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Recent discovery of partner's pokie addiction

Posted: Mon Jul 15, 2013 11:44 pm
by Caiti
I very recently discovered that my fiance has been hiding a gambling problem from me when I noticed unusual withdrawals on his bank statements. I read back over the last six months worth of statements and saw multiple withdrawals from the same pokies venues adding up to almost $6000, even going overdrawn on his account at one stage. I have not seen any statements from before this time so I cannot say how long it has been going on. I know that he has had troubles in the past, at least 5-6 years ago but I thought that was behind us.When I confronted him he was honest and admitted to having a problem, saying that he feels like he is on top of it now and was hoping to hide it from me and battle it out himself with the intention that I would never have to find out.I feel sick about the deception as we are trying to save and I often feel disappointed that we never go out as he doesn't want to spend any money.
I feel sad for him as I understand that he is a victim of the pokie machines but I am hurt because it must have taken a lot of lies to cover up.
He has assured me that he has fought the addiction and has offered me access to his bank accounts but I can't stand the idea of having to check up on him like a mother would. I am only 25 and don't want this burden.
I feel extremely depressed and unsure of what to do now. He doesn't want me to tell anyone so I can't even confide in my friends or family.
He says that he has no desire to go to the pokies again and I do believe him but how am I meant to feel about the last six months and how/why should I trust him? I love him and want to offer my help and support but it is very hard when I feel so let down.
I have no idea what I am supposed to do.

RE: Recent discovery of partner's pokie addiction

Posted: Tue Jul 16, 2013 1:40 am
by GameChanger (facilitator)
Hi Caiti,

Welcome to the GamblingHelpOnline moderated forums, it's good to hear 'the other side of the story'.

Just reading your post, I can't help but feel overwhelmed by the enormity of what you've recently discovered. I guess it comes as no surprise to hear you say that you're feeling let down, disappointed and wondering whether you can trust him at all: all completely normal reactions in the aftermath of such news.

I can only imagine how your partner must be feeling at the moment after being found out, but wonder whether keeping you in the dark was his way of protecting you (not that I'm attempting to excuse his deception)? What ever the reasons, you guys are clearly going through some tough times.

There are no easy answers to this one, at the moment it's just about taking one day at a time. Although your partner has asked that you keep things to yourself, it is important that you are supported too. You're always welcome to speak with one of us - totally confidential - on 1800 858 858 any time.

But I'd be very interested to hear from other members on the best ways that Caiti can manage with this one...

RE: Recent discovery of partner's pokie addiction

Posted: Tue Jul 16, 2013 6:10 pm
by Jo2
Hi Caiti

Welcome. We are all here for support, some of us as gamblers and some of us as the gambler's loved one. I myself have been a gambler for many years but have recently stopped (and doing everything in my power to stop for good).

I read your post with interest as you are in the same boat as my partner, and I as yours.

I recently dropped the bombshell of my gambling on my partner who had absolutely no idea that I had a problem. We aren't married, nor do we share finances but still, it was something I had hid from him with the same resolve as your fiance that I would sort it out myself and he would never need to know.

I was ashamed that I wasted so much money in those damn machines instead of paying my bills. I walked around pretending life was dandy even though I had spent nearly all of my pay gambling, with minimal money to get me through the week. I couldn't sleep and I was riddled with guilt. Each morning after a long gambling session, I would wake up literally with a 'gamblers hangover'.

Like your fiance, I'd say to my partner that I didn't want to go out and spend the money - that's because I had already spent it and didn't have any more to spend!!!! I really thought I could fix it myself but something kept taking me back to play those machines one more time....

I laid everything on the line when I told my partner and asked him to take over my finances, which he has. However, there is now an emotional divide between us. I can sincerely empathise with him in that he is trying to process what I have told him and can see that the trust must be broken and that he probably feels that I am not the person he thought I was. I can empathise with you as well.

It is helpful to see things from the perspective of a loved one and your post has given me a little insight as to how my partner must feel about me and the gambling, so thank you for sharing. I hope that my post has given you a little insight into the turmoils of a gambler. I'm hoping my partner and I can work through this, that he can trust me again and that I can continue on my resolve never ever to play those machines again.

I wish you luck and hope you both can work through it as well.


RE: Recent discovery of partner's pokie addiction

Posted: Tue Jul 16, 2013 11:40 pm
by Linda2
Hi Caiti

Sorry to hear about your finance and yourself, hopefully in the next few days you will be able to process what you have found out and try and move forward for this point onwards.

As am gambler I am concerned that he has not shown any remorse for what he has done and my concern is what if you hadn't found out. We are very good liars and we say we don't want to hurt the people we love etc. but sometimes its more about not wanting to stop. So I think you may need to suggest to him that he seeks some help and you may need to keep him on his toes and look at his bank account regularly. You are not his mother agreed, but you need to make him accountable for his actions. And over time you can rebuild the trust hopefully.

You also may need to try and work out the why he gambles? He may have just gotten way over his head and chased lose after lose and the thought of stopping and admiting to the loss was just tp hard to bare. So we keep on hoping for the big win!

My opinion would be to warn him that you will inform family or friends if he doesn't stop.

The main thing is you are not alone and this service is available for you 24/7!

Good luck and I hope you can work it.

RE: Recent discovery of partner's pokie addiction

Posted: Wed Jul 17, 2013 2:53 pm
by Caiti
Thank you all for your advice and support. It is really great to be able to talk about it with people who understand and read about your experiences. I appreciate the honesty from Linda and Jo.I feel like such a scatterbrain right now I don't really know what to say or where to start.

