Q: I am writing as the mother of a young responsible woman who has always paid her bills on time. Her husband has an addiction problem and is unemployed. In the past, most of his earnings did not go to the family.

She very much wants to save the marriage. The problem is that she is already working two jobs, a full-time and a part-time job. They have a mortgage and all that goes with it, a 10-year old daughter and, of course, many other financial obligations.

She also co-signed for his educational expenses and purchased a car for him which is now the only vehicle in the family. He also owes a bank a large amount of money for overdrafts, and he has not filed taxes in two years.

She called me yesterday and asked for my help. I have been able to assist in the past (I’m not sure that was wise), but my husband and I are both 63 with expenses of our own. Yes, I could help her in the short run, but I see that is not the entire solution, as her debt keeps mounting. Help!

A: Your daughter needs to own up to the fact that her husband is an addict and until he deals with that, she will never be first in his life. She will be a mistress to whatever drugs or alcohol her husband is taking.

He is cheating her and their children, and bankrupting them in the process. What I don’t get is why she is trying to save this marriage. It will destroy her and her child, who will see her mother as an enabler and not a strong woman in her own right.

I think she should find a good divorce attorney and begin proceedings. She needs to cut him off financially and start to do what she needs to do, like pay the back taxes and get her loans current.

If he really wants to save the marriage, he’ll start to clean up his life and become the kind of husband and father that she deserves.

The best thing you can do is to find her a divorce attorney and take her to the first meeting.

Good luck. This is a difficult road that lies ahead.