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June 2012
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Gambling habit ruining marriage

Staff report

Dear Annie: I've been married to my lovely wife for nine years, and to this day, I can't get past her gambling habit. It is causing major problems in our marriage.

Once or twice a week when she gets that itch to head to the casino, she loses all the money she earns in our account and then accumulates bank fees and overdraft charges. I'm fed up with her habit and have mentioned that this must stop. She has promised me many times that she will quit, but she hasn't been successful.

Once I let her go to the casino and told her to spend only a certain amount, and she ended up gambling away $1,000, which she never replaced. I was upset and didn't speak to her for a few days.

I will be deploying overseas soon, and I'm afraid to leave her to handle our financial affairs. I want to ask my brother to put her on an allowance to pay our bills, but I know she will be upset and ask me to move out. I don't want to do that. What should I do? -- Totally Fed Up

Dear Totally: Your wife has an addiction. Stopping will be impossible unless she admits she has a problem and agrees to get help. Some addicts voluntarily list their names with casinos to prohibit admittance, although it is not a guarantee.

We urge you to separate your accounts so she cannot access money needed to run the household, and put your brother in charge of paying the bills. She may become angry, but your marriage will not survive her gambling and the potential loss of your savings. Please contact Gam-Anon (gam-anon.org) for more information and support.

Annie's Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please email your questions to anniesmailbox@comcast.net, or write to: Annie's Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 737 3rd Street, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254.

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