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Married to a gambler

(44 Posts)
dontcallmehon Tue 14-May-13 21:48:57

'd' h is a gambler and heavy drinker. He has lied over and over again. Recently his mum slipped up and mentioned £1000 that he'd borrowed from her because he'd spent £1000 in 2 days on gambling. She thought I already knew

I am self employed and work evenings, so I rely on him for childcare. I don't quite earn enough to keep the house on my own yet, but I'm expanding my business in September, so should be ok once that's established. I've asked him not to leave us in a financial pickle; (more than he has already!) but to sleep in the spare room while I get business set up.

I feel strangely calm. I just want him to go. He has done this over and over. His poor mum said she'd disown him if he did it again. I just looked at her and said: 'He WILL do it again.'

We don't have a joint account and the house is in my name only.

dontcallmehon Tue 14-May-13 21:52:06

I feel so alone sad

dontcallmehon Tue 14-May-13 22:12:03

Just bumping this. Could do with someone to chat to.

Charlesroi Tue 14-May-13 22:19:20


Are you sure you need his money? You couldn't make it up with Tax Credits or other benefits (plus you'd get a 25% council tax discount if he went)? If he stays, would it be possible to make him a lodger (tax free money - paid weekly)?

I think he has to go, though. Just make sure he isn't responsible for paying any bills.

Sorry it's so crappy.

dontcallmehon Tue 14-May-13 22:26:13

As I'm self employed I'm worried it'll be too difficult claiming any tax credits. My income is variable. I'm not far off being able to survive, I just need to expand so that I earn more at the weekend and I can have time off during the week with dc. Him being a lodger would be good, I feel we need this to be formal.

dontcallmehon Tue 14-May-13 22:28:53

I already pay bills and manage all the finances (as he can't be trusted at all).

thenightsky Tue 14-May-13 22:32:24

Does he work and earn money? If he went he'd still have to pay maintenance for the DC I think.

It sounds a miserable situation for you OP sad

Honeybadgerdontgiveashit Tue 14-May-13 22:41:38

I'm self employed with earnings that go up & down, tax credits have been great with me. Give them a try. My DP was an alcoholic so i feel your pain, he is quite far along with his recovery now, but used to financially fuck everything up.

Hope it goes ok x

dontcallmehon Tue 14-May-13 23:00:15

Thanks all. He does work, so would have to pay maintenance. I just don't know where to start. If he had to pay for a flat by himself though he couldn't afford maintenance. If I rang tax credits, could they advise me?

Charlesroi Wed 15-May-13 01:00:06

Have a play with this benefits calculator . What you can get depends on the hours you work, number of children etc.
If you think you might be entitled to something you'll need to ring up the tax credits people and get a form (you can't claim online). You'll get an initial award, then you just ring them up if your circumstances change (the initial award is based on last years earnings) and they'll sort it.

Lavenderhoney Wed 15-May-13 05:22:47

Do you have dc?

His future living arrangements should not concern you, nor tbh his ability to pay maintenance. It's unlikely you will get any as he is a gambler and drinks. Good for you for finishing it. If you can, get him out now. Change the locks. Not for violence, but coming in to take money. My df stole from my money box.

My df was the same, my mum had her own business, she needed him for childcare evenings as well. as soon as she started making money, he gambled all his away and had none to support himself. She paid for everything and I mean everything.

He never left as she knew he wouldn't manage (!) Please don't do that to yourself and any dc if you have them. My dm would be swanning around in diamonds if it wasn't for him. I also think the local bookies is on what would have been our family yacht.

Lavenderhoney Wed 15-May-13 05:28:01

Forgot to add, if you divorce and he is entitled to any share of assets, he will gamble them away. My dm had terrible problems with a house sale as he said he wanted half. He gambled over 1000 gbp a day and hated the onset of Internet banking. Even if you arrange rent for him - and he would need a bank account- he will gamble and get into debt. I repeat, this is not your problem. Make sure his name isnt on anything, or yours with him, and if he is a company sec of your company or anything, get him off.

