2 April 2019 at 1:26 pm #6675
I don’t really know where to start. There has been so much upheaval in my life over the past 2 years. The end result is my boyfriend, who I have been with for 18 months and love dearly, I am now realising is a CG. I have fallen into the trap of helping him finacially with his struggles and it is becoming a cycle that I need to stop for my own good, as well as his.
I feel strong some days and weak others. When I am strong, I get ignored, when I am weak the end result is, it’s all my fault. Addiction was really not something I had been involved with until meeting my partner. I’m doing all the wrong things for the right reasons I guess. We’ve been making plans for the year, like holidays and outings, one holiday was meant to have been booked by now – he gambled it away. This affects my life too as part of me wants to go and book a holiday for myself on my own but then part of me knows how hurt he would be If I did and he would take it as rejection. He is 34 in July and has been gambling since late teens I think.
I’m only really starting to appreciate that it’s not the money they are after, it’s the ability to gamble and money is just the means? The reason I am realising this is because he took the decision to self exclude from online betting and start his year healthy, he was doing so well, paid me back almost, putting savings into an untouchable account as well as an accessible account. Paying all of his bills, he does pay his wages into my account, again, I did not ask him to. These were all his choices. However with that brings me terrible burdens as when he slips and asked for his savings back (accessible ones) and when I say no, the amount of crap he texts me is awful and makes me feel so sad and hurts so I send it to him, then it appears like he just wants me to make sure his bills are paid and savings then the rest to him to gamble to try and get himself out of ’a situation’ … what I have tried to emphasise is that the situation he had, he would be out of if only he hadn’t have gambled his last 2 pay-checks. He earns well and has low bills. I feel like he is using me sometimes and also that it’s great because his family all think I’m looking after his money (they know he has had issues in the past) and he’s in a great place. Couldn’t be further from the truth.
He gets so terribly depressed with it all and says he doesn’t want to be like this and I am his world etc, but that I must understand how hard it is for him to accept losing after the way he has lived. I‘m not sure I believe him, he can be so manipulative and I end up feeling such low self worth when he asks me for money.
If he really does mean the above, how am I able to encourage him to seek help without offending him? He is the sweetest guy, however he lacks so much confidence it’s unreal. In addition, he plays football and so much of his life revolves around sport – it’s such a tough situation and I don’t want to ruin my life by clinging on to something that may very well destroy me but I care about him so much, when he is happy our relationship is the best.
I am also thinking what is the point in me looking after his money when he just wants it back? I don’t want to have this responsibility but I also don’t want him to feel alone or further backtrack.
All advice and considerations will be so greatfully received, as I am at a loss. I have considered speaking to his family but i’m not sure how supportive they would be, I think they think it’s just a case of stopping, be stronger Etc.
I really hope to hear from you, I am so torn
Amy2 April 2019 at 1:54 pm #6676duncParticipant
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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We look forward to hearing all about you!
The Gambling Therapy Team2 April 2019 at 1:57 pm #6677duncParticipant
The ladies and Gents from the Friends and Family forum will im sure start replying.
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Kind Regards2 April 2019 at 5:31 pm #6678
Well done writing your first post, I know how hard it is.
It is usual for F&F to do all the wrong things for all the right reasons when they are unaware; very few people are really aware of how addiction works unless it affects them directly by which time it has often consumed their lives and the problems seem insurmountable.
Has your boyfriend ever sought help with his addiction? There is a lot of good support nowadays if he should choose to face his demons and live gamble-free – if he couldn’t control his addiction, I wouldn’t be writing to you now.
You are right that it is not the money that is the addiction, money is the means to the end – the ‘gamble’ is all important.
The addiction to gamble causes depression. The nature of the addiction is that the gambler will always lose and therefore constantly feel they have failed. Constant feeling of failure destroys confidence and self-esteem.
It is great that he is playing football, many gamblers give up hobbies and pursue their addiction to the exclusion of all else. Does he bet on sports or watch them for pleasure?
In my opinion, your boyfriend blew his chance of a holiday when he chose to gamble the saved money – you did not make that choice. He is responsible for his choice and his loss. Having said all that, I cannot tell you what to do.
