I've written a few posts on here now but basically the story is that I'm 30 weeks pregnant and found two weeks ago that my partner is a compulsive gambler after I found out our rent hadn't been paid for two months. After a week of heartache and lots of thought, I decided to give him a second chance after he agreed to start a group, counselling and hand over financial control to me. Oh and above all my number 1 request of no more lies. He started the group this week and set up the counselling and I thought we were making progress until there was another big blow.
He revealed last night that on top of the 3 credit cards, two loans and maxed out overdraft he told me about last week when I thought he'd finally come clean, he also owed his nan 500 pounds and another relative 350, which has to be paid back this month. I asked if that was it and he said it was but then this morning he admitted to another 700 pound cash loan. Unfortunately it didn't stop there because this evening he has revealed that on top of all this its actually another additional 1700 to his nan and another 500 to his sister. It makes me feel sick. Just when I think he can't possibly lie to me anymore he does it again. He said that after attending the meeting last night he decided to come clean about it all but at this point I can't believe a word.
I feel like a complete mug as usual and we keep having these horrible rows which end in me feeling so stressed and despairing. If it wasn't for the baby I don't know what I would do. But I also feel so guilty for the baby that I'm supposed to be protecting it and its probably suffering at the hands of all the stress. I feel like I've failed the baby already, its everything I didn't want for the start of its life. A stressed and depressed mum, an addicted dad, no trust between its parents and instead of financial stability a big pile of neverending debt.
I don't know what to do with this chance I've given him now because I feel like he's already broken our agreement and its only been a wek? But at the same time he is following through with the counseling and meetings so should I stick it out to see if this really is it this time? Just when I was feeling stronger and saw a glimmer of hope I feel like we're already back at square one again.
The truth hurts but if you think of the addiction as Count Dracula the truth is the sunlight or dawn that makes the addiction cower and burn up.
He has been in a delusional world and couldnt face the full amounts himself. He just knows that he has been getting money from all over the place to feed a drug habit for gambling
It is more normal for the truth to come out bit by bit and you will have to ensure that really is all of it by checking his credit report and controlling all the money
Im afraid it also raises the question why so many members of his family have been lending to him. They have in effect been supporting his habit and should have been asking questions why he cant live off his earnings.
Is it a silly question to ask why his nan has lent over £2000 to him. That is serious money in anyones book? I dont understand families that lend to each other like that maybe because I wouldnt dare ask my sister or nan for money without the best reason in the world
Only you know his good side and whether you want to save this relationship. There is hope with a full recovery.
Ive just thought that his family are going to have to wait are they not? They have lent money to a gambling addict and the result of that is often default. Are they a gambling family...they surely must have known something was wrong if he didnt need the money to set up a business or something
I can understand the stress this puts you under. I hope you can talk to your mum dad and friends. Remember these are not your debts.
You can get financial advice from The CAB. I presume these loans are unsecured with nothing in writing. The problem with family borrowing is the family pressure. If he had borrowed from a finance company they have to take as little as £1 per month as your food clothes and the baby come first.
One rule is though...he DOES NOT borrow from them again and he needs to clear some of those debts fast if he can
You have ongoing decisions to make. We are not relationship counsellors but I do know he can recover if his heart is in it. I cant advise you to stay or go. I know at some point you and the baby come first so hes got some recovering to do.
Best wishes from everyone on the forum
Well RMairead my dear
I'm sure I gave you some advice the last time. It's scarring me how he's lied to you and gambled so close to you finding he was gambling. I can only say I lost a he'll off a lot off money in the space of 1hr £8000, I don't know how I'm going to stop this and sort it out as best as I can. But I always have atleast a year or more off a gap especially as that sick felling at the pit of your stomach hangs around for a long time. You've got a baby to think about and can't be getting to stressed why don't you move him in with his parents and when he's improved his attitude to how dangerous this gambling harm is.and if he doesn't prove It to you then he's choosing this addiction over you and the baby and this might give him the kick up the a**e too change
Hi, it's not that he's still lying, now he is in unburdening himself.
This is his mess, his debt.
Borrowing from family? Is there a written agreement? Have you had any contact with them? How is he going to pay it back? Him, not you.
When we first start out we want to fix everything, pay the debts. We keep secrets, feel ashamed, scared, shocked. It is beyond comprehension how someone could wrack up this amount of debt and us not know.
This is his debt, it's up to him to negotiate how to pay it back, or not.
Helping him sort his debts takes away his responsibility. He could be lying about this money. He knows he doesn't have it, so he's telling you in the hope you will sort it out. Does he want you to give him the money? Don't do that.
Personally if I gave a gambler money I would not expect it back, I would expect them to gamble and lose.
The only way to stop this enabling, is to not pay it back. That family member whoever it is, it may be no one, took that risk. If it gets paid back and nobody is told how or what he used that money for, he knows they have it and can borrow it again.
He is telling you about this debt but he's not working out how to deal with it. He knows he doesn't have the money.
if he calls stepchange they will advise him his options. Unfortunately family come last or not at all. As I said they took the risk.
This new behaviour of telling the truth has to include telling the people he borrowed from as well.
Your money is yours and you need to keep it for you and the baby. He has to pay his usual expenses and the debts come last. This is not for you to worry about or fix.
