6 January 2019 at 12:48 pm #6562Hi all,This is my first post, but I’ve been reading your stories here on-and-off whenever I felt down.My boyfriend is a CG. He’s been in recovery for the past 6 months until very recently. He admitted to me last week that he put 10 euro in the slot machine at a cafe he frequently visits. Two days after this talk, he didn’t come home until a little over 2am. I knew then and there that he was back at it again. I confronted him that night and he blew up on me. I was always being dramatic, paranoid, suspicious, he wouldn’t tell me anything from now on etc etc.Next day he set his alarm and told me he had to be somewhere. We were both enjoying a few days off from work during the holidays and actually planned to spend the day together. I couldn’t get any specifics out of him though. Before he left, he came asking for money. I’ve had control over the majority of the money for the past six months. I asked him why needed the money. He looked at me accusingly, asking “what do you think?”. I gave it to him reluctantly.He left me at home and as usual I started having doubts. Was I being paranoid? Dramatic? He almost had me convinced, until he come home in the afternoon asking for the rest of the money. When he gets in this kind of state, I’m never able to stand my ground. It’s something about him that I can’t explain. I’m almost kind of scared to say no. He saw me crying and left angry, taking all the money we had saved with him.It is then and there that I decided to do something that I’ve always refrained from doing. I got in my car and drove down to the casino. I saw his car in the parking lot and my heart just started pounding in my chest. I went into the casino (my first time ever being in one) but I just felt sick and ashamed being there and left immediately. I got in my car and sent him a pic of his car in the parking lot.I feel betrayed and manipulated. He only texted me a bleak sorry’ that night. We haven’t talked at all since then, even though I’ve tried to establish communication. He hasn’t come home since then either.This has been going on for three years now and I’m starting to lose hope. Everytime I decide to trust him again, he relapses. He doesn’t even have the decency to come home and have a conversation about this. It’s almost as if he is only upset because he got caught.I don’t know what to do anymore. I’ve been supporting him, trying to help him, motivate him. In the past he has visited a therapist but he didn’t feel like it was helping. He has visited two GA meetings but he didn’t feel like this suited him either. He has been writing on a forum but also stopped doing this two months ago because the forum wasn’t active. And in the meantime. I’m letting myself be dragged down in his continious gambling spiral. When he is in recovery, he replaces gambling with working 12 hours a day (he owns his own business).I’m 27 years old. I’ve always envisioned myself getting married to him, having kids, building a life. I love him so much and after all that has happened, I still can’t imagine living my life without him. However, I’m ready to take the next step in our relationship and I know it will never happen while his greatest love is the slot machine.I feel myself spiralling. I used to love life. I can’t be bothered anymore. After work I just go home and sit there until it’s time to go to bed. I feel like I’m waisting my life away for someone that only cares about himself. I’ve lost almost all my friends because they got tired of seeing me down because of him. I’ve been seeing a social worker but I plan on asking her for a referral to a psychologist next time I see her.As for him, I don’t know how to help him anymore. How do you help someone who believes he can overcome this on his own? Who insists on going to a cafe every day where people are gambling all the time, slot machines in the background luring him in? What’s the point in managing his money if he is able to manipulate me each time he feels like gambling?I would really appreciate your honest opinions on this. I don’t have anyone to talk to about this, not even him. It feels very lonely.7 January 2019 at 9:06 am #6563DuncKeymaster
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 Team8 January 2019 at 2:39 am #6564
HELLO RUPTURE. I AM GAMBLER AND I CAN TELL YOU THAT GAMBLING IS A DISEASE IT IS WORSE THAN DRUGS. I AM EXACTLY LIKE YOUR OTHER HALF I GO THROUGH PERIODS SOMETIMES AS LONG AS 5 YEARS WITHOUT HAVING A BET. THAN WHEN I START I MAKE UP FOR THAT IN 1 DAY. WHAT I HAVE DONE OVER THE LAST FEW DAYS IS TRANSFER ALL MY FUNDS TO MY MOTHERS ACCOUNT. THIS WAY I WONT GAMBLE. IN YOUR OTHER HALFS CASE HE IS ADDICTED TO SLOT MACHINES WHICH ARE NOT AS BAD AS OTHER FORMS OF GAMBLING SUCH AS HORSES, SPORTS BETS AND BLACK JACK TABLES. I SUGGEST TELLING HIM WHAT YOU HAVE LOST CANNOT BE REGAINED AND AS SOMEONE DEARLY ONCE SAID TO ME EVEN WHEN YOU WIN YOU ARE STILL A LOSER BECAUSE YOU WILL ONLY GIVE IT BACK. POSSIBLY TELLING HIM TO CONCENTRATE ON HIS BUSINESS WOULD BE A BETTER OPTION AND AS ITS HIS OWN HE CAN MAKE HIS MONEY THERE. ALSO TELLING HIM THAT IF HE CONTINUES LIKE THIS YOU WILL LEAVE HIM. I HOPE THIS HELPS YOU8 January 2019 at 2:44 am #6565
PLEASE DO NOT LOSE HOPE AS I BELIEVE YOUR BOYFRIEND’S CASE IS NOT AS BAD AS OTHERS. HOW MUCH DOES HE GAMBLE AND WHEN HE TAKES MONEY FROM YOU WHAT SORTS OF AMOUNTS DOES HE TAKE?
