Living with the monster

I wasn't really sure where to put this so please suggests a better place if required.
I've been a largely secret gambler for nearly 15 years now. It coincides with the time that gambling became deregualted in the UK, and conveniently enough around the same time that i had a smart phone capable of loading online casinos. I'd always had a little go on the fruit machines in pubs but nothing more than ten pounds every now and then - perhaps 30 or 40 pounds a year after a few drinks with friends.
I estimate that over the past 15 years i must have lost in excess of £60,000 to gambling or should i say lost to the hope of landing the big one. You see, i think even if had won £60,000 back, I wouldnt have stopped in the belief that once i had won it once, i could win it again and again. 
Flash forwards to 15 years and I've been without gambling for 3 months - the longest time in the past 15 years. I have a good job, an amazing partner and 2 wonderful children. Non-one knows my secret and i dont think anyone ever will because 15 years is a long time to rack up shame and guilt and it's firmly rooted deep inside where no-one can ever find it. 
I look at myself in the mirror most days at the moment and see someone who works hard, likes to have fun and loves his family but only i can see the monster hidden inside that has this time, hopefully, once and for all, been put to sleep. Every pound gambled is a pound taken away from my family, an extra few minutes required to work rather than spend time with them and an extra drop of shame that drips in the hungry, bottomless pit of addiction. 
I honestly think that deregulation of the gambling industry has been one of the worst political decisions that has directly affected my life. The old saying goes, only gamble what you can afford to lose which is of course very true, but then why allow people to gamble what they don't have? Credit cards (thankfully now banned) but Paypal still remains a place where you can deposit £1000 to a site without it being taken for 3 days. 3 months ago i deposited 20 £1000's via paypal when i only had £50 pounds in my bank. I luckily won back £15,000 of it but still a massive loss of £5,000 which i can never get back.
I'm writing this down really as an admission to myself and to my family and to you readers that I am an addict and have been for a long time but I'm tired of it now. It's gone on for too long and it has to stop. Instead of staying up late and being tired, I'm going to bed early so that i can enjoy saturday morning's with my kids. 
This is my diary of recovery and hope for the days and years to come.
I've followed many of your stories over the years which has given me great comfort. I hope i can offer that too in a positive, forward looking return to a life without addiction.

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Comments

  • sassyblue
    sassyblue Posts: 3,783
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    Firstly, a massive WELL DONE to you for admitting you have a problem and then going on to do something about it, I expect you don’t feel like it but you should give yourself a Pat on the back for that.

    If you weren’t aware, there's the 'debt free wannabe' board which may help spur you on to repay what you owe and and 'old style money saving' for great tips on saving money along the way.

    I hope your thread helps in your recovery and good luck 🤞🏽 


    Happy moneysaving all.
  • Does your partner know about your gambling? If no then it's time to come clean.

    Basically you are cheating them out of a better life and lying to them by not telling them. Your also robbing your kids as you said of opportunities.

    Come clean, tell your partner and hand over debit cards and forms of money. Take whatever you need to work. Be it a tenner for lunch or a packet of faigs.

    Self exclude yourself from all betting apps and websites. 

    3 months is a good start but you can quickly get back into it and as you know it only takes one day gambling to do 1 years worth of damage.

    Come clean, fess up and work with your partner going forward. Otherwise you will get found on and they will leave you if they find out you've been lying to them for so long. Your gambling will start back again if you've been at it 15 years and it will get worse without open dialogue and help. 
  • sassyblue said:
    Firstly, a massive WELL DONE to you for admitting you have a problem and then going on to do something about it, I expect you don’t feel like it but you should give yourself a Pat on the back for that.

    If you weren’t aware, there's the 'debt free wannabe' board which may help spur you on to repay what you owe and and 'old style money saving' for great tips on saving money along the way.

    I hope your thread helps in your recovery and good luck 🤞🏽 
    Thank you SassyBlue. I appreciate your support. I really think keeping a diary will help me.
    I'm not in debt thankfully as although i didnt have money in the account at the time, i had transferred savings over to cover it. These were savings i have managed to build up out of my own monthly 'pocket money'. I've only been with my partner for 4 years and a lot of my losses happened before we met and had children. That's not to cheapen the behaviour that has happened in any way. My income more than supports my family and I've never missed a bill payment in my life so I'm thankful that i've managed to keep my gambling within boundaries that has avoided high levels of debt or bankruptcy etc...
    I hope to continue to update this diary as a reminder of the things i am doing everyday in place of gambling that add value to my life rather than detract from it.

  • Does your partner know about your gambling? If no then it's time to come clean.

    Basically you are cheating them out of a better life and lying to them by not telling them. Your also robbing your kids as you said of opportunities.

