4 February 2019 at 10:02 pm #6610
Hi. My boyfriend gambled again and this time hit a low point that is effecting his job, his relationships, and feelings about himself. He gambled away money that was supposed to go towards men that work for him. Now he does not have the money to pay the men, and I can tell he is hurting badly. He keeps making comments like I’m a horrible person, I’m disgusted with myself. Yet, he isn’t owning up to what he did to the men or his business partner. I know he isn’t in denial about it anymore but he is ashamed and in such a dark place. What is the right thing for me to do? How should I guide him without enabling him? I just want to help make this time hopefully be the last time he has to experience this feeling, as for myself as well.5 February 2019 at 9:06 am #6611duncParticipant
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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The Gambling Therapy Team5 February 2019 at 10:38 am #6612SteevParticipant
Get good support for yourself as he goes through this difficult time. You might wish to see if there is a self help group like GAMANON locally which you can call or attend – even if your boyfriend doesn’t take part in GA.
Is he doing anything to deal with his addiction? From the psychological side – he needs to see that he is not a bad person (or you wouldn’t be with him?) but it is his BEHAVIOUR which is out of control. He should not have any control of money (apart from a small amount for day to day use) in particular he should not have access to funds that are not his – company money or money owed to employees etc. Someone else will have to take control of his finances for a while and he will not like that (no-one likes losing their independence) so it will need to be done tactfully – but the consequences of using company money to gamble with could be severe.
He will need to admit to having a gambling problem. That is the first step in dealing with this illness. Try and ensure that he has the information in order to make the decision to do this and to open up to others – support him in this , but the decision to do something about his gambling rests with him. That is why you will need support yourself in order to deal with whatever comes out. I wish you well.5 February 2019 at 10:00 pm #6613
Hopefully your boyfriend will be reconsidering his attitude about seeking support.
Many compulsive gamblers resist support and make countless excuses as to why the support on offer is not for them – sadly your boyfriend has proved again that going it alone is not the way forward.
Families can make matters worse if they do not stand shoulder to shoulder. It is understandable that many people do not understand but thankfully people like you are bothering to find out.
I am sorry if the following sounds harsh but I think it is important that you are aware that your boyfriend is almost certainly not hurting badly because he cannot pay his men – I strongly suspect that he is hurting badly because he has not got away with his gambling and he is sorry for himself.
It is ‘his’ behaviour that has put him in this sorry state and you cannot save him. It is important for him to take responsibility for his actions which means, I think, that he should inform his men and his business partner and hope that they understand and offer support. Your boyfriend has in effect stolen his men’s wages which is unacceptable – if he continues in this vein, he could find himself in prison which will not help anybody.
He is not a horrible person but his actions are horrible and in my opinion he should be taking responsibility for them.
We have a brilliant Helpline on this site, it is anonymous and one-to-one, we have facilitated gambler groups where he would be welcome. You will have local GA meeings in your area and I am sure he could find a dedicated addiction counsellor. The support is here N and it will be there where you are – in my opinion, it is time for you to tell him to take that support and for you to look after yourself.
Please keep posting
Velvet18 February 2019 at 9:38 pm #6614highhopeParticipant
I do not know what to do. My boyfriend whom I just had a baby with is still gambling and I just found out he stole almost 8,000 dollars from me. He is a a great dad to my baby, and my really good friend, but he stole money and made crazy cash advances on my credit card that I gave him the priviledge to have in case of an emergency with our child. He is open to getting help but weeks and weeks go by and we are still not in therapy. I do very well for work and I am bringing home most of the cash. I will do anything to help him. Please advise me anyone on what I should do. I am very sad over this.18 February 2019 at 10:51 pm #6615
hi, I want to start by saying I am sorry that you are going through this. I understand how difficult it is when someone you love, who is an overall good person, does terrible things and betray our trust. I have been dealing with a similar issue recently where my boyfriend has become open to getting help, but seems to keep putting it on the back burner and becoming more and more depressed by the day. I gave him a deadline of when I wanted certain things done or I told him I was leaving and we would have to separate for some time. I am happy to say, he did go to therapy today, and has another session scheduled for Thursday. He has a long road of recovery ahead of him, but I am hoping this time he sees there is no other way he can live a happy successful life.
