17 December 2021 at 9:24 pm #145162
I can’t believe I’m here. We are going to lose everything. My husband has done something I didn’t see coming, but now I know there were red flags. I found out about a month ago that my husband was gambling knowing full well how I feel about it. He had an issue with buying KENO tickets about five years ago. He admitted to spending $1000/mo on them. I told him that was unacceptable and I wouldn’t live like that. He agreed to stop. In almost five years there were no signs that he was still doing it until three months ago when I came home from work early (we work different shifts), and he was standing in the kitchen with a pile of keno tickets checking the numbers on his phone. I gave him “the look” and didn’t speak to him for almost two days. A month later, he told me had to tell me something that would make me mad at first, but then I would be happy. He told me he was feeling lucky so bought a ticket and won $650. I was FURIOUS!! I didn’t care about the money but I said, “I knew you were gambling again!!!”. He became so defensive, denied it, and flat out lied saying he’s only bought a handful in the past year. He had me feeling so bad about accusing him of gambling that I apologized and told him to buy a new phone with his winnings. Little did I know what was really going on during that time.
A month ago, I decided to check a really old joint bank account that he knows I never use or check. I was just curious to see if we had any money in it we forgot about. What I saw, brought me to my knees.
I saw countless transactions going out for $200 and $500 to “companies” I had never heard of and strange deposits of “1,500” here and there and deposits from these “companies”. I googled the “companies” and found out they were online gambling apps. I got my calculator out and noted over $25,000 going out. We don’t have that kind of money so where was it coming from? We are “paycheck-to-paycheck” people. We’ve never had more than $500 in our savings, but our bills were always paid on time and always food on the table. I couldn’t breathe.
I was at work and immediately confronted my husband through text. He always texts me back right away. This time it took an hour for him to process that I knew. He messaged me back being all cavalier saying he got messed up with some online gambling, but he was done and he had it all under control. I was SICK. I waited for him to get home that night and I asked him how much we were in the hole. He said, “A couple thousand”. I was so angry over a couple thousand dollars I couldn’t even look at him. I had no idea what was coming to me in the weeks to follow.
He started asking me to pay all of the big bills. He’s the bread winner and always paid the large bills. I knew something was wrong. I told him he better come clean. He then admitted to it being $15,000. I was really sick then. I was bawling my eyes out over that amount. We don’t have that kind of money!!! He insisted that was it until his brother told him he would only help him if he told me the truth. That night he came home with a list of all the loans he took out and the total damage. I almost passed out. Over $50,000 in high interest loans/credit cards including five payday loans with a 600%. That is almost his entire salary for the year and twice what I make. He doesn’t even make enough money to pay these monthly loan payments. That sticks me with all of our previous bills and living costs that I can’t afford. My brother-in-law said he’ll make sure we have food on the table. Are you kidding me? This is what my life has come to? Family members making sure we have food? What? This is beyond anything I could have ever imagined. I can’t believe he did this to the kids and I and his family who don’t have much money of their own, but are trying to help. My world is shattered. I can’t eat or sleep. I can barely function at work. I don’t know how we’re going to get out of this. He said he would get help, but now I have to spend the rest of my life worrying about this happening again? It will take us a decade to dig out of this and probably lose our house. I’m 46 years-old. I don’t have time for this. Thank you for reading. I feel better. It’s too humiliating to discuss with people who I know, all of whom thought we had a perfect life that I thought I had too. What a crushing disappointment.
17 December 2021 at 10:37 pm #145517
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 Groups 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 Team
20 December 2021 at 5:31 pm #145646
I’m so pleased that you found us – I know how awful it is to be in such a terrible position with nobody to talk to.
I appreciate all of your words but I hope you will feel less humiliated when we have talked more because there is nothing for you to be ashamed about. You did not ask for nor did you want this experience but there was nothing that you could have done or said that would probably have made any difference. You cannot save your husband, only he can do that. If he accepts that he has a serious problem and seeks the right help, he can turn his life around – I know because I have seen it and heard it many times.
I cannot tell you that if you do a, b, or c then things will change but hopefully, by giving you knowledge of the addiction to gamble it will enable you to make informed decisions that are right for you. At the moment you are on the back foot and feeling out of control – it is important that you know that you can take control of your own life again.
Your husband did not deliberately do this to you and his family lj. Probably a long time ago he placed a bet, as millions do every day, without any harm coming to them. Your husband was not to know that an addiction to gamble was to be his lot until it was too late. I doubt that he is the man he would like to be, the man you want him to be. He probably feels alone, frightened and misunderstood; he probably has little or no self-respect or self-confidence; he will not know which way to turn because all his addiction befuddled mind tells him to do, is to gamble more, that only in gambling will he find his answer. The addiction to gamble is not about money, the only thing that matters is the gamble.
