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Have I made a massive mistake?

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#1 Posted on:
Thu, 14/03/2019 - 22:29

lily12345

Joined:
2019-03-14

WLast year I found out that my partner had gambled a large amount of borrowed money to the sum of between £20k and £30k. We were able to consolidate loans and make the repayments affordable and since then we have been rebuilding our finances and relationship back up well. As my partner gambled a lot of money through horse racing, I always knew the Cheltenham Festival would be a huge problem. As we live local to the racecourse, I knew it would be impossible to escape as his family and friends are all also hugely interested. As his finances were much better and he had saved some cash aside, after he asked I decided that I would consent to him putting on some small cash bets to control his behaviour for the week. As I monitor all of his banking, I felt comfortable with his honesty and that I would be able to tell if he was being dishonest. His parents found out and are furious that he has placed bets however I was always aware of the £ amount and quantity - which was very small. I felt that had I of said no, he may of done it anyway, resented me or found the week extremely hard as it’s completely impossible to ignore the racing due to where we live. It took me a very long time to accept his suggestion of placing these bets but now I wonder whether I should have agreed to it at all. Initially I said no but his behaviour changed and I started to worry. I felt like everything has been under control but I know his parents won’t understand my decision. All of his betting would cease after the week is over and we would carry on rebuilding our finances. All we have lost is some spare cash from our spare room. Has anyone been in a similar situation? Does anybody have any thoughts on this? I would just love somebody to talk too. 

 

 

Posted on:
Thu, 14/03/2019 - 22:50

ALN

Joined:
2018-08-25

You've enabled him and allowed him to cross the invisible line.
It's a green light to say off you go you can start again.
I convinced my partner and parents for years, this time I'm good I can control it, behind the scenes amounts getting larger and larger and debt increasing and increasing once again without anyone having a clue, and each week sat in the comfort of my own home with my partner saying I'm not sure you should be doing this, and me convincing her it was only a fiver that she'd given me.
Then when all avenues exhausted again and desperation means you have to come clean or even worse you're found out, we're a further £40k in debt.
I have to advise that once a gambler always a gambler and this illness gets progressively worse.
The only way forward is for your Partner to accept he has a problem, want to stop, and willing to do everything he can. Without this, which if honest I don't believe he does from what you've said, he hasn't a chance.
I would sit down with him and explain how you feel and that you've made a judgement error and want this to stop now.
See whether he'd agree to go to GA with you whilst you attend a gamanon meeting. Take it forward from there.
You'll get lots of advice on here about putting barriers in place but firstly you'll need to redraw the line.
All the best.
ALN

Posted on:
Thu, 14/03/2019 - 22:59

changemylife

Joined:
2016-11-02

Well Lily. I am a recovering compulsive gambler and I was recently put in a situation when my wife, my 10 year old daughter and myself were invited to a birthday celebration at a greyhound race meeting.

My wife wasn't encouraging me to gamble as she is well aware of my past, but wanted me to come along for the social aspect. I agreed even though I knew that it would potentially be a trigger. It was up to me to show strong will and resilience.

I let my wife and daughter select a few harmless £1 bets and my only involvement was a bit of crazy cheering on the track side.

Having said that, I think that if I was involved in the actual placing of bets it could be damaging and lead me back to gambling. So therefore, best to stay away if possible.

Posted on:
Thu, 14/03/2019 - 23:23

Fighter_1

Joined:
2014-01-07

as another CG I can only completely Echo the sentiments of ALN.  It’s really a bad call as he won’t be able stop afterwards as the cycle will begin again.  

Also whatever he tells you he is betting multiply it, small bets won’t give him a buzz. 

Gamblers are liars...he will have £ you don’t know about for this and will prob borrow more to fuel it whilst there. 

Also I don’t buy the not being able to avoid it because of where you live.  If he likes the social side then go and enjoy that, if he has to place bets he shouldn’t be going.  

He’ll think he holds the cards by convincing you he can gamble when the likelihood is the debt will increase once more as he won’t stop. 

I don’t mean to sound harsh but I know because I’ve been there and done it...a CG cannot be for fun regardless of what they tell you.

I wish you well

Posted on:
Thu, 14/03/2019 - 23:45

lily12345

Joined:
2019-03-14

Thank you all for such quick replies. I must admit I’m starting to  regret the decision hugely. Just for a little context, horse racing has been a very big part of our lives throughout the whole year. He has family that have owned racehorses, everybody we know either goes racing or watches it locally and to top it off his birthday falls on Cheltenham race week. For every week that he remembers he has gone there, had bets and it was only within the last 24 months that things started to spiral. I’m certainly not making excuses or trying to justify - I just wanted to make it a little clearer behind my thought process. I’m certainly no push over and in an idea world he would never place a single bet again, even this week, but ideal worlds don’t exist. 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted on:
Fri, 15/03/2019 - 00:26

Cynical wife

Joined:
2015-06-23

The real mistake is to put yourself in a position where you take on responsibility for his gambling. His parents won’t understand your decision? What on earth makes it your decision? You’re taking on a responsibility that’s absolutely not yours to take. Better to tell him that if he gambles, that’s his choice and he’s responsible for it. 

