Get practical support with your gambling problem Forum Friends and Family Do they get it right for the next relationship?

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  • #6794
    Purpledublin
    Participant

    I have been off and on with my boyfriend for 6 years.  

    Why off?  Gambling.  He has borrowed money from his family and friends, me, his own exe wife and her new husband (who she left him to be with).  He finally stopped using a bookie and I felt like things were going in the right direction…until I saw a bank statement.  He has a solid income but zero savings and not much at all in retirement bc when he gets some in there he pulls it out for “hardship”.  He is almost 39 and I am 41.  We do not live together and finances are not comingled.  I feel like a brat for even posting because so many of you have it so much worse.  This bank statement was gut wrenching.  Pay day loan after pay day loan, 2 loan payments to cover previous debt from his bookie days – a wire from his exe wife to cover his mortgage and his repayment to her.  Maxed out credit card (Limit unknown).  Maxed out overdraft line of credit ($1000).  His obsession?  Draftskings.  It is multiple amounts on any given day:  100, 25, 75, etc..  several thousand dollars a month.  Is his mortgage and bills getting paid?  Yep.  So he says draftskings is entertainment and it is not gambling, he does not have a problem, and I am a controlling bitch.  “I will do whatever I want with my money”.  He only knows that I know he plays that app, he doesn’t know that I know about the loans and everything else.  

    Why on?  Bc this man loves me more than anyone has ever loved me.  Has a beautiful connection with my two kids.  I can’t even imagine being able to move on – trust me, I have tried.  Nobody compares to him.  

    He can be moody for no reason (gambling?), obsessed with making money:  teaching baseball lessons at night after work, busting his butt to max out bonuses at work.  Yes he has a home and a car but nothing else to show for it.  We rarely take trips and if we do, he has to give me cash so I can do the deposits and rent rooms on my card.  We rarely go out for dinner – really just dont do much which is fine bc we have fun doing nothing but now I know why.  He can’t afford it.  He pays his bills and gambles the rest and if he overspends, he borrows to cover it.  

    I feel so insensitive even whining about this given the fact you all have had your lives destroyed – the only thing destroyed for me is my heart and any thoughts of a future with him.  

    Any of you ever walk away and he/she got it right for the next person in their lives?  Sometimes I’m scared to go bc I know how handsome and fun he can be and so charming – and I’m just scared to walk away and then he admit to his problem and fixes it Living happily ever after not with me.  How can I plan to marry and cohabitate with someone knowing I would never feel comfortable or safe?  I can’t but I also can’t seem to stay gone for more than a few weeks.  My exe husband was a porn addict and we had zero intimacy and a few months after our divorce he was happily in love and very loving towards His girlfriend although everyone said if he didn’t change for me, he wouldn’t change for anyone else.  Sooo I have some major self esteem issues going on.  Sorry for the rant.  

    #6795
    velvet
    Moderator

    Hello Purple

    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!

    #6796
    velvet
    Moderator

    Hi Purple
    I don’t hear anybody whining – I would be voluble too if another person was destroying my heart and self-esteem.
    Loving a compulsive gambler does destroy self-esteem and in turn that often creates a vulnerable, unwitting enabler.
    Some compulsive gamblers do go on and change their lives in another relationship but without treatment, what is the fundamental difference? I suggest that a future relationship does not include enablement.
    You describe your boyfriend as handsome, fun and charming – if he was not, would you be less likely to enable him? I have known many handsome, fun-loving charming gamblers and I have seen many intelligent, fun-loving ladies hearts destroyed by their loved one’s addiction. I have even heard one such lady say how dull her husband had become without his addiction and she wished he would gamble again! Fortunately, he was enjoying life in control of his addiction and regularly attending GA – he did not want to go back to the relationship that he had previously.
    Draftkings is gambling whatever your boyfriend says. So often F&F say that their loved one ‘needs’ to stop gambling without realising that their loved one’s ‘need’ is to gamble. Until that gambling has hurt him enough, he will probably see no reason to stop.
    You cannot make your boyfriend stop gambling Purple but what you can do is to refuse to allow his addiction to drag you down with it. You write that he ‘borrows’ money from family, friends and you – lending money to a gambler is enablement, which allows his addiction to be fed and to grow. Anybody who lends money to a compulsive gambler is clearing his gambling debts, making it easier for him to continue without acceptance of his problem. A gambling addiction gets worse without an acceptance that there is a real problem. Until enabling ceases there is no reason for him to face his demons – facing them takes courage and determination – it is not easy – especially while his friends and family are preventing him from accepting his problem.
    Do his friends and family know he has a problem, or do they know but don’t want to see it?
    I am concerned that your self-esteem is low. Please look after yourself and do things that please you, things that your boyfriend’s addiction have possibly prevented you enjoying – keep friendships alive, enjoy hobbies and interests – every day set time aside just for you. Keep reading here and learn about the addiction to gamble, you do not own it and you do not have to be brought down by it.
    Recognise your own importance because you are a unique, caring, loving person who deserves to be treated well. You have done really well writing this post, I know it can’t have been easy and I hope you will continue to post.
    Velvet

    #6797
    Purpledublin
    Participant

    I don’t know what else to say to you but “thank you”. You have some sort of soothing soul that just makes me feel like you get it and don’t judge me for being so stupid to stay in this for so long although anyone would think it.

