1314 Westwood Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90024
One of the most difficult aspects of gambling addiction is the terrible impact the financial damage can have on a family member, spouse, or the individual. The issue goes far beyond money into areas of trust and general security as well. It is often necessary for a spouse of a person with a gambling addiction to learn about the nature of the disorder, learn how to protect themselves and at the same time learn when it is time to start to reestablish trust.. These things all take time and are contingent on a genuine change in the addicted person. The issue of tracking or managing the household finances is very complex and different for most families based on their dynamics, so there are not many, if any, general statements that will apply to every situation. I see sometimes when the spouse is tracking and monitoring money far too aggressively and others when it is not being attended to at all. Gam-anon members can often be a good sounding board for individual concerns you might have.
Sometimes it is appropriate for the spouse to become more active in managing the family's finances, but not always. It might be good for the spouse to run a credit report to see what is going on.
This is a legit company that will provide FREE credit reports once a year. A spouse might want to consider paying for monthly reports to see if credit cards are being taken out. There are three credit agencies and each one can give a FREE report from this website, you will need to request each one individually.
Also, a credit freeze can lock up a person's credit history so that no lender can access their credit report, and without being able to access the credit report they can not issue new credit cards. This is different than a fraud alert, it is much stronger. A request has to be filed with each of the three agencies, it will not help to just do one of them. There is a $10 dollar fee for each one, or a total of $30 dollars. There is an additional 10 dollar cost to unfreeze each one. This website can provide additional information:
Another way to stop the credit cards is at www.optoutprescreen.com or call 888-5678688.
Sometimes a gambler will take out a second or additional mortgage or home equity loan without the spouse knowing so you might want to check into this as well.
Putting the gambler on an allowance and controlling the money can create tremendous strain on both parties, and while this is a very important option, it needs a lot of team work to make it work, it is important that all critical household expenses are paid prior to paying off gambling debt, GA pressure relief can help families with this process.
Working with families can be very complex and difficult and I find that I am still learning to do the best I can. I always appreciate hearing and learning as much as possible and you have any feedback for me please do let me know.
It can take on average 2-3 years for the finanical situation to heal-up this can produce a lot of residual ressentments and anger for both parties. It is also a relapse issue, in that the gambler may feel the pressure to gamble to try and win back the money faster, or when it starts to get better they might look at the improved credit availailbiyt or illusion of extra money as fuel to restart the addiction. This is a very important issue. I use to think that this mental disease was easy to cure, because intially the gambler is too broke to gamble. But as the financial situation improves they are at much higher risk for relapse. Understanding this is vital to sustaining long term recovery as well as understanding why relapses occur.
Research has shown that unexpected windfalls are also a major source of relapse, a gambler gets a bonus or some unexpected money and esp if the spouse is not aware of it, the urge to gamble because very strong. Also the distortion of money in general is a major issue, abuse of credit cards and other loans and living check to check while ignoring retirement and savings is a huge part of developing a normal healthy relationship with money.
Be sure to see the informational documents section that has a nice workbook for finanical issues
Copyright 2011 Dr. Eric Geffner's Gambling Treatment Program. All rights reserved.
1314 Westwood Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90024