Is there a point to you looking after his money? Gamblers who ask loved ones to take over their finances are hopefully trying to control their addiction and I believe they should be encourage because it is a terrific support to a gambler who wants to live gamble-free. However, your boyfriend is abusing your support and that is not fair on you. If you know you can carry the threat through, try and have a calm conversation when he is being ’sweet’; remind him that he asked you to help him and that you are happy to do so but only if he doesn’t demand money back. If you feel you cannot keep to this arrangement, then don’t make the offer – his addiction is manipulative and sees broken threats from F&F as a green light to carry on regardless.
I am going to stop there in this my first reply Amy because there is a lot to think about. It would be great if you could pop in to an F&F group on a Tuesday or a Thursday evening between 10 pm and 11 pm. Nothing said in the group appears on the forum.
Velvet2 April 2019 at 11:05 pm #6679
Thank you Velvet – i seem to have missed your last comment on the forum. Your time was so very appreciated this evening.
I need to have a think about a few things re his family, how to best approach the conversation, in addition to how to handle the money situation too. I will be back soon.
Amy4 April 2019 at 6:39 am #6680
A little update from me, the threats are continuing about how as I’ve not helped him we should break up. He’s sending the most awful messages, like screenshots of messages about events saying I can’t come, and he is already planning his life without me… then 5 mins later sending me a picture of a horse race and the odds, that particular horse won and he then sent a screenshot of that too.
I am still holding my nerve and still remaining calm, even though I just want to shout, scream and cry. I have of course not given in – I recognise the pattern now and I still hold in my mind that he doesn’t want to be like this and I choose to think he will be disgusted by his behaviour. I am responding reconfirming the boundaries conversations we’ve had also explaining that I’m not giving in because I want to protect us. I love him very much and I’m struggling to understand how he can do this to himself, and me too.
The gambler in him is so toxic to his wellbeing, it is awful to see.
I haven’t seen him yet, I intend to wait but I expect to see him this week. He has been telling me all sorts of lies about getting paid Monday so it will be ok to lend him money, the desperation in his tone of text is so sad. I wish he could see it. I am hopeful he will see it again soon. It hurts so much especially knowing I can’t really help him unless he wants to help himself.
I at least feel proud of myself for not backtracking on our serious conversation about boundaries on Sunday. I can say that I have not enabled him this week and that alone is an achievement for me.
Amy4 April 2019 at 4:25 pm #6681
I think you have every right to feel proud of yourself for standing fast in what sounds like a barrage of nastiness.
If you carry on as you are doing though, he is getting the best support from you and he is lucky to have you on his side.
It is great to see you replying to another member too. I don’t know why but the interaction in F&F has not been wonderful recently. As I am sure you are aware, just knowing somebody else cares and understands can be an amazing tonic.
I hope to ‘talk’ to you again in real time soon.
Velvet5 April 2019 at 2:44 pm #6682
So yesterday was not a good day for my strength in breaking my own cycle. I am really angry at myself for giving in to the manipulation and yesterday afternoon I did. Not terribly but enough to make me realise that the words used are still having this panic affect on me.
Some of the funds were for him to sort himself out with a haircut and things and some was because he was just begging. It really frustrates me how I can be so strong willed one day with him and the next be so weak and tired and just give in. Is this common?
Because of this, I have taken steps to protect myself and him by moving all my accessible non necessary cash to fixed notice accounts and savings accounts held away from my main bank. Realising I am part of the problem is a massive step and I know if the choice is taken away from me and I leave myself with actually what I need to live on and put things in places I can’t see it easily access it will stop me enabling him completely rather than strength one day, weak the next and then feeling awful because I know it just prolongs everything. It makes the NO a lot easier to say and the conversation shorter. I shouldn’t have to do this but it is where I find myself and I am pleased I’ve done it – putting the money in there will absolutely not be an issue for me and keeping it in there won’t even be a conversation!
He is aware I have done this too. I feel good about it – also that my savings will now be respected (by me for my own spending habits too- so it’s a good decision for a few reasons!) … I never have given him cash I need and I would Nineveh either, it has always been savings I don’t need in the short term. Total lack of respect for myself and my hard work.
