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    My live in BF has finally started going to group about 2 weeks ago after blowing all the money from hi s pay.. money he owed to me btw. I am glad that he is going to GA, but I have roller coaster feelings of my own and with today being payday, I have that anxiousness in my gut about him following thru.

    Im a doer and he is always slower to act and I have concerns that he will not hand over the check, will not have me manage the money, will not self exclude.. steps I may have already put in place if the tables were turned.

    how do I approach this with love and still make it clear that this has to be addressed.. and now.

    I dont think he really understands that Im hurt, that im mad, that he is taking from me.. from us.. as well as from himself.
    I am not really sure that he knows how dire his choices are at the moment as he lives with me.. my house, driving my car and I love him, but if he doesnt get it together I really will be up against the wall to walk away before i start taking on water too.

    Had he told me this was an issue at the start or even 5 moths in I would not be here. but we are 3 years in now and well I cant just turn my back on him till I know.


    Hello Rednita

    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 Rednita
    I would be amazed if you did not have roller coaster emotions of your own – the addiction to gamble affects all those who are close to a CG. However, your boyfriend will not be deliberately hurting you or causing you concern – It is very common that CGs (compulsive gamblers) are totally unaware of the damage their addiction inflicts on others.
    What was his reaction to his GA meetings?
    I understand all your feelings but due to his addiction clouding his mind, your anger and frustration will go completely over his head.
    You cannot make your bf stop gambling; only he can do that. What you can do is support him in the right way so that he knows you are walking with him while he tries to change his life.
    I cannot tell you what to do because it is your life and all decisions have to come from you but decisions are better made when they are informed so you are in the right place. Knowledge of the addiction to gamble will give you power over it and help you cope.
    Before I write anymore with what I know is a tough message, I must tell you that I would not be writing to you if I did not ‘know’ that the addiction to gamble can be controlled and that fantastic lives can and are lived as a result.
    Conditions rarely work unless the CG is 100% determined to control his/her addiction. We talk about ‘our need’ for them to stop gambling whereas they see ‘their need’ is to gamble so telling him what he ‘needs’ to do will almost cetainly not carry any weight.
    I hope the following will help you understand what is happening when you talk to your bf, although not recognised professionally it has been a coping mechanism for many of us – and I know it works.
    Imagine your bf’s addiction is a slavering beast in the corner of the room. Every time you speak to him, his addiction is alert and ready to intervene if challenged.
    The good news is that although your bf is controlled by his addiction, you are not; with knowledge you can be one step ahead. When you threaten his addiction with conditions, the beast will be there between you. His addiction is the master of threats and manipulation but you are not and nor do you want, or need, to be.
    His addiction means that when he gambles he is doomed to fail and constant failure strips away self-esteem and confidence; which is probably how you feel too. Just as CGs feel failure; so to F&F feel failure when they seemingly cannot change a devastating situation .
    GA and sites like this can make a difference but it depends on the individual how they see and digest the support. Our ‘My Journal’ forum and CG only groups are like GA – they are made up of CGs who are in various stages of controlling their addiction and also those who have controlled their addiction. They recognise and respond to each other in a way that those of us who do not own the addiction cannot do.
    What we can do is listen when they want to change their lives, encourage them in the right way and not discourage them in the wrong way. By all means ask him how he got on at the meetings but listen more that you ask questions. Many CG in early recovery don’t want to talk for fear of raising hopes that they are afraid they cannot fulfil.

    My suggestion is that you gently ask about his GA meetings and listen without criticism. Post what he is saying so that we can chew it over between us. The best thing I ever did was ask my CG to help me to understand better. Now that your bf has started a recovery programme he should have a better idea of himself and what he wants to happen. He may have difficulty in trusting you with how he feels, this is also common, but if you are listening without flying off the handle then he will learn to trust you and tell you more.
    With regard to Pay Day, I think much the same approach. In my opinion launching in immediately will put his addiction beast on the defence, allow him time to hand over his cheque and if it is not forthcoming for maybe an hour ask him if he still wants you to support him by holding his finances as you had agreed. Allow him to make his decisions, allow him to remember what, hopefully, he has learned at GA. Try and not let him think that gambling is always at the forefront of your mind – even if it is.
    Avoiding arguments is good because they only serve to allow the CG to place blame away from themselves. Try and not show your anxiety – he has to make the right choices, just as you do.
    Finally and most importantly please look after yourself. Your health and happiness are paramount and without them you will not help him or you. Keep up with friends and family, enjoy hobbies and interests; live in the centre of your life and not on the periphery of his. If he sees you happy and coping then he will have the time to put his own house in order. Of course you have to keep a watchful eye because his addiction can damage you greatly but now you are aware you can see more of the whole picture than he can.
    There is a lot more to say so I hope you will keep posting – the live group is great too and you will be very welcome.
    Speak soon


    I appreciate your response, but i feel like you make me the heavy. Dont ruffle his feathers, dont invoke his stress. Its not him. These are his choices…
    Last night he texted me said he was going out with his guy friend for an hour or so…at 730, he came home after some heavy interchanges with me at 330 am. His answer was he was doing nothing wrong. .. eyeroll. If im pissed, ur wrong.
    Im tired, i feel used, hes living in my home, driving my car for 3 years and cant seem to pull it together. ..he is hurting me. Hrs hurting himself. . If i toss him out, he has no home, no car…what the hell is he thinking?
    I want to be mad… i think i should be allowed to be furious…but i also want him to get well.
    Im just so tired.. loving him sucks . The ups and downs and awful…


