After 7 years of suspicion that my now fiance is a gambling addict, he finally admitted it to me last night. Because of my suspicions, I never linked myself financially with him, and I control all our joint financial commitments. I'm emotional about it of course, but I'm protected and ready to tackle this practically.
I'm seeking advice from others who have taken control of their partner's finances. He's asked me to do this, but I still want him to have access to money. I'm wondering if it's worth him creating a new account but me having control over in (mobile app, account details etc), so that he can't use it online on poker, slots etc.
I also need to help him overcome the addiction, but I feel like research is key with that. For now, I just need to know what people have done about their addict's finances in the past, what works and what doesn't.
PS - I'm not as heartless as I sound, but I'll crumble if I let myself feel how heartbroken this has left me, so I'm taking the practical, compartmentalised approach.
Hi! The key to addiction and being involved with an addict is to protect yourself. I had what I thought was control of finances but he had other accounts and was gambling loans. You can't stop a gambler, you can't fix it, and you definitely don't help pay back debts. If he has access and gambles what will you do? If he doesn't have access and gambles some other source of money you'll never know. Knowing doesn't help or matter. This is about you and what you're willing to do. Money to a gambler is like drugs. I agree they need to learn to manage money but in the early days of recovery I wouldn't be comfortable with it. Credit reports will show you the damage and his ability to get credit. It's mind blowing how much credit banks offer to compulsive gamblers. You need to be ruthless and knowledgeable. There are very few happy endings I'm afraid. Even less support for f&f anywhere in the community. Gamcare offer counselling for you and a gamanon meeting offers long term support of others in your situation. I would take any support offered, you need it.
I'm new to this too. And I'm
I've been married to my husband for a year and a few days. He's had problems with alcohol and i knew he had credit card debt from a previous relationship so took care to keep our finances separate. He told me he was paying the debt off, so like an idiot I paid for our wedding so he could keep on paying the debt off.
We run a business together and over the last four months he's taken nearly £12,000 from the business and blown it all on horse racing. Needless to say he's been adding to his credit card debt too, not paid a penny off it. All this while I'm watching all the pennies to afford a move to a bigger house.
He's admitted he's gambling compulsively and seeking help. But MY GOD it's so hard to be sympathetic to his addiction when I'm brimming over with fury.
I've locked him out of the business bank account but to be quite honest as long as he can't touch the family or business finances he's going to have to sort his own mess out. I'm at my limit dealing with his drinking, flirting with other women and now gambling.
So, no you're not hard or controlling you're really sensible. My husband say's I'm sanctimonious about money and living sensibly. The way I look at it I'm in survival mode and protecting what I work hard for. I'm hoping that we get out of the other side of this some how, and that I can find the strength to be supportive and sympathetic.
At the moment every day that he's not blowing money and I'm not strangling him is a success. I'm not heartless either. Just surviving and protecting my livelihood and kids.
Hi, so I’m a gambling addict (well was)
I really struggled and was always telling people I had stopped but I hadn’t, I went to gambling in secret (was only a few days and then I actually stopped) my partner was massively supportive and knew how much I’d blown, thankfully it wasn’t that much when I realised I had a problem.
I was struggling in every way, I won a grand on slots within an hour and spent £500 of it back on gambling. I was mortified, we was set up for the month before I did that.
At that point I realised I was miserable and didn’t want to do it anymore, I set up a joint bank account with her own personal bank, we have one in mine but she doesn’t have the app and doesn’t really look at it so I found it easy to transfer money across.
Now all my money goes into the joint account and everything comes out that account, she gives me money as and when I need it and has never said no when I need it. I was worried of handing my money over to someone else and thought in a way I was being controlled. I have the app on my phone for our bank just so I can monitor it, but give my card to her and shut all my other current accounts down. My weakness was online slots so if I have cash I don’t spend online.