I would say, don’t make threats that you can’t keep. I was really at my wits end so was able to say what I said, because I will go through with it if he doesn’t put effort into his recovery and become more transparent. If you are not at that point, let your boyfriend know the things you expect of him. Also, do not provide him with any money or credit cards anymore. I have made that mistake as well, and the money only goes to gamble more. Also, if you have valuables that you are worried he may steal and pawn, hide them away in a place he cannot find them without him knowing. It sounds silly, but you never know what could happen. Right now he probably should not be trusted with money or valuables. Also, check out gam anon meetings in the area where you live. There are meetings he can attend and you as well for support.
I am still learning a lot as well. I hope this was helpful.18 February 2019 at 10:55 pm #6616
thank you for reading my post and taking the time to comment. Since posting, my boyfriend has attended therapy and is working on getting his old job back where he won’t be in charge of other people’s finances. If he gets this job back, I will be back in charge of his finances. I am really at my wits end with everything. I want to be supportive and there for him, but if he isn’t going to put the effort in I think I truly will take a step back, part ways, and hope one day he beats this. Today was a good day though and he did go to therapy. He has another appointment scheduled for Thursday. It is a start, but would like him to also attend gam anon and work the 12 steps.18 February 2019 at 10:58 pm #6617
thank you Velvet for your response. You are right. He needs to realize the severity of his actions. I notice that he is withdrawing from gambling as of late as he is becoming depressed. He is making some efforts though and has attended therapy today and has another scheduled for Thursday. He is working on getting his old job back where he won’t be in control of other people’s finances, as it was too much of a temptation and too much of a stressor. I hope and pray that he can begin recovering from this, but I know it won’t happen over night. I am trying to be supportive, but I have made it clear that I can’t continue to be with him if he doesn’t put an effort into his recovery. I just can’t anymore.19 February 2019 at 1:06 pm #6618
Since posting my boyfriend has gone to therapy and has begun to talk about some things. He seems to be clinically depressed at this time, and has agreed to continue seeking help. I asked him after his therapy session if he has a plan to begin recovering from his gambling addiction. He was kind of weird about my question and at moments became even defensive I want to say. Was I wrong to bring that up? He is going to therapy so should I assume he wants to do the right thing and he thinks I’m rubbing salt in the wound, or was that fair for me to bring up? I’m just really at the point where if I know he isn’t dedicated to wanting to get help and stop gambling I can’t continue the relationship. It is just not healthy for me. Please let me know your thoughts.19 February 2019 at 5:39 pm #6619
It is common for those who are seeking to change their lives to become very quiet about what they are thinking, hearing and feeling in therapy. Questions can just be white noise and unhelpful but you have done nothing wrong.
Therapy causes those seeking support to go deep within themselves and it is often incredibly painful. The gambler often needs to internally process his thoughts before any sharing can take place. Your boyfriend will probably be sharing thoughts with his therapist but it is no reflection on you that he has not, as yet, felt he talk to you. Indeed, he might never feel he can talk to you about the depths he plumbs. It is important, in my opinion, that you do not take this personally but look at the fuller picture and ask yourself what it is that you really want. If it is that you want your boyfriend to control his addiction and go on to a healthy gamble-free life, then it is worth holding back until he is possibly ready to share.
The goal for your boyfriend is to control his addiction and this is no light matter – it will be taking a lot of courage from him and a lot of determination. It can take him to a very low place before he begins to turn himself around. Most of us will never know how hard it is for a gambling addict to take control – most of us will never have to face the demons your boyfriend will have to face.
If your boyfriend is seeing a therapist and you are willing to walk the extra mile with him, I suggest you let him know. Maybe say to him that you want to understand but that you are willing to wait until he is ready.
