Gamcare that was v v helpful. Let us know a bit more and me and others will tell you how we have helped ourslves. And  that Becky is the key to all this you can support him but you cannot fix him he has to fix himself he has to want to stop gambling and he has to be ready to stop. Let us know a bit more and use the helpline the Gamcare advisors are awesome and will help you. Best wishes

Posted : 28th December 2020 11:54 am
Merry go round

Hi Becky

this is it in a nutshell.

his debts are his. Not yours, you are not responsible in any way.

you are right to have everything in your name. Another thing you can do is get a legal document drawn up to stop him having any financial claim on your house.

move, it’s yours.

if someone at work lent him money that is their choice and risk. 

From now on you have to stop feeling responsible for his behaviour and debts. If you pay them it allows him to continue. You have to be strong, don’t be led to believe this will affect you or something bad will happen.

a gambler stops when we stop paying for their mistakes.

he’s an adult, he needs to take full responsibility for his actions.


Posted : 28th December 2020 12:04 pm

Unfortunately and as pretty much everyone on this side of the forum will have found bailing them out just gives them a clean slate to do it all over again.


It's not clear if you can afford the mortgage, repayments to your own family and bills on your own but if you can there's no reason to pull out of the purchase. Take legal advice to make sure he can't lay claim to the house.

Repaying the friend on time is his problem to sort out and he needs to be clear it comes a very long way behind making sure his share of the household bills is paid.  Your very first move is to assume full financial control and to check his and your own credit reports from all agencies to establish the true extent of any debt (if he's borrowing from friends there's a possibility he's exhausted official sources of credit) and the existence of any secret bank accounts. Once you've done that you have breathing space to think about the longer term.

This post was modified 3 weeks ago by Lethe
Posted : 28th December 2020 2:48 pm

Hi mate

Your partner is a grown man and needs to take ownership and responsibility for what is clearly a massive problem and the debt needs to be cleared. It sounds like you are a fantastic person, everything is moving in the right direction for you. He really needs to get help, he needs to own up to the problem, close or have full control of his accounts and put gambling blocks in place, sign him up to GamStop, and even get his wages paid into your account and control his spending. With all of the right measures he will not be able to continue with his gambling habits.

Hope all works out well for you both. This is a place you’re always welcome to reach out to for support.

Posted : 28th December 2020 4:10 pm

Who borrows 20k from a friend? Its that friends fault for doing it....  As above its his debt keep yourself separate financially as you're doing don't let his finances affect yours.  All the best adam

Posted : 28th December 2020 7:11 pm


Ask not who borrows 20k from a friend. Ask what friend ( whom I assume is a close one who must have seen changes in their gambling friend if not fully aware he's a CG ) lends someone 20k given that much over 52 weeks works out at £384.61 per week. Forgive me for my cynicism.

Best Wishes




Posted : 28th December 2020 11:37 pm
Merry go round

Becky, reading everyone’s comments and your original post, is this person at work real? It could very well be a manipulation tactic. Beware.

Posted : 29th December 2020 10:42 am

Hi and sorry for the delay in replying.

he claimed to have stopped in around October last year and it seems he did for 3/4 months. He said he had disabled all apps and locked any betting accounts he had been using. This time he has said his gambling was on slots which he hasn’t done before.

ive told him he must tell the friend that’s been giving him money and I’m also going to get in touch with him to be sure he doesn’t ever lend again. He said he never told this person what he was using the money for but it baffles me how someone can lend that much money without knowing what it’s for, I suspect he had an idea.

he’s now registered fir support with Gamcare which is a huge leap for him. Previously he says he could stop and didn’t need help so I know he’s really going to try this time. I’ve made it very clear that this is his last chance.

thanks for your reply 😊

Posted : 31st December 2020 4:02 pm

Thank you for your reply.

I am 100% taking control of his accounts now and have told him I need to check his emails and credit report monthly so I can see everything.

He has set up a plan for paying back this man and it’s all down to him, I am not finding it whatsoever. I’ve bailed him out in the past and won’t be doing it again.

he’s aware now that if he ever does it again he needs to leave, no more chances. I just can’t have him around if he is going to lie like that.

Posted : 31st December 2020 4:06 pm
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