People with a compulsive gambling addiction may neither admit nor know about their addictive tendencies until it is already too late. Usually, it is the people around them that notice it, especially the suspicion caused by the simple manifestation of the adverse effects of gambling on the everyday lives of these addicts.
The chances are high that your partner may not be aware that his simple and casual gambling is already turning into a problematic addiction. The bugging question now is, how can you confront your significant other about his ‘hobby’ that is slowly affecting your lives and relationship negatively?
Here are some helpful ways to adequately confront your partner:
Educate Yourself First
“Gambling addiction is often referred to as the “hidden illness” because there are no physical signs or symptoms that accompany it as is the case with many alcohol or drug abusers.” –Jeremy Frank PhD CADC
Know about the different aspects of gambling addiction – from its causes to the simple signs of concealed addiction. You may not be aware that maybe your spouse is going through a hard time. Hence, gambling. You may not know it, but perhaps, your lover has experienced abuse in the past that may have to lead him to gamble.
Read and browse online forums where people also tell their experiences about this type of problem. Be informed of their compulsive behavior and the addictive nature of gambling. With these, you can think of other ways and hobbies to steer your partner away from gambling.
Know When It Is The Right Time To Talk
“Why talk about your problems including mental health challenges? Just talking about your situation to someone can reduce your stress and help you feel better.” –Dr. Aaron Kaplan, PsyD
Compulsive addicted gamblers have shifting moods most of the time, depending on the result of their gambling session. Learn to be sensitive about you and your partner’s stability of emotions for the hour and don’t let these intense feelings hinder your communication this time. Both of you should feel comfortable and calm to have a clearer mind to process serious issues that are going to be talked about.
Don’t Look At Him In A Judgemental Way
Gambling addicts sure have underlying reasons for their addictive behavior. Moreover, the addiction itself will not go away overnight if you do not fix the said reasons first. Doctors and counselors will always say that their recovery is the most effective if they are not abandoned, judged, and blamed for everything that has happened to them.
Be Ready For Many Denials
Don’t give up easily if your partner tells you that he does not have any problematic gambling behavior. Remember that it is usual that they deny everything at first. While it is okay that you give him the benefit of the doubt, it is not always right that you fall for more of his lies (denials this time).
Never Hesitate To Ask For Help
Get help either from a professional counselor or even a close family member to talk about this problem before or after the confrontation. Especially if you are close to the family of your partner, it is better to open up to them about this kind of issue as they may have better solutions in mind. After all, you also need support for yourself as the discovery of your partner’s gambling addiction is not easy and in fact, depressive. But note that “Counseling is an investment that requires commitment. You will be spending time, money, and emotional energy to process and/or solve problems.” Sarah Rumpf, MA, LPCC said.
Other people would opt to leave their spouses and partners upon the discovery of addiction. They would think that every addiction is already beyond repair especially if it is already causing damage to both of them and their relationship. It will not always be the best answer.
However, you can bring back your partner from the hands of gambling through counseling. Alternatively, do a small confrontation as soon as you spot these subtle signs of addiction to prevent further ruckus for both of you.