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mamamia01
(@mamamia01)

A few years ago I met this amazing man. I was swept off my feet - after a while of dating, we decided to move in together. Being around him on a daily basis, I realised he was too much focused on his phone. Not only that, but I also noticed he spent too much money on things he didn't really need. Being suspicious, I decided to dig deeper only to find out he had an online gambling problem. I confronted him about it and he was open and honest about the issue. He told me he was doing it for around 15 years and that it was never that big of an issue. I believed him - I was never exposed to addiction before and I had no reason not to trust him. 

As our relationship progressed, he started to get careless about his doings and leaving his phone exposed to the gambling pages. I told him I wasn't necessarily comfortable with that and that I was doubting the future of our relationship. He promised he'd stop and asked If I wanted access to his accounts and cards to keep track on him. Again, I trusted him - told him that it was not necessary to get ahold of his credentials as I just didn't feel comfortable keeping a close watch on him. Next day, he was gambling again.  

Almost two years passed and we are still living with this situation. He gambles everyday, during the quarantine when the sports were put on pause, he was gambling on people playing video games, during my seven year olds party I caught him gambling.. when we have friends over, he is gambling on his phone. Once I saw him placing a bet while driving with my daughter in the backseat. (I have a daughter from a previous relationship). 

Recently, I told him I couldn't do it anymore as I wouldn't forgive myself if my daughter developed the same addiction as him and that he needed to make a choice. He either goes to get help or I'd take my kid and walk. During the talk he was very keen to change. Again, wanting to stop cold turkey, and giving me complete access to his accounts.

I told him all I wanted was for him to take the first step which was to attend a meeting online. But, he is full of excuses: meetings dont work for me, I have had this for 15 years, I asked my parents for help in the beginning and they didn't help, my dad says that if I can provide for my family, it doesn't matter what I do with the rest of my money... Recently he is also lost his mom and he uses that as an excuse: If I stop, I think of her. It is always something. He is not one to put in the work when things get hard. We had this conversation on Sunday, on Tuesday he was gambling again. 

The thing is, he spends more than he earns. Not only does he gamble, he is also a compulsive shopper. always buying things he doesn't need. He spends his money and then goes to his dad for more (he thinks I dont know, but I do). So, yes - he does pay his half of the mortgage, he does pay his part of the expenses, but he uses his dads money to supplement his month. He wouldn't be able to do it on his own and he makes a very decent living.

I am very responsible financially and it scares me to death to think about what will happen to him when his dad passes and he no longer has that extra financial support. Right now, he doesn't have financial issue due to that help. But what will happen in 5-10 years time? Who will bail him out? 

I have a daughter to think about and I hate all the lies that come with his gambling and all his excuses. I also don't like to nag all the time - its not helpful. The other night I had a massive panic attack thinking about the kind of repercussion his addiction can have on my kid. Will she be influenced by it? She is only 7 now, but she will grow and become more aware. 

I dont know what to do. I love him, but I love myself more and I love my daughter more. His excuses are making me disgusted, his compulsive spending is making me disgusted, the fact that he won't try to get help makes me disgusted. At the moment we dont have kids, but we do talk about it in the future. On one hand my heart says stay, but on the other my head says go and don't look back. 

Will he ever change? I read that addicts can only change if they are really want to. I don't think he does. I really think that he has this mindset that is: I am like this - it is what it is. He has never been exposed to consequences of his gambling before. He has always been bailed out.  I think he just expects people to accept him as he is. It's almost this arrogant nature.. I am constantly disappointed. If only he wanted to truly change - I'd stand by his side and go through this issue with him. But, I cant drag him through the path of recovery. It needs to come from him. 

Do I leave? Can he change? 

 

This topic was modified 3 weeks ago by mamamia01
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Posted : 5th November 2020 2:00 pm
Forum admin
(@forum-admin)
Admin

Hi , mamamia01

 Well done for posting this story , this can't have been easy for you to do , but processing things in this way can be really beneficial . Sorry to hear that you have been dealing with this situation , I know it can be really upsetting and frustrating as an affected other going through this .

