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will it help or not?
Bit of back story first... My husband and I first met 11 years ago. 6 months in, I found out (from his sister) that he had an IVA from a few years earlier. fast forward 8 years, he receives a PPI pay out for a substantial sum. As we've had a few years of being financially tight, I tell him, this is all relating to money from before I knew he even existed, enjoy it and 'spoil yourself'. Another year later, his company are making redundancies so he takes voluntary. 3 months after this, he is enjoying still enjoying time off work and its our wedding day, the day that we have both been planning and excited about for 2 years! 1 month later, I bring up planning our honeymoon. After evading the subject for about a week, he finally admits that all the money we had saved is gone. Luckily, he has a new job by now so we have a row over it but I figure, what can I do about it, we'll just start saving again. Another week later, I find out that he's been borrowing money from his mum and has yet to pay back any of the £Xk. I decide to confront him about it and he admits that it was to clear gambling debt. After a month of me pushing and questioning he finally admits that he's had a gambling problem since he got the PPI pay out, he gambled the lot and has been taking out loans & credit cards ever since to try and recover this, including his redundancy and our honeymoon savings.
Well, needless to say, I was completely devastated! The man I've loved for 10 years has lied to me for 2 years! I know it might not be easy to believe but I truly don't care about the money. Money can be replaced. I just can't believe that he's managed to fool me so completely!

He admits that he has a problem and agrees that going forward, I can have access to his bank account and that he will seek help of some form. I decide not to push him too much as he's admitted it, this is a good sign, he knows he has a problem and wants to work on it. 6 months later, I find out there are 2 more loans and he has now decided that he doesn't want me to see any of his banking info as this is the only bit of responsibility he has left and swears that he isn't gambling. We sit and have a discussion about this. The result is that while I appreciate & understand what he is saying, he needs to know that as long as he doesn't want me seeing his bank, I won't be able to trust him.

Another 6 months later, things seem to be going ok, still trust issues but he's showing no sign's that he's hiding anything. I ask him every few weeks how he's doing and he says good every time. We sit down and have a discussion about starting a family, I tell him that I want nothing more but I need to be able to trust him financially if he wants to bring another life into the world. He completely agrees and swears that he hasn't gamble since 6 months earlier.

6 months on brings us to today. I've been to my bank for a mortgage review and I was flagged for credit checks! I tell the bank I have no idea what this could be and race home to access my credit report. The bastard has been taking out loans in my name! we have been discussing for most of the day and he has now said that he wants me to completely take over the finances as he doesn't trust himself. I am happy to do this as it will go a long way to rebuilding my sanity and being able to rebuild my trust in the man I love.

My question is, will this actually help or is this like trying to fix a leak with masking tape!

I honestly don't know what to do any more. Thank what ever deity is out there that the house is in my name only and we don't have any dependants yet! This has caused me some major emotional issues, I don't believe a word he says anymore and I constantly question myself.

Any advise on how to help him / what direction to push him would be very greatly appreciated.
Apologies for the long post and thank you for reading
Hi Jennifer,

Will it work or not? That's the million dollar question i suppose which depends on a lot of factors.

As a recovering addict who has tried many ways to stop gambling, nothing really worked until i wanted to stop gambling and was prepared to put in the hard work for it. Handing over money is certainly a good first step, but my family insisted it be only the first step of many which is why i attend GA meetings, have had counselling and work the 12 step program GA offers...

Maybe he'd be prepared to attend his nearest GA meeting? Details on the meeting tab above and for you, maybe consider contacting Gam-anon?

Gam-anon is the sister organisation of GA that supports the families, friends and loved ones to help them understand the addiction that is compulsive gambling. May help for you to have a look at their website?

Write back soon

Smartie xx
Meetings help, but meetings are only a small part to how GA works....

GA is a 12 step organisation that offers the program that keeps me in recovery...

Thanks for replying Smartie. After his second bout, he said that he had 1on1 talks with another gambler and that this really helped him see just how bad things could get if he didn't start making an effort. He seems to lack the long term determination needed to see it through though. I'll try and bring up meeting with him but he's an extremely private person so I doubt I could convince him to go. I'll definitely look into gam-anon for myself thank you
Hi Jennifer88,

He can stop gambling if he wants to, but it does require effort. Finances can be restored in time. I've found from my experience that being a private person does not bode well with recovery. I have to go to meetings, I have to accept help, I have to bear my soul. Keeping things private in an addicts mind is often fuel for relapse.

