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    • #6963
      Sophia E


      I have been reading the forums on here and could really do with some advice. My boyfriend (now ex) informed me in the beginning of the year that he had a gambling addiction. He did a whole mood board on gambling and begged me not to leave. I stayed and attempted to help, unfortunately over the last 11 months our relationship has completely fallen apart. He was a sweet loving guy when we first met and literally would do anything for me. However, that all seriously changed as he was often in a low mood or anxious, he gained a little weight and he was a nightmare to do anything with, although when his friends asked he would be out in a shot.

      He gambled on credit cards 90 grands worth. We at the time we’re saving for our future, I was working over time and missing out of trips with my friends to save and he was still gambling. He moved home with his Dad, his dad unfortunately is an enabler, he has remortgaged the house and even got him a new BMW car on finance to help with his low mood. He has never had to deal with his issue and is still gambling to my knowledge.

      I became very agitated with his situation because I felt he was always bailed out and never had to take accountability for his actions. We argued a lot and constantly broke up and got back together. I always went back because I do truly love him, I have helped him financially, looked into websites, groups with no thanks or willing to do it. We finally broke up 2 months ago after constant arguing and me crying 24/7 and because he felt he couldn’t give me the stability I craved.

      He got in contact a month ago and said everything I wanted to here. He was going counselling and was sorting himself out in the hope we would have the future we always wanted and that we would be in a better place to make it work. Unfortunately he has gambled a few times in these two months, we have met up and had lovely conversations and some arguments. He wanted me to wait until he was free of this disease which I agreed to do, however he hasn’t made enough effort I hear off him every few days. I mentioned for me to wait around I needed a little more and although he declared his undying love for me he hasn’t done enough. I stopped messaging back a few days ago and although he’s attempted to contact once or twice I haven’t heard from him in over a week. Am I selfish for taking a stand, can gamblers ever get better. If they really loved you wouldn’t they be scared of losing you and sort themselves out? I have tried everything and my self esteem is at rock bottom.

    • #6964

      Hello Sophia

      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

      Read about the friends and Family Online Groups

      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!

    • #6965

      Hi Sophia
      Compulsive gamblers can learn to control their addiction and live wonderful gamble-free lives or I wouldn’t be here.
      It is, however, incredibly difficult for a man with a gambling addiction to face his demons and muster up enough courage to fight for recovery. It isn’t so much whether your boyfriend loves you enough, it is more whether he loves himself enough.
      Your ex-boyfriend probably meant all the things he said to you and he could have said them from the bottom of his heart but if he cannot love himself enough to save himself then his words are just words and words are not enough, in my opinion.
      Without action from him there will be no change.
      You are not selfish taking a stand because the only person you can save is you. If your boyfriend has not done enough then you cannot force him to do more.
      Your ex can change his life, he can control his addiction, he can prove to you by his actions that he is genuinely determined to live gamble-free.
      I hope you will go out on trips with your friends and live the life you deserve. It is really important that you do not allow his addiction to destroy your life because that will not help him or you.
      It would be great to ‘meet’ you in an F&F group sometime. I would love to hear from you again and to know that you are doing ok.

    • #6966
      Sophia E

      Hi Velvet, thank you for your reply. This is the first time I have written on here as I was a little nervous. I didn’t know how much info to put.

      He constantly says he feels like his gambling addiction is suffocating him, that he feels worthless etc but then he goes back and does it all over again. Alrhough he says he wants to change I have seen very little improvement. It’s almost like he came clean and it got worse. I really have tried to help and have stuck by him but the more I do the more I feel he is taking advantage of my loyalty. 

      He is in £90 thousand pounds worth of debt, he is constantly bailed out by his family with very little repercussion. When he recently won money gambling it was almost celebrated, I couldn’t stop crying and no one seemed to understand why! I have told his dad he should let him go bankrupt, stop enabling etc as his credit is immaculate (because he is always bailed out) which allows him more and more access to credit. I was honestly fighting a losing battle. He earns minimal wage, yet wears designer clothes, member at the best gym and golf clubs, drives a fancy car and he nor them can see that it isn’t right even thou his dad has no money either. They never understood why that bothered me so much, I would be working all the hours available and never treated myself because I wanted to save for OUR house. I definitely began to resent him.

      He has had this problem for 5 years, he can go years, months with nothing. When he is low in mood or lacking confidence he seems to gamble again knowing full well it makes him depressed. He is going counselling again as he thinks it helps but he hasn’t done anything else. He says if I wasn’t in his life he would have no reason to stop gambling so I feel bad for leaving but against him and his family I will never win.