I HAVE JOINED THE FORUMS AND I FIND THAT IT HELPS ALOT.8 January 2019 at 5:42 pm #6566
Thank you for taking the time to read and reply to my post.
In this instance, he took 6k with him which is in line with his usual spending when he goes to the casino. He also plays online. I woke up to three e-mails from a gambling website, saying that someone used the wrong username/password combination and blocked the account. This would be his account, that he signed over to me on time when he stopped gambling for a while.
He told me it was because he was bored and wanted to play poker. I’ve told him that it’s still considered gambling and he agreed.
Thank you for your suggestions on what to say. I feel like I can’t talk to him right now. It seems like he’s still in his gambling spiral. It just goes in one ear and out the other. It makes me so sad and upset because he was doing so well. We were doing so well. I really thought that this time he was serious about quitting. I’m waiting to have a talk with him once he seems like himself again.
I’ve received my referral to go see a psychologist today. I can’t control him and what he does, but I refuse to go down with him.
I hope you don’t mind me asking and feel free not to answer if you’re not comfortable, but what are triggers for you to start gambling again after abstaining for such long periods of time?
I wish you all the best!8 January 2019 at 11:06 pm #6567
I am glad you found my comments a touch useful.
Ouch i never knew you could gamble as much as £6K on slot machines. That is alot of money.
To be honest playing online is more devastating than the casino’s. In the casino’s there is lower limits and when you play on line the stakes that can be placed are much higher.
It is a blessing in disguise that aleast one of the gambling websites the account is blocked however to sadly the process to unblock the account is very simple and easy to do. Also to open another account is very easy with another website. The process is so simple.
It is very pleasing to hear that you have got a refferal to see a psychologist and not letting yourself go down with him however it should be him seeing the psychologist and not you.
In reference to what triggers me to gamble is mainly boredom, stress, problems with children or wife.
It’s a way out to release all the frustrations that you are going through.
The buzz when you are winning as higher than someone that takes class a drugs however the winning streak does not continue.
I am based in the UK and in London and you can find betting shops on every main road here. I have spent almost 32 years of my life in this rut. I am more like a binge gambler over the last 20 years however the stakes are very high.
I still remember the first time i walked into a betting shop i asked a eldely man how to write out a bet and he told he wont show me because he has lost over a million pounds. I looked at him and thought that was not possible from the way be dressed and looked. Little did i know at the time that he was doing me the biggest favour of my life. I have lost over a million pounds over the last 30 years.
Each time i go back whether it is to a betting shop or online i think i am much more clamer and smarter and in self control. When i see people in betting shops at the end of the day all they want to do is win back the money they came in with on the day.
Only a few if that have seld control when it comes to gambling.
There are filters out there to stop your boyfreind going on to gambling websites however if he really wants to he can use a freinds phone or a member of staffs phone to place bets.
He can self exclude for a maximum of 5 years via gamstop. The only problem with that not every online company is registered with them however he does not know that. I was told about 90% companies are registered as of yesterday.
I am quite similar to your other half in the sense when i am gambling and my wife or mum says something to me it goes in one ear and out the other ear.
Sadly my wife said to me years ago if you could sell me you would. I eally beleive i could have done that as gambling is a serious addiction and it requires proffesional treatment.
I am trying to speak to local solicictors to help me self exclude for life as it has been a very devastating ride for me. I have just put the wheels in motion and if i can i will do that. Otherwise i will do the maximum self exclusion which is for a period of 5 years.