I strongly recommend him going to GA, and you going to gamanon. Gambling addiction is a problem, but it doesn't have to rule your lives.

Keep up posted on any progress

Wishing you well

One day at a time.  My last bet was 15/03/2016 and I hope and pray each day that it stays that way.
Ok, so Saturday night I asked him to think long and hard about why he thinks he gambles and hides it and, when ready, talk to me about it in a honest judgement free way. We sat and talked for most of Sunday evening & night and we have agreed that going forward, I will completely take over our finances, he will have absolutely no access to money without my knowledge until I decide otherwise. 
He believes he gambles as a source of cash flow, he doesn't enjoy the feeling of gambling of seems to think that it's extra income. My hope is that by taking his bank info away from him, he'll learn to stop worrying about financial matters that don't exist. I can start to teach him how to properly determine a cash flow, estimate outgoing and predict what might happen if circumstances change.
It's going to take a while to clear all the loans and credit cards he's taken out but we'll get there eventually. 
I've told him that he needs to strongly consider GA meetings. He's promised to think about it and I will continue to ask him about it but in the meantime he's asked if he can continue to discuss thoughts / concerns with me. I'm happy to do this and will do what ever I can to help him but I'm definitely going to start attending gam-anon meetings myself so that I have somewhere to discuss my own thoughts and worries. I worry that discussing this with him will only make him feel worse and hinder any progress he might make.
I'll try to post regularly on how things are going and thank you for your advise, it's been a massive help and comfort.
Hi Jennifer88,

I admire the support that you are providing, my wife was also very supportive, but then again she was only supportive when she could see that I was willing to help myself. Taking over the finances is a positive step, be prepared that this could very well cause tension if he doesn't deal with the feelings and emotions. By working the GA program, I've learnt to change my behaviours, and also my attitude towards things, much more tolerant and understanding than ever before. To me it's much more than just stopping gambling, it's also about changing my personal attributes, not all, but certainly the ones that led me to act out in active addiction.

I hope he does get to a meeting soon, and I hope that your experience of gamanon goes well. The sense of belonging and that we are not alone is a huge part of recovery on both sides.

In unity

One day at a time.  My last bet was 15/03/2016 and I hope and pray each day that it stays that way.
Hi Jennifer
I hope your husband has found a room or you have found your own gam anon room. Your husband has to decide that he has had enough before he can start to change, but if he has, I promise you that there is hope. The most important person in his recovery (should he get help) will be him, and the most important person in your recovery is you. Hopefully it doesn't come to it but you need to 1. Understand it a bit better, and 2. Be strong enough to do the right thing by yourself, and gam-anon can help.
Bit of an update. It's been a few weeks now and things seem to be improving. I've taken his bank access away and changed his passwords so that he can't easily gain access again. This seems to have helped him a great deal, he says that knowing he can't gamble even if / when he wants to has taken away some of the temptation. We sat down together and created a budget / cash flow showing his various debts and when they will be cleared month by month. I think seeing it all in black and white made him realise just how bad it got. I have started going to gam anon meeting (2 now) which has helped me massively, having somewhere to talk with people who understand without putting any more negative thoughts in his head is definitely a step in the right direction. He's told his immediate family and they handled it as well as expected but I sat by his side through out supporting him. I'm still working on getting him to attend ga meeting and will continue bringing it up. I truly feel he needs to be able to talk to others who understand and to listen. As much as I'm here for him, I don't think I'll ever fully understand
Hi Jennifer88,

It's great to see that progress is being made. Having a budget helps me a lot, and it certainly made me realise that all the money that I was gambling away was money I could NOT afford. It's brilliant to see that you are getting to gamanon meetings, keep bringing up the meetings with him, they really do help. If I wasn't going to meetings, I would have slipped back into my old ways by now. Having a room of people with the same goal and understanding of one another is the most effective support for the common problem we have. A real sense of belonging, where we stop gambling, and help each other do the same, but not just about gambling, it becomes mutual support for life in general.

Wishing you well

One day at a time.  My last bet was 15/03/2016 and I hope and pray each day that it stays that way.

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