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Just need some advice...

(5 Posts)
SlaveToFinnAndEve Wed 27-Jul-11 20:47:21

I have been with OH for over 6 years. We have a 3 year old and 20 month old.
When pregnant with our first OH told me that he had a gambling problem and was in seriously in debt. I took on some of the debt and we limped through. 2 years ago we embarked on a joint IVA (reduced form of bankruptcy). Throughout this he has continued to gamble although to a lesser extent - couple of hundred per month rather than a couple of thousand. This came to a head earlier this year and he told me that this was part of him and that I had to accept it. He lets me control the finances and he has limited access to our joint account although when he does he inevitably gambles.
I returned to work fulltime earlier this year. I would rather work part time and be at home with the kids but we can't afford it. I'm in a high-pressured, performance driven job and this adds to the stress. I'm looking for alternatives but there's not much out there at the minute.
We don't have a particularly affectionate relationship. I get attention about once a fortnight (!!) and it's always after the lights go out. I am stressed and suspect I'm depressed and I have put alot of weight on in the last 3 months. My self-esteem is really low and I'm on the verge of going off sick with stress/anxiety. I haven't had a day off sick since 2009.
I keep reading that things get better as the children get older. We're still in early parenthood and pretty tired most of the time which doesn't help. I'm wondering whether it'll matter if 'things' get better if the gambling/debt remains a problem. I can't see that our circumstances will ever change and I don't want to spend my life babysitting his spending and worrying whether we'll manage the mortgage the next month.

Has anyone advice or experience they can share?
If we did split I wouldn't know where to start. We jointly own the house but it was his for 10 years prior to my arrival. I don't think he'd allow us to split particularly easily.


soggy14 Wed 27-Jul-11 21:01:35

if he had a house when you met him then he must be capable of managing his money somehow. Can you work on that? Does he work? Would separate bank accounts help?

SlaveToFinnAndEve Wed 27-Jul-11 21:15:38

He's the main earner. In fact he earns a high salary. The house was bought when mortgages were easily come by. He's had it for 15 years. There's no equity in the house as he kept remortgaging to fund gambling habit before I moved in and got joint ownership. What has built up is negated by secured debt.

We have a joint account which I manage and he has an account which I put £40 into each week for his spending money. There's no problem with him getting more if needed but whenever he has joint account card (usually when he's doing me a favour by doing shopping) he withdraws a hundred + quid too and it's not until I'm checking the account that I realise its gone.

Am wondering whether I'm naive or just stupid.

neuroticmumof3 Wed 27-Jul-11 21:42:18

It doesn't sound as though he intends to change. He's told you that you just have to accept his gambling. Ending the relationship is probably the only way you can change your situation. I know that sounds really harsh but if you don't want things to go on as they are that's probably your only option.

Anniegetyourgun Thu 28-Jul-11 00:05:30

You don't have to just accept it because he says so. Gambling isn't who he is, it's what he does. I'd have thought it was ultimatum time: Gamblers Anonymous or separation. The danger of this though is that if he is not ready to face his addiction - which, from what you say, he isn't - he may prefer to walk out of your and your children's lives rather than give up, and that may not be what you want.

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