Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Are You a Good Pool Player's Girlfriend?

I can't tell you how many times I see a significant other get upset at a guy during a match he is in. At this point in my life, it actually really irritates me to see girls get upset at their men when they are gambling or playing in a tournament.

Do they not get it?   Really?  You can't wait til they are done to show your anger and chew them out?   Do they really think getting on their nerves will help them play better and win the set?

Why do guys even take these girls to gambling matches or tournaments?   Oh, I know, because they will text and call every ten minutes til they hear back from you, and then still chew you out on the phone and hang up on you.

Listen ladies. Men gamble. Men compete.  They aren't not thinking of you deliberately, they are just busy being a guy - trying to see who has the bigger stick and win that money.

Gambling and competition makes a person not think or see clearly, especially about your emotions and how you should be treated.  It's not personal, tho.  Always remember that.  They don't mean to not call you. It's just they are busy with something that preoccupies their entire mindframe.  But you help them LOSE by giving them a hard time.   Don't send them crappy texts, don't hang up on them, don't chew them out during a match. Try as hard as you can to leave them alone and NOT upset them while they are playing (you already know all this will upset them more).  And how can someone play pool well if they are upset?

Trust me, I can sympathize to the frustrations that women have with their guys who stay out all night gambling. I have been around that my whole life and I, too, took it personal and have experienced the hurtfulness many, many times.

So, yes, I have been guilty of getting mad / upset at the wrong times, I fully admit. But, I am now 150% better than ten years ago.  I now keep any upsetness within me until they are finished gambling. I want them to WIN! I know if I upset them, they will (1) lose (2) take it out on me (3) get more mad at me (3) blame me (4) and the fight will be worse.

You can still chew them out afterwards. But during gambling matches, I beg of you to just hold that anger til the appropriate time. Don't even show it on your face. Keep it hidden. Be there for your man, so he can win!

The few times I have upset someone during a recent gambling match was deliberate.  But otherwise, I know to keep quiet, express any disappointment later, and instead be their biggest supporter.

I admit it's not easy at all to hold back when you get upset.  But try to.  So he can focus.

Your relationships will be better if you support and understand, instead of nagging at them you want to leave, or get upset because he's not showing you attention.   Hello?  He's in a game!

Now, if a guy is out every night gambling, then I can understand why you may feel hurt and angry and upset. If you can't handle their hobby and their gambling, tho, you may need to either reconsider the relationship or reconsider how you handle their gambling. Because as you know - they wont stop.

Either support them, leave them alone when they are, or you might have to seriously have a sit down and explain to them you don't like being second to gambling (although they wont understand).

So, are you a good pool player's girlfriend/wife?  Or do you get in the way?  Or, do you wish they would stop staying out late and gambling so much?

The very few men I know who stopped gambling usually did so because they started a new job or started a family.  But admittedly, some men still stay out late even with a newborn at home.  I can't say I understand that or would put up with that, but I haven't been in their shoes before.

All I know is - I was the bad girlfriend who always got mad, upset, and acted like a sensitive, selfish little girl (who overreacted all the time) when my guy was gambling.  I regret it now and am trying to pass on some good advice.  Now that I'm older, I see how insensitive I was.  I realize the females reading this will be like, "But he's being insensitive!"  And that is true - but we still can't change the fact he's gambling, can we?

So, let's start supporting him and try to understand what gambling does to the mind:   Gambling is like an addiction.  In a nutshell the way our brain processes our feelings of reward and success at a job well done is: trigger > reward > reinforcement.  The thing is, research also shows that a near-miss or an almost-win is enough to trigger the reward > reinforcement cascade, and is effectively encourages them/us to continue gambling.

What does all this mumbo-jumbo mean?  The brains of people anticipating a win at the roulette table appear to react much like those taking euphoria-inducing drugs. A team of investigators reports that the parts of the brain that respond to the prospects of winning and losing money while gambling are the same as those that appear to respond to cocaine and morphine.

I.E.  Gambling is an addiction. And if you've ever been around an addict, you know that their only thought is "more drugs" (whatever the drug may be - alcohol, gambling, meth, whatever).  And they become selfish.

So, don't take it personal when you are ignored or are feeling ignored.  Gambling is a real problem.  But try not to get mad at them all the time when they are gambling, or interfere with their matches by getting onto them.  At least, try not to.  Realize that even though you don't like them gambling and instead wish they were spending time with you, that if they are going to be out, let them have a good frame of mind and not be upset so they can play the best they can.

Note: After I wrote this and then looked up how gambling is affected by the brain (for the links at the end of this blog entry), I'm now kinda at a crossroads with my "advice."  Why support gambling if it is an addiction?  While I still whole-heartedly believe to not upset your guy while he's in a (any) match, the fact that gambling is an addiction and addictions are hard to break, perplexes me.  I still think understanding and support while they are playing in a match is much better than getting mad at him, tho.

But to read how it's an addiction confuses my own mind with my advice.

I'm not saying I would not be upset either if my b/f was out all the time (btw, he is, but I'm normally sitting right by his side supporting him), but I do admit that it's tough now for me to say to support him gambling, because now I realize through the research that it's an addiction.  But let's face it - there are many forms of addiction that many of us have:  food, alcohol, gambling in casinos, etc.  Gambling is just another form.


Let's Walk This World Together said...

You have a good point even if gambling is not what you want to support. Supporting your man is more important. Attacking your man in the middle of a game is never a good idea. You would essentially be providing your man with someone else to compete with. Work to build your relationship...not tear it down. Then you both can address the addiction together.

Thanks Melinda....Blanca

spanky said...

if a man gambles once in a while, yes , I agree leave him alone.
If he goes out every night and gambling is more important then you, get rid of his ass.
If you talk to him and it doesn't change his priorities, get ride of his ass.
By the way I am a guy.

R Riley said...

yes I am a very good pool players wife :)