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Dh is addicted to gambling

(53 Posts)
TheBrokenDreamsIDream Thu 26-Jun-14 09:46:14

Name changed but am a regular poster.

Dh has a history of gambling , for the past couple of years at least. I thought things had calmed down and were getting back on track; he had set up his own trade and we were far from having lots of money but were surviving. For whatever reason, his partner suddenly pulled the plug on him and left the business. This left dh in a difficult position financially, and as always he was down and depressed. I gave him 2.5k (my own savings) as a loan to get going again.

Went through his bank statement yday to find lots of gambling at William hill, mainly £100 transactions. Lots of them were after the date I had given him the money and some were from before. I roughly totalled up £900.

We needed that money to survive. I gave him all my savings and he's blown it on gambling. sad We have two dcs and I am in pieces over this. I don't think it's ever going to stop.

TheBrokenDreamsIDream Thu 26-Jun-14 09:53:36

I should add that over the past couple of years we have slipped further and further into financial difficulty.

I'm now thinking that I only know part of how much he gambles, it must have been so much more when we had the money, and this is why we are now almost penniless.

TheBrokenDreamsIDream Thu 26-Jun-14 10:05:46

Anyone with any advice?
I've not told a single family member or friend because I'm so ashamed that this is what my life has come to sad

LoisPuddingLane Thu 26-Jun-14 10:07:43

There is no reason for you to be ashamed. I don't know much about gambling but I don't think there is much future with this man.

TheBrokenDreamsIDream Thu 26-Jun-14 10:17:19

I feel like the world biggest mug, to be in this position and have two dc with a man who is lost in another world.
So depressed today, can't get out of bed

seabream Thu 26-Jun-14 10:28:31

I didn't want to read this and not answer. There was a gambling thread on here a few days ago, have a search for that. I also recommend going to the Gamcare forum, where there is a families and friends section.

Please don't feel ashamed, this is not your fault. Have you spoken to him? What was his response? If he is ready to stop gambling and admit he has a problem then maybe he will be able to get you back to financial stability. But, unless he does this, I'm afraid you must protect yourself. Gamblers are incredibly secretive and emotionally unstable - and you will bear the brunt of that. Separate yourself financially as far as you can and take as much control of the money as possible.

If he does admit to his problem and commit to trying to change, you have a long road ahead for both of you, compulsive gambling is a nasty addiction to overcome and complete success is difficult to achieve. There is no way he will stop unless he is totally committed to doing so and to accepting the damage he has caused.

I'm so sorry, I know how you feel, I've been there, and am coming out the other side but it has been incredibly hard. Normal life is a long way away.

None of this is your fault. You need however to protect your own self financially as well as emotionally.

This is what you can do:-

Do’s and Don'ts for Partners of Problem Gamblers

Do
◾Seek the support of others with similar problems; attend a self-help group for families (Gamanon or GA)
◾ Explain problem gambling to the children.
◾ Recognize your partner’s good qualities.
◾ Remain calm when speaking to your partner about his or her gambling and its consequences.
◾ Let your partner know that you are seeking help for your own sake because of the way gambling affects you and the children.
◾ Understand the need for treatment of problem gambling despite the time it may involve.
◾ Take control of family finances; review bank and credit card statements.

Don’t
◾ Preach, lecture, or allow yourself to lose control of your anger.
◾ Make threats or issue ultimatums unless you intend to carry them out.
◾ Exclude the gambler from family life and activities.
◾ Expect immediate recovery, or that all problems will be resolved when the gambling stops.
◾ Bail out the gambler.
◾ Cover-up or deny the existence of the problem to yourself, the family, or others.

TheBrokenDreamsIDream Thu 26-Jun-14 10:35:31

He has turned very nasty after I confronted him. I'm in tears, he's called me every name under the sun.

I would seek legal advice asap re your finances and make plans to leave him. His behaviour towards you by calling you names was completely unacceptable.

TheBrokenDreamsIDream Thu 26-Jun-14 10:43:30

He's packed a bag and stormed out.

He said I've destroyed his life since he married me.

He said he would rather go kill himself because his life is fucked anyway.

What terrible things to say to you. I would not go after him at all.

Please get on side now your own support; talk to trusted family and friends about what has happened today. Keep posting here too; others will see your post and post on your thread too.

How dare he say its all your fault. The rational part of your mind would tell you otherwise; he has put his family in this precarious financial state due to gambling.