This was a habit I developed when I didn’t know the strength of this addiction. At first he asked to borrow money because of a tax bill issue – naively I believed him. That is where this started. Then guilt tripping, using it as a reason not to see me so I gave in, it’s incredibly hard no to think he might be using me when I start to really analyse what’s been going on. However there have been times with no gambling and he stayed with me so I don’t think he is using me, I think his addiction is.
I hope this all makes sense?
Thank you Velvet, I look forward to speaking to you too. You are a great help x7 April 2019 at 4:26 pm #6683
Three things stand out in your post. One is that you have enough awareness of yourself that you have put your accessible, non-necessary cash somewhere safe, another is that you are beating yourself up unnecessarily for a moment of forgetfulness about the strength of his addiction; and the third is that you have told him how well you are protecting yourself.
It is easy not to recognise when the addiction is manipulating you – you love your boyfriend; you have money to spare which he appears to ‘need’ and you don’t want to hurt him. Add all that together and suddenly giving him a little cash is easier than saying ‘no’; especially when you know he will appear distressed and possibly say all manner of unkind things that will hurt you if you don’t accede to his demands.
I think it is what makes journals such as the one you have here so useful. You can look back and see what happened last time you gave in, the time before that and all the times before that. It is all experience and as it builds so will your confidence. Hopefully his understanding will also build if he recognises that you are trying to support him and not punish him for his addiction.
One thing that we say constantly on this site is that when you think you have tried everything then it is time to try something different – that is what you are doing – and doing well.
I hope you will regain the respect for yourself that you deserve. You have come up against a cunning formidable foe and it takes a different learning experience to ‘get it right’. The addiction is also your boyfriend’s foe but as yet he is not fully aware of that.
One of the other things you can do to protect yourself and him, is to tell him that when you give him cash you want a receipt – it is what happens in rehab. It is important that he recognises that this is to support him and is not treating him like a child. If there is no receipt then there will be no cash at all.
Keep posting Amy. I hope your weekend has been a good one
Velvet9 April 2019 at 2:18 pm #6684
I hope to speak in real time tonight to update you and clear my mind. I have had a tough week.
I have protected my savings and left myself with nothing… yet he is still telling me how much he wants to bet (the masters) … he borrowed money from his dad at the weekend for the grand national and golf. He lied to him and told him he was short. Got very upset with himself.
I don’t know what I can say as I feel like he is going to ask me to use my credit card or something (I am keeping that as I know I’m responsible (999 credit rating) however I’ve told him I’m keeping it only until I get paid. I’m scared he is going to leave me no option but to leave soon. I don’t want to but this can’t continue. I think he is worried about it but it’s hard to tell.
I wish I knew what to say to pacify him about the masters, he now not only can’t accept losing he can’t accept not being able to bet? Is this part of it?
I’m feeling at a loss and incredibly small and stuck.
Amy11 April 2019 at 8:33 am #6685
So since my last post … he has been asking me to access my credit card, sending pictures of random sites with credit card acceptance. Can I send money from my credit card to my back etc etc.
Obviously none of that is possible and to be honest, even if it was, I wouldn’t do it. The desperation of this abuse and addiction becomes clearer by the day.
It is shocking, he has messaged to tell me that he will stay at home on his own this weekend. I’m somehow winding him up and making him angry. I’m not sure if he is trying to punish me in some way or thinks I’ll give in and withdraw cash from my CC or something. I won’t.
He gets paid Monday, into my account still as he said he wanted to do it for a few more pays and if he continues to hassle me he will change it. I agreed but also unsure what to do if he won’t change it? What a mess!
Amy11 April 2019 at 1:25 pm #6686RuptureParticipant
Your story hit close to home. I see a lot of similarities with my boyfriend.
He is trying to manipulate you by saying he is staying home this weekend. The only reason he is angry is because you’re not giving in to his demands.
Put yourself and your own well being first. If you can’t take the harassments then I would suggest to tell him to change the deposit of his salary to his own account. I’ve done this with my CG. I couldn’t handle the manipulations any longer and it was taking a toll on my own health. He handles his own money now as I don’t want to have anything to do with it anymore.
I commend you for standing your ground this long. Stay strong and now that you’re not alone in this.
