Partner admitted to being a gambling addict

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My partner and I have been together for a little over 7 years now. The relationship had its fair share of ups and downs. 

Two years ago he admitted that he had a lot of debts, partially due to gambling (along with drinking, pubs and recreational drugs) - in credit card debt and debts to friends/family, as well as an unknown amount owed in tax. He mainly plays the slot machines at pubs, but he also does the occasional bet on races, lottery tickets or low-stakes poker games with friends or at the pub. I was shook, but we worked a system out were he could repay it and moved in with his family so he could focus on repaying debt - last year he managed to repay all his friends/family and closed his credit cards (except a fairly small one he wanted to keep just in case), so I really thought we were moving in the right direction.

The last year has been great and I felt like we were building a more loving, honest and appreciative relationship. He might still place the occasional "small" bet, but would tell me about it and he wanted to quit completely when we moved to a different city last August. It's been wonderful to have a fresh start away from this small town (where many of his friends gamble and his family enables him), but also a quite stressful time for both of us - moving with limited savings, finding a new job, adjusting to a new place etc. He is a outdoorsy person, but we are now living in a city, so it's a bigger adjustment for him than for me. 

On Friday night I suddenly receive a text from my father-in-law that tells me they're trying to get a hold of my boyfriend and that he fleeced their account. I blocked it out for that night and confronted him the following morning. He broke down and told me that he'd taken up gambling again after going out with a new work colleague who also gambles. He says it's been going on a few weeks, and he kept trying to win the money back. He says that he was too scared to tell me because he didn't want our life together to end and was scared I'd leave him when I find out. He shows me letters he was writing to try and tell me, but who knows when he actually wrote them. This is not the first time I've only found out things this way - he never comes forward with information voluntarily, it always comes to punch me in the face instead. 

I already manage all his finances, he just has a debit card and a small credit card left. His credit score is too low to qualify him for any loans (which we found out after he tried to get an online loan because he was short on cash when we moved 3 months ago). He still had enough savings to repay his father and his father has forgiven him. He has come clean about his gambling to his parents and his sister. He is currently listening to the Allen Carr Easy way to stop gambling audiobook. He has already contacted some local support centres over the weekend and wants to get therapy. We're also considering couples therapy. I also suggested a support group like Gamblers Anonymous, but he is reluctant and says it might trigger him and make him go gambling again, it that a thing?? 

It looks like he's taking steps to beat this addiction and for the first time he finally admitted he is an addict and a liar. He says this is his rock bottom and if he doesn't fix this now, he doesn't expect anyone to forgive him ever again. Previously he always just saw it as a bad habit he could quit himself if he wanted to. He says all he now wants is a life with me, a family and maybe someday children. 

I'm in shock, a bit heartbroken and angry. This is the man I saw myself having children with in the not to distant future. We had a few small, half serious discussions about it recently. Now, that's off the table for a fair while. I'm 27 and I feel like I'm running out of time to make this relationship work. Our whole relationship is 6-12 months of being in a great relationship, just to have something major come up and ruin it. 

I guess I could really use some advice from others who have been at this point and decided to stick around. Did it work out? What other rules did you agree on to make it work? How did you manage to stay supportive and positive, because that's what your partner needs, while feeling so sad and betrayed? 

This topic was modified 4 months ago by Forum admin
Posted : 3rd December 2023 10:27 pm
Posts: 6


I’m not going to offer you advice - you’ll work out what the best course of action is for you. And I’m so sorry to hear this is going on - I really do understand the stress you’re feeling. 


I am relieved to hear that you are no longer thinking of having children in the near future. This might be a way to safeguard from damage, and to maintain independence, as the few years after having a baby can be a genuinely vulnerable time for a woman. 

Someone once gave me the advice that it’s alright to tell an addict that you won’t stick with them through thick and thin. That you do have limits beyond which you won’t stay. I think it’s good advice. 

I wish you luck and strength whatever you choose. 

This post was modified 4 months ago 2 times by ChatModerator
Posted : 4th December 2023 3:20 pm
Posts: 126

Never had to deal with anyone but myself but from my point of view it’s even more important to show one hundred percent respect to partners as the addicts actions have a huge detrimental effect on all the families  
So tough love is the way to go no enabling no soft touch move forward determinedly.  Best

Posted : 4th December 2023 9:55 pm
Posts: 283

Im really sorry for what u are going through i can understand your frustration its a very difficult situation to be in, i can understand him not wanting to go through to Ga as its not for everyone however is their any chance u can get him on one of the online chatrooms, the addiction is tough however things can change for the better as their plenty of people who have managed years without a bet ive personally been through thick n thin done things which i regret however with the support of gamecare and the advise given im currently on day 147 g/f i was the person who couldnt go with a day or two without a relapse, the illness is life long their no actual cure to this diease it same for Ga their are members their who have been going since the 90s blocks gameban handling over finances are all important factors however whats worked for me is the continuous support has i have previously managed just under 3 years with a relapse i believe for it to work u needed to be reminded so a few sessions a week is important as u are reminded what it could lead to, he also needs to want this and be honest with u, the only people i have is the support i have here my direct family doesnt believe in this illness which could have made it easier, so if i can make improve my life then anyone can, its a tough illness like no other i manage to quit drinking drugs smoking fairly easy without a relapse gambling is a different ball game altogether however i have found out after few months away from gambling the urgues do get easier as i very rarely get gambling thoughts i personally believe had i been offered the correct advise and have been given details of this website i would have managed my illness better then i ever did

Posted : 5th December 2023 4:12 am
Posts: 59

If you have an option to leave this gambling addict I would.No offense to the person that is affecting your life.

I can talk for myself.

Person won't change for you ever and I guarantee you this.You will recieve just empty promises one after the another.

If person doesn't want to change for themselves they will never end their addiction.

I been in those ,shoes' and I can guarantee you this if person don't want to make no changes with his life no best psychologist,counsellor,therapies,doctors will ever help that person.

Wish you all the best

Posted : 5th December 2023 10:23 pm

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