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Realisation of my partners problem

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Realisation of my partners problem

Postby pineapple321 » Fri Jun 09, 2017 11:21 am

I've always known that my fiancée enjoys an occasional play on the pokies, however its only as of recently that I am becoming aware of the true extent, and I feel like it is becoming a problem for our relationship.

My partner who is now pregnant with our first child, plays the pokies alone, sometimes with a friend, I never go as I have always hated the stupid machines.

At first it was occasional, once every few weeks (that I knew about) and only $50 here and there, then it became more frequent and it didn't seem to matter if we had the money or not. I made my partner aware that I was getting concerned, which of course just turned into an argument.

Since then my partner will rarely tell me about going to the pokies, however I will see money coming out of the bank account (usually at the ATM right next door to the pokies) and my partner will tell me it is to buy me a present.... I actually fell for that the first few times. But no present ever shows up. So where did the money go?

We share our banking, we both work, we earn around about the same money. I am the one who looks after the finances, ensuring our bills are paid. Some weeks we don't have a lot left over but we always have what we need. So it's not like its causing a huge financial strain on us but I'm am noticing that our funds are slowing reducing and we are using credit cards more often to pay bills.

We are saving money for her to take parental leave, this is an account that we can't access unless we both sign for it. She will tell me she needs money for something baby related and I will agree for her to take the cash out, but when I check the receipt it will be $100 less than she took, but the left over money is never seen again. This is where the "present" line comes up again.

When I met my partner she had a history of debt, owing people money etc.. the reasons were always substantiated but as someone who struggles to manage money her debts were never paid, once we got our banking together I organised to start paying off all of those debts week by week. Sometimes my partner will stop those automatic payments to those collection agencies and take the cash out of the ATM instead, and hope I don't notice. On other occasions she will borrow money from the friend she is playing the pokies with, then transfer the money back to that friend in the same amount of the debt collection payment so that it looks normal when I check the bank accounts, again in hopes that I don't notice.

She is in true denial - she will say she goes for fun, that she can stop whenever she wants. And she tells me that its always been a part of her life and if I don't like it I should leave. Aside from this issue she is an amazing partner and I don't want to walk away and give up.

She has good friends who are all on board with playing the pokies, plus her mum is exactly the same. How will she ever stop with these influences around her?

I think the deceit is what breaks my heart. I hate the pokies but I can live with her playing recreationally when we have the money. I can't live with the lies and cover ups.

I don't want to be the partner that checks bank accounts and asks where cash went. It just makes me feel horrible.

Part of me thinks I should come to an agreement with her on how often and how much she can spend per week. So that she can be happy and I can learn to deal with the occasional gamble. Will this even help?

Any advice I can get would be appreciated?
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Re: Realisation of my partners problem

Postby Catherine1 » Fri Jun 09, 2017 4:50 pm

This is coming from a past gambler of pokies. There is usually an underlying reason why people gamble. For myself I have come to the realisation that I have gambled in the past due to the following: boredom and stress are the main ones and occasionally anger. Does your partner have a high stressful job? I know my job is extremely stressful at times, and I know I would turn to gambling as it allowed you to zone out and not think about your problems for that period of time. There could be an underlying problem, that she is masking by gambling.

You can support her in every single way for her to give up, but she ultimately needs to make the decision herself to give up. I know I thought I could just kerb my gambling, and only limit myself to a set amount, but in the long run I think it is best to give up totally. Otherwise, you fall back in the trap of betting that bit more and then before you know it you are spiralling out of control again.

Suggest to her to look at this gambling site, so she can read the stories of other people who have successfully given up. This will give her some food for thought and then if she decides to give up totally, may be a councillor can help her with this.

All the best with helping your partner. All I can say, is life without gambling is so much better.
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Re: Realisation of my partners problem

Postby JinxyWolf » Fri Jun 09, 2017 9:37 pm

Hi Pineapple321 & Welcome,

As someone who is battling the same demon, the pokies, I know how hard it was for me to stop and admit that the pokies had become a real problem in my life. Unfortunately it took me nearly loosing everything to come to this realization. Unfortunately hitting rock bottom is the only way for many gamblers to come to the same realization.
I think you are right about your partner being in denial, perhaps talking to a councellor yourself may give you some tools to help your partner see the negative impact her gambling is having on you and your relationship. But i hate to say it, unless she is ready and wiling to face her addiction not much will change.

All you can do is support her when she does....

Wishing you all the best...

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Re: Realisation of my partners problem

Postby pamela » Sat Jun 10, 2017 12:53 pm

Hi and welcome..you are in.a tough spot but I agree..unless your partner admits to having a problem and needing help there isnt much you can do ..maybe it will change when the baby is born ..lets hope so
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Re: Realisation of my partners problem

Postby Jerry (facilitator) » Sun Jun 11, 2017 3:55 pm

Hi Pineapple,

I think the thing with gambling is that people change their gambling when the consequences of their gambling outweigh the negatives. Unfortunately the machines are addictive, so the consequences need to be rather big before they are noticed. It is often easier for gamblers to get others to rescue them from the consequences than to face them themselves. This usually starts to happen subconsciously rather than as a deliberate plan.

Have a think about how her finances would be different if she was living alone. If she was living alone and spent her rent money on gambling, then she would be evicted. If she was living alone and spent her grocery money on gambling she would go hungry. If she spent her petrol money on gambling then she could not drive. If she did not pay her loans she would get chased by debt collectors and eventually become bankrupt. Any of these sorts of issues are huge signs to people that they have a problem with gambling.

But it's easier to get others to take away the consequences of gambling. That way they can gamble and there is no downside (for them). They get others to pay for groceries, rent, fuel etc. Do you or anybody around you pay for more than your fair share? If so then there is no consequence for her and no reason to change.

She won't change until she starts to notice consequences.

Help her to have consequences. Separate your finances.

This is really easy to say and really really hard to do. I think you would benefit from talking with a counselor. (either a Gambling counselor or a relationships counselor)

You can organize free gambling counselling through Gamblers Helpline (1800 858 858, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week).

You have a tough time ahead of you, but you don't have to go through it alone.
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