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    I’m writing this post as I believe it will be the first step in both mine and my boyfriends gambling recovery. I like to say our journey because it is something which has
    signifcantly affected my life immensly also. Here is my story so far..

    My boyfriend and I are a young couple in our mid-twenties. We have been together for 6 years. When we first got together, our relationship was perfect. We never
    argued and were so in love. A few years into the relationship just before we moved in together, we would occassionaly argue and it would always be about money.
    I never really thought anything of it. And, now I look back there were so many signs. He would either have lost his wallet, or he had’nt been paid yet or vice versa; there
    was always an excuse why he did’nt have any money.

    We currently live in Spain (we moved from the UK) so 3 years ago we were getting ready for the big move and were sorting out our finances. We had agreed to bring
    ex-amount with us to start out new life. (I later found out that he had asked my parents for the money because he didn’t have any and that he was scared I would break
    up with him about it). My parents were in a dilemma about this and ended up lending him the money (they didn’t want me to know but later my mother told me and I was
    heart broken). Prior to this, he had won a large amount online and had told me it was in a secure account which couldn’t be touched (this was also a lie)

    A few weeks into Spain, i left to have a holiday with some friends and he stayed in our apartment. While I was away, I gave him my card to get some petrol and found out later
    he had gambled all my savings away. I wanted to die. I knew he liked to gamble before but I never had an idea that it was such a large problem for him. We had absolutely no money, no jobs and had just moved to a foreign country. I was helpless because I was ashamed to talk to anyone about it. He begged me for him to make it up to me and to be honest he did.

    We managed to get back on track for a good few months until his next episode. He had been getting paid from work and gambling his wages. 2 months went passed and he
    would say that his boss couldn’t afford to pay him. I was about to confront his boss when it came out that he had been gambling his wages every week in the casino. So, again
    the same conversation, he would be good for a few months, then there would be something else. I always find it would be over something really stupid like (20,30 €) and he
    would panic and borrow money off people etc. and then it would escalate and end up owing hundreds of euros to people. Luckily, I take full financial control so he can’t access 
    bank accounts etc. but I still rely on his wages every week because he earns a lot more than me. 

    A few weeks ago, he got himself into a mess which nearly cost him his job. We sat down again and had the usual talk and I have tried to develop a new stragtegy for the money
    etc. and thought everything was going to be positive from there. Yesterday, I gave him some money to put petrol in the car and when we got in the car he hadn’t filled up. He lied
    and said he had lost his card and then I found his wallet in the car with the card in there?! I completely lost it. This is the big turning point for me now.

    My boyfriend is the most loving and caring person in the world and it kills me that this addiction is ruining both our lives. We have discussed wanting to start a family next year
    but I can’t even think about that now until we can get this under control. In the past, I always thought it would go away and would ignore it but it always comes back. I can’t
    imagine my life without him and he keeps asking me for help and I don’t know how much longer I can put up with it. He is open to get help but I can’t really find much over here
    in Spain. I am researching hynoptherapy, does anyone have any experience with this?

    Thanks for listening to my story. 



    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!

    Take care

    The Gambling Therapy Team

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    Hi girlfriend123,
    Firstly I’m glad you’ve come to this site, there are people on here with some good friendly advice and I think it helps to have a chat with people who understand. Your story is familiar to mine with the lies, the promises and feeling so desperate that you don’t know what to do. It’s hard for others around you to understand and I myself find it embarrassing and shameful to admit to anyone close to me what is going on and of course even if I do think we should let close family and friends know my partner begs me not to. It’s so hard and totally destroying for even the best relationship.
    It’s difficult if there’s not much support in Spain but at least you have these sites. I’m sure someone will be able to guide you in the right direction as to what’s available.
    The support groups I find are really helpful where you can chat online to others. There’s one that’s for family and friends of gamblers so please check it out, it tells you the time they begin. I really wish you good luck and hope your get some support here.


