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My husband lost £11,000 playing poker, everything's shite

(27 Posts)
Redeyedandblotchy Tue 09-Aug-11 06:06:16

I've name changed for this.
I came home from swimming with my DS yesterday and my husband met us at the door, visibly distressed, and told me he was a gambling addict and had lost £11,000 since Christmas playing flamming internet poker.

I went back to work about 4 months ago and in the run up to that spent quite a bit of time drawing up a new budget so we've talked about money a lot over the last few months. He's had ample opportunity to tell me whats going on but he didn't.
We had planned to pay off our debts, save up a deposit and move back home to be nearer our families. Everything he's told me has been lies, he makes more money than I knew, he's taken out a loan behind my back, he's got an other credit card I didn't know about. As the first step in clearing our debts we released money from the savings to pay off the credit card I did know about, its not been payed off either. I've still got a student loan to pay back, that was supposed to be the next item on the list and once that was gone we were going to try for an other baby, so thats not going to happen either.
He was in such desperation that a very dear friend gave him £2000 (!) to help sort it out and he gambled that away too.

Losing the money is gutting but its the lies that are killing me. I really don't want to be a single parent and I don't want to break up my baby's family. I still love my husband but I can't trust him. That he frittered away money that a friend gave him to help us makes me feel sick. Currently I'm staying with him but a seperation is still in the picture. We're of to CAB today to see what we can salvage from this mess and he's going to GA on Thursday.

Has anyone else been in this situation? What did you do? Did it work out?

holyShmoley Tue 09-Aug-11 07:02:49

i've never been in your position, but feel sick on your behalf reading your post.
Nothing constructive to add, but (((hugs))) for you and your family.

elinorbellowed Tue 09-Aug-11 07:29:33

I have no experience personally, but it sounds to me as if this might be the lowest point. If he has told you everything now and he's going to GA, then it sounds like he is prepared to change. Isn't acknowledging you have a problem the first step for all addicts? If so, then the only way for you both is up. Good luck.

Alibabaandthe80nappies Tue 09-Aug-11 07:36:39

Bloody hell sad

I would insist that he gets his salary paid into a joint account for a start and that he gives you all his passwords etc. He needs to prove to you that he is wanting to change.
In the meantime though, he is an addict and needs to tie his own hands as far as possible in terms of what money he can access.

Really hope you can get through this. At least he told you rather than you finding him out, that is a small positive to cling to.

InterPolly Tue 09-Aug-11 07:43:29

Don't have time to post much just now, but I have to tell you of my family's experience. A very close family member was in the exact position your husband is in. He killed himself. Leaving his wife and baby. He clearly felt it was all insurmountable and that he'd let everyone down. This has devastated so many people. It all only came out in the aftermath.

Not a day goes past where we don't all wish he had felt able to share his problem. How easily it could have been solved. But he didn't give any of his friends or family a chance to help. How we all desperately wish he had.

I think the fact that your husband told you and is addressing the problem is massive. You can and will work through this. It seems like a huge amount of money, but really, it's fixable. Best wishes to you at this difficult time.

Redeyedandblotchy Tue 09-Aug-11 07:45:21

Elinor, I really hope so, I really want to believe him but my trust in him is so shaken. He's agreed to have his payslips posted to me and he's given me the codes for his online banking in the hope of making me feel more secure but I can't shake the feeling that if he could do all this behind my back he'll find some way of getting round me next time too.
holyS, I'm not really a hugs woman but I badly need them today and they are very much appreciated.
Thank you so much both of you

countingto10 Tue 09-Aug-11 07:48:11

First of all you need to protect youself financially if you can, ie seperate bank a/cs etc. Go onto the Gamcare website - there is a forum on there to help families of addicts. My DH was/is a gambler and we got into £'000s of debt. You have to stop enabling if you can so do not take on any more debt if you can, in your name. Your H has to phone creditors and make arrangements with them (do not do it for him). There is a thought that bankruptcy/IVAs are not helpful for gamblers as it is another way for them NOT to take responsibility for their actions. What they have to do is work to pay off their debt, take on extra jobs etc to pay off their debts.

