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So conflicted - sorry for the long post  


Hi, around a month ago, my ex revealed she had a gambling problem and had lost £18k in a year. I had suspicions throughout that time but she denied it. A lot of that money was from me. I pay £350 a month child maintenance and whenever she needed extra for clothes or school etc, I would pay it. She constantly lied saying she was short, or she needed it for something or other. When I started getting suspicious and saying no, she would lie and manipulate me saying she and my son would be evicted if they couldn't pay the rent. Anyway, she finally came clean. She begged for a last chance. She begged me not to tell her parents as they would never forgive her and they would take our sone from her.I had to do what is best for my son so gave her the chance, ignoring she had basically stolen thousands from me, and even more unforgivably, from our 10 yr old son's bank account where all his birthday and Xmas money was put. She agreed to counselling and also using a gambling helpline and there were blockers put on her phone so she couldn't access the sites, and we drew up a formal agreement in writing she wouldn't gamble again, would continue with the counselling/helpline and other than the monthly child maintenance, I would not give her any more money and she would not ask. Well, it is now a few weeks later, she began asking for money again, just small amounts, saying she was short. Maybe I was stupid, I helped her out. Then she asked me for money to cover her rent saying if it wasn't paid, they would be evicted. I said no. I had hours of abuse from her, how everything was my fault, how it was ok for me as I had a full time job and she was struggling to raise our boy. Eventually, we agreed I would help her out as I cannot accept even the chance that my boy would lose his home. this was on the condition she showed me her bank statements. Anyway, she wouldn't do this and eventually admitted she had got round the blockers on her phone and had been gambling again and lost her rent money.

Other than this, she is a great mum. My boy is very happy with her and is well loved. I am just so conflicted over whether I have done the right thing or not. If I don't stick to my guns, will she ever stop? Can I risk my son losing his home? How can I be understanding and supportive when she has stolen from me and our son and lied and manipulated me and used my love for my son against me. How can I trust she is doing/will do what she says or all she can when she hasn't even gone a month before she broke our agreements we made which were the only reason I didn't go to the police or begin to seek custody?

Posted : 3rd June 2019 8:24 pm
Forum admin

Dear Conflicted,

It sounds like you understandably have many questions about how your ex-partners problem gambling may continue to impact upon the three of you. It sounds like you are kindly doing all you can think of financially already to try and lessen the impact on your son but with an awareness that this may not be creating the conditions for your ex to address the problem gambling. I hope you feel able to engage in some support for yourself.

You may find some supportive peers here on the Forum. You may wish to call us on the Helpline 0800 8020 133 or Netline for a one-to-one conversation with an Advisor. We are open 8am until midnight 7 days a week. You may also wish to attend a Gam Anon group meeting for face-to-face peer support.

Best Wishes

Forum Admin

Posted : 3rd June 2019 9:54 pm

Hi @conflicted 

This is so hard for you. But you need to be strong. 

Instead of giving her the cash, you need to give it to whoever it is owed to, landlord or whoever. If the child needs anything, then you ask her what and you buy it. DO NOT GIVE HER CASH. She is an addict and obviously cannot stop without help.

If you keep giving her the cash, this will continue. 

I was a compulsive gambler. I'm only on 22 days gf atm, but tbh, I did have a little blip half way through that, so in reality I'm only 11 days gf. 

She will lie and manipulate all she can. You need to be strong. Maybe get her to join here. This is what has kept me off it. 

It's a long hard road for a cg. But the rewards are amazing. Your son will have such a batter life when his mamma stops. 

Good luck to you and good luck to your ex. 



Posted : 4th June 2019 7:26 am

She needs help, you can advice her but its up to her to commit to it. She should register with gamstop where she can self exclude for 5 years from all sites. I would speak to her family and let them know whats happening. Addiction lives off lies and secrets. The more people know about it the better. There is help and support out there if she is willing to tackle her addiction. 

Unfortunately most of us think we can sort this ourselves and if we have just one decent win everything will be sorted, this type of thinking means its not until we hit rock bottom and have no more access to funds that we hold our hands up and really seek help. Do not give her money or pay her bills, if she gets evicted thats her fault. Not easy when children are involved but she will use that as leverage which she is currently doing by the sounds of things.

Posted : 17th June 2019 2:54 pm
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