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Hurt, betrayed, angry, disrespected, confused?

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#1 Posted on:
Fri, 27/07/2018 - 20:06

EmEle

Joined:
2018-07-27

My boyfriend and I have been together three years now and it's been the best three years I could have asked for. I am mad about him, us and the life we have made over the years and only have plans to continue that for the future, and I thought he did too. I know he's had a past with gambling, or 'dabbling' as he calls it and it's never bothered me because I have always trusted that he was sensible. His friends on the other hand have serious problems in gambling, by ending up in tens of thousands of pounds of debt and I always said to my partner "I hope we never go through that" to which he reassured me no. 

Back in September 2017 he told me he had won £2500 on a quick gamble online, and i thought great! we can pay off our holiday with this money. I was stupid and naive to think he had just been lucky with one go and thought nothing more of it. By October 2017 I caught him out in a lie to which he admitted to being in £7500 in debt, maxing his overdraft and two credit cards. I was mortified! We argued and to cut a long story short, his grandmother bailed him out, paying off everything, and leaving him at £0 so he could only go in to credit, not debt. He agreed to wise up and listen to me when it came to controlling his finances for the future and he promised to save money every week. I thought I could trust him so I let him carry on being responsbile for his own money after giving him advice......

Things have been great over the last few months, we've had some great times and made many memories, and have a short trip coming up in a few days and a big holiday in two weeks that I've organised as a celebration of his 30th birthday this year. Until, two weeks ago, he picked me up from a works do and I could tell something was wrong. He had taken drugs and I knew from the moment I saw him, I just could tell. This wasn't like him, and I've told him how strongly I feel about drugs and he has promised never to take them as long as we are together in a relationship. His friends are quite bad for it, and I've always been scared when he is with them but I trust him when he says he has not been influenced by them, and I did believe it. Until this night, two weeks ago tonight actually. I was furious, heart broken, confused, shocked. All emotions and all all he could tell me was "I've had a bad day". Two days went by until he finally told me the reason. He said he was in debt of £10,000.  He explained he had taken a loan out for £5000 to buy me an engagement ring, but because he saw the money in his account he thought he would have a 'flutter' online and put a bet down to win even more. He told me he hadn't betted since October and this was a one off, and every time I have asked him over the months he has said he hasn't touched a site. He said that he lost it all that night, all £5000, then lost another £5000 the next night trying to win it back, using and maxing out credit cards and overdraft again. He said he felt so depressed and low that he took drugs because he had reached a point that he was going to do something to himself, as he knew he had lost me anyway when I found out. I couldn't believe it. For a week I was angry and confused and I couldn't wrap my head around any of this. 

The end of last week I told him that we could try again, but he needed to stop lying, tell me the truth and we needed to start from the beginning of our relationship by re-building the trust that had been lost. He agreed and we had a lovely weekend, he promised me he had had a wake up call, arranged a counselling session for himself and said that he would never do this again. He promised to never ever lie and that was it. Now or never, onwards and upwards.This week has been good and I felt ready to forgive and move on.... 

Then last night I decided to sit down with him and sort his finances out. I said that I would take care of everything for now, he would delete his online banking app and I would have his cards. The only access to money he would have would be cash or £30 contactless payments from his phone. So last night as I started making notes, he got his online banking up, and T just asked to the see the damage of two weeks ago. I wanted to see it for myself, get upset and then forget about it. He agreed, and I noticed something didn't look right on his transactions, I had his phone in my hand and started to scroll to earlier in the month. I noticed he had gambled at the start of the month, not adding up to the 'one off' from two weeks ago. I scrolled further and found that he has been gambling every few days/weeks, betting hundreds of pounds at a time. It turns out he never gave it up after all. As soon as his gran paid him off in October, he just continued to gamble, every week or so, constantly being in debt. He lied about taking a credit card out a few months ago too. He told me the limit was £1000, turns out it was £2500 and he has maxed it. 

