The following is the third segment in a 13-part series based on the book, Divorce: It’s All About Control — How to Win the Emotional, Psychological and Legal Wars, by renowned family law specialist and managing partner of Phillips Lerner, A Law Corporation in Los Angeles, Calif. This continuing series deals with one of the most destructive wars — the Internal Wars — and the Enemies Within, all of which can be just as devastating as the emotional, psychological and legal wars. As I mentioned in segment one of this series, each of the Internal Wars deals with self-abuse in one way or another. This segment focuses on gambling.
It is not a theory but a known fact that most of those who gamble will eventually lose. If that were not the case, resorts such as Las Vegas, Monte Carlo and Atlantic City would soon be out of business. Bookmakers would have to find another way to make a living, and the people who manufacture poker chips would have to start making potato chips instead! Fighting the Gambling War can be as arduous as fighting any of the other “Way Too Much” Wars because once you dig a deep enough hole, it can take years of payback and rehabilitation to recover. Gambling is a drug of sorts. At first those who engage in it think they will just “try it” yet soon they find themselves deeply addicted. There is the allure of thinking you can get something for nothing.
Those who have gambling addictions are typically fighting other wars simultaneously. For instance, many of those who gamble also drink, or overspend, or eat too much. These types are headed down a dark trail. If you find yourself counted among the troops who are at War with this Enemy, glance over the following. Hopefully you will find some alternate ways to assuage your cravings. If you are in the grip of the Gambling Enemy you may want to recite the following out loud:
- I will never get ahead.
- I work too hard for my money to lose it so easily.
- I will sink deeper into this addiction if I allow it to perpetuate.
- I may find myself hanging out with unsavory types.
- I will set a negative example for my children.
- I may discover it is a behavior I need to hide from others.
- I could blow the same money on other things that are far more rewarding.
- I may lose sleep over my losses.
- I really cannot afford such an expensive habit.
- By gambling I surrender Control to an Enemy Within.
If you are caught up in the “gambling trap” now would be a very good time to make your own list of reasons why you should shed this addiction. By all means do not be chintzy with your reasons as they may be very personal ones and ones that will convince you to walk off this battlefield.
Stacy D. Phillips is a co-founder of Blank Rome LLP, which specializes in high-profile family law matters. She is a Certified Family Law Specialist by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization.