To answer your question about explaining the destruction in their life in my opinion, is to make an example of how they should be very careful of allowing anyone else in their life with an addiction and to be very careful of not to become an addict, as they clearly know the dangers of letting something over take their lives like gambling.
This lesson is invaluable and hopefully will guide them when they make friends and the boyfriends they chose. I know my daughters even at their young ages, 12 and 7, know who to stay away from. I am proud to say that my daughters are aware of the consequences of being an addict as they have seen the end result of their grandfather, my dad.
It is a good thing your oldest daughter is moving far away, as I did the same thing when I went to college, which was hundreds of miles away from my dad. Yet, when I graduated and move back, he stuck to me like honey, and thus the enabling started. At first it was little things, “oh, can you help me out until I get paid..” and of course it continued for close to 20 years. It wasn’t until my late 30’s did I stop to give him anything.
My mother had warned me many times, about his gambling, and how I should not help, but I did. He had a way of asking that at first seemed genuine and before I knew it I was like his sugar daddy. It makes me sick thinking about the money I handed over to him, when I needed it and of course he never paid any of it back.
You daughter’s should know they are not helping him or themselves if they help him. He is the father, he should be responsible to take care of himself and if anyone should go to someone. It should be them and not him. I remember when I started saying no to giving him money, he would lash out.
I admire your strength and I know you will get through this, in all honestly I would not even think about your ex, he has taken so much from you and instead you should be thinking about your next move. When the house is auctioned off, walk away knowing your life will only get better.