My DH went/still is going to counselling, negotiated with all his creditors, worked all hours (fortunately he has the ability to earn good money) so we are now under relative control 2 years on (although mortgage is still on interest only - my only "enabling" bit).

My DH still "thinks" like a gambler IYSWIM but no longer has the compulsion to gamble. It almost destroyed us and the family is so many ways.

Gamblers are expert liars and extremely manipulative (my DH managed to convince a client to lend him £30,000 shock). You will need full access to his emails, bank a/cs etc in the short term and there is also a computer program whereby computers can be barred from accessing online gambling sites. My DH was happy to agree to this but I then felt it would be him abdicating responsibility again but he did block himself from Betfair to get himself through the first few months.

Good luck - think of yourself and your DC first and foremost.

Alibabaandthe80nappies Tue 09-Aug-11 07:48:27

It is good that he has taken those steps. ((hugs)) and I hope the CAB today are helpful.

Redeyedandblotchy Tue 09-Aug-11 07:55:00

InterPolly, I've crossed posted with you, so sorry to hear of your family's loss. I don't think we were too far away from that either. He's been suffering horrendous depression for the last few weeks and in the last few days had pretty much stopped interacting with us. You're right, the money is fixable and while the lying and whatnot have knocked my onto my arse at least he's still here and my wee boy still has his dad.

springboksaplenty Tue 09-Aug-11 07:57:28

Jeez I'm so sorry. I haven't personal experience of this but can understand the sheer loss of trust that this must have caused. Personally I would want a direct debit set up to transfer whatever amount of money to cover household expenses into my account on the day his salary is paid into his account. In addition I certainly wouldn't keep/open a joint account thereby making you 50% responsible for any debt. Take it slow but he has taken the huge step of admitting he has a problem.

SheCutOffTheirTails Tue 09-Aug-11 07:58:56

You can't believe him and you'd be mad to to trust him.

It's very sad for him that he's a gambling addict, but you first responsibility is to yourself and your children. He could destroy you all financially (you're already a good part if the way there. You need to disentangle yourself from him legally so any future debts he runs up won't be in your name.

You can stay with him if you want, and forgive his thieving and lying, but don't give him another chance to fuck you over like this. He's still an addict, and gambling addiction is very hard to beat. If you are going to support him through this, at least give your children the financial security of a divorce. He will still have to support the children, but he can't steal your wages by running up debts you don't know about.

Get your own financial advice - what is best for him and what is best for you and the children are two very different things now.

So sorry this had happened sad Sort the practicalities now. The emotional stuff will wait.

Alibabaandthe80nappies Tue 09-Aug-11 08:04:38

Goodness She - the guy has come clean about it all and is trying to fix things, I don't think divorce should be the first priority? In any case, debts run up within the marriage remain joint don't they?

countingto10 Tue 09-Aug-11 08:14:15

You have to protect yourself financially if you can - tbh my DH had put me so far in the dark stuff that there wasn't much point for me but there were to be no more loans from any one. My DH runs his own business so he had 101 reasons why he needed to borrow money which I believe hmm.

I fully expected to lose the house and the business but as I say, it was a hugh wake up to him (and he had hit rock bottom in a most spectacular way) so he put his head down and worked his way out of it. His car went first of all, he had to ask to borrow mine if he needed it - they have to feel the pain of it. We couldn't afford 2 cars so his had to go - we have 4 DSs so I needed the family car.

SheCutOffTheirTails Tue 09-Aug-11 08:17:00

Exactly - debts run up within the marriage remain joint - so he should never be given another opportunity to steal thousands of pounds from his family.

Coming clean and wanting to fix things means nothing other than that he had reached the end of the line in terms of what he could beg, borrow and steal.

He absolutely can't be trusted now (and maybe ever) and if he's really accepting of his problem he will admit that.

Marriage is supposed to provide financial security for a family. Marriage to a gambling addict puts an entire family at risk of financial ruin.

