My life and problems in it at the moment

Tell us a bit about yourself here.
You know what you've got to do, it's time for some damage limitation, stop being so nice and lay down the law. Go to the bank. Close your joint account. Ask for copies of all previous bank statements, taken them home, put them in a file, go through them with a highlighter pen and see exactly what you owe, because I'm afraid with a joint account, if she can't pay, it's your responsibility.
Go and see a solicitor and have a free consultation, or go to the CAB. You've been taken for a ride. I don't believe for a moment this has all started since you got married, she just managed to hide it away from you. Where is the honour, love, cherish, respect for you in all this?
Surely it's better to live alone with your kids than this?
I'm afraid I have to agree with BB.

The thing is, this is part of her mental illness I suspect. Becoming addicted to gambling (and spending money in general, buying things endlessly) is very, very common, and I think you should tell her GP, and any counsellors that she has. Bring it out into the open.

Like other addictions, eg alcoholism, gamblers like to keep it 'secret' - they don't want to admit it to themselves, they don't want others telling them, they don't want anyone knowing, and they certainly don't want to be told to stop!

But that MUST happen.

After all, if she were an alcoholic, the only person she'd be damaging is herself .....but gambling is YOUR MONEY, not hers.

So, yes, stop all the accounts. And I assume she's gambling online - so you will have to pull the plug on the Internet. You'll have to - I'm sorry, but there it is. Turn the Internet off. Take the router away so she can't gamble in the house.

Can she get the Internet on her mobile? If so, take the mobile off her.

Tell her that if she gambles, you are divorcing her. End of.

Ronald, you are going to HAVE to be tough on this! She could bankrupt you! This is not a joke, or funny, or excusable. She could take everything off you.

She has NO 'stop' button. She won't even admit what she's done or doing. This is an addiction - it is not normal, or rational, or reasonable.

So -what to do:.

(1) Close your joint bank account with her instantly (like Today!). Or her debts become yours.

(2) Open a new bank account ONLY IN YOUR NAME. That way YOU control YOUR money and she can't get at it.

(3) Tell her GP and her counsellor she's become a gambling addict.

(4) Look up support groups for people with gambling addictions and especially for their family
http://www.gamcare.org.uk/ http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/addiction/Pa ... ction.aspx
http://www.gambleaware.co.uk/?gclid=COn ... 7QodvZsIzA

(5) Unplug the router and take it with you, or lock it in the shed, or whatever it takes to turn the Internet off at home. Also, remove her mobile phone, or stop her contract, if she can get the Internet on the phone.

(6) Contact the government's debt advisory service (NOT companies like payday lenders - they just make things a million times worse!).
https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/debt- ... with-debt/
https://www.gov.uk/options-for-paying-o ... s/overview
https://www.nationaldebtline.org/
(Please be very careful you are only contacting government advice, citizens advice or real charities - a lot of rip-off lending companies 'pretend' to be 'advice' but just want you to take out loans at hideous rates of interest to suck you in deeper! Be careful!)

(7) Please do contact a solicitor, or the Citizens Advice first maybe, to find out just how legally liable you are for her debts. If you are married, you are likely to be MORE liable to pay them for her, if you are not married then you may not be. But it's essential to take all the steps you can to SEPARATE YOUR FINANCES from hers, so that YOU do not have to pay her debts.

(8) Check whether debt collectors are about to call. From what I know (and others here will know better I think), a debt collector is NOT empowered to come into your home to take out things like computers and TV. FIRST they have to go to court to get a court order, THEN that order goes to the sherrifs/bailiffs, and ONLY they are allowed to seize goods to pay debts. BUT, there are rules about this, so please, please check. I HOPE that they are NOT allowed to take YOUR GOODS. eg, if YOU paid for the computer, it's YOURS, not hers, so they can't take it (but they might well try!)

Ronald, I'm sorry to be negative, but I suspect that your relationship is coming to an end - at least in its current state.

Your wife/partner seems to have very, very serious mental problems, that will threaten your finances for the rest of your life. Yes, she needs help, but she also needs to be controlled and prevented from ruining your life further.

Please do get help, and not just from us!

