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Ask Dave

One Addiction For Another

Elizabeth's husband is an addict who jumps from one vice to another. What can she do to protect their money and herself?

QUESTION: Elizabeth’s husband is a recovering drug addict, but he’s struggling with gambling now. He’s written bad checks and visited casinos, gambling away paychecks. Can she protect the money they need for the house?

ANSWER: Unfortunately, there is no legal way to control the money. It sounds like he’s replaced one addiction with another. You have to face the addiction. Addicts don’t understand people who are nice to them. You have to be brutally blunt; it’s the only way to get through to him. Treat this just like he’s doing drugs again. If he doesn’t, you’re gone. I’m not recommending divorce, but he needs to know that there is a cost for his addiction.