Get practical support with your gambling problem Forum Friends and Family Not sure if I have a compulsive gambler or not

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    I am new to this forum. Thanks for sharing your stories, it is so so helpful.

    I’m not sure if I have a PG in my life or not.

    My partner left his job (which he hated) to try and make it as a professional poker player. I was skeptical at first, but then supported this plan, as I knew he was unhappy at work and wanted him to be happy, and he was really fascinated by poker and always reading about it and playing it online.

    Unfortunately things haven’t gone as well as he had hoped, he’s lost money and he’s now looking at going back to work. But he says he is depressed and hates himself, and doesn’t have any real friends (this isn’t really true). He desperately wanted to do something he loved and was good at, and be able to earn money doing this.

    I’m not sure if he has a gambling problem or a career crisis, but he’s very down and won’t consider any other alternative career apart from going back to his old job.

    I’m not sure if or how I can support him. He seems to have a love hate relationship with poker – spends lots of time on it but also gets very angry and down about losing.

    He’s been very honest with me about everything as far as I know, he isn’t in debt and he spends plenty of time with me and his friends and family, and is very supportive of my own ambitions – however I can also see that it is taking its toll and I have no idea what to say to him about the gambling – I fear that if I am too negative about it he won’t talk to me about it and I don’t want to talk it down if its what he really wants to do.

    Thanks for providing this forum, I really needed to write this down and if anyone has any thoughts about our situation that can guide me about what to do or what questions to ask then that would be really helpful!


    Hello Brownie and welcome to GT.
    I am a Compulsive Gambler.
    If you and your husband are interested in establishing if he has a similar problem to mine and to most CGs, I would suggest looking at the Gamblers Anonymous 20 Questions .
    It will be a guideline to set you on the track you may or may not need to pursue.
    I know people who describe themselves as Professional Gamblers. They end up in similar circumstances to Compulsive Gamblers. Keep reading and posting.
    You will find a lot of help here.



    Hello Brownie

    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

    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 Brownie
    I’m glad you found this forum and site because I think you will find your answers and maybe know which way you want to handle matters.
    What I cannot do is tell you what to do – what we do on this forum is give you knowledge of the addiction to gamble which will help you cope.
    My CG’s (compulsive gambler) addiction was/is also poker – I say was because it was poker that brought him down and I say ‘is’ because he lives in control of his addiction. Like your partner he believed he could be a professional poker player.
    The addiction to gamble is not about money – it is purely about the ‘gamble’ – a CG is a person who cannot walk away from that gamble until, usually, all is lost – this can be from the smallest monetary denomination to a house, children, marriage, everything.
    When a CG loses, he/she loses self-belief and self-confidence and this can cause depression and anger resulting in poor behaviour such as lying and manipulation of those around them. Lies become a tool for survival and loved ones become the hoped for enablement. The lies and manipulation cause poor communication resulting in loss of friends; divided families and disinterest in other activities.
    A possible way for you to access the depth of your partner’s interest in poker is to access the Gamblers anonymous website – and download their ‘20 Questions’. It is a yardstick and not 100% but I have found it to a good starting point for those, like you, who are unsure. I also think it is good for the person with the potential problem to tick the boxes too as many CG do not appreciate they have a problem that is recognised and for which there is of masses of support.
    I heard an alarm bell when I read that you believe that his poker ‘it is taking its toll’ so I think it is good that you have sought support. In my opinion it is good for potential CGs to know that their loved one has sought support too because to me it shows a determination to stand against the addiction and not against the gambler.
    I will leave it there and wait for you to write again. I know there are professional gamblers and gambling is being pushed at us from all sides these days. It is a minefield and you have done well realising the danger exists.

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