4 August 2010 at 12:49 pm #2744fleahomeParticipant
I have a close relative who is a compulsive gambler he is in trouble with loan sharks We are pressured to help him but we are at our wits end.Anyone one with similar experience please advise on how to help him to stop.
Do we threaten to leave him or do we persuade him to stop tthough this hasn’t worked before.better late then never4 August 2010 at 3:20 pm #2745mike123Member
A warm welcome to the Gambling Therapy Friends and Family forum.
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Mike5 August 2010 at 11:24 am #2746velvetModerator
Welcome to Gambling Therapy
Many of us will have felt the pressure you describe.
I cannot tell you what to do but I can tell you some of the pitfalls where we do the wrong thing for the right reasons and hopefully help you make informed decisions.
The addiction to gamble is the master of manipulation and threatening to do something for a reaction is its common behaviour. Unless the person making a threat against this addiction means what they say and carries out that threat, the addiction recognises the lack of resolve as its victory. When you threaten the addiction therefore, it will test your resolve. If you are not strong enough to carry out your threat then the addiction has won and sees itself as invincible. We feel more powerless and the addiction takes more control. You have to ‘mean’ what you say.
Sadly we cannot ‘make’ a CG stop gambling. Only your relative can change himself and take control of his addiction.
I take it, that it is your relative that is pressurising you to repay the load sharks. If it is then you will be paying his gambling losses and leaving him free to create further debt. You will have alleviated his problem but not helped him.
Please write more so that we can support you further. Our helpline is brilliant if you would like to communicate one-to-one and if your relative wants to commit himself to controlling his gambling then it would be an excellent place for him to start. To control an addiction it is important that the person who owns that addiction accepts it and takes responsibility for the wreckage his addiction has caused.
Better late than never is excellent and it is never too late. We will support you for as long as you need it. You are stronger than your relative’s addiction because you do not own it. Learn about it, get power over it and don’t let it abuse you – as it does him. Your relative is lucky that you care enough to seek help on his behalf but he has to seek the help for himself which does not mean pressurising you to clear his gambling debts.
I hope this helps but please keep posting until you are ready to make ‘your’ informed decisions.
14 August 2010 at 1:57 pm #2747twilight16Participant
Helping a gambler to repay debts is never helps them, it only give them a clean slate to gamble again (just as Velvet has stated in her reply). I know from my expereince when I helped my father with debts, he would immediately forget the ***** I helped him and do it all over again.
Gamblers cannot be trusted with money and that is why we cannot help them. They need to pay their own debts, regardless of who is after them. They knew from the start of the terms of the loan and yet they chose to gamble it all away. Do not feel bad about not helping either, because they should be the ones feeling bad about asking you to give them money for something so irresponsible.
I know this is hard and frustrating because you are dealing with family, but you have to remember you cannot give life to something that is so destructive as gambling.
Twilight25 August 2010 at 11:18 pm #2748lilyParticipant
Hi fleahome, I noticed you haven’t posted for a couple of weeks and wondered how things are going? It must be so hard when it is a family member gambling, our natural instinct is to protect and help our family. I would suggest at this point offering emotional support where you can but have clear boudaries to protect yourself, point him in the direction of help and do not give him money. Offering financial help to a Cg is just giving them the opportunity to gamble, if they are bailed out of debt then they may see feel that will always be there for them.
No one can make a Cg seek help effectively except themselves, they often have low self esteem and see their future as bleak and gambling as the only answer. If someone in the family was willing and felt strong enough to take control of his finances this would help minimize the temptation but this is not a solution to the problem. Compulsive gambling is an illness and ***** to be treated by people who understand it. Some gamblers decided to seek help when all avenues of support from friends and family are closed to them and they reach rock bottom.
Please try to withdraw financial support from him, ensure you are supported and don’t feel you have to keep it a secret. In my experience the secrecy leads to the non CG feeling isolated with the problem and the more people who know, the less opportunities to get hold of money to finance the gambling are available to the CG. You will need support to get through this yourself and don’t feel bad about getting that support where ever you can, it is such a hard thing to deal with for the loved one of the CG and CG alike.
Reading on this site or where ever you can will help you become more informed and the more knowledge you have the more tools you will have to deal with this addiction. I wish you well and hope you will feel you can come here for support where you will always find understanding and not judgment. The group and the helpline are also very helpful and in real time. Lil x Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending. (Maria Robinson)
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