just joined up a morning after coming clean about my latest gambling misdemeanours...I’m really in a bad place so any help would be much appreciated.
it all started about 3 years ago, I’ve always gambled to a social degeee, odd fiver here and there, but nothing too bad, then three years ago the worst thing happened...I won big. From a *** game I won nearly *** and my relationship with problem gambling begun. The problem is when you win that amount, the next win seems so easy and the money becomes irrelevant. Over the next 16 months I regularly deposited anywhere between ***-*** every month. Most months I’d break even or have a little win, but when I had a bad month they would cost me close to £500-£1000 and I just felt sick with worry every day. Eventually as we were going through a mortgage application I had to come clean and told my wife everything....she was devastated. It shook her world upside down. I was at my lowest ebb and was suicidal. It was a really bleak time. This was July 18. From that day I took positive actions, blocks on sites, attending GA etc. I didn’t even think about gambling and as a result took my eye off the ball. I stopped attending GA in Jan.
Recently I’ve had a bit of work related stress coupled with a friend who is an active gambler who told me of a huge win he’d had. After 14 months for some reason I decided to take advantage of an offer and deposited £10 - this was three weeks ago. It didn’t just stop at £10 and over the course of three weeks I had gambled and lost £300. I’ve been racked with guilt and embarrassment. I knew I had to tell my wife. She’s been incredible since the last time and I knew she had the right to know. So last night I told her.
she was hurt. Really hurt. She understands the slip but not why I haven’t told her. She’s currently 12 weeks pregnant and I really didn’t want to add to stress, plus face up to what I’ve done (if I’m truthful). After an emotional night, my marriage and family is truly on the line. I can’t believe I’ve put her through this especially at this time, but I really couldn’t keep it to myself. She has said that she doesn’t want me at the scan tomorrow and she doesn’t know how we move on.
ive tried today to take positive steps - Gamban, Gamstop, Local counsellor set up. Would appreciate any advice about how to rebuild what I’ve lost. I really am low , I worry if the scan isn’t good news tomo she will rightly blame me and I see this as the end of us and the end of me. I couldn’t live with that.
Thank you for opening up in your post, things sound extremely difficult for you and your wife at the moment. Please know you’re not in this alone and we’re here to offer support, advice and guidance to you both in a non- judgmental, safe place.
I’m concerned to hear you’re in a bad place and want to reassure you that no matter how severe things are now, we can help you work through it. It’s often a very scary thought when we think about opening up to loved ones, you found the strength to do this which is a really brave step that you have taken and it shows great strength of character. Although we don’t know what the future will bring, you do know that you’ve being as honest and open as you can be with your wife and she now knows the full extent of everything. There’s no more having to hide things, hopefully you feel a little release from the burden of keeping it to yourself?
You’ve also reached out to us for help and to our supportive Forum community which is another brave step in the right direction so well done.
Please remember that there is hope and people do go on to achieve becoming gamble free, you yourself have achieved this before and I have every faith that you can go on to achieve this again. It can be challenging as you know, however, there is so much support here for you and we really do want to help you every step of the way.
Perhaps you can think back to the coping strategies that you found helped you last time and put these in place again? I can see you found attending your local Gamblers Anonymous meetings helped, please access their website to find your local class if you feel ready and want to attend again.
It’s also very important to have other hobbies and interests to help occupy spare time and bring some structure and routine when you have free time to yourself.
I must congratulate you on your fourteen months gamble free, although I know you are feeling in a dark place, it’s very important that you don’t allow this relapse to make you forget how very hard you worked to achieve those gamble free months and that you can do this again!
Please remember how important you are and how it’s vital that you look after your own wellbeing, practice good self-care and keep opening up to your support network including us here at GamCare. We’d urge you to make an appointment with your GP to access their help too, you can ring the NHS 111 for further advice or attend your local emergency care at hospital if you require urgent medical attention . You may benefit from talking one on one, please feel free to access our netline via our website or call our helpline on 0808 8020 133, day or night.
Your wife can also access an online meeting that is specifically for the Family and Friends of problem gamblers, it's held every Sunday from 8pm until 9pm.
I wish you and your wife all the best for your twelve week scan tomorrow. Sending positive thoughts and strength your way.
Take Care and all the best,