Help/Advice needed with wife's gambling

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colinLHR
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Help/Advice needed with wife's gambling

Post by colinLHR » January 20, 2012, 2:46 pm

I have lived in Udon for around 5 years, I'm married with 2 young children.

My wife has always enjoyed playing the lottery twice a month, playing around 400, 500 THB each time for me this is a bit harmless fun. Recently over the last 6 months It has become a major issue.
The local som tam lady introduced my wife to a new game the one that is based on the decimal points of the SET index and comes out 4 or 5 times a day. It's gone from a harmless flutter to serious gambling issues with 1000 baht being blown Monday to Friday.( may I stress that this is not my money being blown but my wife's personal income from business interests)
She has brokend down and admitted she wants to stop wasting money and briefly for around a month stopped completely, until there was a knock at the door a man and a woman fro the local illegal gambling shop asking why she is not playing anymore and if she starts they will give her a better percentage and any winning will be given straight away.
This is what drove me mad so I threw a few insults at them and kicked them out the garden.

My point is Im dam angry about this but what can I do, I have thought of one solution but wanted to get a general opinion first, speak to a police officer about it, dropping in her name how much she lost and a certain brown coloured monetary note and ask to put the pressure on the shop to not accept a certain bet from a certain someone, this would involve a loss of face for her and a two birds one stone scenario.
Or I'm I living in cloud cuckoo land , please don't flame me give me a solution!!!!

And one more nagging point that's been annoying me.
Younger brother "A". Has found a job nearby where we live and has started the habit of after work coming past the house not for social visit but fills up a plastic bag from the fridge jumping back on the motorbike and going home!!!

The third time I went mad pulled the bag from him and explained in Thai about respect and if you want to come to eat no problem but you eat what my wife is cooking and you sit down and eat with us.

now I'm getting called " cheap Charlie " and my wife is just staying silent outwardly but between us I was correct , result is he doesn't come round anymore , anyone have an opinions on this ???

Hope my first post is not too long , but need some advice from you guys that know what life is like here , not mates and family in UK Who don't get it!!!!!!

Cheers

COLIN LHR

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fatbob
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Help/Advice needed with wife's gambling

Post by fatbob » January 20, 2012, 3:40 pm

You have a serious problem with the gambling, heres a true story from 8 months ago, the project manager on our site, 67 years old, had worked in Egypt, Lao and Thailand, in his younger days owned a couple of pubs in England, so what Im saying is he was reasonably street smart and not to stupid for a pommie. His wife was gambling on the SET, over the period of one year she lost 13 million baht of property and money and owed another 3 million, his entire life savings at 67, his houses and land at Suraburi went and he didnt even know, we kept warning him however love is blind and often its very hard to see when you are close, finally when the loan sharks came and threatened to kill him his wife and son he bailed very quickly back to England with his son but left her behind which was the smartest thing he could have done, by the way she called herself a Hi-So lady, not a bar girl, far more dangerous in my view. He is now in a council flat somewhere near Manchester trying to survive on the dole or pension with a 3 year old son!

I would cut off her access to money untill she is cured, gambling is a disease, or you could pack your bags and start again, however you must do something, dont pretend its ok and put your head in a bucket of sand.

As for the brother I would have done exactly as you did, and agree whole heartedly with you when you say if he wants to come over and eat together no problem. If you are renting a house I would move a little further away from the family, like 100km's. Good luck.

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MALC
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Help/Advice needed with wife's gambling

Post by MALC » January 20, 2012, 7:51 pm

what you did with her brother was spot on and the only way.as for gambling i dont think you will ever cure her.good luck

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Laan Yaa Mo
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Help/Advice needed with wife's gambling

Post by Laan Yaa Mo » January 20, 2012, 7:52 pm

Since she seems to have a job it will be difficult for you to cut off her access to funds. Gambling is an addiction and only she is going to be able to put a stop to it.

About the brother...he is family after all, and would probably have reciprocated somewhere down the line. I mean when you visit the wife's family do you bring your own food, or do they feed you from whatever they have around, or get from the market?

I would not have grabbed the bag from him as that will seem very, very rude and an indication that you do not consider him part of your family, but a bit of a stranger. At least I believe your wife's family will feel that way, and they may isolate her a bit, and this may lead to her gambling even more if she is upset about the incident.
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kjellsnell
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Help/Advice needed with wife's gambling

Post by kjellsnell » January 20, 2012, 8:18 pm

Laan Yaa Mo wrote:Since she seems to have a job it will be difficult for you to cut off her access to funds. Gambling is an addiction and only she is going to be able to put a stop to it.

About the brother...he is family after all, and would probably have reciprocated somewhere down the line. I mean when you visit the wife's family do you bring your own food, or do they feed you from whatever they have around, or get from the market?

