7 June 2015 at 3:03 pm #3933
I’m 20 , and I’ve been with my partner for 2 and a half years. I knew he gambled when I met him but that didn’t worry me as I thought it was just on the rare occasion. Since then his gambling has got a lot worse, now to the point where he owes well over a grand and spends all his wages online gambling. I love him and I’m trying so hard to understand and help him through it. I don’t leave relationships easily and every relationship takes work.
He admits he has a problem and has once even called himself an addict. But he says the only way to get back the money he’s lost is if he can win it back, so that’s where we are now.
I just need some advice on what to do , please don’t tell me I’m ‘too young’ and to move on. I know that would be easier, but that’s not what I want. I want to understand him and to help if I can.7 June 2015 at 5:22 pm #3934
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, youll find the times for these if you click on the Group times box on our Home page. Now that you have introduced yourself youll find that many of the people you meet here have already read your initial introduction and theyll welcome you in like an old friend 🙂
If youre 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 isnt connected with GMA, please dont identify them either directly or indirectly just in case they decide to use the site themselves.
Youll find a lot of advice on this site, some of which youll follow, some you wont…but thats ok because only you fully understand your
situation and whats best for you and the people you love. So, take the support you need and leave the advice you dont because it all comes from a caring, nurturing place 🙂
We look forward to hearing all about you!
The Gambling Therapy Team
PS: Let me just remind you to take a look at our7 June 2015 at 5:25 pm #3935
I wouldn’t dream of saying you were too young and nor would I tell you to leave or to stay with your partner. Knowledge of the addiction to gamble will give you power over it and help you cope. With understanding you will be able to make your own informed decisions.
Unfortunately I am unable to write anymore tonight as I have visitors but stick with us and you will get replies.
It isn’t easy writing the first post so you have done well already.
Velvet8 June 2015 at 1:41 pm #3936
Thank you velvet,
I know he has a problem and he has admitted he has a problem so I suppose that’s a first step. I’m glad I found this site. Usually I just get told I’m too young and to move on, but it’s not that simple. I love him. I have low self esteem and have suffered from anxiety, did he leave me then? No.
It probably sounds stupid but I just think if I can give him a similar ‘thrill’ to what he gets from a win that I can wean him away from these online sites. Cause I know full well he would not go to any GA meetings. So it’s just me and him in this battle.9 June 2015 at 1:24 pm #3937
The addiction to gamble divides families because it feeds on lies and secrecy, so family and friends are only telling you to leave him because they are thinking of you – but unfortunately unless people have lived with the addiction to gamble, their opinions can be very narrow and not supportive so personally I think it is best to tell others as a statement rather than asking for opinions. You can gather information here so that you can make your own informed decisions with that knowledge but it is always good to get on the ground support as well – just for you.
In my opinion it is more important to ‘listen’ to a CG than it is to bang on about an addiction that the CG ‘knows’ you do not understand. CGs use the ignorance of those around them to keep their behaviour secret. What ‘you’ can see with logic and reason is the damage his addiction is causing, whereas his answer to the damage is illogically to gamble again.
Imagine his addiction is a beast in the corner of the room listening to all you say and looking for an excuse to get your boyfriend to disbelieve you and to gamble. When you a talking about seeing your friends, enjoying a hobby, going out for a meal his addiction will be confused – it can find nothing to bite its teeth into. When you try and talk about his triggers or how much damage his gambling is doing, his addiction beast will kick into action and destroy your words by changing reality to fit his personal perception.
Your suggestion to give him a thrill to match his gambling didn’t sound stupid although I am sorry to say that it is not likely to succeed. The best thing you can do for him is to live well yourself so that he can see that you are enjoying life without gambling and that there are other things in life that bring happiness. Looking after yourself really does make a difference. Your boyfriend is controlled by his addiction but you are not – you are free to make choices and choosing to see friends, have hobbies, eat well, see family are things that you can do (and should do) on your own – if necessary.
