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Gambling husband

(27 Posts)
hellinabreadbasket Wed 30-Dec-15 22:58:28

Ok, deep breath... Two weeks after marrying dh I found out that he had gambled away £17000 of someone else's money (a family member). This is a very long story, so apologies.... Family member win the money themselves gambling and dh (who did not gamble at the time) looked after it (at family members request) to stop her from gambling the rest away.
We own a house together, the only way to raise this sort of money to pay back is by getting a huge loan against the house, as a remortgage is not an option due now to husbands bank statements. I love my husband and think that he would never gamble again (and am taking control of all our money too) but am so unsure of what to do about the debt. Any help- am at wits endb

Enoughalreadyyou Wed 30-Dec-15 23:19:31

What a shock. My first thought would be that he has gambled before and will do again. I think he is lying to you. I hope I am wrong.
I'm not sure if I could carry on with him as he has destroyed your trust.
As you don't have dc I would think about leaving him. You don't want a life of financial insecurity and deceit.

Enoughalreadyyou Wed 30-Dec-15 23:20:57

When he looked after the money I'm pretty sure he knew he would gamble it. Manipulative.

hellinabreadbasket Wed 30-Dec-15 23:25:31

We have been together 14 years (only married this year) but have had joint finances for say around 7 as joint house etc. The gambling issue seems to be a thing that has come up since his mum died last year.

hellinabreadbasket Wed 30-Dec-15 23:26:40

Oh and by looked after the money what I mean is that we just pay into a joint account for mortgage etc, we both earn a decent salary each so spend our own as our own if that makes sense

hellinabreadbasket Wed 30-Dec-15 23:32:26

Oh and I know he didn't take the money to gamble it- he asked first if I'd look after it, or maybe my parents, but I refused as I knew the family member would harangue us for some back(to gamble)

Mustdosomework Wed 30-Dec-15 23:35:54

Sorry you've had such a shock OP. It is very unlikely that your DH wasn't gambling before. You also need to treat with caution any promise by him that he won't gamble again.

You are doing the right thing by taking control of the money but you need to have an honest conversation about what this means, what your DH is going to do to help solve the problem and what help he is seeking for this. On a practical level, a loan against the house may be your only option but as you know this is high risk. You must make sure that loan is paid back on time every month. Only you will know whether you want this responsibility and to take this risk. Would the family member accept monthly repayments rather than getting a bank loan? It is a huge amount but obviously less risky.

hellinabreadbasket Thu 31-Dec-15 00:26:52

Thanks so much! I'm not sure yet what the family member has agreed to. I'm sort of avoiding her out of both embarrassment and also being (maybe unreasonably) annoyed that by her problem she put us in this problem. Both her and my dh have got into online gambling very quickly (I'm talking weeks here- but with family history of bad gambling). But doing £1000 roulette spins will do you damage very quickly. I don't gamble at all ( and I literally mean- I don't even take out credit to buy a sofa) , so am in total shock.

RealityCheque Thu 31-Dec-15 00:40:16

Your husband caused the issue - he can fix it.

He can come clean with the relative and arrange a repayment plan out of his 'decent salary' he earns.

Don't take a loan against the house and don't get involved. The relative is unlikely to go to the courts and even if she did, they would probably accept the monthly payment terms offered.

The debt is not formal and is not secured on the house - why the fuck take the risk of changing this?

hellinabreadbasket Thu 31-Dec-15 00:53:54

Thank you reality that is sort of what I thought. I don't see why I should have to give up my house by possibly selling it to pu back his debt. It's been hell- I got back my wedding photos and all I could think of when looking at them was "you lied all the way though the vows"

BitterAndOnlySlightlyTwisted Thu 31-Dec-15 01:13:56

Do not accept responsibility for your husband's debt! Why should you, it's got nothing to do with you. He made this mess, so he can fix it. Remortgage your home and he'll do it again and again until there's no equity left and you're in debt up to your eyerbrows.

To be honest, in your position I'd dump his arse for this but I'm just typing on a forum not living your life.

hellinabreadbasket Thu 31-Dec-15 02:28:09

bitter I totally agree with your first paragraph! I think he may have the capability to do it again if give the chance. How ever , really on my position (married two months after 11 years, would you really just give up over a year of him being like this) ?

hellinabreadbasket Thu 31-Dec-15 02:30:38

Sorry just realised how defensive that sounded- thank you for your advice X

Bringiton2016 Thu 31-Dec-15 06:22:13

My dp got addicted to online roulette in a very short space of time too, when he was going through some personal problems. We had it all out , he was distraught and said that was it. A month or so later I found his laptop open with the roulette on. His email was also open and I saw payday loan applications which terrified me more. He said he wanted to be found out which was why it was left open.

