Hi I posted this on the newcomers forum earlier but just wanted to repost here to see if there might be anyone who has experienced finding out when they were pregnant or who has experience of having a family with their problem gambler. Please see my story below:
I am new to this site but sadly not new to this problem. I was in a relationship 2 years ago with a problem gambler and we were really in love but I ended up leaving him because of his gambling. I had to turn my whole life upside down, leave my job and home and move back to my parents house. Things got better, I got some counselling and met someone new. He seemed so different from my ex and I told him about what I'd been through and was actually coming to the end of my counselling when we met. He told me he had no interest in gambling and never had done. He came across as this really straight up, steady guy with a bit of a cheeky chappy personality. I completely fell for him and we've now been together for a year and a half and our first baby is due in august (I'm 29 weeks pregnant). We moved in together in March into a lovely home and everything was fine accept he started to say he was feeling low because of lockdown and work related stress etc. On Monday I got a call from our landlord saying our rent hadn't been paid for two months and we were in arrears. Everything is in his name so I confronted him but thought it must have been a mistake. He told me it was an error on the standing order but admitted that he knew it hadn't been paid but thought he would get away with it as they hadn't noticed and thought this might help him at after a bad month of comisssion during lockdown. I was really angry but he broke down and said that he has been hiding how low he is because I'm pregnant and brought up loads of stuff he'd never told me from his childhood and about the anxiety he hides. I felt sorry for him but I als still felt suspicious because of my past relationship so I asked him explicitly if it was to do with gambling and he said no. The next day (tues) I asked to see his accounts to check the rent had been paid and he made excuses. He previously told me he had 7 grand in savings for our baby so I asked him if he didn't want to show me because he didn't have savings and he admitted that he didnt. I asked again about gambling and he stared at the wall for ages and then finally said that he 'does have a bet sometimes'. I feel like my world shattered and I just knew how bad it was. Of course he broke down and it all came out about the debt, the lies, etc.
The thing I can't get my head around is that he knew about my past, knew I'd been through all of this and didn't want it and knew how broken it had left me after my ex. But he lied and made me think he was the opposite and used my trust issues against me to hide in plain sight. He would say things like 'just because you've been treated badly before doesn't mean I'm like that' and 'I want to be your rock and look after you.' The most heartbreaking thing for me is that we are now having this baby and I feel like I've had no choice about who its dad is because he lied. I wanted so much better for the baby and he has robbed that from me and ruined my memories of my pregnancy.
My choices now are to move back to my parents and go it alone with the baby or to take him back and try and support him to get help. He says he has self excluded and his dad has his bank cards. His dad has asked me if I will take financial control. He says he has looked up a meeting to go to. And he is very broken and sad himself which is also horrible to see but I am so angry at the same time.
I don't know if this is something I have subconsciously chosen for myself again without realising but I feel so embarrassed and confused and hurt. I am supposed to start counselling next week again but it feels so far away. Do we have any chance of getting back the trust and having any kind of normal relationship again or am I better off cutting my losses and leaving him?
Sorry for the long post I just didn't know what else to do and feel so lost and hopeless.
Hi Ella rose. I remember being in the building society remortgaging our home when my daughter was 6 weeks old, another time we were on holiday when the twin towers fell, my son was having heart surgery, I was having hysterectomy. These are all memories of stressful times that come into my head when someone asks where were you or when did you find out?
I do believe we choose the same again if we don't deal with why we are in this position. We don't know what an open honest relationship is. We have chosen people who 'hold back' or are secretive. We're led to believe money is sacred, it's mine, it's yours, it's secret. Why?
i have found out many times, I've helped many times, like remortgaging. I have made many mistakes. But finally I realised that I must be doing something wrong, whatever I did wasn't working.
i comment on many posts because the questions are 'I need help?'. But we all want to help the gambler, how can we stop them? We need to find help and support for ourselves in whatever form we choose. Counselling, gamcare, Gamanon meetings, literature,etc
we need to learn how to deal with our situation, to protect ourselves, to secure finances.
I can't tell you how much I've learnt over the years, I'm learning new things all the time.
For me gamanon meetings and learning all I can about addiction, reading different self help books and helping others.
You don't have to end your relationship. You don't have to fix your partner. You don't have to pay their debts.
