GamCare Logo
Login / Register


9 posts / 0 new
Last post
Posted by
#1 Posted on:
Mon, 11/09/2017 - 15:38




Its been quite a while since I last posted after telling our son to leave yet again, and we only heard from him again about 6 weeks ago. It has been difficult and I missed him so much but have been doing ok just getting on with my own life.

Long story short he contacted us and said he was eager to put things right and get his family back. He's living with his  girlfriend and we're getting on well considering how bad things had been for a long time, its more than I ever expected or could hope for. The difference in him is staggering he's a totally different person to what we lived with for years, pretty much like how he was before gambling was ever an issue, a polite, gentle young man.

His girlfriend is fully aware of his gambling problem and she controls all the finances and he's given a little pocket money each week to do as he pleases, which he uses to gamble with, very small bets and few compared to the extent he used to gamble. I get on well with his girlfriend but she knows my opinion on any gambling although she says shes happy how things are so Ive not said anything else.He's hasnt had any professional help, says he doesnt need it although he admits he doesnt trust himself if he was in control of his finances.

We agreed that from here on we're only going to move forward, whats in the past stays in the past,  and  we will do our best to support him but thats moral support not financial.

Its all been going well, a bit tentative on both sides, but in general all far better than I ever expected it could be . However on Saturday when we went to visit, he seemed a little quiter than usual and I went to hug him, just a hug to say hello and he practicaly recoiled in horror, snapping at me "dont touch me". It was quite a shock, we've hugged a few times now, and its usually been him that wanted to hug me, so I thought things were going well. I asked what was wrong and he said he didnt think we could go any further because he didnt trust us and he wanted an apology .

After all the disgusting things he's said and done he wants an apology, and doesnt trust us, its almost laughable.

I wont apologise, and its obvious he hasnt came as far he says he has, as far as we were concerned we were moving forwards not backwards. We left and will leave him alone, Im not the desperate mum eagerly  running after him any more I can quite easily go back to not seeing him for a while.

I know I love him and want him to be healthy and happy and have my family back the way it used to be but I cant honeslty say I love him the way I used to I  and worry that feeling wont  come back. The guilt is is awful, a mum isnt supposed to say that never mind think that. Am I the only other parent feels like this ?








Posted on:
Mon, 11/09/2017 - 19:37





Whilst I am not a parent I can certainly sympathise from my own experiences with my parents. He sounds quite insecure about a few things which is perfectly normal, and one day he will realise that he isn't larger than life and that actually, accepting help is OK. There's no shame and often, it helps. He will learn by himself, you either go all out abstinent or not at all. There are no half measures with addiction. All the best. 



Posted on:
Tue, 12/09/2017 - 07:58

Merry go round


Hi Phoenix I'm wife of cg and a mother (but he's not a gambler). Anyway there are many parents at my gamanon meeting and it helps me understand my inlaws. If he is not attending meetings or changing his behaviour he will stay the same. Small bets lead to larger debts. He's in denial he doesn't think it's a problem. He's not making amends to you or anyone he's hurt. My husband was using his lunch money to gamble, I had all finance. He needed a bank account for pension, I was looking at account, took my eye off the ball, £10k. He's manipulating, playing the game. I see the destruction of parents at my meeting. It's about looking after you. You have done what you could and he can't see that. His gf will soon realise when it affects her. A cg will get money from anywhere. He's keeping the fire burning. I think that you are right, you've stuck to your ultimatum and that takes strength. You're safeguarding yourself, he doesn't see that you're helping him in the long run. 

Posted on:
Tue, 12/09/2017 - 16:38



I agree if gambling get you to the compulsive stage even if its happened once,"I swear I will never do that again" stage the only option is to completely stop gambling. As if he wins with a small stake his mind will say "If only you would of had more on that you would be set" then may get resentful for only having such a small stake, greed will set in and then devious ways of getting money will set in, stealing even to get the what if fix.

Posted on:
Wed, 13/09/2017 - 12:25




Thank you for the replies, much appreciated.

My son has been gambling for a good few years now and we know all to well just how bad it gets living with a cg. He was totally out of control, treat us apallingly and thought nothing of stealing from us and other people close to him, he was totally unrecognisable as our son.

We've made him leave several times, usually short lived as I couldnt handle it and we brought him home only for it all to continue, he never got any better only worse. We were desperate, at our wits end, and felt we had no option but to make him leave once and for all this last time, I thought it was going to be a very long time if at all before we saw him again. It was the hardest thing we've ever had to do, but it was necessary for him and us.

It came as a big suprise to hear from him, he seemed calm and polite and keen to see us, and us him.