I would not have grabbed the bag from him as that will seem very, very rude and an indication that you do not consider him part of your family, but a bit of a stranger. At least I believe your wife's family will feel that way, and they may isolate her a bit, and this may lead to her gambling even more if she is upset about the incident.
This is not a normal family situation in Thailand. Many plays in the monthly lottery, or its "local flavor" twice a month and is content with this. But here it seems to have become an addiction and need help to get out. I do not really know what help is available in Udon but usually resolve with behavioral therapy. There, to her brother's boundless behavior makes it look like you're stuck in a problem family. It is not a normal Thai behavior that just go home to her sister, open the fridge and fill his bag.

You did the right thing as "sued in the stream," he does not lose his face in this because he has no face from the beginning! Normally sensible Thai behave not in such a way, but be careful in your steps. Observe your wife's gambling addiction and explore ways to help. His brother, you will probably try "to program the" bit at a time because there will be significant problems for you in your everyday life if you go too hard and too fast.
These days life seems pretty good and I eagerly look forward to the continuation!

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BobHelm
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Help/Advice needed with wife's gambling

Post by BobHelm » January 20, 2012, 8:46 pm

I can't offer you any advice as exactly what to do if your wife is addicted to gambling.
She will undoubtedly need professional assistance in overcoming the problem if it actually is an addiction.
I have never heard of any sort of professional assistance locally although, for all its illegality, gambling is a serious issue amongst some Thais.
It might not have gone as far as addiction & it might be possible for you to help her overcome the desire to gamble & maybe replace the buzz she gets from it with some other (legal & harmless) activity but if that fails then it is the professionals or, I am very sorry to say, save yourself a great deal of future heart ache & walk away.

I would strongly recommend that you do not try & take action, of any sort, against the 'lady' enticing her except to make it perfectly clear that you want her to stay far, far away from your wife. These people might appear to be harmless but they are just the tip of an iceberg that will either be sanctioned by the local authorities, the local hoods, or both.
These are not people to try & take action against as any action that succeeds is liable to get repaid on you in spades.

The brother incident is equally problematic.
While that type of wandering in & taking is completely foreign to Falang & possibly to city dwelling Thai I have certainly observed it as being quite normal behaviour in village life.
The brother probably saw it as quite normal that as he was at work all day his sister would be quite happy to allow him to take some raw food stuffs to feed himself at night.
The 'mine' & 'thine' is a far more blurred in Thai village relationships especially when 1 family member has plenty of A & another has none at all.
If you find it impossible to accept this, then so be it I guess. Only you can decide what rules of life you are happy to live under. You will certainly be viewed as rather strange by the brother.
It just might have been better to suggest to your wife that she cooks extra for him to take home with him, for example, rather than confrontation....

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Jello
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Help/Advice needed with wife's gambling

Post by Jello » January 20, 2012, 9:05 pm

From what you wrote I take it she wants to stop, but cannot.
Do some internet research on "gambling addiction" and "compulsive gambling", because that's what your dealing with. If you think your wife will continue on the downward spiral, you need to draw the line and create negative consequences if she continues to gamble. Depending on what your willing to accept, as a last resort you should prepare yourself both mentally and financially to leave her if she cannot stop.
Most addicts won't stop until they hit bottom (lose everything available to them). Try to find a Thai GA meeting or a addiction therapist for her to talk to. You may need to go to Bangkok for this.
Some info here: http://www.gamblersanonymous.org/ga/index.php

your idea of going to the police is a bad idea on many different levels. Forget it. It might not seem like it but gambling is illegal here.

I think you did the right thing with the brother in law. You wouldn't take anything from his house without asking and he should show you the same respect. The fact that he WAS doing it suggests that maybe you have been too accommodating to your Thai family and need to set some reasonable boundaries.

Here's another thread on the subject:
http://www.udonmap.com/udonthaniforum/v ... hp?p=16820

Good luck to you.

colinLHR
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Help/Advice needed with wife's gambling

Post by colinLHR » January 20, 2012, 9:22 pm

Thanks for the positive responses , I've made some progress today will spend the weekend going round banks changing ATM cards for bank books in both names all accounts including the kids savings accounts, the bank will require both signatures for any money to be withdrawn a good start I think , only cars, motorbike and house to go, we talked about safe deposit box in one of big banks , but don't know if that's available in Udon or not???

But I can see fireworks when all lines of credit are cut off then it will be truly cold turkey.

Another problem why does my family IN-LAW never want to confront a problem head on like this but carry on with the see no evil, speak no evil attitude and just ignore it.

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old-timer
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Help/Advice needed with wife's gambling

Post by old-timer » January 20, 2012, 10:32 pm

rubbish, sticking a usb dongle up OT's backdoor is more believable than this.

OT.............. \:D/

wynnsiensheng
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Help/Advice needed with wife's gambling

Post by wynnsiensheng » January 21, 2012, 9:03 am

First things first, I don't think you are going to get one single solution to either of these problems. You are probably going to have to live with them to some degree and manage them over a period of time, maybe forever.

So far as your wife's gambling is concerned, you say that she is currently using her own money. Not good, but not as bad as using your or your joint money. I think the first thi of gamblinging is to agree with your wife that her level is not a good thing, just as you did previously, and get her to agree that she has difficulty controlling it. Therefore, to protect yourself and your children, not to mention her, get her to agree that family funds should be both to sign or in your name solely. So then you both know that the struggle against gambling is in respect to her money.