I want to hear that your husband is getting treatment, not talking about it; words and promises are meaningless from a gambler. I appreciate how degraded you feel getting physical support from you brother-in-law but please do not turn support away. Is your brother-in-law willing to learn about addiction and how to cope, will he help you to direct your husband to the right support? This site offers tremendous support to gamblers and there are dedicated addiction counsellors and therapist, GA and rehabs. We also have an excellent Helpline here which is available for you and/or your husband – it is one to one and private; your husband will be understood and supported, as will you. It is important that your brother-in-law knows that giving money to his brother is enabling his addiction, feeding it will only make it worse – it’s the same as giving a drink to an alcoholic. Plain food on the table is not enabling – cash is.
It is a lot to take in and I do want to get a reply to you quickly so that you know you are being heard. I appreciate that the forum is very quiet at the moment, Covid and Christmas are filling the thoughts of most people.
This might not seem much of an answer to you lj but I promise you it can make a tremendous difference and whatever your outcome, it will help you cope in the future. I want to you put yourself first, look after your children and have fun with them, see friends and get support even if they don’t understand and keep posting. Maybe you could join a Friends and Family group so that we can ‘talk’ in real time – the ability to ask questions and get instant replies has been beneficial to so many. Nothing said in a group appears on the forum, it is safe and private.
No amount of worry, lost sleep, threats with change anything. If you lose your health due to worry then you will not be able to help yourself or your children or your husband.
There is a lot more I could say but for now I will send this and await your reply
I will walk with you for as long as you want me to. Please keep posting.
- This reply was modified 1 year, 11 months ago by velvet.
21 December 2021 at 11:01 am #145679
Thank you so much for reaching back out to me. I found out after I made the post that he was still gambling and took out two more loans. I found out because I demanded to see his recent bank transactions and he refused to show me. After an hour of of negotiating for the truth, it came out. I was so disappointed since his family (aunt, brother, parents), recently gave him almost $18,000 total to get rid of the 600% interest payday loans. He used their money to gamble more. He said as of Friday night he is done and from here on out, I can see his bank transactions whenever I want as long as I don’t look at anything before last Friday. He has FINALLY (after since I caught him) is out of denial, admitted he has a problem, and has an appointment with a gambling addiction counselor on Thursday at 4pm.
I may need some counseling of my own though, to get over the pure aggression I have toward him now. I’m so angry, offended, disappointed, and broken. I’m taking it personally, etc. I would never do anything to hurt our family, so why is he? How could he not think about us when he was doing this? He knows we don’t have that kind of money. I’m in an incredible amount of pain over this and I’m trying really hard to understand that he is, too. It’s hard, though. Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge through experience. It’s just what I needed right now.
21 December 2021 at 11:25 pm #145724
I understand your anger and disappointment but please don’t take his behaviour personally. He would not have thought about the consequences of his gambling because his judgement is clouded by an addiction that he neither wanted nor asked for. Nobody would choose to have a gambling addiction. Neither of you are to blame.
When his family gave him money. they were feeding his addiction – but they were not to know. You are getting knowledge now that they do not have and I hope you will share it with them because there is no need to feel guilt or shame. Your husband appears to have family members who care but they don’t know what to do. Maybe you could all get together and discuss forming a united front. Many people do this and find it successful. It stops individual members of the family doing all the wrong things for all the right reasons. The gambler can also feel the power of the united front, willing to support, whist refusing to enable.
Accepting an addiction is a big step and I hope he goes to his counsellor with a determination to change. It is important, in my opinion, that he knows he can live a gamble-free life. It will take courage but he can do it – if it wasn’t so I would not be here writing to you now.
I understand your feeling that you may need counselling. Harbouring feeling of anger, guilt and aggression will eat into you, they will wear you down leaving you unable to cope. I know because it happened to me.
I hope this will help – I lived with a gambler for 25 years. When I became aware of the addiction and what it meant, I thought I would need counselling but talking to people who had ‘been there’ and not only been there but come out the other side, gave me the strength I needed. I am not alone in saying that this dreadful experience has made me a better person – I was determined that the addiction was not going to take any more from me, it was not going to define me. I am sure that makes no sense to you at all at the moment but I am hoping that in time it will.
Would you be willing to take over the finances? A gambler who really wants to live gamble-free will often welcome this support. Money will almost certainly not mean the same to your husband, as it does to you. Money provides the means to gamble and the ‘gamble’ itself is the goal – sadly your husband’s addiction means he cannot walk away from the gamble until it is too late. He will always lose.
Please keep posting. Think about what it is that ‘you’ really want because ‘you’ matter.