I hope this helps and if there is anything else i can help you with let me know.
Please also take into consideration your age you guys are only 27. There is so much time to change your life. I have a freind who was a compulsive gambler in the sense he went to the betting shop daily and the day he had his first child he stopped going. That was almost 5 years ago.
I think you have been more than supportive to him.
I am sure if you spoke to your family members about this they will all tell you to leave him however there is something there that is keeping you still with him. It ois for you to decide what steps to take going forward.
Wshing you all the very best24 January 2019 at 4:17 pm #6568
I am sorry I have not replied to you earlier, I hope you are still reading. It would be great to get an update.
Compulsive gamblers are often very hard workers because they want to earn money to cover their gambling and this can work until the addiction reaches uncontrollable limits, behaviour deteriorates and debts exceed that which is being earned.
Sadly without treatment this addiction gets worse and not better. I am sorry that your boyfriend is saying that GA is not for him but it is not uncommon for gamblers to feel like this. In my opinion many gamblers go to GA in the hope of finding the magic cure but sadly it doesn’t exist – they want to control the addiction but they don’t want to do the work that is necessary to achieve that end.
The different forms of addictive gambling cannot and should not be compared, there is no one form of gambling that is any easier to control than any other – there is not one form that is worse or better than any other. Your boyfriend has a gambling addiction which means he cannot walk away, until, often, he has lost everything.
Has your boyfriend tried this site? I don’t think that ‘My Journal’ which is the forum for compulsive gamblers who want to control their addiction could ever be said to be inactive. We also have a brilliant Helpline where your boyfriend could communicate in real time, one to one and get the honest, down to earth support he deserves. The CG groups are excellent and private, he would ‘meet’ those who understand him and as it is anonymous, it could be argued he has nothing to lose by trying them.
When your boyfriend is triggered there is little point in trying to talk to him logically or reasonable because he cannot/will not hear. Challenging and threatening him will have no effect.
Your boyfriend has been in recovery for 3 years and this might be a good base for you to build on. Rather than talking about what he is doing now, which won’t change a thing, maybe you could talk about how happy you were in those three years, remind him of the things you did, friends you had and places you went when times were good. In other words, positive thoughts. Don’t compare with the way it is now, just talk about how happy he seemed and how much better you felt – what it did for your health to see him doing well.
I can hear in your post that you feel that you are sinking and this is definitely an area over which ‘you’ have control. If you allow his addiction to bring you down then you are not helping him or you. Maybe you could write a list of things to talk about other than gambling and call your old friends to chat, I am sure they would be pleased to hear you sounding better. It is a cycle that F&F find themselves in– they talk over and over about their problems and then notice their friends dwindling; feeling unwanted and uncared for they sink back in to themselves with confidence and self-esteem flying out of the window. You use to have friends so you were obviously a good friend yourself – try and make the effort and see what happens. Believe me, I know it isn’t easy.
I hope you are still reading Rupture. There is an F&F group every Tuesday and Thursday evening between 22.00-2300 hours UK – it would be great to ‘meet’ you in real time.
I lived with the addiction to gamble in my life for 25 years but I hadn’t a clue what it was that was the problem. You are aware and you really can change your life. I hope that talking to counselors is helping you – I found that talking to people who had ‘been there’ helped me. I took too long to wake up and do something to help myself and when I did it was hard but so worthwhile – please don’t waste your life.
Velvet2 February 2019 at 11:06 am #6569
Thank you so much for taking the time to reply to me. A lot has happened since my last post, and I regret not having read your reply earlier.
He came back, apologized, and we talked. He lost a lot of money but earned it back by playing poker. He was feeling pretty good about that and the usual depression that engulfed him after having gambled wasn’t there. I knew what that meant. Not having ‘lost’ anything means he will soon be back at it again. I opened up to him since a very long time and told him that I’m struggling mentally and that the past few years have caught up on me and that I was seeking help for myself. He said he understood and things were okay for a week.
After this he relapsed again and the usual cycle of ignoring me for days at an end started again. During this time, I had a car accident and tried to contact him, telling him what happened, but he never responded to this. Needless to say, that stung. I didn’t try to contact him after this.
I heard back from him after 10 days. He didn’t message or call me. I was checking the message boards that he used to write on because I was looking for any sign of life and there was a new post from him. Explaining how he had relapsed, that he had neglected everyone around him again, he was feeling depressed and on top of that he wasn’t in a relationship anymore. Imagine after three years of standing by someone’s side, you get dumped through a message board.
