7 August 2013 at 11:03 am #1437
I want to help my partner who has on online gambling problem. When I have spoken about it in the past they have admitted they bet more than they would like and swore they would stop. When I spoke to them yesterday they claim they have stopped betting online. I do admit I have accessed their online betting account without their knowledge and can see thousands of euro being bet. My question is how best to approach this without tearing us apart.7 August 2013 at 8:08 pm #1438moniqueParticipant
You have taken a useful step by writing on this site. Welcome! I hope you will find the information and support that you need.
I think you are describing your inability to trust what your partner tells you and have turned to a bit of ‘detective work’ to check things. A lot of us who have a partner or family member who gambles have done this, although it probably doesn’t feel good? Lies and addiction go together – it can help to remember that as a sort of ‘fact’; this might help lessen (at least a little) your sense of being betrayed and deceived. (Your partner is not intending to betray you, although of course his ‘secret’ actions are hurting you terribly.)
Perhaps it is a way of trying to get in control of the situation? However, none of us can control the addiction or the person who has it. I would suggest that an important step for you (for all partners and family members) is to begin to think of your own ***** as a priority, to recognize that you cannot control your partner or his addiction and to ‘persuade’ yourself that he is the one who ***** to take responsibility for the gambling. This is not easy, but with support, good information and practice, you can get going on this journey. Look after your own finances and make sure they are safe.
It sounds like you are also fearful of bringing up the subject with your partner. I think the important thing is not to get involved in arguments or to sound as if you are making accusations. This would make your partner feel attacked, he will defend himself and no progress will be made. Also lies are a big part of the addiction, as I have already written above.
Can you find some way of calmly explaining that you don’t yet feel ok or reassured about his problems with betting and that you still feel very concerned? Can you also find a way of calmly telling him that you want to support him if he wants to get the right help to live free of gambling, but that you don’t want to have any part in keeping the addiction active? It is NOT good to make an ultimatum of any kind unless you KNOW FOR SURE it is something you are already prepared to carry through. (You may need such an approach at some stage, but no need to think that way yet – only if it becomes really necessary for YOU).
I think I am suggesting that you try to speak calmly about your own feelings and avoid accusations and rows. Then leave things in your partner’s court. Give him telephone numbers or website details for getting help – eg Gamblers Anonymous, this site. Try not to work out in advance how things should be; take one step at a time, see how that works out and make decisions as you need to. Most of all look after yourself, emotionally, practically and financially.
Keep in touch.
Very best wishes, MoniqueKeep hope alive.8 August 2013 at 8:12 pm #1439
Thanks so much Monique for your response.
I do feel guilty for checking up on his account. Months ago the laptop’s battery went so he did not log out of one of his accounts and I did look at his account summary which was the first time I realised or accepted a problem. I have not confessed that I have accessed his account but could see money transfers from the bank account. I spoke to him about the money transfer and he did admit he was betting more than he liked and was sorry and swore it would not happen. A couple of months later I noticed the money transfers again and spoke to him again and he admitted it again and said he did stop the first time I spoke to him about it. I have sporadically checked his online account and did not check it in months however work situations etc are changing so I decided I better have a look and was absolutely shocked to see the debt has gone up nearly four fold and he seems to be losing 10K a month and places about 60 -100 bets a day. They seem to be small enough but the losses add up! When I asked him about his online betting he said he has stopped. He has maxed out 2 credit cards and has a personal loan that was supposed to pay the credit card debt! We have a family and our future to consider. Will keep the calm attempts at conversation going and hope he will open up. I naively hope that he can realise the extent of his betting and can stop before it gets any worse. I can accept that what is already done is done but don’t think he is ready or willing to talk so am afraid it will continue.
L9 August 2013 at 8:06 am #1440DuncKeymaster
Hi Lolly, a warm welcome to the Gambling Therapy Friends and Family forum.
Having found us you have also found a diverse community of other friends and family members who can support you on your recovery journey.
Here on the forum you can share your experiences in a safe, supportive and non-judgemental environment and by reading others stories am sure you will see that you are very much not alone in the issues that you describe.
Please click here to see our services page, feel free to use all that this site can offer… It’s all free
To chat with others in real time you may wish to make use of the support groups, the ***** of these groups are advertised under "What’s on and When" or click here to see the weekly group schedule. Please feel free to use the Friends and Family and also the community Groups.
At present we have 3 dedicated groups for friends & family members. These are at:
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Also to say when you registered we would have sent you an email with an attachment, this attachment will help you navigate the site and find the support you so rightly deserve, alternatively this guide can be downloaded by clicking here.
For one to one chat you may want to try the live advice helpline. Click "connect" when the Advise line is open
Harry9 August 2013 at 9:05 am #1441moniqueParticipant
I note you use the word ‘naively’ to describe the way you are hoping that your partner will recognize his problem and stop gambling.
I don’t want to sound alarmist, but I feel I should say that ‘naive’ is not good in relation to gambling addiction. I am NOT judging you – I think all of us who love a gambler have been ‘naive’ about the addiction – after all, we know the person and all the good things about them; we also perhaps know their vulnerabilities and other struggles in life, so we tend to be sympathetic, non-critical and helpful.
But, because the addiction thrives on secrecy and lies and the gambler acts in ways that are very different from the way he would be if not addicted, family members and partners have to learn to cope with very disappointing revelations and to become scrupulously honest within our own minds. It can feel horrible facing the full truth. But this is where support from others can really help you through. It may feel very hard to put aside ‘easy hope’ in order to strive for a more realistic, long-term hopefulness.
And once again, you can take action to make your own future more hopeful – that is the most vital thing for you. Your partner must take the ultimate responsibility for his life, current and future.
Monique9 August 2013 at 12:26 pm #1442velvetModerator
I don’t think many (if any) of us didn’t feel the necessity to resort to checking up on things that worried us and made no sense. I cannot tell you what to do but in my opinion, I think it is best you keep the fact you are checking to yourself or you risk sending him further underground with his activities – definitely don’t feel guilty. Don’t worry – when the shadow of the addiction to gamble passes the investigative person you feel you have become disappears.
There is no loss that is too small with the addiction to gamble. Any gamble keeps the addiction alive because the addiction has nothing to do with money – it is what it does to the mind of the CG that causes the damage to the CG and those around them.
Sadly his gambling will get worse without the right treatment.
At the top of this page click on to ‘Resources’ and in ‘Location’ scroll down to ‘world’. Click ‘Gambling help’ and then ‘Search’. Scroll down to ‘Gamblers anonymous – Twenty Questions’. Most compulsive gamblers will answer yes to at least seven of these questions. In my opinion most members who have lived with the compulsion to gamble will also be able to answer yes to at leave seven of those questions which hopefully will help you ‘know’ what you are of are not dealing with. Perhaps you could print them off and tick the ones ‘you’ know deserve a yes and maybe he will realise that you are aware he has a problem and you are taking it seriously even if he isn’t.
CGs can believe they can stop to suit themselves but I’m afraid that no matter how many ***** your partner swears he can do so, until he really wants to commit his life to being gamble-free – he won’t.
You cannot save him Lolly but as Monique has said, you have made a giant step towards your recovery by writing on this site. The more knowledge you gain the more you will be able to cope. The only person you can save is ‘you’ and in doing so you will be doing the best thing for your partner. I wouldn’t be writing on here if I didn’t know that the addiction to gamble can be controlled.
10 August 2013 at 1:03 pm #1443
Thanks so much guys,
We are opening the doors to conversation and hopefully he will realise and can seek the help he *****.
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