How Can Gambling Affect Relationships?

4 January 2023

Gambling can have both positive and negative effects on a person’s life. On the positive side, gambling can provide a source of entertainment and can be a way to socialise with others. It can also provide a sense of excitement and can be a way to pass the time.

However, gambling can also have negative effects on a person’s life. It can lead to financial problems if a person gambles more money than they can afford to lose. Gambling can also become addictive, leading to problems with impulse control and potentially damaging relationships with family and friends.

In addition, gambling can have negative mental health effects, such as increased stress, anxiety, and depression. It may lead to social isolation and problems at work or school. Due to these negative effects, a gambler’s relationships can be put at risk.

Let’s take a look at what gambling can do to relationships.

Relationship with a Gambler

It is possible to have a relationship with someone who gambles. Still, it can be challenging and require a lot of effort and understanding from both parties. Gambling addiction can have severe consequences for the person suffering from it and their loved ones.

It can cause problems in a relationship, including financial difficulties, trust issues, and emotional strain. If you are in a relationship with a gambler, it is important to communicate openly and honestly with each other about your concerns and to seek support if needed.

If you are considering being in a relationship with a gambler, it is important to be aware of the potential challenges and to discuss them openly and honestly. It may also be helpful to establish boundaries around gambling, such as setting limits on how much money can be spent on gambling and agree not to engage in gambling activities together.

It is also important to understand your partner’s struggle with gambling and to support them in seeking professional help if necessary.

What Does Gambling Do to Your Relationship?

Gambling can have a number of negative effects on relationships. It can lead to financial problems and relationship neglect, amongst others. Let’s dig a little deeper into how gambling can affect your relationship.

1. Financial problems

Gambling can lead to financial problems, as individuals may spend more money than they can afford to lose. This can lead to arguments and stress about money and even result in financial ruin if the problem is not addressed.

2. Neglect of Other Aspects of the Relationship

Gambling can consume a lot of time and energy, leading to neglect of other important aspects of a relationship, such as communication and emotional support.

3. Lack of Trust

Gambling can lead to dishonest behaviour, negatively impacting the trust in a relationship. If a gambler is secretive about their gambling or lies about it, it can lead to a lack of trust in the relationship.

4. Stress and Tension

Gambling can cause stress and tension in a relationship, especially if it leads to financial problems.

5. Neglect of personal responsibilities

Gambling can become all-consuming, leading individuals to neglect their responsibilities, such as work, family, and friends.

6. Isolation

Gambling can lead to social isolation, as individuals may spend more time gambling and less time with friends and family. Gambling can strain relationships with friends and family if the gambler becomes isolated and secretive or if they borrow money and are unable to pay it back.

7. Emotional and Psychological Problems

Gambling can lead to emotional and psychological problems, such as depression, anxiety, and feelings of hopelessness. It can also lead to self-destructive behaviour, such as substance abuse, in an effort to cope with the negative consequences of gambling.

8. Emotional Distance & Communication Breakdown

Gambling can be emotionally draining, and the gambler may withdraw from their relationships as a result. This can lead to emotional distance and a lack of emotional connection with their partner.

Gambling can also lead to communication breakdowns within the relationship, as the gambler may be unwilling or unable to discuss their behaviour or the problems it is causing.

9. Infidelity and Domestic Violence

Gambling can lead to infidelity if the gambler seeks emotional or financial support from someone outside the relationship. It can also lead to domestic violence if the gambler becomes angry or violent due to financial problems or a loss of control.

10. Loss of Support and Divorce

Gambling can lead to the loss of social and emotional support from friends and family, which can harm the relationship. It could contribute to divorce if it causes significant problems in the relationship and the couple cannot resolve them.

Overall, if one’s partner has a gambling problem, it can cause strain on the relationship and lead to resentment, anger, and frustration. It is important for both partners to be open and honest about their gambling habits and to set boundaries around them to avoid conflicts.

It may also be helpful for the person with a gambling problem to seek professional help, such as therapy or support groups, to address the underlying issues contributing to their bad gambling behaviour.

Problematic Gambling Signs

There are several signs that may indicate someone is getting toxic with gambling. Here are eight common signs to look out for:

  1. Gambling more frequently or for longer periods of time than intended.
  2. Feeling the need to gamble with larger amounts of money in order to get the desired excitement or taking increasingly risky gambling actions in an attempt to win back lost money.
  3. Experiencing financial problems as a result of gambling, such as borrowing money or maxing out credit cards.
  4. Lying to others about the extent of one’s gambling or hiding gambling activities from loved ones.
  5. Having problems at work or in personal relationships due to gambling.
  6. Using gambling as a way to cope with negative emotions, such as stress, anxiety, or depression.
  7. Continuing to gamble despite negative consequences, such as financial losses or relationship problems.
  8. Losing interest in activities and hobbies that were previously enjoyed.

Gambling can become a problem for anyone, regardless of age, gender, or background. If you or someone you know is experiencing several of these signs, it may be worth seeking help or support. Resources are available to help individuals address their gambling habits and find healthier ways to cope with stress and other negative emotions.

Effects of Gambling on Other People

Gambling may have negative effects on your loved ones. Here are five possible effects they may experience.

  1. Financial strain: The gambler may spend money on gambling that could have been used to pay bills or meet other financial obligations, leading to financial strain for the entire family.
  2. Emotional distress: Loved ones of a gambler may experience emotional distress due to the gambler’s behaviour. They may worry about the gambler’s well-being, feel responsible for the gambler’s problems, or feel betrayed by the gambler’s actions.
  3. Relationship problems: The gambler may prioritise gambling over their relationships, leading to feelings of neglect or resentment on the part of the loved ones.
  4. Social isolation: The gambler’s loved ones may become isolated from their social network due to the gambler’s behaviour. They may feel embarrassed or ashamed to talk about the gambler’s actions, leading to a withdrawal from social activities.
  5. Physical health problems: The emotional stress caused by a loved one’s gambling can lead to physical health problems for the loved ones, such as insomnia, headaches, and stomach problems. In severe cases, the loved ones may develop mental health problems, such as anxiety or depression.