You do have to safeguard yourself, encourage help, and secure your finances.
money is their drug, gambling is their 'go to, stress relief, hiding place, habit'. A gambler is emotionally absent. Gambling affects both of you so both of you need help.
You are your priority with a baby on the way.
Credit reports, stepchange(debt), gamstop, online blocks, handing over access to finances are all things that help. Support from meetings and others in your situation are vital. GA and Gamanon have meetings online.
Hi Merry go round,
Thank you for your response I found it comforting. I am guessing you chose to stay with your partner? What is family life like with this going on? I am feeling so torn still and don't know what the reality will be if I do decide to stsy. I want stability for my baby and I know I need to be in a good place mentally for that to be achieved so I'm worried that by staying my own mental health will really suffer and I'll lose myself in his addiction. This is why I chose to leave my ex-partner in the end because I am already an anxious person without an addict in my life. On the other hand I know that there are success stories and that it can be managed with support and I'm wondering if its worth giving it a chance. The problem is its not just our relationship that has broken because of this, my parents are so angry with him for doing this to me and I'm so angry with his parents for not telling me. It feels like there is so much to repair at a time where our families should be coming together for the sake of our baby. I really didn't want this start for him or her.
Hi @ellarose93. I hope that you and your baby bump are doing ok. I'm an addict and I have caused mayhem chaos and debt in our lives but I'm day 8 today and today I feel a little more positive today my husband has chosen to stick with but I'm under no illusions if we didn't have a son he would have left. Also part of my addiction has come about from staying with a controlling man because I had promised to bring our son up with 2 parents and whatever problems me and him have he is a good dad. So pretty messed up really. My advice would be to do what is right for you and the baby and I completely understand your dilemma as staying is not an attractive choice but neither is going it alone . Pain bounces off your post . People would say who am I to give advice as I am the addict but look at it this way. I wish I had left when our son was a baby the older he got and the more of a bond he developed with his dad the harder it was to do so I decided to tough it out. I've gambled for 20 years in a mostly controlled way but last 2-3 years addiction has taken over and o*g it is so bad . What I'm trying to say is pick the best for you and your baby I know anything is not great but my choices early on have led to me make worse choices later . I do love and care for my husband but as a controlling person I have now handed him ultimate control .... Money . I hope that as an addict you will be able to listen to me this addiction is powerful makes you behave in ways you wouldn't believe possible. I'm getting help now and I'm doing it for me as obviously one day our son will leave home and by that time I want to be in a position to make informed choices from a good place not from the very dark world of secrets lies and deception. I wish you all the best for you and baby take a step back look at the future .
These are the devastating effects of a gambling addiction and I see it time and time again.
Its so difficult to give you the words you may want to hear but there is hope if he is ready for a born again moment and if you still want him in your life.
We are not relationship counsellors but we do know that after a few deep breaths you need to protect the finances in your household and give him the reality checks he needs.
You make the decisions that put you first. we cant advise whether to stay or go...that is your decision
You have a job on and its not your fault which is why its so hard on partners. However the mission is IF you choose to accept it. Its not a mission impossible if you want to save the relationship.
Yes it may feel overwhelming but you will build strength through knowledge. The decision is in your heart. We dont know all about your relationship. Im not saying he is inherently bad but he is a drug addict for gambling.
I dont know how he is reacting to the truth. He should be handing everything over and begging you to stay. He will lose everything important in his life if he continues to gamble.
Build on the support from your parents and you may need some time away to think. The answers are within you. Its so hard to advise you so keep phoning gamcare and try the gam anon meetings online for partners.
Best wishes from everyone on the forum
I really hope you have the courage to do what's best for you and your baby, it's a hard decision to make and who knows what's right, I know I love my kids with all my heart but I'm also so ashamed what I've put them through over the years and what they've seen and had to put up with. My kids love me but I've I had left when I first gambled and new that I wouldn't get back in my family unit until I sorted myself out. Then I think I would've got it under control along time ago but I think my partner was scared to bring the kids up herself as I'm a very hands on dad. But no matter how good I thought I was as a dad the situation I put the family through in all the years has definitely affected them we're they admit it or not. Sometimes it's to easy to manipulate when your like myself a compulsive gambler and over the years things have only got worse, yes I can go a year or two without gambling but it's the destruction I cause when I do that once. I'm not telling you what or whatnot to do I'm just giving you an honest answer from a gamblers eye's. I really hope he stops and you have the life you deserve
I found out in November that my husband was a gambling addict. We have been together for 15 years and have two young children. My world feel apart. I feel for you in every way and I am so sorry you are going through this while pregnant.
