DEAR ABBY: I have just discovered that my wife of 35 years has been gambling heavily for several years. Nearly $8,000 has been withdrawn at the casinos from our account and hers in the last nine months.
I am a saver; she has been a spender for the duration of our marriage. We could live very well in our retirement if we are prudent now.
She says it's her life and she will do what she wants; it's her money and she'll spend it any way she wants. She does work, but are these fair statements? Will she ever quit gambling? -- HOPEFUL IN KENTUCKY
DEAR HOPEFUL: Unless your wife is willing to admit that her gambling has become a problem she's unable to control, she will continue to gamble. Most couples pool their finances and decide together how the money should be spent. Her argument that it is her life and she'll do anything she wants, etc. is defensive, selfish and irrational.
You can lead a horse (player) to water, but you can't make her drink. Unless she's willing to get help for her gambling addiction, your wife could literally spend you out of house and home. Consult a lawyer about separating your finances before she goes through all the money. Please don't wait.