Get practical support with your gambling problem Forum Friends and Family Cg has been gambling again I don’t know what to do

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    Hello my first time here ,I’m mum to a cg and right now I’m in tears and torn. My cg has gambled again ,usuing all his money,lots of my credit and others. I’m so sad ,so cross I didn’t notice it sooner,and that I probably aided him ,unwittingly. They’d done so well,good job,debts cleared ,happy and then boom ,de je vous. I know they’re fed up with themselves ,disappointed,angry, feel like they’ve let everyone down…and I know I feel all of those too..but I also feel useless to help. And I’m scared I will have to sell my house ,move to something smaller,to clear the debt on my card and to another family member..and to be mortgage free ,as I know now I have to depend on me to ensure all the upkeep here is paid ,as I can’t rely on their contribution to bills and stuff. I really could do with a ‘friend’ to give me ideas,of how get through this again.
    Thank you



    Hello Saloma

    Thanks for starting a thread in the Gambling Therapy friends and family forum. This forum will provide you with warmth and understanding from your peers.

    Feel free to use the friends and family group, you’ll find the times for these if you click on the “Group times” box on our Home page. Now that you have introduced yourself you’ll find that many of the people you meet here have already read your initial introduction and they’ll welcome you in like an old friend 🙂

    If you’re the friend or family member of someone who is either in, or has been through, the GMA residential programme please take extra care to make sure that nothing you say in groups, or on our forums, inadvertently identifies that person. Even if your loved one isn’t connected with GMA, please don’t identify them either directly or indirectly just in case they decide to use the site themselves.

    You’ll find a lot of advice on this site, some of which you’ll follow, some you won’t…but that’s ok because only you fully understand your
    situation and what’s best for you and the people you love. So, take the support you need and leave the advice you don’t because it all comes from a caring, nurturing place 🙂

    We look forward to hearing all about you!

    Take care

    The Gambling Therapy Team

    PS: Let me just remind you to take a look at our
    privacy policy and terms and conditions so you know how it all works!


    Thank you, it’s being a hard day today . I was up most of the night crying ,easy to see with hindsight. He’s 23 and been through a few major life events ,which probably haven’t helped this addiction. We’ve just been through how much inheritance he’s got much debt loads ..and even as we sat listing them he still he broken enough ? God I hope I ? Yes,I don’t want to sell up and leave him to struggle on his own ..he needs a roof over his head ..but if I have to I guess I would. I’ve tried to stay calm ,through tears,I said did he want me to take charge of his money coming in he said yes. I have suggested he gets help ,I said why doesn’t he see his gp and get to see a counsellor. His brother has been here helping. It breaks my home heart to see him like this ,hating himself, I have so many emotions . I don’t know if I’m strong enough to do this,to do tough love , but financially I can’t help him even if I want to so maybe that’s a good thing. If I sell up pay for a deposit and months rent for him and then leave him to it so to speak ,I’d feel like I was abandoning him, I just don’t know how to help him or trust him . I love him so much


    Hi Saloma
    I sincerely hope you have found the place where the hand of friendship will help you get through the difficult times ahead.
    The first thing to do is to stop being sad and cross that maybe you unwittingly enabled your son’s addiction. Your son didn’t want you to know what he was doing because his addiction thrives on secrecy but knowledge of his addiction will give you the strength to fight it and that knowledge is here. My CG told to me after I had unwittingly enabled him for 23 years, ‘you never stood a chance’. Well with knowledge Saloma you do stand a great chance.
    I know the addiction makes the gambler feel disappointed and angry but I am not sure I can agree that it is because they feel they have let everyone down, I suspect he is more upset that he has lost again and is another mess because of it. He probably believed that one small bet wouldn’t matter but a CG doesn’t stop with one bet because it isn’t the money that excites their minds, it is the gamble itself.
    I hope you will be able to pop into the F&F only group on Tuesday evening 20.00-21.00 hours UK time where we can communicate in real time, nothing said in the group appears on the forum but time spent with those who understand can make insurmountable problems become easier.
    I am going to leave this first reply to you there because I wrote the above this morning meaning to come back and write a lot more but have been distracted since and now you have written again.
    You are strong enough because it is your strength your son needs and you will be amazed at the backbone of steel a mother has.
    I will write again soon, I just want you to know you are being heard and understood.
    Keep posting


    Thanks velvet , I have set an alarm for Tuesday session 🙂 like all families of cgs I want to support him but this time I want to be better prepared and more watchful . It’s so draining . Catch you Tuesday ,