The sites are terrifying. He wasn't wealthy and had a home to pay for yet spent his whole monthly salary over two days. Like you I'm the complete opposite with money.

Anyway I made him tell his parents that night as I couldn't take it all on myself. He rang a gambling counselling line there and then and attended a ga meeting the next day. He went through an awful depressive time questioning everything.

He never did it again and has gone the other way. Spreadsheets for everything etc. He said he was completed shocked by how addictive the site was and how quickly everything unravelled.

Is your dh looking for help in this way? Facing up to the problem? Taking on the shame?

I would hope for the best but plan for the worst. Distance yourself from this debt and protect yourself financially.

AttilaTheMeerkat Thu 31-Dec-15 09:03:47

17K is a lot of money to lose but you may also find that it is the tip of an iceberg; this is only what you know about. There may be other money that have similarly been swallowed up.

How did you find out the extent of the losses? Is family member his sibling?. Would also think that this family member is still gambling even though they always promise to themselves that they will stop when they win big.

Have you ever seen a poor bookie or casino OP; neither have I.

And there is a family history of bad (there is no good) gambling as well; red flag there. You also need real life support and I would contact Gamcare.

Re your comment:-
"(married two months after 11 years, would you really just give up over a year of him being like this)"

Frankly yes I would. He will just drag you down with him, infact he is already dragging you down with him into his pit.

What is HE doing to solve this?. It seems to me that you have taken on some of his responsibility as well and you should not be at all involved. Do not also get caught up in the sunken costs fallacy (all this giving up stuff); that causes people to stay in bad relationships far longer than they should. Co-dependency may also be your downfall here too.

RealityCheque Thu 31-Dec-15 09:48:28

Wow, Attila. Just wow.

Please read the post above yours - with the right attitude and support gambling CAN be beaten.

And 'no GOOD gambling'? Millions of people play the lottery and have a flutter in the Grand National as a source of entertainment with no issues.

That said, you my well be right about there being more in addition to the £17k. I am, however, with OP on this one - I would take control of the finances, separate myself completely from the debt (including closing any joint accounts) and try and work through this.

Gileswithachainsaw Thu 31-Dec-15 09:56:20

you don't get from never gambling to gambling away 17k he's been at it a long time I assure you.

if he's serious about stopping you will have to go with him to the bookies and casinos and get him to self exclude himself.

unfortunately though with the Internet, loyalty card schemes and apps it's everywhere so it's going to be a very long hard road.

something you have to decide if you can support through and live with.

DrGoogleWillSeeYouNow Thu 31-Dec-15 10:09:59

Do your very best to extricate yourself financially from this fuckwit.

No joint accounts, no joint debts, no bills in joint names, and personally I'd ask him to sign himself off the mortgage. In terms of the household, he should pay a lump sum to you/your account each month and you deal with all outgoings.

I would point blank refuse to discuss the money with the family member. Accept no responsibility at all for this. If it gets brought up simply tell them "it's absolutely nothing to do with me, speak to DH". And repeat.

Nobody goes from nothing to 17k in that short space of time, you've just found the tip of the iceberg, and let's face it, he's an accomplished and proven liar so he can tell you as much as he likes that the 17k is all there is, you can't believe him.

What is he doing to address the problem of both the debt and his addiction?

What suggestions or solutions has he come up with?

Or is it just you doing all the worrying?

category12 Thu 31-Dec-15 10:53:36

Don't, under any circumstances, pay back this with your equity or getting a joint loan or anything like that. It's his responsibility to pay it back, and you should not bail him out because he needs to feel the consequences, and you mustn't help him evade it, especially at the cost of your financial security.

hellinabreadbasket Thu 31-Dec-15 10:54:41

bringiton thank you so much for your post. I agree the sites are terrifying- the person who lent the money literally gambled 100k in one night (life savings), as it's so easy to do!

The ltb s are not really helpful at this point, right now I have chosen to try and work through this, if there is a repeat then of course that what be the path I would go down, but right now I want to try and sort things out.

dr google am trying to financially separate things- I can't sign him off the mortgage as they will not give me the mortgage by myself.