One caveat, be aware that money lenders will lend against chanote land titles at exhorbetent rates. So if you have chanote documents, better keep them where your wife can't access.

Then, I think it's a question of repeating the first exercise that you went through, get your wife to realsie how much she is losing of her money and to stop. If successful be ready for the problem to return, if not through the medium of the characters you already threw out, then by way of "friends" or someone else. Your wife has a weakness that can be exploited by many people.

I would not recommend doing more than you have already done vis a vis the gambling promoters. Any action to take the fight to them would be hard to control and could backfire if they hit back. But I think for sure you don't allow them to come to your property. Try to get your wife to agree not to have contact with them.

For your brother in law, I would not accept him stopping by to stock up with food, in fact, I would adopt exactly the approach you have taken, ie come eat with us any time, but we are not a free supermarket. One issue maybe the way you have communicated that, we all "blow up" nnow and then, but it's easy to see that he and therefore your wife may take the hump. They have both lost face.

All I can suggest is that you explain toyour wife that you have adjusted for many things Thai, but in England family would never do this and that is why you blew up. But if I were in your place, I would stand my ground and just wait for things to gradually blow over. If you are on good terms with a senior member of your wifes family, you could explain the situation and your position calmly to them, and then maybe they work behind the scenes on your behalf to defuse the situation. But lannguage barriors may not makethis easy.

So, as I said at the beginning, probably a couple of long term situations to be managed, the real solutions being dependent on the attitude of your wife and her relationship with you. But I personally can't see much option other than standing your ground. The gambling thing could bankrupt you both and it'shard to back track on the brother in law as he'd probably refuse to come round even if you let him! And why should you?

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fatbob
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Help/Advice needed with wife's gambling

Post by fatbob » January 21, 2012, 9:23 am

Be aware that the money lenders will let you borrow on any land title, not only Chanote, your wife will sign the land over to them at the land department and you will not even know if thats how she wants it. Remember she will never win when gambling on the SET, never, the debt will increase slowly at first and then spiral as it grows larger, be careful as the money lenders are not nice people. She is a prime target to them because she has a Western husband, understand it will be easy for her to keep ammounts of debt and loss a secret from you.

I have always said to my missus, if you start gambling, pack your bags!! Thankfully she has no interest in it.

colinLHR
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Help/Advice needed with wife's gambling

Post by colinLHR » January 21, 2012, 1:37 pm

Yesterday I talked about changing bank accounts to joint names, a friend of mine has said bad idea to joint names as if she was desperate for the cash she could go to the bank and give a big story about husband has disapeared with new young woman leaving her with 2 baby's and no Money and the bank will find away to release funds as I'm only a foreigner he said something about a time limit and me not contesting it within the set time frame and funds can be realeased, ( you learn something new each day) any ideas if this is true or not?

Had to put a name on waitlist for safe deposit box at SCB all are full, so was thinking of mailing deeds to UK family for safe keeping but a bit worried as you never know what's round the corner.

jai yen yen
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Help/Advice needed with wife's gambling

Post by jai yen yen » January 21, 2012, 3:34 pm

A friend of mine was married to his Thai lady for 6 years with no trouble until she started gambling. She stole his credit card, maxed it out, sold the book on his car even though it was in his name and sold the chinote to their house as well as spending about six hundred thousand baht in cash. Six great years then she went crazy. I know them both well, I couldn't believe it. Keep in mind that if she gets in trouble the bad guys will come for you as well. I don't want to sound harsh but if my lady had a serious gambling problem I would consider leaving her.

Hard addiction to cure and possible financial ruin and or serious problems with your health from the bad guys. As for the brother he had no right to behave like that, if people need help they ask nicely they don't just take what they want, Thai or farang. I checked this with my Thai lady and she agreed 100%. Family or not that is not acceptable behaviour. Good luck to you and be careful.

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tamada
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Help/Advice needed with wife's gambling

Post by tamada » February 10, 2012, 4:28 am

Gambling. Was the main reason my first marriage here went out the window. Don't give them any leeway, if they have started or have hidden it from you, it's time to leave.

Of course, it depends if he really is her brother.

colinLHR
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Help/Advice needed with wife's gambling

Post by colinLHR » February 24, 2012, 10:21 am

I thought I would post an update just in case anyone is interested.

Well it's been around a month and no gambling , I got the safe deposit box but had to do whilst in BKK on business and title/house deed, both cars documents and also motorbike paper inside.
I tested the water on the 16th and offered her the chance to buy a lottery ticket but she turned it down so so far so good.
Also found out all illegal betting shops had to close for three days by order of police due to Yinluck PMs visit so that's why all the faces round area were so sad looking.

Another bit of news Air Asia are looking at expanding at UTH with possible new routes to KL and Singapore according to a member of ground staff I know.

Thanks for all the help and advice

Cheers

Col

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