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Hi L
Yes it is good to point him towards support. If and when he does decide to live gamble-free it will be good for him to know where he can find those who understand him
Jenny has given you amazing replies and I have been watching and nodding in agreement at her words but I am concerned that you are not appreciating the strength of your boyfriend’s addiction. You really have to know deep down that you cannot save your boyfriend, only he can do that – the only person you can save is you. At the moment, all the worrying and heart-wrenching is being done by you while he carries on indulging his addiction. I am not judging, I lived with the addiction for 25 years although I didn’t know what it was for 23 of them. It’s a long time to be controlled by the addiction of another but my experience is not unusual, it is repeated over and over on this site. I believed I could save him – I couldn’t; I could only save me but I was in a pathetic state by the time I finally got the message.
I would never suggest you leave or stay. I think you are doing well pushing your thoughts around and gaining knowledge so that you can make an informed decision when ‘you’ are ready – but your boyfriend’s addiction is controlling both your lives at the moment and and that concerns me. It would be better for both of you if you considered what barriers ‘you’ are going to put in place to protect yourself before you worry about the barriers you hope your boyfriend will erect.
‘If’ he wants to change enough then he can – I wouldn’t be writing to you if I didn’t ‘know’ that his addiction can be controlled – but is he saying he wants to change? If your ‘need’ is that he changes but his ‘need’ is to gamble you will be hitting your head against a brick wall..
You pose the difficult question ‘what if leaving him is the only way to help him?’ For many, this is the only outcome where the addiction is out of control but never threaten such an ultimatum unless you are prepared to carry it through because his addiction is the master of threats and you are not.
I cannot stress enough the importance of putting yourself first; your boyfriend will not want you to be another piece of wreckage from his addiction. Maybe you could give him information on GA, dedicated counsellors, rehab who can understand him.. Hopefully he will try our helpline which is terrific. There is no shame in being unable to save a CG – it is something all those who love CGs have to face
Keep posting, there is a lot to learn and knowledge will give you power over his addiction. What you do with that knowledge will always be up to you.