(Closed) think my FI has gambling problem

posted 9 years ago in Emotional
Post # 3
7431 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2009

He is definitely gambling, I’m sure thats where your honeymoon money went. I know you don’t want to hear it, but realize that once you marry him all his debt is now your debt. So if he gets in over his head and doesn’t tell you, your screwed too.  I understand how you feel, but if it were me I wouldn’t marry him, You’ll be in financial ruin before you hit your first anniversary.  I would tell him he needs to get counseling and work towards fixing this or the wedding is off

Post # 4
11325 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: February 2011

I know it isn’t what you want to hear but you cannot marry this man right now. I’m really really sorry that this is happening, but Mrs above is right, once you marry him his (very possibly SUBSTANTIAL) debt is yours. Not to mention he can get his hands on your money. Gambling is a serious problem like alcoholism and until he gets a handle on it, he is in no shape to marry anyone.

Post # 5
14186 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2009

I think you guys definitely need to see someone for some counseling and a financial planner. If you support him and allow him access to all your finances, he’ll ruin your credit and you’ll both be in a big pile of trouble when you get married. It’s going to take a long time to make sure he’s clean and free of gambling and even then, relapses happen. The legal/practical side of me recommends a prenup so that YOU are safe, should he return to his habits in 5 years or whenever and it causes problems with you. Sorry i know that’s not what you want to hear but if he just expects you to take care of him and pay for everything, you need some protection. He needs some rehab and help. He’s already working at keeping it from you. He needs to learn to watch his money. Somebody with a gambling problem shouldn’t even be tempting themselves

Post # 7
979 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2010

If he shuts down that seems like a sign that he knows he is doing something wrong but he doesn’t want to talk about it. I wonder if you could write a letter or something? If we won’t talk to you about it directly, it seems like you need a way to confront him about it before you get married.

Post # 8
530 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 2009

You write that he places bets online and has a bookie? Um….. Yes. That would definitely be gambling.

You KNOW he’s gambling. There is no question left.

And you KNOW he’s a gambling addict.  Once an addict, always an addict. 

This is really, really serious. It’s as serious as marrying a heavy alcoholic who still drinks or a heavy drug addict who still does drugs. And as a married couple you will (probably?) be responsible for his debt, or any financial trouble he gets into… And financial trouble or disaster is inevitable if he doesn’t get help or go into recovery.

You know for sure, yourself, that he is gambling and hiding it from you, and denying it to you. So he’s clearly not at the stage where he’s suddenly going to seek help and stop.

I don’t think you will be able to “handle” this alone. It’s impossible for you to “fix” his problem, or even to force him to face it. Confronting him alone won’t work. I think you need to gather your family and friends together for a conversation, first, betweeen you and his other loved ones — to share notes, to  strategize. Maybe you will stage an intervention.  

Clearly, you will need advice from someone: gambler’s anonymous; a therapist; a reformed gambler. Someone with expertise. SERIOUSLY. Please ask someone for guidance?? I hope you’re not offended by my brutal frankness, but this is more serious than just the WeddingBee boards.

Post # 9
7975 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

Lay your cards out on the table. You know. He knows. He needs to know you know. So be direct!!

Tell him you’re calling off the wedding, because you can’t be married to someone who you can’t trust financially, and you can’t trust someone financially unless they are willing and able to honestly talk about finances – which he’s not ready to do.

Then tell him you still love him, because he’ll probably need to hear it. 

If he pushes back or tries to manipulate you, you need to be firm and tell him that you can’t marry him until he gets help and stops gambling. This is not only for your own financial protection, but also for his own sake. If you knowingly allow his gambling to continue, or financially provide for him, you are enabling him.

I know that sounds hard to hear, but it’s really very important to keep in mind. It sounds like he has an addiction, and addicts will often go to great lengths to protect their addictions. He may try to manipulate you, lie to you, frighten you, or threaten you. He may cry, yell, pretend regret; but you need to stick to your guns. That’s why it’s so important to remember that this isn’t just about protecting yourself, it’s also about protecting the man you love, from himself.

Good luck!

Post # 10
7431 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2009

I’m a confrontational person, so I would just say point blank, “you have a gambling problem and before I marry you I want to go to counseling because I won’t marry you until you get your addiction under control.” Sometimes a very clear ultimatum is all they need to see the light.

Seriously, my Fiance used to have a big temper problem, and I told him right to his face I was done after many fights and I wouldn’t be back unless her grew up and got his anger under control. After 3.5 days, he was back in my arms and we worked on ways for both of us to control our anger together. Now, we don’t fight and when we do, we walk away for 5 minutes and then regroup. 9 times out of 10, we realize the fight wasn’t worth it and we just go on about our business

Post # 11
6009 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: May 2009

soontobemrsb, It sounds to me like your Fi has a gambling problem, too.  Just like with any addiction, he’s not going to just stop one day.  Addicts never completely heal from their addictions; it’s a constant struggle to resist their “drug” of choice.  It’s hard to live with a recovering addict.  You’ll have to deal with your Fi’s urges to gamble, and you’ll have to help him resist and avoid gambling at all costs.  You’ll also have to deal with his anger, depression, and aggression as he struggles to resist gambling.

Until he accepts help, though, you’re going to have to deal with the fact that he is secretive, manipulative, and lies about gambling away his (and eventually your) money.  Until he admits his gambling problem and actively seeks help, you’ll have to continue to support him, worry about where your money is going, deal with his angry outbursts when you question his gambling, and never know for sure whether or not he’s stopped.  It will probably even get worse, though, and you’ll have to deal with his constantly growing amount of debt, possibly losing a house/car/etc… do to his gambling, maybe have to declare bankruptcy due to his debt, or even get mixed up in a really bad situation (violence, the mob, etc…) if he can’t pay for his losses or takes out a loan with a shady business.