So last week when he 'confessed', he didn't confess. He lied on top of a lie. And let me forgive him, knowing he was still lying. I caught him out. He told me he couldn't face telling me the whole truth, it was too hard telling me he had been gambling all this time. He's begging me to believe him that two weeks ago was the last time and he has stopped, that he is focusing on us now and his career and paying everyone back that he owes over the months. 

I keep asking myself what have I done to deserve this? Why does he think it's okay to lie and disrespect me? I do everything for him and us, I work three jobs to save so we can buy a house together and build a good life, and for what? To be lied to. It's made me feel that our whole relationship, our lovely perfect relationship I thought we had was a lie. These last few months have been one big lie.

Apart from this demon he has inside him, he is a great guy and I wouldn't want anyone else, and can never see myself with anyone else, but how can i trust him now? It's breaking me knowing he has done this. Do i mean that little to him or do i just not cross his mind when he gambles?

He's now admitted to having a problem, and wants to work through this. He's going to continue seeing his counsellor, and even confess to them about the lie he told him this week, that it wasn't a one off blow out, that he actually has a regular problem. I'm just so scared this is going to happen again, if not worse next time. What should i do? Do i stick by his side and support him and regain our relationship or respect myself and leave? And cancel our holiday and lose my own money by doing that. 

This has been longer than i thought and i'm sorry, but thankful to those of who's taken the time to read. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Heartbroken.

 

 

 

Posted on:
Sat, 28/07/2018 - 00:37

sz25

Joined:
2015-01-24

hi there

I want you to know that you are not alone. I am in the same situation, feel everything you feel. And if you want advice, my advice is move on, I know it sound easy but hard to do. however the lucky thing for you is, you dont have child together, once you move on one day, you will not look back to this man, coz there is no catch. i have been with my partner for 10 years, and he have been gamble for 10 year, the amount of money he wasted enough for buying a house in london, and the emotional damage he cause will never be fixed,  I am strangled by him with 7 years old daughter, he will always stuck in my life no matter what. so before it's too later, you should move on, coz you deserve better.

Posted on:
Sat, 28/07/2018 - 10:24

Merry go round

Joined:
2017-06-08

Hi EmEle it's not my place to tell you to stay or leave. It's great that you are seeking help. The first thing to remember is you cannot control or stop a compulsive gambler. You can get help for yourself. The main thing is not to bail them out, as you've seen it sets them free. I think debt is good as a constant reminder, also it makes it more difficult to get more credit. If a gambler is ready to stop they will gladly do anything, hand over finances, credit reports, find a GA meeting. If they are continuing it is more often in secret. A win is fatal. They have no control regardless of winning or losing. It doesn't matter what you do if they want to continue they will. You need help and support for you. Learn how to deal with the mind games, the lies, the empty promises. Find a gamanon meeting, make sure he can't access your finances. From experience my husband cannot have money or access. He has cash for coffee or petrol and provides a receipt. He goes to GA. We only learn from experience. We've all trusted, believed they would stop. I've learnt the only person I can control and change is me. It doesn't mean you have to end a relationship, but  if they continue then you should ask yourself why you want this. Willpower alone is not enough you need to see him choose to not gamble, to actively seek help, to put up barriers. This is for him to do, not you. There are online blocks he can download, sign up to gamstop, self exclude. But if he doesn't want to stop he will find another way. So you change you, change your reaction, get to a meeting, call gamcare. Go on your holiday and see how he behaves. It's got nothing to do with how much he loves you, he's addicted. It's a habit, a compulsion. It's very damaging to both him and you. Set your limits, don't make empty threats. Asking a compulsive gambler if he's gambled is pointless, they will lie, but if they're not lying how can you believe what they say is true? I go to gamanon meetings, I've had counselling. The best thing is a meeting, learn about addiction. Compulsive gamblers aren't bad people. It's a coping mechanism like drinking, gets out of control, is progressive so gets worse, more debt. It's a tough addiction to beat, but first they have to admit defeat. Safeguard yourself, don't make rash decisions. It's ok to say 'this is not acceptable behaviour '.

