Get practical support with your gambling problem Forum Friends and Family Advice please….I don’t know what to do

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  • #4683
    ChloeB
    Participant

    Hiya. I am new on here. I’ve been with my partner for a around 6 months and last week I discovered he had stolen £4000 from my credit card over the space of a few months. I rarely check the online statement as I hardly use the card. Initially he stated he had taken the money to pay debts and he had told me about this (which he hadnt) but then later admitted to having a gambling problem. He states that he has never done this before or in other relationships and denies other debts. He stated it was just easy access to money and he lost control of taking money out. He obviously hoped to pay it back before I realised. He showed me his bank statements and there was nothing obvious on there around gambling and he is paying his bills etc. He is very apologetic and swears he will pay it back and never do it again. But I just can’t get past that he stole money and lied about it initially. I love him but I just don’t know what to do. Many thanks x

    #4684
    velvet
    Moderator

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    Hello Chloe

    Thanks for starting a thread in the Gambling Therapy friends and family forum. This forum will provide you with warmth and understanding from your peers.

    Feel free to use the friends and family group, you’ll find the times for these if you click on the “Group times” box on our Home page. Now that you have introduced yourself you’ll find that many of the people you meet here have already read your initial introduction and they’ll welcome you in like an old friend 🙂

    If you’re the friend or family member of someone who is either in, or has been through, the GMA residential programme please take extra care to make sure that nothing you say in groups, or on our forums, inadvertently identifies that person. Even if your loved one isn’t connected with GMA, please don’t identify them either directly or indirectly just in case they decide to use the site themselves.

    You’ll find a lot of advice on this site, some of which you’ll follow, some you won’t…but that’s ok because only you fully understand your
    situation and what’s best for you and the people you love. So, take the support you need and leave the advice you don’t because it all comes from a caring, nurturing place 🙂

    We look forward to hearing all about you!

    Take care

    The Gambling Therapy Team


    PS: Let me just remind you to take a look at our

    privacy policy and terms and conditions so you know how it all works!

    #4685
    velvet
    Moderator

    Hi Chloe
    This has obviously all come as a terrible shock to you so well done coming here and writing your first post.
    I can’t tell you what to do because all decisions have to be yours but knowledge of this addiction will give you power over it and help you make informed decisions that are right for you.
    My instinct on reading your post led me to think that this behaviour is not new to your partner but obviously I can’t ‘know’ that for sure. Unfortunately the nature of the addiction to gamble is usually a cocktail of lies and deceit so I think the first and most important thing for you to take on board is that it is very unwise to trust your partner especially as he can’t trust himself at the moment. I think it is important to protect your finances by putting them into your sole name, covered by a pin to which he has no access.
    If your partner is compulsive, he will not have asked for or wanted his addiction anymore than you would. If he is not already compulsive, he undoubtedly has a serious problem and the sooner he seeks help the better before it turns into a full blown addiction.
    Having been caught with his hand in the till I suspect your partner will be full of remorse and promises – all of which, in my opinion he will probably believe. It is what he does now that matters. We have excellent support for CGs (compulsive gamblers) on this site including an amazing Helpline which is one-to-one and anonymous, there is GA (gamblers anonymous) which offer s good support with great success – in other words to prove he is truly remorseful he should be wanting to take physical steps towards seeking support.
    It would be good to ‘meet’ you on Tuesday between 20.00-21.00 hours UK time in the F&F group – nothing said in the group appears on the forum. I am not going to write anymore in this first post Chloe although there is a lot more to tell you but I will wait for you to post again so that I can ascertain how you are feeling because your feelings are very, very important.
    Velvet

    #4686
    ChloeB
    Participant

    Hiya. Thanks so much for your reply. It’s helped me confirm some of my doubts. All my finances are in my name only, I just trusted him to have my pin number. He no longer has access to my cards or pin numbers. I worry about him taking out loans etc in my name but I’m not sure what I can do about that.
    He says he is going to GA meeting tonight but if I’m honest, I don’t believe he will or he will lie and tell me he has.
    What’s breaking my heart the most is that we should be getting married in Dec and my family have welcomed him in and love him. Of all places, we are getting married in las vegas!! I just feel like I’m being taken as an idiot or an easy way of getting money. He swears he has never gambled like that before or stole money etc etc but I just don’t believe him. I love him so much but I’m so angry and hurt and I just don’t know if I am strong enough to do this after reading a lot of the other forum posts. Thanks again for your reply

    #4687
    vera
    Participant

    I would suggest, Chloe, that when your boyfriend goes to GA, that you go to Gamanon, the “sister” Group to gain extra support for YOU.
    They will give you Twenty Questions to answer, and your guy will get 20 Qs from GA.
    A starting point to regain your trust, could be to go through those questions together and tick them off honestly.
    One question addresses “obtaining money illegally”. Stealing from your credit card is an illegal act, Chloe so don’t allow him to whitewash that, regardless of your love for him. If anyone else stole from your CC, I guess you would report it to the bank/police!
    As for your marriage plans….can you marry somebody you don’t trust?
    Why not go for joint counselling now to get back on tract before you make a final commitment.
    Gamblers can be very loving, charming, convincing, persuasive, and apologetic.
    Gamblers can also be devious, manipulative, distrustful, deceitful and ruthless.
    I know this, because I am a compulsive gambler.