    Come clean, tell your partner and hand over debit cards and forms of money. Take whatever you need to work. Be it a tenner for lunch or a packet of faigs.

    Self exclude yourself from all betting apps and websites. 

    3 months is a good start but you can quickly get back into it and as you know it only takes one day gambling to do 1 years worth of damage.

    Come clean, fess up and work with your partner going forward. Otherwise you will get found on and they will leave you if they find out you've been lying to them for so long. Your gambling will start back again if you've been at it 15 years and it will get worse without open dialogue and help. 
    My partner does not know and to be honest I'm terrified of telling her because there is no doubt that things will never be the same again to the extent that i don't think she could live with it. I'm not willing to put my family at risk to be honest. Of course, it's easy to say that by gambling i have done exactly that and i wouldn't disagree for one second.
    I know this is not a likebale answer and i expect to get negative reactions but that is where things stand.
    I work hard, show my family love and don't drink, smoke etc... I know this doesnt outweigh a lie but if i can manage to stay on the clear and narrow then apart from money that has been lost, there are no other issues.
    What i will say is that if i do gamble again then i will come clean to my partner. I just need to do this for myself for a while as i dont think that the disruption in telling her will help my recovery emotionally at the moment.
    I hope to never gamble again and this diary is for me to focus on the good points in life and share stories of my family and our future ups and downs. 

  • Savvy_Sue
    Savvy_Sue Posts: 45,809
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    I believe there's evidence that hiding addiction makes it harder to beat it. Have you been in touch with Gamblers Anonymous? There's also Gam Anon which would give your wife the support she'll need WHEN she finds out. And I say when not if ...

    You talk about shame, and guilt, and fear. Get help with them, even if you have managed not to gamble for a while.
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  • Retireby40
    Retireby40 Posts: 772
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    edited 16 December 2020 at 10:02AM
    Your partner has a right to know. Simple as. 
    You have been blowing 15-20k as you said so yourself. Your gambling is out of control. And rather than be honest and face the music your doing the cowardly thing. 

    Probably deep down inside you dont want to give up gambling and be accountable to your partner. 

    Have you deleted all your betting apps and self excluded?

    Before anyone says I'm being harsh I'm not. Gambling addicts are liars and wont stop without proper help. I've seen families homes taken away from them and families completely destroyed because some pig headed gambler thought he could be the 1/1,000,000 who could beat it alone.

    Do the right thing. If it changes your relationship so be it. They have a right to know. Much better than in 10 years your gambling has become so out of control that its blatantly obvious (mood swings) and theres red letters coming asking why Bill's havent been paid. Wealthy people than you have got to this stage. Your no different.
  • Retireby40
    Retireby40 Posts: 772
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    edited 16 December 2020 at 12:34PM
    NBLondon said:
    Your partner has a right to know. Simple as. 
    Do they actually have a "right"?  If the gambling was being funded by savings and funds earned before partner was on the scene; why do they have a "right"?  If they have lost out, then there's an issue. There's no indication that the family have gone short, only that they could have had things financially better.  Which the OP clearly acknowledges.

    As the OP obviously realises, discussing it at the start of this relationship might have meant the end of the relationship.  Bringing it up now has the same risk.   Being more positive, it might give the OP some extra support in keeping the control they have now got back.  

    You've (Retireby40)  apparently decided TwoUpTwoDown is going to relapse; I wish them all the best in not doing so.
    So you believe that his partner doesnt have a right to know that the man she is planning to spend her life with or a big part of it is gambling 15-20k (that was only 3 months ago). That their limits of gambling have reached that level? What is the next level? Getting loans for fund the addiction? Taking credit against the house.

    Gambling addiction only goes one way without help and support.

    It also has a huge impact on the relationship dynamic and the personality of the gambler. You cannot tell me that if the OP blows 3k of his own savings that he wont experience some form of anxiety or mood swings. This will undoubtedly be taken out on the partner and she will wonder why? So the OP basically doesnt want to risk his relationship because he doesnt want to come clean. That's the selfishness of a gambler. Putting what he can lose above and beyond anything.

    Unfortunately for me I have experienced a family member and gambling. Gambling heavy for 15 years doesnt go away in 3 months. 

  • NBLondon
    NBLondon Posts: 5,495
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    So you believe that his partner doesnt have a right to know that the man she is planning to spend her life with or a big part of it is gambling 15-20k (that was only 3 months ago).
    Didn't say that - I'm asking exactly what this "right" is and where it comes from?  What else does a partner have a "right" to know about someone - all their sexual fantasies, deepest fears, name of childhood imaginary friend...

    You appear to have decided on the basis of your family experience that the OP will inevitably follow the same pattern.  That's a negative approach.   Remind them where to get that extra help.   The partner may be able to help and support - that's a positive reason to tell them what's happening.
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