Relationships and Gambling Addiction

A gambling addiction is a complex problem that can affect all aspects of an individual’s life. It can impact finances, mental health, relationships, work and family. People with this condition may hide debts and lies from loved ones, spend money they do not have, and withdraw from social activities or events. This can cause isolation and feelings of shame, which can prevent individuals from seeking help and support.

Mood swings associated with compulsive gambling can be especially challenging for those in close relationships. They can also affect children and young people, who are at a greater risk of developing this disorder than adults. Often, this type of addiction results in relationship breakdown. This may occur due to the accumulation of financial strain, emotional turmoil and strained communication, or it can be a result of abuse, whether verbal, physical or financial.

If you are in a romantic relationship with someone who has this condition, it is important to talk about your concerns and urge them to seek treatment as soon as possible. Keeping the lines of communication open can help you work together to find solutions, but it is important to remember that a person with gambling disorder may feel defensive and argumentative if they are confronted about their addiction.

You can also offer your support by suggesting therapy for a gambling addiction, such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), which can teach a person new skills to manage their cravings and address unhealthy thought patterns. This is particularly helpful for those who have a co-occurring condition like depression, anxiety or bipolar disorder, which can be contributing factors to gambling addiction.