Hello, I am new to the forum, I have recently found out my partner of 3 years is a gambling addict (4 weeks before we were supposed to move into a house together). Although he isn't in debt, this has been going on off and on for 8 years as far as I am aware, he has had periods (at the start of the relationship) for 18 months where he hasn't gambled and then periods of where there has been lots of bets in one night. I have gone through all of the bank statements, it go really bad recently he managed to gamble 5K away in 2 weeks. I knew something was off as he was on his phone all of the time playing a football game - it turns out this was poker, he did tell me once he lost the 5K. It broke my heart.
In the last 3 years he has gambled 7K away. He has lived with me at my place for 2 years, always paid the bills, we have always gone away, done everything, we have never been without and he isn't in debt BUT he spends everything he has left or his savings - which of course is an issue if we move out! So he had £5,600 in his bank, he gambled the 5K away but left the £600 he knew we needed it for food for the rest of the month.... well this is what he has told me, would this be the case all of the time....If I am honest, I don't know how to feel, the whole situation makes me sick, I want to help and stick by his side but all of the advice talks about walking away, that it's a lifelong problem and I am always going to have to worry, I am not sure if this is something I am prepared to do... does this make me the bad person? He is doing the right things so going to GA as he has done before but also seeing a therapist to find out why, between me and his dad we are on top of his finance and he is blocked himself from everything. I see myself as fairly understanding, I didn't see this coming and I have tried really hard over the last couple of weeks to understand and see it as an addiction and how to help and what's best to do. I listen when he speaks to me after his therapist but struggle to find reason.
For me, it's all of the lies that make me feel sick to my stomach, it's such a shame as everything else about him as good and we really are great together, it makes me think if everything that's ever been said is a lie. He says he feels better now that I know, that there isn't anymore lies... but if he can lie about this what else can he lie about? He said he didn't want to tell me as he thought I would leave, this was when he first did after 18 months, he said if he had told me then I wasn't as invested but now it's of course harder to walk away. He admitted this was selfish. His parents know, he has now told some of his friends, and told me I can tell anyone I wish as he is to take full responsibility for it. Which again is good - and my family do now know and a couple of my closest of friends.
Can people who do gamble not lie and no gamble? Is it possible? Every post argues others and I have no idea who or what to believe. Any advice would really be more than helpful. Thanks so much 🙂
Hi Harlee. I was the same as your partner in 2018 but my issue went back 30 years and the financials had a few more zeros on!!
my advice is yes you can get through it together and I would try and make it work. As you have already made a few positive steps like attending ga and you are also aware of it. YOU need to put some ground rules down to help him stop and move forward. He needs to be accountable to you for his spending.I recommend you have him swop his bank account first of all to Starling, benefits are they have a gambling block so he won’t be able to top up his online accounts. If you set your details up on it you will receive a text message everytime he makes a transaction whether it be a cash withdrawal or any spend. He does not need to carry cash and when he does he brings you back the receipt. For eg he could ask for 40 for petrol put 20 in and keep the rest.
his mind set will change and he will overtime learn to respect money trust me I am so protective over it now.
Keep talking and making sure he gets to at least 1 meeting a week. Good luck and I hope this helps, if you need anymore pointers just let me know 👍🏼
Hi harlee 2020
the best thing to do is secure your finances, credit reports. Keep on top of this.
Find out about addiction.
Get help and support from other f&f who have the same experience. Gamanon is the best place.
Set some boundaries for yourself. What is acceptable behaviour and unacceptable. You have to stick to them. It’s like anything you have to follow through otherwise you never will.
Offer emotional support, encourage meetings. Be vigilant. Anyone can go back to their old ways.
We all seem to look for help for the gambler but it’s far more beneficial to get help for ourselves.
BG1973, thank you so much for your advice I really do appreciate it! I will look into starling and see what we can do. Do you have to contact them to stop activate the gambling stop? I will set up my details on it too - great idea!
Pleased to hear you are also moving forward :).
What kind of ground rules would you recommend putting into place as well as the finances?
At the moment, he goes to GA every Monday and also sees a therapist on a Tuesday, from what he has said I know Paydays are the worst times when he has access to a large sum of money, we have a direct debit set up for it to go out as soon as it goes in.
We have stopped playing cards or doing anything that is even the slightest related to gambling to help prevent it.
Thanks so much for your reply, is this something you have been through if you don't mind me asking?
My finances are secure and I am definitely not getting a joint account. I have looked at Gamanon and I will look into this too even more - thank you this is really useful. My partner has talked about going to one of the GA meetings with him, it's just not something I feel like I can do yet. I know he feels like he has taken steps forwards which are positive but I am consistently upset and low all of the time.
For me I just question everything, I have said anything in relation to gambling. I want to set these but don't want to make him feel like he has to lie.. what kind of boundaries would you say?
That's very true, it's hard to know where to look for help and how to even get help! I think part of me is scared of the actual truth. I might reach out to a therapist as well to try and process it all.
The other thing that I’ll add is to regularly check his credit report so that you can see his real financial situation. Creditkarma is free and it updates quickly for searches (in case he is applying for a loan etc.). You can also see if he opens a secret bank account to pay his loan to for example. I heard good things about Starling, my partner is with Monzo which has a similar concept. In monzo if you have the gambling block on and you have an impulse and you requested it to be turned off you need to wait 48 hrs before you can use it for gambling which i think is brilliant.
My partner confessed to me about his severe gambling problem in February and we are doing well and much happier and feel more connected than ever before. GA really made a huge difference in his life.
I wish you and your partner all the best.
have you thought of having your partners half of the bills rent etc direct debit transferred to your account from hes account on the day that he is paid, that way you are safeguarding that all the finances are paid in full and on time. it is in my opinion very important that you have control of managing the household finances, and also important not to have a joint account, as hes potential debt can become your debt, unfortunately gamblers can become very unreliable with money. and your partner with the greatest respect may have the best of intentions, but when a addiction strikes he may be powerless to stop, and not having the bills covered for that month can have a snowball effect for the next month and so forth, leaving you with potential rent arrears missed morgage payments. the best way to deal with the issue is to hit it dead on have a very honest talk with your partner, spell out your fears and take charge of the finances
Get him to join a gambling exclusion site. I used Gamstop ,and now can’t have an online betting account for 6 years. And even after that I have to contact them to cancel the block.
I tried everything else, but the urge of the next win was too big, now it’s not in my hands anymore , I’m blocked and there’s nothing I can do about it, and it’s brilliant. To have savings again .