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Worried about my boyfriend

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#1 Posted on:
Thu, 24/01/2019 - 15:04

Sparkes81

Joined:
2019-01-21

Hi,

This is my first post.  I've been with my boyfriend just over a year but I am at the point I may have to walk away to save myself.

I knew he has money problems when we met and he has since gone bankrupt after racking up tens of thousands before I knew him, robbing off peter to pay paul, excessive spending and I knew some gambling.

Since I've known him he had a few big wins but the money just seemed to evaporate.  Recently with the money problems getting worse he's resorted togambling to try and increase cashflow, instead of doing that he's blown whole paypackets on payday.  I loaned him money to try and get him on an even keel.  Always promises that he's going to be better with money, not blow it etc.  In the last 6 months I've pretty much paid for everything and he owes me a small fortune on top of that.  He blows money on himself and is always skint with me picking up the tab, I thought the gambling was just desperation but its got out of hand.  He was doing online slots and recently moved to football betting.  Promised me not to do slots anymore.....He's been getting increasingly irritable with the betting and increasingly obsessed, constantly checking football scores, always on his phone on betting apps.  He asked me to look after his money this month but one day he  had access to my card (his bank account was frozen) he went through almost every penny he had.  We then went out one night and the next day I realised he'd bet £50 he didnt have in the betting app attached to my card, I was irritated but as I held his cash he just said he thought he had more left.  Last Saturday night with not a penny left and after I'd explicitly refused to loan him money he transferred a large amount from my card onto the betting up, football and slots (so much for that promise).  I am beyond furious and devestated that he would steal from me.  Al I get is the constant promises to change but the time has come for actions.

He shares a flat and between him and his flat mate they have both lost and owe thousands.  Add to it a bit of casual class a drug use and its a nightmare.  On his last gambling binge he was left with a £30 tab to a horrible individual for drugs which I stupidly paid to stop him being hurt.

 

All my friends say to leave him and that he's a leach etc but I do love him and aside from arging about this and the associated selfish behaviour we do get on so well.

After he stole from me I issued him an ultimatum. ETA *I've given him a 2 week deadline* Seek professional help (he has admitted he has a problem) and give notice on his flat or I am leaving him.  I will not back down as I'm already being made miserable so it can only get worse without changes and I cant have this in my life.  He doesnt understand why the environment he lives in is contributing but its when he is there and they influence each other the damage is worse.  I want him to help himself and only have his best interests at heart.  I wanted to speak to his parents (I dont know them at all really) but he begged me not to saying his Dad would disown him, this is the only part I've backed down on..........for now.

 

I dont really think anyone can tell me what I dont already know, I;ve told him I'll be sad to leave him but I cant carry on like this and wont be dragged down with him drowning.  Is there any hope.  I know ultimatums arent ideal but it is basically so I can make a choice as to whether to continue with my emotional support.

 

Thanks

 

Posted on:
Thu, 24/01/2019 - 15:13

Marypoppins

Joined:
2019-01-17

I dont really think anyone can tell me what I dont already know, I;ve told him I'll be sad to leave him but I cant carry on like this and wont be dragged down with him drowning.  Is there any hope.  I know ultimatums arent ideal but it is basically so I can make a choice as to whether to continue with my emotional support.

 

you have answere it yourself, I think you have tried, nothing you say or threat is stopping him and if I’m honest, he doesn’t seem too bothered!  

Posted on:
Thu, 24/01/2019 - 15:20

Sparkes81

Joined:
2019-01-21

I get tears, self loathing, promises to change, telling me how much I mean to him, how he wants to be a better man for me.  That he only gambles so he can win money to treat me............having read a fair few posts now it all sounds familiar.

I have given him 2 weeks and from what he's said he is looking into finding somewhere else to live- though the suggestion was initially met with hostility and him telling me I was blackmailing him into leaving his home,  I do think he is bothered but I guess I'll see how bothered.  I literally couldnt have done more to help him if  tried.  Even bought his car back from the bankruptcy service.  We just go round in circles.  There has to be a change or I'm done.

