I've just signed up to this and have asked for the max 5 year ban to self exclude myself.
Basically, it all started in April. I've always had a bet on the football, £5 here or £10 there. Never won big but it was something that made it more exciting every weekend.
Then in April I went on the slots. Almost straight away I won. I thought 'wow, this is easy'. To cut a long story short, I sit here now, 5 months later and have lost nearly everything. I don't know ow the exact figures, I am too scared to work it out, but it is at least £10000 and more.
I got a personal loan out to cover some of the damage I have done. That has basically been put back into these sites.
The heart breaking thing is, I don't know why I started gambling like this. I have been with my wife for 16 years, we had no debt, we are not rich but had enough to live without any major worries. I've wrecked all that in the space of 5 months.
I spent 5 hours last night googling ways to get 'free' money. I thought surely someone out there who is rich would help someone out. That's how much this has messed with my mental health.
My wife doesn't know. I honestly can't tell her. We have a joint account and until now I've managed to cover it up. She doesn't check it all the time, she doesn't really stress about money as she's not materialistic, but this would break her heart. Everything we've worked for down the drain. My fear if I tell her, is I would lose her. She thought about a month ago I was having an affair. I have been very vacant, moody, lost over a stone and basically have switched off. I feel like an empty shell, devoid of feelings other than this constant sickness knowing what I have done and the damage I've caused.
I have spoke to family, asked for financial help, but none of them are willing to. In a way, I understand, I caused this I have to fix it. However, I don't think anyone who has not been in this situation can even begin to relate to just what it does to you. I said to my Dad, its like the money isn't real. If someone out £10k in my hand and pushed me into a bookies, no way would I bet it. But online, £50, £100, £200 every few minutes doesn't seem reality.
I know I have to fix what I've done. It will take a while, I have a job so have a constant income and don't live lavishly. I just wish, with every single shred of my being, I could turn the clock back to April and undo all this. Its turned me into a wreck, I don't enjoy anything anymore, work is a struggle, I constantly work out how many days till next pay day but worst of all, and this is killing me, is to look at my wife, the woman I love so bloody much it hurts, but to not be able to tell her because she wouldn't understand and if I lost her, and probably my 14 year old lad in the process, I'm frightened of what I'd do to myself.
Hopefully today is the first step. I want to stop, I need to stop. I just hope going forward I can fix the broken man I currently am.
As hard as it is, you have to accept that the money is gone - there is nothing that you can do that will change that.
It is also a difficult situation to face, but you need to tell your wife what has happened. If she finds out by herself (which she will eventually) it makes it a lot harder to deal with. Especially if you have already confided in other people as it adds to the distrust (I am speaking for personal experience on this). Sit down with the wife and explain what happens; to an extent you have been lucky as you still have the house/job etc - a lot of people end up loosing everything. Your wife will be annoyed for a bit, but relationships are salvagable if you are honest. Don't let her find out by looking through the bank statements etc.
Hello Spav and welcome to the forum.
We Understand! You are not the first person thats done this and you wont be the last.
There is a way forward for you and you must accept that you have done that and the money is not coming back by gambling. Gambling is not for you. Its a highly addictive drug addiction, a mugs game and a vice.
The slots are the crystal meth of gambling and we understand how you gave in to temptation and then gambled to extinction.
You have to start a full recovery and get some monitoring. The secret will eat you up inside. Can you talk to your father for example?
Im afraid that the truth sets you free with this addiction. You wife will find out eventually...sooner rather than later.
You need some help and there is no shame in that. You also need protecting from yourself so no more loans and someone should be looking after the bulk of your money while you have no access to the joint account.
You can not make yourself totally ill over this and its a vicious spiral. I dont know your finances but you can get financial advice. You will find if you are honest with your loved ones it will be easier in the long run. There is probably a financial solution if you are open and honest about protecting others from your addiction as you recover
Treasure your job and try and do more work,,,try a second job in the short term. Your job is how you do earn money so try and go in with a smile on your face
You could write a letter explaining what you intend to do to recover. Its not about treating you like a baby but you will be living on a small allowance providing receipts as you heal and realise your relationships are the only important thing.
There is a way forward...Talk to people.
You can never be complacent about this again. Its hard to give you easy answers but you just cant give up and if you can maintain a quality of life for your wife and son you are doing well...Bond again! buy them something when you can. Im sure they love you
Best wishes from everyone on the forum
The best advice I can give you is this. Right now where you are you can not and should not be doing this alone. The whole thing about fixing things/making it right again is like getting an unwilling lift even further down that road you should not be traveling. No use chasing. Cash will never come back by gambling. You need someone to take over your accounts while you get some help. Nasty but true the only one who can will be your wife or another immediate family. You want to face up to be an addict then relinquish all your economy so you can focus on your rehab because if you don't you may end up back here - wife and a whole lot less money than you did before. See it as a poisoned circle. You can not trust your own mind right now. See it as highjacked. When you have had some time away you can start again. We will be here to give you all the support we can.
You've done the right thing coming to the forum as there are lots of people on here who can give good advice and relate to your situation. You're not alone. Good that you have excluded for 5 years too.
I echo everything that was said above. As tough as it is, the money has gone, but you have started to put blocks in place and admitted you have a problem. These are steps in the right direction and a way to start moving forward.
As hard as it is, I advise you to tell your wife. I found out by chance that my husband was a gambler and it was one of the worst moments of my life. I honestly think I would have found it easier to cope with if he had owned up.
It sounds like your wife has already noticed a change in you. Once I found out, so many other things that I had noticed before fell into place.
I can't speak for your wife but relationships can survive. I was really angry and hurt initially but once I found out more about the addiction, I forgave my husband and I have stood by him. Reading posts on here really helped me.
My husband said he felt a huge sense of relief once everything was finally out in the open and we have faced things together.
Things may seem unbearable now, but time is a great healer. Things can get better.
Good luck with everything.
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