The Love Central - How to Deal with a Partner who has a Gambling Addiction
How to Deal with a Partner who has a Gambling Addiction

How to Deal with a Partner who has a Gambling Addiction

By understanding the signs of gambling addiction, initiating crucial conversations, and seeking professional help, you have taken important steps toward supporting your partner.
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Dealing with a partner who struggles with a gambling addiction can be a challenging and emotionally taxing experience. In this article, we will explore effective strategies and resources to help you and your partner address and overcome the challenges associated with gambling addiction

Gambling, often seen as a mere pastime, can spiral into a vortex of despair for many. And now, with the popularity of iGaming, individuals can access various online casinos from anywhere at any time.

The National Council on Problem Gambling paints a stark picture: in the United States alone, a staggering 2 million adults are pathological gamblers. Even Grammy Award-winning artists like Bruno Mars aren’t immune to the insidious grasp of gambling addiction. 

This habit not only impacts the life of the individual struggling with it but can also have detrimental consequences for their loved ones, particularly partners. A game of chance becomes a game of loss, where the stakes are far more than just monetary.

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Compulsive gamblers often prioritize their habit over other responsibilities Image source Freepik

The Impact of Gambling Addiction on Relationships

Financial Consequences

One of the most immediate and apparent adverse effects of gambling addiction is financial strain. Compulsive gamblers often prioritize their habit over other responsibilities, leading them to spend huge amounts of money on betting activities. 

A study published in the Journal of Gambling Studies found that individuals with severe gambling problems lose an average of $30,000 per year due to their addiction. These mounting debts can create significant stress within relationships, resulting in arguments, resentment, and even bankruptcy.

Emotional Turmoil

Gambling addiction takes a heavy emotional toll on both the addict and their partner. As the addicted individual continues to chase losses and engage in risky behaviors, they may experience feelings of guilt, shame, anxiety, and depression. 

Their preoccupation with gambling can lead to neglect of personal relationships, causing emotional distance between themselves and their partner. Additionally, partners may develop secondary traumatic stress symptoms such as anxiety, fear, anger, and helplessness as they witness their loved one’s struggle.

Increased Risk of Substance Abuse

Research suggests that there is a strong correlation between gambling addiction and substance abuse disorders.

A review published in the American Journal Psychiatry Reports indicated that up to 73% of individuals seeking treatment for pathological gambling reported comorbid alcohol use disorders, while nearly 38% met the diagnostic criteria for drug use disorders. 

Furthermore, partners of gamblers are at increased risk of developing substance abuse issues as they attempt to cope with the stress and trauma associated with their loved one’s addiction.

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Research suggests that there is a strong correlation between gambling addiction and substance abuse Image source Freepik

Coping Strategies for Partners

Seek Support

If your partner is struggling with gambling, it’s super important to have a support network. Chatting with friends, and family, or joining groups like Gam-Anon can help you feel less alone and give you the tools to cope.

Establish Boundaries

Don’t forget to set some ground rules at home, too. Talk about what’s okay and what’s not, especially with money. Maybe think about limits on spending or managing accounts together to keep finances in check.

Encourage Professional Help

It’s also a good idea to nudge your partner towards getting professional help. There are lots of places that specialize in gambling issues, and going along with them to appointments can make a big difference.

Practice Self-Care

And take care of yourself! Do things that make you happy and relaxed. It’ll help you stay strong and be there for your partner.

Conclusion: How to Deal with a Partner who has a Gambling Addiction

By understanding the signs of gambling addiction, initiating crucial conversations, and seeking professional help, you have taken important steps toward supporting your partner on their journey to recovery. 

Setting boundaries, prioritizing self-care, and fostering open communication are key components in navigating the complexities of a relationship affected by gambling addiction. 

Remember to remain patient, compassionate, and committed to the process, as your support can make a significant difference in your partner’s recovery and the overall health of your relationship.

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