 

Posted on:
Thu, 24/01/2019 - 16:04

Marypoppins

Joined:
2019-01-17

Good luck to you, stick to your guns, there are no children involved. Go and live your life the way you deserve. All gamblers tell lies, some on a small scale some on an extortionate scale. If you were my daughter I would beg you to get out x

Posted on:
Thu, 24/01/2019 - 16:29

Sparkes81

Joined:
2019-01-21

I actually have 2 children but they are mine.  I left my ex husband because he was a lazy selfish waste of space (but not a gambler) I have a good job and my own home and no financial ties to this man other than the money he owes me but I will cut my losses if need be - I could take his car back to compensate a little.  I do see the man he is capable of being but until he helps himself and makes those changes he is just a drain on my emotions and finances- money I should be spending on my children!

 

I hope he has enough reflection to fight for us but I am too weary.  It will hurt like hell to leave him but if I dont stand strong its only prolonging the inevitable cycle of broken lies and trust and I'll despise him.

Posted on:
Thu, 24/01/2019 - 16:36

Marypoppins

Joined:
2019-01-17

You are so wise, good luck, hope all goes well x

Posted on:
Thu, 24/01/2019 - 16:46

Firesteve999

Joined:
2018-12-16

You sound like a very wise amazing woman and your partner obviously doesnt realise how lucky he is. Give him a little more time to either (a) prove himself to you or (b) give him enough rope to hang himself. You get one shot at this life, you obviously work extremely hard and sound like a fantastic mum. Dont sell yourself short and live with the emotional and financial black hole you are currently with. You sound like you deserve so much better. All the best however it turns out xxx

Posted on:
Thu, 24/01/2019 - 17:27

Walliss77

Joined:
2019-01-18

Hi Sparkes81,

I was a gambling addict for 23yrs and spent the last 10yrs of my gambling life promising my wife the world and delivering nothing when it came to change. I was very manipulative in order to keep my buzz alive. I took out endless loans in mine and my wife's name towards the end and caused my wife to have an emotional break down due to the fear and anxiety she had to live with. No one can say whether your partner is at the point of change but his actions aren't really showing it at present. I had to reach the point of considering suicide for me to get the help I needed so that I was free of this obsession/compulsion. Im pleased to say that my wife and myself are currently living a happy, joyous and free life 9yrs on from my last bet. The road to recovery is far from easy but it's absolutely possible to achieve with the right support to enable change.

As other people have said it's ultimately your choice but please don't keep threatening things and not following through because he'll know he can just continue and you'll live with it.

I really wish you all the best and hope you continue to post updates and use this site for support. X

Posted on:
Thu, 24/01/2019 - 17:54

Sparkes81

Joined:
2019-01-21

Thanks for all your comments! I have no intention on not following through. I have inadvertently enabled him enough. I set a deadline because I know that I have a soft heart and it's doing me and him no favours. If he can't grow a back bone then I must. Ultimately even if I leave I hope being alone will be enough to make him come to his senses but I've come to realise the only person whose choices and happiness I am responsible for is my own. Looking at the stages he has not progressed as far as he might but stealing or "borrowing " as he see a it from me is my bottom line. I do understand it's an illness. My mum passed away from cancer nearly 3 years ago and I've had to overcome a lot to drag myself out of my own self destruction but that's taught me only I can make the choice and same with him. He has all the love and support in the world sat here waiting for him but he needs to take that opportunity. I have told a number of friends about everything and my ultimatum so I won't be able to back down. I'm not prepared to be addicted to him

Posted on:
Thu, 24/01/2019 - 18:48

Merry go round

Joined:
2017-06-08

Hi sparkes81 if you read around the family and friends forum you will see that many partners ask theirs cgs to seek help. The person who needs help is you. He doesn't need to stop because you are sorting everything out  for him. There are no consequences to his gambling. He will gamble with or without his flat mate. He probably doesn't want you to speak to his family because they already know or have also lent him money. Basic rules are to not give a gambler money, don't pay debts, don't pay their share. This is all enabling. A compulsive gambler is a liar, a manipulator, a charmer, a thief. You've done a lot of helping in a year. If you really want to know how to help him recover you need to find a gamanon meeting and stop the cycle of behaviour that you are participating in.

