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My friend blames me for her gambling addiction..

Discussion in 'Christian Advice' started by Hannah66, Jan 24, 2020.

  1. Hannah66

    Hannah66 Member

    I have a friend, who is a christian, who struggles with gambling(poker machines)

    I have never gambled. I wouldn't even know how to use a poker machine.
    And yet, she holds me accountable when she gambles.

    She will ask me to pray for her and I do pray for her. When she gets paid, this is when she is tempted, but, in my opinion, she gambles as a way of escape. She wants to gamble. I have never said that to her.

    So, this is why she blames me.

    She will call me to talk about a problem she is having. It might be, say, for example, the breakdown of her first marriage. So, naturally, in the conversation she will share what is hurting her and I will ask questions.

    The next day she will contact me and tell me that she never slept because I was talking about her ex or asking questions. If, it happens to be around her pay time, she will get little sleep and then go and gamble.

    She says, "You shouldn't ask me questions about my ex husband or broken marriage because it leads me to have little sleep and then I go and gamble to handle the pain/stress.

    I told her that I ask her questions because she has come to me with the problem. In the past, I have had to stop contact with her because I hate being blamed for her gambling problem.

    I now plan to not talk to her about her marriage breakdown or ask questions EVEN if she wants to talk about it.

    Do you think this is a good idea?

    I've told her in the past that she shouldn't blame me. She apologies but it continues.

    Unless, I just listen to her problem and not say anything.

    I am hurting over this. I don't feel I am to blame for her gambling addiction but I also don't want to say the wrong things to her

    Any ideas, how to handle this situation better?
    We teamed up with Faith Counseling. Can they help you today?
  2. brinny

    brinny everlovin' shiner of light in dark places Supporter

    She's projecting on to you, she's in denial, and she is in need of intervention for her addiction, and counseling for her issues from the past that she is blaming you for. She needs a sponsor to hold her accountable. In addition, if she is a Christian, a Pastor needs to be involved as well.

    Find out what resources are available for her, and the next time she calls you, give her those resources and refuse to discuss any of the issues that she should be getting intervention, accountability, and support for.

    Pray about this and ask God for wisdom, discernment, and clarity, and for guidance on what is not only healthiest for this woman (who is not capable of being a "friend" right now) but also for yourself.

    It has been said that "hurting people hurt people".

    It's true.

    She's projecting all of her pain on to you, thus rendering you a "punching bag". It is unhealthy for you (and her too) to allow this. It renders you an "enabler".

    Let this be the beginning of a healthier year for you and this woman too.
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  3. Hannah66

    Hannah66 Member


    Thank-you and yes, I agree. I have spoken to her about Gambling anon phone line but she doesn't want to call them. I am going to tell her, next time, she calls I don't want to discuss any of her marriage problems. I have to start drawing some serious boundaries. Thank you.
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  4. brinny

    brinny everlovin' shiner of light in dark places Supporter

    She needs to call the gambling resources, not just tell you she's not calling them.

    Do not engage in any conversation with her if she doesn't.

    She has violated all KINDS of boundaries. It's up to you now to set healthy boundaries, and this is one of them.

    This will help both of you.
  5. Hannah66

    Hannah66 Member

    thank YOU!
  6. A_Thinker

    A_Thinker Well-Known Member Supporter

    You are not responsible for your friend's problems. She is making excuses.

    What I would do is this.

    When she wants to talk about her issues, I would refuse to participate ... saying that she claims that those discussions cause her to gamble.

    When she presses ... I would tell her calmly ... that she needs to take responsibility for her choices and that, until she begins to do this, I will be more reserved in my interaction with her.

    I believe that my goal in further interaction would be to inspire and encourage her to take responsibility for her life ... and to begin to make more productive choices ...
  7. brinny

    brinny everlovin' shiner of light in dark places Supporter

    You're welcome. Here's to a healthier new year to both of you.

    Praying for both of you.
  8. Mountainmanbob

    Mountainmanbob Goat Whisperer Supporter

    United States
    Sometimes it very hard
    but, we need to keep on loving them
    until they learn to love themselves.

    I heard that shared by somebody.
    I'll give it a 75% agreement?

    Your friend appears to be a rough one to love?
    Sometimes we hang in there no matter what.
    Sometimes it's best for us to move on.

    Maybe take a little break?

  9. Hank77

    Hank77 Well-Known Member Supporter

    United States
    Yup, that's the answer. Don't ask her any questions, just be supportive by listening to her express her pain.
  10. Al Touthentop

    Al Touthentop Well-Known Member

    United States
    You might point out that she can't be serious about being a disciple of Christ. She hasn't repented. She continues to gamble and this is her problem. She ought to go to gamblers anonymous and work on her problem.

    Also, you might point out that your talks with her are just being used as an excuse to gamble. That is totally inconsiderate of her, she's not being a good friend and is failing to love you as commanded by Christ. Instead, she's trying to wear you down and use you as her permission to gamble.

    I'm not sure that gambling is a sin but it is a total lack of control. When Paul wrote "do not be drunk with wine, which is dissipation" he was saying not that drinking itself was the problem but that the lack of control was the problem. It could lead to things like fornication which is a sin. Apart from that it's a really bad example to other Christians.
  11. Hannah66

    Hannah66 Member

    spot on. thank you
  12. faroukfarouk

    faroukfarouk Fading curmudgeon

    Hi, @Hannah66 Best to steer her to good Bible passages such as Psalm 46 and John 14.1-27.
  13. Oscarr

    Oscarr Senior Veteran Supporter

    New Zealand
    In the book of James it says that people sin when they are carried away by their own lusts. Your friend gambles because of greed. She is making her own choice to do what she is doing. It is always easier to blame other people or circumstances than to accept personal responsibility for the choices they make.

    Also, some people are leeches in the sense that they not only waste your time with issues that they should be handling themselves, or using you are a free counselling service when they should take responsibility and go to a professional counsellor, or they are projecting their negative emotions on to you, draining your energy and moving you toward burnout.

    There are times when friends need our help, and are glad to receive it. You give them advice the best you can and they go away, put it into practice, without constantly taking up your time, energy and resources. I have a friend who will ask for help every now and again, and it is usually a 10 minute phone call or a quick visit.

    But I had another friend who use to call me up on the phone and spend over an hour unloading to me with all her problems, just to use me as a sounding board. I found that very wearying, especially after work when I was tired anyway. I used to fix computers for friends, and one would give me vegetables, another a few dollars. One staff member of a school I taught at offered me money to fix her computer and when I said it was okay, she said I want to pay you, because then I can ask you for help in the future.

    But I had another person who use to phone me on a regular basis for me to help fix his computer and he would keep me on the phone for a long time, expecting me to fix it over the phone. He never compensated me, and at length I told him that in future I would have to charge him $20 an hour. I never heard from him again.

    We have seen ones on these forums, constantly asking help for their problems, and many have given excellent advice. But somehow, they keep on coming up with the same problem as if they read what others said to help, but didn't take their advice. It seems to me that all these ones want to do is to unload their issues on the forum and get people to feel sorry for them. They appear to want help, but in reality they don't. All they want is sympathy, and that makes them forum leeches, draining time and energy from the good, compassionate folks who are trying to help them.