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Sep 15th, 2008 by Dr. Gourgouris | 0
Dear Dr. Elia,

My husband and I are in huge debt because of his addiction to gambling. I knew it was a problem for him when I met him, but I was hoping he was getting passed it. We have 5 beautiful children, and we are in debt up to our necks. He’d rather spend time with the machines than with us. Anything you could recommend would be helpful.


Dear Gamble,

Gambling is an insidious addiction for it will destroy everything in its path. Serious debt can be debilitating to the way a family functions. At this point it sounds like your husband loves the machines more than he loves his family. The question is, what if anything is he willing to do about it, before he loses everything! If he acknowledges his addiction then there’s hope. He can start attending a 12-Step program called Gamblers Anonymous. The good news is that it’s free…He can get a sponsor that will act as his mentor as he works through the 12 steps. Ideally, he would need to immerse himself in the solution just as much as he has immersed himself into his addiction! They say that 90 meetings in 90 days is the best way to make a significant shift in behavior…Will he be willing to make such a commitment?

There are also counselors that specialize in gambling addictions. Anything less than these two steps, I’m afraid will lead to more heartache for all of you. By the way, is there a spiritual leader you could talk to, that might bring you some comfort and support?

If your husband refuses to get help, then you’re faced with another dilemma…Ultimatums only work if a person is willing to go through with them.

God bless you and your family during this time of need.

Elia Gourgouris Ph.D.

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