Thank you Linda for the admission that gamblers are good liars, that is something that will stay with me.
I am finding it hard to get over the idea that every time over the last six months we have talked about money or savings or what we plan to spend money on he has been hiding a gambling problem. There was a time a couple of months ago when we were buying takeaway that he had no money in his bank account and I assumed it was because had put it into a separate account or used it to pay back a loan, it didn't even occur to me that it was being squandered on pokie machines.

I know that he is unhappy in his job and maybe plays the machines as a way of zoning out of his misery about work.
Also he had borrowed some money from his family members whilst on an overseas trip and perhaps he thought he could win it back. This seems completely irrational to a non gambler.
One day he said he was bored and just wanted to get out of the house.
We were in the supermarket yesterday and he said that he could hear the sounds of the pokie machines in the song being played through the speakers.

He seems to think that because he wasn't using my money and was still able to pay for things that it shouldn't have a great impact on me, it is the lies that make me crazy as we have always put so much value on having an honest relationship. I do understand that he didn't want to lose me and was ashamed.
I find it hard to bring up because I don't want to keep hassling him about it but it's all I can think about I feel so tired even after a good nights sleep. Can the other gamblers in the forum tell me how their partners bring up their concerns with them and does it annoy you when they do when you're doing your best already to stop? I don't want to see him at the end of the day and say ''Did you have any urges today?'' I'm not sure if I have the right to ask that and how it makes him feel.
I feel so angry and hurt but last night when I was trying to talk about it he was getting frustrated and saying ''well what do you want me to do? I am trying to stop and you should be proud of that.'' I'm trying to explain that while he feels proud for not going I am still feeling disappointed for all of the times that he has gone and am not ready yet to congratulate him on the achievement of not going... I voice my feelings about how depressed and worried I am and his attitude is kind of like 'well that's how I've been feeling for the last 6 months', suggesting that I should feel sorry for him. I hope I am not sounding too biased. If he'd told me half a year ago I would have helped him straight away.

Does anyone know if it's possible to overcom

RE: Recent discovery of partner's pokie addiction

Posted: Wed Jul 17, 2013 5:14 pm
by Jo2
Hi again Caiti

Firstly - thanks for the pat on the back with your congratulations on stopping gambling, it is little things like this (a congrats from a stranger) that keep me motivated to NOT gamble.

My partner and I went out for dinner last night to talk about it all. Im glad we did. Funny, i've been wanting to talk to him about it for the past 3 weeks but every time I started, he changed the subject. Looks like we are now on the same page and I know he cares and loves me enough to help me through this. So for me, talking about it is not annoying - it really helps me.

It is not easy giving up something you have done for a long time and I have struggled in the past few weeks fighting that dreaded urge but I have found that this forum and the online counsellor have helped immensely.

Do you think your fiance would be open to counselling?

I really hope that you both can work through this and seriously encourage you to keep venting in has been my crutch!!!


RE: Recent discovery of partner's pokie addiction

Posted: Wed Jul 17, 2013 6:48 pm
by Veronica (facilitator)
The advice given on this forum and the support people give each other is truly wonderful. Caiti I think the way you are approaching the situation with your partner is excellent. You are asking for clarity, honesty, and time to get to grips with the bombshell that has been dropped on you.

You are not being a nag or intrusive when you ask for information. Neither are you being your partner's mum as at this point you offering assistance. i.e. I will help you to keep honest by looking at your bank details.

keep up the good work


RE: Recent discovery of partner's pokie addiction

Posted: Wed Jul 17, 2013 11:45 pm
by Linda2
Hi Caiti

I am pleased that I didn't offend you with my comments and I am so proud that you have had the guts to come back & chat. You should be so proud of yourself

You asked a very hard question which is once a gambler always a gambler, I hope that is not the case, but in my case I think it will be true. I am single & alone
& have a reasonable income and low expenses and I do enjoy the excitement and the thrill. Do I honestly think I will get that same thrill by joining other social clubs no I don't but neither do I want to go back from where I've been either. So I want a middle ground.

But if I was young and in a relationship as you are I would do everything in my power to stop & try and undo the hurt I have caused to my partner.

Hopefully this is just a bad habit and bad habits can be broken.

Good luck to you and I hope you have a better week.

Just remember there are worse things than gambling like cheating & like only getting 1/2 a life, this is just a small hiccup & at the end of the day money can always be replaced some other things can't

Take care-Linda

RE: Recent discovery of partner's pokie addiction

Posted: Wed Jul 24, 2013 12:31 am

RE: Recent discovery of partner's pokie addiction

Posted: Wed Jul 24, 2013 3:35 pm
by Caiti
Thank you again to the people who have shared their stories and advice.Congrats Popeye 4 1/2 months is great.
Luckily my partner and I do not have a joint account so I personally have not lost any money, although his problem has slowed us down financially.
He knows that if it happens again, if it's only 20dollars into the pokie machines I will leave him. I hope that is enough motivation for him not to do it.
I don't know if I am stupid or not to stay with him, stupid I suppose most people would say but I am just hoping that it was a phase and it won't happen again.
One of my concerns is that I'm aware that his mum also has a gambling problem and I worry that he has seen this and thought it was okay. I saw a professor on a morning show who said that it was common for children and parents to both do it.
He has been working hard to redeem himself. I still feel depressed but I am trying to be positive.
Does anyone know if the rush from winning an online sporting bet is the same as having a win at the pokies? He has an online betting account which he and a couple of friends use to bet on the AFL, it is only small amounts and is apparently a 'social thing' but I am wondering if I should ask him to stop this as well.