Often gambling is a escapism from feelings and the death of his mother and other things may have caused some of this , but I would say that this of course a reason rather than an excuse .

I appreciate that it is very disappointing and upsetting after having so many discussions with him and seeing no signs of change . Make sure that you talk to people around you as this is very important to have this support . 

You have the right to feel safe and emotionally and financially secure and all of your energy right now to be on your daughter and your own self care . It is down to him and his responsibility to make the changes and go into recovery , we also advise to firm boundaries and no bailouts in these situations. 

If you do choose to support him in this then don’t take on their burden. No matter what you say or do, ultimately the only person who can stop gambling is him. 

There's support available for you and anyone affected by this , and you are certainly never alone .  You can contact us anytime on 0808 8020 133 or via our website on our Netline service , we also have an affected others Chat room every Thursday evening at 9.30pm. 

Thanks and take care. 

Kirk 

Forum admin 

This post was modified 3 weeks ago by Forum admin
ReplyQuote
Posted : 5th November 2020 9:20 pm
Winterishere
(@winterishere)

Hi

He will only make steps in his recovery when he has to deal with the aftermath of gambling binge after gambling binge. The feeling of being sick and tired of being sick and tired. Constantly repeated the same destructive behaviour and losing tenner after tenner. From what you're saying he isn't ready at all to give up gambling. Does he have any debt? How much dis he owe you and his dad?

My advice would be make sure you're financially protected from him. Gamblers can create a trail of destruction quite quickly. I know because I've done it in the past. I hope you guys can work it out and move forward together. All the best x

ReplyQuote
Posted : 5th November 2020 9:51 pm
Mickpa
(@mickpa)

You already know the answer to the question and just need someone to say 'do it'. I am a gambler and much of what you have said could be me.........in all honesty, I would leave right now. He is not only a gambler but with that comes the liar and deceiver. It will only give you heartache for years ahead.

Ask yourself a couple of questions 1) What makes you think he will change when he has already failed and lied to you about it all? 2)Do you see yourself with him in another few years, 5 years, 10 years? Probably not so bite the bullet and leave now as he will cause you heartache and misery and you will never be happy and content.

Not everyone will agree with me, I doubt many will agree in fact, but I am that person you are talking about and you need to enjoy your life and be happy and consider your daughter and it won't happen with him.

Good luck

This post was modified 3 weeks ago by Mickpa
ReplyQuote
Posted : 6th November 2020 12:40 am
Merry go round
(@merry-go-round)

Hi mamamia01

Should you leave? Do you want to? Will you? 

Your partner has no reason to stop because his dad and you are enabling him. There are no consequences to his gambling/behaviour.

When a gambler asks you to look at their accounts and manage their money it can be a cry for help. I manage all money. It doesn’t mean they can’t gamble it just means that bills are paid .

You can legally separate your finances regarding the house. That means your share is secure. 

You can access help and support via gamcare or Gamanon. There are support groups online, chat, phone, this forum.

Addiction is a mental health issue. He needs to find other ways to make himself feel better.

His comment about his father saying he can do what he wants with his money is about excuses. ‘My dad says it’s ok’, he’s not a child, he needs to take responsibility.

 

ReplyQuote
Posted : 6th November 2020 7:55 am
Chris.UK
(@chris-uk)

@mamamia01 The answer is in your question about him. Do I leave? Can he change?

He can change if he puts the effort in and wants to, stops making excuses, because that's all they are, and decides that enough is enough. It isn't that he puts gambling first before you or your daughter, it's just that the addiction takes centre stage over everything, and until he has had enough, unfortunately nothing you say is going to work for him. Likewise with you, only actions matter. No one should stay in a relatinship for the sake of it, and if you are unhappy or worried about the future of your child then it sounds like you have had enough and need to act on your thoughts.

