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Would it be better if I left him?  


I’m out of ideas on how to help now. And I’m wondering if I’m just another reason he gambles. 

My boyfriend hid his money problems from me for 6 months then broke down and told me everything about 5 months ago. I told him that I understood addiction and that it wouldn’t be easy and he started to take steps to getting better. Sorted the debts so they were no longer growing and said all the right things about getting help. I wouldn’t have stayed if I didn’t think he wanted to get better. 

Things were good for a month and then the lies and the gambling started again. At first he asked me to look after his money and to keep an eye. Now he resents me, gets angry and makes me feel like an annoyance when I do. 

Ive suggested a break from the relationship to elevate pressure from him but he doesn’t want that either. I don’t want to leave him. I’ve spent years in my own pit of disappear and I don’t want to leave someone I love this much there alone. 

I honestly need to know if the best possible thing I can do for him is leave? Or anything else I haven’t tried... 

I have no one to talk to about any of this because everyone will just pressure me to wash my hands of him and that will either be the end of us or drive apart my other relationships. 

If you’ve read this thank you and if you reply with anything at all I’ll be so happy just to know that I’ve shared this secret with someone who might understand. 

Posted : 23rd June 2019 1:12 pm

Hi Kayla,

Welcome to the forum. Sorry to hear of your hurt, frustration & suffering. First of all i want you to understand unless a CG is ready & totally committed to stopping there's nothing in this world you can do to change their mind. First & foremost you must protect yourself ( your children too if there are any ). A CG will do anything within his power to convince loved ones he/she has changed whilst continuing on a journey of trying to win back yesterdays losses.

The most important thing is unless a CG is ready to stop no-one  in this world can change their minds. Stopping is a lifetime commitment & realising that no-one gets gradually weened off compulsive off gambling is essential for you to understand. Until that time comes all the partner of a CG can do is protect themselves financially. Please contact GamAnon & go to a meeting & they will help you understand addiction much better than i can.

If your partner isn't prepared to admit he is powerless over this addiction there is only one alternative for you. Make him him face the consequences for his addiction and NEVER  give financial bail outs, that simply gives us a safety net to continue. CGs are weak & will do anything in their power to deceive & lie to loved ones rather than admit they have a toxic relationship with money.

I'm not a marriage guidance or RELATE counsellor but i can tell you for sure if your partner hasn't reached rock bottom the point at which you're so sick & tired of losing & accepting that you're NEVER  going to get back what you've lost the addiction wont end. Addiction is for life & realising that is the most important thing of learning to control it.

Best Wishes



This post was modified 6 months ago by slowlearner
Posted : 23rd June 2019 11:27 pm

Hi Kayla,

Well done for reaching out, as you can see living with a Compulsive gambler is not easy and its just as important for you to seek help and support as is for him. You love him which is clear from your post and it can be very hurtful to find out an addict will put their fix before anyone or anything. 

As the previous poster said it's all up to him to seek help and work on his recovery, whether you stay or leave that is out of your hands. If you want to force the issue you are on a losing battle. The best thing to do is sit down and get everything out in the open, if you are going to continue to live with him then it should come with conditions, you are entitled to know what he doing with the money. If he is serious he will give you access to everything if he is resistant then you know where you stand.

Also this is not a few months gamble free and its home free, this is life long thing that we constantly battle. The real key to battling it is total honesty, we know we want to gamble so we lie and hide so we can do so. Relationships, work, nothing will get in our way. 

I know none of this is what you want to hear but imagine in 10 years time if you are still together and he is still gambling? There are plenty on here who live that.

Posted : 24th June 2019 5:12 pm

Thank you for reading and responding. I’ve taken it all on board and I’m trying to do the right things. I stopped bailing him out money wise (though very difficult to do). And I’ve never tried to give an ultimatum. There’s no kids involved and we don’t live together so it would be very easy for me to walk away (other than emotionally). I’m going to try everything once before I give in. Including a giving him a break from the pressures of a relationship. 

Again thank you so much for helping me glimpse into how his mind may be working when he won’t/is unable to explain it to me himself.

Posted : 24th June 2019 8:20 pm

I have the support of my partner.  He’s a massive help! If he left me it would be the worst thing he could do.  I told him everything 2 years ago.  I tried everything to quit but just couldn’t do it.  There was days when we had nothing.  Up until 2 weeks ago something in me changed.  I wanted to give up.  I was angry at my partner but without his love and support I don’t know where I’d be now.  It’s really really tough for everyone involved.  


