Get practical support with your gambling problem Forum Friends and Family Just found out my son is gambling

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    I have just found out my son has a gambling problem & has been gambling probably for years now when I look back, always running out of money soon after being paid. I am not sure what to do next. As he denies, lies, cheats, blames everybody else for problems he now encounters. Having to learn very quickly it seems this is normal of an addict whatever type that is.
    After we had discovered this we sat & discussed this with him & his partner, who has been going through hell & back, he has obviously been manipulating her as she to has been lying & covering up for him thinking she was protecting him. He agreed that we could open another bank account where we would deal with his finances & by the way recently we (his father & I) have paid alot of his debt thinking it was this that was causing stress & putting a real strain on his relationship, I see now we have been feeding his habit & I have been guilty of this for years. I’m unsure if us dealing with his finances is the right thing to do, this seems the obvious thing for us to do but we are new to this. I know my son will have a real problem with this & feel he was only agreeing because at the time he felt he had no other choice. Please help.




    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 Eji
    Welcome from me to GT, I hope you will find the support and knowledge of your son’s addiction here that will give you power over it to help you cope.
    Please scotch immediately any unnecessary feelings of guilt about unwittingly feeding your sons addiction. The addiction to gamble is cunning, it uses deceit and secrecy to gain enablement and it needed you kept in the dark because knowledge of it could cause enablement to cease and you could safeguard yourselves against it – which has happened now, thankfully.
    All the things you listed are common to the gambling addiction including causing you to believe that you are to blame. You have acted as good parents but now it is time to strengthen the boundaries around you that keep you safe and ultimately help him.
    If your son has expressed willingness for you to handle his finances then that is good – although I have to warn you that his ability to put pressure on you to release funds could be pretty exhausting especially if he is only paying lip service as a knee-jerk reaction to having his secret discovered. While he is willing maybe you could put this into action asap.
    Is his partner willing to continue her relationship with your son? If the answer is yes then please pass on all that you hear because the addiction is divisive and support for your son it is better when there is a unity among those who love him.
    Clearing your son’s gambling debts is enablement – I say this not to judge but to make clear the boundaries required to help your son. Cash to a CG (compulsive gambler) is the same as giving a drink to an alcoholic. Lying for him and covering up feed his voracious addiction and I hope his partner will be relieved of doing so, now that she can share with you.
    Maybe you could download the 20 Questions from the Gamblers Anonymous web site. It might help your son to realise he has an addiction that is recognised but for which there is great support.
    I am going to leave this first post here and wait to hear from you again. There is so much to say and I know from experience that the early days of ‘knowing’ are very hard. It takes time to establish new controls and to change the natural habits of loved ones to bail out someone in distress. It takes time, I think, to even believe and take in much of what this addiction is all about.
    I wouldn’t be writing to you if I didn’t know that the addiction to gamble can be controlled and fantastic lives lived as a result of facing this unasked for and unwanted thing in your lives.

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