Get practical support with your gambling problem Forum Friends and Family Am I strong enough to support him?

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  • #2058
    at_crossroads
    Participant

     
    Hi I hope someone will be able to help me. 
    I have been with my partner for nearly a year and things have moved very quickly, I have always known that he likes to have a little bet at weekends but until last month I really did not think he had a problem.
    We live together and have for a while now and obviously share everything (or so I thought) before Christmas he asked me to give him some money for presents which we had saved up.  He only came home with a few cheap things but acted as though he had money left over.  That night I found a receipt for the bookies in town for £25 for 1 bet, I questioned him about it and a couple of days later he admitted that he had spent just under £100 of the Christmas money on betting and had lost all of it. I was upset but obviously did not want it to ruin Christmas so I got a payday loan out to cover the costs. 
    Yesterday he was supposed to pay some bills and put money into my account for the rent and he told me he had gambled it all away (approx £300) he admits he has a problem and has asked me for my help to stop.  I want to help him but I do not know where to start and whether or not I can handle his mood swings.
    Is anyone going through anything similar or been through it that can help me?
    I have said that he needs to get his wages put into my bank and I will deal with the money, thinking that that will take the temptation away (since last night he’s admitted to lying to me and betting nearly everyday with money we need to live on).  I know he has a firey temper but will never lay a finger on me but his words are hurtful.
    Can anyone give me any advise?

    #2059
    stan’s girl
    Participant

    Hi at crossroads,
    I’m so glad you’re here.  I’m a compulsive gambler and my boyfriend reached his limit with me.
    The first piece of advice I can give you is that you need to protect yourself and your money.  My boyfriend did the following:
    1.  Cut me off of all access to his money.  He took me off his bank accounts, credit cards…absolutely everything.
    2.  Asked me if I was serious about changing things.  I told him yes.  He then asked for all my credit cards and debit cards.
    3.  We then opened up two joint bank accounts.  The first one is where my pay cheque would be automatically deposited.  The second is the one I use for my personal use (gas for my car, buying a coffee or lunch).  As soon as my pay cheque is deposited, he transfers all funds into his personal account for the bills and I only have access to whatever he deems fit.
    4.  He made it perfectly clear that all money is to be accounted for and if I cannot provide receipts etc. that he’s out…done, it’s over.
    5.  He told me that I need to ban myself from the casinos (not sure if that’s helpful to you or not) and provide him documentation proving I did it.
    6.  I was to get therapy/counselling/go to GA…whatever I needed to get help.  I chose individual counselling and online support (this site and others).
    He basically told me I either do all this or pack my bags.  That was enough for me.  Be prepared though, if you decide that you want to follow this route, he may choose to leave.  Addiction is a powerful thing.
    Stan also told me that I needed to be honest and talk to him about all my gambling secrets.  How I manage to *** to get money, when I would gamble, what sneaky tricks I use.  This took time to disclose because of the shame of it all, but once I started spilling my guts and he was supportive about it I found it much easier.
    The best thing you can do for yourself is set up boundaries and make those clear to him.  Let him know what you expect and what the consequences will be if he doesn’t live up to his end of the bargain…and be prepared to follow through!
    Well, that’s about all I have for now.   
    Take care of yourself.
    Crystal
    Life isn’t that difficult…people make it difficult.  It’s simple, let go and move on OR hold on and stay stuck.– 03/01/2013 21:43:34: post edited by Velvet.

    #2060
    nomore 56
    Participant

    Hi Crossroads,  Crystal really summed it up well for you. The most important thing for you right now is to protect yourself, meaning protect the money. You said that you didn’t want to ruin Christmas but I suspect that it was ruined anyway because of what you learned about his gambling. I also think that this might be only the tip of the ice berg and that he tapped into other resources to finance his addiction.  I’m saying this because it took me along time to really find out about the complete amount of damage my hb had done. He only admitted in increments. And only when I found something out or he knew he couldn’t hide it any longer. The best support you can give your bf is to get some peace of mind yourself and to look for your own support system. Do you have someone you can talk to honestly about what is happening? Did you consider attending a GamAnon group yet? It is really difficult to deal with this addiction while you are still busy trying to sort everything out and most of all while being worried about finances. If your bf is really ready and willing to get some help he will not object to you handling all the money and to hand over receipts for every penny he spends. At least that was always a clear indicator for me that my husband was either close to a relapse or it had already happened. Putting his money in your account will probably not take the temptation away. The addiction is alive and kicking and will just come up with another harmful way to find money to gamble. **** swings and what you describe as a fiery temper can also be a symptom of the addiction taking over. My hb was diagnosed with bipolar II disorder and put on medication. He never took or needed another pill from the day he went to inpatient treatment. Most importantly don’t threaten anything you are not willing to go through with, just like Crystal said. I wish you well and hope that you find a way to not lose yourself in this insane battle. That is the best support you can give your bf as well as yourself.
    — 03/01/2013 21:17:37: post edited by Velvet.– 04/01/2013 14:31:52: post edited by Velvet.

    #2061
    stan’s girl
    Participant

    Well said no more!  Very well said.
    I know when my boyfriend finally said enough was enough, he also said to me that I needed to tell him everything.  He didn’t want it one piece at a time.  He wanted it all at once.  So we started making a list of all the debts and secrets I was hiding…I know that was really hard for him to hear because it was super hard for me to confess, but once I did I felt this huge burden lift from my shoulders.  I was free…free from hiding.  The next step for me was to be free from gambling and that’s still a work in progress.
    Life isn’t that difficult…people make it difficult.  It’s simple, let go and move on OR hold on and stay stuck.– 03/01/2013 22:10:26: post edited by Velvet.

    #2062
    velvet
    Moderator

     
    Hi Crossroads
    Gain as much knowledge as you can about the addiction to gamble and you will be able to make informed decisions because nobody can (or should) tell you what to do. Part of your recovery will be realising that ‘you’ have control of your life, that you have choices and that you are free to make decisions.
    Unfortunately you cannot make your partner stop gambling – only he can do that.  If he is really wanting to control his addiction there is a terrific rehab in England, details of which you can find lower down the GT forum page under GMA residential treatment Q&A. 
    You did so well writing your first post and I am really sorry I did not see it earlier because I know how difficult the first post is – but having put your worries down, please don’t be afraid to open up once more. I am really sorry to tell you that Gambling Therapy does not receive funding to cover the UK but gamcare.co.uk will support you.   Please copy, paste and re-post in gamcare.co.uk who can walk with you further than this site is allowed to do.
    Your partner did not ask for, nor want, his addiction anymore than you but you are stronger than your partner because you are not controlled by an addiction. Support him by looking after yourself – your recovery is so important because the addiction to gamble which is a secretive, corrosive and divisive will take you down with it, if you allow it.
    I am not rejecting you but re-directing you – I do understand only too well all that you have written and I do wish you well.
    Velvet
     
     

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