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OT - Help, I live with a gambler

Does anyone have any advice on how to cope with this addiction? Or know of a fabulous book I can read or something? I live with someone who gambles and I don't know how to handle it? Confrontations, ultimatums, pleas, threats or even guilt trips ... I know none of those things will work in getting them to stop!?!? I know they have to want to quit and nothing I do or say will make that happen ... it has to be their decision and desire to stop. But I'm so confused, hurt, and angry and have no idea how to cope with this addiction ... I just feel lost?! There are no gam-anon meetings in my area I've already looked into it so I sorta feel on my own on this. Please help!

Tue. Feb 20, 8:58am

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Go to an al-anon meeting then. I know it's not the same but addiction is addiction is addiction. It could be alcohol, narcotics, food, gambling, etc. - it's all the same disease. I'd also recommend putting your money in an account that this person you're living with can't get to.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007, 9:15 AM

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if directly discussing the gambling problem won't work, can you leave the realtionship until things work out for your partner? i don't mean "abandon" this person, but be there as an outside-supporter rather than as someone who is so emotionally affected by the addiction. sometimes you really can't do anything except NOT stop living your own life. this will allow you to be able to take some time away from your own affairs when your partner reaches out eventually.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007, 9:34 AM

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I second the al-anon suggestion. It will help you accept that the gambler is the only person who can change his/her addiction, and that you have no control over them. Instead, it will teach you to focus on your own conduct and life. Most of all, it's a support group of people going through similar situations.

Good luck! I have 2 recovering gambling addict friends, and it seems to me to be even more destructive than alcohol/drug addiction.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007, 11:09 AM

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Are you married to them?

I know a woman who was married to a compulsive gambler. When they got divorced she got 1/2 the debt and was forced into bankruptcy because of him. Make sure to protect yourself.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007, 7:45 PM

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There is a Gamblers Anonymous, and a Gam-Anon (families). I have no personal experience with them, but you might want to check them out. and respectively.


Tuesday, February 20, 2007, 8:47 PM

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OP here

Thanks for all your comments.

For starters - No, I'm not married to them and we already have seperate checking accounts. So I'm not concerned about getting burned financially. I am however concerned about getting burned emotionally. I love this person will all my heart and want for things to work between us. But I'm scared and don't know how to handle this situation. What are the "do's and don'ts" of being with someone with this type of addiction? I mean if they blow their money and don't have gas money to get to and from work what do I do? Of course my first reaction is to say "you put yourself in this position, I'm not helping you out" But in the long run that will hurt me too; because if they don't go to work and bring home their share of the bill money I'm screwed!! I can't pay all the bills on my own.

I did some research yesterday and there are NO Gam-Anon meetings anywhere even remotely close to the city I live in and there is only ONE Gambler's Anonymous meeting and it's a "closed meeting" so I could not attend since I'm not the one with the addiction. I have found a local Al-Anon meeting that I'm going to attend next week and hopefully will gain some knowledge or insight on how to handle myself. This is so hard; I just don't know what to do.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007, 9:10 AM

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maybe you should speak with a therapist. some clinics offer free or nearly free therapy if you cannot afford it on your own or with your health insurance. here is a link to a website that functions as an online gambler's anonymous. first and foremost, get yourself into a position where you DO NOT rely on this person for further financial stability-ie, move or get a new roommate, apply for assistance with your heating/cooling, gas & electric bills. get a cell phone and cancel your land line. maybe you could apply for a loan at your bank and put the $$ into an emergency account if you should need it...put yourself first. you will not be able to help someone else if you are helpless to help yourself.


Wednesday, February 21, 2007, 9:19 AM

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OP: how are things today?

Thursday, February 22, 2007, 3:16 PM

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OP here

I guess things are going okay. I still don't know what I'm doing or how to handle what I'm feeling. How to react to the behavior or consequences of it, but I'm hanging in there ... one day at a time.

On a positive note - we have actually been discussing the addiction and all of my feelings involved, i.e. anger, betrayal, distrust, hurt, etc. I do believe that they are at least beginning to realize the magnitude of this problem and have decided to seek counseling. Whether or not they actually do is another story -- like I said before; trust is a serious issue -- I don't believe anything they say right now so I guess only time will tell.

Thank you for checking in on me!

Thursday, February 22, 2007, 4:14 PM

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was the link helpful?

Thursday, February 22, 2007, 4:33 PM

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OP here

Unfortunately the link isn't much help ... there are no open meetings in my area and the other information is useless to me ... I'm not trying to determine and recognize the signs of whether or not they have a gambling problem I already know they do. I know the purpose of GA along with the history and how the 12-step program works. I need to figure out how to cope with their addiction and not be ... an enabler.

Honestly I think I'm in denial right now - trying to ignore the problem and hope it goes away - which I know it won't - I just don't know what I'm doing - what to say or not say

Tuesday, February 27, 2007, 2:46 PM

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who is close to you that you can reach out to? what about getting your partner to voluntarily join the list that disallows one to gamble? there are registries that all casinos share...or put blocking software on your computer.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007, 2:50 PM

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