Am I Enabling My Spouse’s Gambling Addiction?



If you have someone in your family or somebody you know that is neck-deep into betting troubles, do not condemn these people. Gambling addiction is not something that you can wade into and get off quite easily. Although, there are persons who have the willpower to withstand their disturbing situation, most of those who have engaged in this kind of predicament have a hard time coping up.

Downplaying the Gambler’s Ways


The most common approach that families do when dealing with a member that has a betting habit is to deny or downplay the situation. If you think that the whole scenario is not difficult to deal with, then, you better think again. It is easy to say that you can talk your wife or your father to stop going to casinos or engage in online poker.

While your conversations with them will have an impact, chances are high that they will renege on their promises to stop. Your countless scoldings will not definitely work since you have not dealt with the real problem. This is a behavioral disorder and words are not enough to break their addiction.

Because the gambling inhibitions keep on hounding you and your family, the usual step that most people do is to keep the situation under low profile. When friends and relatives inquire about the troubles of one of your family members, your answer tend to downplay the incidents that he or she is involved in. However, you must realize that by doing such, you are only aggravating the situation. That is bacause “A person who is a compulsive gambler can recover with treatment, but it’s hard sometimes for a person struggling with compulsive gambling to realize they need help.” Natalia S. David, PsyD. said.

If your husband or wife keeps taking the time off from work or if they spend more money that you expect them to splurge, you will soon get blown by the setbacks that they are making. It is painful to see you doing their duties and responsibilities while living on as if nothing has happened. Debts and other repercussions that they incur will also knock you off in no time.

Wanting to Control the Gambler’s Behavior

You must realize that it is a long climb for any individual who has a gambling addiction. Although your support is actually needed, this does not mean that you take the initiative to turn their lives around. If there is one thing that you must know within this context, it is the fact that you are dealing with fellow human beings.

They have lives of their own. Controlling them will be detrimental to their road to recovery. The best that you can do is to be with them during their days in the dark pit. Your support is definitely needed but you have to seek professional assistance in order to make the rehabilitation process effective and complete. Remember, “Admitting you have a problem is the first step in treating your addiction. However, due to the nature and the danger of this disease, simply just stopping on your own is highly unadvisable.” Dr. Howard Samuels, PsyD. explains. 


Joining the Gambler

Indulging in the wants of a gambler can be quite perilous. However, it is another way of making the offender realize that something is off. If you join your wife or husband in playing blackjack and other card games, the approach can be an eye-opener for them as a gambling addict. Still, the step can justify your spouse’s behavior which is why directly confronting the problem is the best way. You need to rally your family and friends to urge him or her to seek professional help. Because psychiatrist Dr. Henrietta Bowden-Jones says, “If people were able to say ‘I am a problem gambler’ in the same way that they say ‘I am an alcoholic’ then it would protect them.”