    #4688
    velvet
    Moderator

    Hi Chloe
    The only reason a CG would want to go to Las Vegas is to gamble!
    Vera is right. If compulsive gamblers were not charming they wouldn’t find enablers.
    You can get the GA 20 questions of the gamblers anonymous website – I think it is an excellent guide.
    You are not necessarily being taken for an idiot – CGs can and do fall in love, the problem is ascertaining what is truth and what is not and that is the dilemma you have. If it was me Chloe I would postpone any wedding plans until I had seen proof of commitment to a gamble-free life and this can take a long time – maybe years. Marriages have to be worked at, they require time and dedication but active CGs have neither the time nor the ability to dedicate themselves fully to another person – the ‘gamble’ is their driving force. Many people who are married to CGs describe the addiction as ‘the mistress’ – a selfish, cruel, all-consuming monster who takes all the good things out of a relationship and leaves a trail of misery and despair. Not a happy picture.
    I know that many will disagree with me but maybe you could go with your partner to GA and see him safely in – I did this and then I waited for ages to make sure he didn’t come out. If your partner does go then it is ok to ask him how the meeting went and you can always write here what he says – this forum is quite good at dissembling what is lip-service and what is not.
    What do you know about his history? How old is he? Do you know and get on with his parents and siblings? Have you met his friends? Does he have interests and hobbies? These are all things that I would want to know, if I was you, so that I could paint a fuller picture.
    I would never suggest you leave your partner or stay with him – the final decision is yours but If you are unsure about how strong you are to face this addiction then I suggest you do nothing rather than plunge in, in the hope that love conquers all – I’m sorry to say it doesn’t!. Tough though it is you cannot save your partner, only he can do that and he has to want to do it with every fibre of his being.
    I hope you can talk calmly to your family and maybe pass on what you are reading here. Unfortunately most people are unaware of this addiction and the usual ‘support’ offered is to say ‘leave him/her’ because they are afraid for the person they love – but of course it doesn’t help you if you love the CG.. However on this site you can be sure of judgement free support.
    If he takes out loans in your name then that is fraud and I hope you would know what to do about that.
    I do know that the addiction to gamble can be controlled; I do know that many CGs who live in control of their addiction live full and fruitful lives but a lot has to happen to make this possible.
    Keep posting Chloe – your last post was more positive, you are asking yourself the right questions.
    Velvet

    #4689
    ChloeB
    Participant

    Hiya. Thank you both for your advice. I’m really just struggling to keep myself together at the moment. I know that people have been through a lot more than me, I’m just in shock and heart broken. Thanks again, I will keep posting, I just need some time. I feel so embarrassed and ashamed x

    #4690
    velvet
    Moderator

    Dear Chloe
    Heartbreaks and the pain that goes with them are not comparable – each individual member on this site matters and your heartbreak and shock is as important as any other.
    I am glad you have said you will keep posting because threads become like journals so that when you look back on them you can track your progress – and we all need to make progress.
    Shame and embarrassment will hold your recovery back – you could not have known that which your partner’s addiction did not want you to know. There is absolutely nothing for you to be ashamed or embarrassed about
    Whatever you decide to do will be understood I assure you, so keep posting and maybe drop into an F&F group on Tuesdays – you will be very welcome
    Velvet

    #4691
    theone12221
    Participant

    Hey Chloe as someone on the other side with the gambling problem, I can give you a little bit of perspective (though I never stole from my gf to gamble).

    We gamblers feel really alone and though we hide it all we REALLY wished we could confess all of our problems to someone we trust. My gf was destroyed when I first told her of my problem but her sticking with me over the last year or so has helped immensely with my recovery. However, know that every gambler is different and unfortunately some may never fully recover or continue their self-defeating ways until everything is gone.