You will probably find that if you say you are leaving that will be the kick he needs, but if it's not then you need the strength to carry through with your decision, otherwise this could be your life for a lifetime. Compulsive gamblers don't just get fed up with gambling and put it down or start to control it, it will take everything he has, you have, your daughter has until there is no more let to take.

Good luck in your decision.

Chris.

ReplyQuote
Posted : 6th November 2020 12:01 pm
mamamia01
(@mamamia01)
Posted by: Winterishere

Hi

He will only make steps in his recovery when he has to deal with the aftermath of gambling binge after gambling binge. The feeling of being sick and tired of being sick and tired. Constantly repeated the same destructive behaviour and losing tenner after tenner. From what you're saying he isn't ready at all to give up gambling. Does he have any debt? How much dis he owe you and his dad?

My advice would be make sure you're financially protected from him. Gamblers can create a trail of destruction quite quickly. I know because I've done it in the past. I hope you guys can work it out and move forward together. All the best x

Thank your for your response. I don't think he owes his dad any money. I think his dad just gives it to him when he runs out. He told me that the money his dad actually gives him is money that he has saved up over the years and asked his dad to hold on to.  I don't feel that is true. But, then again, I don't know. 

He doesn't take money from me or asks me for money. Once he did make a withdrawal from our joint account without telling me, but I called him out on it and he replaced the money. 

ReplyQuote
Posted : 6th November 2020 12:15 pm
mamamia01
(@mamamia01)
Posted by: Chris.UK

@mamamia01 The answer is in your question about him. Do I leave? Can he change?

He can change if he puts the effort in and wants to, stops making excuses, because that's all they are, and decides that enough is enough. It isn't that he puts gambling first before you or your daughter, it's just that the addiction takes centre stage over everything, and until he has had enough, unfortunately nothing you say is going to work for him. Likewise with you, only actions matter. No one should stay in a relatinship for the sake of it, and if you are unhappy or worried about the future of your child then it sounds like you have had enough and need to act on your thoughts.

You will probably find that if you say you are leaving that will be the kick he needs, but if it's not then you need the strength to carry through with your decision, otherwise this could be your life for a lifetime. Compulsive gamblers don't just get fed up with gambling and put it down or start to control it, it will take everything he has, you have, your daughter has until there is no more let to take.

Good luck in your decision.

Chris.

I believe that too. I've seen him do amazing things. The problem is he doesn't want to put in the work. He says its been too long.. he should have dealt with it a decade ago and now its just too late. If we talk about it further and I ask him to go to a meeting, he then says I want everything at once and that I am expecting a miracle. Which is really not the case. I even told him I expect him to fail and fail.. but he needs to try and keep trying. It's just too much work for him. He has this 'it is what it is' mentality, unfortunately. 

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Posted : 6th November 2020 12:17 pm
Trace27
(@trace27)

@Mickpa, your honesty is amazing honestly and since I found this site a couple of weeks ago it is making a profound difference to my life. I've been married to a gambling addict for 24yrs yet in all that time I've never heard it from the side of the addict as he refuses point blank to talk to me about anything. He always becomes aggressive and ultimately blames me for not controlling it for him. It really is an awful life living with a gambler but at least now I am getting some sort of insight as to what it's like from the other side  I wish he could admit he is a liar and deceitful as you yourself have said but he would never do that, he ultimately controls my whole life and only gives a s**t about himself. In your honest opinion do you think he will ever change given that he's pretty much for away with doing what he does for the last 26yrs of our lives together? I look at him through different eyes now, i love him with all of my heart but this constant pain is killing me. I'm under the local mental health team, I've become agoraphobia and never leave the house anymore, I take enough medication daily to knock out a large elephant and have daily anxiety and panic attacks all down to what he has put me through. I cannot leave as I literally have nowhere to go that will accept me and my three little chihuahuas whom I honestly could not cope without, it may sound stupid but they've helped me so much, but the thing is, he won't leave either so I'm scared that this is what my life is now until I'm no longer for this earth. I'm penniless. Last friday he got paid £1640, an hour ago I received a text from the bank to say we were overdrawn by £16. I checked the account and although there are no gambling transactions he has taken out 5 different loans which the payments for have eaten a massive chunk of his wage. I'm devastated again, sick of crying and have nowhere to turn. Three times in the last 18 months I have made attempts on my life and I know that's where I'm heading again and I don't know what to do but i just want to thank you for being so open and honest on here, I admire your bravery 

