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  • #6461
    devvie
    Participant

    Hi,

    I’m new to this website. I found it while searching the web for suggestions on how to address a compulsive gambler who doesn’t
    recognize that their gambling is destructive to more than his bank account. I read several friends and family posts that read much like
    my own story. Essentially I live with my BF who is a compulsive gambler. There are many many factors that play into how he and I got
    where we are but what’s vital is that we live together and I pay for almost everything. I’ve bailed him out of gambling issues before and
    I’ve heard the
    promises that it’ll never happen again. That lasts until he gets his next paycheck and the entirety of it is gone by the next morning when
    he’s in tears asking me for money and then calling me on his way to work to tell me to hurry up with the money before the bank opens and
    charges him overdraft fees. The nerve! We’ve gotten to the point where if confronted about how he’s managing his money, or lack there of,
    he attempts to turn it on me and harass me about the fact that I spend money on things I enjoy as well. At this point I emotionally detach from
    the argument entirely as I find it unreasonable to argue with someone who cannot recognize the difference between my being able to afford
    the things I spend money on (often shared household items, groceries, trips for both of us), and him borrowing money from friends to gamble
    with only days after claiming he doesn’t know if he can come up with rent this month. He tells me he wants to contribute and wants to be able to
    carry his own weight financially, but when faced with that questions or suggestions on how to make changes to achieve these things, he shuts
    them all down with excuses. Earlier this week I asked him to come home a few hours early from work. He told me he was unable to afford any more
    unpaid time off and that his last paycheck had been so small. Today he left work 5 hours early (unpaid 5 hours) to go to the horse racing track.
    Although he claims he won’t lose any money, I know he will gamble. I don’t want to get into a fight with him so I’m honestly considering
    packing a bag and my dog and going to a hotel for the night. I know I’ll be turned into the aggressor and him the victim when I confront him, but not
    mentioning it only leads him to believe he’s not doing any damage. He continues to use the “I thought you loved me for me” line and I remind myself
    that at least he isn’t cheating on me with other women like many men in the world… then I realize he’s still cheating, just cheating with horses, stat sheets,
    sports teams, fantasy football, and worst of all… manipulation of the facts about his addiction. Add the chain smoking of cigarettes and pot to the
    equation and I’m really starting to wonder if I should just leave him. I love him dearly but I’m old enough to recognize when someone’s feeding me
    words without actions. I’m hoping someone has other advice or suggestions rather than the input of my few girl friends I talk to about this which is
    the simple “Just leave him” response. They’re tired of hearing about it.

    Someone please tell me there’s hope. Cause I’m out of it.

    #6462
    velvet
    Moderator

    Hello Devvie

    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

    PS: Let me just remind you to take a look at our privacy policy and terms and conditions so you know how it all works!

    #6463
    velvet
    Moderator

    Hi Devvie
    All F&F threads will share some similarities – addiction, loss of money, lies, confusions, denial, blame; it is how we handle it that is different and nobody can, or should, tell you what to do. The decision to leave or stay with a compulsive gambler has to be yours. Your friends do not understand – they see you in trouble and they want to help you – the solution appears to them simple – walk away. What they fail to appreciate is that you love your boyfriend. What I know and what you are probably learning from this site is that your boyfriend doesn’t want to be a compulsive gambler anymore than you want him to be.
    It is understandable that hearing the same old story over and over is enough to make you want to walk away and some do. I think it is often good to put some distance between a compulsive gambler and the person who loves him. When the addiction is in your face every day it is hard to think straight and make good decisions. However, many F&F do not want to walk away, they want to work for a good outcome with their loved one. I will not tell you it is easy because it isn’t but I do know your boyfriend can control his addiction and although you cannot make him stop gambling you can support him if he wants to do so.
    Turning you into the aggressor while he portrays himself as the victim is common with the addiction – it gives the CG s addictive mind-set an excuse to gamble further. You don’t know how he feels, you are unreasonable, you don’t understand etc..
    Many F&F have described their loved one’s addiction as the ‘other woman’ and she is certainly a very demanding mistress.
    A circle of behaviour can become a way of life – you don’t want to confront him; he thinks he has ‘got away with it’; he gambles, you don’t want to confront him; he thinks he has ‘got away with it’, he gambles and so it goes on.
    I think it is important that you protect your finances and I believe it is best to have an account of which he has no knowledge. You can only bail him out if you have available money so I suggest you make your saving untouchable. He gets paid and squanders it then turns to you as ‘the ever-open purse’ but if you haven’t got it he can’t have it.
    The tears and the hand wringing is horrible to watch but the tears are for himself because he cannot gamble. F&F want to believe the tears are for them, they want to see remorse but if he was truly remorseful there would be action and you are not seeing any.
    When he is going through the ‘wants to contribute and wants to be able to carry his own weight financially’ part of his cycle you are probably, understandably, telling him what he should do to make his life easier but he doesn’t want to hear it so he turns you off. Maybe you could download the 20-questions from the Gamblers Anonymous web site for when he is in this frame of mind – it is possibly better to show him the words of others who understand than wasting your breath. Maybe ask him to read and answer the questions for himself because you cannot/will not keep enabling him.
    In my opinion it is good to tell an active CG that you are seeking help for yourself, to let him know that you recognise the severity of his problem even if he will not. Maybe you could tell him that you learned that enabling him is feeding his addiction so you will not bail him out again because you love him.
    I know it is really hard to stand firm but I see it as standing shoulder to shoulder with the CG against his addiction rather than constantly telling him what to do when he is not prepared to listen.
    There is a lot of positive support these days for those who want to live gamble-free. We have an excellent Helpline, CG only groups and ‘My Journal’ forum on this site. GA is a marvellous organisation – he will be welcomed and understood in all these places.
    Speak soon
    Velvet

    #6464
    marshmellow
    Participant

    hello…im new here too.After many google searches looking for a recent forum where family of PG could get support.
    My husband is PG.I had kinda known for our whole relationship (9 years two kids) but was far too embarrassed to address the situation.And i justified it to myself that it was only $50 here and there.But in the last year it has significantly gotten worse.Its now thousands and thousands.It started when he took on a new role at work (more hours) and he got a personal loan for a vehicle and seperate bank account to our joint one
    The deceit and staying nights away unexplained.It has been the worst year of my life.I now suffer from anxiety,depression and wonder what will happen next.I find it hard to sleep and am often up in the middle of the night with panic attacks.AS nothing is in my control.He is the main income earner in our family.And every time i think about leaving i get overwhelmed with the how.Im sick of talking to family and friends about it and they just don’t get it.And sure they listen but thats as far as it goes theres no real support.
    Im so glad i have found this forum and hope to find some people in similar situations so i know im not alone,feeling embarrassed and like a failure.
    Speak soon:)

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