Posted on:
Thu, 24/01/2019 - 19:58

Sparkes81

Joined:
2019-01-21

Thanks Merry go round. I take all that on board and I have made mistakes but no more. The flat mate has a lovely little coke habit that he hates indulging in alone.....fuel to the fire. I'm by no means an angel but together it is a toxic combination and far too much temptation. His family have a big holiday booked he's meant to go on.....He's not paid a penny yet and will have to come clean soon enough

Posted on:
Thu, 24/01/2019 - 20:29

Merry go round

Joined:
2017-06-08

I really feel for you. I've been married to a compulsive gambler for 20 years. We only learn by our mistakes. You are not to blame and in any other situation you would not need to lend your boyfriend money. Stop giving him money, paying his share and see what happens. Sometimes other addictions come along too. It's an emotional illness and not deliberate to hurt you. 

Posted on:
Thu, 24/01/2019 - 22:03

Caseyjay

Joined:
2019-01-02

Good luck sparkes, keep us updated with how things are going. 

X

Posted on:
Fri, 25/01/2019 - 09:42

Sparkes81

Joined:
2019-01-21

Well..........he spoke to someone at Gamcare yesterday evening.  He said he went through everything including taking my money (I fully expect he dressed this up) and would consider himself a problem gambler but not necessarily addicted.  I lost the plot a bit.  He seems to think that he can carry on doing small football bets and shop betting is ok but the online gambling is the issue (I can see how this is the easiest way to lose more more quickly but........).  I told him no.  The way he's been with just limiting himself to football betting recently has been frankly boring and grumpy.  Weekends spent in the pub with him constantly checking the scores on his phone (I'm happy to watch a match but this is obsessive behaviour with the constant checking) and the mood swings if even 20 mins into the game its not going his way (often football accumulators).  I working in a betting shop for years whilst at university so I've seen all sorts.  I said hes becoming boring and intolerable to be around, his putting gambling first and constantly letting me down, sponging money is too much.  I have insisted he go to a meeting (this was part of my ultimatum) and offered to go with him/meet him after.  I'm afraid when he tried to talk to me I just snapped.  He is meant to be getting some money today for some work he did for a friend (payday next week) and I'm already anxious about this evening. Every penny should be coming to me but as weve not made plans yet I can see him sat in his flat blowing the lot and/or sticking some of it up his nose.  I shouldnt have to worry about him being alone.  I told him I'm losing respect for him and he's shown very little towards me.  He's been with me everyday this week (cynically I think to get fed) and now I know he might have access to cash I'm expecting a dissapearing act.  Everyone should be allowed thier own space but I just dont trust him on his own.  I'm not expecting anything from this just wanted to get it out

Posted on:
Fri, 25/01/2019 - 11:05

Merry go round

Joined:
2017-06-08

Hi sparkes he doesn't want to stop. Why are you so desperate to help him? You've said you're not getting anything back. He's boring. He's constantly checking scores. What do you want in a partner? While he's behaving like this you are not having a normal healthy relationship. He sounds like he's quite a way along the road of addiction. Gamcare don't encourage complete abstinence, I've had counselling as a partner. In my experience and opinion this isn't realistic for a compulsive gambler. There is no point in setting time limits or ultimatums. Today is the only day that matters. My husband was similar when we first met, he bet on the football. He just became secretive. He continued for 20 years. Life with an addict is tough. You can't control him. He is manipulating you. If he does go out without you tonight what will you do? We all think it's up to the gambler to stop and to change. What are you going to stop doing? What are you going to change? I'm not having a go at you, I want you to think about yourself and your actions. You aren't happy, you're on a website for problem gamblers and their f&f. I've just read back through this thread and he's got money problems, bankrupt? He's never going to pay you back. Arguing and demanding certain behaviour from him will drive his compulsion. These were your first words "This is my first post.  I've been with my boyfriend just over a year but I am at the point I may have to walk away to save myself."  You don't trust him in his own? You can call gamcare too and talk to someone. Don't feel guilty. 

