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My husbands addiction has resurfaced

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My husbands addiction has resurfaced

Postby Barnie » Mon May 01, 2017 10:44 pm

Hello,
I discovered this weekend that my husband has started online sports betting again and has been hiding this from me. I don't know how long it has been going on for or how much he has been betting, I just saw the bets on an app he left open on his phone. I haven't said a word to him about it yet as I honestly don't know what to say that would be constructive.

I found out about his gambling about 18 months ago when he admitted to an 80-90k credit card debt when we were trying to buy a car. He never said a word to me about his debt while dating or before we got married. When he did tell me it was only because there was nowhere else for him to hide I believe, he was going to be found out anyway.
He promised me that it was old debt, from before our relationship when he was very depressed after losing his Mum and hating his job. He said things were different now; he loved his job, he had me, we were starting a family. I honestly believed it was just a bad patch in his life and the debt was just remnants we needed to work through and it would be all behind us.

He has been seeing a psychiatrist for years who never knew about his gambling. At the time I found out, I wanted him to change and see someone for his gambling but he was pretty adamant to stay with the same one but promised to tell them. He still sees him a couple times a year but they talk about sport together (FFS!) and not much heavy stuff from what I gather.

His Mum was a gambler and lost a lot of money, which the family saw as very shameful. My husband had only one friend he talks to about his gambling and no one else. He refuses to talk to his family about it. I understand why he hides it from everyone but it makes it harder for me to find support.

Can anyone shed some light or offer suggestions on the best way to handle this situation? He hasn't actively gambled and hiden it from me until now. I feel like all the trust, love and acceptance I showed him when he told me about the credit cards has somehow made it easier for him to gamble again knowing that I was so forgiving last time. Am I totally nïave to think that?

After finding out about the credit cards we talked about me getting access to his bank accounts and full transparency of our banking, but it never eventuated. Then when it did come up I made a point of telling him that I trusted him and I didn't need to check up on him.
I feel that logically I need to step in and take all that away but emotionally it's just against my nature to be so untrusting of him, he is my husband, I'm really shocked that he is lying to me.

I'm trying really hard to find a way to talk to him about this that isn't about me, because I know his gambling isn't about me at all, but all I can see are how the effects of his gambling will have on our family and our future and I just feel so lost.

Sorry for the long post, I don't have anyone I can be honest about this all.
Barnie
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Re: My husbands addiction has resurfaced

Postby JinxyWolf » Mon May 01, 2017 11:00 pm

Hi Barnie and Welcome.

I am a gambler, my aunty was also a gambler, she lost everything and even went to jail for stealing to support her habit so I know the affect that this can have on ones family. Your husband's gambling may not be about you but it is certainly affecting you. So you have every right to be concerned.

Being a gambler myself I know that having a family member confront me about my gambling only made me more defensive. It is up to your husband to decide he needs help and he has to willing at accept his gambling is out of control but that doesn't mean you can't help him and be there to support him when he does. We as gamblers need to come to realize the consequences of our gambling for ourselves rather than have someone point it out to us.

I would suggest you talk to a gambling councellor about the best way to approach this subject with your husband. They have great support systems on the Gambler's Help website for family members of gamblers.

I wish you all the best......

JinxyWolf.
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Re: My husbands addiction has resurfaced

Postby Noah (facilitator) » Tue May 02, 2017 10:47 am

Hi Barnie,
Welcome! I'm Noah one of the facilitators here. I just wanted to say hi and to echo Jinkywolf's great advice. It is really challenging position to be in. In a way, this is your gambling problem too because it is affecting you emotionally and financially. Gamblers Help Services recognise this and offer free specialist gambling counselling and gambling related financial counselling for partners or family members of people with a gambling problem. These services are free and confidential and may be a good starting point. These things are often not straight forward to navigate and having a professional who understand and can also help you to start to think of ways to support him through this and protect yourself can be a big help! Checking out this link could be a good starting point... https://www.gamblinghelponline.org.au/helping-others or you can call Gamblers Helpline on 1800 858 858 for a referral to a counsellor.
Take care of yourself and keep in touch!
Noah
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Re: My husbands addiction has resurfaced

Postby Rosie » Tue May 02, 2017 10:13 pm

Hi Barnie,

Your story sounds very similar to mine. I did not understand or realise the extent of my husbands addiction to gambling until we see married and our world started to crumble. Debt after debt our beautiful life of a nice house, nice cars and fantastic careers and life style slowly disappeared

What I have learnt is you cannot help someone by catching them out. They have to want to get help and they have to want to change more then the addiction itself.

