8 July 2016 at 9:26 am #4760
I am new to this but feel like I need to talk to someone. I have been going out with my boyfriend now for 5 and a half years. We met through work and still do work together so there is little escape when things get hard. He had a little girl from a previous relationship (2 when I first met him, now nearly 8) and she lives with us full time – me taking on the full time mummy role. I can tell you now that little girl is my baby and it breaks my heart to ever think of not being there for her 🙁
When I first met my partner he was quite flash with money, always had about £300 in his wallet and I guess I just didn’t think much of it. Then the following summer I found a bank statement which had £800 going out to a bookies in one day. I flipped my lid and this was the beginning of my realisation there may be a problem here. We too’d and fro’d with his gambling over the next two years, where I took control of finances. Removed his cards, set up a payment plan to clear his debts and took over the joint account. He would realapse at times, some worse than others but then would go months with nothing and a bit of calm again.
Unfortunately his job has many social functions and so a day out at the races/football occurs often and I don’t attend these so cannot watch him and so he bets. I feel like his mother saying this last sentence its horrible. I am so sick and tired of having no trust in him whatsoever and have checked his phone too for the same reasons.
His behaviour culminated in us nearly splitting up last Christmas I didn’t realise but he had relapsed bad and tried to gamble £30K online (he is very well paid and so has never gambled our rent or anything but his excess money) – some was refunded as I had self excluded him years before – thank god! but it was still not known by me until a month ago. Of course I took the usual reaction of I’m leaving, how can you do this to us etc…I have been told its the worse thing to say to a gambler but how can you not help it? The pain and suffering he has caused me over the last 5 years with such repetitive behaviour has changed me. I feel anxious/upset/very up and down/sometimes depressed.
I try and sort things with him but he is very emotionally void and refuses to see anyone (wont try GA/Councelling) – says “hes sorted it and hasn’t gambled since Christmas and that talking to someone doesn’t work for him”. He hasn’t been in a bookies since then but has gambled on his social events which I cant fathom? That’s still gambling in my eyes and I think he needs to stop totally.
I would love to here what people have to say in support/opinions. I feel like Im not getting any younger and family is on my mind but do I really want to be with someone who makes me feel so unsecure and not myself anymore? If no child was involved this could be a lot easier but I not only risk loosing one person I will loose in effect my child 🙁
Hannah xxxx8 July 2016 at 9:36 am #4761
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 our8 July 2016 at 12:24 pm #4762
It really doesn’t help being told you have done the worst thing to a CG (compulsive gambler) does it? You did so many things right for all the right reasons so don’t beat yourself up on what has gone before; you are doing an excellent job protecting and loving a child whose father is not behaving responsibly at the moment. With knowledge of his addiction you will cope even better.
I am bringing up my thread entitled the F&F cycle for you so that you can see how easy it is to find yourself on the addiction roller-coaster without knowing how to get off. Sadly you are far from alone but if I didn’t know the addiction could be controlled and amazing lives lived as a result, I would not be writing to you now.
You have threatened to leave your bf and not carried it out so now you know that such a threat doesn’t get the result that you hoped for – the addiction is the master of threats and manipulation but you are not and nor, I suspect, do you want to be. I think that if you look at each thing you have done to thwart the addiction and than think about the reaction you got you will begin to get a picture of what works and what doesn’t and that is what learning to cope with this addiction is all about. It’s like a jig-saw, put the pieces together one at a time so that instead of seeing it as one big insurmountable pile the ‘mess’ takes shape. There is no magic pill and there is no crystal ball but you can make a difference. I think a journal of the ups and downs is helpful when looking for patterns of behaviour – both his and your own. If you keep posting here I believe you will soon be able to look back on your posts and be surprised how far you have come because ‘your life’ and what ‘you’ want and deserve is tremendously important, not just for you but also for your special daughter and your bf.
‘talking to someone doesn’t work for me” is a common CG response – and probably means ‘I don’t want to talk to anybody because I want to gamble’. Has he ever accepted he has a problem or is he always in denial? Has he ever tried GA or addiction dedicated counselling? Has he ever seen the 20 questions posed on the Gamblers Anonymous website, if not it might be worth your while downloading them – it might help him to focus on the possibility that he has an addiction and needs the right treatment? Have you got friends and family supporting you? I didn’t hear someone talking like a mother in your post, I heard a caring thoughtful person who understandably doesn’t want a relationship without trust.
I am going to leave this first reply there for now Hannah and wait for you to reply. In the meantime I hope that this forum helps you to know you are not alone and that everything you write is understood.
Velvet8 July 2016 at 1:50 pm #4763
Thank you for coming back to me about my message, it means a lot to get some support and be able to have someone to talk to. The Gambler isn’t the only one affected and that seems to be how my partner feels (its just him with the issue).