Posted on:
Fri, 25/01/2019 - 11:19

Sparkes81

Joined:
2019-01-21

I am with him because I love him and know underneath the horrible person he's becoming is a kind gentle amzing person.  I think this is all me disconnecting myself from him to be honest.  He did say he wants to stop but thinks he can control it himself.  Its interesting Gamcare dont promote complete abstinance I wasnt aware of that so shall do some more research.  I appreciate how contradictory I sound.  I love the man I met but the man he is becoming..........He is now debt free due to the bankruptcy I do believe if he could manage his finances/I manage them that he'll pay me back.........unfortunately paying me back and "treating " me are his main motivations for trying to win money.  I have said "you never win because you never stop".  I'm not arguing either by the way just trying to make sense of whats going on in my head.  The ultimatum I made was for my benefit mostly.  I never said "never gamble again" just to seek help and to try and help himself by removing himself from an environment where he is daily exposed to the very things he professes to want to avoid..........like an alcoholic in early recovery running a pub.  They arent false threats, my support is there based on his wanting to help himself.  I am now researched enough to know without his desire for change I am just wasting my time and energy.  The time limit was to give him time to think and put his numerous words into action, if its not already too late to salvage anything between us.

I think I must have a messiah complex

Posted on:
Fri, 25/01/2019 - 11:58

Merry go round

Joined:
2017-06-08

The bankruptcy has set him free. Compulsive gambling is not about money. It's self medicating. It's the inability to cope with real life where they become numb. The problem is it comes with damage. Not only financially but mentally too. He cannot return to it at a later date, this is forever. Get some help for you as you may find you constantly repeat the same behaviour in every relationship past and present. We all deserve happiness. The point I'm trying to make is that if you don't change you will stay in this relationship repeatedly making mistakes. 

Posted on:
Fri, 25/01/2019 - 12:33

Sparkes81

Joined:
2019-01-21

Thanks and point taken.  I was in a prior relationship for 13 years, married for 8.  Although there were no addictions I am aware that I give too much to the point there is a lack of balance. I left that relationship because I wanted and deserved more.  This relationship is very different but the similarities that do exist I can see but there has been a slow decline to the point I'm at now.  I'm not sure how much of me stays for love and the fear of starting all over again again. I think I  just need to get the thoughts straight in my head.  Its such a shame, it started with such great potential and I thought this was the big love of my life (the connection and feelings are so much stronger than with my ex husband) and I'm crushingly disappointed that its turning out like this.  I need to take responsibility for my own hapiness and wellbeing.  I hate to give up but I cant force acknowledgement and recovery so the control freak in me needs to let go.

Posted on:
Fri, 25/01/2019 - 13:34

Merry go round

Joined:
2017-06-08

It's not about giving up it's about looking after yourself. You've done enough. You have a choice. 

Posted on:
Fri, 25/01/2019 - 14:32

Marypoppins

Joined:
2019-01-17

MGR is right, you have done enough, he is reating you like a mug!

 

Posted on:
Mon, 28/01/2019 - 14:16

Sparkes81

Joined:
2019-01-21

So he is going to his first GA meeting tonight.  Despite all thats been said I am glad he's going.  I'm not sure if it will make a difference but I'm hoping hearing other people's stories might resonate.  I showed him this post, he looked shell shocked. Whatever happens I hope he can help himself and not ruin his life.  I think he is also going to move out of his flat and look to finding other activities to fill his time.  I know noone else is responsble for his actions but being constantly in an environment that is encouraging drugs and gambling cant help.  Not really looking for a response I just wanted to get it out.  Despite everything I love and care for the lovely gentle man who's in there somewhere under the gambler.

