16 July 2019 at 6:03 am #6844OnLytyParticipant
Hi I need help and advice about how to approach my sons situation.
My son lives with his girlfriend and new baby who is 4 months old. He has always gambled a bit but last year found him in debt and after some financial help from me he sorted it out and seemed to be on track.
About 2 months ago he rang to tell me he had been gambling, realised he had a problem looked online which told him his first step was to admit it to someone so he spoke to me in tears and felt better. I ask him regularly and he tells me he is fine.
Yesterday he asked me to help him financially again, not massively but I am suspicious about how his money doesn’t cover his needs and dont really trust his answer. Now I really don’t know how to approach the situation and don’t want to distance him because I don’t want him looking elsewhere for money either.
I dont understand enough and I’m hoping someone can advise me and I can get a better understanding here.16 July 2019 at 9:01 am #6845duncParticipant
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
Read about the friends and Family Online Groups
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 🙂
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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!
The Gambling Therapy Team16 July 2019 at 7:00 pm #6846velvetModerator
I am so pleased you have found your way here to ask for support.
If you feel you cannot trust your son’s answers, then it is important that you listen to your gut instinct because when it comes to gambling you are probably right.
It is so hard to approach a child that you suspect is gambling, you want him to talk to you and you don’t want him thinking he can get away with his problem but you know it is so easy to distance him. You are right in not wanting to distance him – but – you must also be strong for his sake. Learning about his ‘possible’ addiction will definitely give you power over it but it takes time and you will need patience.
There is a possibility that your son won a lot of money in the early days and he thought he could repeat that success. Sadly, if he is a compulsive gambler, he wouldn’t know that he had a problem straight away and the compulsion could run away with him. Winning for a man with a potential addiction and unaware he is vulnerable is, in my opinion, a loss not a gain – he believes he can do it and in the end he cannot walk away until all is lost.
Once the addiction has taken hold any amount of money given to a gambler feeds his addiction, there is nothing too big and nothing too small.
Do you have a good relationship with his girlfriend?
Did he pay the money back that he ‘borrowed’?
He has admitted to you that he has a problem and I think it would be in order for you to ask him if he has sought any support for himself since he admitted this to you.
It is a tough message for a mother but the tears from someone with a gambling problem are usually the tears of regret, for themselves, tears that the gamble they enjoy is not working for them – not sorrow for the worry and hurt they are causing those who love them. ‘If’ he does indeed have a problem then the problem can distort his thinking to fit his personal perception but it is not deliberate.
The gambling addiction has nothing to do with money, money is a means to an end. The excitement comes from the ‘gamble’ only and this is what is hard for F&F to comprehend.
I am not going to write any more in this first reply Onlyty – I know it takes time to take all you hear on board and it is very distressing. I would love for you to join me in an F&F group – we have one tonight between 10 and 11pm and again on Thursday. It would be great to speak to you in real time. Nothing said in the group appears on the forum, it is safe and private.
Maybe you could download the 20-Questions from the Gamblers Anonymous website. If he raises his worry again then perhaps you could ask him to look at them – if he has a real problem, he may identify with the questions and realise that there is a lot of support for him.
Hopefully you have seen the early stages of his problem but without seeking to worry you further, it is important to be aware that unless a gambling problem is treated it gets worse, never better.
Please keep posting. You have done well writing you first post.
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