Get practical support with your gambling problem Forum Friends and Family My wife’s brother’s addiction has led to stress putting her in hospital

Viewing 3 posts - 1 through 3 (of 3 total)
  • Author
  • #6920

    I’ll try and keep it short.

    Basically my brother in law has been a gambler for some time but has only recently got himself into such a big hole that more people have found out about it.
    He has borrowed from his parents who should be enjoying their retirement and now the dad will have to carry on working
    for a lot longer or sell the house they have lived in for 50 years.

    The only person they seem to be able turn to help is my wife, we live in a different country and have had a very tough two years bringing up
    twins without any support and with full time jobs. She has flown back home to try and mediate as her parents are just too old and emotional.
    We gave the brother an ultimatum – we will pay for rehab but he needs to go immediately.
    He said he wanted to go but his wife (who is an enabler and highly depressed) refused to let him go as they had a holiday in 5 weeks.

    Neither the brother or wife are accepting their situation and my wife has ended up in hospital on a drip and very ill because she has not been looking after herself. My focus is
    naturally to protect my family and me wife now agrees. Question for the forum – we would like to tell the brother that the offer for us to pay for his rehab is still there but if he does
    go immediately then we refuse to help and tell them that we are cutting communication with them until they can admit that they urgently require help?

    I appreciate the wisdom is to always show support, compassion and forgiveness but that has not worked and has ended up with my wife being very ill and potentially our kids not
    having a mother. I have grown with a alcoholic brother and father and no that sometimes being tough is better in the long run.



    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 🙂

    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

    PS: Let me just remind you to take a look at our privacy policy and terms and conditions so you know how it all works!


    Hi Goldy
    You are right to recognise the importance of focusing on the health of your wife and family.
    In my opinion It is great that you are offering to support your brother-in-law in rehab but I would suggest that telling him that the offer will be withdrawn if he does not act immediately will aggravate his addiction
    In view of your wife’s health, I believe it is right for you to cut communication until he is willing to admit that he requires help but I think that if you could attach your willingness to support him in rehab, when that time arrives, it would be better. As a compulsive gambler he will be the master of threats and manipulation – the threat of an ultimatum will mean nothing to him – ultimatums are like challenges and the outcome of a challenge is just another gamble.
    I suggest that your parents-in-law need support and they can hopefully find this is a local Gam-Anon group which is the sister group of GA. We would also be pleased to support them on this site, in this forum or on our Helpline. If they had appreciated that ‘lending’ money to their son was like giving a drink to an alcoholic they would probably have handled their situation better. I understand why they turned to your wife but she is not able to help them through no fault of her own – they need the support of those who understand the addiction to gamble.
    I think that compassion for an addicted gambler is right but it is important to know how to show that compassion – clearing debts and covering up is not the answer.
    I hope that you will keep posting, there is a lot to understand that could help you cope better – knowledge of the addiction to gamble gives you power over it.

Viewing 3 posts - 1 through 3 (of 3 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.