If you read round the forum, you’ll see plenty of stories about what happens when a CG has a little controlled bet. The compulsion is fed and the CG ends up back where he left off previously only worse. Educate yourself about addiction and don’t underestimate where it can lead.

Gambling is an emotional problem with financial consequences. Focusing on the money diverts from where your attention is really needed, that is on you. Start making your life about you, not him.

CW

Posted on:
Fri, 15/03/2019 - 06:54

Merry go round

Joined:
2017-06-08

Yes you made a mistake. Now you have to realise what mistake you made. The mistake is thinking that a gambler is the only one with a problem. You talk in contradiction. He's surrounded by it, family, horses  etc. Then you say his parents won't understand your decisions. So do they know he's a compulsive gambler? Do they think he shouldn't gamble? Once a gambler always a gambler. A compulsive gambler cannot stop. This will have ignited the desire to gamble. Compulsive gambling is not about money, it's about feeding an addiction. Unfortunately it's forever. The choice is his, the choice to manipulate you is his. You have to look after yourself and not be lead down the destructive path with him as his enabler. This is not your fault but you need help and to change your behaviour. Knowledge is power, as Cheltenham is a racing town I'm sure there's a meeting near by. 

Posted on:
Fri, 15/03/2019 - 08:16

Honghainhi13

Joined:
2019-03-15

You made the mistake of actually entering the path of gambling. It can affect your career and your health if you don't stop. Hope you stay away from it as soon as possible and look for something healthier

Posted on:
Fri, 15/03/2019 - 09:32

lily12345

Joined:
2019-03-14

His parents are aware of his previous gambling as they gave us help with the financial side. They weren’t aware of the ‘controlled bets’ during this week however my partners brother may have said something to them and they caught on. His brother has no idea about the gambling problems we have faced yet he has been racing/gambling/drinking all week due to the Cheltenham Festival - as would my partner if none of this had ever gotten out of control. I find it really hard when the person probably second closest to him is completely oblivious but carries on doing all of the things I know my partner wants to deep down. I’ve suggested he tells his brother lots of times but he doesn’t want too, and it’s not my place to tell him anyway. My partners parents also haven’t said anything to their other son. This is why my head gets so scrambled. 

How do people carry on watching the sports they may have once gambled on? Whether it’s football or horse racing - how does life go on when you’re interested in the sport but you can’t gamble? Do you stop watching the sport all together? 

 

Posted on:
Fri, 15/03/2019 - 10:07

Merry go round

Joined:
2017-06-08

Some say to stop watching, especially horses. In my experience my husband still watches sport. He wants to watch and learn not to associate it with gambling, enjoy it for what it is. You are still talking about everyone else, why do you keep it a secret? If you think deep down he wants to gamble, he will. What are you going to do about the fact you are manipulated by him into believing controlled gambling is ok? Until you realise you are just as caught up in this unhealthy thinking and really don't know enough about compulsive gambling, this will continue. There is no point controlling finances if you don't know why. Compulsive gamblers cannot gamble, letting them have money to bet on anything is enabling. I thought for a long time that I should keep it secret, not talk to anyone about it. I was so wrong. It's up to you who you tell. It's about getting help for yourself. This is about learning from mistakes. His parents are also mistaken, you can't bail a gambler out and then expect them never to gamble. The bailout sets them free, takes away responsibility for their actions. He's an adult, he's making bad choices. Stop worrying about him, worry about you. 

Posted on:
Fri, 15/03/2019 - 11:07

lily12345

Joined:
2019-03-14

Turns out every comment about ‘controlled bets’ being the gateway to hell were right. 2 £25 cash bets that I knew nothing about. Feeling stupid/upset/guilty that I helped bring this on. I know his actions are his own but maybe if I’d of put my foot down none of this would of happened. 

Posted on:
Fri, 15/03/2019 - 13:20

Merry go round

Joined:
2017-06-08

You are not to blame. He's an adult. No point getting you to look after his money if he's going to ask for it back. It's up to him to choose not to gamble. 

Posted on:
Fri, 15/03/2019 - 13:43

Cynical wife

Joined:
2015-06-23

It took a long time for this situation to arise and there are no quick fixes. The way forward is to learn how to do things differently and that takes a long time but it works. Start with you and set the example to those around you. 