I got a hold of him after that via text and he blamed me for the relationship not being fun anymore. That I made everything about gambling. That the last few times he gambled weren’t even that bad because he didn’t lose any money and that he didn’t even feel depressed after this. That we had been in a rut for months now, and that he regrets ever telling me about his gambling.
It isn’t the first time that he has ended the relationship after he had gambled. In the past I would run after him, asking him to come back, that we would figure everything out. But this time, I don’t know. I’m just so hurt and confused. On the one hand, he is completely disregarding and invalidating my feelings. On the other hand, he is making me doubt myself, question myself. Maybe I did overreact with regards to his gambling? Maybe I shouldn’t have said anything?
Why do I even wish he would come back to me? Why would anyone want to endure this endless cycle? It’s as if he is addicted to gambling and I became addicted to him, co-dependent..
We haven’t talked since Tuesday. He has me blocked on everything. I don’t even know anymore what aspects of his actions can be attributed to gambling, and what aspects can be attributed to his personality. I can’t differentiate between the two anymore. Sometimes I feel as if he has stopped developing mentally when he started gambling because he still acts like a 18 year old a lot of the time. Is that bad to say?
I’ve had my intake with the psychologist the other day, after all this happened. It was nice to pour my heart out because I’ve been keeping it in for so long. However, she concluded at the end of the session that I wanted help to end all this and get rid of him. I kind of felt she put words in my mouth and that this wasn’t what I was implying. I’m now scared that even she won’t understand the impact that this has had on my life, and all these feelings that I’m still left with, even though he doesn’t want anything to do with me anymore.
You would think I would feel relieved that he has made this decision for me. But I’m not, and I’m still left with all the emotions that I’ve felt when we were together, on top of the heartbreak.
I would like to join the F&F group, although I hope I can stay awake as it starts at 2300h for me.
I’m sorry for all the rambling. I’m all over the place at the moment.
Thank you for reading.
Rupture5 February 2019 at 11:05 pm #6570
The warning words that yelled out to me when I read your posts were ‘On the other hand, he is making me doubt myself, question myself. Maybe I did overreact with regards to his gambling? Maybe I shouldn’t have said anything?’
Please Ruture do not doubt yourself because that is almost certainly what your boyfriend wants you to do. The second line of your thread said that you know that your boyfriend is a compulsive gambler so keep that at the forefront of your mind and do not start thinking that you are to blame in any way for his gambling – because you are not.
When I hear that a member on his site knows that their loved one is writing in ‘My Journal’, I always suggest that they do not read what has been written. Gambler forums are for those who want to control their addiction but it would be naive to suggest that they are never used for sending subliminal messages to loved ones. When the gambler in my life went in to rehab he told all manner of lies about me – if I had heard them I would have been devastated and launched in with a defence which would not have helped him, me, or those supporting him. It is a fact that lying is an important means of covering up to a compulsive gambler, they know it and those supporting them know it but gradually, with good support, the lies lessen.
I will have to stop here Rupture but I wanted to get a reply off to you as soon as possible. I will reply again soon.
Velvet6 February 2019 at 7:17 pm #6571
Thank you, most of the time I know I’m not to blame and I’m not crazy, but it’s good to have someone remind me of this sometimes.
You are absolutely right about not reading his posts on the forum. I never thought about it this way.
Your replies are a real eye opener to me. I always thought that I educated myself on compulsive gambling, but through your replies I’m realizing that I still don’t know half of it. I’m still responding to him based on emotion rather than looking at it from a rational perspective.
I will try to join the group tomorrow evening, so hope to speak to you soon!
Rupture13 February 2019 at 2:48 pm #6572
I am sorry that you haven’t managed to get in to a group yet – I keep looking for you.
I have been studying the addiction to gamble and its effects on the family for what seems like hundreds of years but I believe it was always the personal experiences that taught me the most.
The dawning of understanding for me took months and I fought the revelations all the way. I couldn’t believe my ears and I responded emotionally because I didn’t know how else to respond.
It is incredibly painful to have an accident and not get a sympathetic response from a loved one but sadly an active addicted gambler will have a head so full of addiction that there is no room left for caring for another. It is only with the right support that the addiction can get tipped out leaving space for logical, rational thought. Fortunately, such support does exist when he chooses to seek it.
