Arts & Leisure

Dear Mari: Giving him money is a gamble

GAMBLING is an addition for many people.

Dear Marilyn,

My brother is addicted to gambling. When he was younger, it was really bad. He stole from my mother and my sisters.

My dad kicked him out of our house when he was only 19, because he couldn’t deal with my brother any more. After he was kicked out, my brother moved to Maryland and met a girl. He started to mature.

   He and his girlfriend saved up a lot of money. They opened a business together. After a while, he started to call my mom and he asked her to borrow money that he says he needs for the business.

My mom really misses my brother, and felt very badly that my dad had made him leave. There was nothing she could do about it, because my dad had made the decision, and nothing she could say would change his mind.

So, whenever my brother calls and asks for money for his business, my mom always gives it to him. I don’t think that my dad knows that she is doing this. Recently, his girlfriend called and told me that he is using the money that my mom sends to him to gamble. I wanted to immediately tell my mom, but I know that it would break her heart.

So, I called my brother and I let him have it. I told him I knew what he was doing with mom’s money. He started to cry, and said he was very sorry. He said he knows he has been a bad son, and that he would never ask for any more money.

It was embarrassing for both of us when he began to cry, because we are both guys, and we never really had a heart to heart talk before. Last week, it happened again. He called my mom and asked her for money for his business. This is after he had promised me he would not do it again!

My brother is a good person, but his gambling addiction is blinding his mind. I don’t know what to do. Should I tell my mom? I know that she will become very upset, and that’s the last thing that I want to do to her.

Signed, Gambler’s Little Brother

Dear Gambler’s Little Brother,

   The first sentence of your letter is correct. Your brother has an addiction. You need to focus on that when you decide what is the best thing for you to do.

   If your brother was an alcoholic, it is doubtful that your mother would give him more alcohol.

   So, you really need to tell your mom. I know that you do not want her to become upset, but as long as she is assisting him in his addiction, there is a very slim chance that he will seek help to recover.

   You may need your father’s help with this issue as well. You should not have to bear this burden alone.

   So, as difficult as it is going to be, please tell your parent’s what you have told me. Then, it will be up to them what they will do next.

   It is quite likely that the money pipeline to him will immediately stop. They may try to get help for your brother. He may or may not listen to them.

   But, no matter what happens, do not let yourself feel guilty about your decision. You have done nothing wrong. You are only trying to help your mother and your brother in a very difficult situation.  

Dear Marilyn,

I have been thinking about a problem that I have for a long time. I have decided that good advice is needed, so I am writing to you.

“Mr. Flip Flopper” is a guy that I’ve had a crush on for a long time. He’s the kind of guy that doesn’t settle down, and plays way too many games.

We go out on dates, and he says he likes me a lot. Then, he goes and hangs out with another girl. He is always telling me “one day we’ll be together”, but I am now beginning to wonder about that.

I am the type of girl that gets what I want. I’m so sick of this, and I don’t know what to do.

I don’t want to share a guy with another girl, but he seems to think that it is OK. Should I just move on? I haven’t done that because I really like him a lot and I don’t’ want “us” to be over.

Should I wait? What should I do?

Signed, Wants A Commitment

Dear Wants A Commitment,

   This guy is not cheating behind your back. He is telling you that he doesn’t want to be tied down to a committed relationship. You just don’t want to hear what he is saying.

   There is no “us” in your relationship. He is having fun with you, but doesn’t want to be committed to one girl. So, don’t worry about the “us” being over.

   He is giving you hope for a future together, but there is no way that he is sure that you are the one for him in the long term.  So, my advice is that you do move on. If you wait for him, you will be wasting your time.

Dear Readers, please send your questions to Remember to include “Dear Marilyn” in the subject line.




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