It sounds like there are a lot of toxic secrets in his family. His parents know and have bailed out, his brother doesn’t know. Or does he? How do you know whether he is also a CG? Alternatively, how do you know that his brother isn’t also bailing out? Perhaps being led to think that his parents don’t know and are best protected by keeping the secret for their sake? Gambling thrives when the gambler gets each family member to think that the other family members couldn’t cope with reality and to keep the secret whilst feeding him gambling tokens/money. Getting it out into the open, so that all the non gamblers are on the same page inhibits gambling. If it’s not for you to tell, insist that the brother is told by your husband or his parents or else you will do the telling.

Go to GamAnon and CoDA meetings and encourage his parents to go as well. If they won’t, go anyway.

Basically, it’s about accepting your part in the situation. Not about whether you can/did make him gamble or make him not gamble - he’s not a puppet on a string. The gambling is his. But do you tolerate more than you should? Are you accepting behaviour from him that’s objectively abusive? Clean up the mess that he makes? Expect nothing of him but too much of yourself? Do you settle for less than an equal life partnership? Are your needs important or is everything about fixing him?

Your life starts with you.

CW

Posted on:
Fri, 15/03/2019 - 14:50

lily12345

Joined:
2019-03-14

 

Cynical wife wrote:

It took a long time for this situation to arise and there are no quick fixes. The way forward is to learn how to do things differently and that takes a long time but it works. Start with you and set the example to those around you. 

It sounds like there are a lot of toxic secrets in his family. His parents know and have bailed out, his brother doesn’t know. Or does he? How do you know whether he is also a CG? Alternatively, how do you know that his brother isn’t also bailing out? Perhaps being led to think that his parents don’t know and are best protected by keeping the secret for their sake? Gambling thrives when the gambler gets each family member to think that the other family members couldn’t cope with reality and to keep the secret whilst feeding him gambling tokens/money. Getting it out into the open, so that all the non gamblers are on the same page inhibits gambling. If it’s not for you to tell, insist that the brother is told by your husband or his parents or else you will do the telling.

Go to GamAnon and CoDA meetings and encourage his parents to go as well. If they won’t, go anyway.

Basically, it’s about accepting your part in the situation. Not about whether you can/did make him gamble or make him not gamble - he’s not a puppet on a string. The gambling is his. But do you tolerate more than you should? Are you accepting behaviour from him that’s objectively abusive? Clean up the mess that he makes? Expect nothing of him but too much of yourself? Do you settle for less than an equal life partnership? Are your needs important or is everything about fixing him?

Your life starts with you.

CW

His parents know everything and I am told that his brother knows nothing. My partner tells his brother that he’s stopped gambling because we are saving for a wedding, not because he is a CG. His parents found out last night that he had placed a few cash bets and the whole situation went crazy. His dad shouted at him and.m called him every name under the sun. His mum was crying because he had told me but not her. I wonder whether they think I don’t care as much because I’m not as emotional. I’m mixed up in a big family drama as well as my own worries and feelings and it’s all too much for me now

 

Posted on:
Fri, 15/03/2019 - 15:20

Cynical wife

Joined:
2015-06-23

Sounds like it’s the sort of drama that’s totally ineffective and allows all concerned to stay stuck. You might care to look out for Harriet Lerner’s book, “Dance of Anger”. Or Robin Norwood’s book, “Women who love too much”. Read round the forum as much as possible. And go to GamAnon.

CW

Posted on:
Fri, 15/03/2019 - 18:19

Lethe

Joined:
2016-12-10

You're not obliged to tolerate living in a soap opera. It's always possible to decline to engage with the dramatics and concentrate your energy on you and how you want to move forward.

How do you want life to be?

Posted on:
Fri, 15/03/2019 - 20:33

Fighter_1

Joined:
2014-01-07

I’d actually say watching sport has been a revelation for me.  My thing was mainly football and tennis,  quick bets and instant gratification.  You can fall in love with sport all over again when you aren’t desperate for one team to get the next throw in or a corner in the next 5 min passage of play.  When you bet you’re in a bubble,  you don’t care about the game,  only what you can place the next bet on.  

In terms of letting him bet again...If he was an alcoholic you wouldn’t let me have a beer as it’s his birthday.

i get the affiliation to the sport etc but if it’s poisonous for him he needs out and to find something else to make him and also you happy 

 

Posted on:
Fri, 15/03/2019 - 20:36

Fighter_1

Joined:
2014-01-07

Furthermore I echo he is responsible for his own actions...the fact he even tried to convince you to let him bet shows his lack of conviction to actually wanting to stop.  You won’t help him until he wants to stop which evidently he doesn’t.  A concern would be what else is he gambling on.  You’d prob need transparency in his spending to see where it’s going.  Like I said before us CG’s are artistic liars...we will always find a source of income if we want to bet.  Be careful for yourself