Posted on:
Sat, 28/07/2018 - 10:41

EmEle

Joined:
2018-07-27

Thank you Merry go Round. I appreciate your reply. I honestly don’t want to leave him as I’ve invested so much of my time and energy in to our relationship. I’m just hurt that he could lie to me. I’m quite a sensitive person and I know I couldn’t lie to him about something big like this. 

Apart from this demon, everything else is great in our relationship and I truly thought we were meant to be. I am just so scared of believing him this time when he says it’s a last chance and he is going to change. I don’t want to go through this hurt and betrayal again. 

He is willing to hand over all his finances to me and I just give him an allowance for food/petrol etc. He is still going to attend counselling sessions privately, but I’ve told him he needs to tell the truth to the counsellor, this was not a one off blow out but a regular occurance. He is a carpenter and he has been working really hard over the last two weeks, working every day and night to earn more money to pay his debts off. He says he is determined to pay off everything and focus on us from now on. I do see a difference but I’m just dealing with the fact he lied about doing this over the last few months.

He says that with me having access to his online banking, I will just constantly look back over the previous months and argue with him over his bets and mistakes. I’m just really worried this is how our life is going to be and he’ll never recover from this. 

Posted on:
Sat, 28/07/2018 - 11:19

Merry go round

Joined:
2017-06-08

They do recover but it's not advisable with just the two of you going it alone. Counselling can be effective but as you say he lies. GA is a good wake up and good support. Don't just think it's his problem. You are affected too. If you drop your guard and he gambles who is to blame? He must be accountable and make a choice. Control the finances if that's what helps but it's up to him to choose not to gamble. A compulsive gambler is always a compulsive gambler. They can and often do relapse. What will you do then? Get some help. I couldn't have managed without help, I've had counselling and go to gamanon meetings. Don't ignore this, it only gets better if you change too. Taking control can also take away their responsibility. He has to be 100% honest and committed. His reluctance for you to see his accounts is a red flag. In recovery you learn to look forward. You can't change the past. You also have to accept. If your willingness to continue your relationship is having control of his accounts then he has to accept that. There are consequences to his gambling. I've controlled our finances for the past 15 years but my husband still managed to open bank accounts and gamble loans. Try not to fixate on the money. It's about behaviour, moods, mental health. He has to realise the destructive consequences of gambling for himself. The more you try and control him the more he will keep secrets. You can't tell someone to be honest in therapy, that's his call. That's the problem with it. Plus if he's paying for it, what a waste. Concentrate on you, get some help and support.

Posted on:
Sat, 28/07/2018 - 12:43

Lethe

Joined:
2016-12-10

There are red flags waving here firstly in him lying to you yet again and getting caught out and secondly in predicting 'arguing' from you when you see the 'mistakes' he's made.

If he wanted to give up he'd be open about everything. No stones unturned. If he wanted to give up he'd expect a bit of heat. A bit of mistrust. A few questions. Instead he's laying the groundwork for you to have 'driven' him to gambling again with your lack of trust. If it's your fault it's not his.

If he wanted to give up he'd happily make himself accountable to you and he'd be actively looking for practical blocks and solutions to paying off the debt he's incurred ( A bailout from Bank of Granny or anyone else isn't one of them).

There is no reason for him to pay for counselling. Gamcare offer free and effective sessions. GA meetings incur a nominal fee and are another effective method if he's serious about quitting.

You can't help him until he wants to be helped. In the meantime protect your own interests and sanity. Don't trust a word he says without seeing independent proof for yourself. If he doesn't like providing it, be wary.

Posted on:
Sat, 28/07/2018 - 16:13

EmEle

Joined:
2018-07-27

So I’m seeing him tonight after I finish work and he finishing his work and we’ll see what he says and how he acts. 

I want to lay all my cards on the table, and I want all of his too. I want to now everything and I want to see how prepared he is to make this work. If this relationship means anything to him. 

