My partner has been gambling for years now but I only realised a serious issue around 3 years ago. I stupidly gave an ultimatum which I could not go through with when I found out he had never stopped gambling. So again a few more ultimatums, a couple of times apart, one time for a couple of months. I love so so very much him and don’t want to be without him. Around two weeks ago I found out again that he had been gambling through a friends account and didn’t really do much as I just don’t have the energy anymore to argue and ask him to leave only for him to come back after a week with yet more false promises (it’s just not fair on our 3 children). Tonight I have found out that he is gambling again, it’s only been two weeks, normally takes me months to find out again.
He seems to be gambling less each time but I can’t decide whether that’s because he is getting better or whether it’s because he only has very limited funds to get hold of (he has a lot of bad debts and can’t obtain anymore credit as far as I know)
is he getting better or is it that he can’t get the funds? Or am I just delusional?
I spend my time waiting to find our that he has been doing it again. It’s the lying and feeling guilty for questioning him that really gets to me. I feel like I can’t get close to him anymore cos we are still on the merry go round round and round the same things over and over.
I feel so so lost, I just don’t know what to do anymore and the worst thing is I probably wrote a very similar post a couple of years ago and here we are again.
Also he refuses to get help as he is not one of them (gambling addicts).
Sorry to hear this Steph,
Living with any addiction is not easy, you are not the first loved one to feel the frustration of an other half or family member promising the world that they will stop only to go back to the habit of choice before long.
A couple things you will see if you read back your post really stand out.
The first thing is you obviously recognise that your partner has a serious problem as you have given him ultimatums to stop yet he continues to do so behind your back and your wondering what to do.
The second is that last line where you say 'he refuses to get help'. He refuses as deep down he knows he has to give up gambling and there is no way an addict would even attempt such a thing until he realises he has a problem. In GA there is a 12 step recovery program (same for AA, or any addiction). The very first step is admitting you have a problem.
A reality check, you are also part of the problem you face Im afraid. Again this is common as people who are not compulsive gamblers do not really understand the issue and end up enabling the gamblers by bailing them out or not making good on ultimatums. I get that its a huge thing to leave but if things don't change you will be posting again in a couple of years.
He needs to admit he has a problem and get support to tackle this, but thats for him to do, you cannot force him to do it. What you can do is seek support for yourself. GamAnon was set up for this purpose as people who live with CGs also need support. You will learn so much if you attend a meeting.
I wish you well.
First time on a gambling forum, and heartbreaking to read the things people have gone through.
Your words really struck a nerve with me and I’m so sorry you’re going through this 😔
I am living with a partner who didn’t disclose the extent of his gambling (he led me to believe it was a past problem and I, naively, believed him). Now we have moved in together, have a joint account (which took me a LOT to allow because I’ve always been independent but it made sense/made life easier).
I have zero experience of gambling, and can’t get my head around the need to pour money down the drain but I’m trying to be supportive. He has recently had a few relapses roughly every couple of months. Would I be better off cutting my losses? Apart from this we have a very deep connection which I have told him he is risking.
Relapses do happen, I am a compulsive gambler who attends GA regularly and my partner has access to everything but still I had moments of weakness and found a way to gamble. These were brief lapses as one of the main barriers I have in place is the fact my other half as full access to everything. To some it might seem a bit extreme but its common advice for people who take recovery seriously.
You say he has monthly relapses? Is he seeking help? Is he even admitting he has a problem? What is going to change? Compulsive gamblers can stay bet free for days or even weeks on end but unless they are getting help they are not going to change long term.
First of all you need to know the full extent of the problem, to do this you need to have access to his bank account - here you will see any online transactions if he gambles online. You also need access to his emails to see if he is signing up for any accounts. You should also have access to a credit report (Clearscore is a free one). This last one is crucial as one major harm a CG will do is create serious levels of debt, if you have access to his credit report you will see any loans or credit cards in his name.
If he is serious about giving up he will understand, if he wishes to keep gambling he will resist.
These barriers are great steps but they are only useful if the gambler realises they have an issue and are seeking help, if not they would be intolerable to live with while these barriers are in place.
You need to confront the problem, if he is willing to come clean and get real help then your support will be massive but if he wants to try and control it and keep things from you then its a losing battle.