Rupture11 April 2019 at 10:45 pm #6687
You wrote before that you were feeling small and stuck is a horrible place which is not a good feeling. However, you are not small and as I said before you are bigger than his addiction, you are stronger than his addiction and you really don’t have to be stuck.
This latest post sounds a lot more positive, you are realising that you are stronger now which is great – when F&F feel weak they are vulnerable and open to manipulation.
You asked if the way he is talking about the masters and not being able to accept life without betting is normal. It is indeed terrifying for a compulsive gambler to face a life-time without his addiction and therefore, denial is common. He will struggle to actually let go but there are true recoveries, or I wouldn’t be here. It is, of course, impossible to tell, at the beginning, when one is true. Unfortunately, until ‘he’ accepts his addiction and takes responsibility there is nothing you can do to force him.
He is still agreeing to have his salary paid into your account which is good although I agree with you that continued hassle should not have to be endured. I cannot tell you what to do but if it was me, I would walk the extra mile while he is asking for his finances to be overseen on the understanding that if there is any more hassle the offer cannot remain open.
I hope to speak to you again soon
Velvet8 June 2019 at 7:03 am #6688beingstrong100Participant
Hi Amy, Rupture and Velvet,
I’m also kind of new here, looked around in the F&F forum for support from others stories and found this thread. I recognise so much of what you are describing Amy. I know the post is a couple months old and I wonder how you’re doing now.
My ex is a CG, he left me many months ago as he said he needed to be alone due to the addiction, we had then been together for many years and I had been the enabler (although I didn’t know this word then) for most of that time. I was so devastated when he left me (I easily get separation anxiety, and also I loved him so much, and still do) I stayed in touch with him in the hope that we could one day get together again- if only he sorted out his addiction. I continued “helping” supporting emotionally and financially at any time of day- most of the time he was ok, good at his job, started therapy and there seemed to be hope, but every now and then fell for gambling, large amounts. I knew of course that this kind of relationship and the cycle we were in was not healthy, but I was in denial and also really didn’t know how to break it as I had become addicted to it as well. A very strong addiction.
In the end we hit the wall, I was finally so emotionally exhausted by the concern and no money left so I’m now estranged by no contact- it feels scary and I feel guilty and like I’m an awful person, but I’m getting used to it. I hope by me staying away (which I need for my recovery) will help him, to know I’m out of the picture for now so he can concentrate on dealing with it all, once and for all and really feel better. Of course it may be hard for him, but when those thoughts pains me (thinking of him suffering and what will happen) I think about that the way I tried it so far didn’t work, so I need to change tactics. It’s just a fact.
I wish with all my heart that he will be happy and well. I love him and care for him and hope he knows it and feels it. AND I want good things for me too, because I matter. In the end of the day I believe he would want that too, the “dance” we did for a long time is not normal.
Amy- you are strong and I think you are taking many good steps protecting yourself. I recognise so many of the moments you describe, the sad tone in messages, the feeling of being manipulated by someone who loves you – the latter is the addiction speaking I believe. Stay strong, and demand that your boyfriend admits that he has a problem and seeks proffessional help, I know it may fall on deaf ears- if it does I would advice you to tell him you can not accept this behaviour any longer as it’s hurting your relationship a lot. It took my CG a long time to finally get help (even if it doesn’t have 100% effect yet, it’s a journey but at least he started it) and step out of denial, but finally he did. So your boyfriend can too. If he refuses, say there is no more help coming from you and that he may loose you. Your money should be spent on that holiday you had planned together, not at the bookies.
I hope things are better for you Amy, please let me know if you read this.
Rupture- I also had enough with handling finances as with you it all started to take a toll on my health. I know exactly what you mean, there is only so much you can do.
Velvet- your words make a lot of sense, as usual.
Thanks for sharing in this forum, lots of love. Look after yourselves!8 June 2019 at 11:01 pm #6689
Hi Being Strong
Please start your own thread so that you can get replies that are just for you.
I can’t use someone else’s thread to talk to you and you deserve to get support .
The forum is different to the groups in that replies can be more considered.
Maybe you could even cut and paste a lot of what you have written to Amy – and then if Amy is still reading she may well reply to you.
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