I cannot tell you Rupture whether his poor behaviour towards you can be attributed to his addiction or not – it is sadly only something that you will know with time. I don’t know if it helps but I believed beyond a shadow of a doubt that the CG in my life did not care one iota for me – however when he faced his demons and determined to live gamble-free I found he had the greatest love for me and I for him.
Being left with unresolved feelings is difficult and I cannot offer you any real salve to your pain. I don’t agree with the psychologist that you are asking for help to end your relationship, I think you are possibly looking for reassurance that the man you loved is still there.
A compulsive gambler seldom, if ever, likes who he has become. It is soul destroying that the one thing they feel they the have to do is the one thing that hurts them most. Why can most people gamble and walk away and a compulsive gambler cannot? Sadly, it is only with support that acceptance can be found and then the man can re-emerge.
I do hope we ‘meet’ sometime in real time but in the meantime, I hope you are looking after yourself and not allowing his addiction to control your life.
Velvet16 March 2019 at 10:00 am #6573
It was great getting to talk to you in group the other day. It really eased my mind while ‘waiting’ on him to get home.
Last night at 5am, I’ve sworn off ever lying awake again because of him. Wondering where he is, worrying, panicking. Why should I waste my energy on this when he doesn’t think twice about me? In moments like these, it’s hard to keep in mind that they care about you somewhere deep down.
I’m going to try and have a good time and not let this affect me any more than it already has thus far. I’d rather stay home all weekend and sleep but I know that’s not going to do me any good.
I hope you have a great weekend Velvet and thanks for the advice, I’m learning a lot.
R11 April 2019 at 5:43 pm #6574
When I saw that you had posted, I thought it was an update on your own thread because I had written to you on 4th April – I have now seen that I wrote to you but didn’t send it – goodness knows why!!
The following is the post I wrote then – I will try and be more conscientious in future.
I hope that you are still not lying awake because of your boyfriend’s addiction – it is so much better to conserve your energy for the things you can change and that make you happy.
It would be great to get an update. Your last post was a lot more positive which can only be good but I know that learning about this addiction is one thing, putting words into practice is another – and it is not easy.
Velvet11 April 2019 at 11:03 pm #6575
I have read your post on Amy’s thread where you write that you have taken a step back in your boyfriend’s finances. You have done this to protect your own health and that is as it should be.
It is part of ‘your’ recovery from living with the addiction to gamble that you make your own decisions about your own life – having jumped to the tune of an addiction it is good for you to realise you have retaken control of part of your life that you thought you had lost, so well done.
Have matters improved for you since you made this new arrangement?
Looking forward to an update
Velvet21 April 2019 at 5:39 pm #6576
Thank you for asking! Our relationship has been getting better, more or less. Since I’ve started therapy I’ve been really working on myself and putting myself first after years of ‘taking care’ of him. I also worked on not getting bothered (I should rephrase really – not showing him I was bothered) if he stays out late or during prolonged hours of silence. A consequence of this has been that he was a lot more honest and upfront with me. Maybe his guilt was kicking in?
I’m unfortunately experiencing a set-back in this new found attitude. I’m having issues with trusting him. I’m not able to at all and it’s showing in my behaviour towards him. I’m not able to restrain my anxiety as much as I’ve been doing for the past couple of weeks. He’s acting shady and I’m letting it affect me again.
I’m so frustrated with the endless cycle. He can never restrain himself more than a couple of weeks, two months tops. Those weeks, months are just bliss. But I find myself waiting for the relapse each time during those times. I guess it’s my way of protecting myself, but I’m also afraid it has some kind of self-fulfilling prophecy effect. It’s also why I’m hesitant on updating my posts when everything is going great. Too afraid that if I write it down, I will jinx it.
For him, it’s just normal to go out after work and not let me know anything. I’ve noticed that I’ve accepted this as normal behaviour, even though it’s not. He also doesn’t feel the need to be honest with me when I ask him the next day where he was and what he was doing. He doesn’t think I need to know everything. Those are his literal words. Then gets angry when I tell him that I think he’s gambling again.
At 28, after a serious, long-term relationship of 3,5 years, I’m just finding myself thinking this is not something I’m able to accept any longer. Regardless if he’s gambling during this time or just out with friends, it does not help me build the trust back he has taken away from me so often already. I’m not sure yet what I’m going to do with this realization. Ultimatums do not work on him. I’ve communicated endless times to him that this is something that bothers me. But he keeps doing it anyway.
A lot to think about for me. Any advice you can give me is very much appreciated..
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