Found out yesterday my husband who had been gamble free for just over a year, has been gambling again behind my back. He was always an online gambler, but this time it was the bookies. He stole money from our 4 year old's savings account, "borrowed" the money for my birthday present from him and the kids, and some other money he found he had access to.
I feel like i really can't do this again, but equally i can't leave him in his time of need. I'm having silent migraines and my anxiety is going through the roof. How naive was i to think we wouldn't have to do this again!!!
Really sorry to hear this. I am in the same situation…my husband I think has been gamble-free for a few months (not sure as has had opportunities to do it behind my back with going food shopping etc, having money) last Thursday I confronted him as I wanted to do a budget and then found out he couldn’t show me all transactions on a credit card statement- that I said from the beginning I didn’t want him to have…as just something extra for me to stress and worry about, temptation for him but he convinced me he would be ok as I knew about it and regularly checked, he was over gambling, then got another two other credit cards- wanting to rebuild his credit score was the excuse, I checked them too, all fine.
Anyway he got nasty, could tell he was lieing to me about the statement and with his refusal to not show me the statements in their true form and his attitude I said I can’t do this anymore, I want a divorce. We have been together for 14 years, married for 12 this year. My gut feeling for the last few months has been pushed aside due to his behaviour and the way he subtly tries to divert my mind to other things to sort out - the children and all which goes with them all at different ages and stages…the problem with him not being able to get a job.
I do know how you are feeling as I had lots for Christmas off him - a few items off the catalogue - it’s always when I’m happy and think we are getting somewhere it starts to happen again.
I do think it’s the right thing for me to do the divorce now, yes when this happens you don’t want to desert them but they chip away at your trust and self-esteem, make you feel a whole lot of confusion if you don’t stick by them….but do they actually ever learn from the relapses, don’t think mine did or he would have had continuous help by now. It’s the sick feeling of doing it again.
Anyway just wanted to share my little bit as been about 1 or 2 times a year for 14 years and doesn’t get any easier , it gets harder and as the wife you end up feeling the pain of this illness when all you want is a happy life where as all they want is to gamble because that’s what it does to them- unless of course you see them take action to change - all I get is should’ve, could’ve -would’ve, if we do this but I can’t now personally.
Hope you’re doing ok X
So sorry to hear this. What I’ve learned from the forums is that a compulsive gambler cannot be forced to get into abstinence/recovery. They should lead on it and all we can do as partners is support. Personally, i will only stay if I see hard work and commitment. The CG should be transparent with all finances and be considerate to your need for assurance. So they should give you access to their credit report and banking. They need to put all the blocks (gamstop, SENSE, etc) in place permanently. Unfortunately we should not take their word for it when it comes to finances, things should be verified and backed by receipts if needed. They should not have access to savings account, family finances, etc. If they are not be willing to do all this then they may not be ready to quit gambling yet. And you will have to ask yourself if you’re up for that, life with an active compulsive gambler. Meanwhile, make sure to protect your own finances and don’t pay for any of his debts. And get support for yourself as you will need your own healing too.
@pep1952 i couldn't agree more. I have reinstated that he has to ask for money, then i need a receipt to prove the purchase if i say yes. I've removed access to money, and one of the first things he did when i found out was go to the bookies and self-exclude for 5 years.
He has to go to his GA meetings each week and i won't be making it easy for him. As you said i will do what i can, but if he doesn't comply i'm done because he needs to want to stop himself.
I'm doing surprisingly well, taking each day as it comes, as is he but he's deffo feeling suicidal but i'm hoping as he's speaking about how low he feels, its his cry for help. I have suggested the doctors, but he's not ready for that. Has anyone else's partner or any CG's on here that have taken that route, do you find it has helped?