The difference in him his like night and day, and it came as a huge relief given the state of mind he was in the last time we saw him.

His girlfriend was the one who brought up his gambling, almost straight away, she insists he has it under control and is happy with his few small bets and never wants more, plus she controls the finances so cant see the harm. We told him and her our concerns and how even the smallest bet keeps the gamblers mindset going, he shouldnt be betting at all, after all you wouldnt give an alcoholic a beer. In the end we had to agree to disagree it was gettting quite a heated conversation but they know where we stand.

Hes never shown any remorse for anything he's done and Im sure just beneath the surface hes still angry with us, although its maybe not hate us like he used to tell us. Hes very jealous of his brother, and doesn't even like us mentioning him, Ive no idea why they always got on so well, all I can think is its because his brother has a good career and lifestyle, but neither us or our  other son have given him any reason to feel that way. I do know hes very insecure and has anxiety so maybe thats it.

Experince tells me if he continues to gamble and doesnt get help its only a matter of time be he 'slips up' as he puts it and is possibly hiding things from his girlfriend at the this moment, I know how good a liar and manipulator he can be. Maybe Im being unfair after all there is such a change for the better in his behaviour he seems to be trying hard but Ive got that gut feeling that something isnt right, I learned long ago never to ignore it.

His girlfriend said because she controls the finances she's reassured he cant do any financial damage plus he'd never lie to her anyway. She did say we've probably been too hard on him and should learn to trust him more, I did ask so exactly how many times should I of let him steal my bank card, but no he'd never do that to her. We've tried telling her that loving him doesnt automatically mean she should trust everything he says especially around money, we dont but again she just thinks we should trust him because we're his parents.

Both of them know  what our thoughts are on his gambling and he knows we will never enable him but we're always here for moral support if he wants it.

I am grateful hes safe and they seem very happy together but we'll just be the parents who visit from time to time, and hopefully enjoy each others company. However for my sanity I need to keep a little distance between us, I just cant risk getting to the low Id got to again.






Posted on:
Thu, 14/09/2017 - 00:19



Hi Phoenix... so coincidental you should write. I just posted on one of your older threads asking how you have been.

I am sorry that gambling and all it brings is still in the mix but happy to read that you are staying strong with your boundaries. It is so hard but such a necessity for all.

My son has been a mess since January (after he completed 1 year gamble free) and I had a real backward slide but seem to have regained my strength and perspective again.

I absolutely understand your feelings. It is hard when you are put through h**l with lies, manipulation, guilt, shame to forget or forgive sometimes. You are human.

Best wishes to you and keep the faith!


Posted on:
Thu, 14/09/2017 - 03:43




Hi phoenix,

I always hope you would post sometime and let us know how things are going.

No words of wisdom from me as I know you have seen and heard it all.

Sorry to hear your son is still gamblin , I really hope his girlfriend doesn't end up getting hurt. Unfortunately I fear for her but I guess people need to make their own choices in life.

Anyway glad to hear things are as well as they can be.




Posted on:
Thu, 14/09/2017 - 09:24

Cynical wife


Hi, Phoenix,

Glad to see that you're looking after yourself and maintaining boundaries. Your life is about you.

Your son and his GF will have to sort themselves out if and when they're ready. The kindest thing you can do for both of them is detach with love and let them do for themselves what they each have to do for themselves.

All the best,


Posted on:
Thu, 14/09/2017 - 11:32




Thank you.

Cathy so sorry to hear of the rough patch youve been through, I know how difficult it must of been. It doesnt matter how long you've been doing this or how much you think you know its still beyond awful.,  when theres a setback.So pleased to hear you're starting to feel a bit better, and your son is back on track. It probably wont make you feel much better but its your strength and support as another mum thats picked me up and kept going on  many occasions when I didn't think I could. 

ITDamo, sadly I think his girlfriend is going to have to find out the hard way, Im sure she thinks we're too harsh on him and he'd never hurt her. Hopefully it doesn't happen but if he's gambling as far as Im concerned its only a matter of time .

Cynical Wife, thank you, wise as always. Yes we're leaving them alone, we've told them our concerns and thats the last we'll be saying to them about it. My son confuses me, or more my feelings towards him confuses me I should say, love yes but do I actually like him, cant really answer that, probably not Id say though. We said lets leave the past where it belongs no more arguments and lets see if we can get on properly. I said I dont have any bad feelings towards him but thats not true, sometimes I have to stop myself losing my cool and tell him exactly how hurt and angry I am but that doesnt help anyone, mostly me. 

As confused as I feel about him the one thing I know for certain is that our boundaries will stay in place, and I will look after myself and husband properly.