    Hi Rednita
    As I was writing my response, I was trying to answer two scenarios – one where he is taking GA seriously and hands over the cheque and the other where he doesn’t. I headed more for the thought that he was going to make the effort in view of his attending GA, in which case I do believe it is good not to invoke stress.
    Of course you can be mad and furious and I am not surprised. However, I believe it is important to be aware that being mad and furious does not affect an active CG – he won’t hear you. A CG who had been through rehab and was living in control of his addiction told me that when he was shouted at, it was like white noise that made no sense and the best thing to do was to escape in a gamble. A lot of energy is expended in F&F anger and it is this energy that, I believe, is best saved for looking after you.
    It is a waste of time making threats unless you are positive that you are prepared to carry out the threat. If a threat is not carried through the CG will take it as a green light to carry on.
    Did your boyfriend talk about his GA experience? Has his mood and behaviour changed since he went? Is he still going of his own accord?
    It seems to me that your boyfriend knows you are worried about tossing him out but he probably thinks he is ok – after all why worry about something that he doesn’t think will happen?
    There is no easy answer, we have no crystal ball, I can tell you what doesn’t work based on experience, I can tell you what might make a difference but when all is said and done, if your boyfriend wants to carry on gambling, there is nothing you can do to stop him.
    I was hopeful for your boyfriend when you said he was attending GA – I am always hopeful for change but I am aware that F&F often have to change too if they want the outcome that is right for them. The ups and downs of living with an active CG are awful; the ups and downs of living with a CG who is in early recovery can be awful. Knowing what you really want and how far you are prepared to go to get it is important.
    If your boyfriend really does want to live a gamble-free life then GMA is a wonderful rehab if you are in the UK – details of which can be found on a lower forum.
    Come back at me again if I am not giving you the support that you deserve – it took me months to get, my head around the addiction to gamble and how to cope, when I first started my recovery.


    I feel like I’m grieving… I feel like a psycopath to be honest. I’m mad I cry I’m tense. He is clueless that I might be upset at all…. I guess that I’ve been recapping our relationship I see all the stuff I didn’t see before. The last time he gambled 17 days ago, we had just got back from vacation and he owed me 1700 from his check that was waiting…well he cashed it and blew it. I told him that he basically stole the money from me… He said it wasn’t stealing cause he hadn’t given it to me yet. I was dumbfounded! He said stealing is a crime I didn’t steal it… I shouldn’t have used it, but I didn’t steal.
    I’m aghast.
    I want him to get better but I can not for the life of me understand how he could be so not caring.
    I want off the roller coaster.
    When does the make amends part kick in… Why can’t he understand he hurts me
    I’m really so hurt…I feel like I lost my best friend.


    Hi Rednita
    Your best friend has lost himself too and doesn’t know what to do. Even when you tell him what you think he should do he doesn’t hear.
    I truly believed that there was not the smallest likelihood that my CG had any love for me or any feeling whatsoever. When I started my long haul recovery I too thought back about our relationship. I remembered the person he had been but I could no longer see the person I had loved.
    I think that with all the downs I must have changed too – the fun had gone out of being with him, the warmth had left my feelings; there was no going back; I was done for.
    I think when you try and understand how an active CG can be so uncaring then you are trying to make sense of the senseless and that leaves thoughts swirling around in your brain with no answer. I know now that the addiction to gamble takes over the mind of the CG leaving no room for honest, loving care. Again I have had it likened to me by a CG that it is like having a head full of sand but with treatment some of the sand can be tipped out leaving space for good and honest thoughts.
    For me the making of amends has been in seeing the CG in my life be honest, dependable, likable, and loveable again. He told me years ago that he could not live with guilt, only regret. I accept that there should not be guilt for a CG who has made the effort to change – because he didn’t know when he harmlessly placed his first bet and won, that addiction was his lot. I placed many bets way back then and it didn’t happen to me and that is something that I cannot explain.
    Only you can get yourself off the roller coaster, only you can save you. If you are living with his addiction in your mind 24 hours a day then you are not living your life. Are you keeping up with friends and enjoying hobbies? Most F&F find that they have lost a lot of the things they used to enjoy because of someone else’s addiction and in doing so they are not helping themselves or the person they love.
    He can’t understand how much he hurts you because if he tried to do so he would have to face his demons, he would be forced to take responsibility for the pain he has inflicted. How much easier it is to drown such thoughts out with gambling. To fight the addiction to gamble takes tremendous courage, it is the hardest thing a CG will ever have to do and many cannot face that fight; it is a decision which means they can never indulge that which they believe is the only thing worth doing in their lives, again.
    You are grieving and it is good to recognise that but grief should be dealt with or lives are ruined. The way back for you is to live your life free of his addiction and by that I do not mean that you should throw him out.
    You haven’t said whether or not he is still going to GA or if he has discussed the 20-questions with you. If you have never heard of the 20-questions then maybe you could look on the GA website, your boyfriend will have seen them at his meeting. Is he talking about how he feels and how he wants to live or are you both just muddling through waiting for the other shoe to drop?
    Many CG steal and then blur the line of what is right and what isn’t but a CG who steals but then seeks support and changes his life is not a thief whereas a thief who becomes a CG probably will always be a thief.
    Are you paying for your boyfriends food, petrol (gas); how did he end up owing you 700; is he so comfortable with the way things are that he doesn’t want to change?
    Keep posting

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