ReplyQuote
Posted : 6th November 2020 1:08 pm
brosafari
(@brosafari)

Hey @mamamia01

Thank you for sharing your story with us. I'm sorry to hear you are going through such a difficult time at the moment due to your partners gambling. It really is heartbreaking to hear it from the side of loved ones. 

I don't think anyone can really answer your questions for you. It seems like you may have actually already answered those questions for yourself. You are here and it sounds like you're at a point of despair. Your partners problem has now become your problem and it appears to be affecting you emotionally, mentally and physically - which is not acceptable. You must safeguard your children, finances and YOURSELF. That is paramount. I understand you love this man but based on what you've said, this man his complacent and comfortable with his gambling which means your fighting alone. He is very lucky to have you and his Father, maybe too lucky. There appears to be no consequences for his actions or choices no matter how much of a toll they take on others... He needs a reality check and fast. He needs to want to fight this for himself. You can't do it for him. At this point, you gotta fight for you and your children. 

I'm praying that this all works out for you whatever you decide to do. Remember, you're not alone. 

Take care 

M x 

ReplyQuote
Posted : 7th November 2020 8:29 am
brosafari
(@brosafari)

Hi @trace27

Sorry to hear about everything you are dealing with right now. Sounds like a real tough time. I am praying and hoping for better and brighter days for both you and your chihuahuas.

I would urge you to really take the steps to leave this relationship based on what you've written above. Even if this is not a permanent decision, but I think you at least need the space and time to really reflect and decide if you want to stay in this relationship. I also think your partner needs a wake up call. 

There are parts of your relationship and behaviours from your partner that appear to abusive and you should not have to endure this regardless of what he may or may not be going through. Your partners gambling problem is his problem and you shouldn't have to suffer. You have to put yourself and well-being first. You also shouldn't have to leave your home if you decide you need space and time. There is lots of help out there that can support and help you with anything you decide in terms of actions you would like to take. 

I'm sending lots of strength and love your way.

M x

 

ReplyQuote
Posted : 7th November 2020 8:48 am
Mickpa
(@mickpa)
Posted by: Trace27

@Mickpa, your honesty is amazing honestly and since I found this site a couple of weeks ago it is making a profound difference to my life. I've been married to a gambling addict for 24yrs yet in all that time I've never heard it from the side of the addict as he refuses point blank to talk to me about anything. He always becomes aggressive and ultimately blames me for not controlling it for him. It really is an awful life living with a gambler but at least now I am getting some sort of insight as to what it's like from the other side  I wish he could admit he is a liar and deceitful as you yourself have said but he would never do that, he ultimately controls my whole life and only gives a s**t about himself. In your honest opinion do you think he will ever change given that he's pretty much for away with doing what he does for the last 26yrs of our lives together? I look at him through different eyes now, i love him with all of my heart but this constant pain is killing me. I'm under the local mental health team, I've become agoraphobia and never leave the house anymore, I take enough medication daily to knock out a large elephant and have daily anxiety and panic attacks all down to what he has put me through. I cannot leave as I literally have nowhere to go that will accept me and my three little chihuahuas whom I honestly could not cope without, it may sound stupid but they've helped me so much, but the thing is, he won't leave either so I'm scared that this is what my life is now until I'm no longer for this earth. I'm penniless. Last friday he got paid £1640, an hour ago I received a text from the bank to say we were overdrawn by £16. I checked the account and although there are no gambling transactions he has taken out 5 different loans which the payments for have eaten a massive chunk of his wage. I'm devastated again, sick of crying and have nowhere to turn. Three times in the last 18 months I have made attempts on my life and I know that's where I'm heading again and I don't know what to do but i just want to thank you for being so open and honest on here, I admire your bravery 

You are unhappy. You have had a terrible marriage. He continues to do as he pleases. You simply don't have the courage to leave....but if you did leave, after a few months the relief would make you realise that you should have done it years ago. He has never ever shown any indication that he will change and there is absolutely no reason to believe he ever will - so this is your life until you die. Accept that misery or do something about it.