I see I am projecting somewhatsmile so ignore what isn't relevant..

dontcallmehon Wed 15-May-13 06:17:00

We have 3 dc. His name is not on anything with mine. I despise him.

dontcallmehon Wed 15-May-13 06:18:39

The problem is, last year I worked full time on an employed basis and earned 40k so won't get anything on that basis.

dontcallmehon Wed 15-May-13 06:30:29

I'm worried, as my work is seasonal, so I don't always work 16 hours a week. If they averaged it out I would. Looking at the calculator I could survive.

dontcallmehon Wed 15-May-13 07:04:14

So so sad sad

countingto10 Wed 15-May-13 07:10:04

I think you need some very good legal advice - he may be entitled to a share of the house as you are married. Gamblers can be very manipulative so don't be surprised if other debts turn up sad.

Good luck.

dontcallmehon Wed 15-May-13 07:12:24

We have small dc though, so no plans to sell the house. He is not allowed to live in it on his own either.

willdivorcesoon Wed 15-May-13 08:24:49

Just typed a long reply on my phone and lost it! I'm doing the school run now but will be home shortly and will reply then.

I know exactly what you are going through as I discovered my husband had huge gambling debts 6 months ago. We have now separated. I will reply later with more information.

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 15-May-13 08:56:47

"The problem is, last year I worked full time on an employed basis and earned 40k so won't get anything on that basis."

I think you need to get some better information. Tax Credits are based on the previous year's income unless your circumstances have changed a lot, in which case they are calculated on your current earnings.

Personally, I wouldn't be happy having a heavy drinker and gambler supervising my child. What if one of them needs medical attention and he's either too absorbed in online gambling to notice or too drunk to drive them to hospital?

There are several places you can get advice on things like accommodation, benefits and so on. The Turn2Us site is very good, Citizens Advice Bureau can go through your individual circumstances, a solicitor can advise you on divorce, maintenance and access to children.

Good luck

willdivorcesoon Wed 15-May-13 09:51:18

The best thing I did when I discovered my husbands gambling debts was to go to a solicitor to find out where I stood with regards the debt. It was very useful and I ended up having a legal document drawn up, signed and witnessed by both of us, outlining our finances and the agreement of how to split them. Most importantly it states that I cannot be held liable for debts he has accrued since we separated. We have 2 dc and a joint mortgage so I was very worried about this. The document would stand up in court to ensure that I would not lose my home as a result of him piling up even more debt.

I went to see CAB and also spoke at length with the Tax Credits people as to what I was entitled to. Ultimately the best thing is to not be tied financially to such a huge risk - I am sadly selling our home to protect mine and the childrens assets from him. Its devastating but necessary when dealing with an addicted gambler.

If I can give any advise please ask. I do know just how you are feeling and how terrifying it can be but so much better to go through the next few months of unhappiness and turmoil than to live an entire life full of lies and mistrust. I've had to have counselling to get to that acceptance as I was devastated at the end of my marriage but I am slowly realising that I am and will be better in the long run.

mummytime Wed 15-May-13 09:57:16

You could kick him out and get a lodger who pays reduced rent for some babysitting? Lots of friends have done this.

"As I'm self employed I'm worried it'll be too difficult claiming any tax credits."

I'm self employed and it's not too bad to claim - really! And they do average out your hours over the year to take account of seasonality.
Why not go to CAB and talk it through - also - you need to claim before September as then it will be Universal Credits which I don't think are quite as favourable!

lemonstartree Wed 15-May-13 12:39:15

I'm sure nothing could be worse that what you have been through/are going through now. There will be ways to manage without this unreliable, irresponsible waste of space.

Do make sure you get the legal side watertight.Protect yourself and the DC - sadly he wont give any of you a second thought whilst he is gambling...

dontcallmehon Wed 15-May-13 14:44:58

I've been sent an email about supply teaching (I'm a tutor) so that could help - but again I'm worried about fluctuating income. My dream is to get my little tuition centre up and running in September. I'm going to ask him to stay at his mum's tonight and I'm going to ring the CAB and make an appointment too. Then I'll see a solicitor.

I'm just so sad sad

dontcallmehon Wed 15-May-13 14:46:02

I keep thinking what I would advise someone to do if I was reading this thread. I know I would want them to get him out asap.