    Since my first post a few days ago, I’ve been doing some heavy research into ways of helping my boyfriend. First of all, we have downloaded the blocking software from GamBan. And, I must say I have been very pleased with it so far. I managed to find a promo code online for a 3-month free trial (Use the code:“TheBandit1981” ). You can use it on up to 3 devices. So far, I have downloaded it on my laptop and both mine and my boyfriends phones. After 3 months, you can choose to opt out or continue and I think it costs around £10/€11 per device for a year which is definitely worth it.
    Secondly, for anyone living in Spain looking for help with self-exclusion, I attach the website that will help.
    This is the Spanish government website for responsible gambling and also information about self-exclusion. You can either download an application form or do an online application (only if you’re registered for the digital certificate) and this will exclude you from both online gambling and entering any type of gambling establishment all over the country. I have filled out the forms and we will be handing them into the post office tomorrow. Although, I am a little skeptical about this because the casinos here aren’t as strict as other countries, they rather ID and you can just walk in and sit at the bar and drink, they are quite casual. So, I will be doing my own checking in his local casino so see if they have received the information. It says we will receive a notification in the post about the procedure in the next two weeks.
    Thirdly, I printed off the self-help worksheets from this website and thought they would be a good start to help him write down some feelings and emotions. He was quite reluctant to begin with, however after some persuasion I saw he had made an effort and started to fill it out. I was pleased with what he had written as it showed me he is aware of the positive/negative of gambling and what his triggers are.
    It hasn’t been a week since finding this site however I feel it has helped me immensely. I find talking my own kind of therapy.

    Thanks for listening. 🙂


    Wow, well done. Seems like you’ve made a great start getting all the information you need and I’m so glad your partner has agreed to self exclude himself. Have you managed to find any groups/counselling he can attend. He’s lucky to have you supporting him.
    Yes your right, talking is a great therapy. My partner is reluctant to talk about it all and if I mention anything he gets annoyed.
    Anyway keep being strong x


    Your story seems very similar to mine with the difference that I’ve just left my bf of 5 years. I feel a mix between freedom and heart broken. I’ve been fighting against this ‘3rd element’ in our relationship for the past 3 years and it has been difficult. I had a lot of promises, a lot of hopes that have been broken so many times. Since the first time I found out about his gambling I made his family aware because I couldn’t cope with this on my own. I started seeing a therapist because I didn’t want to give up my relationship without knowing that I did everything I could.
    I did exactly the same things you did.
    – My exBF downloaded the software to stop gambling on his devices, then eventually found the way to get rid of it(because there is always a way)
    – he told me with a really guilty look that he needed help and then as soon as he had some money in the account they were gone
    – We agreed I took control of his finance which worked for some time but after a while he got angry with me because I was controlling him. funny ha?

    I don’t want to put you off, I just want you to be careful, especially if you are thinking of starting a family with this man. Look at yourself and think if you can really live with the constant fear of not having any money all in the sudden.
    This is what was bothering me most, I work really hard, I have savings (fortunately he never touched our joint money) but I cannot live in the uncertain of how am I going to feed my family now? I just couldn’t.
    My ex. bf only admitted he is crap with money. He never wanted to admit he is a gambler. The first step to see a change is that the gambler admits he is a gambler. Please insist on that because it’s the key of the change. Without this acknowledgement he will never make a step forward.
    take care


    Hi Girlfriend
    Giving cash to a compulsive gambler is the same as giving an alcoholic a drink and I know you would not do that. It doesn’t matter if it is a small amount such as, just enough to put petrol in the car, or thousands of pounds – cash is the tool required for a gamble and it is the ‘gamble’ that excites the gambler and keeps him in his addiction.
    It is hard keeping cash and savings away from someone you love, someone you want to trust very much but when this addiction is in your life it is important that you protect yourself and your finances.
    Your boyfriend is asking you for help which suggests that he accepts he has a problem and this is good. In my view it is better to seek the right treatment for your boyfriend, rather than hypnotherapy – such as a dedicated gambling addiction counsellor, GA, and/or the Helpline and CG groups on this site.
    Keep posting Girlfriend, you are doing well and your boyfriend is lucky to have you supporting him but it is equally important that you look after yourself because his addiction will take you down with it, if you allow it. Keep up your relationships with friends and don’t give up your hobbies and interests because you matter.
    Speak again soon


    Hi! How are things going? Your story is so much alike like mine..except the moving part..My husband is also the greatest man and still this misery happens.. i was wondering how are things going with you now..Best,Andreea


    Hi Andrea
    Please post your own story so that you can get the support you deserve. I cannot respond to you on someone else’s thread.
    Scroll to the bottom of the forum page and click on ‘New Topic’ put your post in the box, give yourself a title and scroll down to ‘send’ – a click will get you responses.

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