Don't waste anymore time - you only have one chance at life and you still have time to enjoy it as despite what you might think, you are still young and have many years ahead of you.  You can live them in misery and unhappily or change things; from what you say, it doesn't seem to be able to get any worse.

From what you have said, it couldn't possibly get any worse and he won't stop or change his behaviour. Leave....plan it now and do it.

Good luck

ReplyQuote
Posted : 7th November 2020 9:18 am
Chris.UK
(@chris-uk)
Posted by: mamamia01
Posted by: Chris.UK

@mamamia01 The answer is in your question about him. Do I leave? Can he change?

He can change if he puts the effort in and wants to, stops making excuses, because that's all they are, and decides that enough is enough. It isn't that he puts gambling first before you or your daughter, it's just that the addiction takes centre stage over everything, and until he has had enough, unfortunately nothing you say is going to work for him. Likewise with you, only actions matter. No one should stay in a relatinship for the sake of it, and if you are unhappy or worried about the future of your child then it sounds like you have had enough and need to act on your thoughts.

You will probably find that if you say you are leaving that will be the kick he needs, but if it's not then you need the strength to carry through with your decision, otherwise this could be your life for a lifetime. Compulsive gamblers don't just get fed up with gambling and put it down or start to control it, it will take everything he has, you have, your daughter has until there is no more let to take.

Good luck in your decision.

Chris.

I believe that too. I've seen him do amazing things. The problem is he doesn't want to put in the work. He says its been too long.. he should have dealt with it a decade ago and now its just too late. If we talk about it further and I ask him to go to a meeting, he then says I want everything at once and that I am expecting a miracle. Which is really not the case. I even told him I expect him to fail and fail.. but he needs to try and keep trying. It's just too much work for him. He has this 'it is what it is' mentality, unfortunately. 

It sounds like excuse after excuse. Unfortunately it's not unusual to hear the excuses. If people put as much effort into doing something rather than trying not to do something there would be a lot more people on here, getting better.

As far as it being 10 years too late, that is nonsense. One member in my GA group was over 70 when he came in and he's now three years clean, living his best life. It's never too late.

Finally, for you and for him, this has three ways of going. Firstly he can put the effort in to stop. Not on his own but through Gamblers Anonymous or counselling through one of Gamcare's partners around the country, or with some other form of program. You can support him and together you have the life back that gambling is taking.

The second way is this continues until you're at your breaking point or you just accept this is your life now and you end up like some of the people on here, tired, feeling worthless and fed up with your wasted life, thinking it's never going to get better.

Or thirdly, you take charge of your own life. Don't accept what is happening to you because of someone who's meant to care for and love you. Restart your life without this nightmare hanging around your neck. There's a whole world of people, experiences and opportunities waiting for you. 

I talk through my own experience because I couldn't/wouldn't stop when I was destroying my family's life and my wife left after years of false promises. She's made a whole new life for herself and is happy. Truth be told, despite it not being me, I'm glad she's happy. Gambling destroys everything. Don't let it destroy you. 

Chris.

