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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Relationships » Gambling Addiction...

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Author Topic: Gambling Addiction...
Bun Bun
Member # 37353

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I've mentioned this in a previous post- My boyfriend's mother is addicted to gambling. She's had the addiction ever since they came to Canada, so about 7 years ago. Back in China, gambling is illegal, so it wasn't a problem there. The city I live in has a whole lot of money, and combined with that party mentality- there are casinos everywhere.

Both me and my boyfriend are going into our third year at university next year, and that's pretty exciting. Our relationship is fantastic- except for his mom. She definitely supports our relationship, and is always so nice- but I kind of detest her because she's hurting my boyfriend so bad. Things have gotten worse lately, and I couldn't believe the debt that she's gotten them into because of her problem. Not to mention she leaves my boyfriend at home without calling ALL THE TIME. She won't even come back some nights. No calls, won't pick up her cellphone. He says it's fine, he's used to it, but I can see it hurting him a lot. And it's hurting me.

The gambling has gotten to a point where my boyfriend feels like he has to watch her. He monitors her creditcards, her internet history and her bank account. He's thinking of taking over finances for the household (it's just the two of them), and handing her out an allowance of sorts to get groceries. I just don't think it's fair for him. He's only 19... Barely an adult. I'm scared she's going to run him into the ground emotionally, or ruin his credit for life. I'm scared that when we move out, we're going to constantly have to deal with her needing to be bailed out.

Here's the kicker: She absolutely REFUSES to get counselling. Says it won't help. I don't think she can do this on her own and neither does my boyfriend. He's tried to convince her to get help and given her ideas about going to GA or local church groups (she used to be a devout christian... I don't think she is anymore though). She just flat out refuses. I know this is pretty typical, but I just don't understand it. She's hurting her son so much and I'm starting to really hate her for it. He's the love of my life, and the more pain I see him in, the angier I get.

I just don't know what to do. I don't know what I CAN do, really. I've been thinking of trying to get him to move out on his own, but he says he feeling responsible for his mom. There really isn't another parent for him to get help from either. His dad only comes here once or twice a year, and has a wife and baby. Him and his dad have a pretty good relationship, but because of the dynamics between his mom and dad, he can't really get any help from his dad. It's just insanely complicated and messy.

I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed to be honest. I've got finals this week, and they're not even worrying me. All I can think about is how the hell my boyfriend is going to get through this. I'm there to support him, but it's so hard because it's hurting me so much (though I can only imagine how much he's hurting).

I'm at a loss here... I feel so helpless.

[ 04-17-2010, 11:18 AM: Message edited by: Bun Bun ]

Posts: 206 | From: Canada | Registered: Mar 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Peer Ambassador
Member # 43628

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I don't know that much about addictions, so hopefully someone else can post a longer response.

Have you heard of Gam-Anon? It is support meetings for those affected by someone else's gambling addiction. Kind of like Al-Anon for those affected by someone else's alcoholism. I don't know if there are meetings in your area, but this site lists the locations. There are also hotlines in each location that you can call. Scroll down for locations in Canada.

I think if this problem affects you so deeply, it would be worthwhile to look into resources for yourself. As well as encouraging your boyfriend to find support resources other than you. Just like he can't handle this on his own, neither can you.

Posts: 143 | From: USA | Registered: Aug 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Bun Bun
Member # 37353

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Sorry it took me so long to respond. Just finished my last hard exam this morning.

Yeah, I've referred him to Gam-Anon to suggest to his mom but it seems like it's no use. She just DOESN'T want help. It makes me so angry...

And things are pretty bad still. He feels like he has to watch her- and he does. He has her bank passwords and monitors her accounts. He's planning to take over finances completely because she just can't handle it.

She had finally saved some money to put down on her credit card- and she "went out for groceries" today. Three hours later, he finds out she's at the casino again. And it's not little amounts that she's betting either.

I think I might look into getting counselling. Maybe go with my boyfriend. I feel like this is going to start affecting our relationship. I mean, it already has... I just don't want it to get to the point where I want to leave him. He's been supportive of me with my problems (my abuse, my brother's mental illness, my mom's emotional problems after her brain surgery...) and I just feel so guilty because I HATE having to deal with this. It makes me feel so overwhelmed because whenever I try to help with a solution like "Your mother needs to see a counsellor", it's always the same response:

She. Just. Won't.

Ugh I'm so frustrated right now. I hope I'm not being selfish, but we were supposed to go on a walk tonight since we haven't had much time together because of exams, and now we can't because he's talking with her. Trying to fix everything again.

He's placing so much responsibility on himself... It's no fair. Not at all...

Posts: 206 | From: Canada | Registered: Mar 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator

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