16 September 2019 at 4:33 pm #6906scc5106Participant
I am in love with someone who has a gambling addiction. We have been together for almost 6 years. His gambling started when I first met him or a little before, but I didn’t find out until about 2 or 3 years ago.
My boyfriend works really hard in his career and it is common for him to put in 80-90 hours/week. He is a good person with a very good heart. We have lived in separate states for the last 4 years due to his job. I tried to move to his state to be with him but financially he could not afford it.
I didn’t understand what he was doing for the longest time because it was all online. It started as sports betting. When I found out he brushed it under the rug and said it wouldn’t happen again. Well it happened again, he got himself into a lot of debt this past Winter. Credit card and his dad bailed him out once or twice too that he is still paying back. He has only asked me for a small amount of money once and paid it back the next day. We don’t have any shared finances m. We have tried to move on but to establish trust I told him I needed proof he wasn’t gambling. This month was supposed to be the month he showed me his finances. He couldn’t. Said he wasn’t ready. Pushed the date back. This weekend I saw him on a new thing I have never heard of called bitcoin. When I looked it up it appears to be a trading currency thing. I still think this is gambling but would love to hear others opinions as I don’t know much about it.
He has been going to meetings off and on for the past 6 months. However, he says they say the same thing over and over and I’m not sure if they really help him/ or if he is even letting them help him. Last week at his meeting he was told to break up with me because he would just continue to hurt me. That is what he did this weekend, broke up with me. Said he loves me too much to hurt me again. Says he feels it inside he is going to gamble again.
I am in pain, but I know he is likely in double the pain I am in. I let his family know of his current issue and his dad is trying to get more involved to help. He has refused therapy in the past.
I told him I am giving him space but would like to know if there is some degree I should still be checking in to offer support? Does anyone actually ever recover from this?
Thank you in advance for your support and advice.
Steph16 September 2019 at 6:54 pm #6907velvetModerator
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!
The Gambling Therapy Team18 September 2019 at 11:01 pm #6908velvetModerator
To answer your final question first, there is no ‘cure’ for the addiction to gamble but the addiction can be controlled, or I wouldn’t be writing to you.
Good support is great for a gambling addict and I suggest that you read as much as you can about the addiction so that you can make an informed decision about what you want to do from now on.
I find it very strange that his meeting should ‘tell’ him to break up with you unless he has portrayed you as some sort of trigger for his addiction– it is not the way I would expect a normal GA meeting would behave unless they had been convinced of the unsuitability of his relationship.
His work ethic is typical of many compulsive gamblers – long hours for big salaries means they have the wherewithal to gamble. It is only when work dies off, or debts become too great, that such gamblers become concerned. In my opinion, if you are communicating with his father, it would be a good idea if you could suggest to him that bailing a compulsive gambler out from his debts is equal to giving an alcoholic a drink. Removing the debt clears the slate giving the gambler the ability to gamble further, thus keeping the addiction alive. The addiction to gamble is all about the ‘gamble’ – money is the means to an end, it is a tool, it is not the goal.
Attending meetings ‘on and off’ suggest that, maybe, he is not determined to face his demons. Meetings do help the determined gambler provided they are prepared to listen.
You cannot save your boyfriend Steph but you can support him by not enabling him. The addiction to gamble can take loved ones all the way down if they allow it so it is important that you look after yourself. If you are worn out and full of the cares of his addiction you will not be able to help yourself, or him.
Please keep posting and asking questions. I will understand whatever you decide to do.
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