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  • Ex-soldier support?

    Is someone you care about experiencing issues with gambling? Come in here to discuss your concerns, connect, and get some helpful tips.
    Junior Member
    Posts: 1
    Joined: Wed Jul 20, 2016 9:11 pm

    Ex-soldier support?

    Wed Jul 20, 2016 9:35 pm

    Hi All,
    New here.
    Like many, my whole world has changed since last night. I've known him for nearly 10 years, we have dated on and off for that time. He moved in with me 7 months ago, leaving behind his life in the Army to finally be together. I knew when he got out, he would be stuck for money, especially having to start a new job etc. He got a job 4 days after the army stopped paying him, so there really shouldnt have been too much of a gap, but he has an expensive car to pay of etc etc. He hasn't contributed anything in the 7 months he has been living here, no rent, no groceries, no bills, i often pay for his petrol etc, i even bought him a cheap car so he didnt have to keep fuelling his performance car, which was costing him a lot. All of it a loan (except the groceries), and the list totals approx $17k in that 7 months.
    I confronted him last night, probably having known at the back of my mind for a while that there was something not quite right, and he admitted to it. He even let me look at his bank account, great progress.... more than $5k gambled in the last 3 weeks.
    So we agreed on an action plan, I would monitor his bank account, and he would get help. Great progress, even though of course he is very upset, reluctant, ashamed etc.
    Today, I called the helpline, just to see what options are out there, and they asked me how long this has been going on. I wasnt sure, i only looked back as far as 3 weeks ago.... so this evening i looked. Going back to November, he has gambled more than $33k. In July 2015 (coinciding with his return from Afghanistan), his account balance dropped by $38k (obviously other expenses, but mostly gambling). My shock can't be expressed in words.
    I am confident that whilst he has probably gambled for quite a while (there is a culture of it in the defence force), I would guarantee that this is linked in with PTSD that he also won't acknowledge.
    I want to do everything I can to support him (although I'm still trying to work out how I will ever trust another word he utters), but talking to gambling helpline, I understand they help with the gambling, but I really think he needs this combined with support for the mental health issues left over from the army/Afghanistan. I have tried Soldier On, but havent had any response as such, just dont know where else to go.
    My question (finally got there), does anyone know of defence specific support that can handle the gambling side as well? So out of my depth and dont know what to do.
    Thanks, and sorry for the long post
    P.s. It has been really helpful reading that I'm not going through this alone.
    0 x
    Jerry (facilitator)
    Senior Member
    Posts: 331
    Joined: Thu Nov 26, 2015 1:02 pm

    Re: Ex-soldier support?

    Thu Jul 21, 2016 4:40 pm

    Hi Leah

    It sounds like your partner would qualify for some counselling with the “Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service”. You can contact them by calling 1800 011 046 or through their website: http://www.vvcs.gov.au/
    They should be able to talk to him about his difficulties around PTSD and a few other things. While they will have some experience dealing with Gambling seeking a gambling specific service might be useful to do as well. Gamblers helpline should be able to link him with his closest service. A private Psychologist should also be able to help him to recover and can be organised by visiting his local G.P. and getting a mental health care plan.

    Hopefully he will seek out help from one of those services. But unfortunately gambling can be extremely addictive and it is often easier for gamblers to simply avoid the consequences of their gambling than to face the difficult process of change. As the consequences of gambling are often financial, this tends to take the form of getting others to pay for things (rent, petrol, food etc.). It sounds like he doesn't have any consequences from his gambling, you do. You are the one that is spending the money while he gets to keep his shiny car.

    It would probably be good for you to make sure that your money is safe. If he starts to have financial problems then he can sell his shiny car, that sounds like a motivating factor to me.

    Keep your money and let him experience some consequences.

    What does everybody else think?
    0 x
    Senior Member
    Posts: 187
    Joined: Fri Jul 18, 2014 7:10 pm

    Re: Ex-soldier support?

    Thu Jul 21, 2016 9:37 pm

    I think it's a shame not enough is done to support returned forces people but until that changes you need to get a psychologist through your GP but they don't provide this on Medicare for gambling addiction. They will for PTSD though.
    I agree with Jeremy that you shouldn't support him because then it's you suffering instead of him and it's true us gambling addicts need to wear the consequences. I would feed him because that's a basic but not the fuel or even the rent. If you can get him to transfer a set amount each week into your account for the basics then he can manage the rest. You could try to get him playing online games instead?
    If he gets busy he may not have time to gamble. The other thing is to look after yourself so get a massage or go out and treat yourself as you will need all the positive energy you can muster.
    My partner stuck by me and just the other day he commented that he was proud of me for facing up to my problem and stopping so that made me feel it was well worth the change and I still have my family. His support means everything to me but at the time he gave me no money at all. All the best
    0 x

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