Remember what you learned about compulsive gambling.
You didn't cause it.
You can't cure, treat, or control it.
You can't prevent it in others.
Your gambler will not grow out of it.
Treatment is not recovery! Just because the gambler has been in CORE doesn't mean he is "all better." Treatment has made arresting the progression of the disease possible. Recovery happens after treatment.
Remember that abstinence is not recovery! Just not gambling will not take care of your gambler's problems, since gambling is not the only problem.
Trust only "movement" (behavior changes) in your gambler. Promises and talk are cheap. If he is doing the things suggested for recovery, he is doing "fine," and you can relax.
Don't take the gambling and the resulting damage to your relationship personally. Your gambler did not gamble to hurt you or because of your behavior. He gambled the way he did because of compulsion.
A First Step for family members is to accept that you cannot control your gambler's life. You could not control his gambling and you cannot control his recovery.
Accept that your life has become unmanageable as a result of trying to control the above.
Believe recovery is possible. Compulsive gamblers do recover.
Be honest. Don't "walk on eggshells" with your gambler. Don't keep secrets to try to shield him or her. Level with your feelings and confront inappropriate behavior. Nothing you do will make them gamble again!
Learn healthy problem solving behaviors (seek outside help if necessary). Negotiate acceptable behavioral contracts and stick with them.
Ask for what you want and need.
Accept responsibility for your recovery! Have your own recovery plan, which includes GAMANON, sponsorship, daily meditation, etc. When you're angry, scared, worried or feeling guilty, call your sponsor.
Expect the gambler to use the recommended recovery tools, and YOU use them.
When providing information to the LLA Hotline, please include sufficient detail (describing who, what, when, why, and how) to allow us to fully evaluate your information. Although we will consider anonymous information, providing us with your name and telephone number will allow us to contact you with any additional questions that we have.
2015-2019 Louisiana Association on Compulsive Gambling
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