AttilaTheMeerkat Thu 31-Dec-15 10:59:47

"but with family history of bad gambling"

This is why I said there is no good gambling realitycheque; it was purely mentioned in the context of the above sentence. Yes many people gamble responsibly but it can and does cause addiction and all sorts of strife within families.

I would also think that there are inherent problems in his family with gambling.

Gambling can be beaten but the will itself to do that has to come from the gambler themselves. In the post you mention the person himself called one of the helplines, went to GA and faced up fully to the problem. He actually took responsibility for his actions and made serious steps to make changes. He could still relapse at any time though so will have to remain vigilant. OPs H has seemingly done none of those things; infact it looks like she is doing all the worrying on his behalf.

You ultimately have to decide for yourself OP whether you can live with this or not. If she focuses all her efforts on the gambler she could well forget to take care of her own self.

AttilaTheMeerkat Thu 31-Dec-15 11:00:59


Even if the person who gambles will not co-operate, you still have the right to protect your family’s money.

Here are some ways to protect the family’s money from out-of control gambling:
•Throw away applications for credit cards or loans that come in the mail
•Pay all bills yourself
•Cancel any overdrafts on bank accounts
•Set up a separate bank account
•Remove your name from shared credit cards and bank accounts
•Do not share your passwords or PINs for credit cards, debit cards or other personal accounts
•Do not leave credit cards or money around
•Put valuable items in a safety deposit box
•Put savings in bonds that you can’t access
•Ask the bank to cut off access to credit and not to allow your home to be remortgaged
•If your family member is willing, get a power of attorney that puts you in charge of all property decisions
•Arrange for your wages or salary to be paid directly into your bank account
•Warn family, friends and co-workers not to lend the person money
•Give the person an agreed-upon weekly allowance
•Get legal advice so you know your rights and know what legal steps to take

hellinabreadbasket Thu 31-Dec-15 11:10:23

attila thank you. My dh has actually gone to GA, and self excluded from the sites. We have also installed anti gambling software in the pc (sadly it doesn't seem to exist for the phone).

I will follow most of throes steps above regarding our finances - the joint account we have is just for bills etc- neither of us have ever had access to each other's salaries etc.

I think an agreed upon allowance will be wise- although it is difficult I'd imagine Long term to live like that (I would hate to have my money controlled - however I don't have a problem)

AttilaTheMeerkat Thu 31-Dec-15 11:10:36

"The ltb s are not really helpful at this point, right now I have chosen to try and work through this, if there is a repeat then of course that what be the path I would go down, but right now I want to try and sort things out".

I have not myself used the word leave but the path you have now chosen for yourself is a very hard one to walk down.

How do you know this is not repeated behaviour in any case?. People do not go from nothing to gambling 17K in the course of just a few weeks.

What is he doing to resolve the gambling problem he has; does he actually think he has a problem?. Solving this cannot come from you and you alone, you are not best placed as his wife to actually help him here.

AttilaTheMeerkat Thu 31-Dec-15 11:18:34

Hi breadbasket,

Cross posted.

He will need to keep going to GA and you will need to access support as well as part of your own recovery (Gamcare operate a service for family members which is 0808 8020 133).

Its a very hard road, do not forget to look after your own self in all this. It is all too easy to be subsumed by his gambling problem and forget you in the process.

You have a right to protect yourself emotionally and financially. Don’t blame yourself for the gambler’s problems. The right support can help you make positive choices for yourself, and balance encouraging your loved one to get help without losing yourself in the process.

• Don’t go it alone. It can feel so overwhelming coping with a loved one’s problem gambling that it may seem easier to rationalize their requests and problems “this one last time." Or you might feel ashamed, feeling like you are the only one who has problems like this. Reaching out for support will make you realize that many families have struggled with this problem. Or you might consider therapy to help sort out the complicated feelings that arise from coping with a problem gambler.

• Set boundaries in managing money. If a loved one is serious about getting help for problem gambling, it may help if you take over the family finances to make sure the gambler stays accountable and to prevent relapse. However, this does not mean you are responsible for micromanaging the problem gamblers impulses to gamble. Your first responsibilities are to ensure that your own finances and credit are not at risk.

• Consider how you will handle requests for money. Problem gamblers often become very good at asking for money, either directly or indirectly. They may use pleading, manipulation or even threats and blaming to get it. It takes time and practice to learn how you will respond to these requests to ensure you are not enabling the problem gambler and keeping your own dignity intact.

Do’s and don'ts for partners of problem gamblers

•Seek the support of others with similar problems; attend a self-help group for families such as Gam-Anon.
•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.
•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.

•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

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