Keeping Values and Beliefs Intact is Important When Living with Disordered Gambling 

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Keeping Values and Beliefs Intact is Important When Living with Disordered Gambling 

If you are living with someone suffering from problem gambling, you may have found you have lost a piece of yourself in the relationship. You may have given up some important values and beliefs in order to make your life easier and even to allow the disorder to continue without knowing it.  

Many people have never sat down and identified their core values and beliefs. We have never contemplated what is important to us. Knowing the difference between a value and a belief is important, too! This is what we will explore together in this blog.  

What is a Value? 

A value is that which is desirable or worthy of esteem for its own sake; a thing or quality having intrinsic worth. (Intrinsic meaning from inside ourselves.) 

Values are a fundamental resource that we have to guide our lives and the decisions we make. Values come from deep inside ourselves. They make us who we are, what we believe in, and how we act. They determine how we want to live our lives. They give us purpose and direction for the way we behave in this world, with ourselves and those around us. Along the way, we may acquire new values or abandon some values we no longer believe important. This type of change can also affect our belief systems. Values are what helps us to make the right choices in life. Some of our values are formulated at a very young age and most probably were influenced by our parents or other elders in our lives. These types of values are called Core Values

  • Honesty 
  • Dependability 
  • Empathy 
  • Trust 
  • Responsibility 
  • Consistently 
  • Equality 
  • Ethics 
  • Diversity 
  • Social Responsibility 
  • Respect 
  • Truth 
  • Justice 
  • Integrity 
  • Tolerance 
  • Reliability 

Take a look at some of these values. Do you see how you may have had some values that you have lost because of problem gambling? Do any of the values above fill in the blanks for you? If you find you have lost some along the way in order to make life easier living with a problem gambler, how do you think you could get that value back? 

“Try not to become a man of success but rather a man of value.”

Albert Einstein

What is a Belief?

A belief is an acceptance that a statement is true or that something exists. The important distinction here is that a belief is NOT a fact – and is NOT necessarily true – but the holder of the belief has accepted it as such. 

Beliefs are a little different from values. Beliefs are deeply rooted assumptions about your life. They unknowingly affect your behaviors, thoughts, and emotions. There are 3 types of core beliefs starting with beliefs about yourself, beliefs about others, and beliefs about the world around you. These beliefs, much like values, we learn when young by watching our parents or other elders. Think about what you say about yourself and to yourself like: “I am not worthy of love and respect.” That can be a belief, although it will never be true! These thoughts shape our behaviors driven by emotions.  

Think of it this way: I have a belief, and if I have that belief then I have a resulting behavior, and I end up with either positive or negative results from that behavior. For example:  

  • Belief: As a loved one of a problem gambler, a belief of yours may be: “If I go and gamble with him/her, I can control the money and time spent.”  
  • Behavior: Your belief will result in you joining him/her in gambling and attempting to control the time and money spent.  
  • Result: You end up in a heated argument with the gambler instead, which may even result in more gambling! 

In this example, the belief leads to a negative result and the opposite of what was intended. How can you change the belief in order to change behavior and get the end result you want? Beliefs drive behavior, which causes a positive or negative outcome. 

We all learn beliefs and values when we are young from adults around us. As we age and encounter new situations and people whose beliefs and values differ, the result can be frustration, confusion, and great emotional pain. When problem gambling is part of the equation, all bets are off. 

If you see yourself in the words written here, know that problem gambling assistance for loved ones is available 24/7 in Florida. Call or text 888-ADMIT-IT to speak with a knowledgeable HelpLine Specialist and connect with free resources, for YOU. Recovery from the impacts of gambling addiction is possible for both gamblers and loved ones, and treatment is available. 

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