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Hi Purple
I don’t hear anybody whining – I would be voluble too if another person was destroying my heart and self-esteem.
Loving a compulsive gambler does destroy self-esteem and in turn that often creates a vulnerable, unwitting enabler.
Some compulsive gamblers do go on and change their lives in another relationship but without treatment, what is the fundamental difference? I suggest that a future relationship does not include enablement.
You describe your boyfriend as handsome, fun and charming – if he was not, would you be less likely to enable him? I have known many handsome, fun-loving charming gamblers and I have seen many intelligent, fun-loving ladies hearts destroyed by their loved one’s addiction. I have even heard one such lady say how dull her husband had become without his addiction and she wished he would gamble again! Fortunately, he was enjoying life in control of his addiction and regularly attending GA – he did not want to go back to the relationship that he had previously.
Draftkings is gambling whatever your boyfriend says. So often F&F say that their loved one ‘needs’ to stop gambling without realising that their loved one’s ‘need’ is to gamble. Until that gambling has hurt him enough, he will probably see no reason to stop.
You cannot make your boyfriend stop gambling Purple but what you can do is to refuse to allow his addiction to drag you down with it. You write that he ‘borrows’ money from family, friends and you – lending money to a gambler is enablement, which allows his addiction to be fed and to grow. Anybody who lends money to a compulsive gambler is clearing his gambling debts, making it easier for him to continue without acceptance of his problem. A gambling addiction gets worse without an acceptance that there is a real problem. Until enabling ceases there is no reason for him to face his demons – facing them takes courage and determination – it is not easy – especially while his friends and family are preventing him from accepting his problem.
Do his friends and family know he has a problem, or do they know but don’t want to see it?
I am concerned that your self-esteem is low. Please look after yourself and do things that please you, things that your boyfriend’s addiction have possibly prevented you enjoying – keep friendships alive, enjoy hobbies and interests – every day set time aside just for you. Keep reading here and learn about the addiction to gamble, you do not own it and you do not have to be brought down by it.
Recognise your own importance because you are a unique, caring, loving person who deserves to be treated well. You have done really well writing this post, I know it can’t have been easy and I hope you will continue to post.