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    Hi, I’ve recently confirmed that my boyfriend of almost 14yrs is a pathological gambler. We are both 29.

    I have yet to broach the subject in depth with him, he is extremely quick to anger at the supject and has gotten more and more controlling and irritabl. I’m walking on eggshells.

    we live togetherand  I do not currently but he does, making enough that we should be able to cover essentials at the very least. I have been needing to borrow money from parents more and more lately and   his mom accidentally revealed my bf  has been borrowing money from her as well as both of his grandmas.. he borrowed nearly all of his moms tax return and has NOT told me about this and actively lies about details having to do with that and other money. 

    So, I’ve decided I need to give him an ultimatum or this is only going to continue to get worse. Some conditions would be:

    1. he needs to show me all of his accounts (I have discovered secret ones)

    2. He must give me control of a decided amount of the income (like 70%-90% i haven’t decided what would be reasonable)

    3. no more lying, excluding info, or hiding money/not disclosing it to me. 

    4. He needs to bring up the subject with his mom/family

    5. he needs to actively seek some type of group, counseling, psychiatrist etc

    6. If he can not agree to this I will have to move out and either way I can no longer contribute money to him. (When I send/give him money for lunch, rent, utilities, cigarettes etc I have discovered he spent it online along with more money he already had and didn’t even need money from me)

    okay, my questions are.. what would be a good way and time to bring this up?

    I want to bring this up at the best possible time so he might be receptive to the idea instead of defensive, he has been pretty erratic, dismissive and angry lately.  I want him to know I love him and I am not judging him/thinking less of him. I know he is feeling very down on himself and don’t want to make that worse. I have read that suicide attempts are more Likely, I don’t want that to happen. 

    he has never been physically abusive towards me but the couple of times it’s been brought up I started to feel a little unsafe, which really has never happened befor. Although   hes been increasingly manipulative  and emotionally abusive should I feel worried?

    I don’t know how to convey how much this is affecting me. I worry and stress over it daily, have panic attack and cant fall asleep almost every night. He thinks I should change how I feel not how he acts 

    I don’t know… I just need help. I would honestly appreciate any input or advice and if anyone would be willing to give me resources or talk with me, I would be very interested 

    thank you so much 



    Hello K

    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.

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    Hello k,
    I’m glad you’ve posted on here and hope you can gain some support from it. Much of what you’ve wrote rings bells with me. It’s so familiar, the lies, money, family and the change in personality in particular.
    I’ve been with my partner for 5 years and I’d say for pretty much of that time he’s gambled although I didnt know for the first couple of years. It’s such a strain on your relationship and life!
    I would try to talk to him and tell him what you said about loving him and wanting to support him but he has to want to get support for this too and suggest ways you could do this together. It won’t be easy but it’s important to be quite firm and tough on what you expect I think.
    Unfortunately it seems there is no easy answer to all this but with the right support and tools in place your partner can get there.
    Hope it goes well, and let us know how you get on.
    There’s some great people on this site who are very informative and supportive. Hope it helps.


    Hi K

    I hope that you willl gain knowledge of your boyfriend’s addiction before you challenge him with any ultimatums.

    The list you have compiled, although understandable, is, in my opinion too long – there are too many conditions and I think you will struggle to get the conversation you want.

    The addiction to gamble is the master of threats and manipulation – ultimatums made and not carried through will be a green light to your boyfriend who will see a threat, not carried out, as an opening to indulge his addiction because the threat proved idle.

    Many family and friends cope by imagining that their loved ones addiction is a beast in the corner of the room – threaten it and the beast leaps out destroying any, or little, hope of sensible discussion.

    Those who love gamblers often say what the gambler ‘needs’ but the only person whose needs you can satisfy are your own – your boyfriend does not have your ‘need’. ‘Your need’ him to stop, ‘he believe that his need’ is to gamble.

    I have guests arriving any second now and I am trying to get something out to your quickly but sadly I will only have a few grabbed moments over the next few days.

    I wanted you to know you had been heard and understood. Knowledge of his addiction will give you power over it – you are stronger than his addiction but trying to force him to change, will not be the answer – he has to want it himself. I will get this off to you now but I will write again asap.

    Velvet     I could’t send this earlier, my friends arrived and I had to stop!

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