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      On Madtom’s thread it was stated that I would say of CGs that ‘they are ill not bad’ and I stand by that.
      The compulsion to gamble is an addiction. Addiction means an inability to walk away from something – a dependency. I know that the addiction to game playing and gambling is a mental illness that distorts the mind and through no fault of the addict, their loved ones, friends or families a path of behaviour follows.
      When I was in Gamanon I met people whose loved ones were down the corridor facing their addiction and succeeding but they no longer loved the person who was emerging. Addiction cloaks the real person and some people told me that they wished the addiction was back as the person they had loved had been more fun with it, than without it.  A no-win situation and sadly common.
      I think it is so important in the F&F forum that we know what we want and I believe that the only way we can know that, is by getting to know ourselves and who we are . In my opinion ‘we’ need to live without the addiction controlling us to make informed decisions.  I also think we need to get as much knowledge about the addiction as possible to help us cope and make those all important informed decisions.  
      We cannot see our loved one in black and white and nor can they.   Sibling rivalry, parental rejection, bullying, jealously, varying previous relationships all these things and more go to make up the people we are and all are invisible. A person who is a thief and is triggered by the compulsion to gamble will probably still be a thief even when the compulsion is controlled. A person who feels they were not listened to as a child and is triggered by the compulsion to gamble will probably still feel they are not listened to when their compulsion is controlled. A person who bullied before will almost certainly still bully, even if they control their addiction, unless the cause of the bullying has been dealt with. It is my belief that the addiction to gaming and gambling is often only part of the problem but when the non-CG is in pain it feels like the whole problem because the non-CG looses the ability to think rationally with the addiction in their face.  Stopping the gambling will not necessarily give you the person you want but if the non-CG can take the addiction out of their lives, I think, it makes it easier to see which way ‘you’ want to go and to assess what ‘your’ situation is and this is the reason that nobody can tell you what to do.  
      As I understand it the first two/three weeks in a GH rehab are given over to stopping the gambling. The following months are sorting out the causes of all the behavioural traits and it is painful soul searching.   It is certainly not black and white.
      What I do know and have physical proof of, is that compulsive gamblers who wrought a life of misery on those who loved them can be wonderful people when they control their addiction but as night follows day it must follow that there are compulsive gamblers who have ghastly ingrained traits that will not respond as the non-CG wishes which were probably there from an early age and need specialist treatment and which cannot be covered on this site. I think it is fair to accept too that some CGs feel so changed when they control their addiction that they do not wish to continue their previous relationship with the non-CG because it endangers their new life and I saw this in Gamanon too.
      Compulsive gambling and gaming is definitely an illness which can be controlled and does not make the addict a bad person even though the behaviour is bad. If the addiction comes as the result of, or on top of, traumatic earlier behaviour then stopping the gambling will not be enough and depending on whether you accept ‘bad’ as nature or nurture will decide for you whether you feel the person is bad or not.
      I hope this forms some sort of sense. I don’t know whether you have noticed at the top of the forum page that a new Topic Group starts on Wednesday at 1200-1300 hours UK time. I hope some of you will pop in and that it creates helpful discussion. Unfortunately I cannot attend but I hope to see some interesting posts as a result.
      Challenge thoughts you don’t agree with.  We are a multi-cultural and diverse community but we all have the same goal.

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