12 July 2018 at 11:42 pm #6324FebruaryParticipant
This is my first time reaching out online about what’s happened to me and my boyfriend. I’ve been really struggling, as has my boyfriend, and I’m just looking for some advice or support.
A month and a half ago, my boyfriend sat me down and told me he has a gambling addiction. I was blindsided. I had known that previously he would bet on online sporting games, but he had always told me that he amassed his online money through just that: online money. Not his real money, but money I had thought was “fake” in a sense. And it was “fake” until he started using money from his actual bank accounts about six months before he told me. By the time he told me, he had amassed over $20k in debt.
The same day that he told me that he has a gambling addiction, he also told me that he had closed all his accounts. They were (and are) completely gone, and it would take a great deal of effort for him to ever place online bets again if he relapses. He also called his workplace’s healthcare provider to seek professional help, and was connected with a professional psychologist whom he has been seeing about once every week or other week.
I’m still angry, upset, frustrated. Before he had told me, I was expecting to move out with him in a couple months. Now, it’s impossible for us to be together for almost an entire year due to our financial situation, and we’ve been together for four years. It pains me to think that everything I had thought was going to be our future is now drained.
Our relationship is obviously struggling, but I made the decision to stay with him because I believe him when he says that he has not felt the desire to gamble again, and that he is determined to get better. He gave me the passwords to all his bank accounts, and I’ve been monitoring them every now and then to ensure that he hasn’t relapsed. He hasn’t. He’s managed to pay off his credit cards, so his total debt is now $13k in student loans.
I love him, but every day is a battle. I haven’t been as supportive as I should be because of my anger, and it’s having a negative effect on not only our relationship, but his progress. I’m afraid that he’ll relapse, and I’m afraid that I’ll be hurt again and I don’t know if I can handle the pain if he does ever relapse. I keep on telling myself that he has taken the steps to better himself, and he has. He was the one who told me – I wasn’t the one who found out. Yes, he had lied to me for six months, but he was also the one who told me that he did. He’s remorseful, upset, guilty – every kind of emotion you can think of when you think of someone who feels deeply regretful of hurting themself and hurting their significant other. He completely accepts responsibility for his mistakes, and understands just how much he has hurt our relationship and his personal life. The fact that he’s willing to take responsibility (he has been adamant in telling me that none of this is my fault, even though sometimes it feels like I should have found out sooner) is what gives me hope for our future.
I have hope that we’ll get through this and that his gambling addiction is something of the past. It’s hard, painful, the worst thing I’ve ever had to handle, and for the past month and a half since he told me, I have been struggling.
Sorry, I know this is long, but it’s cathartic to express what’s happened in words. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks.13 July 2018 at 9:09 am #6325DuncKeymaster
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 Team14 July 2018 at 8:37 pm #6326brainstormParticipant
my son is struggling with depression. he has overcome an opiate addiction but is now CG. each time it seems to be under control he “falls into depression” and goes to the casino. he put himself on a list to be unable to enter and creeps that they are he went back and was allowed to gamble within a few weeks! technically they were supposed to arrest him for coming! how can i get help? he is unemployed and now i am helping support him with $$ but he is spending too much going out – says he is lonely – I don’t know what to do. he says he feels so hopeless and then i am afraid to crack down on him.
just sick with worry16 July 2018 at 5:56 pm #6327
Your post deserves a proper reply but that cannot be given on someone else’s thread. Please scroll to the bottom of the forums, click on ‘New Topic’, write your post in the box, or copy and paste the one you have written, give your post a title and click ‘send’. I will be happy to support you
Velvet16 July 2018 at 5:57 pm #6328
I am sorry I have not replied to you as you deserve, I will reply to you on Wednesday.
Velvet18 July 2018 at 4:56 pm #6329
Your boyfriend has taken a big, positive step by admitting his addiction to you and if he has taken further steps by closing his accounts his actions are to be commended.
I appreciate that you feel your future is drained but your boyfriend didn’t want or ask for his addiction, he could not have known when he placed his first bets that a compulsion to gamble would be his lot – if he had, he would never have placed those bets.
Every day will be a battle for quite some time but his battle will be the greater – he will have to watch his actions for the rest of his life but the good news is that, unlike him, you can recover from this shock.
I suggest that you learn as much as you can about his addiction to help you support him, whilst taking great care to look after yourself. If you fall apart because of his addiction then you will be unable to help either of you. Keep up with your hobbies and interests, see friends and family, and enjoy your life because you deserve it.
True recoveries have to start somewhere and your boyfriend has made a good start but without support he is likely to crash. You cannot save him but you can direct him to those who can support him. GA is fantastic, as is this site. We have a terrific Helpline which is open to you and your boyfriend; it is one to one and private. We have compulsive gambler groups where he can share his journey and private concerns, they are facilitated and safe. We have the forum entitled ‘My Journal’ where he can write as much, or as little, as he wishes but where he will receive support from those who are walking the same road as himself.
If your boyfriend could not control his addiction I would not be writing to you; if he could not live a wonderful life in control of his addiction I would not be writing to you. Many, many CGs go on to live, perhaps more fulfilling lives because of their addiction, they have to go through so much to learn control and in doing so they learn so many life lessons that they by-pass those who have not had their experience.
I don’t know what you will decide to do or what your outcome will be but I wish you both well and hope that you will post again. It might take longer than you anticipated before you move in together but if this waiting time is used to gain knowledge of the addiction and to enjoy life without gambling then I believe you can find the man you want your boyfriend to be and more importantly he can find the man that he wants to be.
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