19 January 2014 at 12:34 pm #3207Amy6Participant
I am 19 and My boyfriend is 25. He has depression and gambles a lot. It has become much more noticeable lately and he has only just recently paid off a large debt he had from gambling. He went a few months without Gambling but Melbourne cup came around , this lead to more frequent gambling and now as far as I know he’s gambling everyday. His gambling is beginning to effect our relationship, we fight over it all the time and it’s slowly tiring me out. I just want to be able to help him but I have no idea how, I know he has to want to help himself before I can help him but he says he will never be able to stop. I don’t think he understands how much it worries me and how it effects me, I know he has a problem but I have no idea how to help and I don’t know who to talk to about it, no one understands. I don’t know how I’m meant to respond to him when he tells me he’s lost money, I’m trying to just be supportive and let him know i’m here to help but at times it gets to me and it just ends in a fight, please can someone give me some advise on what to do?19 January 2014 at 1:02 pm #3208velvetModerator
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!
The Gambling Therapy Team
PS: Let me just remind you to take a look at our19 January 2014 at 2:47 pm #3209velvetModerator
Well done starting your thread, I think you have done the best thing, sharing your problem where you are understood.
In my opinion the first thing for you to do is to stop fighting all the time over something that is not in ‘your’ control – I am not surprised you feel worn out.
A way of coping with your boyfriend’s addiction that is nor recognized professionally but has been successfully used by many members, is to imagine your boyfriend’s addiction as a slavering beast in the corner of the room and to always remember that although your boyfriend is controlled by that addiction you do not have to be.
When you speak to your boyfriend, the addiction beast in the corner is watching and waiting for a reason to gamble further and to blame you and the world for that urge. When you threaten the addiction, it comes between you and controls the conversation or argument because it is the master of threats and manipulation and you are not. Once the addiction is between you, you will only hear his addiction speak – its weapons are lies and deceit and it will seek to make you feel blame and demoralize you. As you speak the addiction distorts your words making them incomprehensible to your boyfriend.
My CG, who does live in control of his addiction, explained it to me by saying that when I talked to him about love, honesty and living a decent life, his addiction was hard at work passing on to his confused mind, that I could not possibly love him because he was unlovable and worthless. As a result he didn’t trust me. He knew he was lost but he didn’t know that I knew it too, so his addiction fought back horribly because he didn’t have any other coping mechanism.
If you can stand back a bit and listen to what your boyfriend is saying, it becomes easier not get caught up in an argument that has no point apart from making you feel less in control. Once you begin to try and put your side the addiction has something to get its teeth into.
Your boyfriend will not understand how his addiction affects you until he accepts he has an addiction and seeks help. While his addiction is active he will not take responsibility for his own behavior. His addiction causes depression as it takes away self -confidence and self-esteem.
What you can do to help him may seem a trifle compared to the enormity of the difficulty you feel but I assure you it is not. Look after yourself first, do things for you because you want to do them. See friends and enjoy ‘your’ life. By being strong, by showing him that you are not part of the wreckage of his addiction, however much you feel it but you would be a rock for him to turn to when he determines to change his life.
I cannot tell you what to do but giving money to a CG is the same as giving a drink to an alcoholic. When a CGs gambling debts are cleared by another there may be a 5 minute thank you but then ‘whoopee no more debts means more gambling’.
I hope some of this helps.
Please keep posting and perhaps join our groups where you will be welcome.
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