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Boyfriend GA - 24yrs, helping him is making us toxic

Posted: Thu Mar 14, 2019 12:13 pm
by Samantha

I want to be quite specific with my post in hope I have people out there in similar situations. I hope someone reads this fully.

We have been together for just over 3 years. He has had a major problem for maybe 7 years.
he is 24yrs old. Mainly online sports betting, going to the TAB if he can. Constantly lies and white lies about anything to hide his bets or to get the money to bet.
He has had phases of self banning and stints of no betting, but always comes back to it.
He suffers from anxiety and depression as a result.

Without any help, he will go through his pay in a day, maybe 2.
As he lived at home for all this time, he would get by as he didn't rent, so no huge consequences. In the beginning I would financially help. I would shout lunch, get zippay in my name so he can pay off things, put money towards big purchases etc, he would take a long time to pay back.

It is a cycle of, taking control financially (to help him and to pay myself back), fighting over lies and finding out he betted, he takes back control for a while, loses money, I help out if i really have to, he has a break down i get back control. this cycle goes on and on (we have tried his parents doing it too).

He finds it hard to explain and talk about, he is riddled with guilt, says he wants to stop, but continues to do it.

This year, we moved interstate and are living together. I have taken control to ensure rent and bills are paid. I also try to help him save, do my best to no let him have money if i know he doesn't need to, I also am able to see when he bets and lies. This results in big fights, hurtful comments (he blames me a lot). I get very emotional, he is tough and can be mean, but eventually apologies...annnnd we do a lot.

He has begun seeing psychologist..he says its helping, but after his last session he betted the money he needed to pay for it right after, which I just do not understand.

MY QUESTION: I am obsessing to help him, working out a budget, trying to (but failing) to be strict with how much i give him (depending how angry he gets). Trying to not financially help, but end up helping. Checking his account to see what hes taken etc. Its causing me stress. I want him to have savings so we can do things. Do i just take the rent and bills and leave it and distance myself from any help?

Re: Boyfriend GA - 24yrs, helping him is making us toxic

Posted: Fri Mar 15, 2019 5:24 pm
by Calvin (facilitator)
Hello @Samantha ,

Welcome to the forums!

I'm Calvin, one of the facilitators here on the forums!

Sounds like a tough battle you've been facing. I can imagine it to be quite stressful with what course of action to take next.

He needs to get to the point where he realizes how this is impacting areas in his life and also identifying what his own triggers are.

Would both of you be open to possibly seeing a gambling counsellor/financial counsellor ?

it could be quite helpful at this time. I understand it is quite stressful and puts a lot of pressure on yourself.

In the meantime, keep time for yourself and manage your own self-care as this can understandably become quite consuming.

I'm sure you will find that many other members have had similar experiences to yourself.

Re: Boyfriend GA - 24yrs, helping him is making us toxic

Posted: Mon Mar 18, 2019 11:46 am
by Samantha
Hi @Calvin (facilitator)

He is in the headspace of wanting to stop, knowing he has to, but also doesn't want to. Which is hard for someone like me to understand.
He isn't one for opening up.

I dread every pay day as he asks for cash for things he doesn't need, lunch money, when hes packed it to work, petrol, when he has half a tank etc. Sometimes he lies sometimes he doesn't. And It is hard for me to know. And I argue to spend on what he NEEDS and get used to budgeting.

It turns into toxic arguing to the point where he takes back control. Which is where we are at now, i had a massive chat to him and he listened and understood...

My aim this week is to get back the control and get him to self exclude...which im worried how to approach

Re: Boyfriend GA - 24yrs, helping him is making us toxic

Posted: Tue Mar 19, 2019 2:57 pm
by Calvin (facilitator)
yes it can be quite a tough position to be in at this point in time.

It can be useful at this point to share your feelings in a civil manner about the relationship as a whole, and expressing how all this is affecting you.

Will you be interested in getting some counselling support for yourself and possibly for him down the track ?

