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Gambling husband, Alzheimers mother

Esther wrote:

My husband and I took in my mother five years ago because she has Alzheimers. We have been married six years. It's been very hard taking care of my mother and he has had an injury at work that caused him to be "disabled". He receives a disability check every month and could work some but doesn't.

He does, on the other hand, keep my mother company during the day most of the time. He is what ever woman would want - he cooks, he cleans, he runs errands, buys groceries, etc. He is very even tempered and funny.

He also has a gambling problem and he lies to me about stuff that doesn't even matter, such as selling a truck that he was trying to sell, and then lying to me saying it was on a lot for consignment. I found out he sold it outright. I asked if the bill came from IRS and he said no when it was right on his dresser. I just don't get it.

I work about 55 hours a week and try to stay on top of all the bills and credit cards that we once could afford until his disability. The days I'm off, I take care of my mom and do transcription at home. He got a $40,000 settlement six months ago, and it is gone.

We are supposed to be saving to help build a cabin with my father. He thinks because he will be doing a lot of the work, financially he doesn't need to contribute. I will have to contribute the money which I barely have $18,000 saved up for but he tries to call all the shots on what will be done.

He is going to be 60 in three days and I just turned 53. Part of me wants to leave him, part of me says I have it made and should just ignore his lies and keep on. I just don't know anymore. He does take a lot of weight of my shoulders with all he does but it feels like double weight when I catch him in a lie ... Any advice?

Dear Esther

In many ways, you are stuck between a rock and hard place ... only you can decide which is easier to cope with.

But if you decide to keep him around, you need to change the rules. He doesn't get to call any shots if doesn't contribute. And, of course, you need to make sure he doesn't drain your future as well as his own.

If you decide that enough is enough (and no-one would blame you), then plan carefully first, and get legal, accounting and health care advice first.

Good Luck to you.

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