He keeps saying “he doesn’t deserve me” and that I can do better, but I want him to act and prove to me that he is what I deserve and he’s going to make sure of it.

Also, I forgot to say that our big holiday in 2 weeks time is to go to Las Vegas, which is making me worried sick of the temptations around him. I had no idea of any of this when I booked this holiday. I wouldn’t have booked or spent money over the last few months had I known the actual truth. 

This is killing me, I feel broken and I just want this to be fixed.

Posted on:
Sat, 28/07/2018 - 18:07

Whip94

Joined:
2018-06-21

Hi, I’m also the girlfriend of a gambling addict. My boyfriend stopped for almost a year then relapsed again in June. 

 

I seen you posted about your big holiday to Vegas and I couldn’t not comment. My only advice to you is ABORT. I also read your story to my boyfriend who is the exact same as yours... his words were ‘VERY BAD IDEA’ 

 

There are too many temptations. 

 

I hope your partner stays true to his word and I feel exactly what you are going through.

Posted on:
Sat, 28/07/2018 - 18:25

Lethe

Joined:
2016-12-10

It's probably worth bearing in mind that he may make all sorts of promises but it would be unwise to take them at face value. . They may be a bid to get you off his back. He may even mean them as he says them but if he isn't 100% committed to giving up they may well become worthless in the face of temptation. 

I had all the guff about being able to 'do better'. The self pity can be pretty epic but don't let him manipulate you out of finding out what you want and need to know and insisting on the measures you need to protect and reassure you. As you say actions will speak louder than words to you at this point.

Re the holiday - is there any way of changing the US destination to one you're more comfortable with?

I can sympathise over the feeling of wishing money hadn't been spent unknowingly. Unfortunately it's another part of the lie they make us live but try and make sure you don't apply funds that would normally be going on treats and time out for you to paying off his debts. It's very easy to get consumed with worries that by rights are the CG's. Look after you.

Posted on:
Sat, 28/07/2018 - 20:34

greenflash

Joined:
2017-12-31

Hi Emele

I am an ex gambler, who wishes to give you advice. Your partner is a gambling addict which means he lies, cheats, is secretive and manipulative. I am sure he is a decent guy but this problem will drive him to do things he would never normally do. Many people have committed crime to feed their gambling habit and his grandmother paying off his debt was a disaster as it simply enabled him to start gambling again with a clean slate, look how much debt he has built up since he was bailed out. 

If he is serious about beating this problem he will be honest with you, which so far he has not. When I finally admitted I had a problem my partner demanded to know the full extent of my debt, I gave her all my credit cards, debit card, bank details and we signed up to a credit reference agency so she could check I was telling her the truth and that there were no further debts I was hiding from her. She was very angry and upset with me and rightly so, she also warned me that if I was lying to her or hiding debts from her we were finished. Thankfully I was ready to give up gambling.

If he is ready to quit this problem then he must hand over all his finances to you and make sure you sign up with the credit agencies and check them regularly to make sure he is not slyly trying to obtain credit behind your back. Tell him he can have an allowance for groceries/petrol etc but you want receipts. If he is sincere about quitting he will agree to this. The fact is you cannot trust him with money and he knows this. Stand your ground and do not give in to tantrums, bad moods etc, make him accountable for every penny.

By immediately protecting the finances it will give you a chance to regroup and put a plan in place for beating this addiction, counselling, GA or a doctor. 

I promise you he will NOT beat this addiction by willpower alone, that is why removing financial temptation is so critical. I am a decent, hardworking person who earns very good money, yet shamefully I got to my forties with nothing to show for all those years of work because I gambled the lot. I hope your partner and yourself will take the good advice you have been given by the other posters, as his problem will continue to have a terrible affect on your quality of life too. Sorry for waffling I just wanted you to know what it is like from the gamblers side and the things your partner must accept if he is ready to quit.