22 December 2021 at 1:43 am #145735
I really appreciate your time and putting things in a different perspective for me. I’m leaning toward feeling some sympathy for him. I know him and there’s no way he would have done this to us on purpose. The things you say are starting to make sense. I have no experience with this. Nobody in my family ever gambled and I’ve never even bought a lottery ticket in my life. It’s a waste of money in my opinion.
I informed his family that he was still gambling after they gave him money to help pay off some of his debts. They will absolutely no longer give him any money whatsoever. So, there’s no worries there.
He has told me I can now check his bank transactions anytime I want starting from last Friday. He has a large bonus coming in February that I told him needs to immediately be transferred to my bank account when it arrives so I can pay off his brother and parents, plus the 600% interest payday loan. We won’t be able to pay his aunt the $13,000 so will continue to make weekly payments to her. Plus, we’ll still have about $35,000 worth of high interest credit cards and loans he took out to deal with. He agreed to transfer that bonus to me. We’ll see…
Another issue I need to address is the gambling advertisements. My husband told me that was the single factor of why he couldn’t quit last week after he promised me he would. These advertisements are all over television and social media in-your-face offering “free money” to get started and “free money” if you lose. He said he would be scrolling through Facebook and they were EVERYWHERE and he couldn’t resist. I believe him because I see them everywhere, too. It is prohibited in the United States to advertise cigarettes and I think it should be the same for these ridiculous gambling apps. I’m going to contact my local state representative, do some research, and go from there. This needs to end the way they trick and lure people into their scams and hoaxes.
Thank you again for all your help.
23 December 2021 at 5:25 pm #145813
I am looking forward to hearing how your husband got on today, although many gamblers do not want to share at the beginning. The hard truths are difficult for them to process and many prefer to take time to inwardly digest what they have heard. This can be frustrating but is fairly common. I hope the counsellor impressed on him the need for accountability.
I don’t think there is anybody on this site who would not understand your frustration with gambling advertisements. However, in my opinion, they were not the reason your husband gambled after he told you he would quit – he gambled because he felt he needed to, the excuse would probably have come after the gamble along with the regret. A gambler will give a million excuses why he/she gambled and although I am glad that you are seeing his innate goodness, it is important to be careful with sympathy.
A coping mechanism that you may find useful and which many Friends and Family have found helpful, is to imagine your husband’s addiction is a ravenous, slavering beast in the corner of the room. Your husband is controlled by that beast but you are not. As long as you keep your cool and don’t threaten it the beast will be quiet but it never sleeps.
Never forget that although your husband is controlled by addiction, you do not have to be. When you threaten the addiction beast, it can come between you and control the conversation or argument. It is the master of threats, manipulation and false promises but you are not and nor should you have to be.
The addiction beast speaks with lies and deceit and it may seek to make you feel blame and demoralize you. When you speak it can distort your words. Instead of hearing that you love him or that you want to help him, the beast is telling him that you must be lying because surely, you cannot love someone so unworthy and unlovable as him. The addiction to gamble only offers failure and negativity to those who sadly own it.
I believe F&F waste valuable energy ‘wanting’ to believe that the gambler they love is telling the truth and that ‘this’ time, maybe, he/she is different. I think it is good, although difficult, to try and not believe too early because in doing so you can become receptive to manipulation. If you can stand back and just listen to what your husband is saying without necessarily believing, it becomes easier not get caught up in an argument that has no point apart from making you feel less in control. Once you begin to try and put your side the addiction beast has something to get its teeth into.
This all sounds a little negative but the positive side is that it removes you from the centre of the addiction giving you time and energy to look after you.
If your husband accepts treatment then everything that you do now towards keeping yourself healthy will give him the support he will need. If you are in control of your life then he need not feel guilt, which will not help him.
By looking after you first you will become stronger, you will reclaim your own life and be able to cope with your children and make the right decisions for your relationship.
25 December 2021 at 12:29 am #145882
Thank you again for your help. It’s important to note that my eyes are wide open and I still don’t have an ounce of trust in him. I’m being very cautious, indeed.
His first therapy session went very well. He really likes this therapist and actually spent over an hour telling me about the session. I’m not surprised that everything she told him is what you’ve told me. He has another appointment next Thursday. He will go weekly for now. He is very excited about this and has shown me all his bank transactions since last Friday when he agreed again to “be done”. It’s day by day right now for me. I will keep you updated on his progress. Thank you for everything. You saved me from giving up at the start. Your perspective seems to be right on in comparison with his therapist. The things you have told me are not things I could have figured out on my own. I knew nothing of the way the brain of a compulsive gambler works until you told me. I was taking it so personally that he would sabotage us like that. I see it in a completely different light now thanks to you.
28 December 2021 at 10:35 pm #146054
I am a recovering compulsive gambler, I’m on Day 53 Gamble Free.