    You have to make a choice. Can you handle the pressure of being a supporter and guardian? Whilst knowing that your future may be severely dependent on whether your partner can recover. Your financial and psychological well-being will be precarious durinf the recovery process. Every relapse will also be a big blow to you. I ask you to give it a bit of time and see if you truly believe your partner is ready to quit, take over his finances if possible. How long you continue the fight will depend on your personal beliefs as well as the will of your partner to really quit gambling. If he truly cares for you that will be a gamble he should not ever risk taking again.

    #4692
    Laila
    Participant

    Hi Chloe. Hope you are doing ok. I am the ex-partner of a CG, and would advise you to be very careful about going ahead with any further commitment in your relationship. As compulsive gambling is a progressive ‘disease’ I am suspicious of your partner’s claim that he has never had an issue with gambling before (if that’s what he meant from your original comment), and would be wary of his claim that there are no other debts (though I hope that he’s telling the truth).

    My boyfriend of a little over 2 years moved out of our home last month telling me he’d ran up a significant amount of debt (over £10k) on gambling using payday loans/credit cards etc, which I knew nothing about up until that point. None of the debt is in my name, and I don’t really knew if the amount of debt is accurate- but I found post to him from Stepchange (a debt support agency) after he’d gone, so it must have been pretty bad. His parents are now supporting him to get help. Last year he admitted to me that he had ran up some credit card debt on gambling (apparently a much lower amount of money- I say ‘apparently’ as I am guessing that some of the debt was hidden), and I thought he had paid it off before the end of last year. I was shocked then, but wanted to try and work things out and give him a chance. Because he made light of it and I didn’t realise how serious his problem was (there was no issue with bills etc, as all was being paid out from my account) I didn’t even suggest that he get some help at the time.

    I’m kicking myself now. Also annoyed with myself that I didn’t pick up that his mood swings and low mood generally were a sign that something wasn’t right. He didn’t steal any money from us, he never even borrowed money from me. When he walked out on me he said I was better off without him and he’s cut all contact with me since, telling me to forget about him. I’m still a bit bemused about it all, but thinking that in a way it’s lucky we separated now, as we were making serious plans for the future (well I thought we were, god knows what he was thinking, ha ha?).

    As with other people who’ve responded on this thread, I’m not going to try and tell you what you should do ultimately, but I think other people on here are right when they say you should be careful before making further commitment to someone you aren’t sure you can trust. In fact- I would just note that I knew nothing about my boyfriend’s gambling problem until well after a year from when we had been seeing each other. I would also ask to check his bank statements if you haven’t already, another thing I now wish i’d done……. I also feel like I have been taken for an idiot, but then my boyfriend hid his problem very well. Make sure you keep in mind what you want for your future- I hope whatever happens that everything works out ok for you.

    #4693
    ChloeB
    Participant

    Sorry it’s been a while. Things have been good for a few weeks. Thanks so much to those who have posted. Tonight he said he was going to a meeting but then I saw on his Facebook that his mate had checked him into a pub. He is strongly denying this has occurred and his mate checked him before he got there!!! The thing I am most bothered about is the lies again. It’s been a hot day and if he said he wasn’t going then I would have coped with that. Us brits need to make the most of the sun. But he insists he went and doesn’t know why his mate put that? Well I know I have never tagged someone in a pub who wasn’t with me! So again, I feel completely destroyed. I have supported him and wanted to believe him when he has said he is trying. If I stay with him, is this my life? The thing is, I don’t even think he has been gambling, just lieing about his intentions and commitment. How can I believe anything he says anymore. I don’t want this for my life, but I love him. He is still denying it and making me doubt myself..but I think I know the answer xx

    #4694
    velvet
    Moderator

    Hi Chloe
    At times like this it is important to weigh up what it is that ‘you’ really want, not what your partner says that he wants or anybody else for that matter – just you, this is your life and what you want really does count. It is easy for those who love CGs to forget themselves in the great scheme of things – to see themselves as the person who can save the CG loved one. It’s tough to accept but love does not conquer all, unconditional love is the greatest friend the addiction can have, with love’s blinkers firmly in place the addiction can grow and flourish until it destroys.
    Have you talked to you family about your worries yet?
    You are thinking in a mature way Chloe but I suspect that you are still young. It seems to me that your partner wanted to cement your relationship quickly which concerns me especially with Las Vegas thrown into the mix.
    Keep posting Chloe, I would never suggest you stay or leave your partner, all decisions must be yours but I hope you won’t rush your decisions – if you are as worried as you seem to be at the moment I would suggest you have every reason to be very concerned. In my opinion, it would be essential for you to see positive actions towards treatment and sustained good behaviour before you could begin to trust your partner or this could well be your way your life will be.
    You write that you ‘think you know the answer’ to his latest behaviour and if so, you are probably right – doing something about it is the hard bit.

    Velvet

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