Even encouraging him to call the helpline

Re: Boyfriend GA - 24yrs, helping him is making us toxic

Posted: Tue Mar 19, 2019 7:27 pm
by Samantha
I have tried that. He is seeing a psychologist. But only twice so far.

He reluctantly gave me back the password to his account. We got in an argument as I have given him a serious ultimatum that if he doesn’t make changes, I cannot hang around. I have given him 3 years of support so It didn’t come lightly to say that. And he wasn’t budging to start making some changes.

He chose to ignore me and not give me his password for his account as payday is tomorrow
He doesn’t want to be controlled he said.

He ended up texting me the password after a while. When I went to thank him he barely wanted to speak and wanted to be alone.

How do I go about controlling his money this week? Do I take the rent and bills and leave him the rest. Or do I try really hard to help financially even though he doesn’t want me to?

Re: Boyfriend GA - 24yrs, helping him is making us toxic

Posted: Wed Mar 20, 2019 8:25 pm
by Mona58
Hi Samantha,

I do not have an answer to your dilemma.

No one likes to be controlled. I'm sure he knows that giving you control is in his best interests.

Remember too ... to take care of yourself!

Wishing you all the best!

stay strong


Re: Boyfriend GA - 24yrs, helping him is making us toxic

Posted: Thu Mar 21, 2019 4:05 pm
by TimTam
Hi @Samantha

This sounds very hard for you- it must take up so much time and energy trying to help him. With people gambling, unfortunately they will only stop when they are ready to, generally when they have experienced some sort of negative consequence from it. This cycle may keep happening if he is not ready to stop- at which point you need to ask yourself how much is too much... when does it all stop?

One piece of advice I will pass to you, is to not give him any money, and stop bailing him out of debts etc. This is enabling his gambling behaviour, and most likely he will not stop if you are doing this. It might be most helpful to take control of his finances, ensure his debts and bills are paid... and don't allow him any money to gamble with. Ideally he should help you with paying his debts and bills so he can take some responsibility of this.

Hope things are ok this week, take care of yourself.

Tim Tam

Re: Boyfriend GA - 24yrs, helping him is making us toxic

Posted: Thu Apr 04, 2019 12:31 pm
by Samantha
Thank you @TimTam and @Mona58

At the moment I battle with trying so hard to keep money from him to save and start having some backup savings...and also letting him make the mistakes he needs to make

At the end of the day, it is his money and me holding it causes a lot of conflict.
So today he has asked for his weekly allowance (he only got paid yesterday) I tried hard to not to, but like I said ultimately its his money and if hes going to make the mistake..there isn't much i can do. If i push too hard he takes back control financially ,and its a whole other headache

I just want him to actually try? stop giving in. That is obviously very easy for me to say..

I want him to stop spending it all in a few days. Its like in his mind - if hes rent and bills are met - he should be rewarded?

Re: Boyfriend GA - 24yrs, helping him is making us toxic

Posted: Fri Apr 19, 2019 11:21 am
by TimTam
Hi @Samantha

Sorry for the late reply.
How are things now for you? Is he still spending the money on gambling?
I can tell you are very conflicted here, yes it is his money... but do you want to start a life with this person and buy a house/ go travelling etc?
It is very easy for anyone to say stop gambling, but until he is ready, it might not happen. It might be a question for you now- how much can you put up with in the relationship?

All the best,

Tim Tam

Re: Boyfriend GA - 24yrs, helping him is making us toxic

Posted: Tue Apr 23, 2019 1:14 pm
by Samantha
hi @TimTam

thanks for getting back to me

He has taken control of his money as it was causing us so much stress. He did this behind my back. So i was angry

In a way i am relived now, and as bad as it sounds, i want him to see what life if like without my help.
And realise his decisions aren't good.

So far every pay day he has transferred me a decent amount for rent, bills, savings, But it still leaves him a lot of money..which is usually gone by the weekend.

Sometimes we get in situations where he needs my help, but not often. and i do my best to stay away from helping. I want him to learn the consequences.

His urge to gamble is bigger than stopping - which i still cant comprehend. I often see him on betting sites checking odds.

Its still hard trying to be there as a support - and also look after myself.