What can you do if your spouse is addicted to gambling?
Gambling may be fun for some people, but in some cases it can become a crippling addiction that can destroy families.
Here in the Philippines, gambling is pretty common. In some provinces, betting on a cockfight is pretty normal, and horse racing is still popular in the country.
For the younger generation, they tend to bet on NBA or PBA games. Others play poker, or for those who love games of chance, the slot machine is their choice.
However, while fun, gambling can become a serious addiction that can threaten to destroy your family, and leave you in financial ruin. So, what can you do if your spouse starts becoming addicted to gambling?
Don't be an enabler
An enabler is someone who tolerates, or even condones another person's bad behavior. In this case, if you tolerate your spouse's addiction to gambling, that means that you're being an enabler.
The problem with this is that your spouse might feel that you're actually supporting his or her addiction, and make less of an effort to stop their bad habit. So even if it will result in a fight between the both of you, don't be an enabler. Make sure to not condone your spouse's bad habits.
Be the one to handle the money
What's the best way to stop someone's gambling addiction? Be the one to handle the money in your household. Don't give your spouse extra money that they might spend on gambling, and make sure that you're the only one who has access to all of your finances, as well as any titles for your house, or for your car, etc.
Restricting their access to money that they can use for gambling is one of the best ways to stop your spouse from spending all of your hard-earned money on gambling.
Seek help for your spouse
The best way to help your spouse would be for them to join a support group that can help them deal with their gambling impulses. As gambling is an addiction, therapy sessions, either individual, or with a group, can do a lot when it comes to helping them deal with their problem.
It might be hard for them to admit that they have a problem in the first place, but the sooner they can admit it, the sooner they can start getting better and fixing themselves
While you might have fought with your spouse before because of their gambling problem, it's important to be understanding, and supportive. You might be tempted to leave your spouse if the problem gets too big, but you have to be supportive of your spouse.
A lot of people with gambling addictions are aware of their problems, and that they can suffer from depression and suicidal thoughts. It doesn't mean that you have to give in to what they ask, but you need to stand firm, and act as their emotional anchor as they try to deal with their addiction.
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