Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.
Please share experiences and advice welcome (gambling)(19 Posts)
My boyfriend has a gambling addiction. He disclosed this not too far into our relationship when he was In recovery, however he soon relapsed and has been trying to get it back under control ever since, with brief periods of abstinence which I have helped him with. We tried many different ways from self exclusion from bookies/websites, to me having control of his money.
I won't go into the details but this has been a constant struggle, Iv been understanding as have some knowledge if addiction and believe people can change. However, his behaviour is what upsets me most. He becomes distant, suffers mood swings, avoids me, and there has been some emotional manipulation towards me aswell - which he always denies as this adds to his guilt. At times I have tried to hide how this has affected me to make things easier for him (wrong move I know). I have made it clear that I can deal with the gambling, but his behaviour hurts me more than I can explain. He is always remorseful, apologises etc but does it again and again.
I made it clear last weekend that I would end the relationship if he didn't start to really get it sorted and start being honest with me. I feel like his councillor. This weekend he has lied to me again (a fairly small one in comparison to everything else) ..but still. He just walked out and I let him. I know a lot of people will feel Iv been holding onto hope of something that will never work out, but I love him and believed in him.
I guess I'm asking for some support/advice from people who have been in this situation or understand.
Ps. I have posted about this once before and did appreciate advice given but here I am again, no flaming for this please!
Why should anyone flame you?
How long have you been together and/or dealing with this?
You can't help him if he won't help himself.
I have been with a gambling addict. I would never go there again. My one was also abusive in other ways, but the sheer exhaustion of never being able to leave your purse lying around, patrolling him, listening to his lies and thinking "do you think I'm a fucking moron?" Uggghhhh.
It's not your job to fix him, love. Let him walk away.
My son is a gambling addict and it's heartbreaking. Addicts really do have to hit rock bottom before they can try and alter their behaviour. I love my son but in the end I was the one who turned him into the Police after he cleared out my bank account, savings account and took out loans in my name. You have a choice whether to be in this relationship and my advice would be to save yourself - leave. Even though my son has Counseling, therapy and attends G.A. (which has excellent support for families of addicts) our relationship will never be the same. Please think of yourself because you will never be as important to your partner as gambling.
Having watched gambling destroy family members I'd beg you to walk away
Thanks cozie, just because Iv seen posts like this when people who remember the previous post point out that previous advice wasn't taken. And that's not the case this is just so hard to get out of. We've only been together 8 months but known each other longer and got very close quickly. Don't mean to dripfeed but we both have a child each from a previous relationship and everything else is so good it's just this big problem (I say that but these days the problem seems to be taking over everything we ever had).
Thankyou for the experiences shared other posters, actually makes me realise I do have the choice to walk away and others have it much worse. He has never stolen from me, he couldn't have I'm a single mum and struggle financially . He says over and over he wants to get over this, and always slips back within days. I have found myself bending over backwards to help him and he doesn't help himself, it's exhausting. He's ended it with me several times. 'For own good/I don't deserve it' etc, but it never sticks and he then obsessively contacts me until I give in again. Now I'm beginning to wonder if this is another obsessive, compulsive behaviour of his. Hope that makes sense.
Thanks again to those who have replied.
Thankyou Achilles, I have thought about gamanon for myself but from what I can see online there doesn't seem to be many meetings near me, I live in norfolk so probably not surprising!
It sounds very unhealthy and very unlikely to be anything positive in your or your dc life in the longer run.
I think you're right randomess. I wanted to give it all I had as thought it'd be worth it. But it's not and I'm running out of patience
In 12 step programmes 'the yets' are mentioned a lot. People look at differences between addicts to convince themselves they're ok. I've never drunk in the morning, I've not lost my family etc. YET. Addiction is progressive, it never gets better untreated. He's not stoken, got in debt (is this a lie?) Yet.
He's ended it with me several times. 'For own good/I don't deserve it' etc, but it never sticks and he then obsessively contacts me until I give in again.
What can you do to protect yourself from this behaviour in future? I do think you're right that it's a compulsive behaviour, not that he genuinely loves and cares for you (sorry I know that's shit.) If he cared about your welfare he would be trying to fix himself, but he is prioritising gambling over that.
I think it goes even wider than that, Not - in my experience, people look at differences between themselves and others in almost every aspect of their lives - to convince themselves they're doing OK. But that's probably another thread.
Have you reached the end of the road for you then, elsabel ?
Can I ask how is he still managing to gamble if he's self excluded?
I work in a bookies myself and unfortunately see this happen from time to time. Iv only seen people change when they have hit rock bottom, or come as close as possible. They refuse interaction from staff and their own family, insisting they can control themselves.
He can self exclude for up to 12 months, and if he provides a picture he can exclude from the surrounding shops aswel. Not too sure how online works though.
IMO 8months together isn't a very long time, it shouldn't feel like your having to try so hard to make it work. I would leave him and focus on myself. It might be the kick he needs to sort him self out, after realising his addiction has lost him someone that cared for him.
Bin him off. This is not how a healthy relationship goes. You are clearly co-dependent and need to detach from him, you are also no use to his recovery because of the co-dependency.
Obsidian-that's interesting about co dependency, can you tell me more about how that works?
Woofy- he has been gradually self excluding himself from betting shops and did the last one yesterday. He gambles online aswell unless I out codes in his phone which we have tried. And this may seem minor but he spends vast amounts on scratch cards when he cannot do it any other way which he also feels he needs to stop.
Also makes sense what other posters say about comparing himself to others and it being progressive. Although he never denies he has a problem, he makes changes to stop himself doing it but never enough and always finds a way to get around things we put in place.
Cozie- I'm not sure, I feel like Iv reached the end of the road and somehow always go back just thinking il give it another chance. So yes I feel like I have, but Iv felt like this before when he's treat me badly, let me down, and generally put me through hell
If he's gambling online with any of the big highstreet bookies he can get them to block his online account at the same time as the self exclusions. But I think if it's purely online then he has to ring and get it closed. Unfortunately only he can do all of this, but if he's not fully committed to it then it'll never work...
Surely this self-exclusion only stands a chance of working if he's committed to stopping in order to prevent in a moment of weakness. Sounds like there's no genuine desire there at this time.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now »
Already registered? Log in with:
Please login first.