Jump to content

Am I being mean?
Brother with gambling problems


  • Please log in to reply
22 replies to this topic

#1 Pocahontas

Posted 20 November 2012 - 07:54 PM

I spoke with my brother tonight who lives in a different state.  Basically he's telling me that he's having money issues and that he owes money to some people because he borrowed some from them (no-one serious like loan sharks but more friends he plays golf with).  He's going to have trouble making his rent this month on time and paying people back and is pretty stressed. It is all getting him down.  

He didn't ask me for money outright but I think he was fishing in a fairly subtle way.  It would have been fairly easy for me to offer to bail him out with say around $200 at least for this month without really feeling the pinch.

However, he has had a pokie adiction for as long as I can remember and is not at all responsible with money.  He has blown all the money he has every earnt as well as the small inheritance our father left us. I don't want to start enabling this habit with him thinking I'll bail him out when things get tough.  

BUT it is the first time he's ever hinted to me that he needs money and I'm thinking I'm being mean for not offering to help this once.  Also he has a history of mental health issues which I'm scared this may trigger.

WWYD?  Am I being mean?  Would you open this can of worms?



#2 VioletRose

Posted 20 November 2012 - 07:58 PM

Offer him support but not money.  It's ok for him to be uncomfortable because of his choices.

#3 noi'mnot

Posted 20 November 2012 - 08:00 PM

That's a tough situation.

What does your gut tell you to do?

Do you have a close relationship? Could you ask him about his gambling?

If I were in this situation and could really afford to do so, I'd pay the $200 or so directly into where it's owed - into the RE agent's bank account, into the bpay, whatever it is rather than giving the money directly. I'd also be honest about why I was doing it this way. I'd also make it clear that I would not be making about habit out of it.

Sorry I can't be of any more help!

#4 Squeekums Da Feral

Posted 20 November 2012 - 08:02 PM

Support in getting help, practical stuff like cupboard essentials if it gets that bad but never money. It goes straight in the pokies in hopes of 'I can turn this in to.... If I win' followed by 'its (machine) due to pay out for me'
Witnessed first hand as the daughter of a pokie addict

#5 Escapin

Posted 20 November 2012 - 08:03 PM

I'm sure you know that you shouldn't give him any money, or pay his bills for him. Doesn't make it any easier. As the first PP said, you need to offer support but not money. I'm really sorry that you're in this position.

#6 beccajayne

Posted 20 November 2012 - 08:03 PM

I would offer the money if i had it spare just once.
Maybe he is slowly managing it and just needs a help once.

If it turns out he is still gambling then I would only offer support the next time.

I always give people a chance, if they stuff up, I only offer support the next time round.

Do what feels right for you.

#7 123tree

Posted 20 November 2012 - 08:03 PM

I'd ask for the details of the real estate agent and pay directly into their account if you are worried.

It is a tough one because we have paid a BIL a substantial amount of money to avoid being evicted.  He never paid us back and I am very angry.  However I still think if we had our time over I'd probably give him some money, but not as much.

#8 FeralHez

Posted 20 November 2012 - 08:04 PM

We had similar concerns for a relative, we gave him groceries. I like the pp's idea of direct payments to the real estate. Perhaps supermarket vouchers as its a bit far to actually take food?

#9 RCTP

Posted 20 November 2012 - 08:04 PM

I agree with squeekums - you never give money to someone with a gambling problem.

#10 beccajayne

Posted 20 November 2012 - 08:04 PM

QUOTE (noi'mnot @ 20/11/2012, 08:00 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
That's a tough situation.

What does your gut tell you to do?

Do you have a close relationship? Could you ask him about his gambling?

If I were in this situation and could really afford to do so, I'd pay the $200 or so directly into where it's owed - into the RE agent's bank account, into the bpay, whatever it is rather than giving the money directly. I'd also be honest about why I was doing it this way. I'd also make it clear that I would not be making about habit out of it.

Sorry I can't be of any more help!



This says it better than I did above.


#11 Pocahontas

Posted 20 November 2012 - 08:10 PM

QUOTE
What does your gut tell you to do?

Do you have a close relationship? Could you ask him about his gambling?


My gut tells me to offer to bail him out once.  He can get quite depressed and if something serious happened then I'm not sure if I'd forgive myself.  I don't think that is the case atm but I'm too far away to really assess things.  My mum who lives in the same state is normally more aware.

We are not really close in the way that some siblings are best friends that talk all the time.  But he is my only sibling and he does share his problems with me from time to time, as shown by telling me about his financial problems now.

I'm still in two minds though as I think he gets bailed out a bit by my mum and I don't want to enable too.  I



#12 cinderellainsydney

Posted 20 November 2012 - 08:16 PM

If it was my brother, I would probably bail him out, on the condition that he gets help with the gambling AND sees a financial councilor who drafts a budget that he sticks to (or you or another family member geographically closer help him with the budget and manage his money for him until he learns how).

