Obviously, not everyone who gambles has a problem. Many people enjoy gambling as a social activity without it threatening their financial security or family relationships. I would go as far as to say that even gambling huge sums may be justified as long as their finances can justify the expense. I have a friend who frequently goes to Vegas and can blow five figure sums on any given trip. Do I think it’s crazy? Of course I do. But he makes multiple six figures and pays all his bills on time. He’ll likely work until he’s 65 while I can probably retire much earlier, but who am I to judge? It’s all just about priorities.

He’s obviously a special case though. For many others, gambling can lead to addiction and serious consequences for those who can’t control their impulse. With as many as 3-5 out of every 100 gamblers, and as many as 750,000 young people ages 14-21 having a gambling addiction, gambling can be compared to handling fire — it can either be used to your advantage or seriously hurt you.

How can you tell when someone you love is developing a gambling problem?  At what point does it become an addiction? These are questions you may be afraid to contemplate, but recognizing and admitting them are the first steps to helping your spouse overcome a gambling problem and avoid further devastating consequences.

A Gambling Problem: Recognizing the Signs

A gambling problem is defined as behavior that disrupts life even if it’s not out of control. The reasons for excessive gambling vary, but many people use it to alleviate stress or feelings of…

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