I found out As we were remortgaging our house and wanting to use the money to have an extension..then I learnt we couldn’t as he needed the money to pay of his gambling debt!!!!
needless to say he got no money! It was a lot of debt, all on credit cards. A week later he left the family home and my heart broke.
it has now been 8 months since he left. He has stopped gambling (for now) and has got all the help he can. I have access to his credit score so I can see if he is spending more than he is telling me. We are no longer joint tenants on the mortgage but tenants in common (to protect the house). I open all his post and once a week he has to show me his on line banking so I can see what his money is spent on.
he still is not back in the family home! We have had many many conversations about what it was that caused him to gamble and none of it has been easy.
I have had counselling through gamcare and have focussed on myself and my kids. We are going away next month the three of us and I don’t intend on asking my husband.
I wanted my husband to realise that I will work in our marriage and try and re build it as long as he got himself help first. It has been the hardest journey I have been on but I have learnt I am more than capable of looking after myself and my kids on my own and quite happy to take charge of money and my own happiness.
I would love nothing more than for him to beat this but I am aware this will take time and a lot of work, which I am happy to help him with...however I want him to be clear that I will never do this again.
My parents hate him, I dislike his parents to as his dad knew and bailed him out..without telling me. So I still have a lot to over come. But the best thing I ever did was look after myself and my children.
the three of us are what matters the most. Having a decent life and being strong and happy enough to do that and making sure he is aware I’m not afraid to do it on my own.
call gamcare and get some counselling. At the beginning I was quite happy to tell every tom d**k and Harry what he had done...but try not to. Everyone will have an opinion and most will not be helpful.
most think I’m mad for giving my husband a second chance...but he is still living elsewhere and we are taking every day as it comes.
I’m 8 months in and I feel much stronger and much much happier than I did. I honestly thought I would never get out of the massive black hole I was in...but I promise you you will. Take each day as it comes. Grieve, be angry, cry do what makes you feel better.
Thank you for your reply it gave me some hope and also is a good reminder to look after yourself and your children first. I'm really pleased to hear that you are feeling stronger and happier and I hope things continue to heal and get better for you. The replies on here have really helped me to gain perspective and insight and my parents have been so supportive too. I have decided to give him a chance on the agreement that he will hand over financial control to me and as he works with his dad, his salary will go to me instead of him and he will have a weekly allowance and give me visibility of his spending. He's also starting meetings this week and has referred into counselling so it is a start. I am still apprehensive about giving him a chance but at least I can look back and say I tried for our family, even if he can't stick to it. I also have a plan to go back to my parents if it goes wrong and at least if I have control of all the money it gives me some security. I am trying to go into this with my eyes wide open and I do feel more comfortable that he's agreed to give up financial control but I think rebuilding the trust is the hardest part. Its hard to get my head around the web of lies he has told and how he has kept this from me since the start of our relationship. He says that selfishly he didn't want to lose me and knew I would have ended it if I knew in the beginning because of my past experience (even more reason to tell me!). I know that the lying is part of the addiction but its hard to separate that part of him from all of the things I love about him as it does make you question everything. I think taking it one day at a time is all I can do.
Hi ya, hope you are doing OK, it's very difficult. I'm giving my other half another chance, he seems to think his counselling and the measures in place are helping to not gamble. I have control of the finances and check our account frequently. He seems to express he doesn't want to gamble anymore, it's about getting your head in the right place, I like to believe him but I am cautious too. We too have children so I'm worried for them but trying to be positive now and think it's out in the open, he would first talk to me if he had any urges. Its been so hard not to fly off the handle when seeing something suspicious but I need to be confident that I have the majority of control and I t hink it's enough that I'm always on my guard that he hopefully won't go back to it plus knowing he would loose us if he lies again. Good luck and glad you have the support of your family x