He admits he has a problem but now says its all under control but I have heard it so many times before and don’t have the strength to walk away. I think I could if our daughter wasn’t involved but she is far too smart to know what is going on.
I have one person I can talk to about it but generally I don’t mention it to anyone as its such a person thing. As much as it would help justify my behaviour around other people I don’t tell them and instead suffer in silence 🙁
I don’t want to beat him down with his problems but I think a gamblers partner wants them to understand the severity of what they have done. At least that’s how I feel and react the way I do. I also associate gambling with my depressive behaviour which I have never suffered before. Its linked and so I end up in a bad way each time he relapses.
I want to hope that there is a rainbow at the end of this path, I just don’t know what to do – do I force him to go to see someone? I feel he should go but I want him to do it for himself. I just cant have this pattern keep happening, it needs to stop before it affects our daughter
Hannah x8 July 2016 at 11:32 pm #4764worriedmamaParticipant
You are in a very tough spot. You can’t really support or help a person who doesn’t really think he needs help. Forcing him to see somebody will not have the desired result… they will undoubtedly just lie and manipulate the therapist and tell them what they want to hear. My son is a compulsive gambler and I had him to 3 therapists over the years and the only result was I was out a LOT of money. I think that is why GA seems to work for so many is because it’s very difficult to lie. But you can’t force him into a GA room either:(
I attend Gam Anon which for me was a lifesaver as I truly thought I was losing my mind. If you can find one and attend it helps you with support and get some much needed perspective! We close each meeting with the Serenity Prayer
God grant me the Serenity
to accept the things I cannot change,
the Courage to change they things I can,
and the Wisdom to know the difference.
Cathyx11 July 2016 at 3:02 pm #4765
Thank you for your words, may I ask about your Son and how he is today? Did he try GA? My partner wont go.
I quite fancy going to Gam Anon are there different sessions for non gamblers? Or does everyone just mix?
I agree about the therapists too I want him to go for him, however maybe if hes in a room with someone with an outside perspective he may realise his behaviour needs to change and it may want him want to take the right steps forward.
xx11 July 2016 at 11:23 pm #4766
Gamanon meets separately from GA although most groups, if not all, join together at certain times by invitation only.
Generally CGs will have lied many times to get enablement and often carry on lying when they first attend GA meetings. If the non-CG loved one was in the room they would probably get very upset and cry out ‘you’re lying’, which doesn’t help anybody. The beauty about a GA ‘CG only group’ is that the other members can spot the lies but can also relate to the behaviour – they have an understanding that most of us will probably never have and therefore they can support in a way that non-CGs cannot.
In Gamanon you will hear different stories and share similar experiences – at the root of it there is a determination to live without the gambling addiction controlling ones’ life. I found that listening to others was an eye-opener and a relief – they had said and done all the things that I had said and done and they had reacted to the addiction as I had done. I barely said a word for weeks without crying but I wasn’t pushed to speak, I just felt an overwhelming empathy that I had not received anywhere else. I think Gamanon would probably be a very good place for you.
I understand why you don’t want to tell your family or let your partner’s family know that he has a problem but unity and support is the best thing for a CG – I would be surprised if his family wasn’t concerned about some (or all) of his behaviour even if they don’t know it is a gambling addiction – they could be suffering in silence just like you. As your partner’s behaviour appears to be becoming even more unacceptable, maybe it is time to seek their support – if his stealing is found to be criminal his family will be thrust into the cycle of his addiction without any warning. Those around an active CG can protect themselves from the addition if they know what the problem is – without knowledge people do all the wrong things and help nobody.
I hope maybe we can meet tomorrow in the F&F group where you will be welcome. It is good to talk in real time.
Velvet12 July 2016 at 3:03 am #4767worriedmamaParticipant
My son started gambling compulsively at about 18 years old… he is 27 now. We were on the CG roller coaster for years. A lot of denial (on both of our parts), drama & chaos continuously, tears, threats, ultimatums, screaming… I’m sure you get the picture. Finally one day I felt like I was going to lose my mind if something didn’t change and found a Gam Anon group. That was 2 1/2 years ago and it has helped to give me my life back. Support and suggestions from people who are/have been where you are.
My son always maintained GA wasn’t for him. As Velvet mentioned it’s hard as they can’t manipulate or lie in a group of their peers. One day about 6 months after I started he just decided he would try. That was 2 years ago. He as been going to 1 or 2 meetings a week since. There have been relapses since but he is in genuine recovery… not just abstinence.
I know it’s hard but you have to put your all into YOU. Learn what you can and can’t control. Figure what it is that you want by stepping back and away from the chaos.
Try Gam Anon , try the F & F chat and keep learning all you can about this addiction.
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