Wishing you all the best. Please continue to stand up to your wife, and not let her get away with this dreadful and damaging and dangerous behaviour. For your sake, for the sake of your children, and yes, for her sake too (she can't go on like this!), you will have to be strong now, and do what needs to be done, however horrible it is to do it.
I am taking mushers to stop this all now I have contacted my doctors and hers I did nirly leave she asked me to stay in the end during the argument of telling her it has to stop and others fings she said some things that I fink are her real forts and shows how her mind is broken and not finking right she accused me of trying too make her sick and keep her sick because I told her she was not getting better and needed more help than she is getting and and for a min it there I could see she let loose and somthing else broke frew that she's been hiding deep down I fink she is scared of all men that get close and don't trust even me and many never has she has agreed to get help and knows she has to stop the gamballing and has so far she is scared of me leaving and expects me to do it and Wonts me to and don't won't me two at the same time she prity but I have told her I'm dun buggering around it has to start getting better and she has to straitened up and take all the help she can get for the fist time ever I really laid it out and told her strait wether it works or not time will tell
If she didn't like men close to her why did she get married then?! This conversation might be the start of change, however, do NOT under any circumstances have a joint account any more, because it will be you that suffers if she has a relapse.
Ronald, that sounds good. Well done!

I think I have read - and please, this is only me, so do check it with her counsellors, doctor etc - that when something bad has happened to someone, eg, someone hurt them, they grow up 'expecting' it to happen again. So maybe this is why your wife 'expects' you to hurt her (not physically, but emotionally), and leave her, and so on.

Sometimes people like that go on 'testing' the people around them that do love them, to try and find out whether they will indeed hurt them (just like they 'expect' them to). So they push and push and see what happens.

That sounds a bit, maybe, like what your wife is doing??

If so, then it's all part of the underlying condition in her head.

It's interesting - revealing - that when she was particularly emotionally stressed, you felt she showed more of what is going on 'deep inside her' than she ever has before. That HAS to be good!

It may well be difficult and distressing for her, but until she discovers what her demons are, and how to get them out of her, she can't truly get better.

I use elsewhere an expression I think is helpful when dealing with 'difficult' people in the family, who behave in a wild and destructive fashion. I use the term 'firm love' (not 'tough love' - that can be too tough!).

But 'firm love' is what you describe you are giving to her in your post. Setting out the boundaries, the conditions, the 'rules' if you like (though that sounds a bit horrid, I know!), what she has to do in order to (a) get better and (b) have a good, happy marriage with you.

So I do wish you all the best, and I hope things are now going to improve. Let's hope she's hit the lowest level now, and from now on it's onwards and upwards - slowly, yes, but little by little improving and getting happier, with your help and support, and that of the doctors and counsellors. And, most of all perhaps, with her own efforts (knowing you are there to help).

But, for all that, as BB says, PLEASE close that joint account straight away! And take her credit cards off her! Why not arrange for one of those 'pre-paid' credit cards to be hers? That way she can have a certain amount of credit (say a hundred pounds, whatever won't damage your finances), and that is 'hers to spend', but when it's gone, it's gone. That will automatically limit her spending.

Wishing you all the best for a better next year....Jenny
Hi again.
I think Jenny has the right idea. Your wife has had bad experiences of relationships in the past and expects the same to happen again. Maybe she can't quite believe that you are a 'good' man and not at all the same as the others she knew. So she is pushing and pushing at you, trying to make the bad things she thinks will happen, happen now. After all she must have thought that the previous partners she had, loved her and would care for her and look what happened there. So no wonder she can't believe that you are the real thing. She expects you to let her down and abuse her just because that's what happened before, not because it is YOU. It might be that you have to endure the worst she can throw at you and get her to counselling so that she gradually understands that you are different and then she can build up her trust, her confidence and believe in what she has.
The gambolling however is very bad news. Yes you do have to take control of the money, or at the very least yours. Like others have said, open a new account in your name only and get your money paid into it and all essentials paid out and keep a good eye on it. VERY OFTEN). Your wife's gambolling is out of control and she's pressing the 'destruct button'. You really, really have to put a stop to this for the sake of the children first, however much your wife rages at you. It's an addiction, just like drugs or alcohol. You could lose everything, home. children, wife, possessions, the lot, because of it.
I'm so sorry that the woman you love is so damaged. I really hope that she will be healed and come to appreciate that her life could be just fine with you at her side.
KR
Elaine