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    Hi Everyone,

    Good day. I just wanted to know your thoughts on how to go about the situation that me and my family are facing on and off for so many years already. I’m 23 years old and turning 24 soon. To give you more background, my Dad is a pathological gambler and everyone in the Family acknowledges that except himself. He has no job for as long as I can remember and my Mom is the breadwinner of our family. Fortunately, I’m thankful that Mom has a stable job and is able to provide us our everyday basic needs and wants. I can say that for now, we’re still well-off. My Mom has been an enabler to my Dad for so many years already and I think it made him worse as time passes by. Its not that Mom likes being an enabler, its just that my Dad always results to forcibly selling our properties mostly our cars and blackmailing her at work (threatening Mom that he will make a scene in her office if he doesn’t get what he wants). Unfortunately she is in a position the company wherein she cant afford that to happen. She always ends up zero-ing out her money because of Dad and its sad that she can’t save anything for the future of my youngest brother. Divorce isn’t an option. We also believe that it wont be enough to keep Dad away from us as he is always so desperate to get money. How do you deal with a person who denies that he needs help and is very defensive who always say that it’s alway someones fault everytime he gambles? Its so toxic and it is affecting our health/work-life specially my Mom’s. How do you get out of this? Its very depressing and there’s nothing but despair. Please help!


    Hello Ruzsche

    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.

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    Hi Ruzsche
    It is often very hard for a mother not to enable when she has a family who need her to care for them. Your mother is vulnerable, she is being taken advantage of in a terrible way and I feel for her.
    Do you have other family to support you – uncles or aunts who would be prepared to intervene on your behalf?
    How old are all your siblings; are you all united on taking action? I am wondering, if you have enough family support and adult siblings, if an intervention with your father would be possible. Interventions have been known to work but they are not for everybody and your father’s bullying tactics might mean it is not a path you wish to take. An intervention is where everybody sits down with your father and tells him that enough is enough.
    I am not suggesting that your mother should leave but why is a separation for her not possible; she is obviously very talented and capable in that she is keeping the home running in the face of great adversity?
    I’m afraid that sometimes the only way to keep someone away is to use the law – is this an option?
    Please keep posting. Your situation is very difficult and I hope sharing will give you greater strength to cope.


    Hi, thanks for taking your time to read and reply to my post. But to give you more background, he doesn’t live with us anymore. He is currently staying in our condominium alone at the moment (of course it’s Mom’s). He even tried selling the property when Mom refused to give him money last time.

    Despite my Dad being a pathological gambler, he is a smart guy and he has his ways on making things happen the way he wants them to.

    Yes it is possible to do an intervention. In fact, I and my older brother (28 years old) is enough to physically overpower him if he tries to do anything we don’t want him to do. But he avoids confrontation, he’s afraid of it. What he does these days is attack Mom in her most vulnerable state (when she is alone at work). And to be honest, we dont want to end up using violence against him. Although he is abusive with Mom and hasn’t been a good Husband/Dad through the years, I still respect him and love him. I’m so done with being angry and trying to rationalize all his wrong doings. I got over it a year ago. I have come to embrace the fact that he is a victim and is sick.

    Divorce isn’t an option because we live in the Philippines. Only option would be is “Annulment” which requires a mutual decision from both parties. I addition to that, I don’t think it will stop him from making a scene on my Mom’s office.

    Im sure i’ll have the strength to go on, I’m sure that i’ll be able to cope ( I’ve been doing it for as long as I can remember). I appreciate your sympathy. However, my Mom can’t provide for him forever as she is also in her 50’s already. Hoping to get insights from everyone on how to approach this situation the best possible way. Thanks.


    Hi Ruzshe
    I would never suggest using violence towards a CG – that would not be meaningful support. I was suggesting an intervention with your father, mother and siblings sitting around a table discussing the best way forward and making sure your father understood your determination to protect your mother.
    At 50, your mother hopefully will still have a long future. Maybe it would stimulate her to think of where she will be in 5 years if she doesn’t make a stand. Emotional blackmail is terrible but with divorce not an option, annulment not an option, intervention possibly not an option and a willingness to risk a scene in a company not being an option I am not sure what to suggest.
    An abusive husband is a bully and maybe legal protection is the answer to a scene in a company which appears, to me, to be the lesser of all the evils – I am not sure why this is considered such a risk when the problem you are facing is so serious.
    Maybe you could put me in the picture more fully
    Speak soon

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