Understanding your feelings
Gambling can affect other people. It’s not just the well-being of the person who is gambling that is at risk. Gambling affects the lives and feelings of parents, children, other family members, friends, and co-workers.
Family members, friends, or work colleagues of someone with a gambling concern often struggle with uncomfortable feelings. These can include:
Finding out that someone has a gambling concern or gambling debts can be a shock. It often leads to feelings of confusion. Many people may lose trust in the person who has gambled. They may feel betrayed. "How could they do this to me?" "Why aren't they thinking of the children?" Many people feel vulnerable or scared that they'll be misled or lied to again.
Family members often say they feel as though their hopes, dreams, and future plans have been shattered as the size of the gambling concern and the debt it has caused sinks in.
Parents, partners, and friends often ask, "Where did I go wrong?" They may think, "I must be a failure as a mother / friend / husband / girlfriend...". Guilt is common but it's not helpful to you or the other person. Sometimes a person who has a gambling concern may take advantage of this guilt. "Yes, it's your fault....", "You don't understand....", "You pushed me into...". This may make you feel even more guilt. Remember: Your loved one or friend made the decision to gamble, not you. It's not your fault.