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Advice Needed from Gamblers / Families please - Dollybird - 08-07-2010

Hi All,
I am in desperate need of advice, help or any support that you could possibly tell me in regards my situation. I am a girlfriend of a CG. We have just recently brought a house and live as a family (my partner, me, my daughter (his sd) who is 5 and me 18 weeks pregnant. My partner has been card gambling for numerous of years before we met, however, it finally came to light approx. 2 years ago. He plays cards at someone's house (I will say people he knows but not friends), where he can walk in with no money and open a tab. He disappears every 2/3 months for a few hours, then comes home for money as he 'owes' it them. This will go on for approx. 2 nights and will come back about 3 /4 times within those nights and wake me up for money, whether we have it or not. He has also put his parents through this just to get this money he either 'owes' them or whether this is to carry on gambling when he loses to get it back. If I say that within the last what 6 months, this has happened approx. 3 times and we can now say the sum that he has gambled away is thousands, of which me and his parents have had to scramble together as well as his wages to get him out of this. It then got to the stage where I told him there was no more and his parents did, he had no where to go and tried to take his own life as he didn't know which way to turn. Through this he received counselling and was under some dr's and as always vowed never to do it again, low and behold since that incident in February, he has done it twice. He has gone to friends, family for money, next door neighbours, stole from me and apparently in the early stages his parents. At the beginning I gave him the money in the hope it would stop. I eventually started getting angry because I couldn't understand why he was doing this when he was destroying everything in his life. I eventually broke down and went to get some counselling to support me and really to see how I could go about supporting his addiction. I had to say no to anymore money, cut off his supplies to cash so no more avenues, hold his finances, (of which I have done as his mother always did), so he doesn't spend more than required. Of all which I have done. However, he finally did it again and the last two weeks have been hell - it has taken to pay off this debt and me telling him to go - he says there is no more and wants to get the help support for his addiction as he knows that this is killing me and our relationship. Thats if it hasn't already. The worst thing is, its like a light switch when it happens, he is in his own bubble when coming back and needing money as he is so scared of these people, (who have now followed him back home for this debt and threatened to deal with me and his parents), yet when this money is paid off you kno it is because the switch turns back on to reality! Its strange. I don't know whether to cut my losses to ensure that me and kids are okay going forward, especially as I am half way through my pregnancy and really do not need this, and with my little girl, well don't want her in this situation OOOOORRRRR do I try and actively continue to support him through this and push for the help etc he needs. Please could any of you who has been in his shoes and my shoes just let me know your thoughts, comments to help us through - whether we are together or not. I am at my wits end and well... last chance saloon for us I think. I don't want it to be as I love him so very much but I have two precious children to think about and keeping a roof over our heads. He is a lovely person the majority of the time, but when he gets into what he does.... 'his own world' then its all over. Sorry for going on but well any advice / help / support would help. Thanks Dollybird.

Re: Advice Needed from Gamblers / Families please - helen - 18-07-2010

Hi Doolybird and also Julie, Thank you for your posts. I am acompulsive gambler in recovery through the 12 steps of GA.
I can imagine how terrible it is to live with a gambler. I lost several 'good' relationships and some not so good through gambling.
I acted exactely how you described your partners whilst I was bailed out and given more money to pay debts and then to gamble more. You both have children to care for and need to protect yourself and your children from this destructive behaviour. It can cause untold mental problems for you and your children. You must protect your finances and take full control of your possessions.
Do not let your partners try to black mail you. i.e. I will never do it again!, You don't love me! Just give me one last chance! etc. etc.
Take yourself along to a Gamanon meeting this is for the partners, family etc of gamblers.
Take care

Re: Advice Needed from Gamblers / Families please - wag - 20-07-2010

Been with my husband 4 yrs. Caught him out gambling the 1st time after about 17 months when I went through our bins as due to his shady behaviour I thought he was cheating. I found Casino recepits totaling tens of thousands that he had gambled in 1 week.

2nd time a yr later, I knew he was doing it again simply from his behaviour: lying, things not adding up, him looking unwell, his lack of sleep, being distant etc. so i went through his things and found a betting slip in his bag. This time I told his dad and whole family. I begged them to take control of his finances and not to sweep it under the carpet. At first they did this now it seems everyone has forgotten. And he is back in charge of his finances and not going to GA meetings anymore.

I married him 6 weeks ago, probably shouldnt have but I love him & i guess i hoped it would magicaly be a new begining for us. Of course says hes stopped, he always quotes the date that he stopped and everything. I desperatly want to have kids but i wont as im scared i will find out hes doing it again.. then i'll leave him then i will be divorced with messed up kids. I grew up in a broken home and its not something i want my own kids to go through. I feel like im just waiting for the day i find out hes on it again up and we break up.

I think im seeing signs again. I just wanna know really on a level whats the likely hood he has really stopped and will never do it again? dont spare my feelings just tell it like it is please.


Re: Advice Needed from Gamblers / Families please - Grimer - 20-07-2010

Hi there.

One of the hardest things a gambler has to do and everyone else has to come to terms with is that they are seeking help for themself. If they do it for others, no matter how hard the circumstances, it will fail. Failure to go to GA meetings will fail. Of course help and support, both emotionally and practically (do not let them have cash) all help along the way.

This is a mental illness that will never go away. I do not say this to frighten you, but to help all involved understand that this is ongoing. This is where people think after a few months of trying, everything will be ok and therefore no need to go to meetings anymore. The desire will remain, it is about making sure that in those times of weakness, there are people to talk to and no money available, no matter what excuse we give - WE CAN BE GREAT AND CONVINCING LIARS.

As we gamblers learn to deal with things, we suddenly realise what time we have for our families and loved ones and these become the most important things. Be strong, but above all else, do not succome to lies, only you will know how far you can go and whether they are prepared to take the journey. In sickness and in health, for richer or poorer.