Posted : 24th June 2019 9:25 pm
Posted by: Boolooser56

I have the support of my partner.  He’s a massive help! If he left me it would be the worst thing he could do.  I told him everything 2 years ago.  I tried everything to quit but just couldn’t do it.  There was days when we had nothing.  Up until 2 weeks ago something in me changed.  I wanted to give up.  I was angry at my partner but without his love and support I don’t know where I’d be now.  It’s really really tough for everyone involved.  


Thank you for giving a different view. Can I ask if you were honest with him? If you relied on his support emotionally? After my partners breakthrough in January he was honest for a couple of months when he relapsed after but then that stopped and he started hiding again. I don’t know if I did something to break his trust in me. 

Posted : 24th June 2019 10:15 pm

I hid it at first but it came to a time when I could no longer.  Usually after a massive loss! 

We moved in together and he’s helped me so much.  Been patient and supportive.  I can’t belive what an idiot I’ve been. I feel immensely lucky to have him. 

In the 2 years I’ve been angry at him we’ve argued. I’ve cried it’s been a very big emotional rollercoaster.  Gambling blinds you to reality.  I could be the most rational person before playing and as soon as I’m playing I loose my head.  Gambling almost ruined my life.  I was gambling rent and really going through it.

2 weeks ago I don’t know what changed to be honest.  I realised I couldn’t go on like this anymore.

but please woman to woman, NEVER feel like it’s your fault.  It really isn’t.  Just be there for him.  One day he’ll realise what he has.

take care xxxx

Posted : 25th June 2019 7:21 am

I feel like I'm going through a really similar situation and would love some advice, it's also helpful to know I'm not the only one going through this. I've been with my boyfriend for a year, 2 months into our relationship he told me about his gambling. Since we've been together he hasn't been able to stop for more than a month at a time. I always thought it didn't really affect me apart from emotionally. However within a year he's cancelled so many dates due to gambling and his mental health, and on Friday past he ended the relationship for the second time for the same reasons. We met yesterday and he broke down and sobbed to me which I've never seen before. He told me he considered harming himself and that is why he ended it...thinking it would be better for me. He says he woke up with a feeling of clarity, money there but not wanting to gamble it. It's the first time in our relationship I've heard him talking about getting real help. Obviously my family have my best interests at heart and it's clear that they would rather me walk away because of all of the what ifs in the future. I love him and I want to support him but I am scared about the future. 

Posted : 8th July 2019 11:19 am

I've been with my boyfriend for a year, 2 months in he told me about his gambling. Throughout the year he hasn't been able to stop for more than a month at a time, it badly affects his mental health and he has told me on numerous occasionally that he doesn't want to see or speak to me because he's in such a bad place. (We don't live together) the majority of the time our relationship is great, we're very much in love and very supportive of each other. We've never fought about his gambling but I do also feel I've held back a lot not wanting to make things worse for him. Within the 1 year of our relationship he has ended it twice due to his gambling, Friday past being the second time. On Sunday we met and he admitted that he ended things in order to make it easier on me as he had thought about hurting himself because of his gambling. He's told me he felt clarity, had money there but didn't want to gamble it, it's the first time I've properly heard him speaking about getting real help and asking me to be there with him. My family on the other hand are obviously worried about me and would prefer me to walk away now, they keep talking about the what ifs of the future and to be honest it has scared me, but I know I love and want to be there for my boyfriend. Being on the other side of things is there any advice you could offer? Thank you x

Posted : 8th July 2019 11:26 am
Forum admin

Dear Kathryn,

Welcome to the Forum!

Your boyfriend's gambling has affected you and your relationship throughout and you say that you would like some advice on how to move forward with this.

Given that you find it confusing to talk to your family and friends about this, I wonder whether you might like to give us a call on the Helpline on 0808 80 20 133 or the Netline

Both services are open from 8 am to midnight every day and you might find it helpful to talk to an adviser who does not judge. We also have counselling services available throughout the UK for partners and family members, so there is much support for you.

It is difficult to navigate a relationship when gambling has become problematic for your partner and it is often confusing to know what makes sense and how to behave.

We are there for you.

Kind wishes


Posted : 10th July 2019 12:08 pm

We are same case kayla..

Posted : 13th July 2019 12:13 pm

I think that’s what I’m going to have to do. I have no other option. 

Ive supported him for 2 years and in April he signed up to gamban and got the app that blocks it. However he has a poisonous and toxic friend that has encouraged him to transfer money from his bank account to his friends and he’s back in the loop.


i had that glimmer of hope but unless he cuts that friend out we will never move forward and I’ve reached my limit now as much as I love him I can’t live like this anymore, I’m 32 with a house and little boy... he has got everything to loose, addiction is a vile disease x

Posted : 3rd August 2019 7:05 am
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