27 October 2021 at 10:47 am #141758Thomas1987Participant
Recently a mutual friend of mine started a relationship with my sister in law…. I , myself am a compulsive gambler and have been free for over 5 years. When I was gambling this friend would of been doing it with me ….I have asked him before how he was coping and as I don’t gamble anymore this isn’t a conversation topic anymore …. now he is in a relationship with my sister in law whom I don’t want to see get hurt.
All of his family is best friends with my family and I’m struggling to know how I handle this scenario ….he has told my sister in law that he doesn’t gamble much ….i have seen some signs of his behaviour suggesting otherwise ..I know if I Challenge him he will be very defensive ….I’m worried about both and would appreciate any feedback on how to handle this situation.
Thanks in advance
27 October 2021 at 3:55 pm #141784lindParticipant
I don’t know to help. I suppose there are so many things you could do, invite your friend to attend a meeting with you? Share your own experiences with your Sister in law? Let her know you are worried she will get hurt?
I’m sure all of the above could be seen as interfering!
I’m not sure if your Sister in Law was aware that he had a history of gambling? If she did then maybe they have already made there decision…………maybe you can’t help
Must be difficult though to sit by and watch when you may know first hand how much destruction this can cause.
Well done on your own journey
27 October 2021 at 4:45 pm #141787Thomas1987Participant
Thank you for your insight…much appreciated.
No she has no idea that he gambles….she asked him but he said that he does the odd bet.
I mean, I put my now wife through this for 5 years and it was a tough period and her family were so good with me that I feel I have a responsibility to do something as they don’t deserve to go through this again.
I have a number of fears:
– I don’t want to hurt either of them.
– if the relationship ends , what effect will this have on both , more some my friend.
– the dynamics of friendships that both families share.
It’s jus known what to do or whether I do anything at all
27 October 2021 at 6:10 pm #141801lindParticipant
If it’s your wife’s sister are you able to talk to your wife about this? Then maybe you can decide together what is best for your family and might help you having to worry about this yourself. I suppose at the end of the day though you are not responsible but I get that you want to do your best to protect them. If it was me I would want my sister to know then it’s her choice but I know many would shoot the messenger! I suppose whatever you do if you do decide to talk to your wife/sister in law/friend you don’t actually know for sure so it’s maybe important to say this but also acknowledge that you are worried about behaviours or signs that you have seen. If you have then said what’s needed, you can let them know about support but they would have decide how they deal with this.
28 October 2021 at 4:20 pm #141871velvetModerator
I was smiling from ear to ear when I read you have been gamble-free for 5 years. Whatever happens, that 5 years is the most important thing for you to protect, so regardless of what you decide to do, please look after yourself first. It isn’t selfish to put yourself first – if you are pulled down with the problems of others then you will not be able to help anybody.
I cannot tell you what to do but I do know that being unaware of a loved one’s gambling and possible addiction is bad for both parties.
You haven’t replied to the question about the possibility of sharing your concern with your wife and it might be that this is a step too far for you. I know that many people want to leave the subject of gambling far behind them, when they have moved on and raising the subject can be just too difficult.
If your friend is showing recognisable signs that he is still gambling then, in my opinion, it would be better if your sister-in-law was aware so that she can protect herself and make her own decision about continuing the relationship. If she decides not to continue then that will not be your problem. If your friend is making poor choices with his behaviour but your sister-in-law is unaware, then she cannot make a choice.
You write that your sister-in-law’s family were good to you, so I assume they have a greater understanding than most people of the problem you face. Is there anybody there you could trust and discuss your concern with?
It is a fact that the messenger can get shot but you, more than most, will appreciate that staying silent is probably not an option. Family and friends often talk about walking on eggshells but sadly an active compulsive gambler uses this inability to speak out as a green light to carry on indulging their addiction.
I know the problem you face. I lost count of the times I was told ‘I don’t gamble anymore’ resulting in fear of raising the subject again. However, one day when I took the bull by the horns again, it changed our lives – I have no idea why it was that day and that time. True recoveries do start, as you and I know.
It is a well-known expression here that ‘you cannot kid a kidder’. Nobody understands a gambler better than another gambler and in my view, nobody can support a gambler as well as a gambler who has faced his demons and changed his life.
Maybe you could tell your friend what you have written here – that you value your friendship but you are concerned because you have stood in his shoes and you know the signs. Maybe you could point your friend to the varied support that is available for gamblers. Would he talk to our helpline here which is one-to-one and anonymous or join our gambler group where Charles the facilitator will understand your friend and be a tremendous support to him? If he is not, as he says, gambling then he has nothing to lose but maybe it could open a discussion
I repeat what I said at the beginning, however, look after yourself first and take the greatest care of your precious gamble-free life.
Please keep posting
- This reply was modified 2 years, 1 month ago by velvet.
- You must be logged in to reply to this topic.