If he is addicted, the addiction owns him, and he is pretty helpless against it. On one hand his suffering now is real notwithstanding the bad habit and he does need help, on the other it seems like it's a pattern of gambling everything away and you don't want to feed the gambling monster inside him. It's a tough call either way, but maybe consider his psychological make-up: some people respond better to tough love, firm boundaries, even criticism; while others respond better to compliments, positive reinforcement, affirmations. gentle encouragement etc.

My brother is the latter not former, and he will definitely not be able to rise up to the challenge if left alone to get out of a difficult situation, if past experience is anything to go by.

I hope this problem is short lived.

#13 starsg

Posted 20 November 2012 - 08:23 PM


If people keep enabling/bailing him out he won't ever feel the true consequences of his behaviour. I would offer him support/put him in contact with people who could help him, but no way in hell would I be giving him money.

#14 YodaTheWrinkledOne

Posted 20 November 2012 - 08:27 PM

QUOTE (Pocahontas @ 20/11/2012, 08:10 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I'm still in two minds though as I think he gets bailed out a bit by my mum and I don't want to enable too.

Talk with your Mum and see if he's currently getting financial help from her at the moment.  If it's hitting you both up but doing it separately (ie. assuming that you won't talk to each other about it), then you need to show him that you talk to each other and that you are both aware that his gambling is digging him into a deeper hole.

I'd offer to pay his rent directly to the real estate agent this month, but let him know it's a one-off and he needs to figure himself out and get some help.

#15 The 7 Dwarfs

Posted 21 November 2012 - 06:56 AM

QUOTE
WWYD?  Am I being mean?  Would you open this can of worms?


As someone who also has a close family member with this problem. DO NOT DO IT!

Once will become twice, 3 times etc etc. And don't think that all that $200 wont go down the pokies, a portion may go on what he says, but in their head they can 'double it' IYKWIM.

Why do you think he needs to pay his friends back and yet still is behind in the rent?

QUOTE
Maybe he is slowly managing it and just needs a help once.

If it turns
out he is still gambling then I would only offer support the next time.


Doesn't work like that. The just once will quickly become an expectation. He is fishing at the moment, she goes there he'll be demanding next time.

And gamblers recovering go through services to get them back on track, they help sort out how they are going to help themselves (payment plans, extra shifts at work, etc etc)O. They don't ask off family.

#16 Holidayromp

Posted 21 November 2012 - 07:21 AM

QUOTE (starsg @ 20/11/2012, 09:23 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
If people keep enabling/bailing him out he won't ever feel the true consequences of his behaviour. I would offer him support/put him in contact with people who could help him, but no way in hell would I be giving him money.


This.

There would be no way in hell I would pay anything to anyone even the RE on his behalf.  He made his bed.  By paying a gamblers debt you are enabling their addiction because it just frees up money to gamble so instead of paying debt with money he will just gamble with it instead.

He needs to suffer the consequences.  Be supportive but that is where it ends.

#17 Holidayromp

Posted 21 November 2012 - 07:24 AM

QUOTE (cinderellainsydney @ 20/11/2012, 09:16 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
If he is addicted, the addiction owns him, and he is pretty helpless against it. On one hand his suffering now is real notwithstanding the bad habit and he does need help, on the other it seems like it's a pattern of gambling everything away and you don't want to feed the gambling monster inside him. It's a tough call either way, but maybe consider his psychological make-up: some people respond better to tough love, firm boundaries, even criticism; while others respond better to compliments, positive reinforcement, affirmations. gentle encouragement etc.


Which is even more reason NOT to give money or help out with debt.  It is not the OPs fault that he is addicted.  What she will be doing it enabling this addiction.  Only he can recognise that he needs help and until he gets in and puts steps in place to stop gambling this will become and on-going cycle of debt.

He needs to reach rock bottom and he is not going to get there if people keep financially bailing him out.

#18 JustBeige

Posted 21 November 2012 - 07:43 AM

QUOTE (noi'mnot @ 20/11/2012, 09:00 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
If I were in this situation and could really afford to do so, I'd pay the $200 or so directly into where it's owed - into the RE agent's bank account, into the bpay, whatever it is rather than giving the money directly. I'd also be honest about why I was doing it this way. I'd also make it clear that I would not be making about habit out of it.

this is what I would do to.

I would also do an online order shop for him and get it home delivered so he at least has a tin of baked beans to eat.   I would order stuff like long life milk too so he has pantry items if he finds himself with no money.

This is all I would be doing as a one off.  I would be making sure he knows this.   We would also be having conversations about his gambling addiction and I would be nagging him to get to the GPs and/or gamblers anonymous for help.


