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    I’m 19 years old and I really need some help.

    My brother used to have (although he never admitted it) a massive gambling problem. When it first started I was around 14/15. He used to take anything he could sell in order to gamble; iPods, our old DS’s, DVDs, phones, etc. He also took things of sentiment, jewellery that was left to me when relatives passed away. Things that won’t mean so much to other people as they did to me. And he also took a lot of money. His friends used to tell me that he owed them money and expect me to pay them back. Which I didn’t ever do. He lied a lot about what he did with the money but all his friends told the truth. So it isn’t any question as to why I don’t agree with gambling and don’t want to be around it.

    But my boyfriend used to bet a little. And he knows why I don’t agree with it and want to be around it, how is scared me. And so he said he would stop doing it. Only he didn’t, he lied to me about it for months. I’m only young so I don’t feel I should be dealing with stuff like this. It isn’t fair I was lied to. He says he wants to win me back and have me trust him again by not betting at all. He said he went to a few GA meetings but felt embarrassed.

    Am I being completely unreasonable by asking him to stop betting? I don’t know what to do.



    Hello Anon

    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

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    Hi AnonG
    Having witnessed firsthand your brother’s serious gambling problem it is easy to see why you are so worried about it cropping up again in your life.
    I don’t think you are unreasonable to be concerned but without further information I can’t determine what I feel your possible line of action should be. If your boyfriend does want to dabble with gambling and is able to walk away from doing so regardless of loss or gain then maybe it would be unfair to say ‘no more or else’. Being told he cannot do something that he find pleasurable and is not hurting him will almost certainly result in him doing it behind your back which is what has possibly happened. Talk to him as calmly as possible; maybe tell him you have sought support for yourself because you want to do that which is right for both of you – including allowing him to gamble if he is not in danger of over-stepping the boundary between responsible gambling and addiction. Communication is the most important thing.
    I am interested why he went to GA – did he go to please you or because he was concerned about the possibility his gambling could become uncontrollable?
    Having been to GA he will almost certainly have heard/seen the Gamblers Anonymous 20 questions – I suggest you download them from the GA web site and if you still feel he would answer ‘yes’ to at least 7 of the question maybe you could discuss those points with him. If he feels he has a problem it is important that he can trust you with the information without you losing your cool – he will need support, not condemnation.
    I hope you will write again and tell me more about your boyfriend and in particular his behaviour before and after he has gambled.
    Well done starting your thread – if compulsive gamblers were supported in the right way at the beginning perhaps there would be less misery and destruction from the addiction.


    I’m not sure why he went. I think it was sort of for me, to keep me happy. But I think it was for him too. It’s something I’ve only just found out about after being lied to for months about him not gambling.

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