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Hi Julie,
You love your partner and you want to stay with him, so the next thing is to decide what to do to safeguard yourself and to support him. Safeguarding yourself is so important. Your partner’s addiction will take you all the way down with it, if you allow it and if it succeeds then you will lose yourself and not be able to help him.
It doesn’t sound much but looking after yourself every day is the most supportive thing you can do for yourself and for your partner. Take time every day to do something that pleases ‘you’, see friends and family, notice the beauty of the world around you (although it is difficult at the moment, I know), eat what ‘you’ want to eat, listen to the music that ‘you’ like, in other words put yourself at the centre of your world and not on the periphery of your partner’s world.
It works like this: your partner has a selfish addiction that is damaging him more than he realises. He cannot see, at the moment, how to control that addiction and in fact he doesn’t appear to want to do so. If you allow yourself to accept his world as yours, you could lose your health and happiness – you will become part of the wreckage of his addiction. If you are weakened by his addiction, you will not be able to support him.
Maybe you could tell your boyfriend that you have found this site and that you are seeking support for you – many gamblers do not think that those who love them need support. Perhaps you could ask him to contact our Helpline and/or facilitated gambler groups – it is all anonymous and is always available. Compulsive gamblers often try different supports before finding the one that makes the difference. They will tell you that they are not as bad as other gamblers, that they know what they are doing and various other excuses
Gamblers who are consumed by addiction do not think they are understood and mostly they are right. It is hard for non-gamblers to make sense of the senseless. However, what you do know is that your boyfriend is not happy, he is angry and he feels worthless. – and I know that hurts you..
This is a tough message Julie but the only person who can stop your boyfriend gambling is himself. The only person you can save is you.
I hope you will keep posting – you have written a brilliant first post that I suspect was hard to write – the first post is the most difficult.
I really do understand Julie, I have been in your shoes and not known which way to turn. However, I now know that your boyfriend can control his addiction or I wouldn’t be writing to you.
Be strong, take care of yourself, I am listening and I will walk with you for as long as you want me to do so. Ask any questions and push any thought around, you will find your answer,