TheBrokenDreamsIDream Thu 26-Jun-14 11:05:12

I am in pieces. He called me who're again and again. Ironically, I've only ever been with one man and that was him. Not that it would make anyone a whore if this wasn't the case.

I don't really know what I'm saying .

Calling you that name is beyond the pale.

Honestly I would seriously consider divorce now, how can you ever come back from this anyway?. And what if he storms off and pull this type of stunt against you again?.

TheBrokenDreamsIDream Thu 26-Jun-14 11:30:47

I don't know.
A lot has happened in the past.
He's left so many times before, I have confronted him before and he's reacted in the same way.
But I've always asked him to come back.

TheBrokenDreamsIDream Thu 26-Jun-14 11:35:22

I said to him I don't want to be with you anymore. He said I'll go now, and he did.

LoisPuddingLane Thu 26-Jun-14 11:50:13

Why do you ask him to come back? It's not ever going to be different, going by what you say.

seabream Thu 26-Jun-14 12:09:37

I'm so sorry to hear this, you poor thing.

He's almost certainly going to be gambling right now. If he has any access to your money or joint money, close it down and get it safe. He's clearly in a crisis and will straight away turn to the bookies. He'll take whatever he can as he probably knows that the tap will be turned off very soon. I know how much you must be hurting but protect your future starting from now.
Blaming others is typical of a compulsive gambler, and they will lash out if the think that they gambling is being threatened. This is not excusing him of course, but it is highly unlikely that in any rational way he actually believes what he's saying. Nevertheless he hasn't given you any sign of repentance, and you must get out of this relationship now. He probably will come back once he's run through all his accessible money. Please please don't let him back in. You can rebuild your life for you and your children without the millstone of an unrepentant gambler dragging you down.

LittleMissDisorganized Thu 26-Jun-14 12:53:48

This is addiction, pure and simple. His devotion is to his gambling to the exclusion of all else and he will protect it at any cost, until he gets to the point of facing the denial and asking for help. He is far, far away from that point and these actions have made it hugely clear to you.

Protect yourself. It might sound cold but today you must protect what money you have that is rightly yours and the DCs. And tell someone - someone who you know will not judge (because you have nothing they should be judging you for) and just be with you, listen and give you the hugs we can't through the screen.

TheBrokenDreamsIDream Thu 26-Jun-14 13:29:11

I'm shaking. He just came back for some more things and smashed my bedroom door in.

He's gone now. But taken keys with him.

seabream Thu 26-Jun-14 13:32:06

Call the police.
Sending you strength.

LoisPuddingLane Thu 26-Jun-14 13:33:32

Please don't let him come back after this. He's showing you his true self.

TheBrokenDreamsIDream Thu 26-Jun-14 13:39:04

He said he's going to spread a rumour that I told him my father abused me as a child, that's why I left home.
My dad is dead.
How can he do this to me. This was supposed to be the man who loved me and protected me.

Callani Thu 26-Jun-14 13:43:28

This is so awful for you OP - I am sending you hugs and support from afar.

You must put your safety first - and get through the next steps to get some security.
1. Call 101, tell them what happened and get the police round to take evidence and a statement.
2. Call a locksmith to change the front door locks.
3. Call your bank and put a temporary block on your account, savings etc.

Sending you strength

LoisPuddingLane Thu 26-Jun-14 13:43:45

What a truly unpleasant man. I don't care if he's got an addiction, this is no way to treat somebody you are supposed to love.

I think the only way to ride this out is with dignity. Tell those closest to you not to listen to things he says.

LittleMissDisorganized Thu 26-Jun-14 13:45:18

What Callani said. If you only do 3 things, do those. Are the children at school?? Maybe the 4th thing is: ring the school and ask them not to release the children to anyone but you. He is out to hurt you and he knows what you value the most.

TheBrokenDreamsIDream Thu 26-Jun-14 13:52:38

My finances were separate from him a long time ago. I was practically carrying him financially anyway.

Older dc is at school, baby is at home.

I'm calling my parents in law but they're not picking up.

TheBrokenDreamsIDream Thu 26-Jun-14 13:56:19

He's sat outside the house in his car, sending me awful nasty messages, like I'm going to burn you alive and get you raped and killed

rodgette Thu 26-Jun-14 13:59:37

hope your okay
phone the police
save the texts, get support in RL, just think about you and kids
be strong x

Needasilverlining Thu 26-Jun-14 14:01:35

Police. Now. Please.

