Gransnet forums

Husband started gambling

(18 Posts)
cakehunter Fri 25-Jan-19 12:39:28

My first post and I'm hoping for some guidance on how to handle this.
Over last few months my husband has lost over £1000 playing online blackjack. Never seemed interested in gambling before.
He never tells me he's had a session online, I always find out by our bank app which I check every day. If I confront him he gets sheepish and says he's embarrassed, but then angry saying it's no big deal, lots of people do it.
He still works so not so much the money side of it although we are saving and that amount is such a waste, but the secrecy, refusal to acknowledge his actions, and his anger is worrying me.
I really would appreciate some help getting this into perspective. Is it a bit of fun or is there a problem.

Luckygirl Fri 25-Jan-19 12:47:33

Not a bit of fun - he has a problem. Secrecy, refusal to acknowledge his actions and anger when tackled about it mean that he knows it is out of order. £1,000 is a huge amount of money to gamble away.

My OH used to enjoy playing the stockmarket and we agreed a certain sum for him to "play" with - he got bored with it in the end.

anxiousgran Fri 25-Jan-19 13:36:16

So sorry cakehunter. £1000 is a lot of money to lose. There are no winners in gambling except the bookies etc.
His sheepishness and anger I would say are signs he has a problem.
I would try to help him nip it in the bud before it gets out of hand, or agree for him to have his own account that is the only money he gambles with. That would still scare me though, and there is the danger he would just be chasing the money. The 2 people I know who had a gambling problem beat it through gamblers anonymous, but he has to realize he has a problem first.
Good luck and I feel for you. flowers

sodapop Fri 25-Jan-19 14:16:50

I think you need to be more concerned about this cakehunter it's a large amount of money to lose and will escalate if you don't deal with it now. Your husband needs to acknowledge he has a problem. If he won't deal with it then you need to take steps to protect yourself and your finances. Anxiousgran is right ensure he has a limit to gamble with and he can't access any more or your house. I don't want to sound alarmist but you are obviously concerned enough to post on here.

M0nica Fri 25-Jan-19 14:50:06

Sadly, he is showing all the signs of problem gambling. embarrassment, anger, denial there is problem.

Next time he says lots of people do it. Ask him to name some he knows, what their losses are compared with their earnings and how much debt they have.

Get in contact with Gamblers Anonymous and google 'help families gambling' and a host of groups able to give you support and help will come up. Including the NHS

Luckylegs9 Fri 25-Jan-19 15:58:34

It's the most difficult addition to give up. When gambling takes a grip, it follows a pattern, the secrecy, the lying, the denial, they will lose all they have and anyone else's for that matter. If it's getting a problem, act now, get your finances sewn up that tightly unless you're prepared to gamble to. Ring Gamblers Annonymous they will confirm all I say.

HildaW Fri 25-Jan-19 16:15:27

cakehunter, So sorry, everyone is right this is not something to ignore. You need to get help and open this out to other 'grown-up' family members. You need to back up all finances and end the secrecy. Good luck.

agnurse Fri 25-Jan-19 16:50:02

I second Gamblers Anonymous. You might find it helpful to go to Gam-Anon yourself. This is a group modeled on 12-step principles but it is for people who are affected by a loved one's gambling.

cakehunter Fri 25-Jan-19 19:26:35

This morning I felt alone and I reached out. So many helping hands have reached back.
Thank you GNers for your support, kind words and valued practical advice.
I now have a strategy.
Just the difficult 'conversation' to get through, but I'm resolved this will stop. Now.

HildaW Fri 25-Jan-19 19:32:37

cakehunter, I am wishing you all the luck and strength in the world. I do hope you have others to help you through this. All the very best.

agnurse Sat 26-Jan-19 05:14:27

You may like to use the DESC model for the conversation:
Describe what you're seeing
Express concern
State what you would like to see
Consequences of it not happening

We use this model in the classes I teach.

BradfordLass72 Sat 26-Jan-19 05:38:53

And perhaps get him to agree that all your joint savings are transferred to an account which remains sacrosanct, with only you as the signatory with withdrawal rights?

cakehunter Sat 26-Jan-19 09:01:05

I've had a look at DESC and really useful thanks agnurse. I definitely fall into the passive category so I need a script to keep me on track.
Will be using Luckygirl and anxiousgran 'allowance' suggestions as part of the 'positive consequences' plan.
I'm being extra vigilant on the accounts and there is one I can transfer to and lock up tight.
I don't like feeling like some school ma'am in charge of a naughty schoolboy though.
A bit of a dent in respect and trust.

M0nica Sat 26-Jan-19 09:35:07

cakehunter, when one in a partnership is developing an addiction - to anything - drink, drugs or gambling. They have immediately broken trust with their partner and the partner has to take protective measures.

You have very wisely picked this up quite quickly and it may be possible for it to become just a blip in your relationship rather than a chasm.

Do you have any idea why this problem has suddenly arisen? he is still working, so it not the shock of retirement. Has there been any other major shift in his life: death of a parent or something that might have unsettled him and led to him to indulge in risky behaviour? If so help with that might diminish his interest in gambling.

grandtanteJE65 Sat 26-Jan-19 10:57:33

I don't live in the UK, so I don't know what kind of help is available there, but there must be some organisation that helps gamblers and their families. A bit like Blue Cross or AA.

Try to find professional help. If your husband is not able to acknowledge that he is becoming addicted, you yourself can get advice.

If you have joint accounts, move as much money as possible out of them into accounts in your name only. I know this sounds harsh, but if you don't you may well find yourself unable to pay your bills if your husband's gambling increases.

Try telling him that you are worried that he is using too much money on this new "hobby" and see if you can agree to limit his gambling or stop it.

Luckygirl Sat 26-Jan-19 11:10:08

It is worth trying to look at the cause of this. I know why my OH took to stock market gambling - it was because he was desperately unhappy with his work situation and saw a financial bonanza (however unlikely) as a quick fix and a way out. In fact, his health deterioration meant he had to leave work at 42 anyway - just did some part time stuff after that.

Is there something that has triggered this behaviour? - fear of the future (getting older and dying), boredom, depression, loss of friends and workmates. etc.

Hard though it is, I think you need to look at the whole picture and try and look at causes. And I think you are right to safeguard your finance, even if it feels a bit high-handed.

I have to protect my OH from all sorts of things now - I hate it - I feel like the Gauleiter - but it has to be done.

cakehunter Sat 26-Jan-19 18:37:46

Yes Luckygirl and thanks for your honesty.
Dh is an addictive personality. Complex, with as many wonderful traits as faults.
But I'm getting very tired and right now I'd take boring.

M0nica Sat 26-Jan-19 20:10:05

cakehunter flowers