    I do not ever let him borrow money from me anymore – I’ve done it maybe 3 times and the last time was probably 3 years ago. He wouldn’t dare ask me for it because then he would be telling on himself. His draftskings was kept a secret although I knew. He isn’t the sneaky lying type so in his mind, he justified away his guilt of lying by calling it “entertainment” and convincing himself I am just trying to control him. He isn’t out running around with women or getting drunk so what’s the harm in this secret? (This is his mindset). I wondered if he was doing it because at one point he was flipping between golf and basketball on tv WHILE watching MMA on his phone. It is crazy how dealing w a CG can make harmless events trigger anxiety and nausea and just that empty pit in the stomach feeling. The term “March madness” and anything to do with the Masters makes me sick. Every. Single. Year. Prior to him, I guess I had heard of these things and thought of it like the Super Bowl for these sports professions, not something that people bet on and destroy their lives over. Soooo Velvet, I did the very embarrassing and demeaning act of snooping and what I found was more than I had suspected. I literally felt my heart shatter. He doesn’t KNOW that I know all of it but I think he suspects that I snooped so he came clean. “I’m not gambling but I do play draftskings for fun every now and then.” I know some of his family know about his issue but I don’t think the ones that lend him the money are the ones in “the know”. His mom is a former drug addict and so while she knows, she isn’t in the position to really say much to him. He is bull headed and would throw her past in her face. I am telling you – he is a 38 year old beast of a man/child when he wants to be. The part I don’t understand is that HE is the reason his mom is alive today. He forced her, I mean forced her into getting help. He found her dealer boyfriend – just this amazing story!! She drug her hands thru other resident’s food at rehab facilities and did terrible things trying to get kicked out. He told the last facility to drop her off at a homeless shelter because he was done. He called his family and friends and demanded they not enable her. He allowed her to hit rock bottom. You will never convince her (or any of them really) anything negative about her precious life saving golden boy of a son. He played college ball and even professional ball – so he’s just kind of like everyone’s idol. Dealing with her addiction for so long has made him the type of person that believes what he believes and if anyone tries to change his thoughts the opposing party becomes a version of his mother and someone that is trying to manipulate him. What he doesn’t get? It has also taught him how to be the best kind himself.

    His exe wife is the biggest enabler – which sounds so weird but it’s the truth. They have almost a cousinly relationship and she is now married to a multi-millionaire. As in, Kenny Chesney has dinner quite frequently at their home. I think deep down she knows but feels sorry for him and I think she has a lot of guilt over leaving him for the millionaire, honestly. She might feel like her actions caused the out of control behavior and knowing him, in his darkest and most vile times, probably told her that. This is me just trying to figure out why she does it – I honestly don’t know. The $1500 or 2000 she lets him borrow is nothing for her. Sometimes she tells him not to worry about paying her back. I don’t see her often and when I do we are rarely alone. I have wanted to talk to her but am always afraid it would blow up on me even though she doesnt seem like the type that would cause trouble and she’s too sweet and easy going to ever tell him “no” anyway. She wants the father of her son to have a good life. I admire her for that but wish she could see she is making it impossible.

    I stupidly gave him another ultimatum. I can’t promise you it will stick but it has for these few days and each day is progress. I have received awful messages from him calling me names and telling me that I am controlling him – throwing any and every single thing I have ever done wrong (even before him!) in my face. I just keep telling him that I love him and his words are a reflection on him not me and to stop attempting to flip this and make it about me. I haven’t handled this perfectly – I never do but after pouring over these forums, I feel like I’m stronger and more equipped to deal with the beast that takes over my sweet and loving and goofy person. Because that wonderful side of him is truly “my person”. I told him that he isn’t being controlled and he does have the right to do whatever he pleases including gambling but I also have the right to opt out of that lifestyle. He told me he pulled all of his money out of draftskings and is stopping but then continued to berate me with the past and how this is just yet another thing he has to sacrifice to be with me. My answer was that as long as he does it and looks at it as a sacrifice for ME, he isn’t ready to quit. And I don’t want him back until that day. And when and if that day comes, it will involve actions this time, not words (self excluding and the online betting blocker for your phone).

    I’m just venting at this point because nobody in my real life gets it. I’m not sure why I dumped all of this into cyberspace but there it is. I guess if you believe in God or a higher power, ask him/her to change and turn my CG’s heart away from these self destructive things…. and if his heart refuses? Then ask for my heart to be changed and hardened towards him.

    Thank you, Velvet, and thank you to all that post. It has helped me in ways you just can’t imagine.

    #6798
    velvet
    Moderator

    Hi Purple

    I must have missed the bit where you demeaned yourself for snooping – the only thing I read was a person trying to get the truth when they were being lied to.

    It is quite a story – son saves mother and now son can throw the past back at mother whilst using her situation to deflect his own poor behaviour, however, the mother cannot support her son because he saved her!

    I like the analogy of the beast of a man/child. I think it is good to treat an addiction as a beast, lying in the corner of the room waiting for any words that threaten it. I know that too many words give the gambler more opportunity to twist them so I suggest you keep your punches brief – if you mean it when you say that your “answer was that as long as he does it and looks at it as a sacrifice for ME, he isn’t ready to quit. And I don’t want him back until that day. And when and if that day comes, it will involve actions this time” is brilliant provided you keep to it and don’t allow further too-ing and fro-ing – gamblers generally relish arguments giving them the chance to twist, blame and demoralise.

    I think it is important for you to know what you intend to do if you cannot carry your words through.  Don’t get caught by finding yourself with a sudden rush of forgiveness, think in advance so that you do not give the upper hand back to his addiction.    It isn’t easy but refusing the addiction to gamble, of someone you love, in your life will never be easy.

    It seems to me that he thinks he has all the answers to deflect you from his addiction and I think you are doing really well not rising to his unpleasant words because that is all they are Purple – they are words spoken by an addiction.

    It is impossible, in my opinion, for FF to handle living with a compulsive gambler ‘perfectly’. Those who love gambling addicts can spend years doing the wrong things for all the right reasons but you are doing well.

    I do know why you dumped this in cyber-space and I am glad that you have.

    Please keep posting

    Velvet

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