@beckyl89 Initially my partner was quite reluctant about me having access to his online banking he felt he was being treated like a child, however this has changed since he started going to the Ga meetings. He now says he feels grateful i am willing to support him by having an oversight of his finances. He is using Monzo bank, i have the app installed on my second phone and i get a notification for each transaction. It has a gambling block feature which has a 48 hr waiting period in case he turns this off. He doesn’t need my approval for purchases but i can see everything. Our savings are in my account as well, so what’s left in his bank is for his monthly expenses (food, transport etc). He is 600+ days gamble free and we’re in a really good place right now. I’m not saying we’re a success story but geels like we’re heading towards the right direction. It can be done with real hard work and consistency. In terms of medical help, he also has a fortnightly appointment with a psychologist (previously weekly) who helps him process his thoughts, improve his esteem and cope with the poor family dynamics he had as a child. Perhaps chat with your partner to just give it a go at least once- may / may not be for him but will never know if he doesn’t try…
I am glad you’re feeling well yourself. Please keep on writing here.
@pep1952 this is great and its so nice to hear the good when you're not feeling particularly positive. i'm actually allowed to go to his GA meeting next week which i'm kinda looking forward to. I don't know if you've ever done that before?
Well done for sharing peer support here on the forum.
If your partner is experiencing suicidal feelings, please suggest to him that he looks at this NHS website page listing various resources for getting help for suicidal thoughts:
He can call us at any time, if he wants support for his recovery from problem gambling, we are available 24 hours a day on the Live Chat and on the freephone 0808 8020 133. We can provide immediate emotional support. We can also facilitate referrals for free appointments with a GamCare practitioner if he'd like that.
Of course you are also welcome to call us anytime.
@beckyl89 i attended a couple of open meetings, one on Zoom and another one face to face when my partner got his 1 year pin. It was lovely to hear the stories of the others there, and incredible really to think how this addiction can affect absolutely any one from all walks of life.
Your partner is lucky to have your support, please let us know how you both get on.
@forum-admin thank you so much. i have suggested he get help, that i will go with him if he wants me to, but he's adamant he can do it on his own (at the moment). I will be sure to pass this information onto him.
You guys are such a great support team and i am thankful for you everyday.
@pep1952 ah thats cool!! Yea, it was going to be for his 1 year pin (as he didn't attend back in October which was his actual 1 year), but he says he won't get it anymore...or that he won't accept it. We'll see.
Thank you for lifting my spirits and giving me hope.
I know exactly how you feel we went through years of arguing about betting until I realised it was an actual problem. I kept catching him spending hundreds on bets right round the time of Christmas. The last time I caught him I said enough is enough I can’t do this anymore. From that he admitted he had a problem and he needed help. So instead of arguing about it I supported him. We discussed it but something still didn’t add up to me I knew that he was hiding more he wouldn’t tell me so I told him we’re over, I was ready to walk away with our two kids. He then showed me everything. He took out credit cards had £1000’s of pounds loads from friends his car got took off him because he wasn’t paying the finance but told me he just didn’t need it anymore (he works away) so we used used my car. The debt was over £10,000. But because he eventually told me everything I stuck by him.
i saw all his bank statements for the first time and I couldn’t believe what I was seeing I was actually gobsmacked. But from there he got help he started doing telephone meetings he installed gamban and gamstop on his phone which stops him using any betting sites including the lottery that stays for 5 years, he showed me online statements every month and he was open with me how he was feeling.
it’s now been a year. He’s happier I’m happier but I do still wonder if he’s out with the lads has he had a bet at bookies? I don’t think that feeling will ever leave me I think it’s just something I’m going to have to learn to live with. We have a new baby on the way too so I really hope he never goes back.
i hope your partner stops because it’s the worst feeling in the world being lied to time after time. But if you stick by him and stick it out I’m sure it will always be in the back of your mind too. Get him to install gamstop and gamban make him show you as he’s doing it and make sure he sets it to the 5 years because you can just set it to 6 months. My partner never really uses cash now either unless he is out with the boys. Get your partner to always use card. Hide any of the kids money and don’t let him have access to their accounts.
obviously you cannot make him do any of that but if he actually wants to change he will do anything he can to change and not to lose you and the kids.
good luck and take care x
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