My father was a compulsive gambler. This is what I learned about how to protect myself. If you are a compulsive gambler, you have my sympathy, but you may want to skip this article. It will upset you.
Tips for Dealing With a Compulsive Gambler in the Family
My father was a compulsive gambler. This is what I learned about how to protect myself. If you are a compulsive gambler, you have my sympathy, but you may want to skip this article. It will upset you. I am not a trained counselor or psychologist, and it is definitely a good idea to seek the help of a licensed professional for support. In the meantime, here are some tips that can help avert disaster until you and the gambler get the help and support you need. A compulsive gambler is not thinking about whether his or her family has a roof over their head, or food on the table.
That may sound harsh, but it is the truth. It is an ugly truth that most gamblers are not willing to discuss until they get into recovery. In addition, the disease compels gamblers to lie compulsively. When you have to spend a large portion of your time covering your tracks and keeping your activities secret, lying becomes a way of life.
Many families and spouses of compulsive gamblers say they never suspected a thing, until their bank accounts were wiped out. That may be true, but there are usually subtle signs that something is amiss. Are there other months where everything is okay and you have money to pay the bills and splurge on extras? Unless one of the breadwinners has an income that fluctuates wildly, this kind of financial instability is a red flag.
They may borrow from savings to place bets, then win money back and replenish their bank accounts. This went on for years because my mother was in denial and was willing to ignore most of the big, red flags that had been waving in her face for decades. As the adult child of a serious compulsive gambler, I feel confident saying that the reason many gamblers get away with their money problems for as long as they do is because the people around them live in denial.
This denial cushions family and loved ones from dealing with a horrific problem in the short term. In the long term, the consequence of family and friends living in denial has a far-reaching impact, both financially and psychologically, on the people who are intimate with the gambler. If they are borrowing from other relatives and friends, they are slowly burning bridges because nothing will sour a relationship faster than unpaid debts.
The sooner you can admit that your partner, child or parent has a serious problem — the sooner you can warn family and friends not to lend them money. There are going to be people who will lend them money in spite of warning, but your conscience will be clear because you told them and what they do with that information is not your responsibility — alerting them and being honest is. On the day I stepped in to stop my father from any more plundering of their mutual checking and savings accounts, I knew I needed help because I was butting into something that was legally none of my business.
Luckily, I knew the staff at the local bank. Once you have people on your side and they understand the severity of the situation, doors will open and help will materialize from every corner. People want to help if they can. Make sure money is not disappearing. Gamblers will use every trick in the book to fool their loved ones. They are not being deliberately malicious, they are simply giving in to the throes of an incredibly powerful mental disorder that compels them to lie, cheat and steal from their own families to satisfy their insatiable craving.
What my father was actually doing was moving money around between their checking and savings accounts to cover the slow depletion of funds. He would transfer money from their savings to their checking. Then he would go to the bank teller and get a receipt printed that showed an inflated balance. After he showed my mother the fake receipt, he would return to the bank and move the money back to the savings account. He had been doing this for a long time and getting away with it, but he must have sensed that at some point he would deplete their savings—and the game would be over.
He managed to figure out a way to forge a withdrawal slip from a large, tax-deferred annuity my mother had been saving up for 30 years for both of them in their retirement. Needless to say, he cleaned out half of their life savings and spent the next year blowing it on blackjack, his game of choice. He had managed to talk my unsuspecting sister into typing up a fake financial statement. Luckily, my sister said something to me about what was going on, and I alerted my mother immediately.
As it turns out my mother is one of the fortunate ones because her gambler husband was only able to clean out half of her life savings. I am the only one in my immediate family who suspected my father was up to no good from a very tender age. Not all children are so lucky. They choose to remain silent even as their elderly parents are headed for the poorhouse.
Protect yourself, and your future, by having your own savings and checking accounts that no one else can get into. In addition, cutting the gambler off financially is the next big step. If you are economically dependent on a gambler then it may be time to consider a divorce and let the courts take care of forcing the gambler to pay their way in alimony and child support. Giving a gambler is money is the same as setting fire to a hundred dollar bill. Furthermore, the people closest to the CG will never achieve any long-term financial stability if money is constantly going to bailing out the gambler.
