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    My husband was a gambler when we met. I wasn’t quite aware of the extent, but it didn’t seems like a problem. After a few months of dating, when we were both invested in our relationship, I questioned where all his money was going as he never seemed to have any left each month. It took a few more months to get to the bottom of it and it turned out that he was gambling online. At the time, he was self employed and it turned out that he had spent all of the money he was supposed to have set aside for his tax and vat bills and was facing bankruptcy. At this point – about 10 months into our relationship- I explained to him that I would not be with someone who wasn’t financially stable and if he wanted to continue with the relationship, like we had been planning, then he would need to stop.

    He immediately cancelled his online accounts and started getting his finances in order. After a couple of years, his debt was cleared and he was starting to enjoy the fact that he had savings for once. This was so lovely to see and I was so proud of him. Over the next couple of years, we got married, he started a new job and we are now expecting our first child. This has truly been a happy time.

    However, last Tuesday, he popped to the shop to get a couple of things and was gone for an hour and a half. I was fraught with worry, thinking he’d had an accident and sent numerous texts and called him several times. By the time he got back, I was beside myself and asked him where he had been, to which he responded in an ashamed and dispondent tone, “at the bookies.”

    I was shocked and angry and upset, which was only made worse when he then divulged that he had spent a few hundred pounds on a machine in that time, hadn’t even thought about the fact that I would be wondering where he was, and, he later revealed that he had done this a handful of times since he promised me he wouldn’t gamble again.

    I guess my questions to the forum are: how can I trust him again? How can I help him? What can I do to understand why he does this and lies so freely and easily about it?

    I know that there are people who have had to deal with much worse than this, but I am feeling so confused and hurt at the moment, and would really appreciate any advice.




    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

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    Hi Hazel
    Well done starting your thread, I know how difficult it is to write the first post.
    I am not surprised you are confused and hurt; you will almost certainly have been trying to make sense of the senseless and going round and round in circles.
    Shattered trust takes time to build but it can be rebuilt when an honest gamble-free life is seen to be being lived. You have done the best thing to help your husband by coming here and starting your thread. He will be ashamed of what he is doing; he will feel out of control and worthless so he lies to protect himself and his possible addiction.
    Those are the simple answers to your questions, taking them in, understanding what they mean and deciding what you want to do is more difficult, however by posting here you will gain knowledge to help you cope and make informed decisions.
    When you gave your husband an ultimatum before you got married I suspect he knew you would carry it out which gave him the incentive to turn his life around and live a gamble-free for a couple of years – the good thing about this being that he knows he can do it. However if (as seems possible) your husband is a compulsive gambler he probably dry gambled in that time and although he abstained from physically indulging his addiction he didn’t control it. Dry gambling means that the gambler gambles in his mind which keeps the addiction alive until something triggers it and the cycle of addiction starts again. The forthcoming responsibility of being a father could be such a trigger although it could also be many other things.
    Does he accept now that he has a problem?
    Maybe it would help if you down loaded the 20 questions from the Gamblers Anonymous web site – a compulsive gambler will answer yes to at least 7 questions. If your husband does answer yes 7 times there is a lot of support available for him and there are many things that you can do to help you cope.
    I will leave my first reply to you there a wait for your reply.

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