Callani Thu 26-Jun-14 14:07:32

OP, phone the police now. Tell them that your husband has been violent and he is now sitting outside the house and sending you abusive, threatening messages.

Tell them that you are scared and don't feel safe and ask them to come now. Save the texts to show them.

Please take this seriously, I know he is your husband and you love him, but you can see from his actions this morning that you cannot predict what he's going to do right now so you need to take as many steps as possible to keep you and your baby safe and that means getting official, proper protection.

Do phone the police straight away. Do not cover at all for any of his actions, tell them everything. Show them the damage he has caused.

CinnabarRed Thu 26-Jun-14 14:34:22

You must call the police.

Aside from anything else, presumably you need to leave the house soon to collect your eldest from school (or, just as bad, your eldest will make his/her own way home and run into your H in what is clearly a highly unstable frame of mind).

You must save the texts.

I'm not clear on why you're calling your PILs. If you're looking to them for support, then be aware that they may feel they have to cleave to their son. You might have more luck asking them to make sure that he is safe (as your interests and theirs would be aligned in that).

Wishing you every strength.

CinnabarRed Thu 26-Jun-14 14:36:41

You mentioned that your Dad has passed - do you have any other relatives or friends who could be with you?

TheBrokenDreamsIDream Thu 26-Jun-14 14:44:15

I have an elderly mum and siblings who live over an hour away. This might be too much stress for her.

I called the pils because in our culture PIL do get involved in an incident like this , it's expected for them to.

LoisPuddingLane Thu 26-Jun-14 14:45:19

But have you called the police?

His parents may be of no use to you whatsoever and could well even go onto side with him rather than you.

I would still call the police if you have not already done so. Abuse like you have suffered today is no respecter of persons or culture.

CinnabarRed Thu 26-Jun-14 14:57:10

I called the pils because in our culture PIL do get involved in an incident like this , it's expected for them to

I do get that - but their version of 'getting involved' may well be to support their son, and not you.

aturtlenamedmack Thu 26-Jun-14 15:03:05

Hi op,
I'm really sorry that this has happened to you.
I have a bit of practical advice and I hope it helps.
First of all, have a look at the GamCare website, they offer support to both addicts themselves and their families. The forums are full of posts from people in a similar situation to you and they might be helpful for you to read.
Second, they is a piece of software called GamBlocker that you can get. It blocks access to all gambling websites. Download it onto all devices that he has access to including phones, tablets etc.
Third, strongly encourage him to self exclude from all gambling websites and bookmakers. To do this he would need to contact each site and ask for an exclusion and they should set one immediately. Sit with him while he does this and make it a condition of you continuing your relationship with him (if you want to).
If he also uses a bookmakers, he would need to ask for a self exclusion form from the counter, again, go with him to do this.
Unfortunately only the gambler himself can set these, if you contacted the bookies/websites then it's unlikely that they will discuss his account with you.
I would however contact the sites to let them know that he has used your card on their site without your permission and drop into this conversation that you are concerned with his gambling and think that he is addicted.
Responsible gambling is taken seriously within the industry, and the sites have a duty to investigate if your card has been used without consent. I think under these circumstances most companies would put a stop on his account even if they won't tell you that they are.

aturtlenamedmack Thu 26-Jun-14 15:05:11

Jesus, have just read your last post. Call the police right now. I hope that you're OK!

aturtlenamedmack Thu 26-Jun-14 15:07:44

And please ignore everything that I first posted. You and your children need to be away from this man as quickly as possible.

Fontella Thu 26-Jun-14 15:26:42

He's a fucking arsehole and not just because he has a gambling
problem.

Not only does he gamble away the money that should be going to provide for his family (money that you lent him) leaving you in dire financial straits, he abuses you verbally, calls you 'a whore' who has 'destroyed his life', smashes in doors, lies through his teeth, makes threats, and says he's going to spread (untrue) rumours about you online. He always goes completely berserk when you confront him about his gambling, has left 'so many times before' and you have 'always asked him to come back'.

Make sure this time you don't 'ask him to come back'.

All you will ever get with this waste of space is misery. He lies, gambles and abuses you and when you dare to make any kind of stand he threatens you (and please don't take any notice of the threats to kill himself either - it's just another form of emotional blackmail).

