Posted on Wednesday, 27th August 2008 by Bcarter

Weekly Q&AThanks Josh from Unconventional Marketing for submitting the first question for my Wednesday Q&A session. Josh’s question was the following: “Being the significant other of someone with a gambling addition what have you found is the best help for copping with his (or anyone else) addiction?”

The light went on for me when I read a book called “Behind The 8 Ball” by Linda Berman and Mary-Ellen Siegal. I recommend this book to ANYONE trying to deal with a loved ones gambling addiction. Stop trying to control Q’s actions was was the first thing I learned. Before reading this book, I would leave work early to drag Q out of the casino if I thought he was there. I was trying to control what he was doing while I was at work 30 miles away, not real fun. Trying to control a gambling addict is one of the signs of an enabler. Coming to Q’s rescue at the casino was one of the ways I was enabling him because I would come and pull him out before he lost everything. He didn’t have to rely on his own free will to stop pulling the slot machine lever.

The next point may seem obvious to an outsider, but I had to stop making empty threats to Q. During the real tough times, I can’t count how many times I kicked Q out of the house, only to let him back a couple of hours later. I felt sorry for him sleeping in the truck. Once I realized what I was doing I made the following statement to him; “I can’t say next time you go to the casino I will kick you out, because you and I both know it’s not true. I can say that if you continue down this path I will snap someday and our marriage will be done. I don’t know what that breaking point will be, I can’t say it’s next time you gamble or 5 trips to the casino later, but I will say that I’m close to a breaking point.” I think this statement to Q drove the point home that he needed to find a way to stop gambling. Did he stop the next day? NO. Are we in the clear yet? NO. Is he finally on the right path? YES.

I could go on forever with this question. If I don’t get any for next week, I will continue with this one. Keep the questions coming. Either leave it in a comment or email me at questions [at] downonourluck [dot] com.

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Posted in My Story, Q&A | Comments (4)

4 Responses to “Q&A – Stop Controlling and Making Empty Threats”

  1. Mary-Ellen Siegel, LCSW Says:

    As the co-author of Behind the 8 Ball: A Recovery
    Guide for the Families of Gamblers, I was pleased to see that our book has been helpful to you. I hope that both you and the gambler continue on the road to recovery.

  2. Josh Says:

    It really is amazing how it sometimes takes a book, friend, situation or something to show that what we were doing was the wrong way of doing it. For me this happened with a book on finances and money. Since then I have learn so much about how money really works and how it can work for you not against you.

  3. heidi Says:

    Great advice and I think it takes a lot of strength to get through something like this.

  4. Marty Says:

    I really enjoy your site, it has great content. Visit for more information on gambling addiction.

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