      He claimed to love me. Wanted this break to fix himself so we can be happy and he’s done nothing. I feel hurt and taken advantage of, I have stuck by him I really have and he’s let me go without a fight after telling me only days before that he loves me more than anything, it’s so so hurtful. I want to help but really don’t know how. I have wasted so much of my time already and everytime we argue it it turns on my like its all my fault and I’m just argumentative. I really am torn, I have read some stories on here and it makes him not look too bad but this isn’t the person I fell in love with. He was able to control it at one stage and now it’s the worst it’s ever been. It’s so hard to write about every time he has gambled because it seems like it only happens when we are separated (or so he says). Gambaling is a horrible disease, he has so many lovely qualities and could live a happy life but it’s all over shadowed by his selfishness. x

    • #6967

      Hi Sophia
      It is so sad that he has an enabling family and I admire you so much for standing your ground and not adding to that enablement.
      I would never tell anybody to stay or to leave a relationship when a gambling addiction is in the middle – we all have to make out own decisions….. but …… I do feel Sophia that the right thing for you is to throw yourself into your own life with friends and family who care about you.
      The addiction to gamble gets worse, never better, without acceptance and treatment and your boyfriend does not seem to be ready to face his demons yet, you are doing all the work and worrying, he is not.
      With the best clothes, gym membership, gold clubs and a fancy car he is unlikely to think he needs to do anything that will rock his boat. Facing his addiction will be a scary prospect for him; it takes a courage and a determination that he doesn’t need to call upon as long as he is enabled. He is probably putting off the day of reckoning for as long as he can do so. How old is your boyfriend?
      I am sure he has lovely qualities, or you would not be caring for him but sadly the addiction he owns overshadows those qualities, so much so, you are having trouble seeing the man you fell in love with.
      What are you doing each day that makes you happy? Are you seeing friends?
      Tell me about you and your life, I would love to hear about you.
      Please don’t ever feel nervous about speaking to me, I know the quandary you are in and I know the way the addiction to gamble can make you feel.
      Please keep posting.

    • #6968
      Sophia E

      Hi Velvet,

      Thank you for your reply :). I work a lot and spend a lot of time with my siblings as they truly are my best friends. I catch up with friends and have dinner etc but I’m saving for my own home so trying to cut all of that down. Plus, all my friends are engaged and having babies so I feel sad a lot of the time when I’m with them as they have everything I wish for. I am happy for them of course but also envious and sad.

      He is 33 years old. I had to message him the other day as on top of his gambling I had heard that he was in contact with an ex partner. He was very cold towards me and said our relationship was over and blocked me (although I ended it two weeks ago as previously stated). That’s very unusual behaviour and he’s never reacted to me in that way before or blocked me. I am very hurt as out of everyone I have stuck by him, supported him whilst making him take accountability and this is how he treats me. I feel very humiliated and embarrassed.

      He recently blocked himself on all line sites. I’m not sure how that works but he felt better about it and seemed positive, he also attends counselling. The thing is I don’t know a huge amount about gambling so not sure if these are good things or if he could be doing more. He seems angry at me, maybe for cutting him off but I had no choice. I’m sad that it’s likely he will sort himself out for his ex who he claimed to be so unhappy with but couldn’t for me.

      He has had this issue for 10 years. He can’t even stop for his Dad I guess so why would he for me. His Dad is likely to not be able to retire because he wouldn’t be able to afford to after all the help he has given. He’s a very selfish person and I guess he may stop for her but it’s likely he will do it again at some point. I wish I could just keep telling myself I’m better off but it just all hurts so bad. Heartbreak really is the worst, especially when you know they could have a wonderful life if they could get better. X

    • #6969

      HI All, it is amazing to read your posts and understand what you are going through. I feel terrible for you and your ex…it is so hard to be in the thores of an addition and feel so helpless…I am so afraid to tell my wife about my addiction. I know she will leave me. I have lost about 30K to gambling and have been paying off my debt with my 401K…it is terrible. I have stopped and vowed never to do it again but I am not sure it is enough so I am seeking help here…I am desperate to change and make my life worthwhile again but it is very hard since I feel sick about myself and my actions…I told my parents and my best friend’s but not my wife. The problem is we just bought a house together and she has been threatening to divorce me for years, this will be the straw that broke the camels back..I am a compulsive gambler and I need help!! Thanks for listening and again I am sorry for you and your ex…I am sure he loves you but he definitely does not love himself which is first and foremost the only way change will happen

    • #6970
      Sophia E


      Sorry to hear about your story. I threatened to leave a million times and I always meant it but when you love someone it’s so hard to actually see it through. Mainly out of fear that they will move on and become better for somebody else. Although we are over and he has already moved on to an ex, which is extremely hurtful and humiliating for me, I would have always have helped him. It’s very obvious only one of us felt love in that relationship. However, I appreciated him being honest and coming to me with the issue rather than me finding out. I think you should sit down with your wife and be honest. Show her that you are making steps to stop gambling and pay off your debts. She will find out anyway sooner or later and it would be much better if you were honest and upfront, that would show to me personally that you recognise an issue and are seeking help. Having to find out by seeing bank statements etc will look like you are hiding it and will make everything appear worse. Good luck.

    • #6971

      Hi Sophie
      Compulsive gamblers do not want to be accountable, they want to gamble and often, sadly, when a loved one sticks by them and tries to make them take responsibility they turn to others for enablement. Be proud of yourself that you cared enough not to enable him.
      You don’t deserve the treatment meted out to you but you were doing the right thing for him and ultimately for you when you tried to make him accountable.
      You feel that your friends are happily having babies and getting engaged and this makes you sad but I am sure that it is better for you that you are not doing these things with an active gambling addict.
      A gambler can only stop for himself, it isn’t that he couldn’t do it for his Dad or for you – neither of you are to blame in any way. He probably won’t like who he is and if he can’t do it for himself, then he isn’t ready – yet.
      Keep posting Sophie and enjoy your siblings they sound great

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