QUOTE
(Pocahontas @ 20/11/2012, 08:10 PM)
I'm still in two minds though as I think he gets bailed out a bit by my mum and I don't want to enable too.
Have an honest conversation with your mum about this then before you decide to help out or not.


Its incredibly hard watching someone you love self destruct, unfortunately with addictions (generally) they have to before they want to get help.

#19 Charlie & Lola

Posted 21 November 2012 - 08:04 AM

QUOTE
He can get quite depressed and if something serious happened then I'm not sure if I'd forgive myself.
If this is your reasoning to help him then no I would not do it...it might not be right now but he will get to the 'something serious happening stage' eventually.

Unless you are prepared to escalate the level of help each time he comes to you with his problems it might be best to step away now. You could potentially go on forever helping him to avoid trouble. If you do help this time there will be another time and then another time, how many times are you going to pay up to avoid the guilt of something bad happening?

It might be worth you contacting a support group for families of Gamblers. I assume that this issue is common and the gambler is enabled to continue because of the emotional feelings of family who want to save the addict from harm.

#20 opethmum

Posted 21 November 2012 - 11:56 AM

I agree with pp in that he needs to reach rock bottom, he needs to realise that he needs to change, if he is living under a bridge so be it. He needs to realise that his family will be there for him when he makes a genuine effort to change. The worst thing you could do is enable him and give him monetary support, if he has a grumbling tummy so be it, don't enable him to spend more money on the machines. You cannot change him, he can only change himself and if you financially enable him it will hamper the process. He is a grown adult and he needs to realise that his family is not a bank and that you have financial obligations and that you are not his bail out fund.
Consider this, would you give a drug addict heroine, oxycontin etc? No I don't think you would. Gambling is the same. Your family needs to reach a consensus and have a united front and do not yield to someone who clearly puts his addiction above his relationships with his family. Assure him you will be there when he grows up and takes responsibility for his life and gets help for himself and demonstrates a sober life free from gambling and manipulation.

#21 Guest_Sunnycat_*

Posted 21 November 2012 - 12:03 PM

I wouldn't be giving him money.

#22 Spa Gonk

Posted 21 November 2012 - 12:22 PM

No money from me.  If you are concerned about his mental health, tell him this and support him to see a doctor.  Or if he admits he has a gambling problem, put him in touch with services that can help him.

QUOTE
I would do this and make it clear it's a once-off.


I don't think telling him it is a one off is overly helpful.  If he is desperate for money, he will say and do whatever is needed to get it.  What he will remember though is if he pushes the right buttons and makes you feel sorry for him or like you can affect his health status, you are likely to give to him again when he needs it.

#23 Pocahontas

Posted 21 November 2012 - 04:46 PM

I'm sensing a theme here that most of you say noooooo.  

It's interesting that he's been down and out before over the past 10 years but really he's never needed me to bail him .  I think I might have give me mum a call tonight and see what she says.  

I really wish he'd kick this addiction as I'm worried that he'll become a sad destitute old man!




1 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users

 

Wondersuit heaven: Bonds & Disney launch exclusive collection

Bonds and Disney fans with babies to buy for will be celebrating this news. Bonds and Disney have just released collaboration Wondersuits.

Town welcomes first baby in 28 years

Since the 1980s, the Italian town of Ostana had not seen the birth of a single baby.

Great-great-grandma delivers great grandchild in her own home

''I've delivered calves, lambs, dogs and cats, but nothing like this.'' This 'Super Gran' calmly peeled the amniotic sac over her great-grandson's head before discovering the umbilical cord was wrapped around his neck ... twice.

How to start teaching your kids road safety

It's something that can be taught as early as possible and reinforced as they get older and more mobile - even from toddlerhood.

Just announced: Bugaboo Cameleon³ Classic+ Collection update

Meet the brand new understated chic model from Bugaboo.

The emotional moment a mum hears her late son's heartbeat

It's been two and a half years since Heather Clark's seven-month-old son Lukas passed away.

Nine reasons why you have 'brain fog'

One minute your productivity is skyrocketing and the next you're sitting there trying to focus – just like that you draw blank, your brain, mush.

I had a caesarean and it was beautiful

Guess what? Despite not pushing him out, I cried, and my heart skipped, and I felt the rush of love and pride when I saw him for the first time.

Microcephaly still a mysterious condition around the world

For parents, having a child with microcephaly can mean a life of uncertainty.

7 baby firsts you won't see on milestone charts

Here are a few 'other' baby firsts you may not have been expecting, but you'll want to be ready for.

Why it's important to vaccinate on time

My son was born on the 1 July 2014. It's a fabulous birthday, don't you think? Not only does the first of July ring in a new financial year, but it also means we've hit the year's half way mark.