All the best

Posted on:
Sun, 29/07/2018 - 07:36

EmEle

Joined:
2018-07-27

So he came over last night and we spoke about everything. I asked him to explain to me the feeling he gets when he gambles and why he does it. He was open and honest about it and said that this has nothing to do with the way he feels about me or us. When he gets in to that “zone” nothing else crosses his mind. 

He says that he has had a wake up call and by continuing to do this will only result in losing me and his loved ones. I’ve told him I can’t go through this pain any more and if this does happen again then I have to respect myself and my beliefs and move ahead. 

He has given me his cards to keep and will give me all his credit card statements so that I can see everything. I will give him an allowance for groceries and petrol every week and I’ve told him that from now on every penny counts. I’ve even suggested credit reference agency so that there can be no more lies.

He is going to continue with counselling, and come clean to him too. His next session is his first proper counselling session as last week’s was just a consultation . I’ve suggested him looking at this website to which he agrees.  

I just hope this all works out and we can move on from this. I hope this is the end to all the lies and hurt. Only time will tell I guess, but thank you all for your support and advice.

Posted on:
Sun, 29/07/2018 - 08:15

Cynical wife

Joined:
2015-06-23

Morning,

I’m sorry to hear what’s happening but I would regard it as a wake up call. 

You’ve written at length about what a great guy he is and how great your relationship is - but actually he’s behaving in ways that you find unacceptable. He’s using (gambling and drugs) behind your back, he’s lying to you and playing mind games with you and he’s let you down. And my own experience was that when gambling, my husband wasn’t emotionally present, his focus was gambling, he just wanted to be left alone (incursions into his gambling time or money by me and the children weren’t welcome), he was childish and irresponsible  and he had terrible mood swings, the eggshells kept breaking. Is your experience really that you have a marvellous man who fulfils your every possible need (honesty? respect?) who has a little problem or actually is your relationship as dysfunctional as mine was (and no longer is)?

There’s a saying that your vibe attracts your tribe, ie that people find friends from those in a similar situation or otherwise similar to them.  His mates are compulsive gamblers and dip into drugs yet they’re his mates. Have you ever wondered why that is so?  

I suggest that you’re operating from a viewpoint about who he could be once you’ve fixed him with your love and not who he actually is.

Protect yourself financially so that his gambling mess soils him and not you. Then move the focus over to you, start looking at who you are and what you really want and deserve  and aspire to in the various areas of your life, in your career, in your relationships. If you stop focusing on him and keep your focus on you, then the answers become clearer. If you know what you want, you can make your choice about what you need to do to get it. And you have your present choice is of a broken man to fix,  know yourself well enough to understand why you wanted that in the first place. Otherwise you’ll either continue trying in vain to fix this man (and merely succeed in enabling his addiction) or else you’ll choose the same again for the next man who will be worse.

Move your focus to you. It takes a long time to relearn when you’ve picked up the wrong life lessons and the place to relearn is regular GamAnon/CoDA meetings or NarAnon or AlAnon if he drinks.

Take care.

CW 

Posted on:
Sun, 29/07/2018 - 11:42

Lethe

Joined:
2016-12-10

He's making the right noises but don't let your guard down. We all want to believe they've seen the error of their ways and it's over but the truth is it's something that's with them for life. They are only ever one bet away from resuming the cycle of destruction which is why any ex-CG will tell you it's that bet they need to avoid. How did he react to the suggestion of you having access to his credit reports? You might like to consider forewarning anyone around him who might lend or give him money. It's very common for a CG to spin a sob story to friends and family to get their hands on off the record funds. It's also not in your interests to be too understanding. There's a wealth of advice and support open to him when he chooses to look for it including GA where the members will get it in a way we never can. Look for advice and support for you.