It is too early to discuss plans – your boyfriend can only deal with one day at a time. I know how frustrating this is but your boyfriend will need time and space to grow. Delicate and difficult times – it seems to me that your boyfriend is trying to change his life and if this is so, then, I believe, he is worth supporting.
Velvet23 February 2019 at 2:25 am #6620
My boyfriend went to therapy again and seems to have a clear vision in mind for his the steps he wants to take. I however, am not sure if I agree with his decisions. He said he discussed with the therapist that he must do these things in order to feel better.
– pay workers back by means of borrowing money
– get a steady job back
– continue to seek help
In the mean time my boyfriend is receiving unemployment money weekly. Originally he said he would allow me to hold it for him and be in control of his finances, however today, he argued with me and said that because it is such a small anount he wants to keep it. He gets $400 a week and $200 went towards paying his phone bill. I became upset with his decision to not allow me to put the remainder of the money aside for him. I discussed that maybe it was time we take a break. We both agree we don’t want that but neither of us will budge. I can’t trust him right now and I don’t like him having money. Am I overreacting?23 February 2019 at 4:09 pm #6621
I cannot comment on the advice given by another therapist but I admit I am struggling to believe that any addiction therapist would ever suggest to a compulsive gambler that he borrows as a solution to clearing debt!
In my view, your boyfriend is not telling you what was said but what he wants you to believe.
Giving cash to a compulsive gambler is the same as giving a drink to an alcoholic – no therapist would say to an alcoholic, ‘go and get some alcohol to give to your friends to cheer them up because it will make you feel better – but don’t drink it!’
A compulsive gambler depends on enablement, usually in the form of ‘borrowing’ when they have not earned enough to cover their gambling debts. Sadly such ‘borrowing’ is, far too often, not repaid.
It appears to me, that your partner wants to borrow from Peter to pay Paul which, if he achieved this, merely transfers his debt. He is not admitting to his workers that he was a problem, he is not taking responsibility.
A gambling addiction therapist, on the other hand, would probably suggest that the gambler asks somebody he can trust to look after his finances but this is something your boyfriend does not appear to have heard. A small amount or a million will excite his brain because the addiction to gamble is about ‘the gamble’, not the money.
I think that the therapist probably did say that it would probably be better if your boyfriend got a steady job – especially one where he had no control over other people’s money. I think it is highly likely that the therapist suggested that he continues to seek help.
I am wondering if he heard his therapist suggesting from whom he should borrow money – I would be interested in the answer!!
I certainly do not think you are over-reacting and I hope that all those around him, from whom he could potentially ‘borrow’, are aware that he has a serious problem and will not enable him.
Velvet.24 February 2019 at 3:04 pm #6622
I couldn’t agree more with what you stated. Those close to him know of his addiction and know not to loan him money. I will enourage him to find a counselor who is specialized in addiction as this therapist seems to be going about things in a very strange way. My boyfriends mother joined him during one session as well as said he advises that we back off of him and allow him to digest everything and remain in control. I feel that if my boyfriend was truly ready to seek help and change he would be willing to give up that control. As of Friday we have been on a “break” and taking some time apart, although still living together. He doesn’t seem to be taking me seriously or he is in denial. Today I plan to talk to him to tell him that unless he begins showing more effort by continuing to seek help, putting priorities of getting a steady job and admitting his problem first, as well as me or someone he trusts being in charge of his finances, I just can’t continue this relationship. I plan to give him a deadline to March 1st. If he does not do these things, we will both need begin thinking of alternate living arrangements and where he goes can longer be my problem. Although it kills me to think he may have no where to go.25 February 2019 at 1:40 pm #6623
Ultimatums can go very wrong unless you are fully prepared to carry out your threat. Compulsive gamblers are the masters of threats but those who love them are not necessarily so, so please be sure that you are ok with how you will feel if he does not give you what you demand by March 1st. If you change your mind, having given him a deadline, your boyfriend’s his addiction will see it as a chink in your armour – a weakness.
I wish you well in whatever you decide to do
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