Destruction on a Grand Scale
I’m new here. It’s difficult to know where to start but here goes. I am married (but separated) to a man who gambles heavily on poker machines. He also spends extravagantly on his lifestyle to the point where this is also a massive problem. He is a professional and very high income earner and as I type this he is about to go into insolvency/bankruptcy. We were together for over 25 years and have two adult children. Since I can remember he has always been in financial difficulty, but as you would expect he kept most of this secret and because of his professional status and income was able to procure many loans and credit cards over many years, usually borrowing from Peter to pay Paul. Things really took a turn for the worse around 7 years ago and I thought that he may come to his senses, but he didn’t. The unrelenting financial stress, and accompanying abusive behaviour, led me to leave him around 3 years ago. I would have left much earlier except … you guessed it … I didn’t have any money or resources to leave with as he had full control over our financials. I had to squirrel money away for several years before I felt confident that I could stay afloat on the other side. The children were still dependents at that time and came with me. I thought that this would potentially be he catalyst for him to realise that he has a problem, but I was wrong again. If anything it merely solidified his denial (he blamed me for the marital breakdown) and gave him more freedom to do whatever he wanted with his money. He has not supported me or his children since I left. There are no assets. I am employed by him and earn a wage and that wage is what I have to live on. His gambling and excessive lifestyle have finally caught up with him and for the last 12 months he has been sinking deeper and deeper into debt. Despite hiring a financial debt solutions person to try and help rescue him, he has continued to gamble and live the high life and has not disclosed any of this to him. In fact I am the only person that knows the truth about his gambling and spending. At any given time he could have turned things around by addressing his gambling and spending problems, but he is in complete denial and will argue till the cows come home that he doesn’t have a problem! Without disclosing how much he earns, I can say that his gambling and spending consumes around half of a three figured income and is itself three figures. I have had to seek legal advice and spend my precious money in an attempt to protect myself from his imminent bankruptcy, as he also has had to do to file defences against the Statements of Claim that he is receiving from some creditors. This is not to mention the hefty amount of money that he “borrowed” from my mother (my inheritance) and some friends when we all still trusted him which he promised to pay back and that we have no hope of ever seeing again. All in all he has ruined my life, his children’s future (one has a disability) and his own life and there is nothing I have been able to do about it. Unfortunately, the further he sinks the greater his delusional denial becomes and is at a point where this has been observed by his financial consultant, accountant and solicitor, and commented on. Even with insolvency application papers in his hand he is already talking about taking an overseas holiday in July and continues to gamble. I really don’t know what else to say, but it feels better to have offloaded.