Posted on:
Sun, 28/10/2018 - 00:25

jen.b

Joined:
2018-10-27

Hi - 

It's been a while since your post, and I'm not sure if you still follow the thread, but in case you do - warm internet hugs to you and I wish you a lot of strength. A lot of what you said struck very close to home for me. It is so painful to realize that all your good efforts to work, save, build a life are destroyed and disrespected. I have often asked myself how I ended up in this place, in a relationship with a man who has basically disrespected my money and my help by wasting it - and I think this 'building' mentality might actually be partly the reason why. At school and work we are rewarded for putting in the effort, and giving up is bad. So, at least in my case, I've just been refusing to believe that I can't fix this one problem and build a great relationship same way I've built everything else. It's one of the hardest things to realize as a non-gambler that your efforts to help are often destructive and intensify the problem by enabling them to continue. 

What really helped me though is slowly realizing that his addiction is not a personal attack on me, is not a reflection of his love and has nothing to do with how much he values the relationship. My boyfriend would keep telling me this from the start but it's just so hard to stop making that connection. You asked in the post - - "do i just not cross his mind when he gambles?" - and I asked myself and my boyfriend the same question so many times! He just says it doesn't - and that's it. It's not that he gambles out of spite or disrespect to you, it's that he doesn't think of the relationship at all in that moment. Plus, he does not necessarily gamble to lose money - in his distorted reality he might be doing it to win and to help your relationship. And another thing is - if gambling means disrespect to us, well - he disrespects his resources, his hard-earned money and time just as much as anyone elses that he borrows from. My boyfriend has gone hungry, sometimes for days - but still gambled everything to his last cent next time he had money... and go hungry again. And that's before even meeting me. So, he's definitely not gambling out of disrespect to the relationship :)

So after also asking myself so many times why I ended up in this situation and what I did to deserve this - I think the simple answer for us is - for some reason we decided to be/stay in a relationship with a gambler. I very much agree with CW's comment here that it's better to just figure out what those reasons are - maybe it's the other aspects of the relationship, or maybe we're just wired to be 'the enablers' and need somebody to help and fix? And then operate from a place of 'well, this is my decision to stay with this man' as opposed to 'this relationship and his gambling just happened to me', if it makes sense? If we feel more control over the situation, then it's at least less frustrating, and while you cannot control his actions, you can control and accept your decisions in your relationship with him.

Again, best wishes to you and hope things have improved for you both. 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted on:
Sun, 28/10/2018 - 09:40

AmandaMac

Joined:
2018-10-19

Emele, I have just read this thread from top to bottom.  I am new to all of this, only finding out about my husbands gambling over the last week or so.  

I agree with a lot of the information that has been shared. I'm working through my own stuff so I don't want to advise you (how can I?) but I will share some thoughts.

Myself and my husband visited Vegas a couple of years ago. It's a great place. He wasn't a CG then, but did like a game of Poker with his mates on a Friday (£5 all in, winner takes the pot, no harm right?), perhaps a flutter on the National, that was about it. When we returned from Vegas (after spending much more than we had allowed for, it's not a cheap place) he started gambling online. To cut a long story short we are about £44,000 in debt now (Give or take, as I said we are working through it).  All I think is 'I wish I could turn back the clock'. I can't blame Vegas and I am doing what others have advised you; accepting the past and looking to our future. Ask yourself, 'If I return from Vegas and things are worse, will I wish we had never gone?'.  I am being harsh, but temptation is everywhere over there. There is no getting away from it. Would you take an alcoholic on a pub crawl if they promised to only drink diet coke?  

I can't tell you what to do, but I wish we had never gone. I can't and don't blame Vegas, but with hindsight I wish we had never gone. As for losing the money you have already paid, well, for me it would have been lose £3,000 on a holiday or be £44,000 down two years later.

I hope you can sort this in your own way. Get some counselling, focus on you and don't make yourself responsible for his actions. You can help him but it has to come from him. I really feel for you darling, as there are so many similarities to my own story. 

I simply can't walk away, two kids, house, combined finances, but I am limiting what I can. I have counselling in place for me and I'm just taking one day at a time. I log in to this forum every couple of days and it's helpful, just good to know I'm not alone.  Merry go round and Lethe have been a good suppport to me (thank you ladies).

Keep in touch, let us know how it's going.