If you have just discovered a gambling problem in your family you may be asking yourself: “How could this have happened to me?” You are shocked by the extent of the problems. You may feel you are responsible or are at fault for the problems.
You may have felt for some time things were not quite right, but you were not sure what was wrong. When you questioned your partner about something that seemed out of the ordinary, they had a plausible explanation or story. And, even though at times the explanation/story provided did not make sense, you believed it because you love and trust your spouse/partner.
Do not blame yourself for not seeing the signs or not connecting the signs to a gambling problem. Your spouse or partner successfully hid all the information that may have led you to suspect a gambling problem.
GAMBLERS ARE OFTEN ABLE TO KEEP THEIR ACTIVITY A SECRET BY DOING ONE OR MORE OF THE FOLLOWING THINGS:
- lie or fabricate stories in order to cover up their gambling activities;
- control all the family’s finances or let their spouse control the daily finances while they establish a complex network of ways to obtain credit;
- obtain credit in their name only; or
- forged loved one’s signatures for personal loans or mortgages.
- control the mail by having it sent to their place of business or a post office box;
The resourcefulness of gamblers in hiding their activities, the nature of problem gambling and the speed in which a serious problem can develop make it difficult to detect. Unlike individuals with alcohol or drug abuse problems, people experiencing difficulties with gambling do not show any obvious physical signs like slurred speech or staggering.
Problems with gambling can develop quickly, especially if the gambler plays electronic games. Electronic game players tend to develop problems much more quickly than people who choose other forms of gambling. Because gambling problems develop so fast, the spouse/partner is often faced with a crisis before they know there is a problem.
If you have more questions or require more information about gambling support, call the Problem Gambling Helpline at 1-800-306-6789