Post # 1
I have been with my partner for a year and a half. We are engaged to marry in 7 months and are due to buy a new house, to exchange any day now.
re the house: I always knew he had poor credit history so am buying the house myself in my name. He was working on his credit and i n the future we would buy together at some point.
Up until this weekend there had been things that I came across (obsessive P**n, attempts at online gambling but because self excluded couldn’t get any further, that kind of thing) but I confronted and he established he has compulsive behaviour and needed CBT. He is now undergoing CBT which is tackling his childhood and why he is compulsive. It was only this weekend that I found he had taken out care finance and a whole load of other stuff came out from it. To cut a long story short, he rang Gamstop to exclude himself and they offered to put him through to the counselor. Only then did he realise and admit to having a 15 year gambling problem. He has been referred to the 12 week counselling and should be getting the call today. Since that day, more has come out about the extent of his gambling, including borrowing money from an ex girlfriend (that I din’t even know existed til now) and the amount he has spent – all while for years compulsively lying about it to cover up.
I feel terrified at the thought of marrying him and also trusting that he will change. All I know is that for the first time in his life he is admitting he has a problem and feels remorseful and is finally telling the truth. He is desperate to change. He’s provided me full access to his bank accounts, search history, email, even his location.
What does everyone advise about the wedding and the house? I have heard it can take around 3 months for therapy to work.
Any advise much appreciated.
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Post # 2
He’s hidden so many things from you and has so many bad habits. Tbh I’m surprised you’re getting married after only being together such a short time. Unfortunately this is what can happen when you don’t take enough time to get to know the other person before committing. I would postpone everything and spend more time dating. See how the therapy goes.
Post # 3
I agree with PP, you need more time to evaluate the wedding and the house. I think you should postpone these things, get to know your Fiance more and see what the next few months bring with his counselling. He should have come clean at the very start when it looked like you would have to buy the house because of his crappy credit.
Post # 4
Do not marry an addict.
You are signing up to wreck yourself financially and emotionally. Don’t be surprised by all of the coverups. Addicts are liars. Big liars.
Twelve weeks of CBT to stop being compulsive is ludicrous. *Why* he is addicted is because he’s an addict. Exploring his childhood won’t stop him from being an addict. And, since when is that part of CBT?
Your fiancé needs real treatment in an addiction program with people who know what they’re doing. CBT is lovely and often quite effective in working with neuroses. It is *not* a fix for addiction.
If he wants to change, he can head straight to Gamblers Anonymous and quit yakking. If he does a year of treatment and remains free of his addictive behaviors, have him call you in a year or so.
The really dangerous part of the iceberg is the 2/3 that you *don’t* see.
Post # 5
Therapy isn’t a magic pill. And it isn’t a one and done treatment. This will be a lifelong battle. Even if the extremely optimistic “therapy takes three months to work” line is true, it will be something he will battle his whole life. Therapy only works if he makes it work and it isn’t something that happens on a prescribed timeline. And therapy, only if he is a willing participant absolutely 100% committed to making it work, will just give him the tools he needs to wage that daily lifelong battle – it won’t just magically make him not a compulsive, lying addict. And we aren’t even getting into broken trust and how to rebuild that.
If he is truly an addict, then I would imagine any therapy or group recommended for his addictions would likely advise the same as they do for alcohol and drug addiction which is avoid major life changes when possible within that first year of recovery (i.e. if you’re single, don’t start dating and get into a relationship, no changing jobs, no moving, etc.). I would halt all home-buying and wedding planning for a year minimum. And that assumes best case scenario of him being 100% committed to his recovery and no relapses.
Realistically, I would not be so optimistic.
Post # 6
I wouldn’t gamble my happiness and future on him. Pun intended.
Post # 7
“I feel terrified at the thought of marrying him and also trusting that he will change.”
This isn’t how it’s supposed to feel. If you’re terrified hold off on things.
Post # 8
- Wedding: August 2019 - City, State
My father was a gambling addict and I whole-heartedly believe that contributed to his abuse and addiction to drugs. Is that a chance you’re willing to take?
Post # 9
it’s okay to reassess your relationship and your future plans. You don’t need to stuck by him through thick and thin. He lied to you, you’d be a fool not to have doubts and need to re-evaluate things. At a minimum postpone the wedding and if you proceed with a house you may need some sort of legal agreement that does not give him rights to the house (ie common law) if you don’t get married. This is a big deal.
Post # 10
A relative of mine was married to a compulsive gambler/addict. It destroyed her life and took years to repair her credit and finances, to say nothing of the emotional toll that I’m sure it had to have taken. Therapy would take way way way longer than 12 weeks to become effective imo. Please tread very very carefully, bee.
