Hi James
I agree it is important to minimise any problems your wife’s addiction may cause your daughter but in my opinion it is not necessary to imagine she is definitely going to turn into a child abuser. Your wife will not deliberately cause hurt but she has an addiction to gamble that causes pain with its blind and selfish desire for enablement.
Baby daughters grow up into fearsome young women and strong-minded adults and they ask questions about parental actions and decisions taken on their behalf when they were too young to argue so I think it is important to look at your situation in a balanced way because one day she will want to know why and how you made your decisions.
Have you had cause to worry about your child’s emotional or physical welfare as a result of her mother’s addiction thus far?
It is possible that your wife’s addiction will deteriorate but it is also possible that she will change her life for the better, maybe her parents could be instrumental in directing her to the right support, especially her father who did change his life and therefore knows the courage it takes.
It is possible that you have prevented your wife from getting deeper into her addiction so far by bailing her out but bailing out is enablement and enablement has the opposite effect in that it feeds the addiction and allows it to grow.
You have listed extreme cases of the addiction and of course they exist but has your wife shown such extremities so far?
By all means James put all you are hearing to your attorney but I do hear that you still care about your wife and I think that suggesting she seeks treatment rather than condemnation is important.
I am not seeking to excuse the addiction or the CG who owns it. Ultimately the responsibility for your wife’s behaviour rests solely with her. We have hundreds of female CGs on this site, many of who are mothers who probably feel unable to join in a discussion such as this because they are here to control their addiction, not to carry the guilt for others but they include many who have changed their lives and who live in control of their addiction with their children’s lives intact, having said that I see that before I could send this post, Vera has made a valuable contribution.
I believe you are working on a balance James and I wish you well.
Speak soon