It is a sad fact that you cannot save your boyfriend – only he can do that. The only person you can save is ‘you’. Understanding that is tough – it took me far too long to get this through my head so I am not, cannot/will not judge what you do.
Please tell me why you believe he will not try GA. The usual reasons are fear of being recognised or the belief that ‘he’ is not as bad as others. A young man, whose addiction has not hurt him enough, will believe that ‘he’ is different, that ‘he’ is in control and that he will be able to stop on his own in time – but unfortunately the reality is that unless the addiction is treated it gets worse – never better. This site would of course welcome him. We have a terrific Helpline, which is one-to-one, anonymous and private; it is manned most weekdays by a CG who controls his addiction. We have CGs groups, some of which are run by another CG who is also in control of his addiction. We have dedicated counsellors and facilitators who are trained to support in the right way. Our facilities are anonymous so recognition is not a problem. If you don’t want you boyfriend to see what you are posting then you can use the non-CG groups – I have an F&F only group on a Tuesday between 20.00 and 21.00 hours UK time – you would be most welcome, nothing said in the group appears on the forums. We can also make this thread invisible if you so wish. The Helpline is there for you too. Never forget though that ‘you’ are an important part of the relationship and that support for you is vital for your mental health – I hope you will weight that up if you decide to no longer use the forum.
I am concerned that you feel you have low self-esteem – I think you were terrific writing your first post – your boyfriend is lucky to have you on his side. Unfortunately the addiction to gamble destroys self-esteem and confidence, not only in the CG but those around them. Your boyfriend will not deliberately hurt you but his addiction will take you down with it, if you allow it. For that reason I do hope you will keep posting so that you can gain the strength to cope. It would be great if you were to comment on the first topic in our Friends and Family topic forum. It is often difficult to know what enablement is when dealing with the addiction to gamble. Knowing what ‘is’ and what’ is not’ enablement does help.
I wouldn’t be writing to you if I didn’t know that the addiction to gamble can be controlled and the most wonderful lives lived as a result so I hope that knowledge helps.
I will leave it there for now Silver but please post again. What you write helps me to give you the support that ‘you’ need. If you are strong then you are better placed to support your boyfriend.
Velvet11 June 2015 at 5:32 pm #3938
Professional gambler. That’s what he calls himself now, because he’s set up a Facebook site to give tips to other people on football bets. He does this from the second he wakes up until he goes to bed, even when he’s at work. He has no money, yet has started doing bet challenges. £25 to £1000 and see how long it takes him and his followers to get there. He did this 3 times in 2 days, despite it being pretend , he had won. Therefore he must now try this when he gets paid.
He is ‘in control’ , when we move out he’ll simply stop gambling as we’ll have bills to pay apparently. So this is why he won’t go to GA. just one more big win he says, and then I can stop.
Today, we fell out over brown sauce. I put the sauce in with his burgers, and he actually wanted it just on the plate. Then I get called a failure and accused of doing it on purpose just to wind him up.
Today has been hard, it mAdeme think about my ex which I hate as it brings me down so much ( we were ‘high school’ sweethearts but he lost his battle to cancer 3 years ago) and I just think how my life never used to be so sad. I am young, I’m 20, I should be able to be happy. But I want it with him, because for the first year, we were so happy. And then he started gambling.12 June 2015 at 1:59 am #3939AnonymousGuest
Your right its hard to deal with and until they do something about there issue, theres not much we can do for them but to obtain information and educate ourself of there addiction and give them numbers to GA meeting Doctors that can possbliy help but all that doesnt i repeat doesnt work if they choose not to help them selfs .I have live so many yrs with my cg gambler and to be honest thought i knew alot about the issue boy was i wrong .its like they have two faces they do mean well but its not normal and not okay to thier love onces and to them selfs . I have tried to help him you have no idea everything from a-z and he did stop the most he has gone is 5 months, but it gets wrost he know spend days !! in the casino just a week ago he replace after going two month with no gambling and he didnt even show up to work for five nights!! yup thats crazy !!i had to go a see it to believe it and he was there and surely he looked awful .ANywho yes your young can do much more than that if your not married you have a chance for BREAK . and let your self breath and really see what you want of life and mabye he could have time to see what he really needs of life and if maybe just maybe he sees what a wonderfull person you are and see what changes he could do to help HIMSELF so he can give you what you want in this relationship.
keep posting and god bless you
Tania12 June 2015 at 7:09 pm #3940jennaraye88Participant
I have read through your thread this evening and just wanted to offer you some words from someone “on the other side”.
