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Says he pays the bills, it's just a fun hobby and it's not a problem  

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New here and after some advice. Summary though is that he's never missed a bill payment or got into debt from gambling so there is no problem just a bit of fun? I think he's throwing money away and it's driving me mad. So is it just a bit of fun or do you think there is a problem here? I get anxiety reading some of the pots saying people always get worse...

Been married 8 years and I thought my husband just did the odd £5 on a weekend Saturday football bet, the last year or two I noticed if he won the football bet he wouldn't withdraw it, he'd put it on another match and he did the odd poker tournament maybe once a month but it never affected our time or him paying the bills and it was only ever £5 and all his mates did the same so I'd class that as ok?

Last year (2019) lockdown! He started playing online slots and crazy time? Only about £ten each week, But I wasn't aware of this, I found out in October and felt upset, he said he'd stop and wouldn't do it again just the football.  Then he went away for two weeks and when he came back I checked his phone and he'd been on it a lot. I asked to see his bank statements and he wouldn't show me he said I would be mad. I said if you just tell me I won't be mad I'll help you. So he showed me he'd spent around £300 on slots and other casino games in two weeks, won xxx and then lost the winnings, he said he wanted to put a stop to it as he knew it upset me and said he might have a problem so he joined Gamstop.

From October - January he hasn't done any gambling, football or online casinos thanks to gam stop. Then last month he asked if I monitored it, could he do fifteen pound a month using my details and cars. So I've said yes, thinking it might help by limiting and controlling it but since then the past week he's used my details to sign up to loads of new casinos and offers for free spins? he's been on it every day for several hours a day, he isn't in work at the moment so says because he can't see his mates family or play sport it gives him something to do and it's lol free spins or just ten pound deposit to get the free spins so it's not a problem. He said he isn't in debt, not borrowing money and he always pays the bills and wouldn't never put himself in a situation of borrowing or not being able to pay the bills. He said he's a grown man and should be allowed to do this without me questioning him. 

Sorry it's a long post, but I don't know if I'm overthinking it because he isn't spending a lot, he's never used credit cards or loans and he always pays the bills, I just think what else we could be doing with that money am, saving for a holiday or something. But I'm also concerned the amount of time he spends on it, even watching YouTube videos of people paying slots, so just after some advice thanks

This topic was modified 2 weeks ago by Forum admin
Posted : 7th February 2021 10:31 pm

Oh and I forgot to say, I vape, so he says that's my habit and playing free spins is his. So whatever I spend on vape juice, is how much he should spend on gambling? I've tried talkin and reasoning but he always goes back to me vaping or saying some people smoke or drink and he doesn't, so I wonder if I am being a hypocrite. Although I only spend twenty pound a month I know that's never going to go up significantly as I've been doing it for three years 

Posted : 7th February 2021 10:37 pm
Forum admin

Hello Jan72

A warm welcome to our Forum here at Gamcare. I am pleased that you have got in touch and are seeking advice. Unfortunately, there is not very much you can do to support your husband unless he admits complete defeat. You can let him know that we are here and would be able to offer support and help should he decide to stop gambling.  However, you need to bare in mind that you can 'carry a message but not carry the person'.  It must be very painful and frustrating for you; please be assured that we can support you should you wish to contact one of our Advisers on either our Helpline 0800 802 133 or using our LiveChat option.  You also have the wonderful advice here on our Forum.

Problem gambling is cunning, powerful and baffling and without help it is too much.  You stated that your husband 'justifies' his gambling and points out that he is not in any debt, would never put himself in the position of borrowing money or fall behind with the bills..... yet.  I am sure many people here on the Forum never imagine that they would go down the paths many went down.  Problem gambling is progressive and many people find themselves crossing many boundaries.

The difficulty of you knowing about your husband's gambling is that he may start to hide it and part of problem gambling is dishonesty.  Please try not to take this personally as it is not meant to hurt you - it is part of the problem gamblers behaviour.

I would also strongly recommend you take a look on  This is the 'sister Fellowship' of Gamblers Anonymous specifically for family and friends of people who are affected by problem gamblers.  

Please feel free to keep sharing your experience, strength and hope with our other Forum members where you will get the understanding and support that you need.

There is a way forward, however, your husband needs to admit to there being a problem first.