Naturopath treatment allegedly left baby "days from death"

A naturopath whose treatment of a baby boy allegedly led to the infant being severely ill has pleaded not guilty to charges against her. 

Andy Murray's emotional speech to pregnant wife after Australian Open

A teary-eyed Andy Murray promised pregnant wife Kim he'd be on the next plane home after his turbulent two weeks at the Australian Open came to an end.

This toddler and his duck BFF will melt your heart

A small boy in the US has struck up a quacking good friendship with an unlikely companion ... his pet duck. 

Great news for coffee drinkers - caffeine is good for your heart

Researchers have found that, contrary to prior belief, caffeine does not cause health-threatening heart palpitations.

I always wanted children - but I've found other ways to be maternal

I've always been one of the most maternal women I know.

When only one parent wants to know the gender

For some couples you either both want to know the gender of your unborn baby, or you don't. For others, it's not that simple.

'No jab no play' could hurt disadvantaged children, experts fear

Tough new "no jab no play" laws could hurt children who have not been immunised due to family dysfunction, poverty, or poor access to medical support, experts warn.

Zika virus: Airlines offer refunds to pregnant women

Airlines and cruise companies across the world are offering refunds or travel credits to pregnant women who are scheduled to visit countries struck by the devastating Zika virus.

#meditateonthis: Mums fight back against PND ignorance

Not all women will require medication, but many will. And there isn't and shouldn't be any shame in that.

 
Advertisement
 
Advertisement
 
 
 

What's hot on EB

Penny Wong

'The most hurtful argument in the marriage equality debate'

Labor frontbencher Penny Wong is used to to hearing arguments against same-sex marriage. But for Australia's most prominent gay politician, one hurts more than others.

Does exercise have to be fun to work?

Some things in life are inherently served with a big scoop of fun: balloons, bubbles, cupcakes to name but a few, but exercise?

Hair dye gives woman second-degree burns

She wanted a fresh colour for 2016, but instead she got chemical burns.

Kelly Slater saves mum and toddler from 'freak wave'

A Perth family has thanked US surfing "legend" Kelly Slater after the star saved a mother and a young toddler from "a freak wave" in Hawaii.

Apple recalls millions of power adapters

Tech giant instigates massive international recall of power point adapters due to risk of electric shock.

Toddler's adorable alphabet goes viral

It's impossible not to share this little boy's excitement  about the alphabet.

Tot's nighttime waking saves family's life

Like all tired parents, Monique and Kyle Ruppel were looking forward to the day their 15-month-old daughter Celia would start sleeping through the night. 

Australian mum gives birth to quintuplets

An Australian mum who has shared the ups and downs of carrying quintuplets has welcomed her five babies into the world.

Dad of four girls faints at gender reveal for fifth baby

It was all too much excitement for this dad.

The simple way you can help your baby's language development

The way parents respond to their child's babbling can shape how their infants communicate.

Zika virus is 'spreading explosively': WHO

The World Health Organization announced that it will convene an emergency meeting about Zika.

National database recommended for child protection cases

Baby Ebony was repeatedly failed by the agencies tasked with her protection before her horrific death at the hands of her father, South Australia's deputy coroner says.

Hospitals put babies at risk by ignoring policy on elective caesareans

Thirty-eight weeks or 39? Non-medical factors are pushing women to have elective caesareans earlier than official guidelines - and hospitals are playing along.

Police help deliver baby on busy roadside

Two police officers delivered more than a traffic fine by the side of a busy Melbourne road yesterday.

1D's Louis Tomlinson shares first photo of baby

One Direction's Louis Tomlinson has posted the first picture of his baby boy, Freddie, on social media.

 

FREE TICKET

Free first aid demonstrations daily

Get your free ticket to the Essential Baby & Toddler Show and save $20 - register online now!

 
Advertisement
 
 
Essential Baby and Essential Kids is the place to find parenting information and parenting support relating to conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids, maternity, family budgeting, family travel, nutrition and wellbeing, family entertainment, kids entertainment, tips for the family home, child-friendly recipes and parenting. Try our pregnancy due date calculator to determine your due date, or our ovulation calculator to predict ovulation and your fertile period. Our pregnancy week by week guide shows your baby's stages of development. Access our very active mum's discussion groups in the Essential Baby forums or the Essential Kids forums to talk to mums about conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids and parenting lifestyle. Essential Baby also offers a baby names database of more than 22,000 baby names, popular baby names, boys' names, girls' names and baby names advice in our baby names forum. Essential Kids features a range of free printable worksheets for kids from preschool years through to primary school years. For the latest baby clothes, maternity clothes, maternity accessories, toddler products, kids toys and kids clothing, breastfeeding and other parenting resources, check out Essential Baby and Essential Kids.