It is up to the people around the gambler to stand up for themselves and refuse handouts. An active gambler is not healthy or sane enough to repay debts. Until they get into recovery, compulsive gamblers are money pits—and you can only help them by cutting them off. If you really feel compassion for the CG, and really want them to seek help, then you have to cut off the supply of money.
Once they run out of people and money, many of them are ready to admit they need help and do something about it. Their priorities are not rational. Lying is a way of life for compulsive gamblers. You cannot believe what they say because after a while they lose the ability to tell the truth. Once their addiction takes over, getting the truth out of them is impossible. This is why so many gamblers have trouble holding down a job.
If you are the spouse of a CG, you may have been asked to lie for them on many occasions. You may fear that they will lose their job, or that their reputation in the community is in jeopardy. Well, guess what? Their reputation is already eroding, and lying for them or covering for them is just delaying the inevitable crash. Deep down every gambler knows that their addiction is destroying them and their relationships, but without help they are unable to get humble or get honest.
You can let the gambler know that you know they are lying, and then simply go on about your business. You can also let them handle their own mess. A responsible adult takes care of their own affairs and does not ask other people to clean up for them. You can let the gambler know that you are no longer willing to lie for them, and then make a commitment to stick to it. You are enabling when you help the gambler lie. The sooner you stop, the sooner they will have to deal with the fallout from their addiction.
Spending the rent money or grocery money on gambling and then lying about it is financial abuse. Whether you opt for counseling, Gam-Anon, Codependents Anonymous, or any kind of spiritual support group. Either way, at least you can then decide whether to end your relationship with the compulsive gambler, or stick it out. Life with a compulsive gambler is frequently chaotic and dramatic.
The amount of energy it takes to deal with any kind of active addiction can drain even the hardiest soul. I remember feeling suffocated after I helped my mother protect her assets. I would get phone calls from my father asking to get together and chat about what happened. The problem was, I was tired of a lifetime of having this man invade my emotional space. The list of complaints was a mile long, but accountability and personal responsibility for his problems had always been missing.
I was tired. In my case, I needed a year off from looking at my father. In a particularly troubling conversation, shortly after his deceit was uncovered, my father claimed he was thinking of killing himself. Now if I believed for a moment that he was serious, I would have taken the appropriate action. As it was, I knew it was a ploy for sympathy. Such is the extent of the emotional manipulation a gambler will use on those closest to them — the people who have been brainwashed into listening to idle threats and other assorted nonsense.
I asked my father if he was serious about suicide, letting him know that I would have an ambulance there in five minutes. Needless to say, I know his tactics better than anyone. I knew he would never have the courage to kill himself. I knew what I was doing in his case. However, I would not recommend treating other instances of suicide threats lightly, because gamblers do have a very high suicide rate.
Trust your instincts. If you suspect your compulsive gambler might actually hurt themselves, then you should call an ambulance immediately. Threats of suicide in gamblers under 18 should always be taken seriously and handled with immediate medical intervention. Building a strong foundation in your own life of people and activities that are important to you will help you get some clarity on your situation with the gambler. Once again, the gambler needs to see the consequences of their actions.
We cannot be responsible for another grown up. Taking some space from the gambler allows us some breathing room and gives the gambler some time alone for some possible reflection. Each gambler is unique, as is each situation, but there is one common denominator with any addiction: The addict must be willing to get honest, humble, and seek help. No force in heaven or earth can move a gambler to stop gambling, unless they get serious about recovery.
If you’re living with a compulsive gambler, you’re already familiar with the never- ending cycle of lies, half-truths, and deliberate distortion of. Dating a gambler can be fun and exciting as long as the person is somewhat successful and not merely in the game to satisfy an addiction.
Many people can enjoy gambling without it becoming a problem, but over time, some people develop a gambling addiction that can ruin their lives. The urge to gamble can be overwhelming, leading someone to lie, steal, blow through their savings and miss out on the rest of their lives. Several signs indicate when normal enjoyment of gambling transitions into a problem.
