Over 2 million Americans struggle with pathological gambling.
If gambling is getting in the way of your marriage, you may feel confused, angry, helpless, and lost. All of these feelings are valid, and it’s important to learn your options for treatment for gambling addiction.
Let’s get into it.
What Are Gambling Treatment Programs?
There are many gambling treatment programs that specialize in compulsive gambling or gambling addiction. In these facilities, clients receive financial education in addition to both group and individual therapy.
If your spouse has been unable to quit gambling or struggles with both gambling and a drug or alcohol addiction, he or she may benefit from this professional support. Like other addictions, gambling is not something that just “goes away on its own” or “gets better with time.”
In fact, gambling addiction can create severe financial problems, mental health distress, and marital discord.
Treatment allows individuals to focus on more than just the gambling: they get to work on self-esteem, positive coping skills, and rebuilding social support.
Treatment for gambling entails building a strong recovery program, practicing ruthless honesty, and working through the shame that often maintains the addiction.
What About Gamblers Anonymous?
Many compulsive gamblers find support through the 12-Step support group, Gamblers Anonymous (GA), which is based on the principles of Alcoholics Anonymous.
In these free support groups, individuals often experience a sense of relief and “common ground” with other people who have experienced similar struggles.
With a “been there and done that” mentality, GA offers unique empathy, support, and encouragement for positive hope and change.
Like with any support group, you will only “get” as much as you “give.” That means that your success largely depends on how willing you are to commit to the process and evoke change in your life.
Many treatment centers integrate the 12 steps into their recovery programs.
How Do I Get My Spouse Into Treatment for Gambling?
When it comes to treating addiction, it’s not always a linear path. There will be ups and downs along the way, and these can be scary and frustrating for everyone involved.
With that said, it’s important for you to convey clear communication and healthy boundaries with your spouse. You need to set clear guidelines regarding what you are and are not willing to tolerate.
If you’re not sure what these boundaries are, you may want to speak with a trusted friend or mental health professional. After all, this is your marriage, and you deserve to be in a happy, respected, and loving bond.
Research treatment options and have a list readily available for your loved one. He or she may be relieved and open to seeking change. If that’s the case, you both can take the first step by reaching out to an intake counselor.
On the other hand, if your spouse is resistant or unwilling, you may need to plan an intervention that outlines your feelings and boundaries. Professional interventionists can help you strategize and coordinate this.
Are you and your loved one ready to take the first step towards change? Contact us today.