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Hi Thorfin

First of all please accept my apology for taking so long to reply to your post – it deserved greater attention and I am truly sorry. I have had my knee replaced and it has caused me more problems than I anticipated.

I do not hear a man ‘talking bad’ about his father; what I do hear is a man who is desperately trying to hold his life together while his father is pulling it apart – and that is the nature of a gambling addiction.

You write that you and your brother ‘try to reason with him’ but I’m sorry to say there is no reasoning with this addiction.

Maybe when he demands money again, you and our brother could unite and say that you have sought help for yourselves and been informed that money given to a gambling addict only feeds the addiction making it worse – and because you want to support him, in the right way, there will be no more money for him.

Is it possible for you and your brother to unite with your father’s siblings – a united front is harder for an addict to destroy.

I think it is important to know that your father does not want to be addicted to gambling, he neither asked for, nor wanted it but the only person who can stop this destructive addiction, is himself. You, your bother, your mother and your father’s sibling are not to blame for his addiction, however much your father seeks to blame everybody but himself. He will fight hard against taking responsibility for his actions and he will need help to do it.

We do offer support for your father on this site – on our Helpline, the gambler forum ‘my journal’ and a gambler’s group facilitated by Charles who will understand your father more than you or I. This site is anonymous and private.

Is it possible that you and your brother can hide money and possessions without his knowledge, to save yourselves and ultimately your father. It is sad to say that a gambling addict will take those who love them all the way down with them until someone shouts ‘enough’ because the nature of his addiction means he will always lose.

I hope you will write again – I will look for you. I also facilitate groups on Tuesdays and Thursdays 1900 – 2000 hours UK time, if you would like to communicate in real time. They are private and nothing said in the group appears on the forum.

I wish you so much peace of mind Thorfin – I have stood in your shoes and I know how difficult it is – but you can win through for yourself – I know, or I would not be writing to you.