Post # 13
Bee I was married to an addict and lost everything. And by everything I mean not just a house but trust, fidelity, time, friends, personal possessions. Starting a future based on lies is really dangerous.
I just got my life mostly back together almost 3 years later. Please get some counseling yourself so you can get some valuable insight from an unbiased perspective. And postpone that wedding or putting his name on anything. Remember, if he messes up his finances are now your finances too
edit: also, I had no idea because he was HIDING all this and his accounts were separate from mine, so who knows what else your fiancé is hiding. addiction may not just stop at his gambling. and I forgot to mention my last straw was my XH going to therapy for months and lying about everything, therefore therapy did not help him. Best wishes
Post # 13
The only reason he came clean at all is that you confronted him and he’s afraid of losing you. Even if that motivated him to get treatment, a cure is very uncertain and relapse is highly likely. And three months is a joke. In your place I would honestly run for the hills.
Post # 14
Bee, get out of this situation. One of the grounds for annulment in most states is “fraud” for this very reason and you’re not even married yet. This man put on a good act for quite a while but now it is evident that it was a charade. The guy you thought he was doesn’t exist. He never was who you thought he was. Addiction defines a person’s life. It RULES a person’s life, either by dictating their feeding of the addiction, or by the amount of maintenance and effort it takes to resist the addiction. It is a lifelong battle for those who are dedicated to overcoming or “resisting” their addictions. For those who are not completely committed to recovery, their addictions will consume them and not only destroy the addict but also everyone around the addict as the addict calls out for help promising recovery only to steal from their loved one when their backs are turned and betray anyone who trusts them in every imaginable way. I grew up in a family with a long history of addiction. I have compassion for addicts. It is a sickness that goes to the core of them and seeks to devour them from the inside out. Even when addicts want to get well, the recovery rate is less than ten percent. And that’s the short term recovery rate. The long term recovery or “remission” rate is abyssmally low. But you see, that is why I keep a safe distance from them, having been the victim of an addict putting their addictions above all else. I watched my mother put her addiction first and foremost. She never went without her alcohol but we frequently went hungry and without proper clothes, the utilities frequently shutoff and the house in embarrassing disrepair. I watched my brother lie endlessly and to everyone about everything, always pretending he was clean while he robbed everyone blind to sustain himself. I watched it happen to my relatives too. The endless theft! Addicts steal from family first because it’s easy. My uncle staged a robbery into my grandparents’ house and stole his own mother’s wedding ring to pawn it. They were terrified when they didn’t know who had done it, but then heartbroken when all of the evidence pointed to their own son. It’s a vicious cycle with addiction and gambling addiction is shockingly insidious. The addict has no say. The addiction must be fed. And it’s always hungry. The addict has a job? They’ll have nothing to show for it. It will never be enough because the more they have, the more they will spend. And the gaslighting! They’ll have anyone who is onto them put on the defensive because they’re good at playing victim, accusing others of villainizing them. When they get confronted they tell their accuser that they’re paranoid, crazy, in need of treatment for “trust issues.”. Oh there’s no end to the insanity that awaits you if you stay with an addict. I won’t go on anymore about those specifics. I just hope you can understand that this guy lied about everything he presented to you. You don’t marry into that. No. You have a responsibility to yourself to take care of yourself and keep yourself safe. This is not a safe situation for you on any level–not financially, he’ll keep running himself into debt and then find a way to drain your funds too. Not safe for your mental health, he will drive you neurotic, always having to look for lies and cover ups and having to defend yourself when he accuses you of being the problem-and he will in one way or another. Physically… extensive porn addiction. Can you ever be certain that he isn’t indulging his fantasies behind your back? A friend of mine left her husband when she discovered that he was addicted to narcotics and porn. She didn’t find out until months later, when she found videos he thought he had deleted of himself having sex with prostitutes, well… he’d been cheating on her the whole time and putting her at risk for STIs. Now they’re divorced and he gets 50% custody of their daughter, unsupervised and her concerns have no weight in court. Bee, please get away from this guy. Wish him well with his recovery but he must work on this with the support of counselors, not at your detriment. You can’t fix him and you do not owe him your health, safety, and sanity to toss down over mud puddles so you can chivalrously pick him up and carry him over them. There will always be more mud. And you can’t carry him. Let him work on himself on his own. You need to get yourself free of this madness and get to safety. And wash the mud off when you get there.
Post # 15
- Wedding: June 2019 - City, State
“l feel terrified at the thought of marrying him and also trusting that he will change.”
Trust your first thought, NOT him or the second thought. You will lose everything. He is an addict and he can’t do any different. Protect yourself while you still can. Back out of everything with him.