Hi, my daughter is an adult with children and a business and a gambling problem. She often loses her rent money and the wages of the women she subcontracts to and she asks for financial help from me. I don't want to give her any more money, I've always been reluctant and she has known for many years that I won't fund her habit but sometimes I have to. She was with a gambling partner for years and even though that relationship has ended and I've installed gamban on most of the devices in her house, the ex is still in her life and lends her a non gambanned device and his paypal password so that she can continue to gamble. She hates herself right now and is upset with my refusal to pay the rent. I am ordering an online shop for her tomorrow so hopefully she can use some of the money she would have spent on food towards the rent. Other than that I don't know what to do. She knows where the GA meetings are and can use the internet but is not yet at the stage of actually utilising any of the help available. Any advice or experiences gratefully received, thanks.
im so sorry to hear your going through this. I, myself am a CG, in recovery and so an only comment from a gamblers perspective but hope it may help a little. I was once where your daughter is spending rent money and leaving myself in desire straits financially and my mum bailed me out a few times. Unfortunately, a few years on I can see this did nothing to help the situation as I had no accountability and no consequence. I will never forgive myself for what I put my mum through and were only just back on good terms.
Giving your daughter support is fantastic but it needs to be emotional support not financial. In this situation, tough love is what is needed sadly as she needs to feel the consequences to her actions if she is going to realise she needs to stop. Helping financially only patches the problem temperarily but she isn't having to face the consequences so she keeps doing it.
Only when she does, will she have no choice but to face that she has a problem and get the help she needs. This will be hard as a mother myself, we want to protect and do everything we can for our children but then as adults we have to take responsibility for our own actions. Please know this is not your fault, as I think most parents tend to wonder what they did wrong but the answer is nothing. We all have choices to make and unfortunately those of us who are cgs have also made those choices, it isn't anyone else's fault but our own bad decisions.
This will be a tough time for you so look for as much support as you can on here. They also offer support to loved ones of cgs and the best way to cope with the situation.
i wish you all the best with this awful situation.
Well done on remaining strong and refusing to give your daughter money. You've already done more than enough for her , helping instal gamban etc , providing food and she's basically just thrown it back in your face. Sneakin' around on her ex's device, gambling.
Stand back, I realise that won't be easy for you because it's obvious you're a caring soul, but let her face the consequences of her selfish behaviour ie putting gambling before her children and then maybe, just maybe, she'll realise she's got a problem and seek help.
As the adage goes, 'you'll get back on your feet when the soles are of your shoes".
Hopefully for the children's sake she'll see sense before it gets to that point.
All the very best, don't beat yourself up, it's her problem, not yours.
I say this as a person with a gambling problem!
You sound like a kind and considerate person. You have had some good peer advice on here - we do recommend financial boundaries in place to protect yourself going forward but you can emotionally support your daughter to accept responsibility for her problem gambling. When she feels ready you can encourage her actions in recovery, accessing the support that is available. If you would like to talk further about this you can speak to a one-to-one advisor on our Helpline 0800 8020 133 or Netline anytime from 8am until midnight 7 days a week. There is also www.gamanon.org.uk for local peer support groups for friends and family members.
She's not utilising the help available because she has a safety net - you. Unfortunately bailouts and handouts just perpetuate the cycle. The self pity is standard and manipulative behaviour but it doesn't mean she won't do it all over again and again. Gamblers are convinced the big win that will set everything straight is just round the corner but the truth is even in the unlikely event it came in it would be gambled back in very short order.
It doesn't feel like it but the best and kindest thing you can do is stop picking up the pieces, stand back and let her connect action and consequence.
I'm also a Compulsive Gambler although not in action for a while and would listen to the comment's above regarding enabling your daughter to gamble by bailing her out as it just keeps everything remaining the same .
As a parent of two grown up children myself I can see how dealing with this is very painful for you and all concerned .
I think the main issue you have is her willingness to firstly admit that she does have a real problem, as installing the blocking software is one thing but that really just's limits the damage being done rather than addressing the real issues and is pretty pointless if her ex is going to continue to enable her to gamble .
The second issue is with her actually going to therapy/ GA or whatever else has been suggested as I couldn't envisage anyone actually dragging me along somewhere I didn't want to be , again as a CG myself I didn't want to stop until I actually wanted to stop and that is going to be her decision which unfortunately until she's ready to do so will mean that all you can do is be there for support when she's ready but not financially of course.
Paying for food is of course a way to ensure that food is in the house and that her and your grandchildren are fed but will that mean that she actually pay's the rent ?..... It's a tough one as I know from my own experience that as long as I had money coming in from somewhere / anywhere then I could continue to gamble , that's shameful to read back but when in the grip of addiction nothing else truly matters .
My adult son is a compulsive gambler. Sorry you are in the same boat... it's heartbreaking.
You are unfortunately going to have to let your daughter feel the consequences of her behavior to see any change. Please see if you can find a Gam Anon group or some support for yourself. It's hard enough dealing with this with our children but you also have grandchildren too worry about.
IMHO I would not be dragging her to a GA meeting. Recovery is only possible when it is the addict spearheading the process. You set up a whole new set of problems if you are putting more work into her recovery than her. This is her deal. She is more than capable of getting herself help when she is ready.
I am so sorry you have to deal with this ... please make sure to look after yourself.
I attend GA, the most common thing you see is people who are not really there for themselves failing to even make step 1. Either they are brought to the meeting as some kind of ultimatum or they are hoping by attending they can save their marriage or relationship now their debt is out in the open.
I think people who commit to recovery get the most from it.
Hi Mizzjay .
Can I just say that your original post was about you struggling with your daughters gambling addiction and now seems to have been turned into a debate on the pros and cons of forcing your daughter to attend GA , which in my opinion would be better served on the debates section rather than a place where you've sought help .
Apologies and I hope thing's work out for you and your daughter .
I know what your saying Alan, but people can get consumed by helping as they take on the burden of care. Once any addict as a safety net to fall back on they are never giving up imo as they know they have someone to exploit.
Its not easy watching a loved one self destruct but enabling is not the way, give advice set strict boundaries and rules, do not clean up any mess they make financially or otherwise, point them in the right direction but its 100% up to them to get help.
Hi all, an update.
My daughter finally, finally phoned me, [she sticks to text when she can't face me/is ashamed/screwed up] what a relief. We live a three hour drive away from one another and to have not heard her voice in a long time feels horrible. Anyway I got a call from her yesterday evening and she's on her way to her local GA meeting. This is something I have suggested to her but not coerced her into going, she has finally realised that this is something she cannot do alone, especially with the negative influence that is her ex partner who is still actively gambling and encouraging my daughter to join him. There is one meeting a week and if she takes it one day at a time and keeps going back then she has a chance. She seems positive, she's seen the ex for the destructive force he really is, [for now anyway] and is putting herself and the kids first. That's all really, she has taken the first positive step towards recovery, she was nervous but did it anyway and I am proud of her for that.