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compulsive gambling dad, should I lend him money?

I just need some advice, I don't know where to start...maybe when I was 4 years old when my mother finally decided and plucked up the courage to leave my dad as she realised he was a compulsive gambler and could not put up with him anymore as he would gamble every penny away even the baby milk money. So she thought she would be better off without him and she was right.

Anyway since then (now I am 31 years old) he has come to find us 3 times and each time my mum kicked him out because of his problem. He would steal from my mother each time and lie to her for money.

So the last time was when I was 17 years old, he was with us for about 2 years and then he stealed again from my mother and we kicked him out and then he never got in touch with us again. Then last year I was getting married and my mother decided to get in touch with him and asked me if I would like to invite him to my wedding and I said if you want to mother. So she did and he attended my wedding. That was fine as I only did it to please my mum. Then he stayed with my mum for half a year and he left again.

Then early this year he had an illness and ended up in hospital for 3 months and could not work and got in touch with us again. He is old now and no one will employ him and now that he is ill too I feel as his daughter I should look after him even though he has not been a father to me. He is now better and has asked me to lend him cash as he has no money as he has not been working so he needs it to tide him over until he finds a job. However, I do not trust him. Will he just gamble it all away in an hour at the casino and then ask me for more money the next day? I do not want to end up in the same situation as my mother, in a vicious circle. He lies a lot and makes you feel bad. You forgive him, take him back, and he lies again and we end up kicking him out again. He needs to gamble every day and wants to gamble every penny away or he gets moody and mental.

What should I do? Lend him the money or not?

Hi, Helen here, a recovering compulsive gambler who hasn't had a bet today nor for the last 10 years because of a wonderful program called GA.
To answer you a couple of questions - You said your father was ill but now better - well if he is still gambling he is very, very sick. NO, do not lend him any of your hard earned money, maybe offer to buy him some food or pay his rent. You must never feel any guilt about his gambling, you or your family must realize that this unfortunate man has a serious illness that if not treated will eventually kill him. It is never too late for him to go and get help and really he needs to get himself along to a GA meeting but unfortunately some people suffer with this illness all of their life and eventually die whilst still in action (how sad). I know of people in their 70's and 80's who attend meetings and some of these people gambled into their 60's or even later. Get you Dad some literature and tell him that you love him but that you want him to get well.
I hope that I have answered some of your questions and am sure other people will come along and offer more.
You and your family take care.
Your friend in GA fellowship
hi mcclaren

My name is Dougie im a compulsive Gambler

I am also a gambling dad and going on what you say no do not lend your dad money you kinda answered your own question you know what your dad will do with the money if he needs things buy them for him but do not give him cash he needs to attend GA even if he is old its never to late

My name is Dougieand i am a compulsive gambler
Thank you for the good advice. I will pay for his shopping, rent etc but not lend him any cash as I know he will just gamble it all away.
Hi McLaren,

I think the answer to your question is to find out more about the illness of compulsive gambling. Whilst you do this you may want to refrain from lending cash to your father. There is a magnificent fellowship called GamAnon. They have a website <!-- m --><a class="postlink" href=""></a><!-- m --> The fellowship of GamAnon is made up of ordinary, everyday people who have one thing in common - their lives have been affected by the compulsive gambling of someone else. Although you say you have had limited father/daughter time it would appear that your life has been affected by his actions and attitudes. Your mothers life has, presumably, been greatly affected. It would therefore seem a sensible idea to find out more about the subject - and an ideal starting place would seem to be GamAnon. Full details of who they are, what they do and where they meet are contained on the website. Having found out more you may wish to pass this golden nugget of information to your mother - but remember, she may or may not, want to do anything with it.

Best wishes

'Poster' David

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