As I read your comments, I cry because I can’t imagine what my husband must have been thinking and going through when I was gambling every dime I could put my hands on.
The moderator is so correct, I would have never thought I would end up in this position. I didn’t have any habits, never smoked, drinked, no drugs, I considered myself a pretty “boring” person. If I had any idea that taking that first step in that internet cafe would lead me down the darkest road I have ever been on, I would not have went in. I should have known something was wrong when I had to lie about where I was going, and I could hear everyone around me lying to someone about where they were at.
Trust me, your husband has shed many tears over his addiction, probably felt like the one way out was suicide, he has probably cried out to God, asking Him why me. The gambler go through as much hell as the family go through (not to minimize your feelings). I tried stopping on many occasions, I would actually win a decent amount of money and still leave in the hole. It’s really not the money once you are addicted, it’s about the gamble. Right before I decided to go cold turkey this time I had just gotten a decent amount of money, I had never played on line but someone mentioned an online gambling site they used. To make a long story short, I played, I won, I lost and before getting in the hole I decided to contact the the folks incharge and asked them to completely delete my account, which they did.
But I had to stop all gambling, including the free online games and lottery to make this work. I actually deleted everything to do with gambling off my phone, EVERYTHING.
So far, it’s working.
But I am so sorry to read about all the pain and disappointment you are going through. But I would like to assure you, your husband lose all self control win he gamble, even when he want to leave that voice tells him to stay. It sound like it should be as simple as just getting up, but trust me, it’s not, I wish to God it was. The only way for us to stop is by not placing the first bet, not putting money on the machine.
Again, I can’t apologize enough for all you are going through, but at the same time my heart goes out to your husband because I know his feelings/actions first hand and I would not wish this on my worst enemy.
Praying for your family.🙏
18 January 2022 at 9:54 pm #147031
Thank you so much for your reply. I’ve had some issues with passwords trying to get back on here and got frustrated and let it go for awhile. I hope you are still doing well. Please let me know either way.
My husband is doing well. He sees a gambling addiction therapist weekly which has saved him and us so far. I had my first session with her today which is why I felt compelled to try harder to get back on here and let you know. There’s still a long road ahead to repair the destruction, but I’m doing my best and feel he is working hard at it, too.
If you are struggling, don’t try to go this alone. His therapist encouraged me to keep up with this. I wish there was more “traffic” here.
23 January 2022 at 3:26 am #147252
I am so happy to hear all is going well with your family.
Unfortunately, I had a small relapse. I say small because I didn’t do much damage financially. But, I consider it as lesson learned. I know now I still cannot go and play/gamble like a normal person. I guess it’s true, a compulsive gambler can never go back, at allll.
You are so right, it’s not a lot of traffic on this forum; but, it is a great to for accountability. I plan to continue to use it.
23 January 2022 at 3:27 am #147253
A great tool for accountability,..
23 January 2022 at 2:46 pm #147276
I’m sorry to hear about your setback. You’re right. You can’t ever go back. Just like a recovering alcoholic can’t have “just one” drink. My husband asked me if he could do some squares at work for basketball this year like he did last year and won a lot of money. I told him absolutely not. It could end up triggering a full on relapse. You should check into finding an addiction counselor. My husband has a wonderful one that he talks to every Thursday. I have talked to her, too. It has been very helpful for us both. You don’t have to go this alone. Accountability is very important and I hope you have made your partner part of your recovery.
24 January 2022 at 11:35 pm #147365
I too am sorry that there is so little traffic in this forum at the moment but I look at it everyday and I find myself smiling when I read your recent posts. I know that many people read the forum without joining in.
I think it is great that your husband ‘asked’ you if he could do some squares and didn’t just do them without telling you. Complacency is the biggest danger a gambler faces when he first starts achieving his gamble-free life and you have understood that. It is a massive step when a gambler will ‘discuss’ a gambling thought, without acting on it first, it implies that he trusts you and as I think I have said before it is important that he learns to trust.
I didn’t realise how big a step I was taking when I realised that the gambler in my life needed to trust me – I had always assumed he automatically must do so. In early recovery he couldn’t know whether I was thinking about all that had gone before, ready to criticise and point out his faults, or whether I too, was embracing his recovery and my own.
I trust the gambler in my life to protect the recovery that he has fought so hard to get and I find I can live with that thought, very comfortably.
Talking calmly isn’t always easy when the gambling conversation arises in the early days – it takes a long time for it to be a subject like any other, just a conversation that doesn’t cause concern. I know it can happen though which is why I am here.
I like the expression that, ‘you have made your partner part of your recovery’ and I hope you will not mind but I can hear myself using it in the future.
Keep going as you are lj, you are doing great.
- This reply was modified 1 year, 10 months ago by velvet.
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