I don’t think it’s my place to tell you to call off your wedding; you know a lot better than I do what you can handle.  If you can deal with his addiction and those consequences for the rest of your life, by all means marry him.  I ask, though, if you knew he had a different addiction, say an alcohol or drug addiction, would you still marry him in 29 days?  Gambling is just as terrible and heartbreaking of an addiction, and just like acoholism or drug addiction, it’s not going to get better until he is willing to admit his problem and seek help.  I really feel for you, for I honestly believe that if you didn’t have any doubts about your future marriage, you wouldn’t be posting here right now.  I think you ought to listen to yourself and your intuition instead of trying to reason away your fears for the future.  They’re totally valid, and you’re not doing yourself or your Fi any favors by ignoring his addiction.

ETA:  He will probably be resistant and deny his problem when you confront him.  Honestly, you can’t make him recover; he has to want to get better.  If you’ve confronted him before and he gets angry and mean, it’s not going to change this time.  The only thing that will change is if you make up your mind to follow through with leaving him if he doesn’t agree to see an addicition specialist or counselor.  I think his reaction is going to be the exact same as it was last time you confronted him about gambling.  You can’t control that; all you can control is how you respond.

Post # 12
350 posts
Helper bee

Oh man, I know this isn’t what you want to hear 29 days before your wedding but please listen to the advice of the other posters.  This is a huge issue.  A gambling addiction is very serious and people end up having to go to rehab for it just like with alcohol or drugs.

You guys need to come totally clean about your finances before you get married.  He gambled away FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS of YOUR JOINT MONEY.  And he is LYING TO YOU.  You say in your email that you are supporting him, is this even what you want?  What will happen when you have kids??

Please consider postponing your wedding and getting some counseling for him and possibly the both of you.  It is easier to postpone a wedding than to get a divorce.

Post # 13
2066 posts
Buzzing bee

I’m really worried for you.  I know you don’t want to hear it, but this is a GIANT red flag.

He’s a compulsive gambler and he lied to you about it.  And he gambled away your honeymoon.  And he’s most likely in debt because of his gambling.  And his credit is probably ruined.  And he’s in denial about the whole thing and won’t talk to you about it.  And you don’t trust him (your words).  Why would you marry someone that you don’t trust?

First thing you need to do is check your own credit report (you can do this free online).  My cousin’s ex Fiance was sealing from her to support his habits (and she had no clue).  AND he tried to open accounts in her name.  Moral of the story – make sure Fiance isn’t wrecking your credit and getting you into debt without your knowledge.

I think it is a VERY bad idea to marry him under these circumstances.  Yes, you’ve spent a lot of money on the wedding, but walking away now is MUCH cheaper than the cost of a divorce, his current and future gambling debt and your ruined credit report.

If he wants to marry you, he needs to show you his credit report.  You need to see what you are getting into.  And he needs to go to a support group – I’m sure there is a gamblers anonymous.  If you need help confronting him about his addiction, you should get help from a gamblers anonymous or a hotline for people with gambling problems (they have 800 numbers on every casino ad).  And he needs to have a very frank and honest discussion with you about what he has been doing.  

Please think things through before you marry him.  This is very serious. 


Post # 14
2434 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2008

I agree with the above posters and think they have some great advice.

As for how to talk to him- I would contact Gam-Anon, it’s for friends and family of compulsive gamblers.  I’m sure they can tell you the best way to approach him and what to expect when you do.  They may suggest you seek support from his family.

Here’s the website for Gam-Anon: http://www.gam-anon.org/


I’m so sorry you’re going through this right now.  I can’t imagine how difficult it is.  I think your gut is telling you that something isn’t right- you should trust yourself.  It may be incredibly difficult to make this move and put the wedding plans on hold, but you can’t move forward if you have such serious concerns.

Wishing you all the best.

Post # 15
1064 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2009

I think the gambling problem is huge but to me the trust factor that doesn’t seem to be healthy is even worse. Your snooping into his stuff, he’s lying to you, you really need some intervention. Your relationship can overcome this, but marrying him isn’t going to help either of you. Please just really sit down and think about the future. You need to be able to trust each other, and the path that your relationship is headed doesn’t sound like it’s built on trust. Just put the wedding on hold. Your relationship is way more important.

Post # 16
2004 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: November 2008

Sit down and figure out what you can conceivably do here.

If we’re all saying “this is a red flag, don’t marry him” but you are still going to marry him, then you have to figure out your next line of defense. Can you visit a lawyer and get a prenuptial agreement outlining whose debts and assets are whose?

Or, on a more practical level, what control do you have over your financial assets? Do you have separate or joint accounts? Who has access to which accounts? Will the situation change after you are married?

Even if this is a problem that you can get through and is not worth the breakup of your relationship, you need to protect yourself financially. That means having money, a substantial amount, that is in an account that he cannot access. I think you need to become the financial administrator of your household until he has proven to have gotten himself under control for the long term. Marriage may mean “what’s mine is yours and what’s yours is mine,” but you don’t want him to take your hard-earned money and gamble it all away.

I know this is really hard for you to deal with, but better to deal with it now than later. You have a lot of support here on Weddingbee and Rosy’s suggestion to contact Gam-Anon is an excellent one. Good luck and let us know how it goes.

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