Forum Admin

Posted : 8th February 2021 7:15 am

Hi Jane 72 and Welcome to the forum

No you are not overthinking it. You have seen the stories on here. Gambling is far from just being a "bit of fun"

Its a highly dangerous addiction....a drug addiction more than anything...which hooks people fast.

You are right to question it. It ruins "grown men and women" and takes their partners along for the hell ride. Its no game about a silly ruins lives and destroys relationships.

Its an addiction and it will manipulate you. Im not saying he is inherently bad but the addiction will start to control him like a puppet.....believe me its an evil temptress and the gambling dens want his money.

You can not let this be a blind love and you have to build strength through knowledge. If you have family and friends for your moral support now is the time to build on that group.

You need to see his statements again and get a picture of what he has really lost.  You will need to develop a sixth sense if he has been borrowing from mates or loan companies and you should at an early stage get access to his credit reports.

He needs reality checks that you are not happy with gambling or even a sniff of gambling. I presume money doesn't grow on tress at your house just like the rest of us.

Oh I'm paying the vape..... is just manipulation...its a progressive addiction and one day he wont be paying the bills and will be in debt

You will have no security living with a gambling problem so in essence you have to protect yourself then him from throwing his money away.

We are not relationship counselors but we can tell you about the extreme dangers of gambling addiction.

Slots are the crystal meth of gambling...what do you want to know about them? They are a mugs game and highly addictive for all the wrong reasons.

Protect yourself...keep reading the forum and get proactive, You are actually doing him a favour by trying to stop this. However he needs to be ready and you can not be a shrinking violet about this problem.

Put him on here...the excuses wont wash with us. It sounds as though he needs help as soon as possible

Best wishes from everyone on the forum



This post was modified 2 weeks ago by Joydivider
Posted : 8th February 2021 8:04 am

Hi Jane, as Amanda from the forum admin said " gambling is cunning, powerful,baffling" and she correctly points out that the majority of us who use this forum...including myself...have gone down paths that we never thought we would. By this I mean, gambling money meant for bills, food ,Christmas presents etc etc. Nothing that I've done has ever been a deliberate act to hurt my family it's been done in the throes of this addiction. This is why it's seen as a progressive addiction as I'm sure applies to other addictions such as alcohol and drugs. You're not overthinking it and I understand that reading threads on here is scary try to keep it in prospective that most of us have been backed into a corner one way or another before we came here, you may have read " rock bottom " It doesn't sound that your husband is there yet but it won't be far away, at the moment he is gambling with your knowledge he will eventually gamble in secret, he deceitful and lie a lot. Lying unfortunately goes hand in hand with compulsive gambling and is one of the things I'm most ashamed of. He has started manipulating you and things he's said are what I said to my husband trying to justify myself " but you smoke and you have a drink " but now with a clear head did his smoking and drinking ever amount to 1k in a week ?? Compulsive gambling is not just about loss of money, it's also repetitive behaviour and loss of time ! Both of these you mentioned in your post. The other red flag is and the biggest one for me is he regretted his self exclusion by gamstop so he has signed up to a whole bunch of websites in your name....You can also register your details with gamstop by the way. None of this is your fault and you cannot make him stop he has to want to stop. Talk to him about some of the things you've read on here, tell him you understand that it's an addiction if he's not ready to stop he will carry on in denial. I'm so happy I stopped it's 250 days today since I last gambled, I've got my life back and along with it I'm regaining my husband's trust which was very difficult for him. Above all you must protect yourself so if he carries on his doesnt take you with him, my biggest regret is the destruction I caused my loved ones. The only thing tho I can do is move forward by living a gamble free life has it been ,it's an addiction ! But believe me it's so worth it, I don't care anymore that my husband now vapes still drinks. I am saving money that my husband gives me each week ( he controls finances) and when covid is over I'm going to splurge on myself on things like getting my hair done nails done etc etc because of gambling I neglected things like that it robbed me I'm now getting life back. I hope you find a way forward and hopefully get your husband to arrest the problem I feel for both of you. Best wishes

Posted : 8th February 2021 1:46 pm

Sounds like you have done really well by moving and overcoming your gambling addiction well done xx

Posted : 8th February 2021 3:42 pm

Tried to speak to him this morning, he said he’s a grown adult and I’m treating him like a child, he doesn’t have a problem because he’s never borrowed money or not paid out bills and he will never put us in that situation. Said I just need to trust him.

