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Hi, Velvet. Thanks again for taking the time to reply. I’ve been thinking about the best course of action and your insight is highly valuable in forming my decision, along with others.

– If your ex is still attending GA and trying to work the 12 steps, I am sure there will be people in his group who are aware of his progress, so he is not alone: I think he still is, but I’m not entirely sure. I caught him possibly lying or just a simple mistake when he said he’s been attending in-person GA meetings on Saturdays but when I checked the schedule online, it was actually Sunday. I wouldn’t know for sure unless I show up where they meet and I don’t want to do that.

– The dog (as I am sure you agree) is the one creature he can be honest with, the one creature who will not and cannot enable him but can give him love however, if the dog is looking malnourished or neglected, then I think it is right to take him back.: I certainly agree with this 100%, and he had said when we talked a month ago that he’s the only one my ex has, and my taking him back will definitely send him into a spiral thats why i left it with him for the meantime. I explained that i gave it to him under the premise that we would be living together anyway so it wouldn’t be really letting it go, until the gambling came out. 3 out of 5 of the litter remained with me because I couldn’t stand not seeing them. The other puppy, I gave to my brother’s family and is being treated extremely well and I get to visit whenever I want, or is brought to our house when they come over.

The dog isn’t looking malnourished from last month, but I am not at ease leaving the dog with him because I am worried about the dog most of the time especially since I know he is being left for far longer and more often than he needs to be, since he goes to work on weekdays and goes out on weekends. It does seem selfish of me to take it back, but as my ex repeatedly said, he doesn’t know if he loves me or if we ever have a chance to get back together in the future. At this point, I feel like I have to move on as I’ve tried everything to get him back or even just try to be there for him in whatever capacity he needs. Taking the dog back will help me stop worrying and keeping tabs on him as i will be cutting off connections on social media where i get news from him and what hes up to. I wanted to deactivate all my accounts as an alternative, but since my work is dependent on it, it’s not a possibility for me. Although I know that if i ever decide to get the dog back, all doors for reconciliation will be closed because he bottles up resentment and grudges deeply. I don’t think I’ll ever be forgiven for it, even though my uncle thinks otherwise since everything is a consequence of his gambling and making amends is part of his 12 steps.

– I am still confused about the part the girl plays in all your concerns. Your ex has not made the right noises regarding her and although he might just be seeking enablement elsewhere, I think you must be aware that I can have no idea what is actually going on.: I agree that no one but him and his circle can know for sure. He is very secretive and has history of cheating on multiple past partners, although all of these happened before me. He has insisted he didn’t cheat on me, but there were times that I would be triggered because of him deleting messages, the mystery hair in the toilet, and this new girl I haven’t heard of that he’s now suddenly close to who knows all of his problems, cropping up. His family and his co-parenting partner doesnt even know he has a gambling problem as of 3 weeks ago, but this new girl is the one selling my ring on the internet. So I have my suspicions. He has a secretive streak, and would admit that our communication 6 years ago started when he was still committed to someone else, so i wouldnt put it past him to hide things. I am stuck in a very desperate and unhealthy spiral of wanting to move on and wanting him back and I am just exhausted because through his indecision, he has made it clear that he does not want me in his life. I just can’t bear being in this limbo and then down the line, finding out that I am not the one he chooses to be with. I am in so much pain and anxiety that most days, at multiple times during the day, I find it difficult to breathe.

Most of the relationships ive been in ended because of 3rd parties, and, before my ex, I was single for 7 years. I thought that I had healed and even with his history, he had shown me that he has learned from his past and is a better person when we got together. He was the best partner in the first 3 years of our relationship, but our fights were different since 2021. I could sense that he just lost the drive to continue and was just there possibly out of obligation. Looking back, I have my suspicions, but it can’t be proven. What I do know for sure is that legal online gambling here only started in 2021. I have started going to counseling with a psychologist (I chose someone who also specializes in addiction, among other areas) since I realized I haven’t healed my past trauma and attachment wounds, but I still have a long way to go since I only started 2 weeks ago.

I was also introduced to detaching with love but I’m not entirely sure what that means. What I know for sure is that he still blames me for leaving him alone (which I am very guilty of), and that he is having a hard time facing me and anyone who is close to me, as proven when he ran into my best friend more than once and he, very blatantly, avoided them. Whether he hates me or is guilty for what he’s done, I’m not sure. But it’s still painful that he can so easily thank our common friends for being part of his recovery for offering him financial support one time while I get nothing but i-dont-knows, blame, confusion, and pain.