It is not fair to risk children's financial wellbeing because a gambling addict is "sorry". Whether he can beat this addiction remains very much to be seen. The people he loves should be made safe while he tries.

Redeyedandblotchy Tue 09-Aug-11 09:20:58

We've never had a joint account, thank God, all our household bills go through an account of mine and he's agreed to transfer his whole wage to this account so along with his payslips this should give me a bit more control of the situation.
Countingto10 - thanks for sharing your story with me, its feels like I've got a big mountain to climb so its good to know it can get better. I will be locking his poker sites for the next wee while as well.
She - you're a bit harsh but you are right in what you say, I have to protect our family finances because DH can't be trusted. That's why we're going to the CAB.

countingto10 Tue 09-Aug-11 09:49:02

This site maybe useful for you smile

lubeybooby Tue 09-Aug-11 10:16:30

Sorry to hear this. I think if he truly wants to sort this out, he needs to make arrangements for paying everything back then give YOU complete and total control of ALL the household money, maybe with him having a seperate account that you pay a small amount into for his personal use. Plus seeking help for the addiction.

Good luck

HellonHeels Tue 09-Aug-11 10:22:57

So sorry to hear this. The shock must be terrible.

Good advice already from others. You could have a look at this forum, within

It is a support thread for people with gambling problems - whether they gamble themeselves or have a partner who does. Lots of support and good advice available.

Good luck.

SheCutOffTheirTails Tue 09-Aug-11 10:28:09

Sorry, don't mean to be harsh, just practical.

I really wish you the best of luck, and am sending lots of virtual support.

Hopefully he can beat this, gambling is a nasty, insidious addiction. You all have a long way to go. You are doing really well smile

HellonHeels Tue 09-Aug-11 10:36:06

Redeyed you should check your credit references - both yours and DH's. There are several agencies, check your records with all.

This will give you a full picture of credit history and show any loans etc. Will give you peace of mind about your own credit rating to make sure you have not been affected by your husband's actions and seeing your husband's ratings should show all his financial activity - loans, credit cards etc. It is a way of making sure there are no other surprises still waiting to be revealed.

It's good news that you have no financial link with him eg joint account, mortgage. That should mean that DH's debts will not affect your own credit rating. You are also NOT responsible for paying them back - he is.

susiedaisy Tue 09-Aug-11 13:28:39

Oh you poor poor thing sad I haven't been in your shoes but feel for you reading this post, your right it's the lies and deceit that is almost as bad as the debt, I hope you can find a solution to all of this, you have my sympathy xx

neuroticmumof3 Tue 09-Aug-11 18:34:06

What a horrible shock you've had. Living with any sort of addict can be soul destroying, mainly because you just can't trust them. I hope your relationship can survive all this but I think you're right to consider separation. I agree with you that the lies and deceit are the worst part. I was in a similar situation about 15 years ago and it did break us up in the end, mainly because I could never believe a word he said to me.

Redeyedandblotchy Tue 09-Aug-11 19:43:28

Thanks for all the replies, the good advice and the support.
We weren't able to get to the CAB today as everything closed round here in anticipation of a riot (really you couldn't write this). We were able to speak to them however and between them and the great advice from you all we've got a plan in place to safeguard our family income. I've changed all my passwords and PINs too so that he has no access to our money.

Somehow his mum managed to get together enough money among the family to get us out of our pressing financial troubles. This has been paid into my account with a legal agreement to be drawn up that he pays it back in instalments, which I can monitor from his account. The amount cash per repayment will be the amount he hid from me every month angry so it means my DS and I's standard of living won't suffer.

His attitude to the whole thing has been pretty encouraging. He's taken full responsibility for his actions and has made appointments to see various people that can help. He's also looked into the possibility of getting a second job.

I've still got a long way to go before I trust him again, if I ever can but I've now got a bit of space in which to think and see how things will pan out.

neuroticmumof3 Wed 10-Aug-11 21:14:01

I'm glad you've got a good plan in place. It all sounds very positive and like you say, you've got some space now you've got over the initial shock to think about things.

SingleMan25b Thu 11-Aug-11 19:38:15

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