When living with a compulsive gambler it is really important to get help for yourself. They are master manipulators and will send you crazy. They take no responsibility for the mess they cause until they start facing what they have done.
That means he has to go to whoever and tell them what he did. He has no money just debts.
This must be very upsetting and overwhelming for you. Please get some more support from the gamcare helpline or Gamanon. Go to their website, there are meetings each evening except Saturday, 7-9.
In my experience there are two ways of looking at this but I also have some questions that I would ask if I were you. I'll give you my experience first.
As an addict there was no limit to who I would borrow money from. If you are desperate enough unfortunately it happens. I would always have a story though about why I would need the money and all the stories would be different to all the different people. I needed to pay rent or a mortgage, work didn't pay me, I'm helping out someone else who is desperate, there's an opportunity that's too good to miss, and so on. Any story to anyone in order to get money to gamble with.
When new members come to Gamblers Anonymous we encourage them to be honest and tell their loved ones everything in one go. It's a bit like taking off a plaster, done better in one clean tug rather than doing it slowly bit by bit but it can be a hard thing for some to do which is why they reveal different things at different times, effectively making it worse for the recipient. They could be scared and unless you've had to admit your secrets to another person you don't really know how difficult it is.
All of that being said, I was also devious and when I was in action I could be offering you a handshake whilst taking your purse from your pocket.
By that I mean I would say I owed money to someone and needed to pay them so I got the money to pay them but in reality it was for gambling, and I could keep upping what I owed as long as I could get more and so on. I would also ensure no one else spoke to the people I owed money too, I always had an excuse why the money had to go to me and I would make sure it got paid. As a compulsive gambler I was also a compulsive liar and very good at it. That's why I question a lot, because I know how someone like me thinks.
Whch brings me to my questions.
What group has he joined? Is it in person or online? If he's joined GA, which is really the only other group available, they are currently closed because of the lockdown regulations so I'd be interested to know to clear up that. When I say I'd be interested, I really mean you should be interested. Trust has to be earned, not taken at face value from an addict desperate to gamble but also to save his relationship.
How does he intend to pay the money he owes back? Is he borrowing that from you? Are you paying it to the various family members or is it him? Has he told you that he'll sort it and you don't need to worry?
I'm not trying to make your life harder but I know me. I might be wrong in which case it doesn't matter but you reached out for help, not him. If he reached out for help I've got my recovery experience for that, but all I can offer you is a clear understanding of what a compulsive gambler could be thinking. It's hard to think of someone like that but better you be told the truth.
The positive part is that there is always hope for him, as there was for me.
I hope that gives you something to think about.
Hi Chris,He has joined an online group as there aren't any face to face ones running in our area currently. He's been added to their whatsapp group and has made contact with the chair of the meeting who advised him to come completely clean about all the debt, hence why he told me last night. The thing is after I agreed to give him a second chance I asked him to come clean about all of it and its taken him until now to do so. He's had so many chances to tell me. We are also both going to counsellimg from tuesday although he doesn't seem overly keen on this. He agreed to family members already that he would pay them back this month so 850 has come out of his wages for that. Luckily he earns okay money so although things will be tight we'll probably just about get by. He won't be able to pay much back in the way of other debts this month though. I am not lending him a penny. He has already had 900 pounds out of me before I knew about the problem which he has given back. He told me it was for paying a council tax bill upfront for the year. Obviously before I knew I had no reason not to trust him. His nan and grandad were told he needed money for rent but his mums boyfriend is also a gambler. His sister knows about the problem but I think she gave in because he is so manipulative. His dad gave him a 4 grand loan from the family company this month to pay the rent that was overdue. They don't seem to be making the link between bailing him out and enabling him.
His dad gave me his bank card today so the plan is for me to have complete financial control but we are still in the process of setting all that up and switching everything over.
I literally feel so angry and disgusted with him. Before this latest revelation I was trying to be quite compassionate and understanding but I think this has tipped me over the edge. He doesn't like seeing me distressed by what he's done so he's trying to keep everything feeling normal which just makes me feel invisible and worse. I want him to feel how much pain he has caused me and understand that he has robbed me of any happiness in a time where I should be stress free and able to be excited for our baby. Its something I've wanted for a long time and didn't know if I could have so it should be a really special time but right now I feel like I'm living in a nightmare.
I'm sorry you are going through this. Hopefully his meetings help and once they reopen properly he'll get a lot more out of it.
I know when I had to admit things to my wife I kept things back or sometimes made some of the debts worse just so I could have the excess money. I justified it to myself that I was protecting her from all the trouble I was in but really I was just scared. Unfortunately I had to do this many times after relapsing.
Once I really had enough then I was honest over everything. It wasn't her and in this case it's not about you, however hard it seems. I loved my wife no less like that I'm sure he loves you no less, but this illness just takes over everything in ones life.
I'm on video when my first daughter was born and you can see me whispering to her a few minutes old. I'm promising her I'll never gamble again, and I was told that only three days later I was back at it. It doesn't mean I didn't love her, it just means the addiction was too strong.
Obviously I don't know where he is in his recovery but for you I feel ashamed of what I did to my wife and kids. It's terrible that you are going through this, but you are. As mentioned by someone else, you can get help for yourself. Gam-anon is very good and you can also call the Gamcare advisers on here. Sometimes just having someone to talk to and be listened to without telling you what you should be doing us a help in itself.
I wish you well.