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Should I be worried about DP's online gambling?

(10 Posts)
singmespanishtechno Sat 13-Apr-13 19:20:23

I've been with my DP for five years and lived together for 2. DP is generally very responsible although can be a bit scatty. He's very generous and this is OK because we both have good jobs. He never seems worried about money whereas I often am. Since I've met him he's been into online poker and I'm no expert but I think he is quite good at it as he's won quite a lot of money (seems to me anyway) over the years.

He recently took a break from playing but recently has been playing again. He usually plays every night and has the windows open on the computer all evening. This causes arguments as I always say I don't feel I get his full attention at any time. Ironically, if I play on my laptop on forums etc while watching a film he gets annoyed and says I'm not concentrating, but he always plays poker throughout films, tv shows or anything we do together. These online tournaments can last for hours, and we've cancelled plans before when he's been in a long tournament. He also sometimes ends up staying up until 2 or 3am on a night before work. So I am already coming from a place of frustration about this, although I never thought he had a gambling problem, because sometimes its other online games with no gambling element.

Today we've had a horrible day. The plan was for me to clean the house and then he would make us dinner. I cleaned for 2-3 hours, did all the washing and made him numerous cups of tea while he played poker and watched football all day. Then I finally sat down to relax and put on a film for myself on my laptop. He decides to make dinner but his poker is still carrying out (about 6 different tables at once). He asked me to watch the poker while he cooked. I didn't really want to as it means I can't really do anything else, but I stopped the film I was watching and went to sit at the computer with the book I am reading. Maybe that was a mistake but I checked the screen every 20 secs or so. I was shouting out the hands and it was quite fast as there were six games. I then noticed a really good hand on one of the tables and shouted him to come over. I wasn't really sure what to click because I didn't want to mess up the game. However he didn't get over quickly enough and the hand timed out. Cue DP shouting at me and getting really angry about it. He apologised for shouting at me about 10 mins later but has been really quiet since. He is now out of the tournament but it wasn't until a while after this happened, so not really just due to my mistake.

When we had dinner I asked what was wrong and he said "I shouldn't have been playing poker when I knew I had to make YOUR dinner". This made me sad because it was OUR dinner and I'd spent the day cleaning OUR house and doing OUR washing and I hadn't even been able to watch my film afterwards. But I didn't say anything because I know from experience this would start an argument.

Now he's gone to lie down and sulk. I asked him if he was pissed off at me and he said yes.

It's only just occurred to me that it's pretty unhealthy to gamble this much and to get so upset when you lose. I don't know how much money he's lost but this isn't the first strop over poker he's had. Do you think he has a gambling problem? Or is he just being a twat? Or am I being unreasonable and is it really bad that I caused him to lose?

AttilaTheMeerkat Sat 13-Apr-13 19:45:21

I would say he has a gambling problem. Absolving himself of responsibility for his actions was not a good sign either.

However, you cannot make him seek help if he does not want it and you cannot make him seek help. All you can do is protect your own self both mentally and financially.

You may want to speak to Gamcare on 0808 8020 133.

ZorbaTheHoarder Sat 13-Apr-13 19:53:19

Hi Singme,

I think you have a serious problem here, or rather, your DP has a serious problem and is making it yours.

I'm no expert, but I would say that gambling pretty much all evening every evening, to the extent that the two of you are having to cancel other plans, suggests that he has an addiction.

The fact that he is happy to sit around all day while you clean, and then moans about cooking a meal for YOU (was he not going to eat any, then?), suggests that he is taking you for granted. It's also very hypocritical and mean-spirited of him to moan when you try to do any activity that doesn't involve monitoring his online poker!

The fact that he has gone down to lie down and sulk because he feels you should have won a hand for him is downright pathetic!

How much do you really know about his success at gambling? If he's told you about his big wins over the years, has he also told you about his losses? Is it possible that he has lost a fair amount and is trying to get it back?

Please don't blame yourself for any of this: gambling is an addiction that can destroy families and perhaps this needs to be pointed out to him.

All the best.

singmespanishtechno Sat 13-Apr-13 20:22:29

Thank you so much for your responses. I've not really been able to talk to anyone about this. You're right, he never really talks about his losses, I guess it is a flat fee to buy into each tournament, which adds up if you aren't winning in all of them.

When I say he cancels plans, these will be plans with me only. If there are others involved in our plans he usually gets a friend to take over for him (there seem to be a couple who are usually free and willing!?).

A couple of incidents stand out....standing on a street corner in torrential rain waiting for him to pick me up (he waited for a break in the poker) and one time my friend coming over after he offered us a lift into town, then when she got there he was deep in a tournament so he said he'd pay for a taxi, which she was obviously embarrassed about and we paid for our own taxi!

I'm not sure how I'd feel if it was another hobby that he was acting this way about, but the fact that it's gambling and people really do get addicted rings real alarm bells.

He's just come back into the room and acted like nothing had happened. He made himself a coffee and I asked for one so he gave me his and hurried off without making another one. I followed him to give it back and saw that he's back in another four poker games. I just said that as he'd got so upset earlier I was surprised that he was playing again and then I told him to be careful. He just looked embarrassed and a bit speechless which is unusual for him.

AttilaTheMeerkat Sat 13-Apr-13 20:25:28

You need to carefully consider whether your relationship with him actually has any future in it at all. He is actively prioritising gambling over you and your relationship together. He gave you his coffee so he could get back to his poker games.

Addictions as well thrive on secrecy, I would encourage you to talk to others about this problem for your sake.

What do you get out of this relationship now?.

singmespanishtechno Sat 13-Apr-13 20:36:15

Not a lot at the moment Attila.

I would have hoped he'd use the evening to spend some time with me who he has obviously upset, rather than jumping straight back in with poker. I'm feeling at the end of my tether right now and so sad.

Loislane78 Sat 13-Apr-13 20:41:42

I'm afraid to say your DP has a major problem with this sad Have you noticed other moods swings and is there other addictive behaviour? I did which is when I knew what had been going on. Luckily, its now resolved but took a number of years and we nearly didn't make it.

Sorry you are going through this. I'm also sorry to say I find it v unlikely that he always wins and is amazing at it. Its quite well documented there is a lot of dodgy stuff going on with online poker. Do you about all his bank accounts?

Loislane78 Sat 13-Apr-13 20:42:27


maras2 Sat 13-Apr-13 23:12:28

He's an idiot and you are just as daft to allow your relationship to revolve around on line stuff. FFS talk to each other,cuddle or just sit next to one another.Old gimmer here but have a thriving 48 year old marriage probably because when we're in the same room,we talk.Yes I MsNet and DH does his on line hoby but neither of us internets to the detriment of our relationship < sorry,I sound pompous >Oh, by the way I think that your DP does have a gambling problem.Try to check his bank and on line statements.All the best Mx.

CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 14-Apr-13 09:25:00

Whatever his problem is, the bottom line is that it's making your life miserable... and that's not acceptable. Doesn't matter if he gambles, drinks, plays golf or paints watercolours at all hours, if his behaviour as a result is appalling then it's unacceptable.

So tell him. You are not prepared to play second fiddle to a deck of virtual cards and, if he has a gambling problem, it's his responsibility to get help. You cannot 'fix' this.

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