Loving someone struggling with problem gambling can feel overwhelming. Below, are some tips to consider as a loved one to the person struggling with problem gambling working towards recovery from their addiction.
Compulsive lying is one of the symptoms of compulsive or pathological gamblers. These gamblers are addicted to gambling, and lying becomes second nature to them. What are some of the common lies compulsive gamblers tell?
– Кто теперь напишет материал для моей колонки. – Сэр, я… – За все сорок три года путешествий я никогда еще не оказывался в таком положении. Вы только посмотрите на эту палату. Мою колонку перепечатывают издания по всему миру. – Сэр! – Беккер поднял обе руки, точно признавая свое поражение. – Меня не интересует ваша колонка.
Мне очень важно получить ее именно. – Это невозможно, – раздраженно ответила женщина. – Мы очень заняты. Беккер старался говорить как можно официальнее: – Дело весьма срочное. Этот человек сломал запястье, у него травма головы. Он был принят сегодня утром. Его карточка должна лежать где-то сверху. Беккер еще больше усилил акцент, но так, чтобы собеседница могла понять, что ему нужно, и говорил слегка сбивчиво, подчеркивая свою крайнюю озабоченность.
Люди часто нарушают правила, когда сталкиваются с подобной настойчивостью. Но вместо того чтобы нарушить правила, женщина выругала самоуверенного североамериканца и отсоединилась.
Пусть хорошенько подумает, прежде чем затевать очередную авантюру с целью спасения мира.
Глаза ее были затуманены. – Танкадо успел отдать его за мгновение до смерти. Все были в растерянности. – Ключ… – Ее передернуло.
Сьюзан отнеслась к словам Стратмора скептически. Ее удивило, что он так легко клюнул на эту приманку. – Коммандер, – возразила она, – Танкадо отлично понимал, что АНБ может найти его переписку в Интернете, он никогда не стал бы доверять секреты электронной почте. Это ловушка. Энсей Танкадо всучил вам Северную Дакоту, так как он знал, что вы начнете искать. Что бы ни содержалось в его посланиях, он хотел, чтобы вы их нашли, – это ложный след. – У тебя хорошее чутье, – парировал Стратмор, – но есть кое-что.
Я ничего не нашел на Северную Дакоту, поэтому изменил направление поиска. В записи, которую я обнаружил, фигурирует другое имя – N DAKOTA. Сьюзан покачала головой. – Такие перестановки – стандартный прием.
Вы звонили Стратмору. – Да. Он уверяет, что в шифровалке полный порядок. Сказал, что ТРАНСТЕКСТ работает в обычном темпе. Что у нас неверные данные.
Я сейчас же отправлю ее домой. – Боюсь, вы опоздали, – внушительно заявил Беккер и прошелся по номеру. – У меня к вам предложение. – Ein Vorschlag? – У немца перехватило дыхание. – Предложение.
Понадобятся лучшие алгоритмы, чтобы противостоять компьютерам завтрашнего дня. – Такова Цифровая крепость. – Конечно. Алгоритм, не подающийся грубой силе, никогда не устареет, какими бы мощными ни стали компьютеры, взламывающие шифры. Когда-нибудь он станет мировым стандартом. Сьюзан глубоко вздохнула.
Он быстро нажал Да. ВЫ УВЕРЕНЫ. Он снова ответил Да. Мгновение спустя компьютер подал звуковой сигнал. СЛЕДОПЫТ ОТОЗВАН Хейл улыбнулся. Компьютер только что отдал ее Следопыту команду самоуничтожиться раньше времени, так что ей не удастся найти то, что она ищет. Помня, что не должен оставлять следов, Хейл вошел в систему регистрации действий и удалил все свои команды, после чего вновь ввел личный пароль Сьюзан.
Да будет тебе, Мидж. – Бринкерхофф посмотрел на нее осуждающе. – Дай парню передохнуть. Ни для кого не было секретом, что Мидж Милкен недолюбливала Тревора Стратмора. Стратмор придумал хитроумный ход, чтобы приспособить Попрыгунчика к нуждам агентства, но его схватили за руку.
Inside the brain of a gambling addict – BBC News