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Question
Posted by: Me | 2004/03/11

Gamblers and alcoholics

My husband is an alcoholic and has not had a drink in 4 years. He did not go to AA - he said it was a change in lifestyle. Over the last year his addiction seems to have moved over to gambling. He has even forgotten to pick my son up from aftercare. He said he did not even realise the time. He went again the next day - he has not promised never to do it again - he said he cannot make that promise but he wants help. I need to get a support group in the south somewhere. He is now leaving his job at the end of the month - he has been retrenched.
How on earth can I support him and help him when all I want to do is kick him out. He is usually a good father but is verbally abusive to all of us at times. I cannot allow this to happen again. Because of his gambling I have had to sell all my jewellery and we owe thousands..... Where do draw the line?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Dear Me,
Actually, some people very distinctly do have a sort of addictive personality, and a great tendency to get hooked on something ( in which case you only wish they'd get roud to being hooked on knitting or reading, or going to the gym, or something else not harmful and not too expensive.) It's good if he is recognizing that this is getting out of his control, and that he does need help. Seeing a psychologist would be a good idea, to plan a programme of treatment to get over this ( and to avoid merely switching to a different form of addictive behaviour).
Then there's Gamblers Anonymous. National HQ was 0800-006-008, or 011-915-7730 ; and www.gamblersanonymous.org ; and I gather there's a support group for spouses and partners of pathological gamblers, Gam-Anon, 021-797-1682, or 0210 671-2267.
Also, try calling your local casino for advice, odd though this sounds --- they're supposed to be funding a foundation to promote "responsible gambling" ( whatever that is ) and ought also to know of available support services locally.

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Our users say:
Posted by: Kasandra | 2004/03/11

Being an addict myself what happens to you you bring over yourself because of your addiction you cant sit in victem mode and feel sorry for yourself, others can wanna help you all they want but if you dont want to help yourself you will not, if he commit himself to go seek professional help you can support him but in the end there is alot you have to think about we often think small children dont understand what is going on but they do and this will effect him in the end.
When we as addicts attend meetings they give us guidelines of WHAT things and places we should avoid not just Alcohol but Gambling , Drugs all the things that are potholes for us,
so i dont agree with Lila he maybe did not drink but he did gamble its the same circle which tricker the same behaviour
and attitude,
His an addict and he has to face up to that and realise that.

Reply to Kasandra
Posted by: Lila | 2004/03/11

I do not think Kasandra is giving you good advise. Your husband is trying the best he can to solve his problems. Most experts/doctors will tell you that to get over an addiction you have to replace it with something else. Your husband made a mistake of replacing his drinking problem with gambling. He could have replaced his addictions by going to the gym, drinking a lot of water, or any other healthy way as a replacement. It took a lot of courage and hardwork from your husband to stay away from the bottle for four years. This shows that he cares for his family. He just chose a wrong replacement without even knowing it. Your husband needs proffesional help. When you married your husband you vowed through sickness and health and this is a true test. I suggest you stand by him only if he is willing to seek professional help. This will help with not only his addiction problems but with the verbal abuse as well. Clearly your husband has emotional problems. You son needs his dad and I believe with the right steps you will not have to go through divorce. Stay positive, supportive of your husband and pray. I think your husband is trying the best that he can and the last think he needs is for you to back out on him now that he is losing his job. I will pray for you.

Reply to Lila
Posted by: Kasandra | 2004/03/11

Addiction is a progresive illness if you go from one addiction like alcohol to another like gambling it just progresses and gets worse, Sorry to say but you cant help an addict if he doesnt want to help himself he will just carry on with this "sickness" and destroy everything around him, He needs to go for counceling and also get the support he needs from other gamblers support groups,

I think you should think of you and what is best for your son,
at this moment your husband need to sort out his problem when his ready to face he have a problem you have to look after yourself and your sons best interest.

Reply to Kasandra

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