Tax credits help even out fluctuating income!

Yargg Wed 15-May-13 18:03:04

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

OhLori Wed 15-May-13 19:12:37

As you say yourself, I would also be advising someone reading this thread to get out as soon as possible. See a solicitor as a matter of urgency. Not only could you lose all your assets (assuming you have any) but any further debts could potentially be legally attributed to you both, as you are married. The fact that your house is in "your name only" may be entirely irrelevant. You really need some good legal advice. The loss of some convenient childcare may be the least of your worries.

As you say he has done this over and over, it doesn't look like there's much hope. When you feel this calm, it probably means its over.

I feel so sorry that you feel alone, but you are not. Please also remember we feel most alone when we abandon ourselves.

kittybiscuits Wed 15-May-13 19:19:39

Disease my fat ass. He has an addiction. When he admits he has a problem and seeks help, he will be able to change it. That's the crappest advice I've seen for a while on Mumsnet! Don''t let his addiction be your problem OP. x

dontcallmehon Wed 15-May-13 21:36:02

The debt is unsecured and mainly historical (pre dating our marriage). He signed an agreement of non-interest when we bought the house. The cannot seize my house for unsecured debt that is not mine. I will get advice, but I am fairly certain on this. The money he has recently spent was his salary and he borrowed from his mum to pay it back. His credit rating is too poor for him to get access to credit now. He even has a basic bank account.

OhLori Wed 15-May-13 23:05:16

Great that you have done that dontcallme. But I would still get full-proof legal advice to make sure. But anyway, don't you want to separate your interests completely all the same? If you remain legally married to him you are still tethered to his wagon so to speak e.g. if you had windfall or inheritance he would be entitled to half. Meanwhile, he's a gambler. He's a heavy drinker. Its just going to bring you all down. He may have spent just "his" salary this month, but its actually your family money, so you are effectively supporting him and subsiding his gambling. Its sad that he has addictions but bringing you all into this mess achieves nothing.

dontcallmehon Thu 16-May-13 04:31:27

I am awake sad panicky now that if he comes here to look after dc at night, tax credits might think he still lives here.) I've asked him to go to his mum's. He said he needs to save for a flat first. I said that he can't do that, because I can't claim tax credits with him still here. He got angry when he realised that I genuinely wanted him to go.

dontcallmehon Thu 16-May-13 04:32:32

I will see a solicitor. Just need to take one step at a time I think.

kittybiscuits Thu 16-May-13 04:38:36

Hiya dontcallmehon. Sorry you're feeling panicky and it's not surprising as you're making big and positive changes. Ride it out and the panic will pass. One step at a time, as you say x

dontcallmehon Thu 16-May-13 04:43:30

Thanks kittybiscuits, I'll try. This needs to happen, I need to protect the dc's financial future.

kittybiscuits Thu 16-May-13 04:59:50

They and you deserve better than this x

dontcallmehon Thu 16-May-13 11:10:37

Feel awful. Was going to ring the CAB today, but I can't stop crying. I just want my mum, but she's on holiday.

Well you could still ring CAB - I am sure they are used to people being a bit emotional!! Take care.

dontcallmehon Thu 16-May-13 21:03:17

They weren't open today. I can feel myself softening. He has been crying. I mustn't.

Stay true to yourself and what you really want!

OhLori Sat 18-May-13 00:04:43

I was thinking this sounds like a familiar thread. I don't know if you have posted before OP, or this is just quite a common situation? Or you could be a troll, but I hope not ...

Maybe its just me, but I honestly could not stand a gambler, never knowing what they were doing with the money I had earned, such hard work too. Especially if they could sell the whole family down the river. I think it might be useful to ask yourself why you are crying so much? (fair question). And equally, why you don't punch him in the face? Let him lose his own money, not yours or your children's. You have a duty to protect your children.

OhLori Sat 18-May-13 00:06:21

Presumably, the money he spent gambling his whole month's salary, would have paid at least for an amazing holiday for yourself and probably your children in the Carribean.

dontcallmehon Sat 18-May-13 21:59:14

I wish I was a troll. Then I wouldn't feel like this.

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