I said I was going to register myself in Gam stop aswe and he got annoyed saying at least this way I can see what he is spending and I have control over it, yes he is using my card and my details but he does always ask before hand and transfer me the money. . I don’t really know what to do as he hasn’t borrowed money or never paid the bills, and says it’s just his enjoyment and he’s in control, he would never become in debt from it. . So he’s no way near admitting it or wanting to stop or get help so I guess I’ll just have to wait and see how things go?

Posted : 8th February 2021 3:44 pm

Hi Jane,

He's using your card and your details to gamble with?!!

I mean this respectfully, but you have been manipulated so that he can feed his addiction and the reality is that you are now enabling his addiction.

I strongly advise to sign up to Gamstop yourself. If he then gets all angry then you will know that you were right to do it.

All the best.. S.A


Posted : 8th February 2021 4:42 pm

That's all you can do really, you can't make him stop. The old saying " you can lead a horse to water.. " All I can advise is keep in the back of your mind what you've read here and don't let your guard down. He probably does believe what he's saying that he doesn't have a problem but I truthfully cant say when it turned into a problem for me or when, and for both of your sakes I hope I'm wrong . 

Posted : 8th February 2021 5:16 pm
Merry go round

Hi Jane, sign up to gamstop. In your name. You don’t have to ask his permission. Gambling with your cards?!?!? As SA said, that’s enabling. What’s he doing in his name or with his cards? It’s all a problem because it’s bothering you. 

personally I would cancel my cards too. A compulsive gambler will remember all numbers. If it’s not a problem for him why won’t he find a more healthy way to spend his time? Slots and gambling are designed to be addictive. 
Over time this will get much worse. My advice is don’t use your name on any kind of gambling transaction or debt. Get credit reports and see what’s really going on.

Posted : 8th February 2021 7:27 pm

Mr L never missed a bill payment but it didn't stop him racking up stupid amounts of debt behind my back.

You know your husband is incapable of withdrawing any winnings. You know he wants to get round the single block he has in place. Even free spins aren't offered with benevolent intentions. The bookies invest heavily in strategies to draw the punter in then get and keep them spending real money.

If he's serious about stopping and not just telling you what he thinks you want to hear so he can carry on in peace he needs to be offering full financial transparency as a starter. If he's not prepared to do that, be wary. Look after your own interests starting with the full five years with Gamstop and new cards he can't access.

Posted : 8th February 2021 8:55 pm

Hi Jane, i'm the gambler in my marriage and back in 2008 when my husband started to question how and why was there no money in our joint account when we both work hard, full time with good pay?, why i hadn't got any of my wages left the day after payday etc i would immediately turn it on him.... saying "i'm not a child, i work for my money,  its up to me how i spend it!!! "  god,  i was horrible i then went on behind his back to stack up thousands of pounds of debt... payday loans, 4 credit cards.... 

I was too embarrassed but then shamed to ever speak to him directly. it eats away and destroys you,  it consumes you and your life, i remember taking long bath just to sneak online in bath.... water went cold and i stayed in it just to splash every now and then!!!!        I know it sounds ridiculous and i think i'm an intelligent woman and strong but oh my god once it gets you it needs help support and tools.    

yes he needs to accept it, he may already hate himself a little as he makes you feel guilty for questioning him.   Stop him using your cards, tell him you want control of the finances especially mortgage.   Do credit searches too as they will show up any applications for credit in your name, sorry sound so glum but he needs to know you aren't a soft touch, you deserve better.    

Take Care. x

Posted : 8th February 2021 10:30 pm

Had another discussion tonight, said he doesn't want me to get upset so has a long discussion about boundaries. We've agreed £60 a month and no more, if he does anymore I immediately sign up to gam stop. So he said he's happy with that and pleased I am in control of the situation. I feel happier knowing we have set a limit. But does this sound OK or am I making it worse? 

Posted : 8th February 2021 10:56 pm

If he really is a compulsive gambler there is no such thing as controlling gambling. I think you want us to confirm what you already know deep down....he has you dancing on a string !! I'm sorry now I'm out of this it's easy for me to see clearly, I'd be surprised if you know everything. Take care

Posted : 8th February 2021 11:39 pm

And ....if he doesn't want you to treat him like a child...why would he now be pleased that you are in control...doesn't make sense

Posted : 8th February 2021 11:42 pm
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