It’s important to recognise that gambling can have serious consequences for gamblers and their loved ones. If you or a loved one is struggling with gambling, you should seek help and support. But is gambling enough reason not to believe anything your loved one, who gambles, says?

Gambling and Compulsive Lying

It’s interesting to know the difference between these two and whether or not they are mutually inclusive.

Gambling: Gambling is the act of risking money or something of value on an activity or event to win a prize. It can range from buying lottery tickets to playing slot machines to betting on sports. While gambling can be a fun and exciting activity for some people, it can also become a problem for others. When gambling becomes a problem, it is referred to as “gambling disorder” or “problem gambling.” People with gambling disorder may feel an intense need to gamble, even when it is causing problems in their lives. They may also continue to gamble even when they can’t afford to lose, which can lead to financial problems and debt.

Compulsive lying: Compulsive lying, also known as pathological lying or pseudologia fantastica, is a disorder in which a person habitually tells lies or fabricates stories for no apparent reason. These lies may be small and insignificant, or they may be elaborate and elaborate. People with this disorder may lie about easily verifiable things or things that have no consequences for them. They may also lie even when the truth would be more beneficial for them. Compulsive lying is generally considered a form of impulse control disorder, which means that the person cannot resist the urge to lie.

While gambling and compulsive lying can be related, they are not necessarily related. Some people with gambling disorders may lie about their gambling habits or the extent of their gambling problems, but not all people with gambling disorders are compulsive liars. Similarly, some people who are compulsive liars may also gamble, but not all compulsive liars have gambling disorders.

Mental and Emotional Effects of Gambling

Gambling can have a range of effects on gamblers. Some common emotional effects of gambling include:


Many gamblers experience a rush of excitement when they are gambling, especially when they are winning. This can be a temporary feeling of exhilaration, but it can also lead to more serious problems if the gambler becomes addicted to the rush of winning.


Gambling can cause anxiety, especially when the gambler is losing. This anxiety can be caused by the fear of losing money or the fear of not being able to stop gambling.


Gambling can lead to depression, especially if the gambler is experiencing financial problems or is struggling to control their gambling habits.


Some gamblers may feel guilty about their gambling habits, especially if it is causing problems in their personal or professional lives.


Gambling can lead to anger, especially when the gambler is losing and feels like they are not in control of the situation.


Gambling can lead to social isolation, as the gambler may withdraw from friends and family in order to focus on their gambling habits.

The emotional effects of gambling can be very negative and can lead to serious problems if the gambler cannot control their gambling habits. In some cases, gambling may even become an obsession and can lead to problems with impulse control.

Pathological or Compulsive Gambling

One potential mental effect of gambling is the development of gambling addiction, also known as pathological gambling or compulsive gambling. This type of addiction is characterized by an inability to resist the urge to gamble, even when doing so causes harm to oneself or others. People with a gambling addiction may spend large amounts of time and money on gambling activities and may continue to gamble even when they are experiencing negative consequences as a result.

Pathological gambling is often associated with other mental health conditions, such as depression, anxiety, and substance abuse. It can also lead to financial problems and difficulty managing one’s finances. In severe cases, it can result in homelessness and other serious life problems.

It is important for individuals who struggle with this disorder to seek treatment. Treatment for pathological gambling typically involves a combination of therapy, medication, and support from loved ones.

There are several treatment options available for pathological gambling, including:

  • Cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT): This form of therapy helps individuals identify and change negative thought patterns and behaviours that contribute to their gambling addiction.
  • Medications: Certain medications, such as antidepressants and mood stabilizers, may be helpful in reducing the urge to gamble and improving impulse control.
  • Support groups: Support groups, such as Gamblers Anonymous, provide a safe and supportive environment for individuals to share their experiences and receive support from others who are also struggling with gambling addiction.
  • Individual therapy: A mental health professional can work with an individual to develop coping skills and strategies for managing the urge to gamble.
  • Family therapy: This type of therapy can help improve communication and understanding within the family and can be an important part of the treatment process for pathological gambling.

Treatment for pathological gambling often involves a combination of these approaches, and the specific treatment plan will depend on the individual’s needs and circumstances. It is also important to seek treatment as soon as possible, as pathological gambling can have serious consequences if left untreated.

In addition to seeking professional help, here are a few tips to help you recover from compulsive gambling:

  • Identify triggers: Identify the situations or emotions that trigger your desire to gamble. This can help you develop strategies to avoid or manage those triggers.
  • Set limits: Set limits for yourself regarding how much time and money you spend on gambling. Make a budget and stick to it.
  • Find healthy distractions: Find activities that you enjoy that do not involve gambling, such as hobbies, exercise, or socialising with friends and family.
  • Seek financial help: If your gambling has caused financial problems, consider seeking help from a financial planner or credit counsellor to get your finances back on track instead of going back to gambling in an attempt to recover your loss.

It’s important for individuals to be aware of the potential risks involved in gambling and to gamble responsibly, setting limits on the amount of time and money spent on gambling activities. If you or someone you know is struggling with a gambling problem, kindly seek help from a qualified professional or a support group. If you are in a relationship with a gambler, take care of yourself and ensure that you are not enabling or ignoring any harmful behaviour.

Author Morten

After being a recreational gambler for over 10 years, my professional gambling career started at LeoVegas in January 2019. I am now Head of SEO & Content at Casinogrounds, responsible for what you read on,, and