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Destruction on a Grand Scale

Posted: Wed May 15, 2019 6:02 pm
by CherryBlossom
Hi All,

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.

Re: Destruction on a Grand Scale

Posted: Wed May 15, 2019 6:27 pm
by Mona58
Hi Cherryblossom

l am sorry for your dilemma.

Take care of yourself and the children .. first and foremost!


Re: Destruction on a Grand Scale

Posted: Wed May 15, 2019 9:42 pm
by Keeton
Hi CherryBlossom,

I really feel for you, having to go through this tough time must be a challenge and quite stressful. The main thing to remember is to look after yourself and if you need support to reach out to either a loved one or the gambling helpline (1800 858 858). Although there isn't much you can do about his denial, i'm afraid that until he admits he needs to stop, he won't. I myself am a problem gambler and I had to admit that I needed help.

Keep posting here because we can give that support that you may need in this time of your life.

Take care,


Re: Destruction on a Grand Scale

Posted: Thu May 16, 2019 4:07 pm
by CherryBlossom
Thank you for your response. Things are very challenging at present and it's nice to know that there is support out there should I need it x

Re: Destruction on a Grand Scale

Posted: Mon May 20, 2019 2:02 pm
by Calvin (facilitator)
Welcome to the forums @CherryBlossom

Good on you for reaching out for support!

I'm Calvin, on the facilitators here on the forums.

It can be quite tough for family members suffering from somebody elses gambling issue.

At this time, practicing self-care is important where you can find some time for yourself to switch off or engage in an activity/hobby that you enjoy.

If you do want face to face support we do offer gambling counselling to family members as well as financial counselling, for further guidance and support around finances. Our services are also free of charge

Thankyou for opening up about your experiences, sometimes it is helpful just to offload.

Kind regards,