ReplyQuote
Posted : 7th November 2020 10:19 am
Trace27
(@trace27)

@brosafari @mickpa

Thank you both for taking the time to reply to me, this interaction is all totally new to me and a real godsend. I sat down in the same room as my hubby a couple of nights ago and while he was clicking away on his laptop ignoring me as he does every night I decided to tell him I'd found this site and how much I am getting from it. I suggested he could come on and have a look around and how amazing it was for me just to be able to hear both sides of this horrible addiction because I've never heard the gamblers side of it before ever. He refused point blank to even have a look and called me pathetic for talking to strangers in a forum who just make things up and chat s**t (his words) he said he resents the fact I think I can talk about him online without his permission and that I am sad for doing it. I ended up completely heartbroken again and I told him I was sad but not how he meant it. I told him how my eyes were being opened to new things I didnt know and how good it felt just being able to speak to people who have experienced all the pain and heartache I have. Last night out if the blue I must of commented on something and I honestly can't even remember what it was but he shot me down in flames, said awwww have you learnt that from your little forum you saddo and then the tears started rolling again. I never hurt him ever but he is so cruel sometimes with his words, I feel like he belittles anything that is important to me or anything I have an interest in. I know in my head what I need to do but it's my heart that is struggling. When I met this man he pulled me from a really abusive relationship, put me on a pedestal and told me things nobody had ever told me before. How amazing I was, how beautiful I was and he made me feel like I'd never felt before. I laid my whole life out in front of him, warts and all and he just said all the right things to me, I was besotted and head over heels in love with him. The trouble is, I still am. I wasnt on the pedestal long before he well and truly kicked me off it. All the things I'd opened up to him about and told him I'd been through he put me through the exact same again but tenfold and all I did was accept it, tried my best to do anything I could to make him happy and continuously loved him with all of my heart. Then the gambling began, he literally became a monster and still I didnt do anything, to this day I never have. I'm not very good at thinking about myself or putting myself first because him and my boys have always come first which is why I think I'm struggling so much imagining a life without him. I actually know that what I have with him just isn't normal, how toxic he can be and nasty. I'm just so desperate for him to love me back the way I love him and I know that's sad. 26yrs with somebody is an awful long time and I think I'm scared of being more lonely than I am now living with him. I'm so sorry for rambling but I've never ever had the opportunity to get these words out before and think I'm just having a big clear out of my head. I'm just really pathetic and not strong  enough anymore I don't think to do anything about this. If it was easier I think I probably would but having no money, nowhere to go and nobody besides my two sons who gives a toss about me in this world I'm finding it extremely difficult to get out. I suffer terribly with my mental health, I'm scared of people, scared of phone calls, everything. It's all such a mess and I'm really sorry for putting this all in such a long post to you both. Just both of you speaking to me has had such an impact and for that I thank you both with all of my heart x x

ReplyQuote
Posted : 7th November 2020 12:57 pm
Catt77
(@catt77)

Hi 

I actually think what you have said is spot on .. it’s no frills to the point. I believe that gamblers that say they will change may want to, and may even stop a while but will inevitably relapse.. and you have to ask yourself , if they have the control to not gamble then why haven’t they got out of the hole already , it’s taken you to find out and Question , you will likely hurt and hurt because gamblers don’t have you as priority, it’s the disease , and he will resort to what he knows , to lie basically (because they become compulsive liars/and are good at it) these lies will get bigger and more damaging. 
I have recently left my husband , it was the last straw after he cleared my bank account and left me with a few quid to survive having a son and elderly mum to look after. He also pawned the wedding ring time and time again, he kept lying about where the ring was .. I knew though, but that really hurt me. I was stolen from , he stole my rings to pawn he stole money out of my bag, from my account but he didn’t care, to him it’s the fix he needs it’s obsession with money , the chemical fix they get , it’s a disease and those suffering it will make whoever is in their life also suffer. 
I was married less than 2 years , but I it’s been a horrid marriage. Gamblers usually have other addictions such as alcohol and drugs , this then affects their physical health and well-being , as well as their mental health, and causes them to further decline. Abuse Can also become a very real issue and this further damages relationships , children if there are any know. Children will always pick things up and they will also be affected. 
I made a choice to leave for my own sanity, the trust is gone and I refuse to be with someone diseased with that condition. 
You have to love yourself enough to be real about a gambler. 
some people can change but it’s not likely that they maintain it , as to have real change the resilience needed and mindset correct is damaged already. 

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Posted : 7th November 2020 1:24 pm
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