I found out in May of this year that my partner has been lying and hiding things from me for 9 years. I knew for a while he was lying and hiding things that were really inconsequential and I was very confused, for example hiding sweet wrappers/pizza boxes outside in the wheelie bin and telling my daughter to keep secrets about him buying treats, telling me he's gone to one friends but he's actually gone to a different friends, damaging the car at one location but it was actually in a different location, packages arriving at the door that obviously cost more money then the money he told me he has in his bank etc.
I'd been bringing up for months that he was lying about stupid little things that didn't make sense and treating me like I'm stupid as he continued to do it even though I kept finding out. Anyway the arguments *eventually* led on to him telling me that he had been gambling and buying things for around 9 years, using a number of credit cards and loans I had no idea about and had accrued a debt of £57,000.
We have been together 18 years and have 3 kids together. We are very opposite with our relationship to money and I have always paid off any money owed to anyone or anything as soon as I have had it. He has a supposedly more "relaxed" approach you could say.
Now, when it came out in May I was in shock and total disbelief for around 2 weeks and was deciding what I should do. He told me that it had all come to a stop in August 2019 when the interest had all got too much and the rent bounced. He said at that point he had to call gamcare for help and that's when he finally found out how much he owed.
When I found out I asked to see his bank account and when I scrolled back a few months I could see he had still been gambling March, Feb, Jan, Dec, Nov...small amounts but still gambling.
So we agreed I could have his passwords and access to his bank accounts (he had opened another as his first account was all in debt) etc and since then he has been telling me that because its now out in the open and he can't hide anything, its all just gone away like a f**t in the wind... Earlier today I heard the postman drop something through the door and my partner go down stairs quite quickly to retrieve this. I'm always wondering why he's got to go to the door the second something comes through even when he's on a work call. Anyway I asked what came through and he said a letter for himself pointing to a letter on the bed, I then start to make my way downstairs and actually remember that I heard something get shoved through the door and land heavily so I go back up to say what I had heard and he sheepishly says oh and just this package which he says was next to the letter on the bed and he wasn't trying to hide it but he clearly was because he told me it was "just a letter". So I am now annoyed at him and we have a heated discussion where I ask him if he realises he just automatically hid something from me and he admits yes it was an automatic response to hide it... and he also tells me straight away it didn't cost anything. For me that's not the point, if he wants to buy/order something fine, its the lying and hiding things! What I am now wondering is if he has still got things to hide if that was his automatic response? I am being made to feel like the bad guy and police what he is doing and I don't like that, I've got to pay more attention to what he is up to and it is making me feel like a bad person and like he thinks I am controlling but I know I'm not, that's why he was able to hide all that debt in the first place.
What I want to know is, is that just a habit of lying that he will stop eventually or is he forever going to be a liar and has his problem just disappeared because its out in the open? Does he need help or not like he is saying? Was/is it an addiction or just a selfish spending spree? I don't understand what is actually going on. I have told him to get help today because I have lost all trust in him and I will not put up with anymore lies or hiding things.
Maybe someone on here can help advise please as I have no one I can talk to who understands this.
Sorry to hear this ., It sounds like a really difficult situation, you are never alone and there's lots of hope and support available. These things can have a big emotional and financial impact and you have to try to stay strong and look after yourself / your own self care as much as possible at this time.
Trust can build back over time and his actions will show that if and when he starts in recovery. It's important to have strong boundaries and not give any bailouts .
Please feel free to contact the GamCare Helpline on 0808 8020 133 or Netline to explore the additional support available to you. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week if you would like to talk to one of the GamCare HelpLine advisers.
There's also relationship support through the likes of relate and there's group support for affected others at gamanon. www.relate.org.uk
Could I also give the details for some organisations that can offer some free debt advice.
StepChange – 0800 138 1111, www.stepchange.org www.gamanon.org.uk
All the best with everything
Hi and welcome to the forum.
Old habits die hard am afraid and yes if lying has become habitual, its probably continuing, even about stuff he doesn't need to lie about. There is probably other stuff that you don't know about.
The thing is gambling is an addiction. Its a powerful compulsion that defies logic or explanation. Iv'e known for many years that iv'e had a severe problem. I even have quite a good understanding as to why I do why what I do and yet I still struggle to stay stopped.
Gambling behaviour doesn't just go away like a f**t in the wind. If it was that easy, places like this wouldn't exist.
The thing is, you can give him all the ultimatums in the world but if he doesn't want to try and stop gambling then he won't. Your fighting a losing battle. The impetus to try and change has to come from him not from you.
From your point of view I would suggest putting your efforts into protecting yourself and your children from the consequences of his gambling. Separate bank accounts. family money has to stay as money for the family, not to be dipped into for gambling. The more control and oversight you have of money the better. You can get a sense of how addicted a gambler is from how they react to anything to do with money and having control of money taken away from them.
When and if your partner becomes more serious about trying to stop, there are many other pratical steps to put barriers between your partner and gambling... gamstop, blocking software, self-exclsuions, limited access to money... etc etc, but from what you say, he hasn't reached this point yet. He's just gambling with smaller stakes cos he has less access to new money.
All the best going forward.
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