    Hi Soloma
    I’m sorry you didn’t make the group, there was another two mums in and it would have been great for you to talk to each other, however, I know life gets in the way.
    I hope Worriedmama will come back to you soon but in the meantime I will answer your question as best I can and that is that it is often best not to believe what your son says simply because believing makes you more vulnerable and each let-down is more painful. With this addiction the expression ‘actions speak louder than words’ certainly applies. CGs are the masters of manipulation and words ***** for little.
    You have written that he has started to put things in place and maybe these are the actions that are giving you hope. What is he doing that is different?
    If your son is a CG, as you believe, then he will always be a CG but he can control his addiction and live the most wonderful gamble-free life. Likewise if he is a CG he does need the right treatment which can be found on this site, in GA or in GMA.
    If you have read Worriedmama’s thread then you will have read my analogy of the addiction being a beast – it has worked for so many and helped many to realise the importance of looking after yourself.
    Do you have other children? There is no need to reply but I have a thread entitled ‘Siblings’ which might help and is not far down the forum list. I also have a thread entitled ‘the F&F Cycle’ which have brought up for you which will hopefully help you realise how easy it is for F&F to become bound up in the addiction and unwittingly enable the CG.
    I hope you will keep posting and please talk about ‘you’ because you matter and even though you cannot save your son you can make a big difference to the choice he makes.
    Speak soon


    So sorry both you and your son find yourselves in the grips of compulsive gambling. It’s heart wrenching to stand by and helplessly watch your child destroy themselves.

    You ask … “how can you know if they are lying”? What I found works is if you can get yourself to a point where what they are saying is irrelevant. While in active addiction it’s very difficult to believe anything. Try not to put yourself in a position where they can lie to you. As Velvet says their actions will speak louder than their words.

    I tried to be proactive deciding on how I wanted MY life to look (boundaries that worked for me) rather than reactive whereby picking up the pieces and having my CG pulling all the strings.None of it’s easy but rather putting all your energies into your son try putting that same time and effort into yourself.

    My son is now 27 years old and has about 11 months gamble free time. It’s been a long road for him but he is committed to his recovery … mainly through GA. I try to work my own recovery through Gam Anon where I have found incredible support and friendship. Is this something you could try?



    Thank you Velvet and Cathy 🙂
    he has done a lot since sunday..he has told everyone that matters about what hes done..he has followed through with my suggestion to see a counsellor and has had his assessment call ,now just waiting for an appointment,this is a specilist 1-1 gambling counsellor that i found near by ,they can also help me seperately. He dreaded telling my dad but we did that last night, well i stood by as support. I have control of his money, we have talked about how much he got through, hes explained me how it grabs him and how he then gets involved in the chase,which is where obviously most of it went,and how logic goes out the window. He wants out of it , his focus his hes scared he could loose access to his son..he says that not I am proud of him . BUT I am away I cannot take my eye off the ball ,like last not so naivee now.
    Its been draining, I had a fainting attack in hospital the other day ..but together and with help we can o this .
    Its horrifying to read about all these young people in this situation..and online gambling has a lot to be crictisised for , id like to see it banned !!! a thing is only a pleasure ,fun past time when it doesnt harm people .

    Cathy Im so pleased to hear your cg has achieved 11 months , that is very positive . and a credit to you both .
    Thank you both for being there, it is a great help knowng there is somewhere i can go for support and understanding of this horrible thing.



    Hi Soloma, Anxiety causes terrible problems and panic attacks –you are doing everything right by regrouping yourself using this site and using any other help you can get.

    I’m not sure if you mean by saying ‘staying away from others’ whether you mean friends or family but although this may be an answer in the short term it isn’t good in the long term. Friends talk about things that have nothing to do with gambling and time spent thinking about anything but gambling is good for your mind and soul. Being switched on to one person and his problem 24 hours a day doesn’t help you or him or those around you who love you – and believe you me, I know that not thinking about your son and what he is doing is really hard.

    Therein lies a thought, however, which is, that if you are worrying morning, noon and night about what he is doing, short of locking him in and throwing away the key you will not stop him gambling, so how much better it is to look after yourself first and save your energy for you .

    Worrying about your son as a person is, of course, hard but he has within him the power to change his life, the ability to control his gambling, and the ability to live a wonderful life. That is the person that is your son and with the right treatment and without enablement you can give him the best support. We believe that from the time they are born we can make everything right for our children but with this addiction, that which we believed to be the right thing to do is often wrong.

    Don’t try and second guess your son yet, don’t worry about trusting him yet – it will come. Be careful how you question him when you are feeling uneasy – if he is trying to control his addiction he will want you to trust him but it is far too early to trust in anything apart from the fact that he is trying. It would be naive for you to trust especially when he won’t be able to trust himself for a long time.

    One of the hardest things of all is letting go of the way you thought/hoped it would be for your child – his future will be different to anything you dreamed of but it can be wonderfully rewarding too. I know that my CG is and always will be a CG but I trust him completely to protect his gamble-free life, I trust him to live in control of his addition and I love his company and I am happy.

    I hope this helps


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