Posted on:
Mon, 28/01/2019 - 15:36

Marypoppins

Joined:
2019-01-17

At least he is now making an effort. See how it goes sparkles81, good luck!

Posted on:
Mon, 28/01/2019 - 17:09

mccawpa

Joined:
2017-02-24

If he does it again or you catch him again, imo it's time to go take care of you and the kids. He's had so many chances. Don't let him walk over you. Ok that's probably harsh but you have the kids to think of. I wish you well.

Posted on:
Mon, 28/01/2019 - 21:45

Marcella

Joined:
2018-12-27

Hey sparkes81. I am in no position to offer you advice and would not dream of it. I gambled for 30 years and hid it from almost everybody. I did tell my partner (now ex) and she was very supportive. I told her her I was going to ga but never went as I was kidding myself I was not a compulsive gambler. She could never trust me, with good reason, and things were never the same. We lasted about another year and then went our separate ways. She is now happy in another relationship with a future. As a compulsive gambler I could never give her that. She always said that when I told her about my gambling she should have left straight away...and I agree with her. I would say do what is right for you and your children. Don't get dragged down with something that is out of your control. A compulsive gambler will always manipulate the situation to their own ends. Remember, you are not to blame. Stay strong.

Posted on:
Mon, 28/01/2019 - 23:11

urgh

Joined:
2010-09-05

Honestly, there is no way in hell your boyfriend will not screw you over again, he is not ready to change, and he needs to want to change for himself, not because of someone else. That is why this will fail. Recovery is so so hard and he is so far away from recovery it is a joke. Please take this from someone who has a problem.

I really hope you can make the right decision for you.

Posted on:
Wed, 06/02/2019 - 14:50

Sparkes81

Joined:
2019-01-21

Thanks to the advice from Gamcare he decided not to abstain and just do football bets..........which then returned to slots because he wanted to prove to himself he could "control" it - he's pathetic, been breaking promises lying and despite coming out of GA positive then starts back tracking.  I've got myself in a bind because of my ultimatum (which he adhered to) and he moves out of his flat Friday- meant to be staying in my home so I could help him.  That's a joke.  I dont expect any words of wisdom because I know this is a total mess and I should just get rid right now.  I am trying to detach myself.  When he's with me he's one person and away from me another entirely. Jekyl and Hyde. Urghhhh I'm so fed up I'm in this situation and so angry with him and annoyed with myself.

Posted on:
Wed, 06/02/2019 - 23:17

Cynical wife

Joined:
2015-06-23

He’s meant to be staying in my home so I can help him? Red flag.

Why do you feel the need to help him at your own expense? He’s not a toddler and you’re not his mother. Mature adults can take care of themselves. There may be interdependence where two complete adults both decide to share a life and everything is mutual. One person sucking the life out of another and the second person allowing it or even seeking it is dysfunctional. 

If you are whole and you know who you are, what you stand for, what your values are, what your dreams and goals are, from that position you could decide if he fits in and where. 

Make it about you, not him. He’ll survive. And so will you.

CW

Posted on:
Thu, 07/02/2019 - 09:54

Sparkes81

Joined:
2019-01-21

Wise words. Thanks CW I have a better frame of mind today.  I spoke to gamcare and I'm going to have some counselling myself.  My first husband (who I left eventually) and I had a very different relationship but there are similar traits that stand out - me always giving, trying to be a rescuer whilst he swung between persecutor and victim (if you know that triangle?).  I dont know where this desire to fix has come from- perhaps low self esteem wanting them to feel endebted to me? I'm going to check out CODA as well.  I need to fix me....oxygen masks and all that.