It depends on his type of gambling, if it’s something he can easily do in the bookies then you need to set a daily limit for him and then give it him cash. I know it’s not nice and he needs to stop gambling but if he then does gamble Atleast it’s not substantial amounts and putting him out pocket for the month. If he wants something more then just simply ask what’s it’s for, I’d say if it’s a substantial amount go with him whilst he buys it just until he proves himself and you build up the trust again.
Its not being controlling, it’s being sensible. I’m so glad I did what I did and let her control the finances. I have never once thought she was being controlling. It helps and now seeing the bank account build and having that extra money makes it all worth it.
Another option is may I add, some bank accounts do savings accounts with cards, maybe get one of those that link up with separate a current account and then put his disposable income into there? And have the app on your phone. That way he can still spend on the card and withdraw money, but you can’t use the cards online. They don’t have security numbers. Again it’s the type of gambling, mine was purely online, I could walk past bookies at it didn’t make a difference to me. Everyone’s different, cash and a limit worked for me because I spend money like it’s nothing anyway and never had the urge to go on slot machines in a pub or in a bookies etc. So whilst it was getting off gambling it was helping get back in control of my spending.
It’s just finding what’s best for him and then putting a plan together, if he does go into bookies then maybe the cards not a good option but if he can control his spending and online gambles online then it’s an option
hope any of this help
I would be wary of letting him have access to a bank account. I went to see the bank with my husband where he told them about his problem gambling and asked for his card to be cancelled. I came away under the impression that he could not gamble as he had no access to his money. Fast forward 6 months and I found out the gambling had continued - he had found a way to gamble online using his account password, had maxed out his overdraft and blown 2 loans worth thousands.
My advice - do not take his word for anything, if he's a gambler it means nothing. I now have control of my husband's bank account and have changed his log on details so he literally has no access. If he needs anything, I pay for it from my account and transfer funds from his account to cover the cost, if he wants to see his account to check a balance or see if a direct debit has been paid, I show him, but he can't do it without me. He hasn't gambled for more than 2 months but I suspect it will take years for me to trust him again, financially speaking, because I have been lied to too many times. I don't plan to relinquish control until all of his debts have been paid off, he has to earn my trust.
Wishing you luck
I'm so sorry you've been so heavily impacted by your partner's decisions. I wish I could give you some good advice or at least comfort you... just keep swimming I guess, for you, your business etc. Make sure you look after yourself, first and foremost. No one will ever care more about you, thank you. Harsh truth, but its one that really helps me.
Thank you for reaching out, and good luck with your future.
Thank you for your advice, we are going down a very similar route - new account, in his name with his money, but I am the only one with access. It's an account that I can block online gambling transactions on so he is going to have his card. Online is his issue, and he's always said shop/fruit machine gambling isn't his style, but I'm nervous that without online, his addiction will manifest in other ways. I'm just going to closely monitor it for the first few months. I'm lucky that there are no debts, he's just been blowing his salary within 2 days each month.
Thanks again, and good luck with your future.
Keep track of bank accounts with regular access to credit reports from all three agencies.
It's all too easy for a CG to open a new account with access to all the credit facilities that entails or to leave an account or two undisclosed with the same effect. Mr L channels his spending through the joint account and has his salary paid into a basic bank account I control.
If your partner has cash see receipts for what he spends.
Without sounding harsh do not trust a CG. For me restriction in all cash, card and banking apps set me on the road to recovery. Nine months plus i carried no unneccesary cash and defo no cards. The small amount of cash i was sometimes given meant i had to provide a receipt to the penny.
No funds = no gamble.
Without access to credit reports it's impossible to ascertain a full picture. CG's are adept at leaving themselves loopholes and the f&f forum is awash with tales of the destruction caused with hidden and lied about bank accounts and loans. If he's serious about wanting you to look after the finances he needs to be willing to make full and ongoing across the board access available and you need to be willing to use it. As you say the addiction can and does change outlets as doors are closed. I'd echo Bal in the advice not to be too trusting.