Quick history of me: I’m 26 and have been gabling since I was about 20. Online slots are my thing, I got hooked six years ago and whilst I have gone through periods of being “clean”, throughout the illness I have racked up thousands in debt. I finally made the decision to quit for good only a couple of weeks ago, mainly due to the fact that I’ve been with my fella for 18 months now and really want to concentrate on a future with him. One that involves marriage and kids some day which will be impossible if I carried on gambling.
I have never told my fella of my addiction. I was clean when I met him and started on the slots again about a year into our relationship, why I have no idea. I don’t want to tell him as he thinks the world of me, I am his princess in every way. For him to make me feel gives me hope that i’m not a bad person, I make him so so happy. And he makes me happy too. I feel so loved and never want that to change. I am lucky in that I get paid quite well from my job and can, in time, repair the financial damage I have caused.
I have always promised myself that if ever my addiction affected my relationship with my amazing fella, I would come clean (my hope is that I beat this demon and he will never need to know – some people don’t agree that I should keep it from him regardless, but I cannot fess up). From the sounds of it, your fella is letting his addiction affect the way he treats you and it is clearly having a negative impact on your quality of life and your relationship.
Perhaps you can sit down with him and ask him to be frankly honest about how much gambling forms part of his life. Tell him to make a diary of how much money and time he spends on it daily/weekly. It may surprise him to see it written down in black and white. You must tell him how much this is affecting you though, I would be mortified if ever my addiction started to impact on my fella. Perhaps a little bit of tough love would make him wake up and smell the coffee!! this is s progressive illness, so more often than not it will get worse until help is sought!
Ultimately you need to take care of yourself and do what’s best for you. Its understandable that you don’t want to abandon him and I commend you for that. many would find it very appealing to just get up and leave. But you do need to concentrate on your own happiness, so whatever you need to do to achieve that, go for it.
Keep posting and look after yourself. x16 June 2015 at 9:06 pm #3941
I think you would be amazed at how many CGs decide they can be professional gamblers – the belief in their addiction over-rides logic and rationality.
Your boyfriend is not in control. The nature of the CG is that they cannot walk away until everything is lost because the addiction to gamble has nothing to do with money, which is one of the hardest things the non-CG has to understand. It is the ‘gamble’ that matters and it is the ‘gamble’ that destroys them, taking away their self-esteem and confidence just as it does those who love them.
You are absolutely right when you say that at 20 you should be happy. You have already had a terrible experience in the loss of your high school sweetheart, you must have been devastated – did you have any counselling to help you cope?
I am not going back on what I said earlier Silver but you do deserve more than this. I appreciate completely that you are loyal to those you care about but unfortunately this does leave you vulnerable – it wouldn’t matter what age you were either, the same would apply if you were 50.
I hope you post again soon – it would be great to ‘see’ you in an F&F group.
Velvet17 June 2015 at 3:51 pm #3942jenny46Participant
The odd arguments that we suddenly find ourselves in the middle of ie the sauce incidents are very very common. They are often excuses to go and gamble, leaving you feeling in some way – In the wrong, or that you are responsible for the next episode because you upset him.
I cannot begin to tell you what I would have said if I had been criticised for putting his sauce in the wrong place – it would probably have ended in him getting told where the next lot of sauce might end up.
Keep your chin up, you’ll need all your strength to look after you in all of this – and that means letting him deal with his own sauce
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