This is no way for you to live and no way for your children to live. You sound as if you mean business this time when you say you've told him that you 'don't want to be with him anymore', and I very much hope that you are able to garner the strength to see this through, because having him back again is just going to perpetuate your unhappiness, not to mention do nothing to alleviate your financial situation. Your children need stability and security, and clearly your gambling husband is incapable of providing that.

BanjoKazooie Thu 26-Jun-14 15:37:50

Can you photograph or screenshot the abusive messages and email them to yourself so there is no way of him getting your phone and deleting them.

Please, please, do NOT feel embarrassed about this. You have done nothing wrong. If his parents come and help please not let them minimise the situation. You need to be strong.

Good luck.

wallypops Thu 26-Jun-14 16:55:32

I think the very first thing you must do this minute is let the bank know. They are used to this and should be able to block all the accounts that he has access to.

Transfer all funds he has access to somewhere safe first, so you can still access them but he cant. If necessary ask the bank to prepare you an envelope of cash. Mine have done this for me in the past. Ask yours what they can do to help.

AcrossthePond55 Thu 26-Jun-14 17:11:39

OP have you called the police? You need to be sure you are safe. That is the best way to protect your children. At the very least, can you call your siblings to come over?

It's all well and good to say your culture says your ILs should get involved, but will they be on your side? Their vested interest would be in their son.

You MUST seek legal advice to protect yourself financially. Where I live (US) a spouse is LEGALLY RESPONSIBLE for ANY debts incurred by their spouse, regardless of whether or not finances are separate. A friend's mother lost everything she had when her husband developed a gambling habit. They actually had to get a divorce after 50 years of marriage because he refused to quit.

TheBrokenDreamsIDream Thu 26-Jun-14 17:22:06

Yes, he is a fucking arsehole.

I havnt called police. He's fucked off anyway.

I've told a close friend too, and my sister. I'll get round to telling mum soon. I'd want to know if one of my dcs was going through the same thing, no matter how old and frail I appeared to them.

TheBrokenDreamsIDream Thu 26-Jun-14 17:26:20

With regards to the in laws thing, I am wanting them to come over so they know exactly what their son is capable of. He is really manipulative and has turned them against me in the past, and because I moved to his city after marriage, I have no other family here except them. I need them, they are close to the dcs and very good with them.

QuintessentiallyQS Thu 26-Jun-14 17:31:03

Poor you.

But the inlaws are a bit of a red herring, as them knowing has not really changed who he is? Call the police! Dont delete the messages.

CinnabarRed Thu 26-Jun-14 17:31:36

I'm so sorry, but almost certainly your PIL will not be there for you, no matter that you need them. Because to support you would necessitate siding with you against their son, and they simply can't do that. How many of us mothers would turn away from our children, no matter how badly they behaved?

The first thing you need to understand is that to your husband gambling is more important than you or anything else. He is in the grip of an addiction that will never be broken by anyone other than himself. Whether he chooses to break this addiction or not will be entirely random and cannot be predicted. He may be able to stop for short spells at a time when forced to do so by others. However his addiction is too powerful for him to resist at the bequest of others. He will eat through everything and borrow everything to the point where there is nothing left to sell or borrow. The condition he had is progressive and only gets worse and he will become more desperate as time goes by. Just when you think he has done the maximum amount of damage he will still be able to do more. It is not worth considering that he can stop as recovered compulsive gamblers are a very rare breed. You must leave him now and break all ties with him. This was dictated by my husband to be. He is one of the few who recover one day at a time through gamblers anonymous which he still attends. However he was recovering when I met him and I have never seen him place a bet or cause me any financial harm. He is speaking from experience. Protect yourself and your children. You can't help him

TheBrokenDreamsIDream Thu 26-Jun-14 18:08:42

Thank you all for taking the time to reply.

I do realise deep down that the in-laws will side with their son.

I guess it's a last attempt at trying to keep some fragment of our family life as normal as before sad

AcrossthePond55 Thu 26-Jun-14 19:22:53

But his gambling addiction means that your family life has never been 'normal'. It's been based on deception on his part.

If nothing else, please see about protecting yourself financially.

CinnabarRed Fri 27-Jun-14 13:49:02

How are you today? I hope you're safe, and learning to adjust to this strange new world.

CookieDoughKid Fri 27-Jun-14 22:43:51

You're going to have to accept a future without him for the time being. To save yourself and your children.

There is nothing you can do to help him. He's self destructive. Stay away from him as much as you can. Work on a plan to leave with as much in your favour as you can because it will be you raising the children mostly alone unfortunately. He is in no fit state at all.

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