DEAR HARRIETTE: My wife has a gambling problem. She has a great job, so thus far we haven’t lost that much, but she’s getting out of control. Last week, she went to a local casino, got drunk, spent whatever money she had and was discovered in the parking lot by a security guard. I was then called to come get her.
I don’t know what’s going on that’s making her go off the deep end even more. What’s worse is that I don’t know how to help her. Whenever I bring it up, she shrugs it off like she’s just having some fun. I’m afraid she will get hurt or lose her job if she gets any more reckless. How can I reel her in? -- Out of Control, Pittsburgh
DEAR OUT OF CONTROL: When people are living in a state of addiction, it is often impossible for them to hear the voice of reason. This does not mean that you should stop trying to be heard. With compassion, tell your wife during a sober moment how her drinking and gambling are hurting you and your marriage. Give her specific examples of how her behavior has embarrassed you, cost you money and impacted your bond. Do not chastise her for her actions. Speak in an even, clear tone so she is able to hear you. Tell her how disappointed you are that she continues to make choices that hurt the family. Ask her to get help to stop. For more ideas on staging an intervention, visit http://www.paproblemgambling.com/for-friends-and-family/#tips-for-friends-and-family.