Your mind must be bouncing all over the place at the moment but with your wife on a gambling binge it is important that you keep yourself safe and strong for the sake of your daughter.
It seems to me, from reading you post, that your mother-in-law will have a capacity for understanding you and your situation better than most. For me the greatest support came from someone who had suffered from the addiction to gamble in her life but had moved on to live in peace and happiness. Do you and your mother-in-law have a good relationship?
I cannot tell you what to do but I do recommend keeping a journal so that you have your thoughts and memories clear. The addiction to gamble is secretive and therefore emotional abuse is hard to prove but if you can keep your daughter’s welfare at the fore-front of your mind, I believe you will make the right decisions.
You will never know if your presence prevented your wife hitting rock bottom – there are many things with this addiction for which a loved one will never receive any answers but given time such answers are not material. What matters is that you stay safe and deny the addiction any opportunity to bring you down.
You are right, you cannot ‘fix’ your wife but there is always hope that she will control her addiction. Unfortunately loving a CG does not give them normality and stability – only the CG can do that. You can point her in the right direction though, perhaps to this site, GA, or a dedicated counsellor. Our helpline is here for her as it is for you; she would be welcome in our CG only groups and in ‘My Journal’ forum.
I cannot advice you on which course of action is right for your daughter but I can see by your post that you are working hard at doing the right thing. Can you talk to your mother-in-law about support for you and your daughter; is she aware of the extent of her daughter’s addiction? In my opinion, physical support is so important for you James – I know in the UK the mother always seems to be favoured over the father so I believe that it is best to have understanding female assistance.
It is not symptomatic of the gambling addiction that a CG deliberately hurts but they can neglect because their minds are full of addiction and as such I feel your child does need protecting while her mother’s mind is not working with logic and reason.
Your write that your father-in-law ‘was’ a CG but there is no cure for this addiction. Your wife can learn to control her addiction and live a truly wonderful life but she needs the right treatment and understanding.
Keep posting – you are doing well