How to Handle a Gambling Addiction: Relationships
One of the key things to think about while in treatment is who will provide support for you. This is not always clear. At first glance there may be many people who seem like reliable and understanding people. But it is important to take an honest look at our relationships in order to aid in the recovery process. It is recommended that one can simply make a list of people who would be either useful or not useful to their recovery. Being completely truthful is the key to making this work.
So let’s start by taking a look at our “friends”. Many times people tend to have gambling buddies who seem like they would be supportive. They were the people who pointed out that our gambling was out of control and that we needed to cut back. Once we get into recovery we need to make sure that we can still spend time with them and be safe of any urges or bad influences. One question to think about is whether or not they would be willing to hang out with you without gambling? A lot of times this might not be a realistic expectation. Another question is would they be under the impression that it might be okay for you to play a few hands? Or will they think you can now control your gambling? For a person just out of treatment these are situations you want to avoid.
Earlier we discussed making a list of helpful and not helpful people in maintaining a new way of living. It is possible that you will have people who will be both. Often times this will be the case with family members. One former patient had a mom who was instrumental in getting him into treatment. She would though afterwards question why he was going to gamblers anonymous meetings and strongly believed that this was embarrassing to the family. He also had a sister who was very supportive but would frequently buy scratch tickets as gifts. So balancing time with such people and openly talking about these issues is useful.
For many in recovery they might be married or in a serious relationship. Sometimes it may be useful to get professional help. One recent article discusses the challenges couples might experience. The reading highlights the importance of communicating honestly with each other. Being able to do this will help both partners in meeting their needs.
Relationships can make or break one’s success on how to handle a gambling addiction . It is of great importance to look at things as they are so that you will know where you stand and not be surprised with the people who are close to you.