Living with a partner who is experiencing problems with gambling can be challenging, and can have a significant impact on your overall wellbeing. If your partner is struggling with gambling harms, you may be dealing with a lot of stress, anxiety, and financial strain. It is common for individuals who are experiencing problems with gambling to prioritise their gambling habits over responsibilities like paying bills, rent, or other essentials. This can lead to significant financial problems, including debt and bankruptcy.
The physical and mental impacts of living with a gambler can be extensive. You may experience sleep deprivation, loss of appetite, and other physical symptoms due to the stress and anxiety of dealing with your partner’s behaviour. You may also feel ashamed or embarrassed to talk about your situation, which can lead to feelings of isolation and loneliness.
It is important to remember that you are not alone in this struggle. We provide free help and support for a wide range of problems arising from friends and family members who gamble. Here are some tips on how to help a loved one, deal with a gambling spouse or partner, and avoid enabling their addiction:
Encourage your partner to seek professional help
Gambling addiction is a serious condition that requires professional treatment. Encourage your partner to seek help from a therapist, addiction counsellor, or support group. Everyone in Wales and South West England is entitled to free 1:1 counselling sessions with our expert gambling counsellors. To apply, please visit our Get Support page.
Set clear boundaries
It’s essential to set clear boundaries with your partner to protect yourself from their gambling behaviour. This may include limiting access to money or refusing to bail them out of financial problems caused by their gambling.
Seek support for yourself
Living with a gambler can be emotionally draining. Seek support from friends, family, or a counsellor to help you cope with the stress and anxiety of the situation. Our Six To Ten Project is specially designed for partners, family and friends of gamblers, with wide-ranging support. Get in touch with Six To Ten on 0330 124 1274 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Avoid enabling their behaviours or addiction
It’s important to avoid enabling your partner’s gambling behaviours am by not providing them with money or covering up their behaviour. This may feel difficult, but it’s crucial to avoid further financial strain and potential legal consequences.
Take care of yourself
Remember to prioritise your own self-care, including getting enough sleep, eating healthily, and exercising regularly. This will help you stay physically and mentally healthy while dealing with your partner’s gambling related harms.
In conclusion, living with a gambler can be a challenging experience that can have extensive physical and mental impacts on your family. However, there is free help and support available from Ara to help you cope and heal. Remember to encourage your partner to seek professional help, set clear boundaries, seek support for yourself, avoid enabling their addiction, and take care of yourself. With time, patience, and support, you can help your partner overcome their problems and rebuild a healthy relationship.
The Six To Ten Project – free support for affected others (friends, family, partners of gamblers)
Get Support – refer yourself to our free, confidential support services (for gamblers and anyone affected)
Young People’s Project – educational workshops for young people and those who work with them