If you need help to understand the addicted brain then I absolutely have found some comfort in talking to a gamblers counsellor.

I am currently looking to leave my husband. As after 3 relapses in 2 1/2 years and over $250k gone and a 5 month old son it's not about "saving him". It's saving me and our son.

It's a hard road. Reach out to family and friends. Do not suffer in silence.

I wish you all the strength to help you through the next steps.

Xx
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Re: My husbands addiction has resurfaced

Postby blastoise (facilitator) » Wed May 03, 2017 2:00 pm

Hi Rosie,

I completely agree with the reaching out with support from friend, family and professionals! I can't imagine how hard it is for you to consider leaving because of gambling, but know that we area ll here to support whatever decision you make for you and your child.

Blastoise
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Re: My husbands addiction has resurfaced

Postby blastoise (facilitator) » Wed May 03, 2017 2:06 pm

Hi Barnie,

Welcome to the GH Forum, and please call Gamblers Help and speak to a counsellor, you are not alone and they can provide anonymous support on the phone and link you in with a counsellor face to face.
I am sorry you have had to go through this, I can't imagine the emotions you go have gone through in relation to the gambling issues. Often, a lot of people will select to tell other health professionals about gambling or other significant issues, believing that this is the best thing to do. I would disagree in this regard, as providing as much information about addictive behaviors will help a psychiatrist make a more accurate picture of what needs to happen.
I would encourage him to see a Gambling Counsellor, given that this is their area of expertise, and they can always talk to the psychiatrist (with consent). It doesn't hurt to have as much support as possible! I would ask him why he wont see a gambling counsellor though, is it fear? a lack of commitment to change? had a bad experience?

There are a number of options and strategies, such as self-exclusions, and software that bars gambling from mobile devices, removing access to finances etc. Please just ask what you need, we are all more than happy to help!

Good luck, and keep us up to date

Blastoise
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Re: My husbands addiction has resurfaced

Postby Barnie » Sat May 06, 2017 8:57 pm

Thanks everyone for your replies, it is comforting to know that I have support.

We have had a chat about the gambling now and from what he first estimated he spent and what I have since uncovered to be the truth has been astounding. I am deeply shocked how long this has been going on for again and how bad it got.

I have now taken control of all the finances, which he insisted on as well.
We have made an appointment to see a counsellor together. I have gotten him to come online and check out this site himself for help.

He isn't coping very well with all of this. I sat him down with his bank statements for the last 6 months with all the gambling highlighted. What he thought wasn't a big deal is finally hitting home. He is seeing himself in a mirror for the first time in a long time and he isn't liking what he sees.

For me, I am totally pissed off, angry, hurt and feeling sorry for myself. Honestly I am feeling really angry today because all of this has happened and he walks around like the victim and feeling pitiful and sorry for himself and yet i feel like the victim but I don't get to wallow or have a pity party as I have to hold it all together!

I will get some counselling as I know I certainly need it to get through all of this. Thanks for your support, it does make me feel less alone.
Barnie
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Re: My husbands addiction has resurfaced

Postby pamela » Sat May 06, 2017 10:14 pm

HI Barbie..it's hard for both of you..Your husband will be feeling sheepish about his behaviour and you have every right to be angry and hurt..but you both need to work together now to help him overcome this addiction...don't let hurt and anger get in the way...what has been done can't be undone but it is in the past and that's where it needs to stay..supporting each other is the important thing to do ..I hope you can help each other in overcoming this
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